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Banner Saga Kickstarter Wraps, Big Features Added

Soon, this whole scene will be rendered in Unreal Engine 23.

The seemingly infinite font of generosity that is Kickstarter has given rise to yet another rags-to-riches-to-restoration-of-faith-in-humanity tale – this time for the ex-BioWare trio at Stoic. If your only chance at survival after being crushed under a massive stack of cash was a bank-breaking, spine-saving donation to The Banner Saga, well, I don’t know what to tell you, seeing as the drive has now officially closed out at over $700,000. But, dear hilariously unfortunate reader, there is one upside: extra features! Tons of them! Though, admittedly, Banner Saga’s only been announced for platforms on this mortal plane so far.

In addition to a Linux port, the apocalyptic Viking role-player’s putting special focus on more variable mid-travel events, a finale that accounts for more of said variables, and – in multiplayer – player-owned-and-operated cities. Stoic explained in a Kickstarter update:

“There are two main things we want to expand with additional content: one is the variety of events that happen during travel. We’ve mentioned in a few places how this will be reminiscent of King of Dragon Pass. For example, a group of warriors in your caravan may approach you and demand more food than the farmers. Depending on your response you may upset the warriors or the farmers, cause one or the other leave or turn into an unexpected fight.”

“Or you might diffuse the situation and move on. Additionally, we want these events to have some repercussions. You might tell the warriors to back down and think the thing is settled, only to discover that two days later they steal supplies and run off while you’re sleeping. We’d like to add a much larger variety of these events and give them more variables.”

At more than 700 percent of its original funding goal, Stoic’s also hoping to hire on a couple additional staff – beyond, of course, Journey composer Austin Wintory, who will now have a full orchestra to work with. The only real downside here? A slightly longer wait until the Kickstarter funding boomerang lands back in your hands. “We’ve been careful not to dramatically change the scope of the game but as you can probably tell we’ve added a LOT of stuff, way more than we ever expected. We don’t see it going something like six months over schedule but we do want to honest that it could go past this year,” explained Stoic.

Here’s hoping it’s worth the wait. Otherwise, Stoic’s gonna have a 20,042-person legion (and one money-mountain-suffocated ghost) kicking its doors down, demanding what it was promised. I’ve got high hopes for this one, but – while games-related Kickstarters hardly kicked off with Double Fine’s gold rush – this trend is still in its relative infancy. We’ve yet to see any of these newborn juggernauts deliver.

Moreover, what sorts of details will they provide mid-development? How much will they allow community suggestion to mold their new children, born of immaculate crowdsourcing conception? We shall see. You certainly can’t plan a massive influx of nearly one million dollars, so it’ll be interesting to see how much these developers stick to the script once it’s all safely tucked away in their terrifyingly over-stuffed piggy banks.

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Nathan Grayson

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