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Black Isle Asks For Your Money... Badly

You probably remember that legendary RPG powerhouse Black Isle Studios abruptly rose from the dead earlier this year. You might also remember feeling supremely baffled by that fact, given that Interplay’s now a penniless shell of a company, and the “old band” it was hoping to get back together had already, you know, done that – just at Obsidian and inXile. So how exactly does this new studio wearing Black Isle’s pajamas hope to paddle through the overwhelming waters of seeming impossibility? Well, predictably, that’s where you come in. But, to be perfectly honest, you probably won’t want to.

The first step in Black Isle’s plan is actually quite sensible: the newly rechristened videogame company would like to make a videogame. And it actually sounds somewhat interesting, to boot. Titled Project V13, it’s set to be a sprawling post-apocalyptic role-player (yes, kind of like that other one), but with a couple potentially game-changing twists.

“Once you have determined your character’s background, you will found your ‘colony’. From a deserted city, a broken down military base, or even the ruins of an oil pumping station, the colony will be yours to rebuild and control. Attract non-player characters for guards, peons, scientists, and other activities. Or, if you are the type that so desires, shanghai the NPCs. Put them to work rebuilding your society and improving your colony.”

Problem is, little else about this funding drive inspires confidence. Most obviously, it offers practically nothing in the way of evidence that this game exists outside of promises that Interplay’s been attempting to get it off the ground for years. Moreover, the drive has no end date, charges donors immediately, and doesn’t even offer a copy of the completed product in the event that it “succeeds.”

Oh, but you can get some fancy forum titles. Isn’t that neat?

And then, of course, there’s the elephant in the room: who are these people? Unfortunately, a heavily bleeped (for legal reasons, presumably) and horrifically stilted introductory video doesn’t do much in the way of building faith. Meanwhile, I’ve sent over multiple interview requests, but the impending holiday break appears to have left them in a smoking, irradiated heap on the floor. If that changes, you’ll be the first to know, but until then, probably think long and hard before tossing some of your precious caps in this one’s cup.

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Nathan Grayson

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