EVIL BOX! Dreadline Footage Appears In Kickstarter Vid

Remember Dreadline? It’s the RPG/RTS from an indie studio – Eerie Canal – including former Freedom Force/BioShock developers. It caught our eye last May, simply by its premise: a group of time travelling monsters who visit key moments of history to, well, kill people. You play as the monsters. This is a Good Idea. In the time since we’ve heard very little, but along with the inevitable Kickstarter, there’s now footage of the game in motion, and it really has met the promise of authentically rendering its distinctive, scratchy drawings.

The footage appears within the pitch video, but it’s a goodun so that shouldn’t bother you any.

So what you’ve got here is a programmer from Freedom Force, who was also lead programmer on Titan Quest, along with another former Looking Glass, wanting to make a new RPG/RTS. That seems like a tick in quite a few boxes. $167,000 is a big target, but clearly not an enormous one. Although it’s a week old without any updates, so they really need to pull their finger out there.

You can read much more about the game, and Eerie Canal’s plans for it, in our interview with the team from last year. And there’s a smidgeon more footage here:


  1. InternetBatman says:

    It’s very cute that they have the Erie Canal song playing in the background.

  2. Bhazor says:

    Adored Freedom Force and really like the ingame art style here…. but the cut scene art style is ugly as hell and the theme just doesn’t grab me like Silver Age comic book heroes did.

    Also the fact one of your project leads has left within the first week of a kickstarter doesn’t fill me with confidence.

  3. lordcooper says:

    So…they don’t have a coder any more? I love the concept and the art style is pretty neat, but that’s a pretty major point to hold against them :/

    E: I’m talking shit. According to the FAQ, Bryn is currently working on this project *as well as* Harmonix.

  4. bryn says:

    I’m still working on Dreadline! I put 1.5 years into writing the game engine, tools, and gameplay code. Now most of the work left to finish is on the art content side. (It mentions this in the FAQ, maybe I should move it higher on the page.)

    • Terragot says:

      Are Harmonix OK with you working on this outside of work. I know that every place I’ve worked claims ownership of all IP’s created inside or outside work while under their employment, and I’ve heard some real horror stories. Be sure to ask for the all clear and get it in writing.

      • bryn says:

        Yeah, it’s all fine. Harmonix is a cool company. The CEO already contributed to the game! Thanks for the heads up though.

  5. cpt_freakout says:

    Looks like a lot of fun! And most importantly, it looks very doable under the conditions they give in the video and page, so I’m in.

  6. Hoaxfish says:

    Since we haven’t had a Kickstarter Katchup in a while, I’m gonna hijack this a bit:

    Full Bore: 12k of 12.5k with 4 days left. A digging/block-breaking puzzle game about boars. With a playable demo.

    Radio the Universe: 49K of 12k with 16 days left (has hit all stretch goals, and was fully funded within 2 days of its start). 2D top-down pixel loveliness, along with music and sci-finess. The Dev seems pretty sure of how to progress forward.

  7. bryn says:

    Radio the Universe looks cool. I pledged.

  8. JFS says:

    The gameplay shown looks kind of… one-dimensional. I’ve never played Freedom Force, so I’m not too sure what to expect. Dreadline’s art is gorgeous, though.

    • bryn says:

      JFS – the gameplay shown is VERY early. A lot of the base tech is there, but we still have a lot of work to give the monsters all their skills, etc. Each monster will have a number of different attacks and buffs/debuffs. Plus all the monsters will have majorly different strengths and weaknesses so you will have to be very strategic with how you use them.

      I’m glad you like the art style!

    • Hoaxfish says:

      If I remember correctly, Freedom Force is basically a team-based real-time RPG, in a similar vein to Baldur’s Gate or Planescape. It has some innovation over those games in terms of destructible/climbable terrain, 3D graphics, the whole superhero comic look and feel. I guess it’s somewhere between RTSes and Action RPGs.

      I certainly enjoyed it, at least for the humour.

    • iucounu says:

      Freedom Force was great fun, but more as a kind of sandbox where you could create superheroes and set them to duff each other up in a realtime & pause way in nice destructible environments. On the downside I could never get into the campaign and I found the voice acting painful.

  9. Lars Westergren says:

    I would love to see more Freedom Force style games, but I am still a bit on the fence about pledging. I have problems playing even mildly evil in RPGs, and a whole game based around butchering victims of real life tragedies…. as a 10 year old knife wielding serial killer, if I understand it correctly? That feels way too ghoulish, and not in a good way.

    • lordcooper says:

      It’s probably a better way to go than drowning.

    • Ghoulie says:

      Ho ho ho. You should try Planescape: Torment’s evil path. It hurts my soul.
      Everything else is babymode.

  10. scottossington says:

    Forget playing as a 10 year old serial killer, I want to play as that murderous box!!!!

  11. Shadram says:

    I do like the tagline ‘Time is running out… for those who have run out… of time.’ Almost worth pledging, just for that.

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