I quite like the sound of Grimlands. By its creator’s own admission, it’s basically a grit-and-oil-thick smoothie of Fallout, Borderlands, and Ultima Online, and the only way that could sound more appealing to me is if it included a kitten on a unicycle who could also assuage my fears about an increasingly superficial, transient modern society. So with its rise, so too came my hopes. And then it fell, and I was sad. But then it resurfaced on Kickstarter, and my intestinal butterflies were all aflutter once more. And now? Now I’m not entirely sure what to think.
As ever, Grimlands’ current predicament came as a result of developer Drago’s eyes being much, much bigger than Kickstarter’s stomach for non-nostalgia-rooted licenses or successors. Also, the game itself maybe could’ve looked a little spiffier. But even now, there’s still some hope left. Crowdfunding means exposure, and that tickles hungry investor sharks’ noses right into a good old-fashioned blood frenzy. Drago explained in a Kickstarter update:
“Today we have to announce the early end of our KS campaign. However, while we were not able to get close to our funding goal, the campaign was a partial success: We have been contacted by several investors and are in active discussions to finish the game with them. This would not have been possible without this campaign and without your support! Of course we will keep you up to date on any development!”
So that’s something, at least. It is, however, far from a guarantee, especially as I can’t think of too terribly many crowdfunding drives that have pulled the plug on promises of “Oh, but we’ll be back stronger than ever before you know it” and actually followed through. Then again, behind-the-curtain dealings often take time, and publishers aren’t exactly big on making official announcements before they’re good and ready. It’s still the Wild West for this kind of thing, I suppose, is the long-and-short of it. Precedent comes later.
For now, though, another one bites the dust. I think I’m going to Kickstart a series of special tear-absorbing tissues tailored to the needs of overly ambitious indie devs. Guaranteed to soak up hot rage, cold disappointment, and the harsh realities of a system that’s not quite the safe haven for unbridled creativity you thought it was better than any leading competitor. Urgh, that was more depressing than I meant it to be. I’m gonna go test my tissues now.