Dyscourse To Feature Schafer, McMillen And More

Alec mentioned Dyscourse a couple of weeks back, rather rightly pointing out how good it looks. I’d have thought it would be a sure thing to see its Kickstarter funds ding the modest $40,000 they’re after in moments, and far beyond. Yet it’s only reached just over $13k at this point. Weird. Maybe the news that the likes of Tim Schafer, Ed McMillen and Robin Hunicke are contributing personalities to the project?

This is to be an additional mode in the post-plane-crash-simulator, where more normally you’d be controlling a crowd of survivors making crucial decisions to stay alive. I “Indie Plane Crash”, you’ve got indie developers to try to keep going. Schafer, McMillen and Hunicke are joined by Octodad’s Phil Tibtoski, Antichamber’s Alexander Bruce, World Of Goo’s Ron Carmel, Dejobaan Games’ Ichiro Lambe, Canabalt’s Adam Saltsman, Auditorium’s Will Stallwood, and Super Crate Box’s Rami Ismail. What could possibly go wrong?

Certainly Owlchemy could be doing a lot more updates on their project, which has received a rather sparse five in two weeks. A bit more visible enthusiasm from their side always helps engender enthusiasm elsewhere. And since their excellent pitch video was made in-game, it’s odd we’ve not seen some more core in-game footage since then. Come along Owl People, do that. Although today’s announcement should hopefully drum up some more attention. Here’s that original pitch video again:

$15 picks up the game on release, while $10,000 buys you the right to fly yourself to Boston and buy the team their dinner, and excludes a copy of the game. I wish I had a spare $10k to reward them for that. It’s currently aiming for September next year, so you may wonder how a company can survive on £25k for a year. They make it clear that funds from previous games are funding the project too, and the Kickstarter makes up the shortfall. Good.


  1. OscarWilde1854 says:

    Maybe this is just me; but it doesn’t seem very interesting? Well made? Probably. “Artsy”. Sure. But I don’t see the intrigue… which, I feel, is probably why it hasn’t been all that successful.

    • mechabuddha says:

      My lack of excitement is mostly from being jaded. I’ve heard so many times about games that will have meaningful choices and player agency, interesting dialogue choices and character relationships, and have been mostly disappointed. It takes a bit more than a sales pitch to get me excited about this sort of game anymore.

    • pepperfez says:

      I was fully on board until I realized that Owlchemy wasn’t the name of the game. I’m still willing to back any game that lets me be an owl alchemist.

      • The Random One says:

        I agree. My excitement for this game plunged moments after I’d first heard of it when I realized it wasn’t called Owlchemy’s Discourse.

    • InternetBatman says:

      That’s exactly it for me. I’m not sold on the art style even though I recognize it as unique. The gameplay just didn’t grab me the last time I looked at it. It looked kinda like a VN.

      I hope they’re successful and produce something amazing in the same way I hope everything is successful and amazing. However, I check Night in the Woods every day. I only look at this when I’m doing the weekly roundup on the forums.

  2. TekDragon says:

    I paid $15 to back Wasteland 2 and $10 for FTL, the Banner Saga, Infinite Space 3, Maia, and DwarfCorp.

    Every now and then I’ll go higher, like $20 for Project Eternity,Torment: Tides of Numerna, Planetary Annihilation, and Warmachine Tactics.

    People posting Kickstarters for games need to look at more than just their title. They need to look at the rest of the competition and ask themselves what price their product should be placed at to be competitive. I do not believe Dyscourse is on the same tier as Planetary Annihilation, nor Wasteland 2. I think the $10 tier is much more realistic, and that’s exactly where I (and I imagine many others) would have jumped on board at.

  3. waaaaaaaals says:

    I have a feeling that the Ichiro Lambe character is going to be an incredibly silly character.

    This is a good thing.

    • dejobaan says:

      To Whom it May Concern,

      I am the picture of propriety.


  4. SillyWizard says:

    Maybe I’m just an old grump-a-lump who can’t appreciate new things, but I find the colors and lines to be visually discordant. Different art style =/= Appealing art style. (To me, anyway. Obviously some people dig it. Their lackluster KS campaign might have something to do with this, though.)

    Also, I’m starting to get a little resentful of Kickstarters for games which I’m pretty sure will be made anyway. Wasteland 2 and Broken Age made great cases for why they needed to be crowd-sourced. A lot of studios just seem to be using Kickstarter not just as free advertising, but as pay-me-to-advertise-at-you, if that makes sense.

    I guess it’s silly for me begrudge people trying to loosen up their budgetary constraints a bit. If anything I have myself to blame for over-indulging in KS campaigns back when it was new and exciting.

    (Still, coughed up for The Mandate today! Everybody go throw munnies at them!)

    • OscarWilde1854 says:

      I agree with you. It seems like half of the games coming out now are being kick-started. And it seems like the point is kind of lost. It should be for those games that really need a “kick start” because they have NO (or extremely little) external funding. ie. never-released-a-game-before developers or those breaking off from a studio to attempt their own games without corporate influence.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      I agree with your skepticism on this one.

      Though I have to say I don’t believe the mandate will turn out well.

  5. Saul says:

    To counter some of the negativity coming through here: it looks great, and sounds right up my alley. I’d missed it previously, so thanks for the update, RPS!

  6. Jackablade says:

    I think the real question is, once the food runs out which indi developer gets eaten first?

  7. jaronimoe says:

    I think the video was too short and uninformative to spark my interest, as I am sometimes too lazy to read – also the “voices” of the characters really turned me off – but I guess you would be able to actually turn them off in the game..

  8. Meat Circus says:


    This should be right up my alley, but the pitch video leaves me totally cold. I guess the lack of Kickstarter success shows lots of people are feeling the same way.

  9. qrter says:

    Basing the characters in the extra scenario on actual indie developers makes it seem a bit.. up its own arse, if you’ll excuse my crudeness.