Steampunk Gunmen Of The Apocalypse: Age Of Grit

TV version rather than horrifying book version

Age of Grit isn’t afraid to have its cake and build a mighty machine of gears and steam engines to devour it too. On one hand it wants to be a classic cowboy story about helping folks and fighting bandits in the wild west. On the other, it’s a game about flying a steampunk airship, shooting others down and managing a crew. Rather than attempting to jerry-rig this into our history, developers iqSoup have built their own land inspired by the railroad age. It’s on Kickstarter after $12,000 (~£7,300) and on Greenlight. You’d think they’d already have all the Steam they’d need, eh? EH?

They’re putting a lot of thought into the universe; this map of the world is cool. The main character, the captain of the vessel and who you’ll be controlling, is a veteran of one of the wars from the “hundreds of years of history” they’ve prepared. Over on the updates page they’ve been fleshing some of the other characters out similarly. There’s a certain level of cliché, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. iqSoup have created their own setting, and a little familiarity helps to bridge the gap.

As for how it will play, you’ll be jetting around the world battling other sky-cowboys and smuggling goods: Firefly without all that pesky space. You can upgrade your ship through salvaging parts off defeated foes, as well as buying from traders. Battles are turn-based, using pressure as a resource to spend on attacks and repairs. This can be saved up between turns, allowing for more strategic decisions.

Interaction with characters and exploring settlements will switch to a first-person adventure game with dialogue trees and choices. Rather than handing out quests with objectives, iqSoup want players to think for themselves and interact with the world to get things done. Their example is a miner who has extra dynamite you could smuggle – he doesn’t have a specific buyer and won’t help avoid the authorities, that’s all on you.

It looks likely to make it thanks to at least the base goal, which is explained in the FAQ at the very bottom of the page and basically comes down to the project lead not paying himself. The get-the-game tier will set you back about £7.


  1. GhostBoy says:

    Not taking a salary or not, 12K seems unrealistically low for the ambition presented, and that supposedly includes a “healthy contigency pool”. They may be basic, but they still want two or three different game modes to play well in a cohesive whole. It suggest more than they have the ideas, but no much sense of the possible expenses you can incur making a game.

    That the rest of the team is working in the spare time between their day jobs on this is also a bit of a red flag to me. The main dev, who says he’ll do most of the work, is self-taught and lists making “teaching presentations” as valuable experience in game design and creation, which is a load of wash if you ask me.

    Not going to bite on this one.

    • Shuck says:

      When I see Kickstarters asking for so little money, I wonder what it’s actually for. A bit of contract art or sound? It’s not enough to make the game, obviously. If anyone who’s working on this in their spare time can’t afford to continue so doing, they won’t be able to hire someone to replace them, a problem that has scuttled other Kickstarted games. But a Kickstarter that asked for the actual amount of money needed to make the game wouldn’t actually get it, so…

  2. padger says:

    Steampunk was so 1984-2010. Right guys? Right? No one listening.

    Okay I guess we’re still doing Steampunk.

  3. JFS says:

    Why does everyone use geekbait à la “like Firefly/XCOM/Baldur’s Gate/Dwarf Fortress/Rogue” to market their stuff these days…

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Cause they know those have a decent following they think they can tap into?

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      “These days”?

      Someone doesn’t remember when FPSs were literally called ‘doom-clones’.


        Man, I still remember the how screen at the end of the Rise of the Triad shareware episode had as one of its press quotes “one of the best Doom clones out there”.

    • monomer says:

      Likely because it’s a relatively cheap and easy way to make your game sound appealing to a certain demographic. In my experience, the practice is generally frowned upon from a marketing perspective since it: A) does nothing to separate your brand from a crowded market and B) sets up your customers for disappointment if your product falls short of any of your legendary inspirations. But successfully pitching a product without using that tactic is a difficult thing to pull off.

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      Phasma Felis says:

      Because making games inspired by things people don’t like is not a real promising business plan? “I just can’t understand why no one backed my Kickstarter for a game inspired by Daikatana and Brussels sprouts!”

    • Dave Tosser says:

      The bigger question is why we’ve only started doing it now, and why we’ve had almost no Eggscomlikes and proper CRPGs for the past ten years. It’s only after Baldur’s Gate was “enhanced”, X-Com was remade and Kickstarter took off that anyone gave a shit. Now we’ve got a market, might as well jump on it.

      Also, RPS: Where’s our #norubbishgamenames campaign, eh? Age of Grit? Pffffffhahahahahah