The Journey Down Chapter 3 Looks For A Kickstarter Leg-Up

The Journey Down [official site] has proven to be one of the few modern/traditional point-and-click adventures that has remembered the genre’s potency and not sacrificed in the name of simplicity. An enormous gap of four years between the first two chapters (albeit with a remake of chapter one at the halfway point) perhaps underlined some of the issues with episodic gaming, but that second chapter was a near-full-length game in its own right. The third and final chapter 3 is aiming to keep the gap to two years, but it needs a bit of Kickstarter help to get there. Which is going rather well already.

The Journey Down is a tale of commercial pilot and sentient sub-Saharan African mask Bwana, and a strange conspiratorial world of oppressive police, a strange book, and a mysterious place called The Underland. The first chapter, quite brief and very traditional, set up a bunch of these questions. And then rather splendidly, the hugely improved chapter two did not make the mistake of so many middle chapters and just stretch and fill before the forthcoming conclusion, but instead answered many questions and asked lots more. Most importantly, it managed something that has all but died out in adventure gaming – a constant sense that you’re progressing, each solved puzzle advancing you forward, rather than leaving you stranded. In short: it was good. So there’s good reason to have hopes for the final chapter.

However, to make it, they need some extra cash. I asked why (a question that always comes to mind when I see a project asking for money for later chapters), and lead developer Theodor Waern told me that after a year of working on the game’s design, and a desire to see the series “go out with a high quality big bang”, it’s costing them a bunch to make. That, combined with a struggle to get enough attention for chapter two, meant according to the dev it “drowned immediately”, despite “amazing reviews”.

It’s interesting to note that Kickstarting a game can often be as much about garnering an audience and attention as much as bringing in the funds. And just a couple of days in, they’ve seen themselves get well past the halfway point of the kr300,000 they’re after. (That threateningly large number translates to the somewhat more modest £23,630 or $36k.) It’d be a shame, I reckon, not to see this one concluded.

You can pick up the first two chapters for £11 on Steam. Backing the KS at about £7/$11 will get you chapter 3, and approx £16/$24 gets all three.

10 Comments

  1. Mr Underhill says:

    Woot, that was fast! Backed this, and it does seem to go real well, so happy for Skygoblin – they deserve the best. Let’s help make this happen, people of point and click persuasion!

  2. Dominitus says:

    Didn’t even bother to read the description. Backing this one’s a no-brainer. The wait for chapter three is gonna be a killer though… felt so long between one and two, but two really delivered the goods. So begins the wait for chapter three!

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      Harlander says:

      I’m in. The first two parts were some of the best adventure gaming times I’ve had for a long while.

  3. Jekhar says:

    Ah nice! I was waiting for this to get finished before starting a playthrough. Same with The Dream Machine. I hope that one also gets finished.

  4. AngoraFish says:

    Another game looking for a Kickstarter leg-up is Sol Trader: a space game about people and relationships.

    Single-player combination of arcade 2D spaceflight, trade missions, customisable ships, procedural generation of thousands of random characters. Includes a demo (linked from the Kickstarter page).

    Needs another £4,000.

    Sorry for the fanboy spam, but this game needs to be made!

  5. Shazbut says:

    I’ve been very interested in this since day 1, but I dislike episodic gaming enough to stay away until it’s finished.

    When it’s out, I’ll buy the trilogy and I’m sure many others will do the same.

    • Shazbut says:

      Also I believe the composer for the first two games, Simon D’Souza, passed away. Which is a bloody shame. His music is great. I must have listened to the ending theme for Chapter 2 ten or fifteen times already despite having not played the game. I hope they’ve found someone of similar caliber.

  6. XhomeB says:

    The first two chapters are the closest things we’ve ever -EVER- gotten to the LucasFilm/Arts classics, and I can think of no higher praise.
    Don’t want to be THAT guy, but…Seriously, this is the kind of visual style, puzzle design and wacky atmosphere I expected from Tim Schafer when backing his kickstarter campaign. Unfortunately, he made Broken Age. Yeah, I’m still mad/bitter about this.

    • Mr Underhill says:

      I know what you’re saying but I appreciated Tim trying to take it in a completely different direction than expected. But yeah, looking forward to another DF adventure, I’m convinced if he does it it’ll be a total 180 from Broken Age. In the meantime, there’s the excellent TJD.