Fate of the World Online starts crowdfunding

Back in 2011, climate change strategy game Fate of the World taught us that oh god, this is so difficult, we’re doomed. It was one of our favourite games on that year’s RPS advent calendar, which is how much fun we are at Christmas. Well, after another six years of the world going to heck, sequel Fate of the World Online [official site] is angling for crowdfunding cash to update the calamity and add online multiplayer. As a world leader, can you keep your country stable while fighting climate change?

Playing as the USA or China, players will need to keep their own economy stable while trying to, you know, save the world from the mess we’re causing. Would you believe that some people will resist this? Fate of the World Online will simulate greenhouse gasses, ice caps, forests, wildlife, and all that, and the disasters caused. Nations will try to hammer out agreements to fight this but aw, jeez, we’re really done for aren’t we?

This sequel is being made by a different studio, as creators Red Redemption went down several years ago. After picking up the rights, new devs Soothsayer Games did also nab original game director Matthew Miles Griffiths and executive Klaude Thomas to work on this.

Fate of the World Online’s Kickstarter is looking for £60,000 to fund a solid beta version. It won’t be quite complete, mind, so Soothsayer are hoping to blow past that Kickstarter goal, secure additional funding, or raise extra cash from selling the beta – or a combination of ’em all. There’s a fair degree of uncertainty there but hey, welcome to our future.

£20 on Kickstarter would get you beta access in April 2018, if all goes according to plan.

For more on the idea of all this, check out our Fate of the World review from young Quinns.

The game I want to see is about the species which has a crack after we’re gone. Perhaps a species of giant budgies will rise to inherit the Earth, eventually building a civilisation upon solar power because they do so enjoy pecking at their own reflections in the shiny solar cells. Dolphins recover golf ball grabbers from sunken fairways and learn to use manipulate them as deftly if they were their own limbs. Cephalopods bubble “Whew, glad they’re gone!” then dig out all their megatech they buried in silt when we first started poking our heads into the oceans.

9 Comments

  1. AngoraFish says:

    I liked the original, but like any game built on the dubious assumptions of game designers (regardless of how ‘scientific’ we are told they are) repeated plays quickly expose the questionable underlying assumptions.

    ‘Population control’, for example, was a far too simple and vaguely racist a fix for Africa (~87 people/sq.km) while barely an issue for Europe (~188/sq.km).

    I also very much doubt that too many Trump supporters are going to get much inspiration out of the game either, so there’s a strong element here of preaching to the converted.

    In the end I’d welcome a genuine emergent simulation, even if the results end up kinda wonky (which is kind of the point of a good complex simulation), but if the basis of the simulation is simply “buy more solar farms for Africa: +10% power/-10% emissions” I think I’ll pass.

  2. AngoraFish says:

    And on a related note. Oh, god. Everything about the Kickstarter is suber dodgy.

    “Company formed in England in 2015 with the sole purpose of making a sequel to Fate of the World” but only amateur MS Paint mockup screenies to show for two years of work. Check.

    £60,000 to pay for 6-8 months wages for five staff (plus the two leads?). Check. (I’m pretty sure that £12,000 isn’t even going to cover the rent in most parts of the UK.)

    Three pieces of ‘concept art’ of dubious relevance that look like they’ve just been stolen from DeviantArt (what’s with the spear-wielding tribesman looking out at what appears to be a mecha scorpion?) Check.

    Two lead developers who have no profile whatsoever and whose experience may be limited to making coffee on “numerous titles” “including the Futurama videogame and Battlestations: Midway”. Check.

    No budget break down at all. Check.

    Minimal description of how the game is intended to work. (Apparently you now get to head a single country, making it more “Fate of the United States” or “Fate of China”. Have they even played the original game?

    Oh god. Stop it now…

    • Someoldguy says:

      There are some warning signs but I think you are being a little harsh. Being the ruler of 1 nation and having to cajole or sweet talk the other major players into making changes is a lot more credible than being some sort of global overseer. That said, making a thing about calling it multiplayer when the only two playable nations will be USA and China seems a bit of a stretch.

      It seems like these two have been kicking ideas around in their unpaid free time to get this far and now need funds to employ staff to get it to a playable beta state. At that point they need to secure more funding if it’s going to become a finished game. Not sure how many takers they’re going to get on that basis.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Which is exactly the point, though, isn’t it? Two blokes who have been tossing ideas around in their garage for two years now need to employ OTHER PEOPLE to actually make the game (actually, only a vertical slice of a game) and want us to pay for that.

        I’ve been tossing a few ideas around in my own garage as well, just ideas mind, but they’re really, really good ideas and I can even prove it to you if you just give me wads of cash to pay other people to make the game that I am completely incapable of making myself.

        Maybe I’ll take my wad of cash and throw the entire cash pile up on Freelancer.com® and get some cheap Chinese coders to whip something up for me. Wouldn’t be the first Kickstarter to do that, eh?

        For what it’s worth I had a quick google of Mr Matthew Miles Griffiths. His Linked In profile suggests he hasn’t worked at an actual games games company for over 10 years. Currently he has four “directorships” of companies of undetermined merit and not much else, implying at the very least that he’s got a lot on his plate and at worst he’s got a lot more great ideas than the time or resources to achieve them.

        Klaude Thomas has similarly not worked on any actual PC games for the same period, most recently having worked for a few years as an employee of the digital arm of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation before upping roots to New Zealand for reasons unknown in January this year.

        It’s not at all clear what role, in practical terms, either has developing in this new game but it doesn’t appear to be anything to do with the actual nuts and bolts of making the thing, such as coding, art development, etc. Klaude Thomas will be “managing development”, whatever that means (presumably from NZ despite being a UK games industry veteran), while Mr Griffiths’ role is completely undefined.

    • Captain Narol says:

      I didn’t dig in the details like you guys did, but my feeling is exactly the same.

      I had a look at the KS and decided to buy the original game instead as I was quite disappointed by what I saw.

      The “Online” parts seems unexistant (why did they put it in the title ?) and being restricted to playing US or China seems a big step back.

  3. HypercaneSanvu says:

    Yay! I’m relevant again!

  4. racccoon says:

    I like the idea, I have a site which points out the worlds damaged its done.
    Our problem is we have two clowns & couple others clowns whom we know sort of what they are about & are doing.
    We constantly feed these commodities because of our fetish for monetary gain. We are the stupid ones.
    I think games like these are fun to play if they are made for fun.
    It becomes redundant when its comes to political messages about it.
    Those clowns out there do not care about the environment or our life in future, they just want to make money!!
    They build mass military out of peaceful country’s commodities sent to them because of their own stupid fetish…MONEY.
    This of course will one day possibly lead to massive devastation on a crazy scale or even our full self destruction if it all goes down the domino effect.
    We can stop it, by no longer be the suppliers for the sake of wealth, talking about talking peace, Start understanding your leadership positions!
    Clowns recite about wealth & how rich they want to be!
    WEALTH is not the answer to the earth’s problems.
    MONEY IS THE ROOT TO ALL EVIL.
    As a world we need to be united & fix it together!
    Get space off the ground Universally!
    With that, we can get on with our adventures into other planets and save our own world the beautiful EARTH.
    Leaders: Stop thinking of self destruction of this earth through the want of greed.

  5. Kollega says:

    Look, I’ve got something to say to Alice, which I wanted to say for a good long while now – specifically, every time she mentions what she thinks the future will be like.

    *ahem*

    What’s up with all that pessimism we’re told /
    Trust me, by now it’s really getting old /
    When there are many people who try to get it solved /
    So quit it! / Just quit it!

    Sure thing, our problems are in force today /
    But look at all solutions that are on the way /
    And I will not accept that we cannot save the day /
    So quit it! / Don’t you tell me “that’s all” –

    Just quit it! Quit it! Get some solarpunk and read it! /
    Show some more reason / Show some more hope /
    Clean tech’s getting cheaper, so don’t just say “nope”
    Just quit it (quit it!) / Just quit it (quit it!)
    Just quit it (quit it!) / Just quit it (quit it!)
    Woo!

    *ahem* That’s courtesy of Michael Jackson (also thanks to Weird Al Yankovic) – though it’s obviously much worse. And I know some people may disagree… but them, I refer back to the badly-misappropriated lyrics.

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