We live in a terrifyingly inconsistent, frequently unpredictable world. Whether it's a walk in the park or the ending to a Game of Thrones season, nothing goes according to plan and usually lots of people die. But there is some solace to be found - a few unflinching bastions of stability in a swirling storm of madness. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I wasn't particularly worried that Double Fine's second Kickstarter would fail. Given the rather groundbreaking history that preceded it, Massive Chalice seemed destined for success. $725,000 (and counting) later, here we are. So then, what's next? Why, a stretch goal mountain that only ski lifts made of money can scale, right? Wrong, surprisingly.
The short version? Massive Chalice is still in the "amorphous cloud of ideas" phase of game development, and Double Fine would rather leave the door open for more fundamental changes to its scope and systems. So instead of etching a roadmap of promises in Kickstarter's crystalline hide, the developer's letting everyone in on the ground floor.
"The exciting thing about taking the game to you guys at this early stage is that some of your ideas are even better than ours. As we go through pre-production into production, some of these ideas are going to trump ours, leading to a game that’s more in line with what our community wants. That’s amazing and we love having you involved in the process!"
Optimistic, certainly - but then, I'd be feeling optimistic too if I just materialized more than half a million dollars out of thin air. There is precedent, though. Double Fine tells me that user suggestions have led to some pretty huge changes throughout Broken Age's development, and apparently Massive Chalice has already avoided a massive pitfall or two thanks to backers who said, "OK sure, but what about... ?"
I recently swung by Double Fine's offices for a chat about Massive Chalice, Broken Age, ska music, and animal husbandry, and you'll be seeing all of that soon. In the meantime, who's hoping to fight alongside this one on the battlefield and then later bear its children to continue a never-ending cycle of bloodshed and sacrifice?