I wasn't sure what the polite level of enthusiasm for action-RPG Grim Dawn was but as it turns out it's perfectly acceptable to perform a small dance while saying "it appears to combine the best of the developers previous game, Titan Quest, with a pleasingly unpleasant new world to discover and factions with which to side and war". Alternatively, just holler wildly and punch the air whenever it's mentioned. John spoke with Crate Entertainment and they explained much but now, after two years in development, the game requires a swift kick up its grim awning to help it along the way. Yes, gentlepeople, to Kickstarter once more.
My initial reaction was one of confusion. How can I kickstart something that's already been going for so long, I thought? Not a very sensible reaction, since it's feasible for a thing to grind to a halt, stall or even go into reverse. Grim Dawn's problem is that only two of the development team are working full time on the game, with the remainder employed by other studios. It's all well and good for us to expect them to finish their job and then come home to work on another job but their families and friends probably care more about spending time with them than they do about the rest of us receiving Grim Dawn at the earliest possible opportunity and in the best possible state.
Here's the thing though; if enough money is pledged, maybe those same family and friends will be happy to pocket the proceeds and allow the programmers, artists and animators to work through every evening, night and weekend. As long as they're bringing home the sweet pecuniary lettuce and Grim Dawn turns out as well as it possibly can, perhaps the very idea that these brave labourers should have any free time is not to be entertained at all.
For $18, pledgers receive a digital copy of the game at release but could also help ensure that the game is as good as it can possibly be. There's plenty more about the development in the latest state of the game post, enough to make it clear that there's still a great deal to be done, but also that a lot of the core work is already in place.
I never really understood the point of preorders when the incentive was directed at me: the promise of a game on the day that it launched, a bit of collectible tat or a DLC code that unlocks a reskinned gun. I'm more than happy to put money down early if the incentive is to create a better game, in better conditions, for everyone.
In short, I was a little cynical when I first saw this, convinced by the time I finished reading the project page and I'm now considering whether I really need a boxed edition and which piece of collectible tat I might be able to flog in order to prepurchase one. All the details are here.
Thanks @XanderBennett for the early tip!