Bam. Neal Stephenson, the author of science and historical fiction like Snow Crash and The System Of The World, has just announced he's making a game. In fact, he announces he's been researching how to make a game for years, and now he's ready to make it. A sword fighting game, that will address his frustration with how sword fighting has been portrayed and delivered so far. With a Kickstarter video. With Gabe Newell in it. You need to watch this pitch video, below. CLANG!
At first built for PC, the plan is to create a game that rethinks how sword fighting is portrayed in games, and it appears the way to figure this out is to have dozens of people hitting each other in a large room, and then get one of the most famous men in the industry to be your blacksmith.
I shan't spoil it any further. This is insane.
It's an incredibly frank pitch, and a frankly incredible pitch. It really does seem like the depth of research he puts into his books has gone into this project too, with a genuine desire to realise sword fighting in a far more meaningful way. Astonishing amounts of work has already gone in, and many experts have been brought in during their research over the last few years. They've even invented new tech. Quite what this will be I've yet to pin down, but I reckon we're talking Johann Sebastian Joust meets proper swordsmanship. They appear to be beginning with an off-the-shelf controller that presumably does a good enough job to appease Stephenson (maybe a hacked Wii controller or PS3 Move?), initially creating a two-person duel simulator with a two-handed longsword. Stephenson talks more about combat in games in this video:
Minutes in and they're already at
$25,000 $35,000 with an aim for an absolutely enormous half million. But you know what - I don't doubt for a moment this one's going to get there.