Tim Schafer has taught game developers how to dream...how to dream about having piles of cash to work on projects that they reckon people crave enough to pledge some of Earth's rapidly dwindling stockpile of money for. The latest veteran to pitch to the public is Christian Allen of Serellan. Admittedly I didn't know the name but it turns out Mr Allen has worked on more Ghost Recon games than I've actually played, as well as being lead designer on Halo: Reach. But what does he want from you? MONEY MONEY MONEY. And why? So that he can make a hardcore tactical shooter. And why am I covering this? Read on.
There are several reasons why I find this interesting. First of all, I'm intrigued by the claim that so many people are apparently clamouring for this sort of game. Here's what sort of game it would be, by the way: "realism and tactics" in place of "cinematic flavor", including "realistic weapon modeling, outfitting and commanding your squad, objective-based, non-linear missions set in real-world locations around the world, single player, co-op, and multiplayer."
So we have a developer with a proven track record and the kind of game that people certainly do get excited about. But excited enough to pledge $200,000 before April 1st? Here's another reason I'm covering this - the project page states that the game will cost more than the $200,000 they're asking for. They're not claiming to be after the full amount, instead they're using the Kickstarter as a way to prove the viability of the project to investors, as well as allowing contributors to participate in development once it begins. Based on pledge sizes, that could include voting for features, designing features or actually visiting the studios and participating in creative meetings. Is that a further step in what Serellan call, citing Double Fine, a movement that is "turning an industry on its head"?
There are also the usual incentives for people pledging larger amounts - actually, they're not the usual incentives at all. If you've got $10,000 to spend, Christian Allen will send you a custom Beretta 92FS 9mm. More than anything, more even than the footage on the Kickstarter page of Allen yelling at bears and grinning in a firing range, the fact that people can buy guns to support development makes me think the potential final result could be more hardcore than even the working title suggests.
Oh yes, that title. Let's face it, that's the real reason we're here. Crowdsourced Hardcore Tactical Shooter. Obviously it's not what they're going to call the game, but imagine if it was? I'd pledge $20 if they promised to keep that name. I'd maybe even pledge $25, although no more than that because I'm scared that if I do a canister of tear gas will bounce through my letterbox, intended as some sort of gift.
Wouldn't it be glorious though? Imagine a world in which every game wore an appropriate label. Alec has already suggested Modern Ghost Rainbow Warfare: Front Of Battle and I'd like to rename this week's big release Final Part of Space Opera Trilogy. What else could do with a little less imagination?