We have written about Kickstarter campaigns in the past, but usually for campaigns from well-established studios and/or after a campaign has raised millions. This time is a little different. This time, the Kickstarter campaign is going live as this article goes live. What makes The Arcane Knights so special? The Arcane Knights is headed by fellow OCC staff member hornybluecow (Isaiah).
The Arcane Knights started as an experiment in game design and collaboration. The premise was straight forward: Let's Create a Game. Let's Create a Game (LCAG) was created by Isaiah "to create a website containing information for game creation." Anyone who wanted to volunteer their time could join the team and contribute. Regardless of skill level, anyone could join and learn as they go. The result of all that collaboration is The Arcane Knights. Unfortunately, unpaid hobbyists can only take the project so far, and that is why Isaiah is turning to Kickstarter to raise funds.
The Arcane Knights is a free-to-play, four-person hack-and-slash game with an isometric perspective. Isaiah says the game merges aspects from various hack-and-slash games over the years, specifically naming Gauntlet Legends, Diablo, and Castle Crashers as influences. Due to the isometric perspective, the gameplay of The Arcane Knights will have more in common with the first two, while the tone of the game will be more in line with that of Castle Crashers – comical, not serious. Indeed, the name of the main antagonist is the Evil Lord Malarkey.
While the project has been successful up to this point as a community-driven, volunteer-based project, many of the current contributors lack the time or ability to bring the full game to fruition. Part of the funds will be used to secure programmers familiar with UDK and Flash. But you may be wondering, if the game is going to be free-to-play, what's in it for you? Well for one, all backers (even those that pledge a mere dollar) will receive beta access, with $5 or more getting you earlier access. If you like physical rewards, you can net yourself a t-shirt or lithograph. Or maybe you want to design an aspect of the game? For a mere $25, 200 people can design their own Easter Egg that only they and the developers will know about. Other tiers allow you to name an NPC animal, write an in-game conversation, invent an enemy, or even name the King.
While LCAG is asking for a mere $25,000, that is merely the tip of the iceberg, used for creating the beta and completing the first level/realm. Stretch goals include adding character trees, side quests, multiplayer, voice acting, and even releasing the game files for public consumption. It's an ambitious project, which is why they need your help.
So go check out the Kickstarter campaign and be sure to tune into OCC for more exclusive The Arcane Knights reveals in the future! To start, we currently have the only high-resolution versions of the concept images, created by 2D Lead David Johnson! It's good knowing the Project Lead ;).