Writer Tevis Thompson’s “Saving Zelda” essay — published earlier in the year, shortly after the release of the Wii’s latest Zelda installment, Skyward Sword — seemed to solidify that everyone else was also thinking the same thing: with rare exception, there’s been something missing in the franchise, a sense of diminishing returns, a growing and distinctive lack of the mystery and magic that made the series beloved in the first place.
And so, partnering with David Hellman, most notably the artist behind Jon Blow’s Braid, the two took to Kickstarter to help restore that sense of wonder as best they could with Second Quest, an upcoming, hard-bound graphic novella “for those who love videogames but want more compelling worlds and a sense of real discovery” and “anyone who’s felt the pull of distant landscapes and longed to explore a world full of mystery.”
While the project has already exceeded its Kickstarter goal, with just two days remaining, the pair have prepared a new bonus for backers with ‘Side Quest’, a six-page digital mini-comic companion story to the main Second Quest that they’ll be sending to everyone who’s supported the campaign.
And so, presented below is the first two pages of Side Quest — which you can dive further into by supporting their Kickstarter campaign at any level here — and a short note from Hellman as the project draws to a close.
And now, the news people have been asking for for over a year: Die Gute Fabrik, Noah Sasso, Ramiro Corbetta and Bennett Foddy have just announced Sportsfriends, a four game collection for PC, Mac and PlayStation 3 that will see the combined release of Hokra, BaraBariBall, an updated version of Foddy’s Pole Riders, and — finally! — a full-featured version of Johann Sebastian Joust.
The four developers have taken to Kickstarter to bring the games to PlayStation 3 (and help port each game around to the various platforms they don’t already exist on), where $15 will net you a copy of the collection on its release sometime in Autumn of 2013, along with a bonus copy of Tennnes, created by Vlambeer’s JW Nijman.
For twice that you get early beta access to all the games in the collection far sooner than the projected release date, and twice that will also get you bonus games from Sasso, Corbetta and Foddy. Higher-level backers can get a Joust ‘starter-kit’ with seven PlayStation Move controllers and custom “charms” (see above for an illustrated example of the Ink-It Labs product) to clasp to & identify your own set, a package of pre-configured Mega GIRP dance mats, or the ultra rare 18-player version of Joust.
At the highest level, you can even get two real-live actual trampolines to play Foddy’s Get On Top, recently featured at the Venus Patrol Training Facility, alongside, totally not-coincidentally, all of the Sportsfriends games. As you might have guessed, the Training Facility was my way to help introduce the games that would eventually make its way into this campaign to a wider audience.
Find more details about the campaign and all of the included games at Kickstarter — with Joust being an instrumental part of Venus Patrol’s own campaign, this is obviously one that I’m incredibly excited for & wholeheartedly endorse.
In development for over three years, AttractMode‘s Adam Robezzoli and Re:Game Lab‘s Daniel Rehn have just launched the Kickstarter for LA Game Space, a massive undertaking that will overhaul a warehouse space in Los Angeles’s arts district to become a research lab for advancing experimental games, with an indie-focused residency program and space for regular exhibitions, installations, guest speakers, and workshops to help enlist a crop of fresh, more diverse faces from other disciplines into the world of games.
The duo have enlisted a stellar lineup of game makers & artists for the campaign: the entry-level $15 gets you a pack of some thirty experimental games from a slew of recognizable names like Cactus, Samurai Gunn creator Beau Blyth, Santa Ragione, BaraBariBall‘s Noah Sasso, Party Time! Hexcellent, and (most excitingly) QWOP creator Bennett Foddy working with Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward.
There are also a number of other art/print/wearable rewards from familiar faces like Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley & a chance to make an appearance in Gaijin’s upcoming Runner 2 — visit the Kickstarter page for the full rundown on what to expect from the space should it meet its $250,000 goal, and to pitch in to see this thing that we’d all love to see happen actually happen.
And then came an absolutely unreserved recommendation that everyone pitch in to see Big Robot’s procedurally generated ‘tweedpunk’ stealth/survival game, Sir, You Are Being Hunted, brought to the finish I’ve been anticipating for what feels like forever.
The game, being developed in part by former Offworld columnist Jim Rossignol (find an archive of his contributions here), features a world where “robots meet and drink tea in abandoned villages, poachers lurk in reed-beds, and red-eyed hounds patrol the moor”, with a primary focus on “exploration, non-linearity, AI interaction, survival, robots, sinister butlers, and hot drinks.”
Find more information on the campaign and make your contribution at Kickstarter, and see Big Robot’s own development blog on the game here for whole slew more concept art, screenshots and tech talk on its procedural countryside.