Recently I spoke with Chris Taylor of Gas Powered Games about their new game Wildman which is being funded via Kickstarter, Chris was kind enough to speak to us about the game as well as using Kickstarter for funding the game.
What can you tell us about the game’s background and setting?
Chris Taylor – The game covers a huge expanse of time, from the dawn of man, about 200,000 years ago until medieval times. The idea is we follow the technological evolution of mankind, and put a focus on empire building around a single character, your Wildman.
What was behind the decision to use Kickstarter and what are the pros and cons of using it versus conventional development?
CT – We are a PC Game developer at heart, and over time we found it was harder and harder to find publishers will to invest in medium sized PC games. It was a huge gamble to go with Kickstarter to fund the game, but we weighed that against the challenge of finding a traditional publisher, which can take 3-6 months to sign a deal (more time than we had on the clock)..
Can you tell the readers an overview of how a game goes from concept to reality at a company and then how it works on Kickstarter?
CT – With the Kickstarter campaign, you bring the “backers” into the process, sharing the details of the design and production from day 1. It’s a very different approach, and it relies on openness and honesty at every level. The idea that backers get to see the game being made, practically right in front of their eyes, and can not only watch, but participate in the process helping to make important design decisions.
What would you say are the main reasons people chose to support a game via kickstarter and do you see it becoming more of the norm in the future?
CT – The design is manifold, but all things considered the entire package of using crowd funding offered many advantages, from the financing to the development process, and becoming more closely integrated with the customer… and cutting out all the folks in between which can often be distracting and confusing to the creative process.
What can you tell us about the character classes in the game and their abilities?
CT – We wanted the game to follow the model that we like, which I call a “Skill based class system”. This means that the Wildman starts out with no particular skills, and by having the player utilize a particular weapon or spell, becomes more adept in that area. It could be Melee, Ranged, Spirituality or Leadership to name a few of the top ideas that I’m working on right now.
What type of multiplayer will the game offer?
CT – The first release of the game will only feature COOP MP mode, and later, if the game is well received, we hope to add a PvP mode as well… but it’s worth emphasizing that we want to really deliver on the single player game experience first and foremost.
What can you tell us about the gaming engine you are using?
CT – We are using an evolved version of our popular streaming world engine. This engine is very flexible and allows any size and shape of world, and allows us to design an overland experience, which seamlessly transitions into dungeons… all the things that made Dungeon Siege a success like the spiral staircases and multi-floored towers are possible.
Compare and contrast the game to Dungeon Siege please and what new features will it bring to the genre?
CT – I think there will be a familiar feeling to those who enjoyed Dungeon Siege, but the game at its heart is new and different, especially in theme and gameplay. WIldman is focused around the technology evolution of man, and around the idea that once this technology is discovered, the player gets to try using it on the battlefield by equipping an army with the new weapon, armor or other technological advancements. We are really working to elevate Action RPG to the next level by introducing some of the best aspects of RTS gameplay in what we call, the war zone.
What can you tell us about the leveling system in the game and the size of the gaming world?
CT – We are aiming for between 20 and 40 hours of gameplay, and during that time the Wildman (or Wildwoman) will level up according to the player’s choices and play style. We imagine that in a single play through the character will become fairly advanced in a single area, and have captured about 30-40 percent of the available technology in the world, and that upon multiple play-throughs, this will increase and approach 100 percent. What’s cool about Wildman is that we are releasing the development tools so that backers can create mods and release their own worlds as well.
Will the game feature co-op is so how many players?
CT – Yes, COOP MP will allow for up to 5v5 games, and all combinations in between.
What can you tell us about the music and voice work in game?
CT – The incredibly talented Jeremy Soule will be composing the music, and we will use local Seattle voice talent for the in-game characters.
How will weather be incorporated in game and what can you tell us about the A.I. in game?
CT – Weather is supported in the game engine, rain and snow are two of the prominent forms, as well as the potential for day and night cycles. Our goal is to create the most compelling enemy AI every experienced in a game of this kind… making the player feel as if they are playing against a very real and capable opponent.
If funding is reached, when do you expect the game to be completed?
CT – With the already completed set of development tools, our goal is to deliver the game in under a year, targeting March 2014 as a completion date.
Learn more about how you can support Wildman Here
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