Hot on the heels of Double Fine Productions setting Kickstarter records for the volume and velocity of crowd-funding backers to finance their next epic adventure game, indie game developer Stoic Studio recently followed suit and took to Kickstarter to fund development of their own game. And for the first time, I’m jumping on the bandwagon as a Kickstarter backer. Here comes The Banner Saga.
The Banner Saga is a role-playing game merged with turn-based strategy, wrapped into an adventure mini-series about vikings. In terms of gameplay, it looks to be a mash-up of some of my favorite pastimes that could lend themselves well to small-sitting social gaming on a mobile device, and just as well as those epicly immersive “I don’t know what day it is anymore” marathon sessions (even though I may not have the time and appetite for those types of sessions as much as I may have in days passed). Gameplay aside, what really hooked me about The Banner Saga was the style and use of animation.
Painstakingly hand-animated characters and cut-scenes look absolutely stunning. Like nothing else I’ve seen of late. With so much in modern gaming focused on ultra-realism where set-pieces and motion captured actors take center stage, it’s nice to see a game going down the nostalgia path and using classical animation as an anchor in terms of style and feel, letting the story, themes and mythology steal the show.
I want nothing more than to see the guys at Stoic succeed here. With 30 years of experience between them, and most notably working as leads on the recent Star Wars MMO from Bioware and LucasArts, The Old Republic, I imagine they know what it takes to get the job done. And when you see the group speak of their vision for this title, the importance of the art style, Norse culture, and the maturity in the story going beyond the traditional fantasy clichés of epic quests and villain-slaying… it’s hard for me not to get excited for what they’re building. I’m doing my part throwing a few dollars their way to help them along… and waiting with bated breath to see the finished product. … and I’m not the only one. With 2000 backers on day 1 and over 200% of their funding goal in 4 days… they’re rolling right along. Congrats Stoic!