The Banner Saga: A Kickstarter for Bioware fans
Kickstarter has been going nuts lately. Ever since Double Fine Adventures took it to the next level there have been a slew projects coming in that have much more experienced talent behind them. The Banner Saga is a low-fantasy RPG/turn-based strategy game from Stoic Games, a new start-up from 3 Bioware veterans.
Like several other recent Kickstarter projects, this one is enjoying a great deal of initial success. They have already hit their mark of $100,000 and look to be on their way to some pretty good funding. Whether or not that expands the scope of the game remains to be seen and stretch goals haven’t been revealed as-of this posting.
The game itself takes place in Norse culture, but looks like they are not necessarily subscribing to stereotypical Norse stuff, like horned helmets. I wouldn’t mind a few references to Odin here and there, but this is a welcome sign. These guys want to make a “mature” experience that is focused on the story. There will also be a multiplayer component of the game that has players building a party of characters to battle friends online.
The guys behind the game were all big names on the recently released Star Wars: The Old Republic. Arnie Jorgensen was TOR’s lead concept artist, Alex Thomas was one of TOR’s game designers and John Watson was TOR’s lead combat programmer, formally a NASA programmer. Its an interesting trio of talent that I really hope can bring some of that Bioware flavor to the indie world.
Funding-wise, with 30 days to go the game is already over $125,000, well above their target of $100k. If I were to take a stab at this phenomenon, I would say it has a lot to do with coming off the heels of recently released Mass Effect 2, as well as the recent surge in popularity for TOR. Despite some recent set-backs with the ending of ME3, I still think Bioware stands as a beacon of quality for many gamers and getting that sort of talent on other projects is something I think a lot of people are ready to get behind.
Wish these guys the best of luck. I have personally pledged enough for the game proper, but I am already eying the sweet poster and special edition bundle.