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Neal Stephenson opens Kickstarter for sword fighting game Clang

Neal Stephenson opens Kickstarter for sword fighting game Clang

Mon 11 Jun 2012 8:17am GMT / 4:17am EDT / 1:17am PDT
Development

Snow Crash author presents lavish funding video featuring Gabe Newell

World-renowned author Neal Stephenson, creator of Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, Reamde and The System Of The World, amongst many others, has launched a Kickstarter appeal for a sword fighting game which he's calling Clang.

Stephenson himself fronts the appeal's lavish video, which also features Valve's Gabe Newell. In it, the author talks about how he plans to create a game which allows players to engage in sword battles, using an unspecified controller which doesn't rely on triggers or buttons to play.

"It's time to step back, dump the tired conventions that have grown up around trigger-based sword games, and build something that will enable players to inhabit the mind, body, and world of a real swordfighter," reads the appeal's homepage.

Continuing, the game's loose description paints a picture of a gradually evolving project which will increase in complexity, perhaps eventually reaching the point where a bespoke controller is released.

"At first, it'll be a PC arena game based on one-on-one multiplayer duelling (which is a relatively simple and attainable goal; we don't want to mess this up by overreaching). Duelling, however, is only the tip of the sword blade."

"Critical to a satisfying sword fight is fast, accurate response. This is especially important for CLANG given the depth and complexity of moves that are used in real sword arts. Initially, CLANG will make use of a commercial, third-party, off-the-shelf controller that anyone can buy today."

Watch out for Gabe Newell's cameo appearance.

The project has an eventual target of $500,000, which initially seems like a lofty goal. However, given Stephenson's popularity, and the fact that just shy of $156,000 dollars had been raised already at the time of writing, just two days into the appeal, it seems hugely unlikely that the target will be missed. The team has until July 9, 2012 to reach its goal.

The company officially producing the title is the Subutai Corporation, which was co-founded by Stephenson in 2010 to work on transmedia projects in film, narrative and gaming.

10 Comments

Antony Johnston Writer & Narrative Designer

112 18 0.2
I said at the time I wondered if Double Fine's Kickstarter was a tipping point. Feeling pretty good about that assertion right now ;) And what's most interesting here is how the video was clearly influenced by Schafer's, too; from the overall style down to the self-deprecating nerd humour and timing.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Stephen Woollard Online Infrastructure Specialist, Electronic Arts

146 71 0.5
"Initially, CLANG will make use of a commercial, third-party, off-the-shelf controller that anyone can buy today."

Kinect...? ;-)

The most fun 'sword fighting' mechanic I've seen recently was in Puss in Boots on the 360. On the other hand, Kinect Star Wars was a serious disappointment - clunky and just generally nasty experience.

It'll be interesting to see how this turns out.

Posted:2 years ago

#2
This reminds me about his monolog in SnowCrash where he has the main character talking about how he was the best swordfighter in the Metaverse, and coincidentally he wrote the code for it.

He really does have a great point about how everything has been dependent on gun or trigger style controllers, no matter what you're attempting to do, until recently.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Wayne Gibson UK Marketing Manager for GameKrib.com

69 8 0.1
I always check out KickStarter for projects from time to time. I have funded quite a few potential diamonds in the rough which I hope turn out to be great games.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Tim Carter Designer - Writer - Producer

576 318 0.6
I'm sorry but if Gabe Newell is involved, they hardly need funding from the public.

They should man up, take on the risk and fund it themselves.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
I'm sorry but if Gabe Newell is involved, they hardly need funding from the public.
Errr, well, I haven't watched the whole thing, so I may be wrong about this... But I was under the impression that Gabe did this as a favour to a friend, and that neither he nor Valve are specifically involved in the development or design. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 12th June 2012 9:43am

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Mark Gilbert Games Designer, Abstraction Games

14 0 0.0
From their kickstarter page:

What controller are you using?


Will it run on Kinect, Wii or Move?
Not at first.


Why not use Wii, Kinect or Move? So many people have them. (what is wrong with them?)
Latency and spatial resolution.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Nikodem Lokatelj Programmer, Zootfly

4 1 0.3
I agree with Tim, Gabe Newell is listed as a Investor and Strategic Advisor on their web page: subutai.mn/company.php

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
Ahhh. I stand corrected then. :)

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Tim Carter Designer - Writer - Producer

576 318 0.6
Not only that, but Kennedy Marshall! Those are the people that made Raiders of the Lost Ark and ET. Those are powerful people - people who can get meetings with major entertainment investment bankers easily.

In my opinion, Kickstarter should be for small groups trying to do their dream projects; people who can't get their calls and emails to big investment bankers returned.

Posted:2 years ago

#10

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