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Neal Stephenson opens Kickstarter for sword fighting game Clang

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.

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