Neal Stephenson is best-known as the author of weighty sci-fi tomes like The Diamond Age and Snow Crash – but now he's turning his hand to video games, and he needs your help to do it.
To that end, he's created this lavish Kickstarter video to drum up funds for his swordfighting game, Clang. Taking us from his well-appointed study via some greenscreen to a massive Bond villain's lair full of sword-wielding henchmen in training, Stephenson outlines his vision for the game: to do for swords what FPS games have done for guns.
Where FPS games offer infinitely customisable weapons, allowing for different play styles, Stephenson reckons that sword fans have been short-changed – if you're lucky you get to wave a Wii controller around, but mostly you're limited to generic moves and no variation between weapons.
Clang's going to be a small-scale arena game, allowing Stephenson's Subutai Corporation to perfect the tech – a motion-controlled setup that will enable them to offer the depth needed for an accurate rendition of swordfighting. The Clang APIs will then be made available for other projects, incorporating more fighting styles and weapons and opening the door for larger-scale story-driven games.
At the moment, Clang's raised US$160,000 of a US$500,000 goal, with 28 days left on the clock. If you're interested, have a look at Stephenson's in-depth video below, and check out the Kickstarter page here.
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