‘Homestuck’ Kickstarter Nears $700,000 Adventure Game Goal In Less Than Three Days
Consider this the ultimate in Internet meta: A Kickstarter campaign to create an adventure game based upon a webcomic parodying adventure games is en route to being fully funded just days after launching.The comic in question is Andrew Hussie's Homestuck, which he describes as "a story about some kids who are friends over the Internet [who] decide to play a game together [with] major consequences." He goes on to add,
One of the goals was to begin with extremely simple, mundane circumstances, and allow reader participation combined with some preplanned elements to grow the story quickly and spontaneously, into something much bigger, more dynamic, and more intricate as a natural result of this approach.
The absolutely awesome video that accompanies the Kickstarter pitch gives an idea of what the comic is like in a way that mere words cannot:
I think you all understand now.
Homestuck mixes formats from static images to traditional comics to Flash animation, and Hussie suggests that "the overarching experience is actually more similar to reading a book," admitting that the comic is "an unusual media hybrid" that embraces reader input as much as is practical (In the three year old strip's earlier days, readers could "command" the direction of the story, but Hussie has had to abandon that as the readership grew to a size where that was unwieldy at best). But with the end of the series in sight - he expects it to finish at some point next year - the next incarnation of Homestuck will be something much more interactive: A video game.
"It'll be a little more like a spinoff than an adaptation," Hussie writes on the Kickstarter page:
Something that draws from the elements already established in the vast Homestuck universe, applied more selectively to a shorter, self-contained story. Homestuck's structure is very open, which suits a highly exploratory piece of freeform media with a huge cast and many silly tangents. This game would be a more formal exercise in interactive storytelling. I'll use elements from Homestuck that I think will be interesting to expand upon in something new, likely with minimal relevance to Homestuck comic canon. Beyond that, things are pretty up in the air as far as plot and characters go. I have some ideas, but the concept will be a work in progress for a good while.
Within twenty four hours of launching the campaign for $700,000 to fund the creation of the game - to be released in 2014, if all goes to plan - over $275,000 had already been pledged. At time of writing (a day later) it's at $585,000, so it's safe to say that the campaign will be funded by this time tomorrow, meaning that Hussie and developers can look at taking the game past their original ideas:
If the goal is exceeded, then every extra dollar only helps make the game that much better and more widely accessible. More platforms would be available, such as Mac OSX or mobile systems. There are certain increments in funding (stretch goals we'll reveal later) which allow for different platforms to be added, usually in the ballpark of $100K each. To simplify the situation, look at it this way. Every dollar raised up to a million would be covering the basics of development on a wider range of platforms beyond just Windows. Every dollar after that would be going toward increasing the production values of the game. Reaching such figures may be a lofty goal, but you never know! It doesn't hurt to keep in mind that all pledges beyond $700K will be going toward making a better end product. Every single pledge will have a real impact on making a great game.
Watch that video again and tell me that you don't want to contribute. I double dare you.