AAA games aren’t innovative. By definition they can’t be. The primary purpose of big name titles is to invest exorbitant amounts of cash to obtain even more, and the safer a large investment is the better. That’s not to say AAA games have never been innovative or pushed the gaming industry forward, but more often than not it’s smaller indie titles like Indivisible that remind us there’s still room for gaming innovation without the need for extra sensory peripherals.
Right now it’s little more than a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo, but it’s also the perfect example of crowdfunding done right. Not only does the project feature a video with in-game footage, it also provides potential backers with a free playable prototype – a prototype that’s so good they could probably throw it on Steam for $5 and get rave reviews!
As detailed on their Indiegogo page, the game is inspired “by classics like Valkyrie Profile and Super Metroid”. It’s a side-scrolling action RPG with platformer elements and a unique combat system sure to surprise anyone who plays the prototype for more than five minutes.
The game features a beautiful anime style reminiscent of the creator’s, Skullgirls developers Lab Zero Games, previous title and centers around a tomboyish main protagonist named Anja in a unique, Southeast Asian inspired world. As if the beautiful art style wasn’t enough, the game’s music is also set to be composed by famed Japanese video game music composer Hiroki Kikuta.
There’s been a bit of buzz about the game’s astronomically high crowdfunding target that many people have expressed concern for when it already has a polished playable demo. What could Lab Zero Games possibly need so much money for?
First of all, THE PROTOTYPE IS NOT A DEMO!
As Lab Zero Games states in the Indiegogo campaign text, the final game will host a variety of features not found within the prototype, such as:
- 20 – 30 hours of main storyline gameplay
- An experience points progression system
- Upgradable weapons and armor
- Optional side quests
- Platforming puzzles and challenges
- An “Inner Realm” that serves as the game’s central hub
- Dozens of additional settings
- Tons of storied dialogue, much of which will be optional/discoverable
- And, of course, more monster types and bosses
The actual budget for the game is $3,500,000, but 505 Games – the publishers behind Terraria, Sniper Elite III, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, How to Survive and Payday 2 (please try to withhold your disdain for Payday 2’s recent transgressions) – are willing to contribute the other $2 million if the Indiegogo campaign is successful.
Why Should You Fund Indivisible?
Because it’s a good game!
Do I really need to say anything more? Hell, you can test it out right now and see it for yourself. It’s only a 138 MB download and doesn’t even require installation.
Games like Indivisible are the type that push gaming forward. They’re the passion projects, like Ori and the Blind Forest, that clearly convey the developer’s love for what they do with little detailed nuances like putting “(Aww.)” next to the quit game confirmation option. It’s not going to revolutionize the gaming industry, but its fresh quirks and unique combat system are sure to inspire even more games still to come.
It’s games like Indivisible we should be funding – Indiegogo projects that are completely upfront about their intent and goals, who offer up a free playable prototype anyone can try out. (You don’t even have to pledge a dollar to get a taste of what the game could be!) The developers even go as far as telling potential backers that $120,000 will go towards Indiegogo fees. The only way they could be more transparent would be to pose for a naked group photo.
Has crowdfunding burned people in the past? Yes.
Is it going to burn people in the future? Probably.
But if we as a gaming community don’t rise up and fund thought-out passion projects by proven developers like Indivisible by Lab Zero Games, then do we really have a leg to stand on when half-assed AAA titles get released or when another ten shitty Unity asset games hit Steam?
I’m broke and homeless and yet I still donated $5. What’s your excuse?
P.S. Don’t be dumb like me and donate money you don’t really have. I’m 24 with no responsibilities. Feed your kids and dogs first.