Sci-fi swordfighting fans around the world were biting their nails over the weekend, as iconic science-fiction writer Neal Stephenson's Kickstarter campaign looked like it would fall short of its lofty $500,000 goal. His project? To design a swordfighting video game where fans can play by actually swinging a weapon, rather than pulling a trigger or pounding a keyboard.
(Yes, that is Valve head honcho Gabe Newell there, pictured with his own blacksmithing gear.)
In the last couple of years, affordable new gear has come on the market that makes it possible to move, and control a swordfighter's actions, in a much more intuitive way than pulling a plastic trigger or pounding a key on a keyboard. So 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.
Stephenson and his team are reportedly already working with the Razer Hydra (which features Sixense technology) in order to build a prototype, and the Kickstarter money will go towards designing the game that goes with it - running on the Unity engine and playable on both PC and Mac.
With just two days left on the clock, CLANG was $50,000 short of its goal - meaning the game would not be funded, development would cease (well, probably), and fans would be left without their sword-swingin' action.
Then! Through the mighty power of the internet, fans pulled their collective socks up, dug deep in their collective pockets, and pledged like they had never pledged before: With just less than 12 hours to go, CLANG now sits at nearly $520,000 pledged. The project is fully funded and will proceed as planned.
...quite what that plan is, we're not sure yet: The official Kickstarter page lists a delivery time of around February 2013, but these things are prone to change. If you'd like to pledge some of your own cash, and pick up exciting rewards, head to the game's Kickstarter - otherwise: Stay tuned.
Jimmy the Geek