Gaming

Death Inc. Turns to Kickstarter for Funding

Death Inc. Screenshot | Ambient Studios

Death Inc. Screenshot | Ambient Studios

A new and quirky strategy game, Death Inc., turns to Kickstarter to raise money. Death Inc. is developed by Ambient Studios, an 11-person team based in Media Molecule’s old office in Guildford. It is headed by Jonny Hopper and Daniel Leaver, who were the former lead encoder and senior designer of LittleBigPlanet.

Built using the Unity engine, Death Inc. will support PC and Mac, although Ambient is also eyeing the game to become available for tablets.

More About Ambient Studios Death Inc.

Ambient Studios describes Death Inc. as a “strategy game mixed with Katamari and a dash of Pied Piper.” Players will control the Grim Reaper and use the mouse to draw trails of pestilence throughout Medieval England. From there, the Reaper will gain followers that will also follow the trail.

The Katamari comparison came from the collection of more people that will join the Reaper’s horde. This horde can be used to attack villagers for Tower Defence elements. Moreover, the villagers can also become the Reaper’s followers.

With LittleBigPlanet known for its user-generated content, Ambient thought of bringing this element to Death Inc., although ditched it afterwards. Hopper explained:

It felt like we would be shoehorning it in. It’s the sort of thing we’d love to do. A user generated strategy game would be exciting. But perhaps there’s a misconception about how easy that is to do. It’s not easy. All the tools suddenly becomes a massive amount of work as well as the game.

Why Use Kickstarter?

Together with the former devs of Lionhead, Fable and Burnout, Ambient Studios will use Kickstarter to raise funds and create a new game.

Prior to this, Sony fund on the studio’s first title meant for the Vita. However, it never saw the light of day after the company pulled the funding plug. Because of this, Ambient sought interest in Death Inc., and since it is a strategy game on PC and Mac, they though that Kickstarter would be a good fit. Hopper revealed:

We’d been working on the [Vita] game for about a year. Eventually, it came to a mismatch of expectations of what we wanted to deliver and what we could deliver and what they wanted. So near the end of last year they pulled the funding plug unfortunately.

We were really gutted. It was a bit of a shocker. But these things happen. That’s game development. Games get canned all the time.

The 30-day Kickstarter will launch on February 4, and asks for £300,000. The money will guarantee the completion of the game’s single-player version within four to six months. Death Inc. is expected to be released on September or October of this year.

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