The once-famed studio needs help getting its new post-apocalyptic RPG off the ground.
Black Isle Studios, which you may remember from such games as Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment and Fallout 2, was resurrected, at least in name, by Interplay earlier this year. The idea of Interplay, a shambling corpse in its own right, resurrecting anything might seem a little unlikely, but it looks like they're serious about it. The studio has a new(ish) project on the go and it wants your money to help make it happen.
The Black Isle Mayan Apocalypse Replacement program is based on the relatively simple idea that the looming Mayan end of the world can be faked out by a virtual doomsday, which actually makes no sense whatsoever - but that's alright, because what they're really after is your money. It's kind of like Kickstarter, with two major exceptions: One, the money is taken immediately rather than on the contingency that a funding goal is met, and two, you get nothing for it beyond access to a private forum and the satisfaction that comes from doing a solid for destitute game studio.
The game in question, by the way, is currently known as "PV13," which may sound familiar but has absolutely nothing to do with Fallout, a game that Interplay and Black Isle seem to be legally precluded from even thinking about. It will be a post-apocalyptic strategy RPG, however, in which players assemble and lead a colony of survivors while experiencing "grand adventures" in a devastated world.
The money raised will go toward the development of a "proof of concept" prototype, which will then be used to attract further investment required to finish the game. "We've got some great ideas, but they haven't been tested in the crucible of actual play," the studio explained. "We'll have most, if not all, systems in the proof of concept. We'll be able to run around the world, interacting with NPCs and objects, basic combat, building and worker management, and test the other core gameplay mechanics."
Okay, it's not the most rock-solid proposition ever. I'd love to see a new Black Isle Studios RPG, but "give us money" isn't the most compelling sales pitch I've ever heard. I also can't help but notice that Interplay President Eric Caen has kicked in a whopping 75 bucks to the cause, not exactly the most inspirational bit of leadership-by-example I've ever seen. Do I really need to say this? Dare to dream, kids, but caveat those emptors.
Source: Black Isle Studios