Former actor Wiley Wiggins is developing an iPad game called Thunderbeam and he needs your help to do it.
You might remember Wiggins as Mitch Kramer from 1993’s seminal coming of age (with lots of pot) film Dazed And Confused. More specifically, you likely remember him as “that guy who wasn’t creepy Matthew McConaughey, neurotic Adam Goldberg or the lovely Milla Jovovich.”
More recently Wiggins has turned his creative efforts toward independent game development as part of Austin, Texas-based development collective Juegos Rancheros.
Wiggins’ latest project is Thunderbeam, an iPad game which he describes as “a carefully steeped brew of 70’s science fiction from England, Japan and the States- but recast in a grown-up world where death is an immediate, irreversible and oddly-funny reality.” He cites Out Of This World and Prince Of Persia as inspirations, though that could simply be a clever gambit designed specifically to drum up interest.
So where do you come in? Despite having the game’s basic engine and a handful of art and audio assets completed, Wiggins’ development team currently lacks the funding to complete Thunderbeam. Thus, he has turned to Kickstarter in an effort to raise the cash necessary to complete the game. So far the project has pulled in almost $3,000, but that’s about $17,000 short of the stated goal. Still, with almost a month left in the Kickstarter campaign, there’s plenty of time for benevolent Internet folk to front the cash to get this thing made.
The more crucial question however, would be “why should we care?” Aside from the obvious macroeconomic benefits of funding independent game development, I’d like to see this thing get built simply to see what sort of geek cred Wiggins actually has. That Kickstarter page features a sprite from Mother (aka Earthbound), and the game’s art style takes obvious cues from the anime shows I grew up on before I even knew what the word “anime” meant. The way I see it, Thunderbeam is going to be a labor of love handcrafted by nerds for nerds, or the entire thing is going to crash spectacularly. Either way we end up with something entertaining.