Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall want to make an Old School RPG.
Tom Hall is a well-known industry veteran who’s been around since the glory days of Apogee, co-founded id Software and Ion Storm and has his name in the credits of games including Commander Keen, Duke Nukem, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Anachronox. Brenda Brathwaite has been in the game even longer, getting her start all the way back in 1981 with Sirtech’s Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord, a franchise she stuck with for 20 years, and also serving as a tester and writer on the Jagged Alliance series.
The two of them have been working together for awhile now at Loot Drop, a company Brathwaite founded with her husband (some dude named John Romero, apparently he’s done a little work in the industry too), but Loot Drop has thus far focused primarily on mobile and social games and Hall and Brathwaite apparently wanted to indulge themselves in some old-school game development. So they did what everyone is doing these days: they went to Kickstarter.
Old School RPG (which I would assume is a working title) promises all the usual staples of the genre, including a party of four characters, each of whom will possess various strengths and skills that will improve as the game progresses, a “richly detailed” world packed with “castles, caverns and dungeons” which will in turn be packed with treasure and monsters, turn-based combat and hundreds of quests that will lead to one of multiple endings.
The funding goal is $1 million but in an unusual twist, if the pledged amount breaks $1.9 million, they will make two separate games, one designed by Brathwaite and the other designed by Hall. But they’ll still be connected, as the ending of each game will provide a new and unique stepping-off point for the other as well as advantages to the player’s party that cannot be gained any other way. Other stretch goals have also been established, including an extra NPC race, “Super Hardcore Old-School Mode,” Linux support and more.
The Old School RPG Kickstarter runs until November 4 and with more than $100,000 pledged on the first day, it’s already well on its way to reaching its goal. But do we need another old-school RPG on Kickstarter? I’ve already thrown a lot of money at earlier projects and I’m not sure I can swallow another one, and even if I could I’m starting to wonder if perhaps the long-predicted Kickstarter fatigue is finally kicking in. Then again, Hall and Brathwaite do make an appealing team. I think I’ll file this one under “definitely maybe.”