Announcing "Age of Grit" Kickstarter

In a few weeks we’re going to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the game we are currently working on: “Age of Grit.” When it’s done it’ll be released on PC, Mac, and iOS. The game is currently in the very early stages of development. Right now we have some concept artwork, a few of the in game graphics, and some of the basic programming work done–but we’ve got a long long way to go. You can check out some of the early concept art below.

Age of Grit is the story of a captain, his ship, and his crew. The world of Age of Grit is known simply as “The West.” It’s a rough land–a land of robbers, scoundrels, and tyrants. But it’s also a land of great opportunity–for fame, for fortune, and above all for glory. “The West” is a steampunk world; technology is based on steam powered and clockwork based machinery. In many ways the world is a romanticized version of the American Old West of the 1800s–with cowboys, lawmen, bandits, train robberies, and of course: plenty of shoot outs.

Your home is a beat-up steam powered airship. It’s seen better days but she’s a hearty old bird. You and your crew smuggle goods, hunt down outlaws, and fight for what’s right…as long as it pays well of course. Your ship is fully customizable–you can upgrade the guns, the engines, sensors, and all the other main components. When you finish jobs and get paid you can use that money to purchase better machinery from one of The West’s many shops and dealers. Or if you’re lucky you might be able to salvage better parts from the wreckage of a downed enemy ship. As you improve your ship you’ll be able to take on bigger and more powerful foes and in so doing spread your fame across The West.

The combat of the game will be strategic and focus on managing ship systems in response to enemy threats. You’ll have to blast enemy ships to smithereens before they do the same to you. You command the airship by directing steam pressure to the different areas of the ship–specific weapons, sensors, repair systems, engines, etc. You only have so much steam pressure per turn so you need to use it wisely. You will need to know when to strike, when to defend, when to conserve pressure for a later round–and when to unleash all hell on your opponent. How you control your ship’s physical systems is important, but properly managing her crew–the soul of any good ship–is just as critical to victory. Crew members each have special abilities and buffs that will help you survive in combat. Each crew member can be leveled up individually and will contribute in his or her own unique way. After all–a ship’s only as good as her crew.

Some of my favorite games of past and present are great because of the characters in those games. Final Fantasy VII, Baldur’s Gate, Knights of the Old Republic and newer games like The Walking Dead or Paper’s Please–part of what makes these and similar games shine is the people you encounter or get to play. It’s part of what makes the RPG genre so compelling. Some characters are jerks, others are weird or funny, and still others you really grow to care about. You root for them and care about their plights. You’re sad when things don’t work out for them and you celebrate when they find their happy ending. They are just pixels on a screen but a good game can really make you care–profoundly–about the imaginary people who live in the game’s world. If you don’t know what I’m talking about go play the recent game “Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons” and try to beat it while maintaining a dry eye. This is a key focus for Age of Grit–characters who are interesting, silly, diabolical…but also characters with depth who players really end up caring about.

Hopefully that gives you a bit of idea regarding what AOG is all about. I’m so excited to make this game–I think it can be something really great. We’ve got some awesome people on board–artists, animators, designers, programmers, musicians–and I think they’re equally passionate about this project. I’d love to hear any input or comments from anyone here! Does this sound like a game you’d play? Any suggestions? Once the Kickstarter is up and running I’ll add a link and anyone whose interested can check it out.

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