The Crowdfunder: Legions of Steel, Underwater Metropolis, Timothy Zahn, and more

By Owen Faraday 20 Sep 2013 0
*Thumbs up* I think you're supposed to drop them into molten metal, not keep them around for trophies.

Kickstarter is back in a big, big way right now. A host of Kickstarter pitches landed in my inbox this week, and while I ran the vast majority of them through the woodchipper (I'm using them to insulate my loft) I've retained a select handful for your amusement. There's an interesting hook to all of these, and a couple of them I plan to chip into myself.

After the jump: turn-based tactical game Legions of Steel, the delightful aquatic city-builder Underwater Metropolis, iPad RTS MEG:RVO, and a sci-fi 4X game designed by Timothy Zahn. If you're asking yourself, "Does Owen mean that Timothy Zahn?", then the answer is yes.

Legions of Steel is a turn-based squad tactical game for iOS, Android, and PC based on a somewhat obscure 1990s miniatures game of the same name. Humans fighting sentient machines who never picked up on Asimov's Three Laws and are hellbent on our destruction, one squad at a time. The game is planned to come with single-player AIs and online multiplayer right out of the box. Looks promising -- I like the asymmetric sides. Legions of Steel is after £25,000 in the next month.


Meant to launch last week, Underwater Metropolis pushed back to this week to allow time to develop a proof-of-concept prototype. There are no true city-builders on iOS or Android -- not a single one (and no that terrible SimCity Deluxe doesn't count). Underwater Metropolis is definitely more whimsical than SimCity or Caesar, but it's got a city-building core that Will Wright would recognize. I love the idea. These guys need $20,000 Canadian over the next month and they're a tenth of the way there already.


I think I went to high school with a girl named Meg Revo, which is how I've been pronouncing MEG: RVO, an iPad RTS with some neat units that look as if they came from the same universe as the Colonial Marines from Aliens. There's not too much gameplay to see yet, but if you're prepared to make a leap of faith, the devs are after $3,500 Canadian and they've given themselves two months to raise it.


Finally, a sci-fi 4X game with some eye-wateringly bad art -- but also Timothy Zahn. For the uninitiated, Timothy Zahn is the only person ever to write a good Star Wars novel. The only one. His Heir to the Empire books were the beginning of a huge wave of licensed Star Wars fiction from the 1990s and onwards. With few exceptions, all of the books that came after Zahn's trilogy were awful, nigh-unreadable pablum that were two steps above N*Sync/Black Cauldron crossover fan fiction. Maybe one step. But Zahn's were good.

So, Timothy Zahn has now turned to making a 4X game called Parallax. I'd imagined that my wallet would be flying towards the screen of its own accord already, but make sure you have a look at the pitch before you click that pledge button. Making a 4X game is a challenge of Everestian steepness that has felled many a proud studio, and the outfit that Zahn has chosen to aid him in this matter have only made one game. And it was "a fun bubble-popping game" called Blobs.

Zahn & Co. wish for a cool half-million in the next 23 days to make this thing happen. I dunno about this one.
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