Bioshock is regarded as one of the best games of all time by many, and the people who worked on that original title are in their own studios, looking for funding on Kickstarter for new projects. These former teammates are aiming to take story telling into their own direction that feels new for everyone involved and the gaming public. Many details on the projects have been made apparent on their Kickstarter pages in an effort to reach their funding goal, including their various reward tiers. Kickstarter, on a whole, has seen fewer games funded this year over last, presenting a possible hurdle for these titles’ publishing hopes.
Day For Night Games and The Molasses Flood, both a collection of former Irrational Games employees, have begun their respective projects called The Black Glove and The Flame in the Flood. These two could not be further apart on the gaming spectrum in a few different ways; Black Glove is presented in a first-person view and an art style much the way of Bioshock while Flame in the Flood holds an isometric perspective and a vibrant, colorful realization of the world. What is common amongst them is a desire to make these games for people who want more of their type on the market.
Both former Bioshock teams cite this as being a main reason for their Kickstarter business ventures. The Black Glove is attempting to bring something new to the gaming industry that they imply has only been scratched as a potential source of entertainment: direct integration of story into gameplay. Games such as The Walking Dead episodes have made choices a source of gameplay variation, but Day For Night looks to take that one step further. Direct integration, or handing the progression of the story completely into the player’s hands, is what this title hopes to deliver instead of a linear story as in Bioshock.
The Black Glove’s plot runs gamers through an interesting, if not confusing, premise. The player steps into the role of a Curator within The Equinox Theater in the 1920s possessing a mysterious glove that allows the opening of time, making the present and every character within a malleable entity. The goal of the game is to “improve” the work of a musician, an artist and a filmmaker in the present by changing pieces of their past such as their muses and overall desired message.
On the other side of the spectrum, The Molasses Flood’s title that shows the post-apocalyptic travels of Scout and her dog companion Aesop. While the in-game rumor is that “salvation lies at the end of the river,” Scout must survive as much as anything in a world where every piece of AI is governed by fear, hunger, fatigue and other bodily desires. The gameplay will revolve around scavenging and crafting to trap, kill and survive as there will be a perma-death feature, meaning death by any means starts players back at the top of the river for a retry.
The old Bioshock teams could find the Kickstarter path a bit rockier than previously expected. Funding for game-related projects on the crowd-funding website is on pace to approach $27 million by the end of 2014, a little over half of last year’s $53 million for 2013. Both of these former Bioshock designers’ titles are live now on Kickstarter and will be so until Nov. 6 for The Flame in the Flood and Nov. 7 for The Black Glove.
By Myles Gann