GamesBeat

Ambient Studios launches Kickstarter for its real-time-strategy plague-spreading game

The GamesBeat tip box is overflowing with notices regarding Kickstarter campaigns. It takes a lot to stick out of the crowd, but we think this new project from Ambient Studios is worth mentioning.

The developer unveiled its crowdfunding campaign for Death Inc. earlier today, and it has a lot of the hallmarks of a quality Kickstarter project: It’s beautiful, it combines genres into something new and interesting, and it comes from a group of respected developers.

Nearly a dozen former members of Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet), Lionhead (Fable), and Criterion (Need For Speed) got together to produce this new “real-time strategy god game and business simulation” — that’s how the developers describe it.

Death Inc. is aiming for $471,500 (300,000 British pounds) in the Kickstarter, which went live earlier this morning.

“Death Inc. is a real-time strategy, god game, business simulation hybrid, and it’s unique,” Ambient Studios director Jonny Hopper told GamesBeat. “The way you control Grim and your troops is fluid and intuitive but still gives you the whole spectrum of control you could want, from the fine details to the sweeping maneuvers. We’re going to reveal new gameplay and features throughout the Kickstarter campaign. What people know of Death Inc. now barely scratches the surface.”

The idea behind Death Inc. is to put players in control of Grim T. Livingstone, an agent of death, as he tries to give as many people the bubonic plague as possible. Players do this by painting commands on to the screen with an intuitive-looking control system that enables characters to follow a path just as the gamer draws it.

The controllable characters are, naturally, a plague-ridden horde that must overtake the rest of a noninfected population. As new characters fall to the sickness, they join the horde, which increases its magnitude. It’s kind of like an RTS Katamari Damacy or that new trailer for World War Z.

“A lot of the time, companies keep their projects secret until they’re nearly ready to come out — or certainly further along than Death Inc. is currently,” said Hopper. “Kickstarter turns this on its head as you have to show what you’ve got. It’s raw, but the response we’ve had so far to Death Inc. has been fantastic.”

As always, this Kickstarter is offering a ton of backer rewards, but I think the game is worth checking out for the look and the control mechanism alone.


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