Kickstarter Double Fine

Double Fine arguably started the Kickstarter era of video game development when it launched its Double Fine Adventure project last year. Now, as that game nears completion, the studio is headed back to the platform to fund its next major release.

This time the developer wants $750,000 to make Massive Chalice, a single-player turn-based tactics game set in a feudal-fantasy universe. It started the crowdfunding project on Kickstarter earlier today to ask fans for their help.

“We’re inspired by classic strategy games like X-COM, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Fire Emblem as well as Game of Thrones‘ array of noble families,” reads the Kickstarter page. “With these influences in mind, we’re creating an epic, replayable turn-based tactics game where you train generations of heroes to repel a demonic invasion.”

Massive Chalice isn’t all battles against demon hordes, however, although that’s the primary action in the “tactics layer.” It also has players guiding the story of an entire dynasty in the strategy layer where, as king or queen, you arrange royal marriages, conduct research, and make big-picture strategic decisions. This is not unlike X-COM’s strategy aspects — or Crusader Kings, a grand strategy PC game.

Massive Chalice also uses randomization to keep every playthrough unique. Every new game begins with a different assortment of male and female heroes from the different noble families.

“Your knowledge and skill will increase over multiple playthroughs, but the details of every game will change based on your decisions and the whims of fate,” reads the Kickstarter description.

As with any great tactics game, permadeath is a key, inevitable feature.

Brad D Muir“Your heroes will grow, age, and eventually die,” writes Double Fine. “You’ll have to choose between keeping your favorite heroes on the battlefield or retiring them from combat to foster a new generation of warriors.”

Iron Brigade creator and game lead Brad Muir is heading Massive Chalice’s development. He worked on Psychonauts and Brütal Legend prior to that.

Naturally, Double Fine is promising backers a variety of rewards that include T-shirts, posters, and more.

Massive Chalice already has more than 1,200 backers pledging nearly $50,000.