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Jack Houston & the Necronauts – a stop motion, retro science fiction adventure game

Filed under Found on the Web

Every game developer and her nephew seems to be riding on the coattails of Double Fine Adventure these days with Kickstarter-funded adventure games; Jack Houston and the Necronauts is no different, in that way, while it’s extremely different in another way or three.

Its setting makes it kind of a natural for me, to start; the lantern-jawed Jack Houston arrives on swampy, creature-infested Venus only to be wrecked there, and to slumber for a thousand years in the very best traditions of the service.

Where it gets really odd, though, is in the game’s development and presentation: they’re building miniature sets and animating the game characters with stop motion animation.

I’m still marveling and wondering about that one. It’s a really interesting choice that – for a point and click adventure – might just work, in another longstanding tradition (this time, Terry Pratchett’s) of million to one chances. Very interesting.

It seems like a somewhat risky proposal since the budget is by no means high. But what an intriguing concept!

These days I’ve been watching Kickstarter denizens with a little puzzlement, myself, though I do understand their issues. But it seems odd that Kickstarter projects are increasingly viewed less as a way to help the development of something neat, and more as a way to shop for something that is certain to exist.

It’s illuminating (if strange) to read some of the comments of people who’ve arrived at Kickstarter this year. They have preconceptions like "The rewards should give backers a chance to get the XXX for less than a normal customer would pay", for example, which really flies in the face of what it takes to develop small, initial amounts of, well, anything. There have been some interesting conversations at Comics Worth Reading and The Beat – though those are concerned with comics projects, with a possible side dish of games – and in reading some of the comments I end up feeling like an anthropologist lost in the Amazon, peering at the natives and trying to jot down meaningful notes about their quaint and curious customs. Which, honestly, is how I feel most of the time anyway. But still.

[tags]jack houston and the necronauts, adventure games, kickstarter, stop motion animation[/tags]


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Down in the Basement. Where it Strains Against its Chains and Turns a Gigantic Wheel of Pain, for all Eternity. Muahahahahaha.