Pixelhunter – Jack Houston and the Necronauts

In my last blog I was pretty enthusiastic about the Kickstarter phenomenon, particularly in connection with the rich crop of adventure games on the horizon by such luminaries as Tim Schafer, Jane Jensen and Chris Jones. Whilst I still am, it’s clear that as good as everyone’s intentions are, such an atmosphere of unchecked spending can’t last forever (that’s one reason we got into the recession in the first place). As Jack Allin reflects in his well researched and informative feature on the current crowd funding phenomenon on adventuregamer.com, gamers are not the wealthiest of sources and Joe public is a notoriously fickle beast, perhaps even more so than the massive publishers that Kickstarter allows the creatives to avoid. Whilst many legitimate projects are finding their feet following Schafer’s success, too much bandwagon jumping will likely break the delicate suspension. And if the creatives fail to deliver on their promise, Allin astutely observes that crowd funding could easily turn into “mob funding”.

BUT…

At the same time I can’t help but get excited yet again at another Kickstarter project, and before I know it I’m reaching for my wallet. The project that currently has me salivating is Jack Houston and the Necronauts, which features a story plucked straight out of the pages of 50s Sci-fi pulp novellas and already has an impressive roster of imaginative concept art from designer Stacy Davidson. The eponymous hero, a bubble helmet clad, ray gun wielding pilot in the mould of Buck Rogers, crash lands in the lush and deadly rainforests of Venus, where he discovers an alien race capable of raising the dead. Sounds pretty cool already, but that’s not all, as Davidson is proposing to animate the whole thing using stop motion puppetry, creating an aesthetic that will pay homage to the work of early special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen.

With the early enthusiasm of Kickstarter wearing off and purse strings tightening as more projects compete for our attention, this may well be one of the best tests for the sustainability of this method of funding. After all whilst Davidson’s experience and passion for the medium seems to be beyond question (his long running freeware project Han Solo Adventures has been featured on Star Wars: Uncut and The People vs. George Lucas) but he is hardly a heavyweight name in the field and the $56,000 he is asking for is hardly pocket change (even though it is considerably less than other recently successful projects). Let’s hope that he is aware of what he’s letting himself in for and we get to see this imaginative project come to fruition.

Comments

3 responses to “Pixelhunter – Jack Houston and the Necronauts”

  1. Mark P avatar

    Just pledged there. Sounds awesome!

  2. SD avatar
    SD

    Me, too! I’m thrilled with the concept, and want to see his game studio be successful. Plus, more p-n-c adventure games are what the world needs now (besides love… sweet love).

  3. GREG avatar
    GREG

    The best Kickstarter Project of all times will debut Tues (8/7/12)
    CHEETAHMEN II: THE LOST LEVELS

Leave a Reply