Crowdfunding is realistically one of the best ways for developers with even modest followings to find the financial support to make the games they want to make. Not surprisingly, working with a small team means that budgets are often tight, but at the same time they're often quite a bit smaller as well. Some of the strangest, heart-filled, and entertaining games come from indie developers who try to find support directly from their audience, and we like to find those games and give them a bit of visibility to our readers.
Today we're looking at Blacksea Odyssey, the top-down 2D arcade shoot-em-up.
I really like games that pit players against enemies that are larger or meaner or uglier than the player by orders of magnitude. It always hits that part of the brain that says "This is a conflict I'm not supposed to win. Let me prove everyone wrong," and I love it. Blacksea Odyssey is a gathering of famous hunters from across the galaxy, all of whom are competing in a great hunt of the most dangerous creatures.
From the developer's Kickstarter:
With Blacksea Odyssey we wanted to create something truly original. While inspired by many of our favorite games, we believe our vision of Blacksea Odyssey separates itself from games of similar genres while still staying true to it’s core; a fast-paced space shooter. Imagine if you will Shadow of the Colossus’s massively scaled bosses, Geometry Wars extremely crisp and fluid control scheme, Path of Exile's deep RPG-like rune system, and Binding of Isaac's insane replayability. While many games have influenced the design of Blacksea Odyssey, these games have had the heaviest impact.
And you can see how these games have influenced the game's design up to this point. You are facing creatures who are much larger and more dangerous than you, and how you defeat each creature during the hunt will require you to figure out how the creature behaves. Of course, you have several tools to help you dismantle these leviathans, all of which can be upgraded and customized as you progress through the game. The spear is a primary attack for your hunter, while the harpoon lets you attach yourself to your surroundings, helping you navigate space or dismember the horrible creatures you're hunting. The boost lets you rocket quickly across the map. How these tools can be used together is what will force you to be creative on your hunt.
While the game does look entertaining in its current state, what I'm really hoping for is that the project will be funded to a level that would allow the developers to introduce multiplayer to the game. I like the idea of having to hunt down massive space monsters, but doing so cooperatively or competitively with friends would really make this game something that I'd be likely to pick up. Trying to figure out with a friend just how to take down a giant monster sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe even more fun would be a competitive angle that has you and your friends gunning for the same target, but only one player can take home the trophy. Not only do you have to worry about dangerous monsters, but other hunters interfering with your hunt would also be a really neat thing to see.
But that is a ways off. First they need to reach some of their funding goals before they consider things like integrating multiplayer in to game. If Blacksea Odyssey sounds like your cup of tea, head over to their Kickstarter and check out some of their rewards. They've got a playable alpha demo so you can give the game a test and see if it's what you're looking for.