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April 16, 2012

Kickstart This: Republique

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Written by: Steven Strom
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Kickstarter has already made headlines as a way for creators to get their projects funded without going through a traditional publisher. From movies and comics to video and board games, projects of all sizes and types have been having success using the site’s pledge-based funding model. But with all of the projects out there, it’s easy for cool things to fall through the cracks. That’s why we’ve decided to start highlighting projects that meet the following criteria: they are interesting, unique, or just plain awesome.

A young woman named Hope, trapped in a faceless, totalitarian state not found on any map, makes a desperate run at freedom. Pursued by agents of the state and wanted by the malignant ‘Overseer’, Hope must use any advantage she can to survive. And with your help, she might just do it.

But you don’t play as Hope. You play as yourself; contacted by Hope through a stolen phone.

Republique is an attempt to make a truly triple-a game for iOS (iPhone/iPod Touch 4 and up, as well as all versions of the iPad). In the game, you assist Hope by hacking anything with a network connection. Using these, players will solve puzzles, control lights, wiretap calls, summon elevators and even slam doors in the face of her pursuers.

What sets it apart?

Republique is being made in a collaboration between Camoflaj and Logan – some of the folks behind Metal Gear Solid 4 and Halo 4 as well as the live-action Skyim TV spot and those iPod ‘silhouette’ ads. Their aim is to provide a polished, large-scale interactive experience for iOS devices.

Ignoring the pattern of smaller, simpler games on touch-based devices, the developers are attempting to craft a title with a deep, meaningful story and gorgeous graphics.

Why you should donate.

Republique could represent a very interesting new paradigm for both Kickstarter and mobile development.

Right now, mobile development is an ocean of simple, addictive and minimalist titles. And that’s absolutely fine. I love simpler titles like Hero Academy. Meanwhile, games like Sword and Sworcery prove that a game doesn’t have to be complicated to be complex.

However, just because this model has worked in the past, that doesn’t necessarily mean that larger titles that make use of the platform can’t work as well. The folks over at Logan and Camoflaj look to be trying to prove that with Republique. If they’re successful, it could be used as a proof of concept for future, large-scale games on the platform.

But it’s not just mobile development that could stand to change.

Since Double-Fine started the Kickstarter Renaissance, the majority of games being brought forward have traded on nostalgia. That’s not necessarily a bad thing either. There are a lot of franchises getting their due now through Kickstarter that deserved to stick around a long time ago. Games like Shadowrun Returns and the new Wasteland have me just as excited as any other fan.

Republique, on the other hand, isn’t a sequel. It’s not a reboot or a remastering or a foll0w-up. It’s an entirely new franchise from some very talented people with a neat concept. And it looks great.

If Republique is a hit, it might stand as a call-to-arms to both developers and supporters to bring some fresh, original content to the forefront. Video games are a still a young and burgeoning industry. There’s no reason that we need to exclusively keep going back to old wells. It’s far too early in our medium’s lifetime to fall into the same trap as films.

So if any of this sounds interesting to you at all, get out there and show your support! There are far worse things that you could spend your Kickstarter budget on.



About the Author

Steven Strom
Steven is a freelance journalist and editor for SideQuesting, as well as several newspapers. He is a podcast co-host for The Side Quest, Lonely TARDIS and Drunks and Dragons. His interests include comics, books, games you've never heard of and fettucini alfredo.




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