Revolution Software is seeking $400,000 on Kickstarter to fund the development of Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse, the fifth instalment in the studio's beloved adventure series.
The news, announced in a witty video featuring series director Charles Cecil alongside the game's protagonists, confirms recent speculation of a return for sleuthing duo George Stobbart and Nico Collard on PC, Mac, iOS and Android.
Posted on the project's Kickstarter page, the video showcases Broken Sword 5’s 2D mechanics and 3D cutscenes, marking a reversal of the poorly received switch to 3D for the series’ third and fourth outings.
“We’re looking to make the best Broken Sword game yet,” says Cecil. “Expectations are very high from fans. The key things are getting the story right and that the puzzles work well. We’ve had a nice, long time to get that right.”
Cecil revealed that Revolution has been working on The Serpent’s Curse for six months with a team largely made up of former employees, including a team of 2D artists. The game has been funded to date by the hugely successful reboots of the original two Broken Sword games, which have been downloaded five million times in the last year on iOS devices.
With an expected release date of Q1 2013, Revolution is now turning to crowd funding site Kickstarter to finish development. The announcement had been expected in July, but Kickstarter's terms and conditions - it is open only to US residents, meaning Revolution had to set up a company Stateside - delayed the news.
“This is the first Broken Sword we will have written without being restricted,” said Cecil, who is clearly relishing the independence afforded by crowd-sourcing. “Since we are both funding and developing the game we can make the best strategic decisions for the game."
Revolution seeks a minimum of $15 from backers, each of whom will receive a digital version of the game and perks such as access to exclusive digital content and frank developer diaries. Reward tiers go up to $10,000, including invitations to launch and wrap parties, physical copies of the finished product, and the chance to appear in-game as a portrait commented upon by the protagonists.
The $400,000 target figure echoes the goal set by Tim Schafer for Double Fine Adventure, the project which defined Kickstarter as a truly viable route to market for the types of games that publishers see as being too niche, too risky, to succeed. That project ended with over $3.3m in funding, but Cecil is refusing to go on record about possible stretch funding goals.
“I’d be absolutely thrilled if we did get funded beyond the $400,000 mark,” says Cecil. “On the one hand we have thought about stretch goals, but it’s arrogant to think we’ll go over.”