Author Neal Stephenson opens Kickstarter for swordfighting game

Author Neal Stephenson has teamed up with an indie developer to make a one-to-one, motion-controlled dueling game.

8

Science and historical fiction author Neal Stephenson is throwing his weight behind a Kickstarter game, which focuses on realistic sword-fights through the use of a specialized motion controller. The game is titled "Clang," and it's aiming for a goal of $500,000 by July 9. It's being developed by the indie developer Subutai Corporation.

According to the Kickstarter page, Clang will be a PC arena game, and will start by focusing on one-on-one duels with two-handed longswords. It will use a commercial third-party controller "initially," but the game relies on low latency to imitate the precise sword movements.

The game is also planning to expand its own story and the sword-fighting styles through mods. A toolkit will be made available for fans to create their own "Martial Arts System Embodiments," to imitate other styles of fighting. The story of the game will also in with stories published by 47 North, Amazon's science-fiction publishing house.

The Kickstarter is up to more than $163,000 as of time of writing, so it's off to a good start with 28 days left to go.

Editor-In-Chief
From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 11, 2012 8:15 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Author Neal Stephenson opens Kickstarter for swordfighting game.

    Author Neal Stephenson has teamed up with an indie developer to make a one-to-one, motion-controlled dueling game.

    • reply
      June 11, 2012 8:33 AM

      Forget that, theres GabeN in that video!

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 8:34 AM

        These things, they take time!

        • reply
          June 11, 2012 9:49 AM

          It would neatly explain why HL "episode" 3 is taking so long. GabeN is crafting all of the crowbars for each copy of the game, by hand.

    • reply
      June 11, 2012 8:43 AM

      Sword fighting games using motion controllers can never work because there's no other sword to hit. Your sword should stop when you hit an opponent's sword, but instead you can just keep moving and there's no feeling of contact. Without anything to hit you're just waiving a wand around in open space, which gives no feeling of immersion.

      The other issue is how you move around. In a real sword fight you wouldn't just stand still waving your sword around. if you're attacking your opponent aggressively they'll probably be backing off, in which case you'd have to advance to continue attacking and you'd find yourself hitting your television.

      Motion control sword fighting games are a nice idea, but in reality they simply don't work particularly well and there's no realistic way to overcome the two main issues.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 8:58 AM

        The device they're temporarily using hits back against you. They're using the Novint Falcon, which is fully capable of stopping your movement.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 9:00 AM

        They actually address that in their recent update.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 9:02 AM

        You should inform Mr. Stephenson of your breakthrough..Post haste!

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 9:04 AM

        That's why fucking brooms are a better "game" than expensive motion controllers.

        We can even go crazy and have brooms that resemble swords. Call it "training swords".

        Crazy I know.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 9:26 AM

        feedback could be given over any medium, like, say, vibration - it could vibrate hard when you hit to signal you should stop, and if you continue your swing the in-game sword stays still and the controller pulses to tell you your arms are stunned or whatever. Manuvering it back the game sword's position can be indicated with hotter/colder style vibration speed variation. After a few times it will all be muscle memory and the player will be trained to follow the game simulation rather than vice versa, without too much cognitive dissonance. Add layers to that via audio, visuals and a reward mechanic for getting it perfect, and should be enough.

        • reply
          June 11, 2012 9:29 AM

          just think of how much of the physicality gunplay is simplified and turned into various mechanics (reloading, recoil, scopes, movement, cover etc)

          • reply
            June 11, 2012 9:29 AM

            physicality of gunplay

          • reply
            June 11, 2012 10:48 AM

            Well, yeah, but guns do most of the work in real life, too. A sword is truly and extension of your arm.

    • reply
      June 11, 2012 9:04 AM

      Can we say.... BUSHIDO BLADE 3 !!!!! Comeon SquareEnix... just fund them already :)

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 2:59 PM

        the first thing I thought was Bushido Blade too! :)

    • reply
      June 11, 2012 10:45 AM

      Very funny! I hope they meet their goals!