Crossing Souls is an "action-adventure with RPG touches" about a group of five friends who discover a magical stone that enables them to cross the boundary between the worlds of life and death. The project has been kicking around on TIGSource for a while and now the developers have taken it to Kickstarter, but in an unusual twist, Devolver Digital has guaranteed that it will be made regardless of whether or not the campaign is successful.
The game is set in a small town in California in 1986, a period chosen very specifically for its nostalgic impact. Developer Fourattic described movies like Teen Wolf, Weird Science, E.T. and Back to the Future as "pure magic," and said it wants to revive the feeling they had when they watched them as children. The visual style of the cutscenes, which will be a "mainstay" of the game, are also straight out of an 80s cartoon.
What makes this particular project different from most is the certainty that it will be made. Devolver Digital is handling marketing, PR, and other such business-related matters, but the funding for development will, hopefully, come from Kickstarter. It's an arrangement that gives Fourattic more flexibility in how it goes about making the game, and it's more financially lucrative, too—always a good thing for an indie studio. But if the Kickstarter fails, Devolver will step in and make things happen anyway.
Fourattic said that even with that safety net, the Kickstarter remains important because it allows the studio to connect directly with supporters who will help shape the game. "Our first priority was to prepare and launch a Kickstarter campaign to, first, create a community around it, and second, to get an idea of the viability of the project," a rep explained. "That community is the one that will help us build the perfect 80s-feeling game we are after."
As is typical with Kickstarters, backers will be given access to a forum where they can interact with the team and offer feedback and suggestions. "Feedback, at this stage, is everything for us," the rep said. "Like other developers have done before us, our most important rewards are focused on [backers] working together with the Fourattic team, like the chance to design enemies, new locations, secret rooms and other important aspects of the plot. For that purpose alone, the Kickstarter campaign is priceless!"
Crossing Souls is Fourattic's first game, but the rep said he hopes Devolver's involvement demonstrates that it's a serious project. It's also the first time Devolver has picked up a game prior to the launch of its crowdfunding campaign, but the company said it's open to the possibility of doing it again in the future. "We prefer to get out of the way and let them take the reigns, so if that means raising their own development funds, then sure," Devolver's Nigel Lowrie said. "We're happy to work however best suits them and be transparent with their community along the way so it's clear how they're contributing."