I've long been a fan of Jack King-Spooner's (opens in new tab) strange, often hilarious adventure games, and now the Will You Ever Return?/Blues for Mittavinda/ Sluggish Morss (opens in new tab) developer has taken his first project to Kickstarter. Beeswing (opens in new tab) is an autobiographical, top-down adventure-RPG set in rural Scotland - specifically the tiny town of Beeswing, where King-Spooner grew up. The game's inspired by Zelda, Secret of Mana, Earthbound and To The Moon, while the mostly watercolour art is all handmade. Many more details after the break.
In King-Spooner's own words, Beeswing is "a story about the past, about community and childhood, attachment and growing up. Scottish folk tales, morally dubious parables, cloudy anecdotes and more contemporary stories of homelessness and immigration all combine to create a truly dynamic narrative." More than that, however, it's a personal story about the formative years of King-Spooner's life. If you've played his previous games, you'll know to what extent they embrace the surreal and the abstract (and Pat Butcher), so a more personal story marks quite the shift. A welcome one, I'd say - I'm perhaps showing my ignorance here, but despite enjoying his previous games, a lot of it went over my head.
Beeswing's handmade art already sets it apart from most adventure/RPG games - and this is more of an adventure game in the To The Moon sense, lacking both combat and puzzles and focusing on story instead. Expect hundreds of characters, multiple endings and "extended metaphors", among other things.
He's asking for a modest £2,250 the make the game happen, - £5 is enough to get you an early access version of Beeswing (plus a bunch of downloadable songs), while on the other end of the scale, £145 will get you all rewards plus "a small game just for you with original graphics, music and a theme of your choosing". Other developers, and King-Spooner himself, have also pitched in with a few exclusive games.
If all goes well with the 30 day campaign, Beeswing (opens in new tab) will be released in March 2014.