The Waylanders, a fantasy RPG being developed by Spanish studio Gato Salvaje with assistance from former Dragon Age creative director Mike Laidlaw, went to Kickstarter a couple of weeks ago with a $150,000 goal and the promise of input from Emily Grace Buck as a $200,000 stretch goal. Buck, formerly a designer at Telltale Games with credits on its Batman, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Walking Dead games, recently came to public prominence in the wake of the studio's collapse.
The Kickstarter is ticking along reasonably well, although still a fair distance from its goal, currently sitting at around $83,000. With just nine days left, that doesn't bode well for the stretch goal, but today the developers announced that it doesn't matter anymore, because she has now officially joined the team.
"I didn’t start playing large-scale videogames until I was in college, but series like The Elder Scrolls, Neverwinter Nights, and later Dragon Age were and still are my absolute favorites. I immersed myself in those worlds, devouring every bit of lore I could. The amount of fanfiction I wrote was… enormous," Buck wrote in a Kickstarter update. "As I practiced writing characters and scenarios for those types of games- fantasy epics in which I was also able to romance and befriend characters, I realized… I had to be a game storyteller. I needed to do this with my life."
"My time at Telltale allowed me to experiment with all kinds of ways to help players emotionally invest in games, and have agency over their relationships with NPCs… while still giving those non-player characters agency as well … I can’t wait to use my previous narrative experience and my love for this genre to bring you what I hope will be a delightful and robust gaming journey through the world of the Celts!"
The developers said in the Kickstarter update that the story, about characters who time-travel between fantasy-fueled Celtic and Medieval time periods, "is one of the most important parts" of the game, which is why Buck's inclusion is a pretty big deal. But Samuel recently declared, after trying a brief demo, that "it felt like the combat in particular had a lot of potential." Hey, why not both?
The Waylanders Kickstarter runs until November 16. Waylanders itself is expected to be ready for an early 2020 release.