Kickstarter Shout-Out: “Darkest Dungeon” by Red Hook Studios
I don’t normally use my feed as a platform for advertising upcoming games, and I don’t plan to make a habit of it, either. But from time to time, things which I feel have a chance to add something new to the world of gaming catch my eye. Today, that something is Darkest Dungeon, a title currently kickstarted (with 10 days left to go as of this posting.)
The concept of the game is a Roguelike dungeon crawler whose gameplay mechanic focuses on “the psychological stresses of adventuring” - which, if you’ve spent a lot of time with pen-and-paper RPGs (or even a fair amount with computer versions) you might have considered. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a commonly discussed issue today. It’s crazy to think that adventurers who had their minds flayed, their flesh scorched and bodies pierced by blade and arrow—not to mention the constant hazards of traps—didn’t suffer from all sorts of anxieties and issues. Here, according to the developers, you’ll get to see all sorts of mental issues manifest. Panic attacks, catatonia, uncontrollable fear, abusiveness and mistrust of fellow party members… Who knows what awaits your party? I’m personally thrilled by the notion of managing not just my party’s physical combat capabilities, but their emotional states as well.
I always make a point of mentioning graphics. How are those of Darkest Dungeon? Awesome. If you’re going to skip sprites and pixel-style art, then you need to look good and stylish, and Darkest Dungeon does it. Chris Bourassa’s artwork feels like it came straight out of a hardcover RPG book. The artwork doesn’t have the detail and realism of, say, Wayne Reynolds, but it fits the feel of the game perfectly. I mean, check out these characters (which I cut out of one of their gameplay screenshots):
The team, unfortunately, is working under the common misguided notion among fantasy designers that everyone in European-style settings during the old ages was of caucasian descent, so there are no people of color; that’s my only beef with the design so far. At least there are women, however, and they are fearsome.
Darkest Dungeon has already well exceeded its funding goal of $75,000. Now it’s all about the gravy of stretch goals. If you’re interested in checking out the game and possibly contributing, their Kickstarter site is here, and the game’s official webpage is here.