Some crowd-funded game projects tend to be hit or miss affairs when it comes to getting backers. Get enough (or too much) buzz for a silly little meme game that’s got an much depth as a broken pencil point and you can rake in money like as if the wind is blowing it fiercely through your front door.
On the other hand, work hard at a bigger but not hugely promoted game in a familiar but quite packed genre and you get a slight breeze of contributors that drift in at not a quick enough pace to make that funding target.
Newcastle upon Tyne-based Elyn Studios is hard at work on a pretty cool game called OMNIS – The Erias Line, and you should probably go check out the demo over on Indie DB because while still a work in progress (there’s a fair amount of placeholder art), the game is coming along really nicely.
Mixing elements of ‘new-weird’ fiction and JRPG-style gameplay with a visual style not par for the course, the demo for OMNIS manages to be tense, thrilling and not afraid to use a bit of rough language to get its point across. The team is using a few genre classics as inspiration, yet the game feels fresh and has a dark tone to it that works well. Additionally, an interesting combat system mixes in Active Time Battle elements from the Final Fantasy games with timed arrow key commands for a least one party member. The game world is a pretty (and intentionally) bleak place with anti-heroes Orphan and Skyler fighting to save the city of Verdamm from dying out at the hands of a darker evil manipulating things from behind the scenes.
The demo is around three hours long and in addition to the nifty combat system, there’s a nice, dynamic score you’ll want to pop a pair of headphones on or earbuds in to check out. If you’ve hopped on over to the Kickstarter page, you’ll see the game has 13 days to go, but is well under what it needs to be fully funded. $29,000 (or $28,877 to be exact) isn’t really all that much when you consider fans have spent millions on flashier-looking retro projects as well as super high-end games that are still a few years away from completion.
Elyn’s more modest goals, no current plans to shoot onto every platform and overall darker tone might make it a bit less palatable to some gamers who prefer their JRPGs bright, cheery and full of anime/manga tropes. But if you prefer a shot of dark reality with your sci-fi RPG experience, you should probably pledge a bit and snag one of those rewards in the process.