Neil Gaiman Teams with Indie Gaming Company for New Venture
Posted on July 26, 2013
It’s no surprise how much I regard author . That admiration grew when he retweeted the transcript of his Book Fair speech and after reading his latest book The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Now, he’s impressing me by taking his storytelling to a different platform – gaming.
It’s not the first time Gaiman has tried to help in the creation of a game. According to an interview with mashable.com, he worked with game companies in the 1990′s that unfortunately didn’t last. His attempts resulted in a lot of effort with no game in the long run.
Now, he’s partnered with the indie gaming company The Odd Gentlemen, creators of “The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom“, and Moonshark to create Wayward Manor. Just looking at the graphics from The Odd Gentleman, it looks like a perfect match. On the webpage, there are a few teasers to get you interested in backing the project.
The game itself is very Gaiman-esque, which is why he must have been drawn to doing it since he’s so busy these days. Based on the opening video with Gaiman, you as the player are a ghost in this spooky mansion. The goal is to scare out all of the living. How that is to happen is yet to be revealed. But the game will be episodic with storylines, which is a similar way that Pottermore reveals its gaming levels.
Yes, this is a bit like crowdfunding where there are levels of support to pre-order the game in both PC and Mac compatability along with different levels of swag. The lowest level purchases the digital download of the game, whereas the highest level of backing is for $10,000 where you could buy your place at a dinner in Los Angeles at the Magic Castle. The more funding they raise early on, the quicker they can create the next episode. I’m still trying to figure out how to raise my own $10,000 to break bread with Gaiman.
What makes the game project intriguing is the combo between Gaiman’s wild storytelling ways combined with The Odd Gentlemen’s ability to create fun games with outstanding graphics. For fans of either or both, this seems like an easy project to back. The backing levels seem reasonable to get the game and other stuff like a book of the graphics. I would like to see the opportunity to have some signed items, but you have to be willing to shell out some big bucks at the Rare Apparition level, which is $200-$250. For Gaiman who is willing to sign just about anything, that seems like a high amount.
It has the feel of a Kickstarter project like when you back it, you’re backing a rogue writer and an indie game company. A drawback to that feeling is that there is no progress bar and no immediate sense of community you get when backing independent projects on Kickstarter. Instead, you can subscribe to receive news and updates. There’s no way to know how much funding the project gets, and ultimately it really is just a pre-order of a game with some swag.
Gaiman has already proven his proclivity to try new things. His Blackberry Keep Moving website shows some steps outside of the author box. He stated in his London Book Fair speech that writers should try something new, make mistakes, fail, fail better, and to “[s]ucceed in ways we would never have imagined a year ago or a week ago.” What makes it seem like this time the game will be made and become a success is that Gaiman took the time out of his schedule to do it because it’s fun. When talented people get together and manage to have fun while making something cool, usually the results are something to behold.
If you’re curious and interested in taking a peek at the game, go to http://whohauntsneil.com/. Watch Gaiman’s video, and then if you want to, check out the different levels where you can pre-order the game as well as get some goodies. Follow all of them on Twitter for immediate feedback. Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself), The Odd Gentlemen (@TheOddGentlemen), and Moonshark (@moonsharkmobile).