[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]hose with an encyclopedic memory of Kickstarter campaigns will recall that almost exactly one year ago, Storm Isle Productions attempted to raise $50,000 for Disciples of the Storm. This RTS presented itself well enough to gain nearly half the goal amount — but of course that wasn’t enough to make for a successful campaign. They’ve since returned to Kickstarter with an improved pitch, though it seems that this may not be quite enough to make this crowdfunding dream a reality. But there’s still a few days left, so who knows?
Let’s look over what Disciples of the Storm has to offer now in case you’re curious to drop in some last minute funding, or potentially help fund them down the road. This RTS is actually based off NetStorm: Islands at War, a PC game released in 1997. It even features multiple of the staff members from that original title, however, they’re not able to actually use the IP. They discovered this when working on a fan game under the NetStorm name and decided to create their own unique title with Disciples of the Storm. That’s the point we were at last year, and where we also stand with this second Kickstarter.
As it stands, Disciples of the Storm is poised to be a RTS with elements of both tower defense and offense. There are four factions (Wind, Rain, Summer, and Sun) and each has around 12 units. With that said, there are also faction-neutral buildings which any one of them may build. Unlike basically all other RTSes out there, this game situates players on floating islands. In order to go between them you must first construct bridges to make a path through. This allows for a different degree of strategy. Instead of being content in one spot, you’ll simply need to expand further outward to collect resources and eventually bring the fight to your opponents.
Speaking of which, this current funding goal of $50,000 is for a multiplayer-exclusive experience. Storm Isle Productions does intend to develop a single player campaign at some point, but that would come after Disciples of the Storm is ready to go in a multiplayer format. It’s important to note that they are also targeting a Windows, Mac, and Linux release with those base funds instead of breaking other operating systems into a stretch goal tier. Along with functional multiplayer and lobbies, the base goal allots for a wide tech tree to strategize as you see fit with each faction.
It’s quite strange to see that Disciples of the Storm has achieved nearly the same funding amount as they did a year back, even though they’ve been continuing development all this time. Heck, over the year they’ve shared more updates, gained fans, and were Greenlit. This time around they also received funding from other developers such as Tripwire Interactive (makers of Killing Floor). Yet, funding has made it to the halfway point and tuckered itself out.
Is it possible that gamers simply aren’t invested in RTSes as much these days? Perhaps the likes of MOBAs really have eaten up the audience who grew up with the likes of NetStorm, StarCraft, and Command & Conquer. Or, the problem could be much simpler. It may be due to the simple fact that they’re still promoting the campaign with more concept art/single 3D models rather than presenting a great deal of gameplay screenshots. Feel free to share your opinion on why you feel that Disciples of the Storm continues to struggle in its second campaign.