Antinomy is one of the more interesting Kickstarter campaigns in a long time. It’s incredibly ambitious, it has top tier voice actors (if not exactly household names), and its doing something most Kickstarters don’t do. At the same time, it’s being developed by a company with a spotty history, there isn’t much of the game being shown, and what little is shown looks shockingly ugly. It’s a mixed bag if there ever was one.
Antinomy is a game set in the Ottoman Empire (modern day Turkey, and several countries in the Middle East and Africa) in 1892. You play the son of a tribal leader and you find yourself banished to a settlement in the middle of a desert after your father is kidnapped. It’s up to you to fight, sneak, trade, steal, craft, and explore your way to your father in a big open world and find your father.
If that sounds like Fallout 4, it’s because the game is Fallout 4 in a lot of ways. It’s a first person RPG open world exploration game with a ton of gameplay options, a massive storyline, and over 35 side quests to get lost in. You even have to worry about political alignments as your actions will affect how people view you.
The cherry on top, and either the thing that will save this campaign or destroy it depending on how you feel, is that developer Homegrown Games isn’t seeking to actually make a game, not yet anyway. Instead they’re hoping to raise funds for a prototype of a game which they will then pitch to outside investors. It’s not something that Kickstarter has been used to since the influx of massive, multi-million dollar pre-order fests. In some ways, this feels more like something that you’d normally find on Indiegogo.
It’s good to see a Kickstarter that isn’t boom or bust. They’re being upfront about the fact that they aren’t seeking to make the full game using Kickstarter alone, although if they happen to raise enough to do so, they’ll take that chance. This does however bring up challenges of its own, namely the studio not being able to find a publisher. Shenmue 3, Red Ash, and several other games run similar campaigns to either gauge interest or raise extra funds. The difference here though is that Homegrown Games don’t already have a publisher lined up.
You can watch me talk more about those specific challenges in the latest episode of Crowdfunding Analysis Time, or you can check out the Antinomy Kickstarter page for yourself.
This is the kind of Kickstarter that you’ll want to back immediately or will make you think Kickstarter is slowly turning into Steam Greenlight. There’s plenty to shake your head at, but there’s also plenty to like. I don’t know how they managed to land that amazing voice cast, but they did, and pre-World War I Ottoman Empire setting is a unique one for gaming.
It’s unlikely Homegrown is going to get the $90,000 they think they need for the full game, which is fair enough because I don’t think even that’s going to be enough. Still, they’ve hit their goal for the prototype, so now it’s only a matter of waiting and watching, unless you want to sweeten the pot.