Since the inception of Mable and the Wood’s Kickstarter campaign on March 28th, it’s already received over 60% of its required £7000 funding, with just over 400 backers to boot. With only two weeks left, it will be tight, but it looks likely that creator Andrew Stewart will reach his goal. Andrew is but a one-man team who’s been piecing together Mable in his spare time ever since he crafted it on-the-fly at the Ludum Dare game jam back in April 2015. It’s not a long game (he speculates it’ll be anywhere from 3-6 hours), but the concept is interesting enough—you play as a shape-shifting girl in a world which is being drained of colour.
Andrew’s project overview is very thorough, covering everything from sites he’s been featured on (Cliqist is one of them), character design, and even his personal influences and inspirations (which include obscure titles like Guacamelee and Noitu Love 2). He also cites Wildfire and Moon Hunters as games that have a similar feel to Mable, “retro inspired games using modern design techniques and advances”.
Mable also draws inspiration from “bigger, open world games and what they get wrong”. Andrew goes on to lament the fact that there’s often a disconnection between players and the huge, beautiful world around them, and how rare it is for players to have any “meaningful impact” on their surroundings. He implicates GTA V, “sure, you can blow some cars up and get chased by the cops but, apart from occasional (and often temporary) changes triggered at a point in the narrative, the world itself remains the same. You may as well not be there at all.” You can get a glimpse of what he means by watching the trailer, but hopefully when Mable is fully finished we’ll be able to see how Andrew bridges that gap between player and world.
Also, Andrew has been keeping viewers updated with both public and private posts, the latter of which is reserved for backers only—you’ll have to throw some money his way if you want in on his secrets! At time of writing, his latest post details his trip to gaming convention EGX Rezzed in London, and he’s penned a little blurb on each his favourite games at the show. He’s also promised a backer-only update in a few days which will take a look at how he designed specific characters. (editor: since posted here)
It took ten days for the project to be Steam Greenlit, with Andrew posting a confirmation on April 10th. He’s halfway through his campaign, and if Andrew continues to keep his backers and potential backers in the loop, it looks likely that Mable & The Wood will eek its way across that finish line. Being the sole developer of a game definitely comes with its pros and cons, but it gives Andrew the chance to personally connect with each and every person that wants to see Mable come to life. His authenticity and sincerity is certainly key to his campaign’s ongoing success.