It’s not unusual for indie developers to claim they came to crowdfunding to get insight from backers. What good is community support if you don’t utilize it? However, Rocket Jump Games has taken this a step further with their Kickstarter project for King Under the Mountain. They aren’t just here for ideas, they want modding to be a central part of their game.

King Under the Mountain is a fantasy simulation, settlement-building game. Players will need to design and manage their settlers to create formidable kingdoms to rule over. Resource harvesting and item crafting isn’t the extent of gameplay. Once players have established a base they can form a small party of adventurers to explore further into the world gathering sweet dungeon loot to give their settlements an advantage.

The Prison Architect influenced art style features data-driven design and a variety of re-colored, substitutable sprites. This makes it easier for end-users to mod nearly every aspect of the game using mostly JSON data files and PNG images. By making King Under the Mountain mod-friendly from the start, Rocket Jump has already managed to bring a fair amount of attention to the project. The campaign is well on its way to achieving its $56,197 Kickstarter goal.

Try Before You Buy

Even though it is still quite early in development, the developers have released a playable prototype for potential backers, as proof of concept. This build, although light on features, gives an overview of the teams’ ability to complete the project.

For non-modders, the base game will still offer plenty of interesting content. Each map is randomly generated and unique.  All settlers have their own wants, emotions, and needs to fulfill in order for them to remain productive. Players can select from several fantasy races (at least 3 before stretch goals are met) each with their own particular quirks.

Once they’ve made some progress, players will be able to upload a copy of their settlements onto a central server listing. Here other players can access it for exploration and conquering. Since this version is a copy, no harm comes to actual settlement. It’s a neat system that encourages even the most cautious strategists to get involved with the community.

Currently the devs are estimating a final release sometime in 2019 following a Steam Early Access launch. Backers will receive their first build roughly 6 months after the campaign. All pledge tier levels include a King Under the Mountain Steam key and access to any future versions or DLC.

About the Author

Joanna Mueller

Joanna Mueller is a lifelong gamer who used to insist on having the Super Mario Bros manual read to her as a bedtime story. Now she's reading Fortnite books to her own kiddo while finally making use of her degree to write about games as Cliqist's EIC.

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