The experienced Japanese developers behind indie studio Project Milk have some ambitious hopes for Tiny Metal. They’re focused on resurrecting the turn-based strategy genre and in particular emulating the success of Nintendo’s classic Advance Wars series. After a slow start, their Kickstarter campaign now seems to be picking up speed and, with the key inclusion of a playable demo, it’s not hard to see why.
What’s more surprising is that mainstream Japanese studios don’t seem to interested in these sort of games anymore. Many of the team working on Tiny Metal aren’t even able to publicly disclose their names due to their other commitments. Of course, that could change if the Kickstarter is a huge success.
However, for a while the Kickstarter for Tiny Metal was looking pretty shaky. Despite a detailed campaign, downloadable prototype and plenty of screenshots there didn’t seem to be too much interest at the start. This could partly be due to the odd Kickstarter video which begins with an overly brash American voice-over that I found quite off-putting. Even when the spotlight switches to the Japanese developers it continues to feel very awkward.
East Meets West
This mixed approach may due to the fact the Kickstarter campaign is being run by Area 34, an American company. I’m uncertain as to why they’ve been tasked with running the Kickstarter for Tiny Metal. They apparently specialize in ‘bringing the finest Japanese games and anime to the rest of the world’ but I couldn’t find much evidence of this, or even much else about them. Their Kickstarter experience is also only limited to one (failed) board game project.
Despite this, the campaign for Tiny Metal is now looking pretty promising, and the game is attracting lots of positive feedback on its Steam Greenlight page. The demo shows the core elements of the game are already in place, with the expected release less than a year away. Considering a third of its $50,000 target has already been reached, the Kickstarter for Tiny Metal is looking reasonably secure and I can only see it picking up momentum as more people experience the demo.