Kickstarter’s a great way to get crazy, seemingly impossible projects off the ground. If someone’s willing to work on an ambitious idea, then it’s guaranteed to find an audience on Kickstarter. This crazy ambitious idea comes in the form of Project Awakened, a third-person action game with it’s main hook being a limitless amount of character customization such as appearance and powers from the ground up. It’s a tall order for any kind of video game to go so in-depth with character customization.
The Project Awakened Kickstarter trailer shows a myriad of powers such as telekinesis, stone skin, weather control and invisibility. The developer, Phosphor Games Studio, promises even more on their Kickstarter page. They say there will be ways to play the game that aren’t combative, like a character that can turn invisible and charm people into doing their work for them.
This is all completely awesome and all, but as with all Kickstarter projects this ambitious, I have to be a little skeptical. I have no doubts the actual game can be published. The proof of concept video on the Kickstarter shows that the game is in more than capable hands. However, the “create your character the way you want” premise has been used in a lot of games, but never has one game fully delivered on truly “unlimited” character customization.
The idea of an “a la carte” character creation reminds me of the MMORPG The Secret World. Funcom promised a class-less, skill tree-less leveling system too, and it also promised a level-less leveling system as well. The final product delivered, but it’s really hard to track progress and what kind of build your character is when there are no levels or classes to really define your character. It’s because of this that many players fall into the DPS category, making it hard for players to find tanks and healers for raids. While a class-less, choose your own skill system is fun, it can all get confusing very quickly.
While I still remain cautious, I believe Project Awakened won’t fall into the same trap of mediocrity. For one thing, it’s a completely different genre of game, going for the single player, third-person adventure/shooter genre that doesn’t need to worry quite as much about the balance of certain powers of the game. It also gives players an opportunity to be able to experiment with different combinations of skills more freely without being bogged down by the rules and restrictions a MMORPG has. A single player campaign gives the developer pretty much free reign on what powers a player has at a given time, and it gives them an opportunity to streamline a gaming experience under their terms.
If the project reaches its stretch goals, the developers will include multiplayer in the game. It will be very interesting to see how the team handles the balance of the game in the multiplayer. Customizable characters get tricky to balance when other players get involved.
Source [Project Awakened]