There are marine iguanas living on the Galapagos islands. These black lizards were once regular iguanas, but were swept downriver from South America and out to sea on rafts made of reeds. The survivors washed up on unforgiving volcanic shores, and adapted. They learned how to swim. They evolved to hold their breath for up to an hour. They developed glands in their noses to sneeze out excess sea salt.
Chris Taylor, for the purposes of this laboured analogy, is a marine iguana. Having spent the ‘00s making exponentially bigger RTS games, he suddenly found himself drowning when publishers turned their noses up at biggest-ever RTS Kings and Castles. Gas Powered Games found a raft in Age of Empires Online, and it kept them going just long enough to adapt to this strange new industry where the middle-tier developer is cash-strapped and David Braben funds his games via Kickstarter. The result is Taylor’s own Kickstarter project: Wildman.
The publishers are the excess salt, I guess, and Taylor clearly relishes his newfound freedom as he wanders about the office with a camera, promotion scheduling be damned. Check out the results below.
Wildman is an single player-first ARPG / RTS, which becomes a MOBA when you take it online. It’s scarcely earned a tenth of its funding goal on Kickstarter, but has a healthy 28 days left to go. Here’s what it currently looks like:
It’s early days, but Wildman certainly looks like a functional action RPG - clean and readable, yet bloody. And cartoony. “We felt that a look that doesn’t take itself too seriously allows us to do more visually,” explains Taylor. What do you think about that?
Here’s our Rob, grilling Chris Taylor on Wildman and life as an escaped zoo animal.