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The Kickstarter campaign for Harebrained Schemes' turn-based tactical BattleTech game has been launched today. While Harebrained Schemes apparently has already enough funding to make a lean version of the game that only includes a Skirmish mode where the player will fight the enemy AI, the campaign's base $250,000 funding goal will allow them to expand the scope.
As a matter of fact, the developers have already laid down various stretch goals: at $1 million in funding the developers will be able to add a single-player campaign to the game, at $1.85 million they'll be able to introduce side-missions and procedurally generated missions to make the campaign more open-ended, and at $2.5 million they'll add a multiplayer PvP mode:
With your help! The success of our last few games allows us to fund the Base Skirmish Game - but with your support BATTLETECH can become so much more. Here's how the game will expand as the campaign's funding increases. (For a full summary, see the Game Stages section below).
STAGE 1 (Already funded by Harebrained Schemes): A turn-based tactical skirmish game - command a Lance of 4 'Mechs & MechWarriors against AI opponents across a variety of battlefields.
STAGE 2 ($1,000,000): We add a full, single-player story campaign to the game.
STAGE 3 ($1,850,000): We add side-missions, procedurally-generated missions and the campaign becomes open-ended.
STAGE 4 ($2,500,000): Introduces PVP multiplayer combat in the famous arenas of Solaris VII. BATTLETECH is in development for PC, Mac, and Linux in English and will be delivered in standard and DRM-free versions on Steam, GoG, and Humble stores. The game will also be made available in German, French, and Russian (with localized text, and audio subtitles) in a post-launch update. Other platforms and languages may be announced at a later stage. BATTLETECH is expected to launch in early 2017.
The cheapest digital copy of the game comes at the $25 tier, though there are tiers up to $10,000, with rewards including the usual downloadable soundtrack (written by Jon Everist, who already worked on the soundtracks of the studio's Shadowrun titles since Shadowrun: Dragonfall), beta access, a Michael A. Stackpole novella, and a few physical goodies.
This is hardly the first time Harebrained Schemes launches a Kickstarter campaign, but it's still worth remembering that this is a far riskier venture than a normal pre-order. In the words of the developers:
We know there are BattleTech fans that have been burned by other crowdfunding projects, and we're really sorry you had to go through that.
Harebrained Schemes has delivered solid Kickstarter projects three times. We know how to make quality games, we know how to finish them, and we have no intention of letting you down. Check out our other campaigns and read the comments on our project updates to hear from our happy backers.
Game development is not without risk, though. We're building an all-new codebase in Unity 5, with lofty visual and gameplay goals - and we know that really nailing the feel of BattleTech will take time and iteration. We'll need a few new team members, too, but we've proven that we have a pretty damn good track record for hiring talented, dedicated people who go the extra mile.
So, the standard game development caveats apply. Some new features may take longer to make than we thought. Some piece of gameplay may not be as fun as it sounded on paper and we'll need to revise it several times until it works.
But that's part of the fun of making games.
We'll keep you updated on the campaign and the game's development, as expect.
Update: With $383,547 raised in a little more than two hours, the campaign is already funded. At this pace, I imagine the campaign will reach its $1,000,000 stretch goal, at the very least.