HERE IS a Kickstarter project with a difference - exciting Diablo-esque PC game Grim Dawn is looking for US$280,000 (RM860,000) not to get things started, but to add a final coat of polish.
In common with other successful big-name Kickstarter projects, Crate's full-time staff (all two of them) have a proven history.
Double Fine Adventure's Tim Schafer was instrumental in the creation of seminal point & click adventures The Secret of Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle; Brian Fargo was involved in the influential Wasteland and Fallout.
Likewise, Crate's Arthur Bruno was lead designer on 2006 title Titan Quest, while Eric Campanella was studio art lead with credits that extend to Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment, and two Call of Duty games.
But with nearly three years of work behind it, Crate doesn't have to pitch Grim Dawn's concept so much as show off a near-complete version that's overflowing with loot, monsters, lush environments and clever ideas.
It's an action role-playing game in the grand tradition of Diablo, though where Titan Quest plunged itself into Greek mythology, Grim Dawn is set against the backdrop of a Victorian-era world torn apart by otherworldly forces.
There's co-operative multiplayer from the off, and early estimates predict that it should run quite happily on PCs from 2005 onwards.
The project is unusual in another way, in that Titan Quest wasn't the immediate success that Monkey Island and Wasteland were.
In fact, it was thanks to frequent cut-price sales that a dedicated fan community emerged. Those fans, able to appreciate the game's value once early teething troubles had passed, ensured over 1 million sales after 18 months, a profit for its publisher, and encouraged Bruno and Campanella to continue on through Grim Dawn's darkest days.
Grim Dawn has until May 18, 2012 to hit its fundraising target; Crate estimates an August 2013 release, with early access from May 2013. - Relaxnews 2012