An American Epic
Software firm Sortasoft LLC, of Brooklyn, NY, aims to bring a fresh and innovative RPG to Linux, and it’s not too short of it’s financial backing goals; but it hasn’t reached them either. In order to accomplish its financial goals, Sortasoft has looked to engage its future audience using the Internet darling of the crowd-funding phenomenon, Kickstarter.
So what about this game?
The concept is an intriguing one, which takes place just shortly after the Revolutionary War. Here is an excerpt from the Kickstarter page:
1803: Thomas Jefferson more than doubles the size of the United States in a controversial deal with the French government. Trouble is, only the sketchiest maps of North America west of the Mississippi exist. Rumors swirl that several Indian nations have forged alliances with the British, the Spanish, and even the Russians. Some leading scientists even believe these primeval lands may be home to the mastodon, the megalolynx, and other Ice Age behemoths. But no one will know until someone with the courage, mettle and skill-set to make the perilous voyage ventures forth and returns to tell the tale. That person is you.
In Meriwether, you play as Captain Lewis, the man President Thomas Jefferson selected and specially trained to accomplish this mission. You’ll join forces with your long-time friend and former commanding officer, William Clark, and with him you’ll form the Corps of Discovery, a party of hand-picked soldiers, interpreters, and hunters to whom you’ll trust your life every day of the 28-month journey.
At the time of writing, Meriwether has just clipped passed the halfway mark of it’s first goal of 35k, but it has hardly become the runaway success of some other Kickstarter projects. The project still needs to reach its base goal of 35k, or this future gem won’t happen. Though with 10 days to go, all is not lost. But we’d be lying if we told you that we didn’t want to see the project reach its stretch goals. Have a look what you we can get as part of this title if we can throw a few extra dollars its way.
Look & Feel
Also exciting is the look and feel of the game, which seems like a hybrid between the cell-shaded models popularized in the late-90s and lush, Legend of Zelda-esque environments. It looks great. About the art style, from the Kickstarter page:
Right off the bat, we knew we wanted the art style to be stylized in some way, rather than photorealistic. But since we are doing our best to be historically accurate with every detail, we set ourselves some constraints. The proportions of people, objects, and buildings need to be as realistic as possible. However lighting, textures and colors should be exaggerated, stylized, and oversaturated. Because the characters are symbolic and larger than life, we hope that this stylization can remind people of the historical nature of the game. We also decided to put an outline on characters. This is both a stylistic and a functional decision: since the spaces in the game are so large, the outlines on characters help them stand out from the background.