If you've been shying away from backing Kickstarters for the past few weeks, I don't blame you. Between the half-a-million-dollar Yogventures fiasco and Areal's increasingly confusing saga, I've been hesitant to commit coins to my daily coffee without concrete proof I'll get a finished product. That said, Kickstarter still regularly hosts great stuff. Case in point: Jenny LeClue's gorgeous coming-of-age mystery.
I mean, just look at that. The art is smooth and clean, yet undeniably pulpy — like a perfect glass of orange juice only, you know, for your eyes. It looks a little like something Broken Age developer Double Fine would make, with production values to match.
LeClue will LeDo these things:
"Jenny is a brilliant young detective, sharp eyed, intuitive and a ruthless pursuer of the truth. But nothing exciting ever happens in Arthurton, and Jenny has grown bored of the gumshoe cases she usually solves. She longs for adventure and a real case to crack."
"Jenny gets more than she bargains for when the Dean of Gumboldt University is found dead, and all the evidence points to her own mother. Jenny will have to use all her skills of deduction and reasoning to uncover the truth and clear her family name. In the process she will discover that Arthurton is not such a quiet town after all. Arthurton is filled with dark secrets, and there are people who will stop at nothing to keep Jenny from the truth."
"Who can she trust? How will she outwit the ever watchful Sheriff? Why has the lake started glowing at night? And why does everyone keep treating her like a kid?"
"Jenny LeClue is a coming of age tale. Sometimes funny, sometimes scary, always mysterious; it's a story about finding our strengths, accepting our weaknesses, and the blurred lines between what is right and wrong."
Sounds like the game — a modernized point-and-click adventure — will be pretty fun to play too. The goal is for everything to be interactive, to reward players who poke and prod at every last item and object with insight, secrets, and humour. Not to draw too many comparisons to Broken Age (this game doesn't seem all that similar, to be honest), but that does sound nice after Double Fine gave us a lush but somewhat shallow playground to adventure through.
Choices will play a major role, sending "permanent" ripples through the story. Jenny LeClue will be episodic, and developer Mografi is hoping to create some seriously divergent paths as time goes on. However, they also use the word "appisodic" (app + episodic) to describe their approach, which makes me want to hurl the very concept of snappy buzz-phrases into the sun and then blow it up, dooming the world to an endless, uninhabitable ice age. So, you know, ups and downs.
On the upside, developer Mografi has already Kickstarted another project, an animated sci-fi movie called Fathoms, and delivered on it in the past. That lends quite a bit of credibility to their cause, though they also took significantly longer to finish the film than originally planned.
If Jenny LeClue scares up $US65,000, the goal is to have it out on PC, Mac, and Linux by December 2016 — which is, um, a lot of time from now. But hey, better than promising it will be done in a year or something and letting everybody down.
What do you think? Like what you see? And even if you do, are you feeling wary of Kickstarter, or do you think the recent disasters were just two toxic drops in a very, very large bucket? Given how much great stuff has come out of KS in the past, I'm definitely leaning toward the latter. Bad things happen, but you've got to keep the good in perspective too.