By Joseph Leray
In an effort to revitalize their struggling Kickstarter campaign, Ambient Studios have released a playable prototype of “Death, Inc.,” their real-time strategy game about running a soul-harvesting company. The demo is available from the game’s website.
“It's a tough world on Kickstarter at the moment, tough to stand out," Ambient boss and former “LittleBigPlanet” developer Jonny Hopper told Eurogamer. "And there's this general malaise around when projects might be perceived as vapourware.”
With less than two weeks remaining, Ambient still need to raise almost $230,000 for “Death Inc.,” and the team hopes that this demo will spur some interest. “When we're not making a sequel or using nostalgia quite as heavily as other projects, this seems to be the best way to help people understand what they're backing,” Hopper noted.
The demo is a ten-minute slice of the pre-alpha version of the game: “Death Inc.” has existed for just 10 weeks and we're so excited to be able to let you play it! Obviously the game is not finished, there are many missing features, and the quality is not representative of the final game,” reads the Kickstarter update.
“It's not even really a demo," Hopper told Eurogamer. "It's a prototype. We don't think anyone's done this before: release a game that is so early upon the world.”
“But we do have the basic mechanics in there. It's easy to extrapolate and see how much fun the fully developed game could be.”
Funding issues aside, “Death Inc.,” seems to be coming along well. We’ve covered the game before: its vibrant art, hybird RTS and business sim mechanics, and quirky premise all seem promising. Ambient is fielding a strong Steam Greenlight campaign, which would give the game a strong distribution channel if it ever gets made.
They’ve also released a new trailer for the game, which introduces the Black Hearts, a group of knights in service of the King who are terrorizing and reaping the still-living souls of English citizens to fuel His Majesty’s quest for immortality. To protect his own company’s profit margin, Grim T. Livingstone will have to take him on.
Should “Death, Inc.” get the funding it needs, Ambient are shooting for an October release for Mac, Linux, and PC. You can contribute to the cause here.