There's no denying that crowdfunding has changed the landscape of the current gaming market. From the way games are funded to the way they are released, the last few years have seen a noticeable shift towards a transparency of development, sometimes to the detriment of titles. All of this had to start somewhere though, and the game that reportedly kickstarted this trend is a game called High Strangeness.
Touted as a "12 bit action/adventure" game, High Strangeness claims to be the first game to have been successfully funded on the popular Kickstarter platform. Having been successfully funded on August 18, 2009 for a reasonable $1559, the title represents a simpler time before exorbitant asking prices and ever-expanding stretch goals.
In High Strangeness, players find themselves faced with all manner of weirdness from crystal skulls to talking cats as they traverse the multiverse. This is executed by hopping between 8-bit and 16-bit universes that not only represent a drastic shift in graphical styles, but also changes in fundamental gameplay. Imagine jumping from the original The Legend of Zelda into the SNES' Illusion of Gaia and you have High Strangeness in a nutshell.
Developer Crystal Labs claims the game has entered into the certification process and should soon be making its way to a formal release through publisher Midnight City. With just over half a decade sitting between the game's Kickstarter campaign and release, it has certainly been a long journey to reach this point. Given the recent Kickstarter lawsuit, it's no surprise that waits such as this stand the chance of causing quite the stir among eager fans.
Unsurprisingly, changes to the platform are expected. Even so, the current Kickstarter is a very different beast from the one seen in 2009. While it may have taken on an almost prolific quality with a dominant gaming showcase, it also represents one of the darker sides of gaming with a low success rate and potential for disappointment among gamers unwilling to temper their expectations. Despite its age, the platform and concept are still very much in their infancy and will likely see a great amount of change in the coming years.
Frustrations with crowdfunding aside, it's an exciting prospect to see the game that allegedly got the whole ball rolling preparing for launch. It may not have the famous names behind it that Massive Chalice did, but that doesn't change the fact that High Strangeness has managed to find itself as a part of gaming and crowdfunding history.
Were you one of the 36 people who backed High Strangeness back in 2009? Will you be picking the title up when it launches later this year?
High Strangeness is just about ready for release on the PC, Mac and Wii U with a launch slated for later this year.
Follow Ryan on Twitter @ThatRyanB.