Neal Stephenson is an American writer known for his works of speculative science fiction including such titles as Snow Crash and The Diamond Age. Difficult to categorize, his novels have been variously referred to as science fiction, historical fiction, cyberpunk, and postcyberpunk. Now, however, he is branching out into videogames and an exciting gamer-interface which he says will, “enable players to inhabit the mind, body, and world of a real swordfighter.” Obviously, I am excited.
In his own words, here is some information about his project entitled CLANG:
“My career as an author of science and historical fiction has turned me into a swordsmanship geek. As such, I'm dissatisfied with how swordfighting is portrayed in existing video games. These could be so much more fun than they are. Time for a revolution. In the last couple of years, affordable new gear has come on the market that makes it possible to move, and control a swordfighter's actions, in a much more intuitive way than pulling a plastic trigger or pounding a key on a keyboard. So it's time to step back, dump the tired conventions that have grown up around trigger-based sword games, and build something that will enable players to inhabit the mind, body, and world of a real swordfighter.”
Here is a very funny video explaining his project in more detail:
At first, they’ll be making a PC arena game based on one-on-one multiplayer dueling (which is a relatively simple and attainable goal). Dueling, however, is only the tip of the sword blade. During the past few years, they have been developing a rich world, brimming with all manner of adventure tales waiting to be written--and to be played. In conjunction with 47 North, Amazon.com's new science fiction publishing house, they’ve already begun publishing some of those stories, and they say that they have plenty more in the hopper. Once they get CLANG off the ground they intend to weave game and story content together in a way that'll enhance both the playing and the reading experience. Pretty exciting!
As I’m sure you saw from the video, this is a Kickstarter project. For those of you who don’t know Kickstarter, that means that they need your backing/support to make it all happen. Currently they are close to their goal but are not quite there yet. To learn more or support this awesome project, click here! This project is pioneering what we at Apotheosis will need to make the Numinous Universe alive for you, check it out! They have several more awesome videos, too!
Subutai Corporation was founded in 2010 to create stories, games, graphic novels and filmed entertainment in an integrated style. Neal Stephenson is a co-founder. He states that he will shamelessly exploit his geek cred, along with the inherent coolness of swordfighting, to make his project a reality. Sounds a bit like Apotheosis Studios, does it not?
Subuati's initial focus has been historical European martial arts, and its first creative product was THE MONGOLIAD, a serialized novel now available from 47 North (Amazon.com's new science fiction imprint). I'm very excited to play their game! If CLANG seems like a game you too would like to play, support them via Kickstarter so they can get their funding! Just hurry, they only have nine more days before time runs out!