Although obviously inspired by the classic, 16-bit JRPGs of decades past, Crystal Kingdom will be a brand-new and completely unique game. It's also an ambitious project, despite being developed by fans, with top-notch art, online multiplayer action and a list of potential features that would make most veteran developers blush. Even so, a number of gameplay demonstration videos floating around on YouTube make it look very much like the real deal.
With years of volunteer work behind them, the Crystal Kingdom team is now dead-set on getting the job finished, which is why it has launched a "Flexible Funding" campaign on Indiegogo. Supporters can contribute anywhere from $10 to $2500 and receive commensurate rewards ranging from unique wallpapers and early access to a copy of the game on a customized USB stick, original hand-drawn concept art and more.
Unlike Kickstarter campaigns, Indiegogo's Flexible Funding option allows developers to keep donated funds even if they don't achieve their final goal. As a result, Crystal Kingdom is offering eight different tiers of completion based on how much money is raised. The minimum amount, $2500, will add gamepad support, better game mechanics and "faster and more diversified gameplay," while higher amounts will allow for such things as the completion of maps, an enhanced quest system, additional maps and dungeons, a rune system and more.
Because it's being developed for contemporary PCs, Crystal Kingdom won't suffer from the memory limitations of console cartridges that plagued "real" 16-bit RPGs, so there's virtually no limit to the potential world size. The game engine supports customizable character skins, and players will be able to choose from six base classes which can be specialized into a total of 24 "class branches." A huge number of other features, ranging from companions and real-time player rankings to cutscenes, mounts, PvP and more, could also be added.
"This is our idea of a classic - nothing is set in stone - just setting the direction using things we learned doing Seyken and from listening to the fans," lead developer Harald 'Presbyter' Dosch wrote. "Ultimately, it's up to you what comes out of it. The level of support we get will be setting the level of re-creation and re-invention we can achieve."
Like any crowdfunding effort, Crystal Kingdom should be approached with a certain degree of caution: Don't spend any more on the campaign than you can afford to lose. But if you're a JRPG fan with a hankering for the days of yore, it's definitely something worth checking out.
Project Name: Crystal Kingdom
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Funds Needed: $55,000
Funding Acquired (as of this writing): $1,740
Days Left: 9
Indiegogo Picks is a series on Gamezebo that profiles Indiegogo projects in the world of video games. We’re doing this in the hopes of calling attention to interesting projects in need of funding, so please, if a game looks like something you’d want to play, don’t hesitate to lend it your support!