Phosphor Games - the studio behind iOS hits Horn and The Dark Meadow - is working on its most ambitious game yet, an Unreal Engine 4-based customisable superhero epic called Project Awakened.
The game may sound familiar to you as it's been in the works for six years. At one point it was called Hero and was in development for Midway before the publisher shut down leaving Hero/Project Awakened in limbo. Phosphor - comprised of industry vets who worked on such titles as Psi-Ops, Stranglehold and Mortal Kombat - went on to make a name for itself with its high-profile iOS titles and would now like to finish the work in began all those years ago.
Project Awakened has an extremely ambitious hook where you create your own superhero. The closest we've seen to this was probably the lackluster X-Men: Destiny, but this looks far more open-ended with a staggering amount of customisation options. For example, you can make your character turn invisible, change their flesh into stone, move at super speed, charm NPCs to fight alongside you, cause those you touch to spontaneously combust, or summon a friggin' tornado. Your appearance is likewise extremely open-ended with its Saints Row-esque character creation tool. It certainly looks impressive in the pre-alpha footage below (note: this is old footage back when the game was being developed on Unreal Engine 3).
While the $500,000 minimum goal will fund a single-player campaign, many of Project Awakened's most interesting features are buried under its stretch goals. For $800,000 the studio will add modding support so players can create their own assets and stories (some examples shown portrayed a Tron-like universe or a zombies mode), while $1 million will guarantee a competitive multiplayer mode where players can use their unique powers to duke it out.
You're probably thinking that half a million dollars seems like a rather small budget for a triple A action game and you'd be right, but Phosphor Games has additional funding secured if it can prove that there is interest in the game.
Project Awakened isn't due to go into beta until circa August 2014 where it will debut on PC. Other platforms like Mac and future consoles remain a possibility as well, but Epic has not yet publicly released platform support information for UE4, so it's unclear what options Phosphor has platform-wise. "There is also a chance we would consider console support in the future, but that would be further down the line and would depend on cost and freedom to support the community features we will be developing," the developer noted in its FAQ.
Backers can gain beta access starting next summer and a soundtrack for $25, while $35 grants a digital art book too, and $50 pledges give players all of the above plus a second digital copy of the game with closed beta access.
Currently the Kickstarter is at $123,052 towards its $500,000 goal with 19 days to go before its 6th March deadline.