Update: Divinity: Original Sin has done it, the $400,000 mark has been passed. An enticing set of stretch goals are now dangled before you.
At $500,000 there will be homesteads for players, at $650,000, personality traits and talents that further customise your character. At $800,000 your henchmen can afford to be beefed out into companions with stories, goals and personalities. And at $1 million, complex NPC schedules can be added, as can a full day/night and weather and even moon cycle - all of which have tactical implications on combat.
Original story: Divinity: Original Sin was announced nine months ago but about a week ago it popped up on Kickstarter seeking $400,000.
The project hadn't hit dire straits - in fact, it's more or less finished (watch the video below).
Developer Larian took to Kickstarter because it wanted to make Divinity even better, and it already looks pretty good. But rather than delay the 2013 release date to achieve that, Larian decided to try and raise money to boost its development capabilities.
It's not doing badly. More than two-thirds of the $400,000 goal has already been raised, and there are 23 days to go.
Divinity: Original Sin should be released in November this year.
The Kickstarter money will fill the world with more interesting things to do: more choices and consequences, more quests and puzzles, more areas to explore, more enemies, skills, loot, more more more. Larian wants to incorporate some interesting ideas thrown up by Divinity community, too.
Why back it?
Well, it looks nice - so superficial, I know. It's well presented, fast and fluid.
It's inventive, too. The turn-based combat has some nice ideas like manipulating elements to work together - electrocuting puddles of water that you created when you melted the frozen enemy with a fireball, for example.
That inventiveness extends to items. You can combine items with each other to make new ones. For instance, you can combine a broom with some nails to make a stick with nails in, duh. A wooden log can be carved into a doll and then sprinkled with voodoo dust and combined with a portrait to become a voodoo doll. And you can put a bucket on your head as a helmet.
There's drop-in multiplayer n' all. There are two heroes that adventure together throughout the game, so if a friend pops round they can take control of one of them, just like in Secret of Mana!
There's a cooperative dialogue system to go with that. The two heroes - you and a friend - can actually argue with one another in the game during a dialogue moment with an NPC. The end result of the bickering will depend on some ability scores.
There's an entire toolset that will ship with the game. It's the same editor the team at Larian has used to build the game, so sky's the limit on what you can create. And there's Steam Workshop support built in.
There's also Larian and Divinity's reputation to consider. The Divinity series started back in 2002 with Divine Divinity, which went down well. The series came again in 2009 with Divinity 2 on PC and Xbox 360, which was a bit weaker. Divinity: Original Sin takes its inspiration from the first Divinity game.
It means Larian's got the experience and the established team to deliver the goods. And judging by the video evidence, those goods are being delivered.
Divinity: Original Sin is a PC-only game for the time being. It sounds like Mac and Linux versions are being considered, though, and if enough money rolls in they may become stretch goals.