Author Neal Stephenson takes to Kickstarter to fund sword fighting game Clang

Two brilliant videos explain authentic, motion-controlled premise.

Wouldn't it be great if as much effort was spent recreating sword fighting in games as it is with gun fighting?

That's author Neal Stephenson's argument. And he's going to do something about it: make a game.

His project, Clang, is a motion-controlled arena duelling game for PC. It's third-person, relatively rudimentary to look at and set in a medieval period of time.

The game's controlled by the Razer Hydra PC motion-sensing peripheral, which is very similar to PlayStation Move.

Clang aims to be as faithful to the myriad historical sword fighting techniques as possible. There are years of research and experimentation behind the project. Two-handed longsword fighting will be the first style and weapon type supported in Clang.

Stephenson hopes to fund Clang via Kickstarter. He's after $500,000, and within two days he's raised more than $150,000. At that pace, Clang should cruise past its goal.

Clang has modest and attainable launch goals, and will offer tools the community so that they can expand the game thereafter.

Further down the line, Clang could become an open world game with a story, and possibly be linked to Stephenson's Mongoliad interactive fiction project.

"If Kickstarter had been around a few years ago, we wouldn't have ready to take advantage of it," explained Stephenson in one of two brilliant explanatory videos - one of which featured Valve's overlord Gabe Newell as a blacksmith.

"There's not going to be a big, open world where you can wander around killing badgers and harvesting magic weeds, because those things are expensive."

Neal Stephenson, creator, Clang

"It's taken us a few years of sparring and experimenting and scratching our heads about this thing where it's ready to hire the talent we need to release a simple, playable game.

"There's not going to be a big, open world where you can wander around killing badgers and harvesting magic weeds, because those things are expensive. So, by process of elimination, it's going to be an arena game. Lots of fighting, not a whole lot in the way of plot or character development. But, that's kind of what we do as a living, so we can always add that stuff in later once this thing is up on its feet.

"We're ready," he said. "We've got geeks in suits of armour, we've got geeks in front of computer work stations, we've got a lot of people out there who like play games with sword fighting in them who might be ready to step it up to something more interesting."

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer  |  Clert

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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