'Tis the season for giving, and while it may be better to give than to receive, when it comes to the crowdfunding appeals for The Red Queen of Oz: The Two Fates and Tainted Fate, you'll be able to do both at the same time.
The Red Queen of Oz: The Two Fates
After successfully raising funds for a graphic novel called The Red Queen of Oz, now indie developer Bryan Wiegele (Inherent Evil, Delaware St. John) and Perpetual Games have set their sights on an adventure game by the same name, subtitled The Two Fates. Combining elements from both Lewis Carroll's Wonderland series and L. Frank Baum's Oz collection, The Red Queen of Oz casts players in the dual roles of Alice and Dorothy as they "revisit curious locations in Oz and Wonderland and quest to find a way to stop the Red Queen of Hearts from destroying both lands!"
The Red Queen of Oz promises two different game modes: There's a point-and-click traditional adventure based on the graphic novel but featuring many more characters, locations and stories to supplement its story-driven quests and puzzles. Or if you'd like a chance to whup some butt of the Red Queen's minions and other "wicked creatures that stand in your way", an alternate version of the game includes some turn-based combat. (EDIT: Since time of writing, the combat option has been removed, leaving only the more conventional adventure version available.)
With a targeted launch date of August 2013, the "two fates" of Wonderland and Oz are in jeopardy in more ways than one. According to Wiegele, the game will only be produced if it reaches its crowdfunding goal of $95,000 by January 25th. The game will be developed for PC, Mac, and Linux (with additional platforms available through stretch goals), and pledge tiers involving a DRM-free download of the game begin at $15, with higher amounts including rewards such digital and hard copy versions of the graphic novel, T-Shirts, Cheshire Cat plushies, and more.
A work-in-progress preview version of the first ten pages of the graphic novel has recently been released, outlining the origins of this curiouser and curiouser blend of popular fables. For more information about The Red Queen of Oz: The Two Fates, and to contribute to the fundraising campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for full details.
Disaster looms in another two-protagonist adventure as well, though Misfit Village's Tainted Fate is certainly no fairy tale. Instead, the first-person horror adventure casts players in two different roles in two entirely different timelines on the same island, each of which will challenge you to "escape horrifying monsters, solve puzzles and make decisions that will alter yourself and the shape of the world."
In the 1940s, a man convicted of murder is abandoned on the island for life as punishment, but "strange things start to happen as you explore the island, later developing into a story full of mystery, arcane magic twisted with technology and terrifying hostile beings." In 2012, an amateur filmmaker arrives on the island to investigate rumoured paranormal phenomena, and what she discovers guarantees her the "most terrifying film of her life."
Croatian developer Mladen Bošnjak compares Tainted Fate to Amnesia in a more open-world environment, promising "lots of puzzles" with some RPG elements as well. The action quotient will be minimal, as you can't hurt the island's monsters, but the developer claims there will be "big scale boss fights" late in the game. The horror here promises to be fairly overt, and the choices you make will lead to various branching paths and endings.
With a modest goal of $3,000 by January 23rd, Bošnjak has a surprisingly candid reason for fundraising that many of us can surely relate to: a new computer! He's committed to releasing Tainted Fate for PC and Mac even without the funds if necessary, though improved equipment will ensure better quality as he attempts to release the game before the end of 2013. To get a feel for how the game is coming along so far, a pre-alpha tech demo is available.
A $10 pledge will get backers a download of the game and your name in the credits, while higher pledges include the likes of personalized graffiti, early beta access, and any number of unlockable extras based on your own design. You can learn more about Tainted Fate and contribute to the project at the Indiegogo crowdfunding page. You can also vote for the game on Greenlight if you'd like to see it released on Steam upon completion.