KickStarter Project Spotlight: Mage’s Initiation

This morning Himalaya Studios launched a $65k crowd-funding campaign for Mage’s Initiation, an adventure/RPG hybrid that combines old-school nostalgia with kick-ass indie ingenuity: This is the same team that has released four high-quality freeware remakes of classic Sierra games over the past decade, under the moniker “Anonymous Game Developers.” Read on for details about Mage’s Initiation and the Kickstarter campaign.

The Game: An Old-School Adventure / RPG Hybrid
Sixteen-year-old D’arc has spent most of his life training in the elemental arts, in hopes of becoming a respected Mage of Iginor. Now he must prove himself by succeeding in three tasks around the perilous Iginor countryside. With the storytelling and puzzle solving of an adventure game and the customization and stat building of an RPG, Mage’s Initiation is a unique hybrid that will be experienced differently by everyone who plays it. 
The Team: Anonymous No More
Himalaya Studios have been making retro-styled adventure games for twelve years — mostly freeware labors of love. The Anonymous Game Developers got their start with a fan remake of Sierra’s flagship adventure, King’s Quest I, which they updated with a point and click interface, SVGA graphics, and voice acting. This “anonymous” tradition continued with revamps of the next two King’s Quest games and Quest for Glory II, all of which the team released as freeware under the name AGD Interactive. They also released an original commercial game, Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman’s Mine, as Himalaya Studios. Learn more:
The Kickstarter: A Campaign Fit for a Mage
Development of Mage’s Initiation started in February 2011, after a community poll revealed that an adventure / RPG hybrid was the type of game their fans wanted most. The team has self-funded the project thus far and are prepared to keep doing so, but that could add years to the development time. So, they’re turning to Kickstarter for a boost.
But raising money isn’t the only goal. All along, Himalaya has planned to release a boxed Collector’s Edition and other goodies — the sorts of “feelies” that used to come standard in game boxes. (Remember those days?!) Without an infrastructure for taking orders and processing payments, this small team would have to pull themselves away from the game’s development to get it done. But with Kickstarter, they can make their feelie dreams a reality. And the goodies they’re offering… let’s just say they’re pretty sweet! Check out the Kickstarter here:
To coincide with the Kickstarter Campaign, Mage’s Initiation has just been listed on Steam Greenlight:

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!