Thanks to the fact that gaming-related Kickstarter projects are a dime a dozen (or $5 per pledge, to be precise), there are few that catch my eye. Those that do tend to be led by people with established experience in the industry, and as far as that goes, few have as interesting a background as Joe Ybarra.
In the early 80s, Ybarra worked at Apple Computer (ever hear of it?), and along with Trip Hawkins, founded Electronic Arts – or “EA”. He became the earliest game producer and game designer at the company, and is accredited with having been the producer on the original version of Madden, titled John Madden Football, released in 1988 for the Apple II and the following year for Commodore and MS-DOS.
Other games Ybarra has been credited with include Shadowbane, Stargate Worlds (which was canceled prior to release), The Bard’s Tale and The Matrix Online. Throughout his portfolio, one thing that becomes clear about Ybarra is that he loves a space theme, so his latest Kickstarter for Shackleton Crater comes as no surprise at all. The developer? Joe Got Game, Ybarra’s studio unveiled just last week.
Compared to the Kickstarter project we talked about last month for Jon Shafer’s At the Gates, Shackleton Crater requires a lot more funding to become a reality. For the project to happen at all, a $700,000 goal must be reached, but as expected, there are a couple of stretch goals. At $1,500,000, bonus copies to all backers will be provided, and at $3,000,000, an entire in-game moon will be developed. At $4,000,000, the Holy Grail of all gaming projects is reached: open-source.
Shackleton Crater will allow the player to land on the moon and colonize. and of course, explore. It’s a strategy game at its heart, but despite being outlandish in premise, the developers have worked with various space agencies to make sure that the mechanics implemented are as realistic (as we know them) as possible. So, playing God, you will have your shot at making life on the moon work.
Sounds intriguing. What do you guys think?