Beautiful Desolation, video game, mountain, landscape, sky, structure, shape, Penrose, monolith

Beautiful Desolation on Kickstarter

It’s been a while since I backed anything on Kickstarter. I used to be quite a fan of the crowdfunding platform, giving my support old adventure game sequels and new quirky-looking indie titles, but over time the quality of the campaigns dipped and I eventually stopped visiting. Although I’ve had a couple of stinkers, I’ve also received several good rewards as a result of my pledges; I just don’t have the time to trawl through all the rough to find the diamonds any longer.

It’s therefore really useful when we’re contacted about projects we might be interested in, such as that for Beautiful Desolation by The Brotherhood. I was a Kickstarter backer for their first title – the isometric science-fiction adventure STASIS – back in November 2013, so obviously the announcement about their new campaign caught my attention.

So much so in fact that I backed the project before I’d even seen the promotional video. I guess I should go do that now so I know what I’m writing about… give me a moment.

< Five minutes later >

So, Beautiful Desolation is a point-and-click adventure set in a post-apocalyptic future after the Penrose monolith appeared without warning in the sky in 1980. Governments laid claim to this impossibly-shaped structure, assembling an investigation team to learn more about its origin and purpose; they were able to reverse-engineer the technology discovered and this accelerated our understanding of physics, materials and computing by centuries. Mankind hurtled forward on an alternative historical trajectory and the world rejoiced – but discovered at the heart of the Penrose, a terminal revealed an unencrypted line of text: “I WILL FIX THIS. MARK LESLIE.”

Players are able to explore a beautiful wasteland to discover villages and destroyed cities while uncovering the secrets of strange and abandoned technology, solving puzzles and using items to work their way through the plot. The iconic African setting gives the opportunity to explore an exciting new world full of creatures and environments inspired by Sub-Saharan flora and fauna. The Brotherhood are using photogrammetry to take hundreds of photographs of scenes and objects before generating 3D-models and textures from the photos themselves; this means that every screen in Beautiful Desolation has a real piece of Africa in it.

If you haven’t yet heard of The Brotherhood, I’d highly recommend checking out STASIS – you can find our interview with developer Chris Bischoff, and our interview with voice-actor Ryan Cooper here on the site. There’s also the recently-released CAYNE, a free horror-adventure story set in the same universe.

The Kickstarter campaign for Beautiful Desolation is due to finish on Saturday, 18 February 2017 so there’s still time to make your pledge. The good news is that, with $64,396 received from 2,244 backers already (at the time of writing), the project is well on its way to its $120,000 target. Head over to the official website for more information.

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