Towards the end of last month, I celebrated the backing of 40 successful Kickstarter campaigns. How was I to know that during the week after completing the draft for that post, another project would come along which would potentially push that figure up to 41?
To be honest though, it’s not really much of a surprise that I made a pledge to Made From Strings’ project for Murder On Space Station 52. I’ve developed a soft-spot for narratives involving investigations and mysterious murders over the past couple of years, so combine that with the point-and-click genre and you’ll have my attention. It was the promotional video that sold it to me: hopefully we’ll see a similar sort of humour throughout the full release when it’s ready in January 2023.
The story obviously takes place on Space Station 52, once a well-known hot-spot and prominent tourist destination. The lake there helped supply the local 5-star restaurants with some of the universe’s best seafood; the Grand Millenium Hotel housed some of history’s biggest stars and politicians; and it was a place to relax and enjoy some of the most luxurious things in life. Sadly, it is now a shadow of its former glory and is nearing its end, with many residents having already moved on.
Enter Edward Locke, a technical engineer assigned a new post by the Trowe Company who discovers an odd melancholy which taints the few individuals left on the station. He starts to have visions and brushes these off as being brought on by jetlag while investigating a malfunctioning moisture cylinder – but he realises they’re much more than that when he finds the mangled remains of the engineer he was sent to replace logged in the machine. After fainting and awakening in the doctor’s office, he’s plunged into a case of deceit, mystery and murder.
Most of the crowdfunding campaigns I’ve come across recently have offered a demo for potential backers, making it easier to decide whether a project is one worth supporting. Unusually that’s not the case for Murder On Space Station 52 so the only information available right now is on the Kickstarter page. From what I’ve learnt so far, it seems as though it’s going to take the format of a classic adventure in terms of gameplay so I’m expecting inventory, dialogue trees and puzzles.
This is going to be mixed with some ‘modern ideas’ and players will be able to earn themselves in-game currency by exploring the world and accomplishing tasks. You can then purchase cosmetics, accessories and an aquarium that can be filled with strange and otherworldly creatures. Don’t forget about your mission though: it’s important to collect evidence, question suspects and consult your murder board if you’re going to catch the killer and discover more about the protagonist than he ever could have imagined.
As I’ve written before, Kickstarter isn’t a store and backers aren’t placing a pre-order; it’s a way for creators to raise independent funding for their projects and work with their audience on the chance to make something special. But it’s important to never part with cash you can’t afford to lose because there’s no guarantee you’ll receive the final product and you should always do your research before making a pledge – including trying a demo if a developer has made one available.
I hope the lack of one in this case doesn’t prevent Made From Strings from reaching their £7,735 goal by the deadline of 16 November 2020 but I have to admit that it’s something of a risk. As mentioned above, it’s unusual to see a crowdfunding campaign without a demo nowadays. Sometimes you just have to take a chance on a campaign when you like what you see on paper though, and perhaps enough other people will get a good feeling about Murder on Space Station 52 to get it across the finish line.
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.