By Eugene . January 26, 2014 . 11:30am
Last year, Japanese indie devs Miracle Positive started a Kickstarter for their Terraria-esque sandbox game Airship Q. But you probably didn’t know about it, since it was featured on Makuake—essentially the Japanese version of Kickstarter. Their game asked for a “measly” sum of just half a million yen. They hit their funding target in nineteen hours.
Then, the game went on to raise double the amount they asked for, eventually getting some 1.2 million yen in crowdfunded cash. Keep in mind this is likely to be almost entirely from Japanese payers only. That might have been the end, but now Cygames, who you might more closely associate with upcoming game Granblue Fantasy, are investing in the game as well.
How much? 70 million yen. That’s about slightly more than half a million US dollars. Sure, that might seem like chump change compared to the likes of your Call of Duty and so forth, but for an indie studio this is like striking the lottery.
Airship Q is a side-scrolling, 2D sandbox game where players have been transformed into a cat-being. In order to return to normal and return to Earth, you’ll need to find the mysterious Empress. How you get to her though and where she is? Who knows! But to do so you’ll be able to craft and pilot an actual flying boat/ship/plane. Similar to Terraria, Starbound and Minecraft (which the devs state were inspirations), you’ll be able to mine and dig and plant and craft your way to better gear and airship parts as necessary by scrounging the randomly-generated world’s resources. Enemies will also abound whom you’ll need to fight off, including undead sky pirates who’ll look to sink your battleship.
Miracle Positive seems to have the chops behind them, too, one reason why they possibly succeeded so quickly. Their main programmer and director is Nakajima Kengo, who’s done a lot of work on Community Engine’s environment simulator gumonji. So, how does Cygames fit into this? They’re coming in with startup and early stage support for the indie company, offering things such as game planning, development, operational know-how, necessary development technology and so forth to make it happen.
They’re also coming in as basically a supporting alliance company to add extra oomph to the name and the finances to help it grow. And while PS Vita is one of the devices that Airship Q is being developed for, the game also has a PC beta for backers, which means we’ll likely see it made available on that platform. And considering Cygames are investing money in the project, chances are we’ll see it made available on smartphones as well, at some point.
There’s also word from the devs that Airship Q will be expanding itself after its crazy successful
Kickstarter Makuake by adding in new stuff such as enhanced opening and endings, mid-bosses(!!) and even multiplayer functionality. It was nominated at this year’s IGF as well, though it didn’t make it to the finals. It’s a good sign though that the indie wave that’s been sweeping the West lately has (finally?) hit the shores of Japan as well. Imagine the renaissance if such were to come true!