At the time of writing, the Kickstarter initiative for BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION is ten days from its cut off date with $26 150 left on the goal. The $93 850 already promised by 3126 backers will be in vain if BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION doesn't meet the goal of $120 000. Today, I want to make a plea to every South African to support the project. We know The Brotherhood is worthy of our support because they already have the highly acclaimed STASIS as a testament to their ability as game developers. STASIS received praise from critics and gamers alike and boasts a Steam score of 9/10, a GOG.com score of 4.1/5 and a Metacritic score of 79%. I don't usually value a game by its score, but I have to give it to The Brotherhood; those are impressive numbers for your very first game.
We recently reviewed their second game, CAYNE, (which was free to play for anyone), and we were as impressed with that as we were with Stasis. The Brotherhood is one dev we can recommend to anyone to back without hesitation. Stasis was also funded via Kickstarter and raised $130 000 in 2015. The fact that the developer asks for less two years later says a lot about their priorities.
I hope there's a business somewhere that wants to immortalize their name in Beautiful Desolation as there are several options available; from having your name in the game, to a line in the final credits, and even a producer credit. There are also gorgeous art backers can unlock; special editions, prints, and even props from the game. Your face can be in the game if that's your thing!
The point is, you need to pledge. Be it $5 or $2199 or everything they still need - but pledge! Every South African gamer should give towards building the local industry. The Brotherhood is proudly South African, and their success doesn't just belong to them, it belongs to everyone who gives towards the games they develop. You can read more about Beautiful Desolation and jump to the Kickstarter page with the following links:
I caught up with The Brotherhood, so join me for a stroll inside their beautifully, wicked minds.
Why did you pick Africa as a setting for BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION?
"Africa is largely unexplored in science fiction, especially in the sub-genre of post apocalyptic worlds. As soon as we decided on our African tribal punk look, we started preproduction. And, wow! Then we reaffirmed the amazing potential it has for interesting designs and characters. We also have the advantage that any research is right outside the window."
A central theme in all your games is that of science fiction gone wrong some way – why this specific fascination?
"From Frankenstein to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, science fiction has a proud tradition of holding up a mirror to society and showing us the uglier side of humanity. It's a safe way to explore the darker side without the audience feeling persecuted or preached to, I think.
The best sci-fi movies parallel to the real world, exploring the current hopes and fears, occasionally intersecting with current events to explore their potential outcomes."
Where did the inspiration for BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION come from?
"A lot of conversations over coffee combined with a fresh look at our new project. New world, new story. As much as we love the dark corridors of STASIS and CAYNE, it was time to create a new world.
We want to straddle the line between fantasy and science fiction, and see how we can let them bleed into each other."
You state that BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION is “an adventure game, unlike anything you have seen before...” Can you give us a hint as to what sets the game apart to deserve that statement?
"We're trying to break the linear flow of traditional adventure games to create a setting where art and design can be pushed into new places.
One of our larger design goals with BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION is to create that feeling of grand exploration that we got when playing Fallout and other CRPGs. With the feeling that you're truly affecting the world that you're in.
It's also a unique story - with the relationship between Don, Mark and Pooch being central to the game. STASIS saw what a man would do to save his family, and in BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION we want to see how far a bond between brothers can stretch before it breaks."
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How difficult is it to be a game developer in South Africa?
"Digital distribution through platforms like STEAM and GOG have opened up the playing field for THE BROTHERHOOD to compete internationally.
There are certainly drawbacks, but they're the same drawbacks that many technical fields have: access to local expertise is limiting, electricity is inconsistent (seriously, invest in a good UPS or laptop), and internet speeds aren't ideal when working with larger files.
But all of these problems are stumbling blocks rather than brick walls, and creative and technical people can flourish when working under more stringent conditions."
Thanks to The Brotherhood for their time, and in closing, let BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION be another South African success story. Pledge your support right now and let it come to life.
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