Neal Stephenson has long been an influential figure in videogame culture, from popularizing the use of the word “avatar” in Snowcrash to imagining a geologically distributed gold economy in an MMO with his most recent novel Reamde. Stephenson is finally ready to make a game of his own and he’s gone to Kickstarter to raise money for it.
Clang will be an attempt to bring realistic sword fighting into videogames, moving beyond the traditional conventions of button pushes using a “Low-latency, high precision motion controller.”
At first, it’ll be a PC arena game based on one-on-one multiplayer dueling (which is a relatively simple and attainable goal; we don’t want to mess this up by overreaching). Dueling, however, is only the tip of the sword blade. During the past few years, we have been developing a rich world, brimming with all manner of adventure tales waiting to be written–and to be played. In conjunction with 47 North, Amazon.com’snew science fiction publishing house, we’ve already begun publishing some of those stories, and we have plenty more in the hopper. Once we get CLANG off the ground we intend to weave game and story content together in a way that’ll enhance both the playing and the reading experience.
Stephenson describes the project in detail in a video that features a cameo from Valve’s Gabe Newell, who’s shown pounding a crowbar in a workshop. The funding goal is $500,000 and donors who pledge $10,000 will get a steel longsword designed by project contributor Angus Trim.