Everything a Wayward Astronaut Could Hope For
I am very excited about the Kickstarter for Proven Lands. I was sold before the video ended. The game bills itself as a procedurally generated, sandboxed, SciFi Roguelike, but to describe the experience so simply does it a disservice.
Proven lands aims to offer everything I've been looking for in an immersive SciFi experience: a procedurally generated narrative stitched around a hand-crafted skeleton, a beautiful, unique gameplay environment with myriad equally beautifully designed flora and fauna, a complex character motivation system, and a totally open game world. In three days, the project has already raised £14,000 (roughly $24,000 U.S.) of a lofty £300,000 goal, which is impressive to say the least.
For me, the biggest allure of Science Fiction is the sense of possibility, and how removed the setting is from the comparatively mundane world we live in. One of the reason games like Mass Effect are so immensely successful is that they are deeply realized enough to let you dwell in these fantasy worlds, interact with the characters, and construct a virtual identity for yourself in a way never before possible
The holy grail of SciFi gaming is the game you can complete, but never stop playing, a truly satisfying experience that always welcomes you back with little surprises, even when you've already walked the many roads of the world. In this regard, Proven Lands is flying closer than most. Rare is the game that promises the emotion I felt when I watched the game's trailer (which was notably well-produced). Hope, inspiration, perhaps something in-between. That feeling alone was what made my pledge feel worthwhile, it's the reason I play games.
Presuming a successful Kickstarter, Proven Lands will be launching for Windows in the first quarter of 2015, with a Mac release slated for quarter two. After that, the game will be ported to iOS, Linux and Android.
Even if you aren't as big a sucker for SciFi as I am, giving their Kickstarter a look won't hurt. Perhaps you'll find something that resonates with you.