The narrative could seem understandably tired by now: Impassioned creative mind launches an appeal video splashed onto a Kickstarter fundraising page, requesting the necessary funds to turn a dream into a reality. For the jaded crowd who has grown weary of Kickstarter stories, tales of pledges misused, and the same ideas churned out again and again it would seem, this is no longer a heartstring-plucking phenomenon.
But then, every once in a while, there is a blessed breath of fresh air.
Robert Busey appears in his pitch video wearing a t-shirt with the iconic design of an 8-bit NES controller emblazoned across his chest. This appreciation for classic video games is evident in his concept, too – an adventure game, in top-down view, starring a young hero wielding a sword and shield, questing across the landscape to discover treasures and slay foul monsters.
What sets Sword ‘N’ Board apart, however, is the heart behind it. Not to sound overly sappy, but the inspiration for it comes from a personal place, as Busey explains on the Kickstarter page video. He says that it is about “going on a pretend adventure,” as partially evidenced by the cardboard-and-tape appearance of some of the in-game items.
He continues in the text of the Kickstarter page, explaining that he did not have much growing up, and would use old boxes his dad brought home from work in order to craft his imaginary magic artifacts to go on make-believe challenges. This very personal take fuels the vision of the game, along with an appreciation for cartridges that proved difficult for gamers to beat. A fusion of those two ideas seems to be the aim of Sword ‘N’ Board.
Some would-be supporters, on-the-fence observers, and potentially interested players may want to note Busey’s clear intentions that this will be a “difficult” game, as he explicitly mentions that he does not want it to be “hand-holdy.” Retro-style, indeed, it would seem.
The target fundraising goal for Sword ‘N’ Board $7,500. At press time, a week remains to lend support, with right around $1,000 remaining to raise. With any luck, Busey will make it, and finally get to share his heartfelt idea with others. The game project has a Twitter account that can be followed as well.
Eric Bailey blogs at NintendoLegend.com, where he is reviewing every American-released NES video game. He also serves as Editor-In-Chief of retro gaming features site 1MoreCastle.com, and can be followed on Twitter @Nintendo_Legend.