Black Isle Studios, a label of publisher Interplay, is trying something a little different: it is asking the community to crowd-source a "proof of concept" prototype of its post apocalyptic strategy role-playing game, Project V13. Funding tiers include $10, $20 and a Top 20 contributor tier for anyone who pledges more.
But the catch is that, unlike a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign, Black Isle's funding drive doesn't promise any perks, rewards, or even that this prototype will lead to a finalized game. The idea is to create the prototype to show to potential investors who will then provide funding for continued development. Donators will receive special access to a private forum and profile badges though...
The Black Isle Studios web site offers the following pitch:
"But we can't do it alone. We need to raise money to put together a prototype. We need more developers and staff. This is a big world we're developing.
The prototype will be a "proof of concept". It won't have the entire world or a finished game. We've got some great ideas, but they haven't been tested in the crucible of actual play. We need time and money. We'll have most, if not all, systems in the proof of concept. We'll be able to run around the world, interacting with NPCs and objects, basic combat, building and worker management, and test the other core gameplay mechanics.
We can then use this prototype to raise the additional funds necessary to complete the game.
Our backers will have immediate access to a private forum, where you will be able to interact with the developers. You'll have the earliest possible access to the friends and family beta test towards the end of development. You will be able to influence the game's ultimate direction by providing valuable feedback."
You can read more details in this FAQ. Earlier this year Interplay settled with Bethesda over using the Fallout IP for the game, which was supposed to be a Fallout-themed MMO. There's no indication that this iteration of the game will be an MMO...