Neal Stephenson’s swordfighting Kickstarter fund has already raised $190,000

neal stephensons swordfighting kickstarter fund has already raised 190000 stephenson and gabe newellThey say the pen is mightier than the sword, but historical fiction writer Neal Stephenson is taking some time off from his Bic ballpoint in favor of pointier alternatives, to bullish effect. The author of Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash is working on a new project that would bring more realistic sword-based combat to the realm of first-person gameplay. Two days into fundraising on Kickstarter, Subutai Corporation, the company founded by Mr. Stephenson to create Clang, an open-source swordfighting developer toolkit, has already received over $190,000 of its stated $500,000 goal and still has 28 days left until its July 9 deadline.

The Kickstarter fund, if successful, will be used to produce a playable prototype focused upon hyper-realistic hand-to-hand combat that third-party developers would then be able to expand upon. The initial game, says Stephenson in the Kickstarter launch video, will be “an arena game with lots of fighting – not a whole lot in the way of plot or character development.”

“But,” he continues, “that’s kind of what we do for a living, so we can always add that stuff in later once this thing is up on its feet.”

Despite Clang’s stated plans to keep its goals basic, it’s not having any trouble attracting the interest of investors and partners alike. In addition to its wildly first 48 hours of fundraising, cameos by Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve (Half-Life, Left 4 Dead) in the project’s Kickstarter video, have hopeful fans speculating that Valve will use the Clang API (application programming interface) once its available to improve its already-popular Half-Life series.

The project hopes to play on the eagerness of, as Stephenson says, “geeks in suits of armor, geeks in front of computer work stations, a lot of people out there who like to play games with swordfighting in them who might be ready to step it up to something a little bit more interesting.” Or, as Gabe Newell is quoted as saying later in the same video, “Every thirteen-year-old kid on Earth wants to see a knight fighting a samurai – no, wants to be a knight fighting a samurai.”

Mr. Stephenson’s own passion for real-world swordfighting – which he discovered while doing research for his novels – is evident in the Kickstarter videos on the fund’s page. In one, Stephenson expresses his frustration that swordfighting games offer a fraction of the customizability of first-person shooter games:

When we play any given sword-based combat game, we’re left with a glaringly absent suite of customization options… The obsessive attention to real-world detail, so interesting to people who play shooters, has been absent in the sword world, despite the fact that there’s a galaxy of real weapons styles and variations just waiting to be incorporated into games.”

Stephenson says he hopes because he is “nerd famous,” he will be able to attract support for the project and it looks like, so far, the nerds are coming through.


‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ will make Blackout mode free to play this week

Treyarch and Activision are offering Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout mode as a free trial download for a limited time. The mode will be available from January 17 through January 24.
Movies & TV

Here's everything we know about 'John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum'

John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum, the third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.

Among hundreds of choices, these are the best 25 SNES games of all time

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games.

Break out the Wii: ‘Just Dance’ movie reportedly in the works

Sony's Screen Gems has reportedly acquired the film rights to the Just Dance video game series from Ubisoft, which previously helped bring the game Assassin's Creed to the big screen in 2016.

‘Fortnite’ security flaw let hackers spy on players through microphones

A security vulnerability found in Fortnite allowed hackers to gain access to other players' accounts, potentially letting them spy on conversations using the in-game microphone. It has been addressed.

Microsoft CEO says Project xCloud is the ‘Netflix for games’

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella referred to the company's Project xCloud game streaming service as "Netflix for games." The service will let users play Xbox and PC games on a variety of devices.

‘The Division 2’ private beta kicks off February 7 on consoles and PC

The private beta for Tom Clancy's The Division 2 starts on February 7 and runs until February 10, Ubisoft announced in a new story trailer. To guarantee access to the beta, you have to pre-order the game on PS4, Xbox One, or PC.

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.

Here are all the awesome games you can play without a fancy graphics card

Just because you don't have a dedicated graphics card, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy some of the best games out there right now. This is our list of the best games you can play on Intel integrated graphics.

Console wars are so last-gen. Check out all the games that support crossplay

Crossplay is still in its infancy, but a growing number of games support online multiplayer between competing platforms. Here's a list of all games that support console crossplay.

Want to trick out your PlayStation 4? These themes will get you started

Personalize your gaming experience with some of our favorite themes for the PlayStation 4, including free, paid, static, and dynamic options.

Play your games whenever you want with a MicroSD card for your Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch uses cartridge-based games, but its internal storage may fill up quicker than you would think. Here's what you should consider when picking out a MicroSD card to expand your Switch's storage capacity.