Today’s kickstarter alert comes from a suggestion of Chris Gardiner, my friend from Failbetter Games. They’ve started to help new Indie developers with their Incubation Program to get their foot in the door with their concepts and their first member launched a kickstarter for an interesting game: A House of Many Doors, and trust me, that name hides a whole lot about the game.
A House of Many Doors is the first major project from Harry Tubbs of Pixel Trickery. He was inspired by rogue-likes like FTL, Sunless Sea and a lot of Lovecraft to create A House of Many Doors. The game takes place in the dimension called the House; a place that steals elements from other dimensions. You explore the House via mechanical train on legs called a kinetopede; picking up people to act as your crew.
Similar to Sunless Sea, the game takes place in a top down view as you explore the “rooms” of the house. While the rooms are going to be prebuilt, there will be random elements in what you find during a play and which rooms you’ll run into during the course of a play.
The story or mission is to explore the House for knowledge to write poems, which in turn will raise your fame and grant you new abilities and progression. Combat takes a cue from FTL; where your kinetopede will fight other vehicles and creatures as you control your crew and the train itself.
One thing to keep in mind, this is not going to be a straight up rogue-like, as Harry is intending on the story having an end, but the way the world is generated on each new game should give the game some replayability. You’ll be able to save your progress before and after entering a room when you return to safe zones.
From looking at the kickstarter and the concepts presented, the game is going for the same narrative touches that brought Fallen London and Sunless Sea to life. The art also looks great so far, giving the game that otherworldly experience that writers like Lovecraft loved to talk about.
As with any kickstarter, my usual concerns are going to be how involved are the game mechanics, as a brief description on a page is never enough detail. The fact that he’s aiming for a more constrained experience compared to a Rogue-Like I think is a good thing, as it allows the story and narrative to flourish more, which A House of Many Doors seems to have in spades. The kickstarter was also funded within 48 hours and is already greenlit, so it seems like we will be exploring the strange dimension of the House.
For more on A House of Many Doors and the Failbetter Incubation program, here is the podcast interview I did with Harry.