iqSoup recently pitched to the world their idea for a unique RPG that they described as a mixture of wild west tropes, steam punk aesthetics, and the over all feeling of Joss Whedon’s Firefly. The game — known as Age of Grit — takes place in an area known simply as “The West”, as placed filled with fantastical steam punk contraptions — armored air ships filling the skies — as well as classical western style settlements all over the place. In this world you take control of a steam powered airship captain, a man just looking for whatever work he can — bounty hunting, contraband running, gun smuggling, perhaps even train robbery — all so long as he can keep his crew fed and his ship up in the air.
Of course keeping your ship up in the air — whenever trouble does unfortunately arrive — isn’t going to be as simple as merely tapping to attack your opponents, as you’re instead going to have to deal with a complex series of gears and levers. Each round of combat your ship’s boilers are going to produce a fixed amount of steam, which can then be distributed — or stored up for later — amongst your ship’s many systems however you wish. Whichever systems ideally need to be power won’t merely be a choice of going for the largest numbers, as numerous weapons — as well as ship subsystems — will have synergistic advantages when properly powered in tandem.
Upgrading your ship over time can either be achieved with the money you earn by completing jobs, or by crafting new and unique components with the scraps you salvage from your fallen opponents. Whereas many RPGs have become known for boring quests — wherein you look for someone with an exclamation mark, speed your way through text, and then kill a bunch of rabbits — iqSoup has said that Age of Grit will be quite different. Rather than being spoon-fed boring fetch quests, you’ll instead need to track down various NPCs in each town — all of whom have unique personalities and agendas — and chat them up to see what exactly looks like your best bet going forward.
As the developers themselves have put it:
Perhaps you come across the owner of a coal mine who happens to have a few dozen crates of extra dynamite he’s looking to offload. Can you convince him to sell to you? Do you trust this guy? Do you know anyone who might be in the market for dynamite? Is his price even that good? What’s your reputation like in this area? What about the authorities, will the local sheriff look kindly on dynamite smuggling?
Stay alive long enough — by finding the work necessary to keep everything and everyone up and kicking — and you’ll eventually get to explore all of “The West”, in the process meeting the various factions that hold sway over the land:
• The Miner’s Guild: A hardy people who’ve tamed the frigid, rocky, and treacherous land to the north.
• The Liberty Compact: A collection of city states that hold the northeastern region. They consider themselves a torch of freedom in a dark world of tyranny.
• The Kingdom of Topaz: The island nation to the south. A tropical climate home to a hot sun and more than its share of troubles.
• The Core: A mighty nation standing in the center of the world. The largest and most powerful faction in The West.
• Blight Territory: The lands to the southwest are hazardous, to say the least. A cursed and evil blot on the map, few — if any — return from this wretched corner of the world.
However — more than just meeting the inhabitants of these various places — it will be up to the captain and his crew to save everyone from impending destruction, as tensions brewing up all over “The West” seem to be leading up towards an eventual war. Everywhere you look there is a race to produce armored airships — stockpiles of ammo and cannons being stacked to the sky — and fortifications being erected all over the place, and everyone just seems to be waiting for the final spark to light the entire powder keg. Along the way you’ll learn more about the Captain’s past — a man whom served as a Commander in the Compact Militia back in the day — and how he came to be the agitated person he now is, as well as the various back stories of his many crew members.
However — in order to bring to gamers everywhere this world of rusted out futuristic technology, designed with function before any considerations of appearance — iqSoup is first going to need proper funding, which led to their recent Kickstarter asking for $12k. Those interested in helping out can secure a PC/MAC launch day copy of Age of Grit for a donation of just $12 (although iqSoup have promised that the iOS is a top tier priority for their game’s development, iTunes’ rules complicated including it as a backer reward). Meanwhile — for those even more eager to further the cause of steam powered wild west shootouts — additional backer rewards include: mentioning in the game’s credits, an in-universe guidebook to “The West”, copies of the soundtrack, beta access, and far more!
Although the Kickstarter has so far been doing well — with nearly 50% raised, all with an entire 27 days remaining — there is still much work to be done, therefore anyone interested in Age of Grit’s future should be sure to chip in their donations before September 26th.