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Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter

This Kickstarter Campaign is for CLANG, a PC multiplayer arena game based on one-on-one sword dueling (thanks Slashdot). This proposal is from famed science fiction author Neal Stephenson, who describes himself as "a swordsmanship geek." He envisions this using motion control, and is looking to raise a half-million dollars to bring it to life. Here's a bit:

At first, it'll be a PC arena game based on one-on-one multiplayer dueling (which is a relatively simple and attainable goal; we don't want to mess this up by overreaching). Dueling, however, is only the tip of the sword blade. During the past few years, we have been developing a rich world, brimming with all manner of adventure tales waiting to be written--and to be played. In conjunction with 47 North, Amazon.com's new science fiction publishing house, we've already begun publishing some of those stories, and we have plenty more in the hopper. Once we get CLANG off the ground we intend to weave game and story content together in a way that'll enhance both the playing and the reading experience.

"How will this be different than SoulCalibur?" you ask. .....

Low-latency, high-precision motion controller: Critical to a satisfying sword fight is fast, accurate response. This is especially important for CLANG given the depth and complexity of moves that are used in real sword arts. Initially, CLANG will make use of a commercial, third-party, off-the-shelf controller that anyone can buy today

Depth: Roundhouse swings and crude blocks just aren't enough. Real sword fighting involves multiple attacks delivered from different stances, pommel strikes, grappling, feints, and parries.

Expandability: Implementing the longsword style will oblige us to construct a toolkit that can then be used--by us, or by others--to create other examples of what we're calling MASEs (Martial Arts System Embodiments). If your thing is Japanese kenjutsu or Viking sword-and-board, then in principle CLANG should support it.

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28. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 11, 2012, 16:29 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
Neal Stephenson is one of my favorite authors, probably my favorite living author. It's really no surprise that he's enthralled by swordplay, given that every cool character in every story he's written has a swordfight at some point.

Hopefully this project succeeds, but I've already exceeded my lifetime Kickstarter limit, I think. Grim Dawn.
 
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27. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 11, 2012, 12:54 Creston
 
eunichron wrote on Jun 10, 2012, 22:09:
PHJF wrote on Jun 10, 2012, 22:02:
Two words: Force feedback.

Applied liberally.

Each system sold comes with your very own Peter Dinklage to punch you in the nuts when you miss/take a hit/parry, etc.

I'd pay a thousand bucks to own my very own Peter Dinklage!

Is that the FBI...?

Creston
 
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26. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 11, 2012, 11:31 PHJF
 
TangoBaker wrote on Jun 11, 2012, 08:59:
I definitely missed that. I never realized there was a sequel. I'll check it out. Thanks.

Well it's no wonder; it was on Dreamcast.
 
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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25. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 11, 2012, 08:59 TangoBaker
 
I definitely missed that. I never realized there was a sequel. I'll check it out. Thanks.  
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24. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 11, 2012, 08:58 Wesp5
 
Hump wrote on Jun 10, 2012, 15:02:
How about Diamond Age? How about Snow Crash?

Actually I didn't like those at all. The writing just didn't grip me, try some William Gibson instead :)!
 
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23. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 11, 2012, 07:36 gray
 
Kinect for Windows with special pointy stick to hold.  
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22. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 11, 2012, 05:51 Titus
 
My guess is the controller they're talking about is the Razer Hydra.

That might have the bases (arms) covered, but I'm still wondering how the feet/body movements will be done. Two thumbsticks give some ability, but there might be control interference problems using those while swinging your arms about. Integrating TrackIR for body posture might be cool, but even more unrealistic price-wise.

As a (former) swordfighter and gamer I've been interested in something like this for some time. I've experimented in games with a lot of alternative controllers / control schemes, but control for a good swordfighting simulation is a nightmare.

The lack of physical constraints (force feedback) makes it even worse, since swordfighting is all about control and conservation of momentum. If you don't get that right, you just get a LARP simulator. And thats like the difference between Rise of Flight and Snoopy vs. The Red Baron.

Even when you do get the input issue covered, there's the hornets nest of medieval martial arts theorycrafting. There's more factions there than there are churches. Make it moddable and servers will split like a melon under a flanged mace.

Still looking forward to it though

 
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21. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 11, 2012, 01:21 silentsammy
 
Elf Shot The Food wrote on Jun 10, 2012, 18:44:
How about a Kickstarter for Blade of Darkness?

Loved that game...I think I played it all the way through like 5 times and I rarely re-play a game.
 
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20. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 10, 2012, 23:40 Dirwulf
 
TangoBaker wrote on Jun 10, 2012, 14:59:
Die by the Sword II, now with 100% less pre-created crazy moves!

It already exists. I guess you missed it.

Draconus
 
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19. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 10, 2012, 22:30 Cyanotetyphas
 
I think what Neal is trying to design is pretty much what everyone imagined when the Wii was first released. It will be pretty impressive if he can beat the multinationals to the punch. I imagine he'll have to end up moving the slider more towards Soul Caliber as time goes on though...  
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Synthetic Error - Entertainment bloggin http://syntheticerror.wordpress.com/
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18. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 10, 2012, 22:09 eunichron
 
PHJF wrote on Jun 10, 2012, 22:02:
Two words: Force feedback.

Applied liberally.

Each system sold comes with your very own Peter Dinklage to punch you in the nuts when you miss/take a hit/parry, etc.
 
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17. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 10, 2012, 22:02 PHJF
 
Two words: Force feedback.

Applied liberally.
 
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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16. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 10, 2012, 21:34 Tomas
 
Flatline wrote on Jun 10, 2012, 19:21:
Yeah a motion control sword isn't enough. You need to track body positioning as well. And let's not forget that you swing your sword and your opponent blocks it, in game your sword bounces off the opponent's sword, in real life you keep swinging. Yeah sword control and all that, but it's going to be a large hurdle.

Exactly. This is the reason I can't really feel too optimistic about something like this being any good. Unless you're ok with the complete lack of physical response to what you're doing...then you're not going to be happy. And honestly, proper sword fighting requires that there is some sort of reactive force to your sword blows. I really don't see how you can have any real swordplay without that. At least not anything that resembles proper fighting.

Still, good luck to them. If somehow they pull off a fun title then I'll definitely check it out post launch. =)
 
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15. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 10, 2012, 20:40 The Half Elf
 
I will say that beyond the old Interplay sword flailing game, Jedi Outcast, and Jedi Academy did a great job of sword combat.

As for Gabe in the video, I had to do a double take, and I agree it's the best KS video yet.
 
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"I've never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. It's wonderful" -Walter Bishop
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14. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 10, 2012, 19:21 Flatline
 
Mordecai Walfish wrote on Jun 10, 2012, 18:47:
I look forward to someone taking these API's in the future and melding them with Carmack's VR units. a kinect like camera would be required to track body movement, but man this is gonna rock.

Pledge given.

Yeah a motion control sword isn't enough. You need to track body positioning as well. And let's not forget that you swing your sword and your opponent blocks it, in game your sword bounces off the opponent's sword, in real life you keep swinging. Yeah sword control and all that, but it's going to be a large hurdle.
 
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13. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 10, 2012, 18:47 Mordecai Walfish
 
I look forward to someone taking these API's in the future and melding them with Carmack's VR units. a kinect like camera would be required to track body movement, but man this is gonna rock.

Pledge given.
 
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12. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 10, 2012, 18:44 Elf Shot The Food
 
How about a Kickstarter for Blade of Darkness?  
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11. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 10, 2012, 18:35 killer_roach
 
Sounds incredibly ambitious, but he seems to have a good idea about how to approach it in an incremental fashion.

Not sure I'd back this idea considering I have questions about the expertise of the people involved, but I'm really, really curious to see what could come of this. If they can get a solid prototype going I'd be quite intrigued.
 
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10. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 10, 2012, 17:28 panbient
 
Cutter wrote on Jun 10, 2012, 16:49:
500k for an arcade fighter that needs a special controller? Yeah, I'm sur that'll sell like hotcakes. Rolleyes

Hey Neal, why don't you take some of your millions and roll it into a Snow Crash CRPG? Now that I'd buy.

Well... he does kind of elude to using that same technology in future games. They also pulled in about $100k since about the same time yesterday.

Considering the way he was talking in the promo clip I doubt he'd let anyone make a Snow Crash game without using technology of the caliber he's trying to create. Squeezing a trigger doesn't cut it and I can't imagine a Snow Crash game not featuring hacker samurai biker dudes.
 
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9. Re: Neal Stephenson's Sword Fighting Kickstarter Jun 10, 2012, 17:04 beaves
 
Another Heretic II type arena fighter would be great. But, he seems to want to recreate Die by the Sword. I hope he allows the sword to dismember, otherwise it will be just be another beatem up.  
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