Shadow of the Eternals video game crowdfunding raises $100K in a day

Hamilton-based video game studio Precursor Games is trying to raise $1.5 million to resurrect the cult favourite video game series Eternal Darkness.

Game is a sequel to cult classic Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

Hamilton-based video game studio Precursor Games is trying to raise $1.5 million to resurrect the cult favourite video game series Eternal Darkness.

The new game — dubbed a "spiritual successor" to the 2002 Nintendo Gamecube game Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem — is called Shadow of the Eternals

"We're trying to tie in the themes and the feelings and the ideas of that game and bring it alive in today's video games," Precursor Games CEO Paul Caporicci told CBC Hamilton. Three of the creators of Eternal Darkness are working on Shadow of the Eternals.

The first game was a cult smash and gained widespread critical praise, but didn't achieve mainstream sales success. It took place over different time periods and drew heavily on horror elements — like an in-game "sanity meter" that causes the character to lose his or her mind as it's depleted.

Caporicci says Shadow of the Eternals isn't a direct sequel to the first game, but channels similar themes and feelings as the original. People that enjoyed the first game should definitely be pleased with the new effort, he says.

Precursor is hoping to fund the game through a crowdsourced fundraising campaign, and has given itself 30 days to raise $1.5 million, with rewards for people who chip in. In a day, the campaign has raised over $100,000.

Rewards include signed merchandise and the ability to contribute elements to the game's design. You can read more about it on the Precursor Games website.

Designers have also eschewed the traditional console delivery system for video games and are opting to release the game in downloadable "episodes." This sort of game distribution can be seen in titles like The Walking Dead video game adaptation by Telltale Games.

"We just think the episodic nature works perfect for this type of game, since you play a different character [per episode] so it really breaks apart nicely," Caporicci said. "The other thing that really attracted us to episodic is you can put something out earlier and get the feedback from the community to improve the future episodes. In the past, with just working on this big single game for two year or whatever, we didn't get that feedback quick enough to make improvements."

"I feel like digital distribution has enabled us to interact directly with the consumers and we're really excited to have the opportunity to do it during the development of the game."

Precursor says the Shadow of the Eternals story spans over 2,000 years, and the company is planning 12 episodes for first season. They expect the first episode to be available on the Wii U and PC in the third quarter of 2014.

There are seven people working on the Precursor team right now. None of them are from Hamilton — they just saw the city as a solid base of operations. The company set up shop in the city in July 2012.

"We felt like Hamilton was a really nice central place to attract talent from all over the GTA and Niagara," Caporicci said.

"We've been working quietly, but we're really, really excited about it."