Kickstarter has been a great resource for indie developers with big ideas but little else. Of course, a vast majority of those developers just have wild delusions that will and should never become reality. In an odd trend, however, even big developers (or ex-developers in some cases) are getting in on the action. Take for instance games like Shenmue 3 and Double Fine or even the upcoming Friday the 13th game. Now two developers from the group that single-handedly shaped the FPS genre with Doom, John Romero, and Adrian Carmack, have teamed up to recreate FPS with the new PC only game Blackroom. Slated for a winter 2018 release, Blackroom is a game about simulations went wrong and the player has to fix them. More Star Treck Holodeck gone rogue and less Futurama Holoshed, bringing evil Lincoln to life.
John Romero is notable for being a co-founder of id and being one of the main designers behind games like Doom, Quake, and Daikatana. History lesson aside, Romero was fired from id over Quake and Daikatana was a huge flop. Adrian Carmack, on the other hand, was the art director at id until he was also fired over ownership issues. Oddly, there are no other developers of any kind on the project so far but we do know that the metal musician George Lynch will be composing part of the soundtrack. For a game that boasts superior gameplay, a 10+ hour single player campaign, six original Romero multiplayer maps, and a fully moddable game, you would think they would need a bigger team.
So far the project has been riding on star power alone because there is little to no information on the game beyond the fact that it is a first person shooter and takes place in a simulation chamber. There have been some minor details about how levels can take place almost anywhere and how the machine is merging countless nightmares but that’s about it. No level or weapon descriptions, no enemy or solid character descriptions and certainly no gameplay as been announced just yet. As of now Blackroom seems to be more of a concept than an actual work in progress and the question remains, can Romero’s fame alone carry this game to its hefty 700,000 dollar goal in a month?
Instead of actual details on the game the Kickstarter is jam-packed with details about how you can help promote Romero’s media campaign for him by doing things like taking pictures on islands and in western style towns while showing off Quake themed tattoos — and even going so far as having a section for taking pictures with sealed copies of Romero games. Personally, I can’t think of anything more shameful than getting a Daikatana tattoo and it is kind of amusing how the campaign asks fans to avoid doing anything illegal. What’s in it for fans who do all this you ask? Well, they will be provided with some wallpaper, gifs and five second sound bites and other information that should have actually been provided in the game from the start.
While it would be something to see Romero create another winner like Doom it is odd how little information there is. Sure there will be updates but not until after the fact and the 2018 release date is ways off. While fans would love to see a return to greatness there is no guarantee that it will live up to Romero’s projects from his glory days. Regardless, the project has already made over 100,000 in only a couple days so it seems the hype train is already at full power. Blackroom promises a lot for a non-existent team riding on past glory and it’s not the first time Romero has over stretched on a project. *cough* Daikatana *cough*