In the summer of 2011, Seattle-based game developers Mark Jessup and Lane Daughtry left their respective jobs and decided to strike out on their own, forming TinkerHouse Games, a mobile game development studio which we wrote about three months after its inception.
Two years and six games have passed since then, including the iOS and Android ports for “Penny Arcade Presents: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3” and “Cthulhu Saves the World.” Now, they’ve created “Dwarven Delve,” a brand new game that they want to take to market with the help of Kickstarter.
Mark Jessup, one of the company’s co-founders, said in an email that the idea for the game came to him after a night’s sleep.
I’ve always really liked pipe puzzle games, like Pipe Dream, and old-school top-down dungeon crawls like Diablo. Early one morning, in that gentle period between blissful sleep and begrudging not sleep, those two concepts met in the middle and did a merry jig. When I was finally ambulatory, I jotted down the basic mechanics and talked to my partner Lane about it. He had a physical prototype built within two days and our first digital prototype working a week later. He was a machine. We were both really psyched about the idea and where we wanted to take it.
The object of the game is to guide a team of dwarves through a dungeon, the paths of which you can rearrange on the fly to open up more direct routes to treasure, and direct monsters to their doom.
A $5 pledge on Kickstarter will get you a copy of the finished game when it comes out, with higher pledge levels earning you physical goods and in some cases, the chance to go visit the team at their offices. According to the Kickstarter page, the team plans to have the game done by December of this year.
Of course, delays on Kickstarter aren’t uncommon, with some projects missing their estimates by years. Jessup said that in order to mitigate some of that risk, the team at Tinkerhouse has already laid the groundwork, and the game’s preproduction is done.
“We scoped our game to the point of completion and put a budget together as if we weren’t kicking it. We completed the preproduction stage to prove the core game systems and make sure our assumptions were accurate before we ever went public. We’re comfortable in saying, this is the game we want to make and this is how much it will cost,” he said in an email.
The company is looking for $60,000 from its Kickstarter campaign. As of this writing, backers have pledged more than $8,000. The funding campaign closes on August 29.