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Descent: Underground - A Winner in the Making

Red Thomas Posted:
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Should I Help to Fund It?

Whether to fund an effort or not is a personal decision, but I’ll tell you that it’s a go in my book.  A large part of my reasoning behind backing DU is the list of people behind the project.  When I look at whether I want to fund a project or not, a big part of the decision is the people working on it.  In Descent: Underground I know several of the developers and have seen their work on other successful projects.  That tells me that this is a team of people who should have a solid understanding of what it’ll take to accomplish specific goals, and how much time and money will be spent in getting there.

Additionally, from a design standpoint, I don’t see anything crazy being pitched in the initial idea.  Plus, there’s a working model for most of it already.  Both things are indications to me that the project is starting out strong and on solid footing.  Most of what the team is attempting, are things that they’ve either done themselves in the past or is something being done by other developers in Austin right now.  That means there’s experienced team members or help in easy reach if issues come up.

Tail and nose art, paint jobs, and body styles are all ways drones can be customized.

I also think the value of the crowdfunding packages are extremely generous.  Access to both Alpha and Beta starts at only $80, and access to all available drones is accomplished at a mere $170 through the Kickstarter.  There are also cheaper packages, but when I compare them to what I’ve spent over time in other projects, the number doesn’t look large at all.  I’ve spent a lot more than that just getting access to a few extra vehicles in other similar games. 

My biggest reasons for backing are less of a financial consideration, though.  To be honest, there’s just a lot in this project that I like and want to support.  I like Eric Peterson’s track record of being deeply involved with his communities.  I feel that transparency in crowdfunded projects is absolutely critical to a well-run project, and expect this team will adhere to a very high standard compared to other projects.  I also would really like to see a revitalization of the Descent franchise.

Can I Wrap This Up?

Writing articles like this can be hard sometimes.  I’d never represent myself as a journalist.  I certainly didn’t train for it in any way or go to college to do that sort of thing.  I actually think of myself as more of a freelance blogger, but I do try to be fair and do what I can to be balanced in how I write about the game industry, though. 

The problem is that when projects like this come along, it seems like I really struggle hard to find the negatives in it.  In part, it’s because having done a little software development of my own, I know how insanely difficult this can be and am perhaps a little too forgiving in some aspects.  I think mostly it’s because I tend to look at the people and business side of the project, though.  Oddly, that leaves me feeling a bit like I haven’t been balanced enough in my assessment, so I often take another look to see what I might have missed.

Adding resources and some persistence to the Descent franchise could go a long way to reviving a nostalgic game.

The truth is, despite my very minor concerns, I really think there are good ideas here.  Combine an already great concept with the Descent property rights, and it’s really hard not to see this project as a winner in the making.  Besides, it’s a project involving some really great people with a solid track record.  In the end, I think it’s usually people that win me over, and that’s why Descent: Underground is another project that gets my support.

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Red Thomas

A veteran of the US Army, raging geek, and avid gamer, Red Thomas is that cool uncle all the kids in the family like to spend their summers with. Red lives in San Antonio with his wife where he runs his company and works with the city government to promote geek culture.