SEATTLE — Tanya Short, fresh off the successful release of sci-fi-themed indie game Shattered Planet, thinks her new game has widespread appeal. For a game set in ancient Mesopotamia, that’s saying a lot.
KitFox Games’ Moon Hunters, due out next summer for Mac, PC, and PlayStation, is a one to four player action role playing game that lets you create the kind of hero you want to be remembered as. The moon isn’t rising, and you and your group of friends set out to find out why.
“Essentially,” she told us at the Penny Arcade Expo this past weekend, “you’re in mythical ancient Mesopotamia in the Bronze Age. In pantheon of the gods, the central figure is the Moon. The moon not rising is a big deal.”
Short (right) came up with the basic concept while looking through some old portfolio work of the artist she works with. “I just love old mythologies and folk tales,” she said, “and strange, Tarot and occult stuff.”
The world of Moon Hunters is different each time you play it. You’ll meet different characters on your journey and make choices about the problems they need help solving. The game itself is only an hour or two long, but you’ll be able to replay it several times to unlock new mythological legends at the end of each play session. “You might show a stoic, serious side,” said Short, ” so you might unlock the Mountain constellation. If you were a flirty hero, maybe you’ll be remembered as a Rose.”
The conceptual art became Moon Hunters, currently on Kickstarter and doing really well. The team initially asked for $45,000 but is currently — with another 23 days to do — at $87,000 in funding. If they reach $100,000, they’ll be able to add online cooperative play, something Montreal-based Short would like to do so she can play with her brother in California.
Using the ancient setting allows the team to have a little fun with historical versus mythological fact. “There’s not a lot known about it,” she said, “which lets us be kind of loose, as opposed to Ancient Egypt, which is heavily documented.”
The team’s previous title, the rogue-like Shattered Planet, came out in July of 2014 for $15, and is still selling well. It’s available on Steam for Mac and PC, and there’s a limited demo available on iOS and Android as well. Moon Hunters should release next summer for Mac, PC, and PlayStation 4 at a similar $15 price-point.