I've always been a little wary on most things where Kickstarter is concerned since the whole premise can lead to some real issues on a large scale. It's more or less a house of cards where everyone brings their own cards to someone who says they can make an awesome castle with them, and then you just have to kind of wait and see if they do, indeed, make an awesome castle out of cards that you and everyone else gave to them. Not everyone can build awesome card castles. Many people will tell you they can do so, when in reality they cannot. Some attempt to, but realize they need more cards because whoops, these cards will only make like one card rampart and okay, I'm losing the plot here. Point is, it's hard to get excited for Kickstarters unless they're being made by people who can be held to a great amount of scrutiny (I.E. known quantities like Comcept and the like) because there's at least an idea of -something- coming from it, rather than that dude just taking the cards and going to play poker with them instead.
However, when I see a project that wants to be another type of Harvest Moon game, rather than a third-person/first-person shooter of some sort, I have to take note. And when I see a project that aims to be on the Vita, well, I have to take note. When those two aims intersect, that, my friends, is when I have to inform you about it, because it's something that requires a bit of attention. I only regret that my attention was not drawn to this earlier, because I'm not sure what, if any impact my attention will offer at this point.
I say this because Wild Season only has five days left in the Kickstarter at this point, and it's probably the worst five days anyone could imagine having at this point, with Christmas rolling over and the like. It's hard to say whether or not people -have- money to give at this point, and as we know, with Kickstarter if you don't get the funding goal by the deadline, you get nothing but a bit of exposure and goodwill. It's also something like £4,000 short of its goal, which will be hard to make up in those few days. They always say the bulk of funding surges happen at the start and at the end of a Kickstarter, so there's hope, and I definitely want to hope because I do want these guys to succeed. If only so I can hope they go forward with bringing it to the Playstation Family so I finally have a damn Harvest Moon-like game on my Vita.
So why should you care about Wild Season? Well, as stated, it's a Harvest Moon-like game, though it does quite a bit differently in the formula alone, and it does have some rather interesting elements to it. For one, it promises something of a 'darker' underlying story, primarily about a 'Secret' the Town holds, and that's kind of neat on its own merits, provided it doesn't put the game on a 'timer'. Relationships are also much different if just for the fact that you can accrue enemies now instead of being everyone's friend automatically. Befriending others and getting into relationships (You can be in same-sex relationships, by the way, that's a big deal) takes a more delicate touch as well, as you can be branded 'Creepy' or 'a stalker' for doing things that are notoriously ungoverned in Harvest Moon and Rune Factory. Bursting into a character's room without permission, for one - especially if you decide that's a great time to stumble over to that person and hand them a gift. I would be a little weirded out myself.
Characters are also meant to be a little more three-dimensional than the standard HM characters who, while they have their issues, are generally built around one or two little things and thus feel a bit flat. Wild Season's cast promises to have a little more depth, boasting actual issues and problems that aren't things you can deal with with one little chat or anything quite so easy. You'll also be able to run for office and personally dictate parts of the town, though what extent of power you'll actually be granted is left to be seen. You'll even be able to see technology slowly introduced into the town - HM games tend to be a little technology-adverse unless it's Innocent Life, but that barely counts. All of those things, plus a wider selection of things to do when you have nothing pressing at the moment ensures that it'll be a very different game from what you might expect, and that's enticing.
I have a few misgivings however. I'm not quite sure how much content can actually be present in the game considering iOS and Android are two of the confirmed platforms, but I suppose mobile games have been getting bigger and bigger (and contain large games now, like Final Fantasy Tactics: WotL and The World Ends With You) so it shouldn't be an issue. I'm also a little....wary of them showing off the obtrusive mobile controls while the game version is clearly the PC one being played for the video. Virtual Controllers are things that I'm not too enthused about and while I'll never have to use one, I just wish they could have shown the footage without it for now. I'm also swinging back and forth on the art style and haven't quite decided which side of the fence I'm on with regards to that. It's...honestly pretty good, but I'm just never up on Chibi characters. However, I imagine I'll get over that.
So yeah. As stated (and shown in the video), the game is being set or PC/Mac/Linux and Mobile platforms, but if they can, they would like to embrace Sony and Nintendo's indie strategies for Vita (and probs PS3/4) releases alongside the Wii U. Harvest Moon-like games are, of course, better as portable titles since they're the type of game you'll want to be able to jump right into and play for a moment, especially when you've got a few minutes to kill between commutes or something along those lines. Thus, I'm hoping for this to succeed and for a Vita version to materialize because it's...honestly probably the best fit of them all. With any luck, they'll get that last push to fund them, but even if they don't, hopefully they'll have some sort of backup plan. Hell, they can always try to contact Shahid Kamal, since he is without a doubt an awesome dude and definitely not titled "The Indie Guru" (among other titles) for nothing.
I'm personally curious as to just how weird the game is going to get, because the potential for weird, creepy shit is off the charts