UPDATE: Spiral Knights is still 'go,' but this specific release, apparently, was and has never been slated for iOS as was suggested. It is "is the story currently being told on the PC." However, an iOS-specific release is now in the works and we'll bring you those details soon.

Earlier this year, Playground State, a small five-man indie development studio headed up by two brothers, announced plans to release a set of serial FPS games under the umbrella of a franchise called “Knights.” A bit of buzz followed. The series had all the makings of a promising one, but after funding fell through, we’re left wondering if there is a slice of hope for the first game in the series, Knights: Spiral Islands.

Spiral Islands was the first of two known serials in Knights. The other was being called Humming Bell Station, though that was being put on the backburner until Spiral Islands was complete.

In both, you would have been given the reigns of a space knight who had to best the evil was thrown at you. In an interesting twist, Knights wasn’t just going to be a standard shooter; the studio had plans to break up the games into bite-sized chunks, each of which would present a different style of play. A co-op, a narrative-led single-player, and a competitive component were all mentioned at the time of announcement.

The catch with Spiral Islands is that it needed funding. Playground State started up one of those trendy Kickstarter project pages asking for $10,000. It also threw around the number $25,000, and even talked about what it would do with $70,000 or above in the video.

As you can see, Spiral Islands had a cool crab monster. Also, it was a UDK-powered game that would, potentially, see releases on the NGP, iOS, and the PC.

One of the core design ideas that Playground floated to potential sponsors was that the game would be “infinitely expandable.” Playground would have continued to scale Spiral Islands alongside new hardware revisions on any platform and pledged to release a lot of new content that would fit snug with the older stuff.

“The scenarios are as variable as we can stretch our imaginations, and the same applies to gameplay and art style,” the page reads.

“Ranging from single player narratives to multiplayer arenas, co-op play, and everything in between; cutting edge graphics or 8 bit -- Knights is intended to be like a music playlist that goes on and on in endless variety.”

The bad news is that Sprial Knights didn’t reach its $25,000 content-complete, or even its much smaller $10,000 dollar, goals. The cut-off was April 12, 2011. The end sum of the cash collected as $1,500.

Oddly, Playground State went silent well before the cut-off date. Its last updates hover around the March 10-11 timeframe on all its media -- its Twitter, its Facebook, its Web site, and its Kickstarter page. We’re not sure happened here, but if Playground did somehow get money from a publisher that might go to explain the complete radio silence.

Regardless, Knights: Spiral Islands looked awesome and did receive some support. I reached out to Playground State to get an update, see what the silence was about, and if there are still plans to release the title. I’ll let you know when I know.

  • MrNoise

     Why isn't anyone even trying to make something like this for android...

    • Adams Immersive

      They may well be trying, but the customers just aren’t there. (Customer being defined as: someone who will buy your product!) Give it time, and who knows?

    • B-RAD

      android cant handle it 

      • Anonymous

        There are so many reasons, one of which Adams Immersive already touched on.  Also the division of hardware specs are all over the board and difficult to test on the huge number of Android powered devices out there.  Apple's "closed system" makes it much easier for developers.

    • vimy

      too many different systems to worry about, no unified hardware.

      there is only a handful of different i devices types (off the top of my head, 4-5 different hardware archytectures in total)
      with 100 million plus devices just in north america alone.

      that means, easy to make a running working, trouble free program with massive audience.

      android is a very good os, but there are too many different hardware, each with their own specs and limmitations. more difficult, especially for indies. lots of trouble and headache for developers, requires a bigger budget and more effort.

      in short, its easier, less risky and more likly headache free to develope on IOS.

      IOS is a hot market item right now.
      That is where all the attention is.
      Andoird, Blackberry and windows 7 mobiloe are very strong os, hell, even palm os is good, but trhey are not HOT in the market as much as IOS and IDEVICES.

      Things will change, they always do, especially as the developers great gready, push up the prices etc, (FF at 16$ anyone), eventually the developers are going to hotshot the market to an extent that other devices will take over. (like PSP) But for now IOS is king

  • Furtin

    Wow, that sounds like exactly the shiet that I need. I'ld give my 8,99€ if that helps. Goshdarnit! Why are those guys of all people without money?!


     They need to get investors and a publisher. Scrounging for money is just stupid. They can do it on there own...saying they cant becuase they did not get the cash is a big lie.  Also they probably wont make an iOS title out of this. If they cant make a PC game they sure cant turn it into an iPod game.

    • Lifesuxloveiswar

      I just went to YouTube to watch the trailer and the company say a working build of the iPhone version will be shown soon. And that was posted 11 hours ago. I find it hard to believe you couldn't find any information on this! Just saying. 😛


  • vimy

    udk cost nothing, theoretically you can build a game very easily with udk and a modeler like MAYA or 3d max.
    i dont know what the money would be for, seems like they want someone else to pay for there cost of living while they work on the project, (or they are scaming)

    at any rate, I hope they finish there project, its very feasable,
    may not be any good, but thats a whole other issue. 

    • Anonymous

      It's extremely clear you have no idea the amount of work that goes into game development.

      • vimy

        i'm an accomplished level designer, my wife is a 3dmax and maya artist,
        I have been on dozen's of projects, many of which you have played, although none on IOS

        Its not hard for talent to get an IOS game made
        Lots of indie success stories.

        anyone who says otherwise, is not motivated.
        No one will give money to unproven people,
        Make a name for yourself, proove you can finish what you start and that you have talent.

        then getting money is easy.

        Look up UDK or Unity engine, lots of tutorials out there on how to use them. UDK is free and a liscence is dirt cheap for indies. You can make a good game very cheaply for IOS.

        See, instead of insulting people you dont know, get informed.

  • Vovin

    Gameloft could have snatched them.
    25 grands are pocket change and possible competition would also be eliminated.

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of those people making the minecraft documentary. Asking for a load of money to make something and then charging for it when it is made. Thats what i call double dipping. Either u raise the funds to create it and release it free and u have low risk low reward, or u make it off of your own money and borrow some and sell it and hope to make alot more then it costs, high risk, high reward. You shouldnt be able to get the best of both scenarios by having it fully funded and selling it after, thats just BS.

    • AmericanTim

       That's not how businesses work at all. Please read about investors vs consumers.

      • fwx

        Investors expect a return in the form of a profit share. This is not usually the case for pledgers. On the other hand pledgers are expected to receive some form of reward for their money.
        @Demonshade consider this like pre-ordering a game: If the game ends up not getting made because not enough people are interested, you get your money back. If it does get made, you get the game in addition to the "reward" of being one of the people who made it happen. People don't do business so that it "funds itself", but to make a profit. And even being funded does not mean all the risk is gone, it is just lowered.

      • Anonymous

        Right, but that's EXACTLY how Kickstarter works.

  • http://twitter.com/dizietembless Diziet Sma

     I'd be very interested in an update from the devs.  I had the kick starter page bookmarked for as something to invest in then there was just radio silence.  It looked like a very promising project and was inked to by rock paper shotgun IIRC.

  • http://twitter.com/dizietembless Diziet Sma

     That's not quite how it works.  The early investors get beta access and free copies, joe public who contributed nothing have to pay.  Admittedly spiral knights funding brackets were a bit iffy with only the $50 appearing to come with a copy of the complete game and the lower $30 being to beta.  They should have dropped the $10 bracket (or provided beta only) and the $30 and up been beta and full game.  You wouldn't raise the funds and then provide it for free to anyone, not even minecraft has taken that approach.

  • Anonymous

     It looks like they already had a pretty decent proof of concept. I'm surprised a larger dev didn't kick them 25k or more and nab a cut of the profits. If all they had to do was invest that small of a sum I'd imagine they'd be able to make back their investment and more fairly quick. It's a pretty enough demo to probably get people to buy the final game based on looks alone.

  • http://twitter.com/dizietembless Diziet Sma

     Damnit that was meant as a reply to Demonshade

  • Lifesuxloveiswar

    Here is the link to the "update" from the makers themselves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zjVtNAo_8w&playnext=1&list=PLD8D4B2CAB93AA4A4

    "Hey, Not
    quite this good, but within the month we hope to have some in-game
    content to show for our iphone build of Knights! So stay tuned 😉

    12 hours ago"

  • Briker Ed

     They need a better PR/agent/whatever. The guy sounded not serious enough and amateurish (which I guess they kind of are so cutting some slack there - but still, it's a business in the end, not a playground). 
    The concept.... Frankly, nothing new. FPS in a prettier world than we've seen so far with updates.... The concept art is just kinda interesting (BUT I may be oversaturated with loads of bizzare art in games over the years).In my opinion, it's still heavily missing on the 'wow' factor. We'll see how it develops I guess.

    • vimy

      not much in the video to suggest they have a clue.
      the crab is good but needs better animation for smoother movement, the rigging is pour

      the terrain is ok, basic static mess, rather low res.
      there is no example of gameplay or level design.

  • Pangxueyu

    OMG , that graphics is better than my com! That crab graphic is so OMG!