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.