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Neal Stephenson launches Kickstarter to produce realistic motion-controlled swordfighter 

Dissatisfied with the current portrayal of swordfighting in videogames, renowned fiction writer Neal Stephenson has launched a Kickstarter campaign with the intention of producing the most precise and realistic swordfighting simulation to date.

The game, entitled CLANG, is touted as a "PC arena game based on one-on-one multiplayer dueling" to be developed by Stephenson's company Subutai Corporation. A goal of $500,000 has been set, with 28 days left in the campaign. $153,116 has been pledged at the time of writing.

Stemming back to Stephenson's literary roots, the it is intended for the title to connect with the world and stories of Stephenson's latest novels published in conjunction with 47 North. "Once we get CLANG off the ground we intend to weave game and story content together in a way that'll enhance both the playing and the reading experience," Stephenson stated.

The game is said to include the following features, which are claimed to differentiate it from other sword-based fighting games like Soul Calibur:

  • Low-latency, high-precision motion controller: Critical to a satisfying sword fight is fast, accurate response. This is especially important for CLANG given the depth and complexity of moves that are used in real sword arts. Initially, CLANG will make use of a commercial, third-party, off-the-shelf controller that anyone can buy today
  • Depth: Roundhouse swings and crude blocks just aren't enough. Real sword fighting involves multiple attacks delivered from different stances, pommel strikes, grappling, feints, and parries.
  • Expandability: Implementing the longsword style will oblige us to construct a toolkit that can then be used--by us, or by others--to create other examples of what we're calling MASEs (Martial Arts System Embodiments). If your thing is Japanese kenjutsu or Viking sword-and-board, then in principle CLANG should support it.

According to the Kickstarter page, the purpose of the campaign is to "build a functional proof of concept in the form of an exciting prototype we can share with you and use to achieve our next level of funding--which will enable us to provide more character models, more environments, and more MASEs".

Donation tiers range from $10 to $10,000, with the highest tier offering a steel longsword and studio tour among other rewards.

Visit the Kickstarter page for more details.

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