If you don’t recognize the names in the title, I advise you go put your nose in gaming history books for a while. The short version is that John Romero and Adrian Carmack are the grandparents of FPSs as we know them today. They founded id Software and brought to life a couple of little things called Doom, Wolfenstein, and Quake. Blackroom is their latest project that just hit Kickstarter and with whom they intend to bring the FPS genre back to its roots.
The premise of Blackroom‘s single player campaign is as simple as it is intriguing. In the near future, a company named HOXAR (because of course it is) invented a new technology capable of projecting a holographic virtual reality basically indistinguishable from the real life by making use of a giant black room. After a while, things start to go awry, with simulation collapsing and mashing with each other and, on top of that, something scary that makes its way in the virtual world.
The player takes control of Santiago Sonora, chief Engineer at HOXAR tasked with investigating and ultimately resolving the situation. He will have a set of tools at his disposal that will allow him to change elements of the environment around him while also affecting his weapons and his enemies. Despite the cool toys, Romero and Carmack assures that all the classic FPS mechanics will not be neglected. Strafe jumping, rocket jumps and all that stuff that made countless players spend hundreds of hours shooting each other will make a comeback in Blackroom.
Romero is personally designing every level of the single player campaign and the 6 multiplayer maps. Given the premise of Blackroom, we can reasonably expect to encounter very diverse environments in the game, from futuristic urban areas to medieval castles. There’s another big name involved in the project. The legendary metal guitarist George Lynch is in charge of the soundtrack of Blackroom. We can expect very powerful songs to accompany us in the slaughter in the fast paced gameplay.
Since the focus of Blackroom is to bring back the classic FPS experience, it would be safe to assume that the game will have full mod support and dedicated servers a community maps. Luckily, there’s no “but” after that last sentence as all that stuff along with much more (multiple multiplayer modes, challenge mode, etc) will be included in the full package.
The project has many reward tiers for almost every thinkable amount that can be pledged. The lower tier will net you a badge in the backer forums and access to backer streams and videos. From 29$ going on, the reward will include a copy of the game (plus other rewards depending on the tier), while the highest tier, at 10,000$, will include an invitation to the launch party, a 2 hour skype level design lesson with Romero himself and the possibility to be involved in the creation of one of the Holosims of the game.
If you can’t or don’t want to give monetary support to the project but still want to help somehow, the Kickstarter page presents a list of extras for the game to be unlocked with social involvement of the fans, much like in-game achievements. These challenges range from “reach a given amount of views on the announcement trailer” to “have a certain amount of people share a picture while on cosplay and showing the Blackroom hashtag.” Surely a fun way to spread the word and involve the community.
At the time of writing, Blackroom sits at $121,228 out of the $700,000 goal. The project was at 1/7 of the path in a day and a half, showing that the player thirst for an FPS that can bring back the glory of the past is there. If you want to do something like that, Romero and Carmack are surely the guys to call.