While IDGI Games may have failed to get Consortium: The Tower funded in their first go on Kickstarter, that isn’t stopping them. Much like how the original Consortium failed in its first run on Kickstarter, Consortium: The Tower is going to be coming back for another crowdfunding run, but this time on Fig.
While Fig is a different platform, it does bring some strengths for the IDGI team—if they can overcome the hurdle of getting people onto the platform and understanding it. First and most important is the fact that Fig can bring investors into it, of both accredited and unaccredited types. That works out quite well there, and while the Fig platform doesn’t have a terribly high rate of return generally speaking, its focus is closer to angel investing, with allowing some returns over time. One big change to Fig that is premiering with Consortium: The Tower is that Fig no longer makes any money off of reward donors. This means that all that money goes straight to IDGI, without any going to FIG, boosting the amount they get there by about 5% as you remove the kickstarter cut.
With that change, and the new launch, Consortium: The Tower is going to be seeking 300,000 American to get the game funded. While that is down from the 450k mark they requested on Kickstarter, it is important to remember that amount was in Canadian dollars and also had to account for that extra 5% cost. In fact, when speaking with Gregory MacMartin, he said that the confusion over the funding amount was one of the issues they had to deal with on Kickstarter due to the changes in the Canadian dollar over the last few years. For those curious—this isn’t a currency piece but long story short—Canada’s dollar was boosted to near parity for a while on the basis of oil sales, and the oil crash has dropped it down to around 70 cents American now. If you want to talk more on that, we can take to the comments although I’m no economist really.
So, at this point I’ve spent a lot of time talking about things on goals and platform and not much on the game, so let’s remedy that. Consortium: The Tower is a first person immersion focused game with a focus on dialogue, and choice and consequences. Now before you turn away, and start muttering “walking simulator,” that doesn’t apply here as Consortium: The Tower also features many more traditional game aspects, including shooting, dialogue trees, exploration, and more. Building on the first Consortium game, Consortium: The Tower takes place right after the finale and tosses you into the new scenario, which is much larger than the first game’s location. Instead of a single ship, you are in a giant futuristic sci-fi skyscraper and have to solve a giant hostage crisis.
The reason why the focus is on immersion is that the Consortium series is highly focused on giving the player unparalleled levels of control to personalize and play the experience in the way they want. Drawing heavily on inspiration from tabletop RPGs and the like, Consortium builds the world and the people, gives the players the tools, and asks how do you want to resolve it. That means that if you want to talk your way through and are careful in how you do things, you can. If you want to stealth around and handle things, that’s also an option. Of course, so is using the highly mobile combat and going in and blasting either lethally or non-lethally to get to where you need to be.
Consortium: The Tower continues in many ways the legacy the original Deus Ex created—a game with a rich science fiction world that allows the player to decide how to resolve things. In fact, the comparison used there by IDGI is Deus Ex meets Die Hard because you’re doing all that in a tower, with police and media around who you have to interact with, while talking with the bad guy over a science fiction talking device. You’re also the lone badass going in there and dealing with it.
Crowdfunding can be used in a variety of ways, but perhaps the most ambitious and worthy of them is to make projects that we couldn’t see otherwise. Games where the ambition of the project is something that traditional studios would never consider. That is something that Consortium: The Tower brings because few publishers would want to risk money on pushing the bounds on actual plot significant choices, reactivity, and more. Making things better is that IDGI has proven in the past they can deliver with the smaller but still ambitious Consortium, which is available if you want to try it—and I will say that I had a lot of fun playing.
Consortium: The Tower is now live on FIG and is seeking 300k US, and is running for 35 days. If you want to know some more about Fig, I looked at it earlier this year, and it’s important to understand some of the complexities around this new platform, although that doesn’t include the fact that Fig is no longer taking a cut of rewards-based backing. As for Consortium, check out their Kickstarter campaign, which contained tons of info on it.
Also, stay tuned here for more on Consortium: The Tower, as we have an interview later this week going live with lead developer Gregory MacMartin!