Iron Harvest, the upcoming "classic real-time strategy" game set in the same alternate history post-World War I universe as acclaimed 2016 board game Scythe, hit Kickstarter on Tuesday. Now, two days later, it's already approaching its third funding milestone with no signs of slowing down.
Boston studio King Art Games set a baseline goal for its crowdfunding campaign of $450,000 to fund the game's three planned singleplayer campaigns, one from the perspective of each of three playable factions — the western Saxony Empire, central Polania Republic, and the nation of Rusviet to the east. Over the past 48 hours, backers have boosted the campaign well past its initial goal, with just under $560,000 pledged at the time of writing (over $10,000 more than when I first sat down to write this article). This puts it well on its way to funding its next goal of cinematic cutscenes and more than halfway towards the $1 million stretch goal for competitive multiplayer.
We did a feature on the game at the launch of its Kickstarter campaign, showcasing artist Jakob Rozalski's fantastic World of 1920+ that has grown in popularity after its appearance in Scythe. Iron Harvest promises a story-based singleplayer campaign exploring a three-sided diesel-fueled conflict inspired by the 1919-1921 Polish-Soviet War. A gameplay video published today shows small-scale cover-based infantry and mech combat reminiscent of (real-life) WWII RTS franchise Company of Heroes — squads of infantry lob grenades to dislodge enemies in cover and mechs conceal their weaker rear armor from the enemy as they pelt each other with cannon rounds. One developer at King Art Games indeed stated this is part of the reason behind their excitement for this project — Company of Heroes and Warcraft 3 are popular free time sinks at the studio, he said.
In a blog post yesterday on game's website, King Art mentioned the game had reached $355,000 of funding — roughly 80 percent of its baseline goal — after just 24 hours. It also explained that a number of publishers were interested in picking up the game, so Iron Harvest is planned to be feature-complete even if it doesn't meet all of its Kickstarter stretch goals. Rather, the post said, the amount of funding they get from fans versus a publisher would determine "who has a say in how [game features] are implemented," rather than whether they would be included at all.
High on the totem pole of those features include a cooperative mode for the campaign and smaller cooperative scenarios, in addition to season-based ranked multiplayer ladders. The top stretch goal is a post-launch free "mini-campaign" DLC, reminiscent of the three-mission Tiger Ace campaign in Company of Heroes. "Free" is the operative word here, as King Art has expressed its intent to deliver on the singleplayer experience instead of focusing on "long-term monetization opportunities," as it states on the game's Kickstarter page.
As we mentioned in our feature, King Art Games has a good track record with crowdfunding projects. Battle Worlds Kronos, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, and The Dwarves all delivered on their promises relatively on-schedule. For what it's worth, Battle Worlds Kronos and The Dwarves weren't our favorite games, but hey — it's a new day. We should know more when the backer alpha goes live later this year.
Iron Harvest is slated for release in Q4 2019 on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.