‘Theropods’ Mixes Dinosaurs, Humans, Sci-fi And Adventure Gaming

Theropods only landed on Kickstarter this month. That wasn’t the plan for this indie effort. “We printed out leaflets for our game to pass around in gaming conventions with ‘coming to Kickstarter, early 2017’,” writes the Nerherlands-based developer Kostas Skiftas about his dinosaurs-meet-people, point-and-click sci-fi adventure. These things take a while, it turns out.

Prior to Kickstarter, the idea was to find a publisher. That didn’t work. The response was similar across the board according to Skiftas: “This is a nice looking game but the small market you are aiming for doesn’t justify the production costs for us to see a profit.” So, the team is going completely independent – for now.

This isn’t something developed on a whim. Way back in 2015, an early version of Theropods came to be during a game jam (and that test run of sorts is still playable at NewGrounds). The positive response is what led into the full game, with Skiftas joined by the London-based pixel art duo Sarah Duffield-Harding and Matt Frith, along with Columbus, Ohio’s Zach Striefel handling the soundtrack.

Although the team leans on dinosaurs in promo material, this isn’t a dinosaur game – at least not directly. Consider any sci-fi story involving dinosaurs, and the killer reptiles draw the eye, but not the story. “It is human relationships, it is greed, fear, selfishness or paranoia of the humans that sets everything in motion and creates more problems than it solves. The dinosaurs in our world are the obstacles for the human characters to evolve and grow from and that is what we want to explore in the story,” explains Skiftas.

Under the sea, darling it's better, where it's wetter

Under the sea, darling it’s better, where it’s wetter

THEREOPODS

“Without giving too much of the story away, we wanted to include science fiction to give some interesting twist. Plus we also thought that having someone from an advanced civilization becoming stranded on a primitive, hostile world had a huge potential for storytelling that we wanted to explore,” writes Skiftas, referring to an alien who shows up and disrupts things in a primitive caveman-like world.

The entirety of Theropods is driven by pixel art. It’s popular these days, maybe too popular, as to potentially hurt Theropods chances. The indie scene is even moving toward low polygon counts to match the mid or late 1990s aesthetic of the PlayStation. Theropods’ development team chose pixels for this PC game, and with cause. “There is a reason pixel art is everywhere… it looks really good! Other than the obvious nostalgia it evokes we think it has a timeless quality to it, as is the case for most 2D art in games. It also came about kind of naturally from our desire to combine our creative abilities together to create a game,” writes Skiftas.

Whip it. Whip it good.

Whip it. Whip it good.

THEROPODS

The Theropods Kickstarter is up and running now. If that fails? “We are focusing all of our strength on this campaign right now, but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been looking into publishers and other forms of funding too.

“Kickstarter is just a means to an end, our supporters aren’t going anywhere. They want this game as much as we do and we are hellbent to make it no matter what,” explains Skiftas.

[“source=forbes”]