April 11, 2013 by kazmakid
In a recent article about PAX I briefly discussed some highly anticipated video game companies that I believe deserve a spotlight as they enter the massive sandbox world of gaming. Broken Crown Games appeals to me as a company that is not only innovative but that is also a front runner in the future of single player RPG’s.
Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Tyler Yohe, the CEO of Broken Crown. I walked away from the conversation with a greater understanding of what their latest project, Escaping Titan, has in store for us as well as an understanding of the foundations of the company and their philosophy on game development.
First let me begin with a little background on Tyler. In my eyes, he stands out as a developer who is guided by his true passion for gaming. He has the instinctual drive to pursue an idea, mix it with his background in the sciences, and turn it into an intergalactic reality. This is demonstrated in the development of Escaping Titan, which began two years ago as a “quick little Excel game.” Tyler combined his background in Astrobiology with his love of video games and developed this project into a game that is not only entertaining, but also provides a scientifically accurate learning experience (which you may not even realize you are getting). Escaping Titan is an elaborate space-based video game that is currently two years into production with an estimated two more years until completion.
For all you RPG fans, Escaping Titan really has that next generation feel that games today may not satisfy. I recommend checking out the website where you can find all of the “stellar” details of what to expect.
Here’s what I think:
First, I believe that this game offers something that most video games do not get enough credit for. Escaping Titan allows for an educational element to symbiotically compliment the highly entertaining qualities of the game. Often times, video games are discriminated against for what some describe as: a dorky culture, violent gameplay or addictive qualities. Fans can play Escaping Titan without that stigma, knowing that they are benefiting some in some way from playing the game, while experiencing some high quality entertainment at the same time.
Don’t get me wrong, Broken Crown is 100% dedicated to entertainment, but they pack their project full of real science that allows the player to take away more from the game then sheer amusement. The main focus in the development of Escaping Titan is entertainment, while the learning experiences are “subliminal.” As Tyler puts it: “We want players to peak their curiosity about how something so unbelievable, sci-fi-wise could actually be plausible, based on the real sciences.”
Again, the educational value of the game is not like being beaten on the hand with a ruler, demanding that you walk away with new knowledge. Instead, it engages you in an entertaining way, allowing you to discover more about the scientific world while satisfying your RPG thirst.
With 2 years left in production (great craft is a great time commitment), Broken Crown is doing whatever possible to engage the fans and include them in development. They work closely with an army of volunteers and are always looking for ways to incorporate fan-based ideas into the game. At PAX east Tyler utilized the open-source software Brekel and a Microsoft Kinect to capture fan movement that will be incorporated in the game.
I want to briefly discuss what I believe the future of games has in store. I think the future of video games may reach beyond the depths of pure entertainment. I predict that we’ll see games benefiting the community as a whole, through concepts like “subliminal learning” that allow gamers to walk away with something more than the experience itself. This tide is already shifting as companies such as Nintendo and Zynga have developed games that appeal to a larger population and to the whole mind. BCG is riding this wave into the future of the industry.
Broken Crown Games is currently Kickstarting a sourcebook for Escaping Titan that will showcase the amazing sci-fi qualities found in the game. If you wish to get a sneak peak of the blend of science and entertainment, be sure to jump on the opportunity to check out the sourcebook. The offer will only be around for a few days. I highly recommend it.
The future of gaming is in the player’s hands. It becomes our duty to help developers continue in their innovations. I look forward to seeing what Broken Crown Games and the gaming world in general has in store for us in the years to come. Thanks to Tyler and Broken Crown, not only for their futuristic approach to developing an exciting sci-fi game, but also for taking into consideration what the future of gaming needs in order to survive in this galaxy.
Live long and prosper…and of course, game on.