Role-playing games are fairly unique in their ability to let players take a walk in someone else’s shoes; Studio Fawn, a four-person team based in Los Angeles, is keeping that in mind as they work on “Bloom: Memories,” their first game—and perhaps the first fantasy RPG game prominently featuring a transgender character.
Preview video below.
The group plans to release Bloom on all three major computer systems—Linux, PC, and Mac—and while system requirements haven’t been mentioned, the game so far looks just as good as one you might see from a big-name studio. Developer Dani Landers, who is transgender herself, said “Basically, we are a very tiny team tackling a pretty ambitious project… especially since we have done it with no budget and just a lot of passion.” To finish the project, though, they need financial help; to get it, they started a Kickstarter campaign, with an initial goal of$40,000.
As of December 4, with five days to go, they’re seeing how many stretch goals they can hit—as they’re nearly five thousand dollars over.
Though the idea of a game with a transgender character will undoubtedly turn some gamers off, for those willing to try something new, “Bloom” clearly has a lot to offer. A popular trend today is “sandbox” gaming, also known as open world, where the player is free to explore the world at will, and can choose when or even whether to approach many of its objectives. It’s a direction this game is clearly taking; according to its official description, “At its core, we are creating a game that moves away from the cliché of violence and domination. In fact, you can play the entire game without harming anyone or anything if you so choose.
“Of course, we understand that there are different types of players, and we are dedicated to building a world that accounts for each of them in a rewarding way. Combat, stealth, story or collection…it is up to you to decide how you want to face the challenges ahead.”
Dani told 429Magazine, “For us, Bloom is about more than just making a game, it is really a passion project to try and connect with players. We have a lot we want to say, as creators, and we want to express that through the game. Everything from the battles of transgender people, to the costs of war and violence, to even the simple philosophies of how we come to be who we are.”
Though the fundraiser has already reached its goal, those interested can still contribute; backer rewards actually start with a copy of the game itself, for only $10 (although the approximate release date is December 2015). Other rewards include t-shirts, prints of game art, soundtracks, art books, and more; at the highest levels, $700 and up, contributors can get their likeness incorporated into a character in the game itself.