Epic Tails: Antilia
Explore a virtual world of magic, strange gods, and clashing cultures in what may turn out to be the definitive furry video game experience…
Note: I’m linking the graphics in this article to their originals, so click around. The original illustrations are much stronger than the thumbnails here!
Once in a great while, someone says, “I’d like to do something nice for the furries.”
Treasure those moments. They’re rare things, and Antilia is one of them.
Antilia, a MMORPG launching on Kickstarter, is set in a unique magical world, one where the gods walk and magic is as much a part of life as art and music. Strange stars hang in the sky during the day, and the night is lit by twisting tendrils of magical light.
Unique, yes, but not without its antecedents. Long-time furry gamers might feel the game’s inspiration in World Tree. There are similarities. In both, the gods are active and vital parts of the world, and walk beside their most beloved species, divine and worldy at the same time, and magic is a simple and natural part of life. Also, there are dragons. The world has the quirky charm of a landscape shaped to tell a story of cultures and civilizations. Not an unfavorable comparison (and I’d be more surprised if the authors had read World Tree, small print and quirky as it is). Antilia‘s world is special.
There are, of course, some RPG tropes. Take the race list. In fact, furries should probably jump immediately to the race list, just to make sure they’re properly represented. Pre-stretch goal, options include felo, kisan…ah, to heck with it. Roos, wolves, elk, cats, and foxes, along with their attendant gods (Fox fans will be happy to know that the fox gods live in obscene luxury and vice. Go, foxes.) Together, these are the Taipii, shaped into distinctive strains, but still one adaptable, artistic race. Beneath the ground are…well, not dwarves, but a hard-working race of industrious and occasionally greedy engineers, the Reisuii. Personally, give me a squirrel who’s harnessed the power of STEAM over Torin Oakenshield and his musty beardy cousins any day. The Reisuii and the mystical dragonish Sakii aren’t playable, at least in Antilia‘s initial vision, but they sure are pretty!
The concept art for Antilia is lush, a nicely-realized fantasy world. I’ve downloaded more than a few of them to my “favorites” folder already. As for the game graphics–hard to say at this point, since the game is in alpha test. Apparently, the World of Forra is either a rather dark place, or the gamma on my monitor is wonky. Regardless, I’d rather stare at the swishing tail of the game’s ringtail character than a Dark Elf butt.
The kickstarter itself is compelling, if a little wordy, but it’s got a lot to touch on–a host of game system elements (journals, party trackers and builders, economies and crafting, screen types, weather, in-character tomes, playing with dolls–wait, that should be “character building,” apologies. The list is long. Plenty of concept art and game maps, too, with nice info-graphics. Also very, very clever: clicking around on the website will turn up a press kit to make spreading the word easier (and thank you so much for that!) So some excellent tools for getting the message out. Hours after launch the game’s already at a tenth of goal, a strong start to what will hopefully be a successful launch.
Also. Naming your own virtual island? Priceless.
Note: Images used above are included to promote the work of crowdfunding artists, and are owned by the original creator.
Sana fiare actertisia December 22, 2013
I think you hit upon something in your opening statement about how people should take notice when serious efforts are directed towards the Furry Genre. They’re only going to get rarer if this Kickstarter fails.
Exaggeration? Bombast? Hear me out.
In 2009, Earth Eternal tried and failed to gather strength from a setting that was over 75% furry-themed characters. The often-cited reason for the lack of appeal to the fandom was that the characters were ‘too cartoony’.
Now Antilia comes along, with graceful and pretty anthropomorphic characters that the community claimed Earth Eternal failed to deliver, asking directly for support and openly courting the fandom.
Let’s say Antilia’s Kickstarter fails. Sure, Antilia won’t likely be made – that’s the obvious results. It’s just one game, and it might not be everyone’s thing. So what?
Think about the repercussions of this on others considering bringing higher quality games to the genre.
They’re going to clearly see, unequivocally, there’s no real financial evidence to do so: This very well could be the last chance for the Furry Fandom to put-up-or-shut-up as far as being a force in the games market.
The next chance could take another decade before anyone dares dabble seriously in the genre again.
Sobering food for thought.
Corbeau December 22, 2013
They’ve got a good strong lead, and Antilia may appeal to a mainstream audience–a real question is whether furry is a big enough demographic to sustain a long-term, open-ended project like a MMO–and compete with a product like World of Warcraft with an established fan base. No MMO can succeed without a critical mass of players, and games don’t exist in a vaccuum.
However, maybe the post-Ylvis world is ready to accept anthropomorphics as just another type of fantasy. I’d think the big-budget furry success story is going to need to play outside the fandom–all that said, I can see that this could be a barometer for whether there’s a strong market at this particular point in time, it seems like a well-polished project.
Sana fiare actertisia December 23, 2013
“What does the fox play?” should be Antilia’s catchphrase.
Corbeau December 23, 2013
snaari December 30, 2013
i dont cear what anyone else says the game is going to be unbeleaveably amazing
Ged January 29, 2014
So Antilia didn’t succeed its Kickstarter. When a game like this fails to get funded, the excuse that it’s a furry game comes up, but what’s more troubling is what it says about crowdfunding in general:
PS: Antilia’s Kickstarter is dead. Long Live, Antilia.
Corbeau February 3, 2014
Good article, Ged. There’s a lot of factors here, I’m still wondering about what factors caused Antilia to fail–the high (but justified) price point probably was a factor.
Beast’s Fury, the nice-looking furry fighting game which seemed like the last major furry video game crowdfunder,
clocked in at just over $20K, their “we can make a demo” game, but no-where near the needed amount to make a goal.
I don’t think the majority of furs really understand the basics of crowdfunding. I’m looking forward to the 22nd, when I’ll be giving a talk at Furry Fiesta about the subject–although it’ll be a self-selecting group of people drawn to the discussion topic, it might help me understand a little about what our v-e-r-y young demographic thinks on the subject. Most people never bother getting beyond “oh, that’s all about getting other people to pay for my fursuit.”
I’ve heard that Crowdfunding is a bubble, particularly video game crowdfunding, and that indie video games are, also a bubble–there’s so many hot and interesting titles that there’s not enough mental space for new ones. I don’t believe the first idea, but crowdfunding is *new,* about two years old, and these big campaigns are, like Ten Ton Hammer said, going to be affected by market forces.
I’m not sure the “eew furries” stigma is as strong as Mr Hammer suggests, but MMORPG launches are pretty common on Kickstarter, and “Cute but not for me” might have been a bigger factor, with other options opening up regularly.