Published on March 31st, 2013 | by Andy Astruc0
Money Shots: Pixelry
[Money Shots showcases (in our humble opinion) the best games currently asking for crowdfunding on Kickstarter, RocketHub and other sites across the internet. If you have a project you'd like see featured here, feel free to contact us!]
Even without access to a time machine, I can confidently assume it was pretty awful living in medieval-era Europe. The Middle Ages was filthy with feudalism, bubonic plague, unimaginatively titled religious crusades, civil war and literal filth. One of the most accurate filmic representations of the period is Monty Python and the Holy Grail, mainly because the production team were too poor to do anything but throw mud on some cotton sacks and film the dreariest of British countryside. If you were unlucky enough to be born into this dirt-caked era of blood and outdoor plumbing, there’s a good chance you would have been a peasant — although the upside to that is you’d be dead in only 40 years, if you manage to survive a 33% infant mortality rate and avoid being a woman.
There is an awful lot of fiction about the Middle Ages, though. No doubt it’s partly because writers cleverly avoid showing the parts where people throw buckets of sewerage into the streets. In fact, far from this sort of scum-soaked realism are the shining notions of chivalry, noble knights fighting for country and glory, pretty princesses in towers, civilised battles on green fields and big plates of game fowl. It’s from this quaint and squeaky clean fictional history that we get most forms of Robin Hood, the completely accurate Scottish lifestyle simulator Braveheart, and a little something called Pixelry. Pixelry is about that most noble of medival pastimes: jousting. Two men get on the backs of horses, then run at one another with big sticks to see who is the best at having a big stick. Evelend Games have expanded this most simple of manly death sports into a fully fledged RPG, complete with princesses, shops and special abilities. From their Kickstarter page:
You’ll travel to Pixelville to fulfil your greatest dream and to marry the beautiful young princess Arianna Annabelle di Grandigund Hyacinthe. To do this you must prove yourself a capable horseman by winning the King’s championship tournament which involves defeating those recognized as the unbeatable knights of the realm, “The Big 5″. According to the King, “whoever manages to defeat them in combat will be a good suitor for his daughter!”
As you can see if you play the 15 minute demo version of Pixelry Classic, the game casts you as a nobody with dreams of becoming the King’s jousting champ. Players can enter jousts organised through the local tavern (street jousts, as I like to call them), then use that sweet joust cash to upgrade their armour and give their horses some gnarly bling.
The Kickstarter itself will allow Evelend to dedicate their full attention to the game — a common goal for indie developers forced to continue holding “real” jobs — and add more RPG features to the eventual release of Pixelry Champions. While the funding has stalled a little, with just over £2,000 of the £23,000 goal achieved to date, there are some exciting possibilities listed in their stretch goal section. Of particular note is the “Pixure” engine, which will allow players to customise their knight — the simple pixel style making it easy for anyone to create a pink dragoon or Tron program as whims demand. It will also allow players to make their own items and equipment with specific uses. Multiplayer modes and the ability to own your own medieval home are also possibilities.
With 17 days to go before the gods of crowdfunding read from their scroll of judgement, there’s plenty of time for Pixelry to succeed. If you have any interest in a rather tongue-in-cheek RPG that lets you spear another man through the chest with a piece of wood and woo buxom princesses, all while wearing a wicked helmet, then this positively medieval game is just your cup of tea. Consider throwing a few coins into the arena.