Away: The Survival Series Kickstarter Is Live, With A Goal To Fund Other Animals

The interactive nature documentary's development is progressing rather nicely, but funding for more animals would be amazing.
Developer Breaking Walls takes to Kickstarter to fund a possible feature for their upcoming title Away: The Survival Series.
Developer Breaking Walls takes to Kickstarter to fund a possible feature for their upcoming title Away: The Survival Series. Breaking Walls

For many people, Sony’s last State of Play was notable because it finally released new footage for the highly anticipated remake of Final Fantasy VII. For me personally, it was interesting because of the MediEvil remake, and this nice little announcement trailer for a very unique title – Away: The Survival Series.

This charming game from independent Montreal-based studio Breaking Walls follows the story of a cute little rodent called the Sugar Glider. As far as I can tell, it’s set in a time where cataclysmic storms ravage the earth, leaving species of every kind to fend for themselves. It reminded me of nature shows so much, and how they provide these insights into the lives of other creatures.

While development has been going quite steadily for Breaking Walls and Away: The Survival Series, there was a bit of surprising news for those interested in the title (such as myself) as the developer announced that the game is coming to Kickstarter for a 30-day campaign. Apparently, the goal of the Kickstarter campaign is to bring new animals into the game besides the Sugar Glider, including a lizard, rat, frog, spider, praying mantis, wolf, and crab. To showcase some of these animals, plus provide some more gameplay footage, Breaking Walls also released a new sneak peek for Away: The Survival Series, which you can watch below.

Looking at the footage, it’s clear that there are some rough edges that needs smoothing, especially when it comes the Sugar Glider’s animations. They’re a bit stiff and unnatural, and the lack of collision physics between the Sugar Glider and its surroundings was throwing me off. It does, however, show some promise, as the environments are looking to be quite expansive and intricate, and that fight with the scorpion felt like something out of an episode of Animal Kingdom. The trailer also showed off some gameplay for the other animals, and the praying mantis really caught my attention due to how creepy it looked. Then again, maybe that’s just because I hate insects as a whole.

While I’m not really a big fan of Kickstarter campaigns, as there are obvious pitfalls when it comes to development purely funded by fans rather than actual business people, Breaking Walls’ campaign works a bit differently. For one thing, according to their Twitter, it exists solely to fund the additional animals rather than the development of the main game.

I did get the chance to ask them about this through their Twitter account, and their PR person stated that Away: The Survival Series is “already most of the way through development,” and that Kickstarter is there to help them “integrate a new feature (playing as other animals) and to help polish the game.”

The developers also tweeted that should the campaign not reach its goal by the time it ends, then backers will get their money back. Of course, should it get completed on time, backers will receive other incentives in addition to a copy of Away: The Survival Series.

In other words, funding something like this campaign is a great way to purchase the game if you’re interested, seeing as it’s quite risk-free, and if it succeeds, you end up getting the game anyway. Of course, I would like to take this chance to remind everyone that Kickstarters, as a whole, are very risky propositions that require a lot of critical thinking. It’s only something you do if you’re one hundred percent sure that you want the game beforehand, and not if you’re still on the fence about it.

All of this said, I’m still looking forward to Away, regardless of whether or not it reaches its funding goal and whether or not you get to play as other animals. As much as I’m rooted in playing genres that have quite the solid foundation and will most likely not disappoint, I applaud developers who actually try to do something new instead of chasing after the next big thing. Breaking Walls has my support in their endeavors, and I’m looking forward to checking out Away: The Survival Series once it finally releases.

UPDATE: As I'm writing this up, Breaking Walls has managed to fully fund their Kickstarter campaign. Let's look forward to more animals in the game then!

Away: The Survival Series will be released on the PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam sometime in Q1 of 2020.

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