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Grand Theft Auto Veteran’s Kickstarter Retells 1979 Iranian Revolution

Kickstarter campaigns require a number of factors to be successful not just in funding, but in execution. A good idea, a realistic sense of budget, and a capable team must all be in place. The pitch for Ink Stories’ 1979, a historical adventure that takes place during the Iranian revolution, evidences all three.

The project is led by Navid Khonsari, who was involved with the visual style and cinematic approach of a number of fine titles (including a number of Rockstar games) , including Grand Theft Auto III, Max Payne, Manhunt, Alan Wake, and The Warriors. With him is a team of experienced animators, game architects, and documentarians that will pair the historical events with a game play experience. 1979 is an adventure game that puts players right in the middle of protests and the violent military response. 

Khonsari grew up in Tehran and is now considered a spy in his homeland. He can never go back home, and he isn’t the only expatriate on the team. 

Additionally, Ink is working with Michel Setboun, a French photojournalist who was on the ground in Tehran during the revolution. Setboun’s photos and archival video footage are woven into the experience along with graphic novel cutscenes.

A prototype has been developed, and the first episode, which this Kickstarter funds, is targeted for launch in mid-2014. It will be coming to PC, Mac, iOS, and Android. 

[Source: Kickstarter]

 

Our Take
In a sea of Kickstarter pitches, Navid Khonsari’s appeal for support rises to the top. The pitch is well thought out, the risks and challenges section (largely ignored by many project managers) is both introspective and realistic, and the budget is reasonable for a single two-hour episode. The format and presentation of information in this pitch inspire confidence, and the care given to the historical context and accuracy make the project compelling. 

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