The lights are on
At GDC, we got our first look at Hanakai Studio’s video game-meets-tabletop miniatures title, Prodigy. The company’s $100,000 Kickstarter campaign began on April 2, and just five days later has passed its goal.
When we played Prodigy a couple of weeks ago, it was clear that the game mechanics were in tech demo form. The near-field communication worked extremely well, and the concepts laid out for the single-player and competitive multiplayer intrigued us.
The concept of using figures to interact with a video game isn’t new (Skylanders is a $2 billion franchise now), and incorporating physical items for position-based strategy has been tried (by Sony's Eye of Judgment). However, Hanakai is attempting to create a stronger narrative connection between the on-screen and the physical than its predecessors.
As the remaining 25 days of the campaign continue, the developer will be updating its campaign and filling in more details about the game. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our preview and the Kickstarter campaign.
Our TakeHanakai Studio has some challenges ahead. In order for Prodigy to succeed, it will need to create an install base larger than its Kickstarter campaign. Miniatures aren’t inexpensive, and they take retail space. In order for the physical-meets-digital formula to work, players need to have easy access to new figures (something Activision found out the hard way in Skylanders’ first year).
I’d love to see Prodigy succeed. The figures are absolutely beautiful and the single-player content sounds fascinating. I just see business realities that are difficult (but not impossible) to overcome.