'Earthworm Jim' Creator Launches Kickstarter for Adventure Game 'Armikrog'

Prolific graphic novelist Doug TenNapel is bringing his distinctive style back to the video game world for the first time in 14 years. 

TenNapel is best known for creating the video game character Earthworm Jim in the mid-1990s, and his stop-motion adventure game The Neverhood has long been a cult classic for PC gamers. On Tuesday, he and his developer/animator friends Mike Dietz and Ed Schofield announced Armikrog, a "spiritual successor" to Neverhood created by Pencil Test Studios and funded through Kickstarter.

Armikrog will be a point-and-click adventure game made entirely with claymation/stop-motion animation graphics, and the art style appears very similar to Neverhood's, with more polished animation under a tighter budget, thanks to nearly 20 years of progress in video technology.

You can see an early sample of the cinematics in the Kickstarter trailer:

You can find a lot more details, including concept art, voice cast members, and rewards for backing the project at Armikrog's Kickstarter page. One day in to the fundraising campaign, the team has received over $200,000 in pledges toward its $900,000 goal.

If you're unfamiliar with Doug TenNapel, I suggest you grab a few of his graphic novels and, if you're anything like me, get hooked after one or two. Doug is a true original and an insatiable artist, pounding out book after book overflowing with imagination and soul. His work is characterized by moving spiritual themes, raucous sci-fi adventure, and infectious goofiness. As an outspoken evangelical and conservative, his books stand out with their optimism and embrace of family in an industry where cynicism and disillusion are perennially in vogue. 

TenNapel ran his own Kickstarter for a "sketchbook archives" project in 2012 that wildly exceeded its goal. Though his recent graphic novels through publisher Graphix have each been winners, it appears the success of that project may have inspired TenNapel to look to crowd-sourcing for ideas that may be a little too off-kilter for traditional gatekeepers but veritable catnip for his existing fans. From the looks of Armikrog, we may be seeing him enter a whole new phase of creative vision, freed from the boundaries of traditional funding.

If Armikrog meets its fundraising goal, it is tentatively scheduled for release in July 2014.


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