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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Amplitude Studios does early access right.

Kickstarter and steam early access have become two incredibly contentious practices in this new wild west of crowd sourced patronage. There are successes as admirable as Star Citizen (looks amazing, but the jury's still out on how the whole thing will end up) and grotesque con jobs too numerable to mention. I'll let Jim Sterling handle that. 

But then there's Amplitude, whose Dungeon of the Endless has charmed me out of $20 and 33 hours of my life. It's wonderful and it's pretty much finished now. I say grab it. Grab it right the hell now. But even though that game isn't officially finished yet, they've still been busy on their high fantasy riff on Civilization. It's called Endless Legend, and I sit here stunned at what this modest studio has pulled off. They say you should never fight a war on two fronts; and I expected progress to slow down on DOE considerably, and wanted nothing to do with EL.

But work continued at a decent clip a few months after EL was, um... early accessed? Balance and content patches came fast and furious these last few weeks, giving me more and more confidence in the studio. So today I decided to buy the EL founder pack, and I'm more than impressed. Let's forget they're an indie studio. Let's ignore that zooming out all the way on the map turns the world into an actual cloth map. Let's just talk about how much better this looks and plays next to Godus. The crummy alleged brain child of alleged auteur Peter Molyneux. Who at this point is somewhere between M. Night Shyamalan and modern day Francis Ford Coppola. In other words, a once great director that hasn't walked the walk in 10 years.

Amplitude is selling two games that are damn impressive out of the box, and will only get better. These guys walk the walk with wit and charm to spare. The writing for both of these games didn't have to be half as good as it is, but here we are. EL has pot bellied centaurs for Christ's sake!

So I hope some of you will invest in this rising star with me. I've never seen a studio work this hard for my money, I honestly don't know how they do it.

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