Author Neal Stephenson Kickstarts PC-Exclusive, Motion-Controlled Swordfighting PVP Game

Brad Chacos

Meticulous detail, motion-controlled swords and PC exclusivity: that's what noted sci-fi and historical fiction author Neal Stephenson is bringing to the table if his arena-style blade-dueling game, Clang , meets its $500k funding goal. Stephenson, you see, is sick of seeing guns, guns and more guns in games and he -- with the help of Subutai, his Seattle-based media company -- wants to bring back old-school sword duels in virtual form, all powered by Razer's Hydra motion controller.

Despite calling the game "Guitar Hero with swords" in the most hilarious Kickstart video we've ever seen -- keep your eyes peeled for an ornery, crowbar-crafting Gabe Newell! -- Stephenson says that the Hydra's low latency and high accuracy will open up a word of advanced sword-fighting capabilities, including different stances, pommel strikes, grappling, feints, and parries.

The game is slated to start off as a simple one-on-one multiplayer arena game, with longswords being the only weapons available, but Stephenson says that as the technology and gameplay is perfected, the team hopes to introduce adventure-style quests and a toolkit dubbed MASE (for Martial Arts System Embodiments) that will enable Subutai and others to add new weapons and fighting styles to Clang, with Japanese kenjutsu and Viking sword-and-board being the two examples cited. Stories and books set in the Clang universe are already being published through Amazon.

Clang's already raised around $250,000 , or just under half its goal. Dropping $25 into the proverbial bucket gets you kudos in the game credits as well as a copy of the title once it's finished, which should be around February of next year. Even if you're not into the whole crowdfunding thing, be sure to check out that intro video to witness Stephenson's wicked humor (and his even more wicked beard) firsthand.

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