PN: Please start by introducing yourself to our readers, and sharing a brief overview of your project and a few of its unique characteristics …

I am Eugene Kim, the founder and CEO of West Games. Areal is a new video game that’s being developed by senior ex-S.T.A.L.K.E.R employees. It features a massive and intricately detailed open world environment that is extremely varied and colorful, even though it’s set in a post-apocalyptic setting. The further you venture towards the center of Areal, the bleaker and scarier it gets. Areal depicts a future where civilization has fallen apart due to an unearthly material called Metamorphite, which eventually spreads, corrupts and infects the whole world. The source of Metamorphite comes from a meteor that impacted the earth long ago, and it is the site of constant conflict and bloodshed.

Areal’s story is not linear – players can choose how their characters act and speak – everything from how you talk to who you kill changes the storyline of Areal. There is no morality system in Areal, so you are free to make choices that you think are best in any given situation, without being blinded and limited by a standard good/evil system. Ultimately, Areal is the culmination of everything that we want to see from a post apocalyptic game, and it’s something that we can realize with full creative freedom because of the unique platform that is Kickstarter. All we need is your support!

West Games logo

PN: What made the team decide and try to finance the game through crowdfunding? What advantages do Kickstarter offer you?

Well, for one, we get to make the game how we want to make it. And we think that having the community fund our game is a great way to achieve the funding that we need.

PN: Some have expressed concerns that your asking amount is too low for the game’s ambition.  Could you please take a moment and address this?

Sure, we have addressed this in our updates actually, and the answer is as follows:

” People are asking why our base goal is 50,000. To answer that question, we want to ask two other questions. Why do people think that 50,000 is the maximum that we can raise, and not the absolute minimum? And is it possible that professional’s salaries differ in different countries?

The fact is that we have a start up, we already have fans, plus we ourselves are fans of what we’re doing, so we don’t need big salaries. We need an opportunity to do, create, promote and make the world a more exciting place. That’s why we did not force up our salaries and expenses. To further elaborate on our budget though, we are again attaching a section on our Kickstarter dedicated to why our BASE goal is what it is:

” We’ve pooled all of our savings into making Areal, and don’t have funds to go any further. Unlike most companies, every one of our employees has invested their time and money into making Areal. The budget that we’ve pooled together covers salaries and some aspects of game development. We need the Kickstarter and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. community to support us by helping us cover the rest. Marketing also makes up a huge portion of most budgets, so we will rely on internal marketing as well as word of mouth to lower those costs substantially. “”

PN: Nintendo fans are no doubt happy to see Areal included in the base goal, and not as a stretch goal!  What are your thoughts on the Wii U hardware?

Well, the Wii U is objectively not as powerful as other platforms, but I don’t think Areal will suffer because of it, and might actually benefit because of the unique controller possibilities. Yes, the graphics have to be toned down a little bit for the Wii U, but all the features found on other platforms will be on the Wii U version too. We love Nintendo’s platforms as they are always unique, and having a platform that is a bit different will not stop us from developing on it.

PN: The concept art you’ve shown thus far is gorgeous!  When can we expect to see in-game footage?

Thank you! We have shown and will continue to show images, concept art and animations. You can see us working on the wolf model for areal within our video. The rest of it is meant to showcase what we’ve accomplished in the past, so as to present what we can do in the future.

PN: To sum, why is Areal a game worth backing?

We are people who led game design, animation, graphics and programming when we worked on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, and we want to continue the spirit of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. with Areal whilst at the same time, making something completely new. We hope that you guys/gals can see what we’ve accomplished before, and can imagine what we can do now, when we are fully unrestrained creatively. Areal is unique in the post-apocalyptic video game landscape, and backing us means that you’ll get to see it completed!


Thanks to Eugene for this interview.  More details on the Areal project can be found at Kickstarter.