Double Fine’s upcoming Massive Chalice game rocketed past its initial $725,000 Kickstarter goal, and currently sits at more than 22,500 backers, with 20 days to go. As a result of fan feedback, the forthcoming tactical strategy game will also include support for same-sex marriage, game lead Brad Muir has confirmed in an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
“We did not talk about [the possibility of gay marriage] until we launched the Kickstarter,” he told the website. “We were so focused on pure pragmatic mechanics and how it would work and coupling and all these things that we hadn't [considered it]. That was something I got kinda blindsided by. That was really unfortunate. It kinda makes me feel s****y that it’s not something I’d thought of. I think it’s sort of hetero privilege that I didn't see it coming.”
Muir believes that funding the project through Kickstarter has provided the developer with part of the flexibility required to make the addition, and that had the team opted for more traditional financial support, a publisher would likely have nixed the opportunity to include the feature.
“If somebody did think about it during that whole thing, they would've probably just killed it, because it is such a controversial issue. They’d probably not want to have it associated with the game at all. And then they’d give me a PR company line that I’d have to tell in every interview, and it’d be super, super s****y. And then any gay gamers who are coming to the game and playing it and wanting to see themselves represented would just be really disappointed,” he said.
The decision to include a same-sex marriage option is now a serious goal for the team, though with the game still in its early developmental stages, exact mechanics haven’t yet been worked out.
“We've been talking about ways to actually incorporate gay marriage,” Muir said. “One of the suggestions was to allow couples--male/female or otherwise--to contribute to the good of the realm via means other than childbirth. So couples could raise children or research technology. That’s one interesting way to handle it. And then, if you couple it with the ability to foster children, I think that’s a way you could have same-sex couples in the game. And it’s optional. People can choose to engage it or not.”
Massive Chalice is being built on Double Fine’s in-house Buddha engine, and will be launched on the PC, Mac, and Linux. No release date has been confirmed. The company is currently developing Dropchord and its point-and-click adventure game Broken Age.