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Deus Ex Machina 2 finds Kickstarter success

Mel Croucher's reboot of his 1984 Sinclair ZX Spectrum classic Deus Ex Machina has hit its new Kickstarter target, with five days left in the campaign.

Automata's Deus Ex Machina 2, which stars the voice of Christopher Lee, sought £9,800 (about $15,000) and is currently at just under £11,000. The one-hour Unity-based game tells a 'seven ages of man' story, inspired by Shakespeare's 'As You Like It.' Currently set for release on Windows and Mac, the campaign page lists possible Linux and Oculus Rift versions among stretch targets.

The original Deus Ex Machina won Game of the Year in its home country of Britain, when it launched in 1984. Starring the voice of the late Jon Pertwee (best known as Doctor Who at that time), it required players to listen to a cassette-based soundtrack synchronously, during play. It was praised for its originality, its soundtrack and its willingness to take on complex subjects during a time when games were mostly crude and simplistic.

Croucher launched an ambitious Kickstarter earlier this year, aiming to raise £64,000 ($97,000), but failed to meet the target, so returned with a more modest campaign.

"I'm going to get the game out to backers in the next few weeks, and get feedback from them," Croucher told Polygon. "This is what is so fantastic about the connectivity of things like Kickstarter. It allows us to communicate with the audience. Back in 1984, you had to go to computer fairs and meet people in person. Now it's immediate."

He said he is aiming to release the finished Deus Ex Machina 2 in September. Price of the game, which comes with a book and soundtrack, is yet to be decided.

Polygon is planning a full feature on Croucher's life in the next few weeks.

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