The pair pitched Knights and Bikes on Kickstarter in early 2016. Crowle and Yu needed money, but, like many independent creators, they also used the campaign to gauge interest in the concept. Immediately, people expressed their support on Twitter. More important, though, they backed the project, and on February 28th, 2016, the game met its crowdfunding target of £100,000 (roughly $135,000). By the end of the campaign, that figure had risen to £126,447 (roughly $171,000). "It's one thing if people just give you retweets and likes; it's another thing if they actually give you cold hard cash," Yu said.
Foam Sword has spent the past two (and a bit) years working on Knights and Bikes. In that time, it's signed a publishing deal with Double Fine, the developer behind Psychonauts, Brutal Legend and the Kickstarter-funded point-and-click adventure game Broken Age. "We had quite a lot of publishers approach us," Crowle said. "There were some that were kind of tempting, but their style of game was very different from ours and we sort of felt that if they tweeted about it on their own account, they would just get lots of abuse."
"It's one thing if people just give you retweets and likes; it's another thing if they actually give you cold hard cash."
Knights and Bikes was meant to come out in April 2017. Every month, the pair write a detailed blog post explaining the delay and their progress to Kickstarter backers. The May update, for instance, explained the progress Yu had made with online co-op and some of the adventure's boss battles. Crowle, meanwhile, detailed the state of the Scrap-Yard -- one of the biggest and most complex levels -- and the Penfurzy countryside. They're now working on a "second pass" of the game, which would suggest that a final version isn't too far off. At the time of this writing, however, there's still no release date.
Still, it's a game worth following. Many developers have tried to channel eighties culture and video games such as Earthbound, a classic Japanese role-playing game set in a small American town. (Hello, Crossing Souls.) Few take place in England, though, and fewer still try to capture the look and feel of childhood in Cornwall. Knights and Bikes is, first and foremost, a charming adventure that you can play with a friend, young or old. But underneath, it's also a depiction of a real-world place and decade that is rarely depicted in media.
Disclaimer: I backed this project on Kickstarter because it looked nifty.