fbpx Steampunk Digest - October 2, 2020: Our weekly roundup of news and other happenings in the steampunk world | The Steampunk Explorer
Steampunk Digest logo

Steampunk Digest - October 2, 2020

Our weekly roundup of news and other happenings in the steampunk world

Friday, October 2, 2020

It came down to the wire, but Rain Games has succeeded with its Kickstarter fundraising campaign for Girl Genius: Adventures in Castle Heterodyne, a forthcoming video game based on the popular web comic. The developer hit its $200,000 funding goal on Sept. 30 with just three days to spare. The campaign runs through Oct. 3.

The developer is planning a Metroidvania-style adventure in which protagonist Agatha Heterodyne explores the mysterious ancient castle that bears her family name. It’s targeted for a Dec. 2022 release in versions for Macs and PCs. Rain Games also expects to offer console versions, including one for the Nintendo Switch.

Girl Genius isn’t the only project that will keep the developer busy. Rain Games announced this week that it’s working on a sequel to Teslagrad, a 2D puzzle game released in 2013 (screen shot above). Much like the original, it will be an “exploration-based Metroidvania game with magnetic physics,” states the company blog. However, the sequel will be set in a new region known as Wyrmheim with a design inspired by Viking carvings and Nordic runes. There’s no word on a release date or platform support.

See more crowdfunding news below.

The Cog Is Dead

The Cog is Dead has released a new deluxe edition of Steam Powered Stories, their debut album from 2010. Dubbed the “10 Year Anniversary Release,” the two-disc package includes a remastered version of the original album plus audio commentaries, demo tracks, and instrumentals of each song. The CD release, available from Amazon, features a 12-page booklet with photos from the original recording sessions. A digital version is available from Apple, Amazon, and other music platforms. They’ve posted a YouTube trailer with additional information.

Bandleader John Sprocket and company aren’t resting on their laurels, as they also released a new cover version of the 1970 Partridge Family hit single “I Think I Love You.” This one is reimagined as a Disney-style villain song. You can listen on YouTube.

It’s the first Friday of the month, which means it's time again for Bandcamp Friday, a promotion in which musicians get to keep all sales instead of forking over a portion to the service. It runs Oct. 2 from midnight to midnight Pacific time.

Numerous steampunk performers sell their music on Bandcamp, and to make it easier to find them, we’ve set up a directory with links to their Bandcamp pages.

Steampunk Safari

For the past eight years, Henry W. Osier has been leading Milwaukee-area steampunks in an annual walk at the county zoo to raise funds for the Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation. Despite the pandemic, they ventured forth last Saturday for a Steampunk Safari that raised $400 to support medical research and treatments for people with bleeding disorders.

Osier says he was inspired by his friend and fellow steampunk, Timothy Kozinski, who has hemophilia. He expects to lead another team next year and welcomes participants. You can keep up with local events in the Milwaukee Steampunk Society and Wisconsin Neo-Victorian and Steampunk Assocation Facebook groups.

The pandemic has limited Connecticut event organizer David Carlson mostly to small outdoor gatherings. But this weekend he’ll be heading indoors — at least in part — with a photo shoot, picnic, and home tour of the historic Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington.

Local steampunk fans will congregate Saturday, Oct. 3 at 11 a.m. for the outdoor photo shoot and picnic, followed by a series of small group tours with masks and social distancing. The outdoor portion is free, but tickets for the home tour cost $16. Get more info on Facebook.

Next up for Carlson is “Steam Towards the Holidays,” featuring a stroll of downtown Essex, lunch at the Griswold Inn, and a tour of the Essex Train Station. That’s set for Saturday, Nov. 7 beginning at 10 a.m. He’ll be wrapping up the year with the “Bah Humbug Winterland Stroll” on Saturday, Dec. 5 in downtown Stafford Springs.

It’s with great sadness that we report the passing of Si Burgoyne-Neal, a beloved member of the UK steampunk community. He was proprietor of Captain Cumberpatch’s Curious Creations and assisted his wife Jo in running the Leeds Steampunk Market. Jo reported on Facebook that he passed away on Oct. 1 after a short battle with cancer.

“I’m struggling to keep pace with messages so please save your questions in regard to anything (not just about cancer but stuff to do with LSM and his Cumberpatch brand as well),” she wrote. “I’ll do another post in a day or so to fill you in and about what’s happening in the future but I do plan to continue keeping ‘Quentin Cumberpatch’ and his brand very much alive as I have already been doing.”


Victor Sierra, the Paris-based “steamgoth” trio, has launched an Indiegogo campaign for their fifth album, Imperfect Meridians. It’s set for a December release with 12 tracks. Pledges begin at €7 (US $8) for a digital download. They’re hoping to raise US $2344 over the next two months.

The band frequently plays at steampunk events in Europe. Since the pandemic hit, they’ve become prolific performers on virtual platforms for goths and steampunks, drawing new fans from around the world.

See the Indiegogo page for more info.

Forbidden Island

Something Awesome Games of Moraga, California is on Kickstarter with Patagon: The Forbidden Island, a steampunk-themed virtual reality game that will also be available in a desktop PC version. It’s set in 1901 on a South Pacific island with “amazing forests, lovely beaches, and hungry dinosaurs.” In this world, zeppelins have replaced sea vessels, and players have access to an airship to explore the setting.

Players will use steampunk weapons such as Tesla guns to hunt the dinosaurs, whose behavior will be guided by artificial intelligence. The creatures “will not be tied to a certain area, loop, or path,” writes lead producer Joren Winge. And they’ll be able to “hunt the hunter,” including the ability to stalk players before attacking. “We are going to throw some randomness so it will be hard to predict when they will pop up, and what action they will take,” he writes.

Inspirations include Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Fallout, BioShock, and Skyrim.

The game will be available for major VR platforms, including Oculus, Vive, Valve Index, and PlayStation VR. They’re planning a beta release in July 2021 followed by the full release in October.

The campaign launched Sept. 29 and seeks US $30,000 by Oct. 30. See the Kickstarter page and website for more info.

Adventure Ink of Bethesda, Maryland is seeking Kickstarter funds for Plunderous, a tabletop game featuring pirates in an alternate steampunk world. It’s designed for two to six players, who will employ “piracy, pillaging and politics” to gain Loyalists and become leader of New Caribbean.

This is a Kickstarter Exclusive that won’t be distributed through retail channels. The Kickstarter page includes a link to a PDF of the rulebook. You can play a free online version on Tabletopia.

The campaign launched Sept. 29 and seeks US $75,000 by Oct. 23. See the Kickstarter page and Adventure Ink website for more info.

Soloist Games of Grand Haven, Michigan has launched a Kickstarter campaign for War of the Worlds: Landing Day, a video game inspired by the H.G. Wells novel. Players will hunt Martian Tripods that have landed near a fictional UK village. The Tripods will be similar to the ones in the novel, but won’t be indestructible. The developer is considering four expansion modules, including one set in London. They’re aiming for an October 2021 release on the Steam platform for PCs.

The campaign launched Sept. 20 and seeks US $53,200 by Nov. 14. See the Kickstarter page for more info.

Quick Hits

Malaysian Artist Creates Steampunk “Harry Potter” Jewelry (MuggleNet)

Steampunk makes everything cooler… even these playing cards (Yanko Design)

PHOTOS: Steampunk Festival in Florence, Colorado (Canon City Daily Record)

Visitors enjoy Uncommon Weekend in Amherstburg (Windsor Star)

Gananoque Steampunk online attracts attendees from all over (Gananoque Reporter)

Thames sisters start petition over steampunk festival’s new Anzac dates (Stuff)

Review: ‘Miranda’ Poses a Musical Mystery in Virtual Reality (The New York Times)

Opera Review: Miranda: A Steam Punk VR Experience, LUMA’s bold experiment (DC Theatre Scene)

A visual history of the War of the Worlds (CBC)

The story behind Jeff Wayne’s The War Of The Worlds (Louder Sound)

Victorian-era Stairs, Fireplace: Renovation of Florida Hotel Turns Into 19th Century Treasure Trove (News 18)

Old timey arcade shooter Bartlow’s Dread Machine out now (Fullsync)

Gestalt: Steam and Cinder is Easily The Most Fun I’ve Had During PAX Online 2020 (COGconnected)

Disney Reportedly Eyeing Ryan Reynolds For Upcoming Live-Action Atlantis Remake (We Got This Covered)

Reality Check: Sad News About Those Atlantis Remake Rumors (MovieWeb)

Spaceship Neptune, a Stadium-Sized Balloon for Tourists, Is Planning to Launch in 2024 (Robb Report)

Bright ‘red glob’ washes ashore in Washington. It may be a 7-armed octopus. (Live Science)

Flat-Earther Finally Explains Why Nobody Has Fallen Off The Edge (IFL Science)

Stories by Category: 

Keep up with news in the world of steampunk. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter, Steampunk Digest, delivered to your inbox every Thursday. You’ll get it a day before it's posted on the website.

Support The Steampunk Explorer!

Patreon: Make a monthly pledge of $1 or more. Includes premium content.

Tip Jar: You can tip the editor in any amount via PayPal.me.

CafePress: Buy T-shirts, buttons, or tote bags with our logo.