Steam Patriots Gives American Revolution Steampunk Treatment for iPad and More — a Kickstarter Project

George Washington with Airships by Patrick Arrasmith

Q: What do you get when you cross the history of the American Revolution with steampunk and insert a fictional rebel soldier named Felix into the mix? A: the Steam Patriots series. Comprising five novellas, Steam Patriots stages battles with derigibles and semi-automatic muskets. Created by developer Noble Beast, who blew out their Kickstarter funding goal for Steampunk Holmes in May 2012, Steam Patriots follows a similar modus operandi, recasting a timeless story in a bold setting and looking to Kickstarter for support.

“Steampunk set in the American Revolution has never been done before, but we’ve got a fantastic story, remarkable art, and the drive to see it through,” said Noble Beast producer-director, Richard Monson-Haefel. Monson-Haefel sifted through dozens of manuscripts before finding Scott Wakefield and Rory Boyle’s Steam Patriots.

Steam Patriots uses the American Revolution as a skeleton which the team adorns with hallmarks of speculative fiction and steampunk: imaginary technology, the dissonance of old and new, and a bit of chutzpah. The idea is likely to grab future readers immediately on an intuitive level.

Felix’s story adds a first-person connection so often lacking in history books. Throughout the stories Felix works for Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and patriot-pirate John Paul Jones.

Monson-Haefel chose scratchboard artist and illustrator Patrick Arrasmith to create a stunning collection of original art for Steam Patriots.

Portrait of Benjamin Franklin by Patrick Arrasmith

App Features:

  • Interactive story with audio, illustrations, and animations
  • Pop-up diagrams of devices in the story
  • Pop-up portrait and biographies of characters
  • Interactive map of landmarks and character locations at any point in the story
  • Noble Beast Emporium digital catalogue featuring music, clothing, jewelry and other curated items for sale
  • Social capabilities that allow commenting within the app
  • Soundtrack from Life’s Decay, a moody industrial rock band from France.

No fifes. No drums. Just a historical narrative couched in outrageous sci-fi fantasy. Boys and girls, this isn’t your Grandpa’s dry-as-toast, History Channel-centered take on the American Revolution.

Though Noble Beast plans to produce Steam Patriots in a variety of forms — print, audio, ebook, PDF, and braille — backers must pledge at least $39 to receive the iPad app.

For a pledge of $99 backers will receive a hard cover print version of the first story in the series, plus all lower tier rewards. Those with deeper pockets can pledge up to $4999 (the founding father level) for a range of art prints from the project as well as access to the project during production.

Whatever your level of commitment, interested backers must pledge by Sunday December 16, 2012.

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About Emily: Emily is a freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. You can contact her via Twitter: @whatwentwrite