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.

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