In a rather tidy and peaceful incubator in St. John’s, N.L, Keith Makse and Christo Stassis are hard at work, creating a world being overrun with a desert plague, certain destruction and Victorian morals.

The duo are the principals of Red Meat Games, the latest member of the Genesis Centre at Memorial University of Newfoundland. And having successfully raised money through a crowdfunding campaign, they are preparing to release their first game, Steam and Steel, which they hope to have on the market by Halloween.

What awaits the eager gamer in this new offering? The best answer is probably found in this warning on the Red Meat Games website:

“If you don’t have the stomach for the blood, guts and glory to come, keep your pansy ass away from our grill!” it reads. “If you think you can handle the sizzle, check out our first bold project.”

Behind that chest-thumping welcome is a pair of game developers who are impressive for the speed with which they are getting to market, given that they began only in January. Makse has a 15-year background in the games industry. Stassis worked previously in the simulations industry but was interested in producing digital comic books.

After the two got together and kicked around ideas, Stassis realized that video games are a perfect medium for producing stories for the public, and they began to work together.

They were accepted into the Genesis Centre and decided they needed a bit of capital to develop the game. They launched a Kickstarter campaign with a target of $2,500 and ended up with $8,590 from 230 backers. All of the proceeds are going into developing the game.

The result is Steam and Steel, which is a retro Japanese-style role-playing game. “It emulates games made in ’80s,” said Makse. “There’s a lot of people who want to go back and play those old games they played in the ’80s but they want new content.”

The premise is that the continent of Terra Corpus is being engulfed by the desert plague spreading from the East. To battle this pestilence and the monsters that it has spawned, the gamer must use steel weapons and steam-powered machines.

Makse explained that steam power is enjoying a vogue among the gaming public. Not only does steam have visual attractions, it also harkens back to the Victorian era and connotes all the propriety and morals of the late 19th century.

Makse said using steam power has allowed them to examine the ethics of the era, including the racism, sexism and attitudes so prevalent at the time.

The team has a demo ready but there is still artwork coming in, and they are working with an original composer to produce music for the product.

The game will cost $14.95 and initially be only for personal computers, though the team is looking at making it available on other systems. Meanwhile, Makse and Stassis are already preparing to expand their offerings.

“We’re working on our second title now and we recognize we do need more than one title out,” said Makse. “We’ll probably start our next (media) campaign next week.”