A one of the earliest Kickstarter success stories, The Banner Saga has often been seen as a sign for what will come of all these fully funded projects once the developers get a hold of the cash. $723,000 is a lot of money to build yourself an impressive little indie game, and so far, the creators behind The Banner Saga have done just that.

Stoic Games, comprised of three ex-BioWare employees, have done a marvelous job painting out their viking themed world and selling fans on the massive trilogy they have planned. Gorgeous hand drawn visuals, a somber mood with the weight of a catastrophic war on the shoulders of those involved, excellent narration and music. It’s obvious these guys once worked for BioWare with the attention to detail they’ve put into their game so far.

Only it hasn’t been the steadiest of roads for Stoic, either. The game releasing today is not the first in the series, The Banner Saga: Chapter 1, but rather its a stand alone free-to-play multiplayer game taking place in their alluring setting. Stoic has said this multiplayer game is a necessity for creating funds in the meantime, as well as a tool for getting the game’s name out there, while they continue to flesh out the main product.

Consider me intrigued. This trailer is gorgeous, the narration and Ralph Bakshi inspired animation especially. I want to see more of this world, and if the multiplayer game is free-to-play, then sign me up. Perhaps it can even get me excited to buy the finished project.

The Banner Saga: Factions is available for free through Steam right now.