A flood of video game projects on Kickstarter over the past four months has made it extremely difficult to rise out of the crowd or portray one's concept as particularly unique or worth funding. But Neal Stephenson, the eminent science-fiction writer, has hauled off and done something next-level with this pitch video.

Stephenson wants "to do a video game about something I really enjoy: Sword fighting," he says, beginning a four-minute perfectly deadpan takedown of video game sword combat on a standard twin-analog gamepad. His vision of an arena-based sword fighter is sound and cogent, but that's not enough. The project, CLANG needs lots of dough for lots of things, including hiring the talent to pull it off. "Because we have to bid against people who make Farmville and Angry Birds," he says.

Stephenson's Subutai Corporation already has "geeks in armor, and geeks at computer workstations." And they have a big one at a blacksmith's anvil. I won't spoil it, and the jokes should keep you going until the 3:04 mark, when you get one hell of a cameo that just made a lot of other Kickstarter entrepreneurs hold their manhoods cheap.

CLANG [Kickstarter]