Your Turn: Molecat Twist Demo, Trailer

By John Walker on November 22nd, 2011 at 10:59 am.

Beware monsters.

RPS has an issue with Kickstarter projects, as we’ve mentioned before. We are contacted by very many developers who tell us about their wonderful ideas for games, perhaps even with a concept teaser video, and then ask if we can promote their Kickstarter so they can make it. Well, we’re afraid not, because that puts us in the position of asking our readers to give money to a game for which we’ve not even seen a screenshot. And we’re not okay with that. Then there’s the more subtle issue with games that do have some content, and then want Kickstarter promotion, when we’ve no way of knowing that they’ll actually make the game. Such a situation occurs with Molecat Twist, from a four-person multi-national indie team who want a bunch of money to finish their game. Except, well, they’ve a working demo of the game you can play right now. So that’s what I’m posting about.

Because it’s actually very good. It’s a super-difficult puzzle game, in which you must rotate tiled sections of the screen in order to allow your gang of Molecats to proceed. But rather than something as simple as just crafting a path through what would essentially be yet another pipe puzzle, here there’s a great deal more going on. The Molecats can pick up items, which are then used if you can successfully direct the to the necessary object, as well as trying to gather as many mushrooms as possible. For instance, the cats won’t go into a dark tunnel, so you’ll first need to find a torch, then direct them toward a fire to light it, and so on. And it gets more involved from there.

And it’s gorgeous. Really beautiful design combined with some lovely sound effects. It has that Lemmings cuteness that makes for a good time. You can find out by playing the sizeable free demo on their site right now.

Now, if they had the sense to make their Kickstarter link on the front page more obvious, and in fact labelled “Kickstarter” at all, it might cause those who enjoy the demo to want to help fund the full game. They might want to think about doing that. (Although goodness knows, $22,000 seems a very high target to be aiming for, bearing in mind they’ll get none of it if they fall short.) Have a look at it here.

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18 Comments »

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  1. Vexing Vision says:

    So… if the demo is quite sizable already, what do they need the 22k kickstarter for? I’m confused.

    I mean, the game does look like a crazy Labyrinth/Lemmings crossover, which means I’ll be trying that demo whenever I get the time to do so.

    • qrter says:

      According to their Kickstarter page:

      “The funds that we will raise will go primarily to cover our living expenses during the development process and make it possible for us to concentrate solely and exclusively on Molecat Twist full time. As stated, it will take for about 6 months to complete our project to the fine quality we have achieved so far. The money also will go towards software licenses (Unity Pro etc). Any additional money will go towards marketing, additional music and extras we think will add to the overall experience.”

      $22k seems a lot, but I don’t really know, no real idea what it costs to create an indie game, even if you have some assets already. They’ve only got about $500 now, 28 days to go.

      They’ve made a really lovely figurine, which you get if you have a spare $1,000 lying around..

    • sneetch says:

      It is a lot, I somehow doubt they’ll get it (I don’t know though, maybe there’s a tipping point and it’ll skyrocket after that) so I hope they have a “plan B” otherwise they may just have to keep their day jobs.

    • qrter says:

      Gave the flash demo a whirl – it does seem lovely. Great art direction, wonderful music (by the guy who did the music for Icepick Lodge’s The Void and Cargo, apparently).

      It would be sad if they can’t find the funding to finish this. I can’t help, sadly – no credit card.

    • Arkanos says:

      As far as qrter has said already, I’d like to add that 22K just about covers six months of unemployed living expenses in the USA, in most places.

    • sneetch says:

      Well, it’s lucky for them they’re two Russians, a Ukranian and a Brit then.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    Looks like a game that I could enjoy. Why not go for a Minecraft model and give out alpha or beta versions to those who buy the game now?

    • Jhoosier says:

      I think one of the keys to Minecraft’s model being successful is that the game is procedurally generated, giving the player a different experience each time. This is something the game shares with Dwarf Fortress, and even games like Frozen Synapse changes the map (ever so slightly, but still).

      I don’t know how random this game’s levels are. I imagine if the designers have to make each level, it wouldn’t really be worth it. Are there many linear indie games who have successfully sold alpha/beta builds?

  3. pkt-zer0 says:

    For game development, 22k isn’t a lot. Braid’s budget was 180k, and that’s basically just living expenses for one guy + cost of hiring an artist. They give a breakdown of the stuff in the FAQ: 4.5k for Unity licenses, 2k for the Kickstarter rewards, 13k for living expenses (that’s 540 bucks per person per month)

  4. johnpeat says:

    Completely agree on the Kickstarter thing – far too many people think they’re going to get money to develop what is often less than an idea and a couple of scribbles.

    Before you ask for money, you need am actual game to show-off. Anyone can knock-up a proof-of-concept in (free) Unity or the 100s of other free tools out there (Flash is an odd choice as it costs money tho).

    In this case they appear to have the right idea and the game itself seems really interesting – they have an actual commercial proposition and not just ‘an idea’

    Hell, everyone has ‘ideas’ – if we funded all of them the world would explode…

    • johnpeat says:

      p.s. one thing about Kickstarters which slightly confuses me tho – no-one ever offers any equity or return on the investment.

      Is this forbidden/against the rules of a Kickstarter or what?

      It’s just that if I was considering throwing over £1000 at someone, I’d expect more than a figurine and a credit – I’d want some return based on sales or licensing of the game itself (if it makes one) surely?

      Just a thought really – no-one every offers this!?

    • DarkFarmer says:

      Indeed. To sell something with a promise of equity is called a security, and to sell it you need a bunch of licenses, huge wodges of cash, federal licensing, prospectuses, and a licensed sales staff. By making sure none of its projects offer any equity, Kickstarter is able to avoid a shit-ton of compliance hurdles other companies that do need to deal with (see Indievest).

    • Mctittles says:

      It’s against the rules. I’m guessing it’s to make things simpler and avoid lawsuits and stuff. There are other sites out there if you are looking for real investors. Although I tried one before and just ended up with a bunch of companies sending me what was basically spam about getting a loan.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Llewyn says:

    This is far too taxing for my wine-enfeebled brain, but it is absolutely delightful in every way nonetheless. I’m sitting here with it paused in the background just listening to the music looping. Do hope they manage to complete development of it, but I don’t hold out much hope of them hitting that Kickstarter target.