This Is Hardcore: Takedown Takes Off

By Alec Meer on April 2nd, 2012 at 11:00 am.

Sometimes I like to remind myself that hardcore also means a building material

It was touch and go there for a while – which I like to say because it makes me sound like I’m a hotshot heart surgeon from California, hero to all, lover of many ladies, astonishingly high wage and once-in-a-generation talent – but Takedown, the game formerly known as Crowdsourced Hardocore Tactical Shooter has met its Kickstarter funding goal. It passed the $200k target with hours to spare, wrapping up at $221,833.

Next, project lead Christian Allen (of GRAW-fame) will present his Rainbow Six/Ghost-Recon-inspired squad shooter to big-boy investors, in the hope that the crowdsourcing success will lead to them throwing the big fat cheques necessary to make development a reality at it. I’m still a mite troubled by that – what kind of game do Kickstarter pledgers get if the investors say no?

Anyway, bridges to be crossed when they turn up, I guess. Meantime, congratulations to Christian and the team on emerging victorious from round one. I’ll admit, I didn’t think this one was going to make it – we posted about it twice and going on comments the project didn’t seem to be enrapturing people in the way Wasteland 2 and Doublefine’s were. Very curious to see where it goes next. I’m also curious to see what people coughed up $2500 to become a player model in the game. What if they’re incredibly ugly, with weeping facial sores and teeth that could chew cheese through a tennis racket?

(With apologies to anyone with weeping facial sores or teeth than can chew cheese through a tennis racket. You are beautiful no matter what they say. Words can’t bring you down.)

Oh and Takedown has joined Brian Fargo’s Kicking It Forwards initiative, meaning 5% of its eventual profits will be put into funding other folks’ selected Kickstarter projects further down the line. That is a jolly nice thing to be doing. Using someone else’s photographs as concept art, not so much. When you haven’t actually started development but need something to catch people’s attention double-quick I can understand that creating assets is a tricky business, but that was not cool – at least they’ve now taken those down.

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90 Comments »

  1. Moni says:

    Wow, I’m impressed. There was something like $40,000 to go with 24 hours left on the clock.

    Hmm, there’s a thought. Could the Kickstarter process be gamified?

    LAST MINUTE SAVE: Achievement unlocked.

    • Andy`` says:

      They had about $20k to go with about 5 hours left, was quite impressed that they managed to get about $45k in that time.

      If it does go sour there might at least be an alpha version for people to play, at least that’s the impression I get from the kickstarter page. Looking forward to this though, I’ve wanted a new GR1/RS3/SWAT4-alike to sink my teeth into for a while now

  2. skyturnedred says:

    I really hope something comes out of this, there hasn’t been a good tactical shooter in ages. Think Swat 4 was the last?

    • Mattressi says:

      Yeah, I was hoping it would succeed, but didn’t want to put my money down just in case the investors turned around and said no. When I comes out I’ll be sure to buy it though. I miss Rainbow Six – the REAL Rainbow Six.

    • Synesthesia says:

      Remember when we thought red orchestra 2 would be it?

  3. sneetch says:

    It was touch and go there, let’s hope this goes well, although I enjoyed playing through both R6:Vegas games in co-op we could do with a “real” Rainbow Six.

  4. shaydeeadi says:

    According to the kickstarter page info the investors said if they could raise these initial funds with the KS page then they would fund the game. So it should be on like Donkey Kong now.

  5. Hakkesshu says:

    Whatever, I hope something good comes of this, but starting a kickstarter on some really vague premise of creating investor interest is a pretty shitty way to pitch your game.

  6. coldvvvave says:

    So, let’s see, I create a 200k$ kickstarter page with no content but one( proudly stolen) concept art, a home video and some promises in order to bring some money, show that the type of game I’m going to develop is in demand, and then pay it all by myself( I’d have to sell my place though) from different accounts. Will publishers fund my project? Am I going to become rich?

    • Oof says:

      “… and then pay it all by myself( I’d have to sell my place though) from different accounts.”

      This is what I suspect happened.

    • PitfireX says:

      Isnt this exactly what Double fine did? Cept the whole stolen pic thing. If I remember right they barely knew what genre they wanted.

      • MOKKA says:

        Double Fine said right from the start that they want to make an ‘oldschool’ Adventure game.

      • malkav11 says:

        And the plan with Double Fine was always to actually make the whole game with the Kickstarter proceeds, not just kick together an alpha to take to venture capitalists.

      • InternetBatman says:

        It’s not at all what Doublefine wanted. Doublefine said from the beginning they wanted to make an adventure game and a film. The kickstarter was larger because they put how much money they thought the entire game and the filming costs would take to make. Also, as they said in the initial video, even if the effort goes horribly awry you’ll have a cool movie showing that.

    • InternetBatman says:

      That’s a bit cynical, but not by much. Getting kickstarter to fund an alpha is a bit seedy; there’s a very good chance that the investor will back out, especially given that it’s not clear if the game really does have a large audience. I think that this’ll probably just result in the backer pushing out an alpha to pledges and saying it’s done.

  7. JackShandy says:

    What about the project is supposed to make investors leap up and take notice? After a massive amount of cajoling, they managed to get 5,400 people to back the game. If twice that many people buy the game, it’s a total failure.

    • PitfireX says:

      If it makes just 100 people happy then its nowhere near a failure! What Happened to the good ol days where money didnt fuel every single aspect of gaming and before “What will be awesome” was replaced with “What will pull in the easiest $1mil”

      • JackShandy says:

        Yeah, sure, so make an indie game. Don’t ask people for money, then go ask publishers for money on top of that.

        If 5,000 people backed your kickstarter and the game made 100 people happy, it’s definitely a failure. By every metric.

        • PitfireX says:

          Well then the next time you find yourself enjoying a game everyone else hates, that game is a failure and you’re wrong.

          • NathanH says:

            Not so. The game is a failure but you are not necessarily wrong.

          • HothMonster says:

            You can love something that is a failure but that doesn’t stop it from being a failure. Just ask my mom.

        • Lars Westergren says:

          >Don’t ask people for money, then go ask publishers for money on top of that.

          Why not, if that is what it takes to create the game? They were completely honest about this being their plan.

          >If 5,000 people backed your kickstarter and the game made 100 people happy, it’s definitely a failure.

          Perhaps we could wait and see how it turns out before we start passing out judgement?

          • Nallen says:

            I doesn’t matter how it turns out, the numbers he gave constitute a failure. He never said those would be the numbers for this game.

        • JackShandy says:

          I love many games that were complete failures, in terms of money and Happiness Per User.

          PitfireX said “Why does this game need to make money? Why can’t it just make a tiny niche market of users happy?” The answer to that is, “Because they want a publisher to give them a massive amount of money to make it.” You can’t go for a niche market AND tell investors you’re going to make them boatloads of cash.

          • Reefpirate says:

            Who said anything about publishers? And since when do investors need to risk $50-million on a game project? If they got $200,000 from Kickstarter, and the investors throw in another $200-$500k or something, they could quite feasibly make their money back.

            ‘Investors’ does not automatically = large, evil, fun-killing corporations. These investors could just as much be interested in producing a Good product, but didn’t want to take on all the risk themselves.

          • PitfireX says:

            These guys are not making this game with the goal of making money!!! Their goal is to create a kickass oldschool tactical shooter for the few fans that want that kinda thing. They KNOW its not massively desired….if it was, they most likely wouldnt have needed kickstarter.
            Therefore Fans+Happiness-Money=Success!

    • LTK says:

      According to the devs, they have an agreement with investors that if this Kickstarter succeeds, they will get additional funding. They claimed that there was a market for the tactical shooter genre, and with this Kickstarter they aimed to prove it. And it looks like that’s exactly what they did.

  8. Oof says:

    I can’t believe people donated to this. Never mind everything else, they used stolen photos to promote their project. So much for morals or ethics, eh?

    • JFS says:

      “It’s all about the money, money, money…” — even in those glorious crowdfunding days, where allegedly the power is given back to the people.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      I had a similar reaction after hearing that. Frankly I was a little shocked RPS passed it off as a not so much jolly nice thing to be doing. Seems a bit more egregious than that.

  9. Juan Carlo says:

    I don’t think any doctor anywhere has ever said “It was touch and go there for a while.” If he did he’s an asshole.

  10. PitfireX says:

    I donated!!!! before notch came and blew it up haha, sometimes i think that guy is too popular :P

    Also you guys gotta remember, we are supporting the IDEA not the CURRENT CONTENT. God forbid we want something different than NFS:20, Asscreed 5 and CoDMW10

  11. Paul says:

    I hope this turns out well, market could seriously use some SWAT4 continuation.

  12. ChainsawCharlie says:

    This was an odd one. Really would like to play another old R6/SWAT style game, but just thought that this KS project was dubious. If they really manage to get a proper publisher and actually develop the game they are promisng here. I will be first in line to buy it.

  13. Khemm says:

    A few people I talked to were reluctant to support this project because of the whole “we need to go to publishers anyway”, the fact they had no assets/concept art to show and that what little they showed were photoshopped pictures. It really was a kickstarter done in a very unprofessional way from the start.

    Still, if we do get a decent Rainbow Six 1-3 or SWAT 3-4-like game out of this, it’ll be AWESOME in this day and age of lousy, dumbed down shooters.

    • USER47 says:

      It’s not surprising they don’t have any content. It will be made by professionals who are currently still working for other companies. They agreed to join the team if it gets funding, it’s understandable they don’t want to leave their jobs for nothing.

      btw: publisher =//= investor

  14. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    I’m joining the ‘SWAT 4′ crowd.

    The only thing that soured my taste in that game, was the punishment of using lethal force, I mean, seriously, I didn’t hit a hostage, and bad/drug crazed man with a gun got what was coming to him.

    But seriously, SWAT 4, pretty please.

  15. Kaira- says:

    This pleases me.

  16. Drake Sigar says:

    I think anyone who paid for this is even more insane than those people who blow a hundred quid on a special edition boxset. This guy doesn’t have a massive reputation like Schafer or Fargo, he uses images without permission, and asks for large sums of money with the end goal of enticing his mysterious ‘financial investors’.

    • grundus says:

      Say what you like, I could write a huge post about the bigger wastes of money in gaming and general life (and did, but got bored and deleted it), but I can paraphrase it thusly: I bought Black Ops and that cost me a lot more than $15. Maybe that makes me a mug, along with the millions of other people who bought it, but the fact remains that no matter what happens with Takedown, it won’t be any worse than when I bought Black Ops (unless it’s exactly the same as Black Ops but with less content).

  17. phenom_x8 says:

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

    Thats what I call revolution!!

  18. Roshin says:

    As an old fan of tactical shooters, I should be all over this, but I’m not. I’m just not convinced that they can deliver a decent tactical game. It was handled badly from the start and it’s still not certain thing, as they appearantly have to court investors now.

    I’m not feeling it.

  19. Phantoon says:

    This could be good, but I seriously doubt I’ll play it as I like the genre.

    People need to chill out on the paranoia, though.

  20. Unaco says:

    If this was going to be like SWAT 4 or Rainbow Six, then I’d likely be interested. But it isn’t going to be like SWAT 4 or Rainbow Six. Their initial Kickstarter failed, and this only just limped home in the end. Investors aren’t going to look on this like they would the Wasteland2 or DoubleChin Kickstarters, which rained down vast sums of money in very little time. This didn’t… Investors are going to see that as there NOT being a demand for this older school style of tactical shooter. And then there’s going to be compromise… changes to the formula etc. I do not think that what will come out the other end of this process will be the Hardcore, SWAT/R6, tactical shooter that they’re promising.

    I’m not saying there isn’t demand for a game like SWAT4 or R6. I, myself, would love one… if I could find my disc I’d still play SWAT4 these days. But this project doesn’t seem to have coalesced that demand, like the Wasteland2 project did for turn based tactical RPGs.

    And it doesn’t appear anyone has mentioned this, but one of the last pledges to push it over the limit was from Chris Bowling, one of Infinity Ward’s (CODMW) leads… He’s getting a LAN party with Christian Allen, and they’re trying to get him in on the project. So… yeah… I think 5,500 people just Kickstarted the next COD. Good job guys.

  21. Chaku01 says:

    Am I the only one that sees something fishy in this type of funding? I am not specifically referring to this game, but to all the projects kick-started this way. Even if this is viewed as a pre order, in reality it is an investment on an uncertain future product. That means you still have the potential to end up with a flawed piece of junk or even worse, nothing at all. In the meanwhile, specifically in the case of double fine for example, they have secured funds for the duration of the development no matter what comes out in the end, plus they are entitled to all profits from additional sales. It is sweet for Fargo (Wasteland 2) to want to put 5% of the kickstarted game profits back to the source, but in reality the way it should work is for everyone who kickstarted the project to “at least” get their money back with a copy of the game and a thank you note for their trust and support. That is, in the case the profits are big enough to allow for that off course. In the end, people will readily “invest” money back into other projects they believe in. Indie fund work that way, developers who get funded have to pay back the “loan” first, then and only then will they keep profits, why should it be any different here?

    • Oof says:

      This type of funding has been going on for centuries. There’s nothing fishy about it. You’re buying a hope or a promise. Nothing more, nothing less.

      What is fishy is this specific project.

      • Chaku01 says:

        Well,in this case kickstarter hasn’t been going on for that long, unless it’s in an alternate reality. What changes today is the easiness of communication and the way the community can organise itself to fund projects collectively. If you want to sustain this model and try to avoid kick starter “fatigue”, I just say there’s a reinvestment and a decision making problem.

        Even in Fargo’s scenario, if 5% of profits go back to kickstarter, who will decide which project to fund? A fellowship of the wise? Shouldn’t the ones who provide be the ones to decide? Why is there this difference between people “investing” money through kickstarter and other types of investments? I mean, projects don’t have to be successful, then it’s a failed bet, fair enough. But if they are, especially if they are big time, wouldn’t common sense dictate that the ones taking the risk be somehow rewarded or at least get their money back from the profits? Those developers can still submit new projects to kickstarter and get funded for their next project. The cycle emerges.

        • Oof says:

          You seem to be confused about the premise of Kickstarter. Although it’s couched in terms of investing — because you need a lot of people to actually achieve the goal — it’s actually just a mass market. You’re not investing in, you’re buying something.

          • Chaku01 says:

            I understand what you mean. In my opinion, if kickstarter stays about buying hope, it won’t take long before it gets abused, people will realise they’ve been ripped off and that would be the end of it. To me the system is unbalanced and eventually will reveal itself as unfair, unless they can close the loop and feed something back into the system.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Kickstarting has the potential for abuse and chicanery, but not much more than preorders. I think once the industry calms down and shoddy half-attempts at a kickstarter are rebuffed we’ll see it used to start up a bunch of successful small developers and make new games in some of the more fallow genres.

      • Unaco says:

        As far as I’m aware, a pre-order can be cancelled… money returned, if they’ve taken the money from you even. With Kickstarter, I don’t think it’s possible to get your pledge returned if, for example, the game is turning out to be a steaming pile of excrement.

  22. Bhazor says:

    But isn’t Christian Allen the guy who killed tactical shooters? I mean GRAW was the first nail in the coffin replacing careful planning with magic sci fi goggles that let you see through walls.

    “It’s like I’m in a support group run by my own rapist” to quote The Thick of It.

  23. GallonOfAlan says:

    I played the original Ghost Recon off GOG last year. It was fucking great.

  24. BurningPet says:

    why isn’t there a “kicking it back”? – 25% of the profits goes back to the backers.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Think of it as an extended pre-order. Also “Kicking it Forward” encourages the developers to pledge 5% of their profits, not 25%.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Because it’s patronage, not investment . That’s why you get something when your pledge goes through. Kicking it forward is about creating more and helping more projects be successful, not creating small dividends on a large scale.

    • sweetcraspy says:

      That’s explicitly not allowed as part of the Kickstarter rules. I don’t know if Kickstarter has any say in what happens after the project funds, but including it in the actual campaign would not be allowed.

    • USER47 says:

      I think there is problem with US legislative not allowing this system…But I agree that would be ideal model.

      • InternetBatman says:

        This model is allowed by the US. The Kickstarter organization just doesn’t want to go through the scrutiny that stock offerings rightly deserve. It would add layers of necessary (to prevent things like the world’s smallest skyscraper (which would not have been prevented but is the best public investment scam out there)) administration, where the Kickstarter idea is beautiful in its simplicity.

        Also, just to nitpick, it’s not the legislative system anyways. It would be legislation, i.e. standing laws, or the regulatory system (which falls firmly under the Executive branch). The legislative system is how new laws get made.

        • USER47 says:

          I thought some change in online crowd investments has yet to happen:
          http://mashable.com/2012/03/27/congress-approves-jobs-act/

          And yeah, sorry about the mess in terminology, I’m Czech and my English is not that good:).

        • Mattrex says:

          Current US law prohibits investors in a company from receiving any kind of capital stake (stocks, dividends, etc.) as a consequence of investment unless that investor is SEC-accredited. SEC accreditation is extremely expensive and laborious, which ensures that only very wealthy people who have over a certain income have access to it, presumably specifically to prohibit investment scams. Kickstarter avoids that by not permitting investors to get a capital stake in their project, instead receiving concrete in-kind rewards.

          • InternetBatman says:

            Aren’t there ways around that though? Etrade comes to mind. I’ll admit that I’m not very knowledgeable in this kind of thing.

  25. carn1x says:

    I hope this works out for them, even though I’m not sure how to feel about using Kickstarter as leverage. Still, if the pledgers get a good deal in the end, no harm done. I’m still much more excited about Intruder though: http://superbossgames.com/blog/Intruder

  26. wodin says:

    A fool and their money is easily parted. The whole pitch was wrong form start to finish. At one point I hoped they would get something going, now I feel that it should have been kicked to the curb by the community. Stolen assets on top of an unprofessional and dicey pitch. How anyone can trust or have faith that what he has claimed about investors is even the truth is beyond me. If the game gets to Alpha and the investors turn round and say no some people have paid huge amounts of money for an unfinished game! If I was the investor and had been monitoring the whole thing I’d have serious doubts it would be worthwhile.

    I hope it does come out in the wash though. Though it couldalso be a big major failure and I bet many of those who put money down will be complaining like crazy if all they get is an Alpha. Yet thats what they’ve signed up for.

    • BatmanBaggins says:

      Agreed 100%. It’ll be interesting to see just how this all turns out.

    • subedii says:

      There’s other things that worry me as well.

      They’re saying they want to make it a console release as well (not bad in itself), but to do so they’ll be making it 3rd person. That drastically changes the gameplay mechanics at work here. Because unlike with a 1st person game, you’ll be seeing around corners / cover with no risk to yourself, whilst your opponent cannot see you. In a game that’s ostensibly about slow paced tactical play, this completely reworks the gameplay dynamics in themselves. As far as I’m concerned, the kind of “high risk” gameplay they’re talking about simply doesn’t work in an environment where you’ve got that kind of additional knowledge.

      That’s all completely leaving aside the question as to whether the gameplay model will be tweaked even more to begin with in order to appeal more to that market. Note: I’m not saying there isn’t an interest in a more hardcore game in the vein of the original R6′s or SWAT 4, but that easily gets kicked to the side in order to garner the more widespread appeal (which lets face it, games of that nature don’t really have) that’s often wanted to justify the additional costs of a retail release on console.

      The other qualm I have is far more personal, in that I don’t like the idea that the game’s going to be based around playing a PMC. I realise that puts me in a minority, but ugh, I do NOT want to be freaking Blackwater. I’ve read far too much about the ridiculous things they’ve done and gotten away with well above and beyond what any normal soldier would have been held accountable for a dozen times over. There’s a reason they even tried to hide their past by changing names.

  27. Jimbo says:

    This seems all kinds of shady to me if there wasn’t already a contract in place with ‘the private investors’ before the Kickstarter kickstarted. Which is really the only reason why I didn’t back this one.

  28. D-e-f- says:

    I’m glad they made it!

    *listens to that Christina Aguilera song while weeping in the corner* … – thanks, Alec.

    :)

  29. BobsLawnService says:

    I hope that this doesn’t turn out to be a swindle but I’m not at allconfident that anyone is going to get a game out of this.

    I wonder why none of the myserious investors have been heard from.

  30. Erkin says:

    I have hoped a lot for this projet. The rebirth of tactical FPS !

  31. Ghoulie says:

    I’ve got my fingers crossed for this guy, he really seems to be passionate about this project.

  32. Miltrivd says:

    This looks like it’s gonna be the first major disappointment with Kickstarter game projects.

    It has everything to fail. The amount found adds to nothing but a proposal, badly promoted and explained, badly presented, and hell, you are gonna go with an alpha and show it, then the “possible” investor is gonna say “Hey, aren’t you the one with the crappy project that had to beg to get 200K in a month when others got a million 2 days? Yeah… I don’t think people really want this… or from you”.

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