Carmageddon’s Crowdsourced ReReincarnation

By Alec Meer on May 8th, 2012 at 8:00 pm.

One of the tiers is called 'state of the fart'. Hmm. Hmm.

Hmm. I was under the impression that Stainless’ forthcoming Carmageddon reboot was in a safe place already in terms of funding, but nonetheless they’ve added their game of pedestrian slaughter and hyper-aggressive future-racing to the infinite ranks of Kickstarted development. The internet’s been enormously happy about the news today, which puzzles me slightly as it’s not like the game wasn’t going to happen without crowdsourcing.

So, yeah. Carmageddon Reincarnation is happening. Again. And this time you can pay for it before rather than after development is completed! It’s up to $40k of its desired $400,000 at the time of writing, though $10k of that comes from just one backer who’ll be flown to the UK and have their likeness applied to an in-game character. $10k! Christ. Mere mortals, meanwhile, will receive a copy of the game for pledges starting at $15. And, y’know, other rewards for larger payments. Don’t make me explain this again.

As to why an already existent development project has taken to starting its kicks, quoth Stainless:

“We’re a modest-sized indie developer (around 50 trapped souls), and we’ve already invested well over a third of a million dollars getting the rights back and beginning design and prototyping. This represents all of our profits from our other work – but we think it’s worth it. We currently have a small team working on the project – but without some sort of dedicated funding, that can’t continue indefinitely. We can’t put this game into full production without a sizeable team dedicated to it. So we need a pile of CASH to get the game made.”

Cash does help to get things made, it’s true. This does strike me as somewhat akin to the Leisure Suit Larry affair, where there’s a certain moral dilemma about funding something that was basically going to happen anyway instead of potentially getting something that otherwise didn’t have a hope of funding off the ground. But that is, perhaps, false logic. Clearly fan investment means evil, nasty businessmen can be sidestepped entirely, and the game’s budget will genuinely reflect the demand for it rather than just whatever was scraped together first and/or inflated expectations. if there’s sufficient interest, they could theoretically make a much better game than were the solely funding based on their Magic The Gathering funbucks.

Pledging may be done here. It’s gone up by $1000 since I started writing this post, which probably bodes well.

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80 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Crimsoneer says:

    I tend to regard Kickstarter not as a way to fund the development of a game – because that’s pretty much pure charity – but as a way to get my copy cheap.

    • Zelius says:

      I think that’s a good way of looking at it. If you’re already interested in a game anyway, what’s the harm?

      • Navagon says:

        I suppose the ‘harm’ would be if the game turned out to be crap, or the development team forgot all about the game and buggered off to a beach in Thailand.

        • Zelius says:

          Well, yeah, but the game could turn out to be crap either way. At least you would’ve payed less than full price.

          • MichaelPalin says:

            That’s why people buy games AFTER trying them or AFTER other people tell them whether it deserves to be bought. I mean, that’s what happens in ideal town, in reality there are millions of gamers pre-ordering games every year due to hype-inducing marketing campaigns, :P

          • D3xter says:

            But it’s Carmageddon man!

          • fish99 says:

            That would only be true if you were forced to buy the game when it came out, and at full price too, rather than just seeing bad reviews and not buying it, or seeing mediocre reviews and waiting for sales.

          • mbourgon says:

            @d3xter: Carmageddon TDR. Sorry. (But yes, that was a different dev team, and yes, I’ve kicked in for it too)

        • faelnor says:

          Considering who the developers are, their desire to be respectful of the original games and the few media that have been already released I’d rather see the game being made and turn out to be crap than not being made at all.

    • Bhazor says:

      Funnily enough that’s what I think when I buy your mom dinner.

    • Premium User Badge

      Rikard Peterson says:

      Yes, that’s a good way to see these things. It’s a pre-order with optional pre-order bonuses if you pay a bit more. Hopefully no exclusive DLC though.

      • flang says:

        Unfortunately it looks like they’re doing exactly that. An exclusive car download for Kickstarter backers or some such shit.

        • Tacroy says:

          Looks like it’s just a skin; I’m pretty okay with that, tbh.

  2. kraken says:

    Seriously, can’t they wait a few months before launching YET another kickstarter?
    I already funded 5 projects since march…

    • nullward says:

      Seriously. I’m going to have to create a new gmail label just for Kickstarter updates.

      • Premium User Badge

        Lim-Dul says:

        Ha, ha! I did that already! So many mails for game updates!
        And I am backing like mad too – at least the bigger projects or ones that appeal to me. 7 backed so far including the big names like Wasteland 2, Shadowrun Returns or Double Fine Adventure but also smaller ones like FTL: Faster Than Light, Vladis Story or to a lesser extent The Banner Saga.

  3. .backslash says:

    Since twitter doesn’t seem to appreciate my wit, I guess I’ll try here as well. Ahem.

    ‘Carmageddon kickstarter, hm? Might just be a publicity stunt, but cunning nonetheless.’ Eh? EH?!

    Anyway, not sure how to feel about this. Carmageddon is very much a product of a bygone era. Reviving it now would just be awkward. On one hand we’d probably end up with another DNF, on the other, the type of people who love to blame gaming for everything bad ever would just have a field day with it.

    • Godwhacker says:

      I doubt it’ll be another DNF, anyway- $400k isn’t going to fund fifteen years of development, and it’s not like they’re going to need much in the way of voice acting- although they should definitely hire Jennifer Hale and Nolan North to provide pedestrian grunting and screaming if they get enough money.

      Anyway, I’m up for it. I’m sure you can mod GTA 4 to be essentially the same game, but I owe it to my 15 year-old self to help fund this game.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      The old ones really are the best!

    • Eclipse says:

      DNF was awesome :| Even the Dr.Proton DLC was great.

      Anyway, wooooo! Carmageddon!

  4. Persona Jet Rev says:

    I’m seriously going to consider backing this. I’m not sure if they can pull off a raw, violent game once again. Maybe they can, because they won’t have to rely on a publisher now.

    But one thing struck me as odd in the video. They mock / kill Tim Schafer for outselling Carmageddon 2, but isn’t it Tim Schafer who is making this possible at all? They should thank him instead. Its not like those 40 copies back them placed them where they are now.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      It all seems in good spirit.

    • Hendar23 says:

      It was just a joke.

    • Lemming says:

      my sense of humour detection machine just committed suicide by throwing itself into a bucket of water while it was plugged in.

    • Bhazor says:

      What Tim Schafer? I was too distracted by the fine piece of eye candy at 4:10 into the video to notice anything else.

  5. Navagon says:

    I really want to get behind this. But I’m not clear on how a UK team are using Kickstarter.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Start up a US company, open a bank account in its name. Not a problem at all.

      • Navagon says:

        Surely it would have to be more than that? Only what you describe sounds like the kind of enterprise the feds take notice of.

        • Lemming says:

          Stainless have been around a long time. They’ve probably had a US company presence just ticking over this whole time.

        • D3xter says:

          I’m pretty sure anyone with an US bank account (or access to one) can pretty much make a KickStarter, after all for instance these guys from mother russia did: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1684781151/legends-of-eisenwald/

          Also, lots and lots of not-companies starting KickStarters all the time, especially outside of the “gaming” category…

        • Premium User Badge

          PoulWrist says:

          Why would they? I know several smaller companies have done this. Also private people.

  6. Stardog says:

    One of the great game series. It’s been gone too long.

    The first one is still fun to play on Dosbox. I hope they don’t go all cartoony with it. There needs to be a severed hand dripping blood in the main menu.

    • flang says:

      I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting the original to run smoothly on DOSBox. Might I inquire as to what settings you’re using for core speed, memory, display mode, and the rest?

  7. Text_Fish says:

    My worry is that when the inevitable kickstarter backlash begins some companies that genuinely need kickstarting will be ignored. It’s just as bad as the ridiculous amount of humble bundles and EA’s recent raping of the “indie” word.

    I refuse to believe that these people would have spent a third of a million on something that they weren’t sure they could complete. If they did, I guess they’re stupid rather than greedy.

  8. caddyB says:

    FTL and Wasteland, that’s it for me. I like most of the ideas that’s on Kickstarter right now but it started to feel like a swarm of mosquitoes all of a sudden.

    • chackosan says:

      If only swarms of mosquitoes could be dealt with by ignoring them. I know, I’ve tried.

  9. Mordsung says:

    Carmageddon is, to this day, the best driving game ever made. At least as far as my taste is concerned.

    Every once in a while I pick up a new racing game and online I get a little aggressive and start nudging players or grinding them into the wall and I commonly get booted out of the game as apparently I’m “not racing”.

    Where is the fun in racing without the impacts?

  10. Choca says:

    Never really cared about Carmageddon (but then I’m rubbish at driving games) so I’ll pass.

    Hope they’ll get funded though.

  11. Matzerath says:

    You can almost hear the collective creaking of thousands of old man boners, like infinite drawbridges raising.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Siresly says:

    I don’t view this as funding, but a potential discounted pre-order. While I don’t really have enough faith in Stainless to redo what they did over a decade ago, I’d like to check this out regardless. $15 seems fair enough.

    • fish99 says:

      If I go pre-order a game on amazon they don’t take my money until they have a real physical game ready to ship me, and I can cancel that preorder at any point up to when it’s shipped. With kickstarter there is absolutely no guarantee you will ever see anything for your money, and if you don’t there won’t be any refund coming.

      • Eukatheude says:

        “With kickstarter there is absolutely no guarantee you will ever see anything for your money, and if you don’t there won’t be any refund coming.”

        Actually, your comment is BS.

        • fish99 says:

          Once the project is funded and your money is taken, there are no guarantees. If the project fails after that point (and remember a lot of games do fail) you get nothing for your money and you’re very unlikely to see that money again. Amazon sure aren’t going to refund you since they’ll say the risk was fully explained, kickstarter don’t have money to reimburse you with (and wouldn’t anyway since you’ve signed something saying you understand the risk), if the project fails the team will probably be broke and unemployed, so good luck getting any money back from them. What are you going to do, issue a class action suit against 5 unemployed guys with no assets? (a suit that would fail anyway because the kickstarter T&C makes the risks clear).

      • chackosan says:

        Probably why the word ‘potential’ was stuck in there.

        • fish99 says:

          I’m just pointing out that kickstarter is not the same as a preorder. It’s important that people understand the differences. It’s not just a way of preordering games for cheap, you have far less legal protection than with a preorder, especially since most retail preorders don’t even take your money until they ship the game. If a kickstarter folds, or runs into technical problems, or the team splits up, you probably won’t see your money again.

          Of course most of the people donating understand the risk, but maybe some don’t, and for that reason I don’t like to see people keep claiming kickstarter is a cheap preorder system when it isn’t.

  13. Toberoth says:

    Sweet! I funded. Even if they just end up doing an HD remake of the first Carmageddon, I’d pay $15 for it for sure. I used to love that game when I was a kid (OMG I PLAYED IT UNDERAGE).

  14. JackDandy says:

    I loved Carmageddon 2, and will probably throw 15$ at this.

    I just hope all these Kickstarters won’t blow up in our faces…

  15. Angel Dust says:

    If this allows them to completely avoid publisher/investor input and make a completely uncompromised remake of Carmageddon, then I think that Kickstarter is a good choice. I was wary of this remake, fearing it would be inevitably watered down, in both mechanics and tone, but this makes me a little more optimistic. Still not ready to throw any cash at it yet but I’m interested now.

    • kibertoad says:

      So you don’t want a watered-down game experience but do not want to support the independence of authors? Ace plan.

      • Angel Dust says:

        Well apart from the fact that I’m currently broke (partly because I’ve supported 5 other Kickstarters already), my observations were more about ‘why I think Kickstarter is good for this remake of an old game other people are fond of’ rather than ‘why I think Kickstarter is good for this remake of an old game that I am fond of’. I had a bit of fun with the originals but I wouldn’t say I was a huge fan. If Kickstarter allows them the freedom to really do what they want then I might be interested in the final product.

  16. Paul says:

    Aaaaaaaaaaaand pledged!

    Carmageddon is a legendary, revolutionary game that has yet to be surpassed, so this is a no brainer.

  17. Anaardvark says:

    I’ve been watching the updates for the Carmageddon remake with interest and it already looks promising, seeing them do a Kickstarter campaign feels all a bit suspect to me though.

    It almost feels like they’re doing it just to rake in some more funds, whether it be through guaranteed kickstarter sales or just a guaranteed return on their investment. I’ll probably pledge as I was going to buy the game anyway, but I almost wonder if they’re doing a Kickstarter for the sake of doing a Kickstarter?

    • Paul says:

      They are doing kickstarter because they want money to be able to develop it quicker and do not want to go asking publishers or investors. Yes. Any other inane questions?

  18. CMaster says:

    Thing about kickstarter is that if you can get the funding, even if you don’t need it, why wouldn’t you go for it.

  19. Azdeus says:

    Am I blind, or do they want 350$ for a boxed copy? Wich still has Steam?

  20. Lemming says:

    SOLD.

    1) British Developer.

    2) It’s Carmageddon.

    3) If it means someone like EA not getting their mitts on it or not having GFWL being shoved in it, then I’m in.

    4) That video was great.

    • Bhazor says:

      Not only a British developer but the original developers.
      Seriously look it up, pretty much everyone who worked on the first two games is still working at Stainless.

      No one is making a big enough deal about this.

  21. Gasmask Hero says:

    “Modest Indie developer with a staff of 50…”

    Fuck off, matey.

    “…has spent approx £200,000 to resurrect a decade + old license and do some 3d modeling…”

    Fuck off, matey.

    “…and we don’t want to spend anymore of our money on it as we’ve invested everything else into iphone apps or whatever so give us some money”.

    Seriously. Just fuck off. Matey.

    • Xzi says:

      Yeah! How dare they ask us to help fund the game and get a copy of it in return for less than what we would be paying for it at retail!

      Wait…what are you complaining about again? If anything, this will diminish their post-release profits, given that a lot of the people interested in this game will have received a copy from the kickstarter.

      But I’m sure you could fund a game on par with this for much less and with all in-house money, right? I look forward to your efforts in that department…

      I think you’re probably fairly ignorant as to the average amount of money that’s required to launch a competitive game in today’s market.

    • Toberoth says:

      Eugh. Your attitude is horrendous. Care to explain exactly what you think is wrong with what Stainless are doing, instead of just telling them (but not really them, because it’s doubtful they will ever read your comment) to fuck off?

  22. malkav11 says:

    So, Leisure Suit Larry remake kickstarter and this suspect because they basically were going to happen anyway, Grim Dawn kickstarter awesome, fund them now. Check.

    I mean, I support Grim Dawn and all, but I think that’s a little hypocritical.

    Edit: Oh right, RPS consists of multiple people with different opinions, rather than some sort of hideous fleshy gestalt. Forget that sometimes.

    • Shooop says:

      You did keep reading though didn’t you? Alec then said it’s possibly a good thing because it tells the developer customers are interested and they won’t have to bow to as much publisher pressure.

      We’ll have to see what scenario plays out when it does. But until then, I’m happy another old memory is coming back in HD.

  23. mwoody says:

    ANOTHER one of these with in-game content for a donation tier. Bleah.

  24. slpk says:

    Notch got one of the 7.5k. That partay should be fun.

    • LostViking says:

      Your kidding?
      Notch participated, and didn’t pick the option that would make him a character in the game?
      Having Notch roaming the streets would be pretty fun :P

  25. Shooop says:

    That’s it, I’m officially completely liking this new kickstarter trend. It is bringing back fond memories remastered in HD. And it’s beautiful.

  26. LostViking says:

    This is it, I’m getting on Kickstarter. I was seriously considering paying $1000 to be a pedestrian in the game, that would be pretty cool, but $50 seemed a bit more reasonable :P

    Anywho, I wonder how much people would be willing to pay to be a character in a game like Half Life 3 :D

  27. MFToast says:

    It’s amazing how some folks can complain about the huge number of kickstarters coming around. It doesn’t matter unless you gave your money to them, so shush. Nobody cares that you somehow find this annoying. This could mean a new age for old games!

  28. Kuroko says:

    I’m backing this up.

    I need my Carmageddon fix.

  29. Oof says:

    I remember this game being fun. I’m not sure it belongs outside of the 90s, though.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      I don’t get this attitude. That Casablanca film from a few decades ago is still seen as pretty cool, Beethoven’s music is still kind of good, da Vinci’s art still looks OK, that ‘Bible’ thing everyone started raving about a couple of thousand years back still seems somewhat popular. The number printed on the calender does not affect the fact that it was a great game, and still is. If the goal is to make something like that, why should it be bad?

  30. starclaws says:

    Saw this kickstart coming but surprised they waited this long. Buying the rights cost quite a bit. Just hope they do it right. Carmageddon 2 revamped/remodeled is all that needs to be done and I’d spend $60 for it. I spent months of game time on Carmaggeddon 2. Great stuff. I still own the game and user manual actually. Just hope they have a lot of levels and places to drive around and explore. The open-worldness of C2 was great.

  31. Premium User Badge

    BathroomCitizen says:

    Pledged. Now, time for some driving on poor civilians!

  32. YourMessageHere says:

    Done. More Carma deserves to exist. Please, if there’s plenty of cash left over (and I suspect there will be), bundle a level editor!

  33. ttcfcl says:

    My favorite game series. It had the best car physics of its time. Both handling and damage. Hell it still does. I went for the 4 pack because multiplayer in those games was stupidly fun. I hope there’s a “make your own PratCam” mod.