Photo Finish: Republique Gets Funded

By Nathan Grayson on May 12th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

Hooray! Maybe this means there will finally be more than one screenshot of the game.
With a mere five hours left before cruel fate snuffed out Hope’s chances of a bright (read: horrific, downcast, and hopelessly dystopian) future, Kickstarter finally kicked into high gear. Republique has officially met its funding goal – and then some, in fact. The final tally stands at $555,662, which is pretty damn astounding, given that nearly $300,000 of it came surging in this week. In fact, the stealth-action Metroidavania camera hacking thing managed almost a complete reversal of the other major Kickstarter success stories; its biggest day was its last – not its first. Messages from both the Republique team and Mr Purrington await you after the break.

First up, here’s the requisite tearful thanks and merriment from Ryan Payton and the rest of Camouflaj:

“I can’t believe I’m writing this, but we did it everyone! Together, we reached our funding goal with no less than seven hours to go. Talk about cutting it close! This is not the end, but only the beginning everyone. I’m extremely excited about connecting with all of you over the next year, making sure your rewards are as awesome as possible (without Jeff, our biz dude, getting angry at me) and making this game with all of you!”

“From now on, we’ll be posting to backers-only and talking with you about Republique, rewards and Camouflaj as we make this journey together. We can’t wait. Thank you, Camouflaj Friends. All 11, 610 of you!”

That’s a lot of exclamation points. But I suppose half a million dollars is a pretty good reason to use the hell out of the universe’s most reviled form of punctuation. At any rate, it’s now time for a very special message from Mr Purrington.

Dear RPS readers, thanks in part to your efforts, this larger cat is no longer attempting to devour me. Instead, he’s merely standing uncomfortably close, eyeing me hungrily. This is a temporary victory in all likelihood, but a valuable one nonetheless. Similarly, Republique is now funded, but will it be good? Will its 1984-influenced story come across as cringe-inducingly heavy handed? Will Camouflaj follow through with its extremely ambitious plans for the PC version? And, regardless of all that stuff, in-the-know gamers barely even cared enough to fund it. So, when Republique finally launches, will anyone even buy it? 

These are the questions that will come to define its newfound existence – in much the same way that “Will this cannibalistic wildcat realize that I’m stringy and low in nutrients” will soon heavily influence mine. Send help, please. Otherwise, my ghost will find a way to passively agressively get fur all over your freshly washed clothes.

Sincerely yours, Mr Purrington.

__________________

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168 Comments »

  1. unununun says:

    MLxX3HezVmvY

  2. Saul says:

    I’m one of those who jumped in at the 11th hour. I’m far from convinced I’ll love it, but I’ve paid more for games I don’t care for, and this one at least has some interesting ideas. We shall see.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      So was I – I had been keeping half an eye on it, but I really really can’t afford to pay up front for games right now without getting a review in first, my budget is very tight and I have been stung after getting swept up in pre-orders etc for games that seemed to be a dead cert to be good, but when I saw that it was in danger of not getting funded and the likes of Leisure Suit Larry were smashing their targets, quite frankly I was compelled to act.

      Any game which tries to do something different or something new or even just interesting to my mind needs kickstarter far more than some industry ancient trying to fund a sequel or remake their glory days, but then it seems that’s what the public wants, or maybe all they are prepared to trust – a known name and a known game (And yes, I know these guys have a decent portfolio) – actually, I can well understand that!

      Glad it reached it’s target and if it happens to be good, well, I’ll be very appreciative that I didn’t get a game this month. It does kind of help that the game I gave up to fund this was Risen 2 and seems like a title to get in a sale :)

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  3. Hematite says:

    Good luck to them! I didn’t fund this game myself, but I’m certainly interested enough to be a potential retail purchaser. I’m sure there are many more like me who are interested but would prefer to pay a higher price for a finished game, and I’m glad Kickstarter has given them the opportunity to make that happen.

    • 12kill4 says:

      I’m the same. I don’t own any iOS devices, and I’m sceptical of their ability to actually deliver on a final PC product with that budget. I’ll happily pick it up if it pays off though.

      I think it will be pretty interesting to see what happens when the first major kickstarter project fails to eventuate outright…

  4. JackShandy says:

    Don’t they have to get another half-million from investors now?

    • Vorphalack says:

      Yeah. I would have thought that might have raised a few more red flags with potential backers, but I suppose with the amounts people are chipping in individually it wouldn’t be a great loss if the project failed.

      This project wants watching closely. It still has the potential to be the first successfully funded kickstarter that doesn’t produce a finished product.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        I think there are already a couple of “funded” kickstarter which didn’t produce a product… but maybe it’ll be the first of the big game bubble.

      • Teovald says:

        There are more than one kickstarter that failed to produce a satisfying product.
        Sadly, I think that republique will be one of those. Last minute radical changes to meet the funding goals are not a good omen.
        I just hope that it will not cause a stall in funding of kickstarters that are really innovative.

      • jezcentral says:

        I think Takedown might win that prize. (I put money towards it, but they are pretty open to the fact that it was a wary of getting attention for private investment. If they don’t get that, nothing will happen.) At least Republique have some assets to show off.

      • Baresark says:

        I had actually intended to pull my funding on the project and I forgot to in time. I was all about it, but then I found out that PC/Mac was added as an afterthought when they weren’t getting any funding for just a phone game and the price didn’t increase at all. I feel like I potentially wasted my money on this since I don’t have a lot of faith in a finished product or at least a version that is proper to the PC since that pretty much requires a completely remade UI. We’ll see, it may not be a lost cause, but it’s too late now, haha.

    • Lemming says:

      Wow I had no idea about that. Glad I didn’t fund this one, then. Half a mil should be plenty to make this game, especially as they’d shown they’ve come so far already. Half a million on a ‘maybe’ is a bit suspicious.

      • Torgen says:

        Scroll down to Update #19 to see what happened to Star Command’s $36,000 after expenses:

        http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/starcommand/star-command-sci-fi-meets-gamedev-story-for-ios-an/posts

        It isn’t free and clear money.

        • PopeJamal says:

          Very insightful. Thanks!

        • Gasmask Hero says:

          Did they not have a business plan? Doesn’t seem like it. Did they not do basic costings on the printing of the rewards? Evidently not. Were they not aware of the various charges that would be levied? Doesn’t read like they were.

          This hasn’t changed my opinion of Kickstarter projects one bit, but i’m willing to concede there are projects out there run by people who’ve done their homework and this in no way represents a baseline for the whole affair.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Hunh. I’d say the most interesting thing about that one is not how frank they are about whoops-blew-a-bunch-of-the-money-on-lawyers-and-reward-trinkets, but that they decided that backers don’t get a copy of the game. At all, at any price point. For the rather odd rationale that “if we gave the game away, our #1 asset which is our fans, would be gone on day one“. Pardon?

          • qrter says:

            They seem to be under the impression that they’d be giving away their game for free – no, no, people give you money, they won’t be seeing any other return on their investment, nothing free here.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Goes to show just how careful you have to be with kickstarter. Read every word on the page and don’t expect anything that isn’t explicitly stated you will get, and even then – don’t necessarily expect that!

            There is a reason traditional investors who fund a project like this like to keep a tight reign on their investments, to prevent this kind of spending! Kickstarter funders are very vulnerable to being swept up in hype and throwing cash at people who really don’t know how to run a game studio!

  5. Anthile says:

    Looks like a sand cat.

  6. Mattressi says:

    I honestly only read this story to see what Mr Purrington had to say. I think I might have problems…

    • Fede says:

      No, it’s fine: Mr Purrington is awesome, and he deserves it. Now let’s go watch some more cat pictures on the internet!

  7. jellydonut says:

    I would have pitched in, if it wasn’t a fucking iPhone game.

    The concept sounds interesting but I have little to no interest in mobile games – and if I do, they’re Android games, not iToy games.

    • Gurrah says:

      Same here. They were marketing it as an iPhone/iPad exclusive from the start and when they started feeling the pressure of the hipsters not being able to fund it they threw in the PC/MAC format. Now they’ve been literally saved by the people they didn’t have in mind when they started making the game.

      • El_Emmental says:

        You do understand they targeted a specific platform first for the all the factors related to it, not just “PC people”, right ?

        Making a game is much more than pitching a game for a type of users-attached-to-one-single-platform, thinking they didn’t added PC/Mac first only because they despise PC/Mac users is being rather paranoid and selfish : the gaming world doesn’t revolve around “the desktop computers” vs “the mobile/social platforms”.

        • Phantoon says:

          I dunno about that. Anecdotally, I’ve bought a couple Indie Royales, and the last one that was just mobile/ipad games totally sucked.

  8. D3xter says:

    I was kinda convinced (and was at some point hoping) it’d fail. Eh, no skin off my back but the initial prototype and the developers attitude kind of screamed “mac***” and the adding of a PC version to what is mostly supposed to be a game for iPhones and iPads and iWhatevers didn’t sound like much more than a moneygrab at that point since there wasn’t enough money flowing in :P

    We’ll see, but if I were any of the people putting money into this hoping for a proper PC game I wouldn’t keep my hopes up…

    Also, if you’re looking for a “photo finish”, Starlight Inception is more likely to provide that, that game got literally funded in the last hour of the KickStarter campaign.

  9. joe says:

    You know those advertisements in newspapers and magazines (and some blog sites) that are designed to look like a published article? That’s what these four posts by Nathan Grayson concerning Republique comes off as to me.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Rather.

      Ok, NOW can we have some coverage for Legend of Eisenwald, please? Turn-based-hex-map combat, medieval setting, entertaining pitch video. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1684781151/legends-of-eisenwald

      • Hoaxfish says:

        I’ve only prodded RPS for the Xenonauts kickstarter (as the site already had coverage), and was honestly hoping RPS was going to go the route of a weekly round-up of all kickstarter projects so we could all post Kickstarters in general, rather than playing RPS-favourites.

        As is, I’ve been following Cross of the Dutchman which looks pretty good, visually clean, with demo video etc.

      • Spider Jerusalem says:

        yes. pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

      • jrodman says:

        Well, on the bright side it looks like that project received the funds they were asking for. And mostly “on their own”.

        It doesn’t look like a game for me, but I hope you enjoy it!

    • Pasco says:

      The incestuous relationship between the gaming media and games developers is often disgusting, but the way Republique has been pimped out has taken this too a new level. This is not a criticism of RPS specifically, its been everywhere.

      Speaking specifically about RPS: No other Kickstarter has been given this sort of NPR pledge drive treatment, most other projects get one or maybe two posts before they get funding, and none of them has had the end of post containing BEGGING for people to give money.

      What the fuck happened to http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/04/23/the-kickstarter-dilemma/ ? The articles on Republique have been the worst examples of what that article feared. I like and respect RPS considerably less after this fawning, shameless display.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        I think it comes down to a genuine excitement for what the project claims it wants to achieve. It seems to be a clever idea that shouldn’t be impossible to achieve on an indie budget, and the game looks to be very interesting and have great potential.

        Unlike the tidal wave of remakes/increments that kickstarter seems to be currently funding.

        I do appreciate this coverage, we are still getting to make an informed decision, I never felt manipulated or propagandafied into contributing. I’d rather the focus on new IP’s from devs with a good portfolio than a focus on new devs or respected names churning out the same old games.

        But I do really understand where you are coming from too!

        • JFS says:

          I don’t know, I think Mr Purrington went a little too much in the direction of manipulation. Maybe more like catipulation, but yeah.

        • jrodman says:

          But if it was genuine excitement over the game, the writer should have talked about .. you know, what made him excited about the game. There was precious little content here, just a lot of cats and begging.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            There was precious little begging here either, in this singular article – He reports the game met its goal and printed a letter of thanks from the devs, all wrapped up in cats.

            I guess all the enthusiasm was in the other articles about the game.

          • jrodman says:

            Yes, lots of enthusiasm. And cats.

      • jacobvandy says:

        The problem I have with this goes beyond the whole “it’s an iOS game that they decided to promise to port to PC out of desperation” thing. I don’t like the fact that this isn’t a case of a developer asking for $500k to make a game… They’re asking for the money to prove a point to the “real” investors or publishers that there is interest, so that they can get a bigger budget and/or distribution deal. That means some portion of the money people donated, big or small, will be used to shop it around rather than just develop it. I guess that technically falls under the idea of “kickstarting” a project, but there’s a lot more risk involved and much less chance of an actual product being delivered.

        And the problem I have with the myriad of media sites, including RPS, reporting on it is that they never mentioned any of that. It’s a completely different scenario than inXile asking for a million dollars and saying “Yes, we have a plan and we will deliver this game X using this much money Y in this amount of time Z.” It’s a total abuse of the power they mentioned they have in the afore-linked article. All they talk about is how great the ideas sound, and how awesome it’s going to be, and how badly they want it to be funded… Not merely noting the fact that it’s plainly stated in the description:

        We estimate that République will cost north of $1 million to complete. After months of meetings and due diligence, we believe that we can raise the necessary additional funds to complete République from potential outside investors, but there is some risk that our efforts will be unsuccessful.

        What kind of business plan is that? They don’t even have a concrete budget. Is this really the sort of Kickstarter behavior we want to encourage by throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars at these people?

        • DClark says:

          Everthing I took away from the information about this kickstarter said that it wasn’t about being able to fund the game properly, it was about being able to fund the game without selling away the Republique IP.

          There are so many good game IPs languishing forgotten in the big publishing companies’ “IP dungeons” that I felt it was worth the risk to plant the seed and hope a good game grows out of it by the end of next year.

          Edit: Victor Lucas, creator of The Electric Playground, has been using his TV show and website to report on the game so I may have more information than someone using the kickstarter page alone to decide whether or not to support the game.

    • Milos says:

      At this point nobody sane can deny at least 50% of the kickstarter funds went towards bribing RPS.

      • Renfield says:

        Speaking for myself, it’s people like you [at least if you're serious] that make me less likely to read and/or contribute to RPS a lot more than people like Nathan – whose promotion of Republique has been a bit egregious, but you know what? Maybe he just likes the idea. He’s not *taking* your money anymore than a reviewer is taking your money with a positive review.

        Really, it would seem what Nathan is doing wrong is not being cynical enough about his job. For shame! Let’s slander him all we can.

        • Milos says:

          After I finished the sentence I went over it and added the word “sane” in there to make it clear just how serious I was. If it’s still too subtle: the original post was my impression of an internet crazy person.

          • Renfield says:

            Fair enough. I admit I needed to make a close to 50-50 call as to whether you were serious – but my point does stand about the very same people whose paranoia you attempted to caricature.

      • Gap Gen says:

        I suppose as RPS expands it might need a more consistent editorial position than just whatever the original writers thought. I’d agree that the Kickstarter thing needs a consistent editorial position to avoid this kind of issue. It’s an odd case where people are suggesting you buy hypothetical games, and I guess it does need clarifying as to what the role of journalists in all this is.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Personally, I feel RPS has a really nice balance between editorial influence and writers personality. If we wanted a consistent editorial line, there are tonnes of IGN’s out there. RPS is unique because it’s writers are talented and allowed to shine.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        I think you are trying to be cleverly sarcastic or something, but really you are coming across as really rather ignorant.

        Sorry to be harsh, but take a look at my history of RPS criticism to understand where I’m coming from. I think I’m the only person to have ever got one writer in particular frustrated to the point of irrational abuse aimed at me, yet still admitting I was correct in my criticism, which was about journalistic integrity.

        So now you know my background, I can say that you are so far off the mark. Here we have a writer with a genuine enthusiasm and writing great articles. He wasn’t paid, he wasn’t bribed. He is just doing his job properly. Simple as that. RPS is not the BBC, thank god and should be allowed some breathing space to have an opinion, as long as it is clear that it is an opinion. This is very clearly this writers opinion, so there is no problem here, it’s just a respected journalist and writer sharing his thoughts.

        Please RPS, don’t submit to pressure from the ever increasing comments like this and never change :)

        • Milos says:

          I think you are trying to come off as credible but you ended up painfully off the mark if you took that comment as a criticism aimed towards RPS. As I already wrote above I was just poking fun at crazies and trying to see if anyone would actually agree with me (though I didn’t expect it because it was so over-the-top.)

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Well, If I couldn’t get that from what you wrote, maybe you aren’t as clever as you think you are..

            Sorry, I mean “You’re too clever for me”

          • El_Emmental says:

            Sheng-ji…

            You seem to have been “right” about an issue regarding journalistic integrity (who hasn’t ?), but it clashed with other factors you discarded as secondary (while the writer regarded them as primary)(example of factor: the effort/reward imbalance in journalism, the “unwritten” rules of current western journalism, etc… Writing news is one of the most unrewarding job in the world: the less efforts you make, the more reward you get), and you felt like a RPS writer was personally trying to destroy you.

            I haven’t the full docs, and it isn’t the place to discuss this case, but in my opinion, it’s highly probable you fall back to the “I’m being attacked” to not admit something rather unpleasant: you won’t change the world.

            You won’t change journalism, you won’t change anyone, especially a writer online. Even if you have the exact plan, the perfect key, to turn the world into a better-functioning place, you wouldn’t be able to change it.

            And seriously, when you criticize someone’s else attempt at humor or criticism, don’t talk about yourself first, just don’t. Focus on the sentence structure and the facts, and keep a soft tone.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            El Emmental – “abusive” was the word the RPS writer used to describe his own behaviour towards me, while destroy isn’t quite the word I would use, he certainly got personal with me. It’s all sorted out now in private and public apologies were made. My dropped sub was reinstated the second I got the apology.

            And I’m not the one trying to change journalism here, I think you got a little confused. I’m the one here defending the article against the other guy accusing them, whether in jest or not of taking bribes. For your information, even if I can’t change the world, I’m going to try – one internet writer at a time. I can’t prevent global warming either, yet I will still do everything I can even knowing that it is almost literally a drop in the ocean.

            Why is it wrong to talk about myself before criticising someone else’s attempt at humour? Is it just humour this works for? I’m looking at the Guardian here, the food writer talks about himself extensively before criticising the restaurant he is reviewing, does he breach your rule as well? Let’s not forget that I didn’t realise I was criticising someone’s humour, I thought the joke was a crass attempt at trolling.

            I do have a harsh tone, I put that down to not caring one jot about the feelings of the person I am criticising. Given the relative scales of how much of an idiot people can be on the internet, I think I am on the softer side, further more, I can always justify my opinion. Finally, my criticism is always constructive, even if sometimes you have to read into the criticism a little to find it. It’s my style and I won’t give it up on the strength of what you wrote, though that doesn’t prevent you from having another go, in fact I welcome criticism myself as long as it is at least half as constructive as I tend to be :)

          • Tom OBedlam says:

            No one gives a fuck if you’re really good at pissing people off. Listen to El-Emmental’s advice and drop it. Your anecdote has not won you an internet argument. Miles was joking, you didn’t laugh, we get it.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Oooh, resorting to swears are we. That helps me to care about anything you have to say.

          • Tom OBedlam says:

            Hah, ‘resorting’? Swearing is part of everyday idiomatic English.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            So you can’t communicate effectively on a family friendly forum without swearing? Says more about you than me for calling you out on it.

            When you grow up and want a proper job, are you going to swear in your interview? When you want to win a contract, arrange a mortgage, meet your new girlfriends parents… swearing all ok then?

          • Tom OBedlam says:

            Family friendly? Do not be fooled by the pictures of cats, the naughty swears are as much a part of the furniture as the scotch egg consumption meter.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            It’s published on Steam, do you think it would be if it wasn’t family friendly?

            You show me one example of an RPS writer not being family friendly.

          • Tom OBedlam says:

            Google “rock paper shotgun fuck”

            http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/11/14/user-interfarce-skyrims-silly-choices/

            Holy shit, Jim did a naughty swear twice in one sentence.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Well fuck me, there you go! I guess you can look like the cunt you are all day for being correct. Doesn’t help that you are still a little bitch for having to resort to fucking vulgar language in order to make your point you little shit when most reasonable people don’t dicking well need to.

            or something.

            Anyway, it’s been a blast, I hope I made you a little more miserable and drove you closer to depression than you currently are. I’m off, so I won’t see your doubtless witty and clever retort.

          • Tom OBedlam says:

            Christ, you’re boring. I’m going to make breakfast. Ta-ra

          • jrodman says:

            I sure hope that was dishonest entirely; the level of mean-spiritedness is off the charts, even for this thread.

        • Tom OBedlam says:

          You’re the sort of person who writes to their newspaper about spelling mistakes, aren’t you?

          • Sheng-ji says:

            No, I’m not. I’m the sort of person who mocks people who report spelling mistakes, both to the newspaper and in the comments section of RPS ;)

            Seems my character and personality is slightly more 3 dimensional and complex than you assumed based on one thing you have read that I wrote. Funny that.

          • LionsPhil says:

            God forbid people might want to offer a little proof-reading on a medium where errors can be amended after publication.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            The email addresses of most of the writers are below. Constantly error checking in the comments section is a cry to be recognised as clever by other RPS readers in my opinion.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Path of least resistance to just put it as a comment, though. Trivial amounts of information don’t deserve more than trivial effort.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Ego or laziness then :)

            I should point out that my mocking is light hearted and only to my husband, never in the comments section itself.

          • Tom OBedlam says:

            Nope, you’re exactly what I expected.

            ” I think I’m the only person to have ever got one writer in particular frustrated to the point of irrational abuse aimed at me, yet still admitting I was correct in my criticism, which was about journalistic integrity.”

            Painfully pompous

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I am confident and people who have a hobby which attracts some of the most socially inept people on the planet don’t like it.

            Especially when I am right too.

            (POMPOUS) Try, when I tell you not to judge me on one thing I have written, to not immediately reply with a quote from that very same article, written at the same time. I may be able to take you seriously then (/POMPOUS)

          • jrodman says:

            I can assure you that confidence is not the problem.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            You’re right. The problem here was Tom OBedlam and his poor assumption about me.

          • Tom OBedlam says:

            And yet it seems to be you and your humourlessness that people are taking exception to, funny that isn’t it?
            Thread deletion in 5…4…3…

          • Sheng-ji says:

            2… 1….. Huh. It’s still here.

            You may take all the exception you want to my humourless, I couldn’t care less. I don’t find much humour in anything you have written, only immaturity.

      • Torgen says:

        And the other half went to Penny Arcade for a front page article? What an ignorant little person you are.

    • Uthred says:

      I agree, I found the overly fervent pushing of this game to be rather off-putting. It’s ok to say, “Hey this kickstarter is nearly at its target” but I find it rather greating to be exhorted to throw money at it

    • bill says:

      Not realy… it comes off as him being legitimately excited about the prospect of the game.

      I’m not so sure myself, and he needs to be a little careful… but i don’t see anything sinister in it.

  10. 13tales says:

    I’ve seen a lot of negativity around this one, and it’s kind of surprised me: sure, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it looks new, and at least somewhat innovative. Surely we can at least wish ‘em well? I’m glad to see this get funded, rather than another nostalgia-fuelled voyage to a forgotten genre.

    (After enjoying Botanicula the other day, I decided to pay a visit to my long-neglected copy of Machinarium. Gorgeous art, but man oh man did it ever remind me why I don’t play many point and click adventures)

    • DClark says:

      The negativity was surrounding their initial pitch of Republique as an iOS exclusive game that wouldn’t work as a PC title which was then turned around halfway through the kickstarter to court the PC/Mac crowd once it was clear they wouldn’t get the funding if they kept it as an iOS exclusive.

      Had they included the cost of a PC version and run the kickstarter from the start as a joint iOS and PC/Mac endeavour it most likely would have easily been funded (even at an increased cost due to the addition of PC/Mac) without the drama and concern over the PC version.

      I know I was on the fence about Republique simply because of how clumsily Camouflaj handled itself during the kickstarter; it was the premise of the game and the addition of David Hayter and Jennifer Hale to the voice acting cast which made me decide to at least pitch in at the $15 level. I kind of feel that this kickstarter succeeded in spite of Camouflaj, not because of them.

      • PopeJamal says:

        I’m pretty much in the same boat. My personal kickstarter to “Fund my Ipad!” hasn’t been funded yet, so I literally have no use for an IOS game. The “yeah, and a PC version too!” seemed rather rushed and half-hearted.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      There was also some nonsense about “strong female character” while the gameplay depicts a helpless female character who begs you for help.

      • karthink says:

        How does that take away from her being a strong female character? Maybe you’re confusing “strong character who is female” with “Strong female who is a character”.

        • ReV_VAdAUL says:

          Could you highlight some strong male characters in games who are helpless, weak and beg for your help?

          • JackShandy says:

            The guy from Amnesia?

          • ReV_VAdAUL says:

            The nameless protagonist who had no memory, no characteristics, no dialogue and existed solely to be a blank slate for the player to project onto?

            That is a strong character to you?

          • Gap Gen says:

            Half Life uses (male) scientists the way the guy from STALKER uses metal bolts.

          • JackShandy says:

            He had dialogue, and a name. Daniel, he says it in the first few seconds. Also, if characters that need the players help are considered weak, we can include every character in every game every made.

            Anyway, seems like this argument is really over the definition of “strong character”. Do you mean “They can stand up for themselves”, or “They are interesting”? It’d be pretty easy for this Republic lady to be interesting without being able to stand up for herself.

          • ReV_VAdAUL says:

            @Gap Gen, while that is true I don’t think anyone is going to say they were strong characters.

            @Jack Shandy. Don’t be silly, there is an obvious difference between needing some help to achieve certain things and being so weak as to need to beg for help. The lady in the trailer is constantly scaredy voiced and eek needs you to help her to a great degree.

            Lets compare with Princess Leia. Our introduction to Leia is her recording a message saying how much she needs help. She is then captured and rendered quite helpless but does she resort to begging and fear? No, she insults Darth Vader to his face, resists interrogation and then when her hapless rescuers fuck up helps fix things so they can escape.

            Leia is a strong and interesting character because she shows agency and self reliance. The lady in the trailer needs someone else to do everything for her while seemingly constantly in a state of panic.

            This comes to your second point, the contention over physical strength or being interesting as a the definition of a “strong” character. The issue is however that in many games (and certainly this one) things are very dangerous and scary and in order to show agency and display character traits through interaction with the world one has to be hardy in one way or another.

            A constantly scared and helpless character can’t do that, all she can do is thank your or request more of you which is deathly dull and renders her as strong (in either sense) as Princess peach or any other generic damsel in distress.

          • 13tales says:

            I remember them describing her as “non-sexualised” (which is extremely welcome), rather than “strong”, but in any case- I wouldn’t say anything we’ve seen thus far (her asking for help, in the trailer) necessarily precludes her being strong.

      • Lemming says:

        I’ve been thinking about it, and perhaps by ‘strong’ they just mean well-developed? That would certainly appear to fit the bill, better.

        People often refer to a story having ‘strong characters’ in that regard. it doesn’t mean they are all tough.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          My own feelings were that I found the helplessness of the character a little overwrought. Could just be the editing and choice of lines in the trailer, but if she’s going to do that ‘I am on the verge of tears’ tone the whole time then I might have to pour lard on my keyboard.

    • JackShandy says:

      I’m only willing to give money to people who have:

      A. A working prototype to show.

      B. A well-established reputation for making great games.

      I don’t know why other people seem willing to give their money to people who have neither.

      • byteCrunch says:

        I think you are missing the point of Kickstarter.

        The advantage of crowd funding is that even if the developer does fail to deliver, the vast majority of your purchasers barely put any money in, thus reducing the risk.

        And since when was a established reputation for making great games ever a prerequesite for people to make great games. If anything it is impossible to develop said reputation in the first place, if people didn’t take the risk on new developers.

        Unless a developer puts out a demo for a game, all your purchases are a risk know matter how good the developer is, or how much of the game you have seen. Until you play it you do not really know.

        • JackShandy says:

          “And since when was a established reputation for making great games ever a prerequesite for people to make great games..”

          It may not be a pre-requisite, but boy, it sure seems to help.

          When a game is actually released I can get reviews from people who’ve played it. Without that, I’m going off the stuff they’ve made previously, or the stuff they’re making now. If they haven’t made enough stuff for a proof-of-concept demo, and they haven’t made anything before, I don’t have enough info to know if it’s worth my money.

          I got nothing against people who are making games for the first time (I am one). I just expect them to prove they can make a game before they ask for my money.

        • fish99 says:

          Surely when you’re talking about a game the vast majority are putting in enough to qualify for a copy of the game, i.e. $15 in this case, which while not a lot, is hardly ‘next to nothing’. $15 in a steam sale will get you a very decent game or two, with no risk.

      • Vinraith says:

        People will learn when a few of these projects fall through (or at least turn out to be nothing like they were advertised to be), and the Kickstarter “bubble” will burst in the process. It’s a shame, too, because it will hurt the ability of developers who meet your criteria (which I completely agree with) to use this system to fund their games.

      • bill says:

        According to penny arcade (who would be why this hit its target)

        The team is headed up by Ryan Payton of Metal Gear Solid 4 fame, but more recently of Halo fame

        But i think you are totally missing the point of kickstarter…. it’s not to help established people get free investments/pre-orders from gamers… it’s to help new guys KICKSTART their business or idea.

        It’s microfinance… and microfinance is supposed to be for those that can’t get regular finance.
        In many ways the post-Double Fine bandwagon is actually perverting the purpose of kickstarter. (though to good ends).

        • JackShandy says:

          I don’t care what the point of kickstarter is. I’m only going to give someone my money if I think something good will happen because of it.

          I don’t have a lot of money.

          • Aninhumer says:

            Sure, that’s your decision, and that’s fine, but what you said was “I don’t know why other people seem willing to give their money to people who have neither.” which is what people are responding to.

  11. wodin says:

    A space game made it with 26 mins to go! It needed 45,000 of 150,000 with 31 hours to go!

    This is a game that holds no interest for me though.

  12. sbs says:

    Is this the first work of Mr. Purrington or have I missed his earller articles?

  13. fiddlesticks says:

    I find the concept behind Republique extremely fascinating, but the whole drama surrounding its Kickstarter campaign kept me from backing it. Regardless, I’ll be closely following its development. I really hope they manage to make a good game out of this.

    Also, the first thing I thought of when I saw this article’s title was My Little Pony. Looks like the Internet has finally won against my sanity.

  14. Makariel says:

    You’re welcome, Mr. Purrington.

  15. caddyB says:

    A cat is fine too.

  16. Siresly says:

    I’m pretty confident the game will end up being worth the $20 I chipped in.

    A problem people were having with this project is that it actually materializing is dependent on them finding funding beyond Kickstarter. $500k was half of their projected budget. I’m sure the PC/MAC version added to it.

    But there’s always some amount of risk associated with Kickstarter projects regardless of anything. What if this, what if that? If those concerns are strong enough, then don’t pledge and don’t worry about the money of others who felt differently. Presumably they know what they’re throwing their money at. I hope.

    I threw mine at two versions of a game by people who seem capable of making something good out of a concept I thought sounded interesting and will become an actual thing. And by doing so at this stage I’m increasing the chances of all that. If the game turns out to be shit or takes forever to come out etc. I’ll certainly be dissatisfied, but I know those are the risks.

  17. DK says:

    “Photo Finish: Republique Gets Funded”
    Yes it does. More properly it should read “Photo Finish: Republique Gets Funded When It Shouldn’t Have Been”.

    So much for integrity. You know why we don’t like it when so called Games Media does stupid stuff like this? Because when you’re tied into projects like this, you don’t have distance. When you don’t have distance, you don’t have perspective. It’s classic lobbying, and frankly it’s disgusting that it’s reached gaming. Much less Kickstarter.

    • El_Emmental says:

      So yea, they found out how to lobby their games efficiently. The bastards.

      (sorry for the curse word, I thought it was appropriate)

      Whenever an indie devs fails to market their game correctly, people are saying “they’re just bad at selling their idea to people” and whine about the current state of the video game industry not recognizing the true value of each game. And nothing is done. “Inevitable fate”, and that’s it.

      Here we have a successful lobbying, without millions of dollars in marketing, for something that “could” be a little bit different than the reheated soup we’re getting from the top publishers, and people are mad.

      Of course you need to manipulate and corrupt (even without money it’s possible) to get coverage, that’s how media are working. You need to sell a good story to media, so they feel like that stuff will be a good material for their audience.

      And if you trick them into thinking it’s genuinely good, the media/journalists will feel like they can both have the cake [is a lie. ha. ha. 5 years passed now. ha. ha.] and eat it : having an audience-friendly story and a quality story at the same time.

      Of course such things don’t exist, they never had, they never will.

      But most journalists are still doing this job without trying to do something else only because they still believe there’s a news story somewhere, that will be worth called “quality journalism” and will make quite a hit, that one day people will say “thank you journalist, you did a great job and thanks to you, our society is now better, you brought to light something we truly needed to see”.

      Most journalists wish they would never be manipulated, that they would always be right, be correct. They’re also afraid of missing something truly meaningful for their current era, afraid of being the one who wrote down “video games have no future, that trend will rapidly disappear” in the early 80s, “the Internet won’t survive the TV”, they’re afraid of missing the next “revolution”.

      There’s a reason why they all jumped on the web 2.0 poppycock. There’s a reason why they were so “excited” when “indie” games became popular among gamers. And there’s a reason why the recent Kickstarter speculation bubble (in terms of information) is sucking up all gaming-related media like some kind of blackhole vortex.
      => What if Kickstarter becomes a major evolution ?
      => What if Republique becomes a new milestone in terms of gaming ?
      => What if the half-Kickstarted half-investors nature of Republique becomes the iconic bridge between publishers-games and indies, the “new” funding model ? Media do love poster child.

      By playing with these fears, they tricked an important amount of various media. Good for them.

      If we wanted true journalism and investigations, 1) we would pay for it and it would be expensive, 2) we would wait several days, weeks, months, to get a verified and accurate information instead of copy-pasting the PR .ppt/.pdf paragraph.

      • El_Emmental says:

        Few years ago, I was writing (for free, like all other writers – I simply wanted to see the other side – note: the small ads were paying the servers, some game servers and that’s it) on a small (but with a rather stable readership) website for a few months. Nothing too big, but big enough to be a news website and not just a blog.

        One time, I spent approximately 8-10 hours on searching, verifying, documenting a specific subject, after spending 2 hours following live events unfolding online – enough for 3 or 4 small articles. I rewrote my paper several time, changing the structure, adding pictures/videos when needed, verifying every single detail so I wouldn’t publish something that is not true. From 10-15 pages of material, down to 1.

        When I released it :

        - it was 12 hours after other major websites had published their news on it (but since it was a small website not looking for profit, and a stable readership, it wasn’t a problem – something intolerable for big websites).

        - an important share of readers entirely skipped the news, because it wasn’t about the latest patch of a popular game, or the trailer of a new publisher-backed game.

        - most of the people who actually clicked on it took the time to only read the first paragraph (4 sentences, summed up the subject with simple words) and quickly closed the page. Less than 10% read the rest (despite the pictures, the videos, all the shiny stuff).

        - only 5 people commented on it (usual = 30 to 40 comments). 3 told me how they really liked how complete and interesting it was, 1 asked what that news is about (= didn’t read the first paragraph, but noticed the long article so was curious), 1 talked about how he couldn’t wait for the release date of a game of a similar genre.

        I did similar complete articles (others took me 2 hours approximately, to check everything, fine-tuning the article), same results. Meanwhile, posting funny Youtube videos (about the top10 games) and copy-pasting publishers PR newsfeed got far more readers, comments, attention, and satisfaction among the readers.

        Posting accurate information, instead of speculated (fantasized ?) information, was boring and wasn’t what people want.

        Posting less news (but “better” ones), instead of posting 5 news per days (for a free writer on a small website, that’s a good “rhythm” <= see how quantity matters more than the subject itself), was perceived as bad coverage.

        I stopped writing interesting articles, and started copy-pasting (= rewriting, but keeping the same meaning, no added value) : the top admins were happier, the readers too, everyone was happy.

        Except me, because I realized that my fantasized "journalism" was just a dreamed up information processing system that had no real meaning in the real world.

        I wasn't happy realizing I've been a fool all these years, complaining internally about people not paying attention to real issues, whereas information wasn't meant to be used like that at all – that people don't pay attention to logic unless they're endangered, that we're looking for the self-confirmation of our deepest instinctive thoughts first.

        If you have 100 000 unique visitors per week, less than 1 000 will be able to suppress their ego enough to accept to pay attention to an unexpected information, so as a writer you're supposed to feed them with an enjoyable information, a compatible information.

        That's why RPS sometime cover things like the latest Facebook-based project of a big publisher, or the latest Call Of Duty PR news, with a little bit of "look at this ! how pitifully funny !" jelly on it, hopefully backed with some puns/alt-text/random silly story, and basically everyone in the comments rejoice.

        That's also why RPS covers a good bunch of indie projects/games/developers/events, even if there's almost no one reading them, because they think that, in the end, it will be worth it, it will have a meaning. They aren't sure at all, they just hope and keep carrying on, uncertainty is always there (or I'm plain wrong, but I got that feeling from reading RPS).

        When you're trying to do some "quality" journalism, you're left with the two meanings of "vox clamantis in deserto": either shouting in vain, or being an isolated beacon of information.
        And it’s really hard to believe you’re an “isolated beacon of information” without progressively drowning in narcissism.

        So if Republique is funded and is good/interesting, and they're partially responsible for this, they'll believe it finally paid off : they changed the course of video games history, they made possible something labeled as "definitely not possible" by the current industry.

        If Republique is a flop, then they would have tried their best, but you can't win every time – it's already difficult enough to care about indies and the latest trend (currently kickstarter) when you're writing in the void.

        • Lacero says:

          I liked how complete and interesting this was.

          (Also, in the back of my mind is the idea that this is John under an alias talking about the early days of RPS.)

        • RobF says:

          That’s all very well and good but still, is this the way we really want videogame news to go? Where pitching, investment and cash is part and parcel of reporting on games? Where every week, there’s another post asking you to fork out money to make someone’s game idea a reality, rather than talking about and revelling in the beauty of videogames themselves?

          I realise it’s not a binary thing and the Republique clusterfuck is a one off on RPS (whereas there’s been 7 kickstarter projects on indiegames in as many days but I’ve long given up hope for there) but y’know, I want to read news about games not read pitches for games with cap in hand-isms.

          I’m not averse to Kickstarter, or using Kickstarter for projects but the constant bleed of business into my games reading is, for want of a better phrase, fucking boring beyond words and it colours the discussions we can have around things for the worst because we’re not talking about the games themselves anymore and that, that is shit.

          • qrter says:

            I’m not averse to Kickstarter, or using Kickstarter for projects but the constant bleed of business into my games reading is, for want of a better phrase, fucking boring beyond words and it colours the discussions we can have around things for the worst because we’re not talking about the games themselves anymore and that, that is shit.

            I agree (and well said).

          • Dominic White says:

            While I agree that business is fairly boring, this is still orders of magnitude more interesting/reassuring than yet another ‘Megapublisher X shuts down developer Y for being profitable but not making projected sales targets’ story.

            The whole push towards democratization of the development funding process does rather inevitably involve the common gamer more in the business side of things, hence the shift in coverage lately.

          • RobF says:

            Right, but I visit GI.biz or Develop or somewhere like that for that sort of news. If it’s something like GSC going under then yeah, that’s major news for PC owners because it means the loss of a massive and much anticipated game but studios shutter all the time for one reason or another and you don’t see it reported outside of biz sites or much more than a footnote in a morning’s news on Eurogamer or something (see the recent shuttering of Eden).

            But still, a studio shuttering doesn’t change the way we talk about games. Tying business stuff like pitches, asking for funding etc… fundamentally changes the discourse because it has to, there’s other concerns beyond “it’s a good/bad idea for a game, does cool stuff, whatever” that have to come into play. Because money. Because -asking- for money.

            Look at how much talk of Dino Beat Down focuses on the crowd funding as well as the bugs, look at how it changes things.

            Crowd funding is ace, it’s a lifeline to projects that might not get made and when something is obviously, clearly news like Double Fine or Wasteland 2, cool, let’s talk about that. But let’s talk about what it means for games, for a game, not whether we should be pitching in to make it happen. That’s for the biz sites.

        • JackShandy says:

          “That’s also why RPS covers a good bunch of indie projects/games/developers/events, even if there’s almost no one reading them, because they think that, in the end, it will be worth it, it will have a meaning.”

          That’s not really true. RPS’s massive Solium Infernum coverage got a whole heap of love. Ditto for minecraft, and many others.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Aye, the Infernum playthrough was one of RPS’ best serieses.

          • Tom OBedlam says:

            I went back to that recently and it’s still amazing. I’m trying to work up the wherewithal to read Neptune’s Pride again, but that’s so emotionally draining to read

          • El_Emmental says:

            Indeed, the Solium Infernum coverage was so much good it pierced through the curtain of “bah, too much text to read, and I don’t even know that game” and also because RPS is not exactly like the usual news websites, so they kinda have an audience expecting some original papers from time to time.

            When I wrote “even if there’s almost no one reading them”, I was talking about all the “hey look at that neat obscure indie game which has a few good points” that get 3-5 not-so-enthusiastic comments like “looks good, a little bit *another-game*”, talking about all the interviews of indie developers that doesn’t get much attention (readers/comments).

            If I recall correctly, somewhere on RPS one of the RPS writer mentioned how people were all focused on things like some of the drama surrounding Mass Effect 3, EA or Call of Duty, while their coverage of indie events (like some game jams) was barely noticed by the readership. It would really surprise me if : 1) It isn’t true 2) I dreamed it up.

            Regarding Kickstarter, RPS is already making an effort in trying to cover it correctly, acknowledging the problems (the inevitable partiality, the balance between their responsibility toward their readership and their responsibility toward developers, etc), shooting at them with your guns set on full-auto feels a little bit too much: these guys are going to be blamed and ashamed (because at least some of them do care) if things don’t go well, while you’ll be “I TOLD YOU ALL” with a smirky smile.

            And if people start to blame RPS for not following a “neutral” line, where is this going to lead ? RPS’s (was/is ?) supposed to be about writers writing about games, WRITING, not reporting the “cold hard facts” pretending to be neutral (even if we know there’s no such things as neutrality when you get to choose which information you publish, when, how many times, etc).

            RPS talked about various Kickstarter projects, and sometime the writer was really enthusiast about a project. Did it automatically made me support it ? No, because I know I don’t have the same culture/taste/history/childhood, I only knew what meaning that project would have for some people/fans, and that’s something really invaluable.

            => When I supported the Double-Fine Adventure project, it was half-curiosity (= supporting a new way of funding development) half-genuine-interest-in-the-game.

            => When I supported the Wasteland 2 project, it was 80% because of my love of the two first Fallout games (both in terms of video games experience and childhood-tied signification) and 20% because of what that game (and the Kickstarter funding) was going to mean to the video-games history.

            The only way RPS influenced my choices was regarding the importance of these potential sequels, the meaning (if it’s actually tried, if it goes well, if it doesn’t go well) of that kind of crowd-funding, after I read the articles and the comments.

            If I wanted to support it, I now had enough information to make a choice (= if I’m on the fence with a game, knowing it’s not “just a game” but something much more meaningful, I *might* go for it).

            Nowadays, I’m really glad RPS covered these Kickstarters like they did, and didn’t just reported “oh, some dudes are trying to get enough pre-orders of a game that doesn’t exist yet to get the money to make it”. By being themselves and not just spamb newsbots, they’re exposed to lobbying, but I think it’s worth the risk.

          • LionsPhil says:

            bah, too much text to read

            Please tell me you see the irony here.

          • RobF says:

            There might be fivety billion more comments on a Mass Effect 3 article than there are on an indie game but as the past beneficiary of such coverage, I can assure you, it does not go unnoticed by the readership. (It also helps massively in other ways, there’s a lot of weight in RPS’ good words)

            Something I am and will remain incredibly thankful for and appreciative of. There just, often, isn’t really much to argue about so people don’t.

  18. Wahngrok says:

    If you are looking for a game that has not only a working prototype but a demo out already and are interested in space sim games you should look at Skyjacker on Kickstarter. Unfortunately this has had almost no press coverage so far and is therefor not funded well yet : http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/digitilus/skyjacker

    To me it seems much more further in development than Starlight Inception. Although I helped funding the latter too, I have more confidence that Skyjacker will actually be finished and be a good game as well. But please judge for yourself.

    Getting back to the topic: I hope Republique will deliver on both platforms what the concept promises. Therefore I am glad that it got funded.

  19. Moraven says:

    Skipped this seeing their original intent was for an iOS game, then adding PC/MAC later on. Made me think of ICO based on the concept.

    I do not think there is anyway to give gift codes on the Apple Store. How will people get their game?

    If the PC game is decent, I will get it after it is released.

    • 13tales says:

      I’m curious about that too, but I know there *are* means. I’ve previously had a dev send me a redeemable code, so it’s doable. Not sure about the limits, however.

      • The First Door says:

        I’d be quite interested on the answer to this if anyone has one, as I’ve heard about it not being easy and/or possible on a large scale from a few different people. Obviously on Android you can side-load which helps get around that problem (not that it doesn’t come with its own risks), but I am curious if there is a way of doing it ‘properly’ on iOS devices.

  20. ukpanik says:

    Personally, I think they have conned PC gamers and only the iOS version will materialize.
    Hope I am wrong.
    RPS should not have pushed hard for this one.

    • Mattressi says:

      Aren’t they now committed to making a PC version? As in, if they don’t release a PC version, then everyone who gave money to them gets it back from Kickstarter?

      • LionsPhil says:

        Not as I understand it. The only thing Kickstarter cares about is if the project team hit their funding threshold; if they do, the money is theirs, and everything past that is more or less on trust.

        Which is why you don’t fund anything from unproven nobodies to the tune of more money than you’d wilfully throw down an open sewer.

      • jezcentral says:

        No, which is one of the problems with Kickstarter. You paid your money, but all you might get back is a loading screen.

        • LionsPhil says:

          I wouldn’t say it’s a problem with Kickstarter exactly; if you want guaranteed game for money, conventional publishing or entirely self-funded indies, particularly doing pre-orders (especially especially ones that offer betas as they go, like Overgrowth), have you covered. More that people just need to buyer-beware a bit more when they’re in the wild end of the game-funding spectrum, e.g. by considering JackShady’s two criteria above.

          • bill says:

            True in many ways, but it also misses the point of Kickstarter entirely. It’s supposed to be to help people get started… to start small businesses or do small projects that they dream of, or that they’d never be able to do normally.

            It’s essentially microfinance like Kiva. So setting those criteria is essentially like saying “well, I’ll lend money to poor housewives in idea to start their own business as long as they have proven experience in a multinational corporation:”.

            And with those two criteria we’d never get a Robocop statue!

          • LionsPhil says:

            I appreciate that, but as a backer you have to balance your expenditure against your expected return on that (“How likely is it that I’ll get a game I want to play out of this?”), or you’re just going to get burnt. If you’re looking at developers with no track record and no proof-of-concept, it’s more like buying a lottery ticket than some kind of pre-order, and you need to pick a contribution that you won’t mind evaporating into nothingness. (Which is kind of the point of spreading the funding across thousands of people, after all.) At some point that just quantizes away to zero because nobody really wants to dig out the credit card for 50p, which will just get swallowed in processing fees anyway.

            The message for eager wannabe-developers and entrepeneurial housewives alike there being to sink as much effort as you can afford into demonstrating that you’re serious and capable first.

          • jezcentral says:

            LionsPhil, I * would* say it is a problem, but I don’t think we are actually disagreeing. I would also say that the problem with pre-ordering a game is it might be rubbish. :) But, yeah, semantics etc.

            I’ve backed 3 so far. Xenonauts, which will definitely happen (IMO), PCGamingWiki (the money for which I will never directly benefit from, I’m just fond of my fellow PC gamers and want them to have shiny things) and Takedown, which is a coin-toss as they need extra funding (and it is totally out of my hands to ensure).

      • frightlever says:

        “gets it back from Kickstarter”

        You have fundamentally misunderstood what Kickstarter is. Read the T&C.

        “Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.”

        If you want your money back you need to go to the creator, not Kickstarter. If the creator has failed to provide what you pledged for, they are unlikely to have any money left to give you back. Or maybe they will and everything will work out dandy.

        I’m not just being a snot. Go read the T&C.

        http://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use

  21. qrter says:

    I’m looking forward to mr. Grayson’s next post, about how it’s been a week since République got financed.

  22. Tom OBedlam says:

    Poor show, another Republique post? Nathan, are you trolling us now? On your last post there was 88 (last time I checked) comments, a quarter of which were saying how people didn’t like this sort of begging bowl stuff.

    • Llewyn says:

      Two things:

      Firstly, RPS posted recently that they currently have (as accurately as these things are measurable) 2.1m unique readers. 22 objecting comments (using your numbers) does not represent a resounding condemnation of Nathan’s posts.

      Secondly, who cares whether you like them or not? As I understand it, RPS has from the outset been effectively the personal blogging of the writers, both the original hivemind and their subsequent employees. Some commenters seem to think that because RPS is outrageously successful it should pander to the whims of its vocal readers; those commenters miss the fact that RPS is outrageously successful precisely because a lot of us want to read the personal opinions of its writers on gaming and related subjects, whether we agree with those writings or not.

      • Tom OBedlam says:

        It’s nothing to do with that, read the issues we raised the last time this game was posted. It’s far more important than we’re vocal listen to us.

  23. Was Neurotic says:

    What the fuck is this, and why are we so excited about it?

  24. rustybroomhandle says:

    A cursory glance at Kickstarter projects tells me that iOS games seem to have a hard time getting funded. I wrote my speculated reasons here three times in three different ways and they all came off sounding insulting, so will just leave it. :P

    PC games are easier to get funding for, which is why these guys used it as a 11th hour parachute.

    Incidentally, board games/ card games/ table-top RPGs seem to have the easiest time getting funded. I’ve seen a few that are funded well over their initial goals, even when the funding is simply for miniatures and the like.

    • jrodman says:

      Do you think board and RPGs are more popular? They certainly seem to have lower costs.

      (I’m a fan of all of the above.)

      Edit: More popular on kickstarter, I mean.

      • LionsPhil says:

        The board games vs PC games one is interesting, since the board game niche is arguably better catered to (last I knew, there were still all kinds of interesting ones pouring out of Germany), wheras the PC has just had this desperate surge of players going “HECK YES PLEASE MAKE ME SOME GAMES THAT AREN’T TRIPLE-AAA COVER-BASED-SHOOTERS OR PIXEL-ART PLATFORMERS HERE IS ALL MY MONEY”, and price-wise they seem to be in the same ballpark.

        I would hazard a guess that iOS loses out because it’s more immediate, disposable gaming at a lower price point. You could spend $10 for a “maybe” months down the line, or get on the iStore and iGet yourself $10 of snack-food iFun right now for certain.

        • jrodman says:

          Alea, kosmos, hans im gluck, goldsieber etc are all doing great work, but they’re in a certain broad area of the boardgame market. There’s a lot of other possibility space out there to be mined.

          Granted the upswing of quality among US-based publishers (fantasy flight, days of wonder) has gone a little way to broadening things.

          I guess I’d think that board games would be even more difficult to judge as a backer; you can’t really look at a bit of play to judge a board game. You have to dig around in the rules, or have a playtest. But there certainly are a lot of vehicles for playtests in common usage (game fairs etc).

  25. bill says:

    I don’t think it’s a particularly original or promising game, and I agree with the previous post by a different writer (and those by penny arcade) that they have to be careful about supporting these things.

    But on the other hand i think the attacks on nathan are going a bit overboard… like all the writers here he’s just writing what he feels… and it’s clear that he’s excited about this game. Nothing sinister or very un-RPS in that at all.

    • frightlever says:

      I like Nathan’s writing a lot. I think this is a case of over-enthusiasm only. There’s nothing suspicious about it. But for a relatively new writer to come to the site (which is not owned by the readers let’s remember – however that does not mean the RPS writers are immune to criticism. They exist as part of a two way dialogue and their ability to earn is reliant upon having readers in the first place.) and immediately jump two feet first into an actual money puddle, seems rash. Whatever. Cassandra. See below.

  26. frightlever says:

    The story here is that a game from a relatively untested team got funded because a bunch of websites, and RPS was by no means the only one guilty, encouraged their readers to spend money on it. I really find this disturbing and I struggle to understand why I’m one of the few that does. They were asking for more than Doublefine did.

    Whatever. I am a Cassandra. And not just at weekends in chatrooms.

    • Vinraith says:

      Yeah, this whole episode is very troubling.

      I really don’t understand why, after all that concern on RPS’s part at the outset of the Kickstarter stuff, they didn’t adopt a “weekly round-up” format for Kickstarter coverage. Instead, they seem to have written that article and then, bafflingly, started doing exactly what they were most concerned about doing.

      • Zenicetus says:

        I like that idea of a regularly scheduled, Weekly Roundup format for these things. It would make it easier for those of us who really aren’t interest in Kickstarter projects (or are tapped out on personal spending) to skip the subject entirely. It would also reduce or eliminate articles about last-minute deadlines, which just clutter up the site when it’s a game you’re not interested in.

        Make it like Bargain Bucket. Even schedule it on whatever day and time has the most site traffic. Just don’t turn RPS into such a front-end for funding Kickstarter games. That’s not why many of us come here. Well, it’s not why I come here, anyway.

    • almondblight says:

      It’s pretty concerning, especially given how many promising projects further along in development haven’t even been mentioned. I also get the sense that a number of sites jump on the bandwagon promoting a game just because others are.

      Eh. Gaming “journalism” continues to be a huge drag on gaming in general.

  27. Freud says:

    I know RPS is somewhat of a blog/news hybrid, but this is very bloggy. I think when it comes to Kickstarter stuff it’s better to just tell us about the project. Not beg us to invest.

    I think if one of the contributors on RPS feels strongly about it, it’s better to bring it to the forums and try to wear the objective hat here on the main site.

    • LionsPhil says:

      …has the main site ever worn an objective hat?

      Wordplay about one made out of control points aside.

    • jeep says:

      It doesn’t need to be objective, it’d just be better if he did more legwork than a fucking phone call before he asked 2.1M people to put money into a project that has no playable demo.

      This kickstarter is different than the other ones they’ve covered: these people aren’t known names in games where their reputation will be ruined if they don’t deliver, and they haven’t spent decades delivering games, and the kind of game they’re talking about making is much more challenging than the turn-based shadowrun or wasteland games we’ve been kicking money in for up to now.

      edit: I should point out that this kickstarter should have failed, forcing the people who so want to make this game to spend a few months coming up with a compelling demo for it on their own. kickstarter doesn’t prevent people from trying to raise money again if they fail the first time, and this one should have.

  28. pilouuuu says:

    Well, I guess I should be waiting for the Monday Papers again…

  29. Was Neurotic says:

    I don’t care how right or wrong the article is, or how tarnished or untarnished anyone’s reputation is, I just want to know, WTF is this game and why, out of the millions of others, it warranted any attention in the first place?

    I feel like the last man in the ocean shouting at everyone on the beach, ‘What fucking shark?’

  30. Vesuvius says:

    You can add me to the tally of folks who were underwhelmed with Grayson’s coverage here.

    -This is RPS, a computer gaming site, but this is an IOS port-job we’re looking at.
    -Stemming from that is the very real fear that all of the gameplay was designed around a low-res touch interface designed to be simplistic— to make that work as a finished game on a PC will likely require major last minute design changes, which we’re not at all privy to. I mean seriously, has anyone got a good idea of what the meat of this game is supposed to be? Or how it’s supposed to expand for PC?
    -There’s no real content to the recommendation. All they’ve really released is a theme and a couple pics of TINY isometric rooms with very little explanation of the core gameplay… and it looks pretty limited.
    -This looks like a dumbed-down cross between Beyond Good & Evil, and The Experiment (which did the whole camera observer thing much more elegantly than this seems to intend)
    -This game won’t even be funded from the Kickstarter alone, an important point to make.

    Ok, so Grayson’s excited.. he’s entitled to be for games that hit his sweet spot- but maybe he should give some real reasons for that excitement, because as it stands now I’ve learned nothing which makes this stand out and I have many reasons to be wary. And it’s that lack of actual reasons to have faith in this game that makes it the sketchiest prospect of all.

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