Kickstarter Katchup

By John Walker on May 19th, 2012 at 1:29 pm.

All of the money.

This makes sense as a thing to do. With so many gaming Kickstarters running, for games we’re genuinely interested to play, let’s have a look to see where they all are this weekend. The headline news is that Grim Dawn has finished its run, with just shy of double its target reached. Below you can catch up on Moebius, Xenonauts, Tex Murphy, and many more. And you can also note that almost all of them aren’t pledging to Kick It Forward, which completely sucks, so you should get in touch with them all and yell at them.

Grim Dawn – Crate Entertainment

The former Iron Lore crew, who first grabbed our attention with promises of a hardcore aRPG in August 2010, have seen 12,457 people donating $537,515, far over the $280,000 they’d asked for. In fact, the half-million barrier was broken on the final day. Perhaps the most exciting thing about this result is it means the team making the game can now work together, rather than in remote locations. On top, it’s now due to receive a Survival mode. Also, they have invented the tri-beer drinking method, which I think could be a Kickstarter all of its own. The game is currently expected to appear in August 2013.

Jane Jensen’s Moebius – Pinkerton Road Studio

With just a couple of hours to go, Jensen’s project is also well over its target. $415,096 at the time of writing, of a $300,000 goal. Which also means they’ve achieved one of what they called their “stretch goals” at the $400k level. That mean a longer, fully cinematic opening and trailer. Were they to reach $450k in the final push – which they haven’t timed well, on a Saturday morning while the US is asleep – they’d add in another 1000 lines of dialogue, and use a live orchestra for the score. I’ve a suspicion those ones will be missed, despite the flurry of support from other ex-Sierra KS projects. Still, game’s funded, and aiming to be with us by March next year.

Two Guys SpaceVenture – Two Guys From Andromeda

Still early days for this one, but certainly it’s showing signs of a little Kickstarter fatigue, perhaps. A very impressive $186,306 has been raised, but that’s of a half a million target. With 24 days to go, I think it’ll get there, but it’ll likely need a big push toward the end. I think people might also need some more convincing that these two really have the enthusiasm to make a game. These are two guys who haven’t seen each other for 20 years, and apparently fell out pretty badly back in the day. Their main video doesn’t exactly carry the sense of two high-spirited comedy writers, buzzing to unleash their comedic passion. A more recent video featuring the two of them having a punch up in the airport certainly improves things, but I’d suggest they do a bit more to ensure people know they’re really excited about this.

Carmageddon: Reincarnation – Stainless Games

With 18 days to go, Carmageddon trundles on convincingly toward its $400k goal. $274,345 is raised, despite the game already being in development ahead of the KS craze, at a fifty-strong studio. Bit strange, that one, but proving popular nonetheless, and they’ve expressed that they were going to struggle without extra funds.

Tex Murphy: Project Fedora – Chris Jones & Aaron Conners

One of the most recently announced, but chugging along splendidly, Tex is nearly halfway to its goal in the first week, with 27 days to go. $204,792 raised, from just 2,092 backers (two at the $10,000 tier), it seems a safe bet we’ll be seeing more of the slapstick-sardonic detective by June next year. They’ve made some frenzied updates in the last few days to balance out the reward tiers, and to ensure everyone knows that the game will definitely be DRM-free.

Xenonauts – Goldhawk Interactive

With a relatively small goal of $50,000, UK-based Goldhawk have cunningly side-stepped Kickstarter’s US-only system and already soared over their target. They’re currently on $82,950, and reaching $100k seems inevitable with 22 days to go. With the traditional big push in the final stages, they could see this going even further.

Legends Of Eisenwald – Aterdux Entertainment

The almost-finished Legends Of Eisenwald just crossed our path yesterday, and has exceeded its modest $50,000 target by an extra $17k, with 63 hours to go. Looking gorgeous, the extra KS cash was needed to finish a project when they’d run out of money, and were about to start looking for other jobs. If they don’t reach $100k in the next three days there will be a delay for Mac and Linux versions, but the PC build is now certain to go ahead, aimed to release by the end of this year.

Drifter: A Space Trading Game – Celsius Game Studios

We’ve not mentioned Drifter before, as it’s primarily an iOS game, that it aiming to port to PC if the funding is successful. That’s looking reasonably likely at this point, with $41,219 of the $50k total raised, and 16 days to go. A terrible video, with music louder than creator Colin Walsh’s voice, doesn’t help. But knowing it’s aiming to be in the Frontier/Privateer mould should be enough to enthuse a good few. It’ll also have music from Super Meatboy’s hairy Danny Baranowsky.

Skyjacker – Digitilus

Another one that very recently came to our attention, Skyjacker has the advantage of already having a demo. However, perhaps a rather over-ambitious target of $200,000 might have been a gamble, with only $30,456 raised and 12 days to go. However, unlike most of the games listed above, they’ve promised to Kick It Forward, putting 5% of their profits back into Kickstarter, which makes me like them more.

Kinetic Void – Sean Pollman

A slew of nagging brings this one up, and I can see why. A single-player procedurally generated space simulation, built by one dude, who’s asking for a relatively small $60k to get it done. But with only $16,317 raised, and 11 days to go, it needs some more attention. I’ll nag Adam to take a closer look at this one on Monday.

And that’s all the weather.

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135 Comments »

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  1. povu says:

    I hadn’t realized Xenonauts released a public demo to try out. Downloading now.

    • Scroll says:

      Had a go at the demo the other day after funding it.. It has a few significant crash bugs hiding in it which are a bit worrying.

      • DClark says:

        The Xenonauts download is an alpha build. It’s just to give one a general sense of the type of game they’re trying to make; it’s not intended to be representative of the finished product.

    • LumberingTroll says:

      Hey guys, Sean here from Kinetic Void, wanted to let you guys know that in our weekly update on Monday we will be adding the first pass of combat. You will be able to design a ship, put it in a specific folder, and the test sector will randomly select from that folder and spawn enemy versions of those ships to fight against you.

      Here is a quick video I did on Thursday to show of some of the combat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hKrPgmtNVY we have already made a pretty noticeable improvements since this video.

      • Miles says:

        Hi Sean,
        Do you have any news from the Unity side of things about a Linux version? Since Wastelands 2 is going to use their Linux port of Unity, will you as another developper be able to use that to?

        Also, is it possible in Kinetic Void to land on planets and fly in planets athmosphere? If yes, do you have a video on that?

        Thanks and good luck for the Kickstarter.

      • MadMatty says:

        Kinetic Void is looking good- good luck guys!

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        I’ve backed this project after a comment about it on a previous thread.

        But please don’t reply to an unrelated thread just to get to the top, it makes you look desperate and it makes me question whether I did the right thing by backing you. This kickstarter thing is rapidly turning into a popularity contest.

        Tip: if you have a great idea and you present it as being well thought out, you will get the funding you need.

        (Sorry if that sounded unnecessarily harsh)

      • TechnicalBen says:

        Great stuff Sean! Thanks for the update and demo. As I do a bit of 3D art for a hobby, can we also design part meshes? Would that be a welcome feature in the future?

      • Premium User Badge

        Big Murray says:

        Why is this posted as a reply to a Xenonauts comment …?

      • caljohnston says:

        Just a quick question: Will Kinetic Void have a newtonian flight model (like Frontier or I-War) or some arcade-y crap?

    • TheBeefiest says:

      Xenonaughts is a prime example where this kickstarter thing goes all to shit: So people have already pre-ordered this game… and now they get to start an unlimited number of further funding opportunities? Giving out extra bonuses etc and leaving out the original pre-order people with nothing extra?

      Where is this suppose to stop? Why not just create another kickstarter every month as the last one finishes?

      The development is already painfully slow, even backward already. We used to be able to see multiple slightly random maps… but now my pre order version seems to only have a single map that is always present on ground missions? (desura version)

      Cortex command is the ultimate example of pre-orders being a shitstorm, people are just paying for the “possibility” of a good game now when in fact many of these projects will never ever be finished.

      • cptgone says:

        it may get worse: if you pay the maximum pledge, Chris England will fly over to your town to have lunch with you. if the aliens have any sense, they use that to kidnap him before it’s too late.

      • SouperMattie says:

        Fun facts: For Xenonauts, premium pre-orderers *will* get the Kickstarter premium rewards as well. Additionally, the base pledge gives you the same thing as the base preorder did (ie, the game). I think they are being totally reasonable about it.

        In the project lead’s own words:
        Just to clarify – anyone who has already Premium pre-ordered the game will get access to all the Kickstarter Premium Preorder rewards too. If you’ve already pre-ordered and want to claim a higher reward, you can donate and email us and we’ll add the price of your existing pre-order to your pledge. So if you have a Premium Preorder already and stick a $20 donation in, you’ll get the equivalent of an $50 donation minus the extra copy of Xenonauts.
        http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/1818-Kickstarter-GoesLive%21?p=20294&viewfull=1#post20294

        So I hope that cheers you up, and now you can spread the word about how awesome these guys are, instead of… er… saying that other stuff that you said :)

        In several places (including the KS pitch video I think??) they have acknowledged that development has slowed down with a distributed team, and a major point of the Kickstarter is to raise enough funds to bring the team together to allow for more efficient development. So in theory, thanks to Kickstarter the development will speed up! Hooray!

      • Premium User Badge

        Big Murray says:

        As the guy above already mentioned … people who have pre-ordered already automatically get the same bonuses of the equivilent level of Kickstarter donation. Bit of a premature rant there.

  2. qrter says:

    “And that’s all the weather.” made me laugh.

    • RagingLion says:

      It made me grin – a good line.

      I like this format – probably exactly what’s needed. I don’t if maybe the key financial figures should be highlighted more clearly rather than being part of a block of text in order to be clearer.

      Currently nothing new catching my eye – I’m enjoying the Double Fine documentary pieces and already feel convinced it will be worth the money I put in for that.

  3. Premium User Badge

    AmateurScience says:

    I think this is the way to go with reporting KS stuff, unless it’s got mere hours left or it’s something truly newsworthy it makes sense to pool them into a kickstarter digest like this. Jolly good.

    • StranaMente says:

      I agree, until kickstarter starts to fade it’s interesting to know about projects in this way. Not endorsing, but neither ignoring them. Many projects can grow into interesting games, so they can use some publicity.
      Good work RPS!

    • LionsPhil says:

      Quite, Mr. Science.

    • Premium User Badge

      AmateurScience says:

      Also this would be a good place to encourage RPSers to link to their favourite projects that haven’t been mentioned. Kinda like the Sunday Papers for Kickstarters.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      This is a true thing

  4. salgado18 says:

    And then my eyes rolled for a second, and I read this:

    “Also, they have invented the tri-beer drinking method, it’s now due to receive a Survival mode.”

  5. Shadowcat says:

    Apparently you didn’t notice people enthusing about Kinetic Void in the Skyjacker comments.

  6. Shadowcat says:

    Carmageddon would have been a no-brainer if only they were DRM-free.

    • MSJ says:

      Stainless said this:

      “I mean, as much as I love the franchise, and as much as I don’t really mind Steam for meh games, this is CARMAGEDDON! It’s ****** anti system and stuff. It HAS to be DRM free. You cannot possibly let that kind of game be tied to that huge capitalist monster that is Steam (or any other DRMed platform).

      Ok, exagerating a bit here. But it comes from the heart, really. I know Steam would probably be in Stainless best financial interest. But come on! don’t let DRM haters fan down!”

    • DickSocrates says:

      Go on, explain what’s wrong with the DRM they plan to use.

      I think the vast majority of dislike for DRM is an irrational fear, a phobia. “DRM, oh no I can’t go near it.” without any understanding of what it is or how it works. DRM is not bad. Bad DRM is bad. Don’t let yourself down by being one of the herd who repeats the most extreme nonsense they see other people saying.

      The game is using Steam. If they weren’t using Steam there’d be a million people saying “I’ll wait for the Steam version.”

      • malkav11 says:

        Plenty of other Kickstarters offered both a DRM-free option and a Steam key. It’s not a mutually exclusive thing. Carmageddon may need Steam for the multiplayer functionality, though.

      • rareh says:

        steamworks is awful, just thinking about the amount of corrupted saves i have had over the years…
        Origin,gfwl would be decent choices, but drm free is definitely the way to go.
        Didn’t buy alan wake when it was steamworks, but as soon as gog released it i bought it immediately.

        • Sleepymatt says:

          Gfwl (Godawful, as it’s otherwise known) over steam?!? I am rendered speechless….

        • LionsPhil says:

          …unless they’re Steam Cloud games, which is indeed a bit iffy, Steam doesn’t arse about with savegames as a general rule. And mmmmmost games don’t support that (and you can turn it off: Settings -> Download+Cloud, tickbox second from the bottom).

          You might want to give your machine a run through memtest86 or something if it’s repeatedly corrupting stuff.

        • fish99 says:

          As said above, Steam doesn’t save your games, the game does, unless you decide to turn on cloud. I have 200 games on my steam account and I’ve never had a corrupt save, even with cloud.

          There are some good reasons to dislike Steam though, like the fact that our house had to buy Skyrim 3 times instead of the once we bought Oblivion.

        • CitizenDickbag says:

          man I had no idea people in bizarro world could comment on earth prime blog posts

  7. CGSColin says:

    Hey, thanks for posting about Drifter! Fair comment about the music in the video… I’m going to take a stab at re-normalizing it *again* :)

  8. Premium User Badge

    Skystrider says:

    FYI:

    Kickstarter asked project creators to stop putting the Kick It Forward badges on their projects homepages. Apparently, that caused some confusion or somesuch. Many of the projects have mentioned they intend to kick it forward, even though they don’t display the badge.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Kickstarter should get this straightened out. It is such a good idea.

    • MSJ says:

      “And you can also note that almost all of them aren’t pledging to Kick It Forward, which completely sucks, so you should get in touch with them all and yell at them.”

      Writings like this is precisely the reason KS asked to remove the Kicking It Forward badges.

      • arccos says:

        Yup. It’s not like Kicking It Forward is a charity, it’s just a promise to redistribute profits to help get another project off the ground. I’m not sure how this is better than a project succeeding or failing on it’s own, and if a project doesn’t want to contribute to that system, I have no problem with it.

        • Freud says:

          I’m not a fan of the whole thing. Why would I give money to a company only to have that company give a piece of it (even if it’s post-launch) to another company? I realize that they want to come off as good guys but without much in the way of transparency, I’d rather they don’t.

  9. Craig Stern says:

    Danny Baranowsky is…hairy?

  10. karthink says:

    An interesting fact about the Xenonauts kickstarter: They took in $50,000 in two days. The last $100,000 obtained via preorders took them 18 months.

    1. Kickstarter is apparently a great preorder system, in addition to, um, kickstarting projects.

    2. Ostensibly, their total budget is $150,000, so the next $50,000 should make a significant improvement in the quality of the game.

    • JFS says:

      I hope there will still be improvements, but I believe their actual budget is higher than just pre-orders + Kickstarter. I recall reading that Chris England, the project lead, invested a lot of his own savings into the development. Still, a high percentage of the final budget will probably be from Kickstarter.

      Nice new article format, by the way, keep it up! :)

    • CitizenDickbag says:

      “unfortunately even though our kickstarter has taken in nearly three hundred thousand dollars, we still will not be implementing female soldiers, because REALISM and also art resources, we’d simply need at least five hundred thousand to add them”

      • karthink says:

        What are you talking about? Female soldiers are being worked on.

        • buzzmong says:

          ^^ Indeed, Female soldiers are being added now regardless.

          Also because it’s slightly less work than they originally thought (still a lot for their art chap though).

        • CitizenDickbag says:

          big apologies then, and good on them. my bad.

          • Chris England says:

            Yeah – we didn’t handle this as well as we should have (I blame being far too tired when writing the first few updates) but having considered the arguments made for us putting female soldiers in the game for free, now we’ve found a viable way of doing so, we decided that we agreed with them. Female soldiers should be in the next update.

      • SouperMattie says:

        In the interests of further improving the “facts-to-nonsense” ratio of this conversation:
        * Xenonauts is currently sitting around $84,000 on Kickstarter – nowhere near $300K. (But here’s hoping they get there, eh?!)

        * In the early days of the KS campaign they suggested a tentative, unconfirmed goal of $200K for female soldiers (*not* $500K – where did that come from?!), and at the time they noted:
        “That’s not to say if we “only” get $120k-$130k that we would definitely not put female soldiers in the game before release…but we want there to be something worth celebrating if / when we reach the big milestones”
        http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/69341191/xenonauts/posts/224998

        * Later on they conducted a “wot do you want” poll, and as mentioned earlier, they just decided to throw in female soldiers *anyway*. Everybody wins!
        http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/69341191/xenonauts/posts/226254

        So, er… have a nice day, everybody!

  11. Premium User Badge

    Yachmenev says:

    Kicking it forward is good intentions done wrong, so it doesn´t bother me if a project doesn´t support it.

    • Premium User Badge

      LTK says:

      Care to elaborate on that?

      • Premium User Badge

        Yachmenev says:

        It´s promises and peer pressure without any follow up. These projects are for games at least about getting something started, where the profits mean the developers can hopefully selffund next game. As Tim Schafer said, “It´s kickstarter, not “give me money for all my upcoming projects also”. It´s noble of those who joined the movement to promise to help others, but considering what they promise for small pledge raiser ($50k more and we will do a console version etc), those 5% can mean a lot for their next projects. They should look where they stand at that point instead of doing vagure goodwill hunting promises now.

        And since we don´t get any insight in their economy, we will praise them without knowing if they actually follow up on their promises, and if they do, to which extent. It´s a nice thought, but without any insight, it´s a big risk that it will just be goodwill hunting amongt pledgers, and an extra way to get exposure for your project.

        And the worst problem is the peer pressure. Developers to get pushed to join it by pledgers, and complaints if they don´t, when it should be completely voluntary. That´s why kickstarter asked all projects to remove the logo. It´s really irresponsible of John Walker to try and get even more pressure about it started.

        Succesful projects helping others is a good thing, of course, but this form of doing it is really not that thought through. But that´s the case with many things by Mr. Fargo (I´m still a $100 pledger for Wasteland 2 because I believe in the actual game).

    • StranaMente says:

      I would be interested too. Kick it forward is not mandatory, and does not use the money they receive from Kickstarter. They only pledge to use 5% of the money they may get from actually selling the products.
      This can benefit many other kickstarters without hurting nobody. I can’t see where’s the problem.
      It could be abused to get some publicity, but the actual image return is really small, I guess.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      Kicking it forward is a good idea, an example is the pizza shop I own.

    • CitizenDickbag says:

      no love for mmorpg anything ever, especially from an indie

      • MadTinkerer says:

        Indies do not have the capability to make MMOs, period. If you know what you’re doing and try really hard, you can make a game that has individual client-server architecture (like Minecraft and Terraria and so on). But that isn’t an MMO. Sometimes Kickstarters show up where the team aren’t actually trying to make an MMO but they still use the term for some reason, dooming their project. Other people are dumb enough to think that they actually can.

        Storybricks is a bit different though. They’re crowdsourcing the part of the game that small teams can’t do: the Massive amount of content that’s the first M in MMO. The problem lies in the fact that even then they should be aiming their sights lower for a first project and making it more like, say, RPG Maker or other popular 2D game creation kits. Then later maybe releasing the MMO version. That would be more realistic.

  12. LeiterJakab says:

    Drifter sounds really good, I just wish the visuals were a bit more like the box and poster art.

  13. Cryptoshrimp says:

    I just wish Kickstarter accepted PayPal…

    • StranaMente says:

      I guess the blame is on amazon payments (which is also the reason why in theory there can’t be non-american projects).
      Amazon is strictly connected to kickstarter, and the problem with paypal is that the it just transfers money right away, while amazon do that only at the end.
      On the other hand you may try to link a debit card to amazon, just as you did with paypal.
      For me it was less of a hassle do that then linking it to paypal.

      • LionsPhil says:

        the problem with paypal is that the it just transfers money right away, while amazon do that only at the end

        I guess the blame is on amazon payments

        I can’t follow your logic here. Amazon provide the kind of service Kickstarter need. PayPal do not. How is that Amazon’s fault?

        It’s Amazon’s fault that you’ve got to be US-based to *host* a kickstarter and *receive* money, but they can probably point straight at banking/fraud complications, since I doubt it’s like they’re *unwililng* to expand their service into other countries.

        And since they’ve resisted consumer-scapegoating garbage like Verified by Visa and we’ve yet to have a “Amazon froze all the money for arbitrary reasons for arbitrary periods” like PayPal get left, right, and centre, right now Amazon are sitting pretty well on the Lesser Evil scale in my book.

        • caddyB says:

          I never had any problems with Amazon, nor anyone I know personally did. It’s unfortunate paypal isn’t allowed ( I use paypal everyday for everything ) but I don’t think amazon payments or amazon in general are at fault here.

        • Premium User Badge

          IronPirate says:

          While Amazon aren’t to blame they are hardly the lesser evil. Amazon pays absolutely £0 corporation tax in the UK despite having £7 billion worth of sales.

          I’ve completely stopped buying from Amazon now but I’m still forced to use them for kickstarter which really annoys me.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/apr/04/amazon-british-operation-corporation-tax

  14. Premium User Badge

    johngillespie says:

    We just started our kickstarter for TorchShips – a 3-D real-time space combat game based on real physics – http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/product7/torchships-real-3-d-space-combat

    • John Walker says:

      Please excuse the bluntness, but can I emphatically suggest that losing the personal ad and history lesson from the start of your video, and begin with *your* game? I thought I’d clicked on the wrong thing.

      • Premium User Badge

        johngillespie says:

        good point John – I’ll modify it – my first version had no personal info and several reviewers asked for some basic info – which I added – so far have had no marriage proposals based on my bio though :)

        • John Walker says:

          Yeah – no harm in some background for sure, but I’d go straight in with info about your game. People tend to click on pretty quickly. Good luck with it!

        • TechnicalBen says:

          I cannot speak for others, but I know that seeing the gameplay makes the most impression on me. I’ve never seen a Newtonian space game other than Orbiter. So it would be a really nice idea to see developed.

  15. Bhazor says:

    This… this is a pretty good article.

    I’d certainly prefer this kind of round up over endless articles about whatever random kickstarter caught someones eye that day.

    • John Walker says:

      That’s not the intention. All but one of these games has been previously posted about, and we’ll continue to do that, just as we’d post about any other announced PC game.

    • Veav says:

      The random articles are good too, he said with complete humility and lack of bias. Putting the spotlight on a single game lets you put it in the title, put it out front, focus the conversation where it needs to be.

      But I agree that I like the roundup. There are a lot of good titles on Kickstarter that don’t have the brand recognition of an existing IP or developer (and I’m talking about say Edge of Space, Cloudberry Kingdom, or FTL – though that one did manage to make the spotlight), and a weekly article could help push much-needed traffic in their direction.

  16. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    I think out of principle I will not contribute to any Kickstarter not kicking it forward.

    • John Walker says:

      Make sure to contact the projects you’d like to have donated to to tell them that.

      • mwoody says:

        Please don’t. I donate to a project; I don’t donate so 5% of my money can possibly go to some other project, maybe, if the devs feel like it but no one checks so who cares. On top of the other problems with that system mentioned elsewhere in these comments.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Kick It Forward does not involve any of the kickstarted funds. It is the profits from selling the completed game.

          • CitizenDickbag says:

            guys please support my kickstarter for an instructional video to teach uninformed people that kicking it forward on kickstarter does not actually use any of the kickstarted funds

            i will be kicking forward my kickstarter to other kickstarter-related kickstarters

    • El_Emmental says:

      It seems Kickstarter asked new projects to not include a “Kicking it Forward” logo, for some reason – it seems it has to do with the fact that the “5% of benefits” is not a rule on Kickstarter and they don’t want it to become a mandatory rule.

      If all new projects “must” have that 5% rule, it might prevent them from trying a Kickstarter campaign.

      Even though the initial idea was “5% of the extra money you made after paying everyone and the bills – and you’re just pledging, you’re free to do whatever you want”, it could easily mutates into “you must dedicate 5% of your benefits”, and that’s not what Kickstarter is about.

      Kickstarter should be about crowd-funding, with people paying for a project they believe in and like, it is not about (and shouldn’t be in my opinion) cross-funding between developers.

      The “Kicking It Forward” is great idea, but it shouldn’t go beyond a pledge/promise.

      Of course you want the next Minecraft (= the next indie commercial success) to help out other small projects, but it shouldn’t enforced as a rule: if you’re commercially successful, simply mentioning a project publicly is enough to help it greatly, and if you want to keep a good reputation among indie gamers it’s pretty obvious you should help other indie projects (with funds and posting about it).

    • Premium User Badge

      Yachmenev says:

      That´s ridiculous and misguided. Kickstarter is about supporting an idea from a certain developer, not about them supporting or not supporting various ideas you might or might not want support yourself. And all these without you having any actual way of knowing if they live up to their promises.

      I can´t see how vague promises about helping others can be more important than the actual project you´re choosing to pledge to.

  17. John Walker says:

    Those who want to point out things I’ve missed, the best thing to do is email me at john@rockpapershotgun.com. Note there’s no guarantee of coverage.

  18. thealexray says:

    What does Kinetic Void have to do to get noticed around here?

  19. Demiath says:

    I’m a little bit worried about Tex Murphy, to be honest (after looking at the stats over at Kicktraq, which is a great source for information as long as you disregard the understandably misleading “trending” estimation). Its Kickstarter started out predictably strong but donations already seems to have slowed down way more than for most comparable projects. It’s in the nature of these things to always start big and end with a surge of sorts and it’s already at roughly 50% but, yeah, getting more people onboard is definitely not a bad idea.

    • Veav says:

      Kicktraq is awesome for tracking a project’s history, but look at the activity for all of the major kickstarters. Pledges and interest have a sharp U-shape – lots of action at the start, flat in the middle, lots of action at the end. So the trendline it produces during that middle downtime tends to be depressingly low and ultimately inaccurate.

      Also, be sure and check out the trendline it produces during those first hours, especially for one of the big boys. I think Carmageddon was heading for $40 million for a while. }:D

  20. Palehorse says:

    John, I’m confused by this article….how does it disparage Diablo 3?

    • subedii says:

      Wow. You guys are seriously hurt because of that article aren’t you?

      So I dunno, are you going to post this now in every article maybe? Hey, fight the power dude.

    • CitizenDickbag says:

      palehorse I’m confused by this comment, it’s not petulantly whining that someone pointed out the egregious flaws in your fanboy idol

      oh wait it is, sorry, carry on

    • pipman3000 says:

      diablo 3 is hitler’s favorite game.

  21. baroquen131 says:

    Registered to mention that I like this digest version of Kickstarter projects. We all heard of the big projects that started this KS craze, but more recently, I’ve almost missed a couple more games I was really interested in. A round-up like this is very helpful, so thanks.

  22. MSJ says:

    Not a game, but the Fallout Nuka Break Kickstarter has reached its goal with a month more to go. They announced if they manage to get $120,000 Tim Cain and Chris Avellone will make an appearance in the series:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/waysidecreations/fallout-nuka-break-season-2-0

    Also, give this guy money. Don’t ask much, just give it to him.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1627973257/redd-the-most-bad-ass-indie-scifi-adventure-movie

  23. Premium User Badge

    shaydeeadi says:

    Also worth a mention is that open world squad RPG Kenshi is doing a funding drive on Kickstartalike idiegogo (http://www.indiegogo.com/kenshi) He already has a working demo and alpha purchasing but is trying to gather the money to license an audio engine, as well as hire a programmer and artist to help him out. He spells it out on the page. Website for the game is http://www.lofigames.com.

    The guy has lots of brilliant ideas and the game is worth checking out.

    • malkav11 says:

      Two differences with Indiegogo to keep in mind:
      1) They allow campaigns to use what they call “flexible funding”, which charges you immediately and is kept by the campaign creator even if they do not fully fund, as opposed to the Kickstarter model where your money is only collected after the campaign fully funds and ends. (Though they do offer that model as well.) If you aren’t comfortable with this way of doing things, make sure you check which funding model a given campaign is using before you back it. (Kenshi is using flexible funding.)
      2) I’ve only backed two campaigns over on Indiegogo, so this is secondhand, but it sounds like there’s no way to adjust one’s pledge after placing it. This might only be for flexible funding campaigns? I dunno. I’d check into that or be very sure you want the tier you pick, though.

  24. El Acordeonachi says:

    No love for Word Realms? The team behind The Kingdom of Loathing is working on a new game! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2140824020/word-realms

    • CitizenDickbag says:

      oh hey an uglier version of bookworm adventures

      they really really should’ve stuck with stick figures

  25. John Walker says:

    Okay whingebags, I’ve added Kinetic Void to the list, and will force Adam to write about it on Monday.

    To everyone else saying “no love for…” – you make me want to campaign against the game you’re mentioning. I’m not omnipotent, and I’ve spent the week doing nothing but sleeping or shitting, thankfully not yet at the same time. Send me an email about the game you’d like to see covered, as I’ve already said.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Bowel movements? Luxury!

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Hey Walker, no love for…

      Okay okay, I’ll stop. XD

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Relax and have a cup of tea. I’d assume most regular readers know how to behave themselves.. well.. most of the time.

      As long as it isn’t about DRM. Or some other semi-controversial topic.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Thats great thanks! I think Kinetic Void looks like something special. All the other games all have their own features, but KV is unique!

    • Miles says:

      Hey John, no love for Diablo 3? What about Call of Duty: Black Ops II?

  26. Navagon says:

    I agree. Tri-beer needs its own Kickstarter. That said though I’ve really backed too much already. D:

    • CitizenDickbag says:

      please give us fifty five thousand dollars to do what visual pinMAME does for free

      http://www.pinmame.com/ and google, pinball fans

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnJh7eHp9cQ also this is the best thing ever

      • Premium User Badge

        RobF says:

        The Farsight Stuff is pretty bloody amazingly well done. They’re pretty special as commercial endeavour slash preservation projects go.

        And I’ve not seen a take on Twilight Zone which comes close to what Farsight could do with it, so I’d like to see them get the license and work their thing. If only for the quality of assets and proximity to real table physics they’d manage to produce compared to most ‘emulated’ tables.

        Consider it a funded restoration project that results in lots more people getting to experience a fab table.

        • CitizenDickbag says:

          I was perhaps being a bit of a shit in that comment, I wish them well if they’re gonna do it right.

  27. Hoaxfish says:

    Related news, but not a kickstarter:

    EA is waiving Origin some sort of fee for putting these crowd-funded games on their evil platform: Eurogamer article.

    Wasteland 2 seems to be excited by that, but I can’t honestly imagine anyone asking for that ahead of Steam or DRM-free releases.

    As to some games I’m following,
    Cross of the Dutchman: some sort of RPG hack&slash, with minion recruitment etc… looks really nice personally, but I doubt it’ll make its goal.
    Oncolos: Some form of Multiplayer game, but with a slight difference… the guy making it is trying to make it some form of Cancer patient therapy (visualising your disease helps deal with it apparently)… again, doubt he’ll manage it.

  28. subedii says:

    Not sure if it’s been mentioned already, but EA have just announced that Kickstarter games published on Origin will have no publication costs for the first 3 months.

    Yeah that’s right, they get to distribute on Origin for free. Looks like EA’s really serious about going head-to-head with Steam, and this is a big move that can really help it catch up on the indie side. Wasteland 2’s already going to be doing this.

    • Cameron says:

      Shame, hope they aren’t exclusive or there will be a lot of KS games I wont be playing.

  29. rustybroomhandle says:

    There’s always more weather.

  30. Maldomel says:

    Great idea to make a round up of those projects. Also a brilliant one, that Kick it Forward thing is truly good, and will probably help Kickstarter and various projects to continue raising those endless streams of much needed money.

  31. LumberingTroll says:

    Hey all, Sean here from Kinetic Void. Just wanted to mention that in this Mondays update (we do weekly updates) we will be adding our first pass of combat, which will allow the player to make a ships put them in the enemy directory and when you launch into the test sector it will randomly choose an enemy to fight against you. I did a demo of our early work on combat on Thursday and the link is here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hKrPgmtNVY

    Also, please be sure to check out our Kickstarter http://kck.st/KniuPR
    If you have any questions feel free to ask, we run a transparent development process.

  32. cmc5788 says:

    Hey, I wish you guys would stop pushing the “Kicking it Forward” thing. It’s a nice idea meant to strengthen the efficacy of KickStarter, but in reality it does the exact opposite. Best case, it is entirely unenforceable and becomes little more than a hollow PR tool. Worst case, you have internet demagogues and journalists becoming “e-crusaders” and directing their wrath/ire towards any who fail to don the badge or those who they feel may not be honoring their obligations. If it is not immediately clear why this is a bad idea that will ultimately hurt KickStarter, I am not sure what to say.

  33. AntiDanilevski says:

    Good article and good that you posted it – definitely it will help indie teams on KS.

    Usually, indie teams do not have celebrities with them or accumulated community. For some really good projects, like Legends of Eidensweld, it’s impossible to gain big money. But thanks to big gaming portals, like RPS, good indie projects now have chance for success.

    Thank you for this review, and hope to see more in the future!
    (Yes, I’m personally interested in such reviews, because we are the indie team too and soon we will apply to KS too).

  34. jeep says:

    Thanks for posting this, John. It seems like a really good way to cover notable kickstarters without really cheerleading for them.

  35. mzlapq says:

    A few notes if this becomes a regular column:
    I like the name (although it is possible I have terrible taste).
    I think it is important to note whether a project has a demo and what the team behind it already did. Funding an idea, no matter how great it is, is usually wrong, unless the team has already proven itself somehow (also, the latest extra credits may be relevant)
    Also, it is important to highlight if a project will be looking for external funding (e.g. Republique, Takedown), because, what happens if they don’t get the funding?
    These reasons make me doubt kick it forward, since the successful projects will probably not stick to these principles when choosing a project to fund.
    Giving a small percentage of the profits to The Indie Fund (or The Extra Credits Indie Fund) seems like a better idea to me as they are capable of giving some guidance to new developers, they do not have to be limited to the USA, and may do better job at selecting project (because it is part of their job).

  36. TechnicalBen says:

    Kinetic Void looks to be the game I’ve always wanted. It lets you make ships. All of the ship, not just it’s colour. Wow.

    Pity it’s not going to be close to finished soon.

  37. fov says:

    Thanks for the round-up! I hope SpaceVenture and Tex Murphy get some more attention, they’re both great franchises (well – Tex and Space Quest, anyway).

    Re: Moebius – “which they haven’t timed well, on a Saturday morning while the US is asleep” – the project started first thing in the morning (US time) on a Wednesday. (On purpose!) AFAIK Kickstarter doesn’t let you pick the end time, so whatever time you decided to start is the end time you’re stuck with. Even so, in the few hours it was live this morning, Jane Jensen’s project had its highest donation day ever. Plus anyone who missed out at the last minute can still donate through PayPal for another week and get the same Kickstarter rewards (go to the Pinkerton Road website for info).

    Just saying. ;)

  38. IntegerSet says:

    Please don’t try and pressure people into using Kicking it Forward. Somebody else did a good writeup on why it’s terrible:

    Occupation posted:
    I have a lot of reasons I dislike it:

    1) Most importantly, it’s non-binding.

    As seen in other industries, non-binding agreements (especially opt-in ones) are effectively useless, due to lacking teeth. Especially since it’s not affiliated with Kickstarter, and since most people aren’t willing to disclose financials like profits, there’s no way to tell if anyone who opts in to the process is actually “kicking it forward”, as it were.

    Therefore, it’s most effective as a meaningless PR tool (as seen already) than as a method of actual assistance.

    2) 5% of a product’s profits is a (potentially) incredibly large amount of cash.

    Especially with projects on the razor’s edge of being funded, like Auditorium: Duet, I’d rather the individuals reinvest those profits back into more infrastructure or keep it as liquid cash.

    3) Kickstarter is a marketplace of ideas, not a charity.

    I feel like people who get crowdsource funded being “obligated” or “guilted” into returning part of that cash ignore the whole point of crowdsource funding. The idea is that due to something that they, the project proposer, did- the quality of the product presented, the quality of their pitch, the quality of the reward system, etc- is what caused the proposer to be funded. It’s that sort of dreamy capitalism that Republicans like to lie about still existing in companies like Microsoft etc- each proposer is graded on his or her own merits and succeeds or fails solely because of that, not because we feel bad for them and think they deserve our money because of it.

    I feel like every dollar contributed to every project should be because the backer personally believes in the project or wants to see it be made, not some $10,000 moneybomb from Tim Schafer because he feels guilty about making a great pitch video that did its job.

    At the end of the day, I don’t care if ineXile spends 50% of its profits on investing in a How to Boot Up Your Computer kickstarter, as long as they spend that cash because they want to see the project get made, not because of a sticker or some residual sense of guilt.

    4) Companies who don’t opt in will be bitched out for not opting in.

    Stoic is already being criticized on its page for not “Kicking it Forward”. I see that trend continuing, and it’ll obfuscate the point of what Kickstarter is meant to accomplish. Personally, I feel like Stoic has a great pitch video and an awesome reward system in place, and they shouldn’t be detracted for, essentially, not buying into a charity system.

    I’ve been following Kickstarter for a little over a year now, and been a backer a number of different times, for many different projects. I don’t want it turned into a charity where people feel bad for doing what they site is meant to facilitate doing, and doing it well.

    • Berious says:

      Excellent post explaining why KIF is a crap idea albeit with good intentions. John should really post a retraction.

  39. Gnoupi says:

    After reading article from a lawyer, in a french gaming magazine (Canard PC), I’m becoming quite wary of kickstarter.

    For a simple reason, it’s in a completely grey law area, at least for some countries. For France, there is no such thing as crowd-funding.

    – Is it considered a contribution to the capital of a firm? In which case you should have a say in this firm, as someone who is bringing money.
    – Is it considered a donation? In which case, you should be able to account for it in your taxes.
    – In any case, what are the guarantees of delivery for the “rewards”? None. Nothing is obligating them to give you anything.
    – What if the project you send money to uses it for illegal activities? By law, you are helping an illegal activity, and you might be bound to this in case of an action in justice.

    I love that kickstarter allows to finance games which probably wouldn’t be done otherwise… But it’s not really a clear activity, regarding to the law, depending on the country.

  40. nonadventurer says:

    There’s also what I think is a pretty cool Kickstarter for a remake of Portal, a unique adventure game from 1986:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/subgames/rob-swigarts-portal-1986-reborn-v20

    I haven’t played the original, but it does sound interesting. Doesn’t look like they’ll make it, though.

  41. RegisteredUser says:

    Sure, but where is Kickpuncher the videogame!

  42. vodka and cookies says:

    A genuine use for Kinect and educational too!, they were planning on a PC version as well but probably will not happen they way it’s looking
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/739831580/a-3d-biology-video-game-for-the-kinect

    An expensive MMO, cant say that’s a great idea for something on Kickstarter but the style reminds me a lot of a rare PS2 game called Steambot Chronicles
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gamundo/panzer-pets-customizable-robots-mmo

    I really like the style of Hauntz, with such a low budget it should probably make it
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2066438441/haunts-the-manse-macabre

  43. Thingummy and or Bob says:

    Last tuesday it was “On another note, pre-ordering is a ridiculous thing, paying money for a game before you know whether it’s any good or not. It’s mad. Why are you doing it?”, now this. That is some grade A consistency right there.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Hurr. Oversimplification makes things seem stupid, news at 11.

      With a normal, publisher or self-funded game, the game will come out whether you pre-order or not, so you can wait for reviews or demos.
      With a kickstarted game, if not enough people “pre-order” it, it won’t happen. Sure, wait until the last moment, but if you want it and it’s not making the threshold, there won’t be any game to review or demo if you (and a bunch of others) don’t chip in.

  44. dhankinson says:

    Shouldn’t it be “Ketchup”?

  45. Kdansky says:

    Still missing Storybricks, which is by far the most interesting of them all, and also failing to meet their goal, sadly.

  46. Alextended says:

    No Realm Explorer?