Griddle Me This: Defense Grid 2 Kickstarter

By Adam Smith on July 13th, 2012 at 11:00 pm.

Cook me up another helping of Defense Grid and serve it with plenty of relish, I almost said to the internet just days ago. OK, it might have responded, but it’ll cost you. How much? That’s where things become a little more complicated. Hidden Path’s Kickstarter has four major targets to reach: the first ($250,000) will lead to an eight level expansion with a new story; the second ($500,000) will allow development of a new engine with all original Defense Grid content upgraded to it, plus a new co-op mode; tier three brings a level editor, more multiplayer content, and Mac and Linux releases; and the final tier would bring a full sequel. The opening of the project video (below) is my favourite Kickstarter yet and there are more details on the page.

Defense Grid is probably my favourite tower defence game and by pledging any amount the original is yours, before funding even closes. There’s not much else for me to say and I’m so weary that I’m tempted to curl up and sleep through the weekend. Have fun!

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92 Comments »

  1. BlackeyeVuk says:

    Seriously jizzed my milkshake and drank it in one gulp. Out of happiness. Because im out of coffee.

    And I don’t care . Defense grid is here. [Manly tears]

    /wiping damn milkshake off t-shirt

  2. Askeladd says:

    Even a tower defense game doesn’t come cheap, eh?

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Well Defense Grid 1 does come cheap and it is AWESOME.
      I’d say it’s the best TD I have ever played, but now I’m addicted to
      Radiant Defense which has the same depth + a path building mechanics and a lot nicer graphics. Oh, and it’s free.

      BTW: I suspect they already have the game in late alpha, they just want easy extra money out of this kickstarter.

      • Stinkfinger75 says:

        Thanks for pointing out RD, never heard of it but it looks nice! Check out Defender’s Quest if you haven’t, it’s an outstanding TD game with a big ‘ol fat layer of RPG on top of it. Great stuff!

    • RegisteredUser says:

      They need the money to pay that one super cute girl in the team(closing shot, top left) extra to stay in that near 100% sausage fest.

      • Bork Titflopsen says:

        Or they pay her the same and not act like a bunch of horny dogs around her, I could see that working out better for everyone.

  3. MondSemmel says:

    Adam, “and by pledging any amount the original is yours, before funding even closes.” is a somewhat misleading statement. Many people don’t realize this, but you do not actually have to _choose_ any Kickstarter Backer reward – there’s a minimum pledge of 1 $ on each project. And in general, if you don’t pick your Backer tier, your pledge is essentially justa donation.

    As I understand it, only backing the project to at least its initial reward tier (i.e. at 15 $) gives you the first game. (But maybe I’m misunderstanding this?)

    Bah, I guess I’m nitpicking…

    • Hyetal says:

      I think that’s a fair distinction, and no, you’re not misunderstanding. You need to pledge a minimum of 15 dollars and select the corresponding reward to receive the original game.

    • Delusibeta says:

      AFAIK the $15 tier gets you any of the content funded through this Kickstarter (i.e. if it hits $250k, you’ll get Containment, if it hits $1million you’ll get the sequel, since I can’t see them charging for the engine upgrade or for multiplayer) and any pledge will get you the original game (thanks to the magic of Valve allowing developers to hand out Steam codes for their games like cotton candy).

    • Shadowcat says:

      There will be a lot of pissed off people if they weren’t referring to the $1 minimum when they stated in the video that anyone pledging money gets a copy of the original game.

  4. subedii says:

    The only Tower Defence game that really clicked with me.

    It reminded me a lot of Portal, in that it’s a puzzle game (sort of) where the narration of your AI companion makes half the game.

    • Premium User Badge

      liquidsoap89 says:

      Did you by chance play the Portal themed Defense Grid Expansion? That would probably explain quite a bit.

      • subedii says:

        I did, but that was long after I completed the main game.

        It was better than I thought it would be too, they had some nice twists with how they worked the levels compared to the normal campaign ones, especially the ways that GLaDOS constantly worked to undermine you.

  5. xGryfter says:

    I’m starting to wonder if developers are now doing Kickstarter just for the hell of it. I like having Kickstarter as an option for developers working on games that wouldn’t otherwise get official backing from elsewhere but it seems some of these projects aren’t even trying any more and jumping strait on the Kickstarter bandwagon…

    Of course I’m also pretty bummed with the kickstarter gaming community because the one game I really, really want to see get funded doesn’t look like it’s going to make it (I’d give up all the other projects I’ve backed if it would mean this one got it’s funding) and every time I see another project go up that seems like it would be able to get funding through normal means much easier I just see it as competition for the project I want to see funded. Yes, I know it’s stupid and also isn’t necessarily how this works but it is what it is.

    That being said, I loved the first one so I’ll probably back this one.

    • nasenbluten says:

      I’m curious, which would be the one that you would really like to get funded?

      • xGryfter says:

        Skyjacker.
        http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/digitilus/al-skyjacker

        I’m a huge space sim fan and this game just looks really, really fun and the devs are very active in the community. I’d think it would be the perfect mix for a kickstarter project but it just seems not as many people are into this kind of space “sim” as I would have thought or it’s just not getting enough coverage in the mainstream press.

        Ultimately it’s up to the gaming community, no matter how good I think it looks if most people just aren’t interested (or are burned out by kickstarter) there’s not much anyone can do.

        • nasenbluten says:

          That looks really nice, and even has a demo! Projects like this should get funded, it just needs some love on reddit.

          • xGryfter says:

            Not only does the game look solid but the dev’s are constantly promoting and helping spread the word on other Kickstarter game projects that they think their community may be interested in which is very, very cool and just another reason why I want to see these guys succeed. It’s just too bad no one seems to be returning the favor.

          • Malk_Content says:

            @xGryfter: The reason I didn’t give them money is because of an opposite experience. I was watching footage on youtube when I was on the fence and in the comments thread they were being dicks to people. One person in particular was asking if a graphical effect could be disabled as he was prone to motion sickness in games and the effect would make him queasy. The devs response was essentially, “Are you a backer? No? Well then fuck off.”

          • dE says:

            As I am affected by Motion Sickness in Gaming, I was very interested in this and looked it up. I suppose you’re talking about this video?

            I can’t find any mention of motion sickness, perhaps the Dev simply wasn’t aware of the issue with motion sickness and as it wasn’t mentioned (unless I’m blind) it was probably seen as something other than “please, this honestly makes me physically ill due to motion/gaming/simulator sickness could you do something about it? Much appreciated, thanks”.
            As it stands, many many developers don’t know/don’t care about motion sickness.

            Not defending or anything, the comments do come across in a rather pissed way and beeline for the Ad Hominem line of discussion. Still in this case I’m only interested in the sickness part. If there are more comments about the motion sickness issue, other than the one I found could you link them please? Kinda important to me, thanks.

    • AngoraFish says:

      I agree with many of the other comments. DG was a great game, but this just seems an attempt to drive preorders for something that was going to happen anyhow.

      So the developers don’t want to risk what tidy profits they’ve got out of millions of cuts from bundles, steam sales and expansion packs by funding the next installment?

      Having one’s cake and eating it too, anyone? Colour me unimpressed.

      • LintMan says:

        Defense Grid was always a cheap game, never more than $15 or $20, far far less during all those bundles and sales, and lately only $5. The expansions sold for only a couple of bucks each. Then subtract Steam’s sizeable cut from that. And if they had a backer or publisher for the first game, they needed to be paid back as well. Plus you must realize that only AAA and console games sell “millions” of copies.

        In other words, I think you’re vastly overestimating how much money they have.

        If they had the money to do it without a kickstarter, they would. They’d make FAR more money that way. The KS is essentially giving DG1 away for $1, dryin gup the higher Steam sales of that, and if the KS goes through, everyone who gives $15 will get both the DG1 expansion, the level editor, and DG2. DG2 alone could easily sell for $15-20, so all the other stuff would have been extra profit.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I suspect some might be doing it to simply get away from publishers. Doing it via Kickstarter means you won’t have to pander to every whim of the publisher, you can keep the rights to your IP and characters, you get some extra publicity and you get to keep more of the money made. There are many more advantages to Kickstarter than just getting your game funded.

      • PopeJamal says:

        Very good point. That seems reasonable enough.

        I was getting upset about all the rampant kickstarter abuse by devs that are pretty much guaranteed “traditional” funding, but your comment helped me see it differently.

        • Demiath says:

          Well, in this case you could simply watch the project video and get the real explanation for why DG2 specifically is on Kickstarter. The first game was priced too low to make enough profit to fund a sequel, and they can’t get publishers on board even if they wanted to since only F2P and AAA titles get funded these days. I suspect the reality is similarily bleak in a lot of other cases, too.

  6. Jimbo says:

    I feel like if they’re gonna set different tiers, you need to be able to pledge with the condition of it at least reaching a certain tier.

    The way this is structured is actively preventing me from pledging.

    • trjp says:

      I’ve wondered about this with other Kickstarters – in this case tho, $15 might just get you an 8 level expansion pack which would be pretty poor value for money so I think the option to say “you have my $15 but only for Tier 2/3 or whatever) would be nice.

    • Fumarole says:

      Yes, it is quite confusing at first glance. Calling it Defense Grid 2 but not getting Defense Grid 2 at the target amount in large numbers is a weird way to go about it. I love me some DG but I’m not pledging to this Kickstarter in its current state.

    • Baresark says:

      It’s nonsense that they want that much for an expansion. At the most they only need a few new textures.

      I think it’s strange that a successful game that did really well needs a Kickstarter to fund expansions or sequel.

  7. nasenbluten says:

    Hmm… All this kickstarting is nice and all, it’s like the healthiest form of pre-order. But 250.000 $ for an 8 level DLC is just ridiculous. If they want 1.000.000 $ for the full game then, they can just say so from the start with the new engine and then add more content to it like multiplayer or a level editor.

    I don’t know it seems lazy, I liked the first one but I think I’ll wait and will get it if it’s complete or when it goes on sale.

    • trjp says:

      I’m generally in agreement – $250K for 8 maps is a joke surely (esp as the entry price is $15 – more than 90% of DG owners will have paid for that entire game!?!)

      If the Kickstarter only achieves that level, I think people will be a bit peeved.

      I’d like to see another DG as much as anyone, but the level of sponsorship here (Razor, AMD and so on) added to the high cost of the first tier makes me a bit suspicious.

      DG is a popular title – if they can’t afford to fund a sequel it makes me wonder WTF they’ve done with the cash they’ve earned so far!?

    • MattM says:

      Not to mention that they will still be able to sell whatever they produce. It seems unrealistic to expect a videogame kickstarter to cover all development costs including all developer salaries. You should expect to make some money selling the game too. Of course Hidden Path might be planning to spend more that $1,000,000 developing the game.

      • jalf says:

        I’m not sure about you, but most human beings experience time linearly.

        That means, they can’t, for example, spend money that they haven’t earned yet.

        You can’t pay for development of a game *by selling the finished game*. You need to have the money *when you develop it*. That’s why Kickstarter, publishers, preorders, investors and all sorts of other funding schemes exist.

        Now, I don’t know how profitable DG1 was, and I don’t know how much money Hidden Path currently has available. Perhaps you have more information on this than me. Perhaps they already have all the money in the world, and this is just a scam to get *more* money.

        But please, respect that not everyone are time travelers like you. Hidden Path have to have the money to pay for development before they can develop the game. We can argue about whether they need the kickstarter, but it should be on the basis of whether they can afford to fund development *now*, not whether they’d be able to fund it *after the game is complete*.

        • AngoraFish says:

          Clearly you and I exist in different universes. Pretty much every industry that I have some experience with operates on credit to a greater or lesser degree.

          For what it’s worth, in my job, I spend around a million US dollars a year. None of that is paid up-front, and in some cases the total bill may not be completely paid off for years afterwards.

        • MattM says:

          As the other poster said, you can borrow money from bank or seek investors. The main way a small developer can make a game without spending all the money upfront is by paying the development team very little upfront in exchange for a share in the post release profits.
          I wonder how you think any indie game got made before the Doublefine kickstarter.

  8. mseifullah says:

    I just don’t understand this. The first Defense Grid game was a financially successful release, it was released in 2008, had follow-up DLC released, and it didn’t require crowd-sourced funding to be developed and released.

    In fact, Hidden Path, the developers behind Defense Grid are actively working on with Valve on Counter-Strike: Global Offense. This KickStarter video is filled notable industry names saying “I want more Defense Grid.” Apparently they don’t want it enough to fund it themselves though.

    KickStarter is about giving people who get can’t private funding or do self-funding an opportunity to realize their business dreams. This, however, is just taking advantage of the platform.

    I do not approve.

    • alundra says:

      KickStarter is about giving people who get can’t private funding or do self-funding an opportunity to realize their business dreams. This, however, is just taking advantage of the platform.

      I kinda agree with you, the original concept just isn’t there anymore, it’s become a quick cash grab, to me it all started with EA tainting Wasteland 2 and hoping aboard by offering a 3 month free distribution on origin for successful kickstarted projects, read that as easy and secured money, but that gal taking full advantage of the internet community charity/naivety to fund a femnazist project against video games really did it for the initiative.

      • 13tales says:

        “that gal taking full advantage of the internet community charity/naivety to fund a femnazist project against video games”

        …”feminazist”? really?
        I don’t know if you realise just how much of an arsehole that makes you sound.
        If you have problem with Anita Sarkeesian’s work, do yourself a favour and attack it on its merits. Calling it “feminazi” makes you sound like a closeted misogynist bottom-feeder who quietly cheered-on the death and rape threats aimed at her on YouTube. Calling it “a project against video games” (rather than “about”) just makes you seem childish and overly defensive. Neither me, nor any other dude that I call a friend, wants to either have a beer or play games with someone like that. Suggest you take an earnest look at yourself and the number of women who voluntarily spend time in your company.

      • Premium User Badge

        Mo says:

        @alundra: Go away, these kind of ignorant, hateful comments aren’t welcome around here.

        • PopeJamal says:

          I make the bad men go away by hitting the block button. See, I just did it now and he’s gone! Go away BAD MAN! *poof*

          Judging by the quality of his post, I’m pretty sure I won’t be missing anything of substance in his ignorant ramblings anyway.

      • Thants says:

        What the hell? You were sounding reasonable until that last part.

      • MSJ says:

        None of the things in your comment make sense, Alundra. Blocked, motherfucker, like an uphill iceskater.

      • alundra says:

        Yeah very sorry you all would rather keep your head buried in the sand rather than stop being beta male white knights.

        Truth always make your butt hurt, ain’t it?? Well, very sorry, it doesn’t change the fact that what that gal did was taking advantage of the gaming community and damaged the crowd funding initiative, plus made a whole lot of money in the process.

        But wait, women aren’t able to come up with such schemes, ain’t it right?? The hypocrisy of some people and their double sexist standards.

        • RakeShark says:

          You sound incredibly spiteful on this matter and seem unwilling to consider other opinions on this matter. I hope you come to amiable terms with this issue somehow.

        • yutt says:

          Women always behave ethically unless coerced by their brutish alcoholic husbands.

        • QualityJeverage says:

          I love, I love this attitude. Are you real? Can you hold off for a minute so I can make popcorn and watch you continue making an ass of yourself?

          Have you heard of middle ground? It’s like you can’t fathom a person who exists between thinking she’s a “Feminazist bitch” and being a “beta male white knight.”

          Also, pro tip, when you feel the need to say something like “Truth always make your butt hurt, ain’t it??” you’re probably the one being an asshole. It’s the same logically broken defense those crazy small-town radio hosts throw up when they come under any kind of criticism. “You’re just whiny because you can’t handle the truth!” If that helps you sleep at night, more power to you. The rest of us will enjoy the handy Block function.

    • LintMan says:

      KickStarter is about giving people who get can’t private funding or do self-funding an opportunity to realize their business dreams. This, however, is just taking advantage of the platform.

      Did you watch the video? What Hidden Path is doing is exactly no different than what Double Fine or inXile did. They went to publishers to get help funding development for the game, and the publishers weren’t interested because the potential profit was too small and turned them down.

      That says it all right there:
      1) There’s no one interested in private funding for DG2.
      2) There’s not a large profit margin expected. That estimate likely based on DG1 sales, which strongly implies they aren’t sitting on a fat bundle of cash like some here seem to think.

  9. westyfield says:

    No Defence Grid for you, Chris Taylor, until you finish Kings & Castles. Go on, get! I’m still waiting for more of those developer video-blogs.

    • subedii says:

      Honestly? I’d be happier with Supreme Commander 3. Keep the scale of the first game, some of the mechanics from the second game, and make logistics a more prominent part of the gameplay (so things like transport links become a core part of it).

      I would play the TAR out of that game. Despite the angst it gets, I felt they made a lot of good decisions with SupCom 2, but the smaller scale of the maps and some iffy implementations didn’t do it any favours. SupCom was a lot of things. It was about huge armies smashing into each other, massive scale weapons systems that fired across the map, gigantic epic land-sea-air battles, and awesome nukes. SupCom 2 kept a lot of that, but the battles turned into more weaving your armies left-right-left-right as you advanced. Engagements were more immediate, but the game didn’t feel like as much of an epic conflict.

  10. Navagon says:

    Am I reading this wrong or are they saying that if they get less than $500,000 all we’re getting is a map pack? I mean, come on! Everyone and their grandma owns at least one copy of Defence Grid by now. They must have more than enough money to at least make a full sequel, even if it uses the same engine. Kickstarter should be more like a form of advertising to these guys.

  11. Shadram says:

    $1million to make a tower defence game? Really?

  12. Freud says:

    Defense Grid was fantastic game. I’m surprised they have to do a Kickstarter for the sequel. Didn’t the first one sell enough?

  13. dgbonomo says:

    I really want a Defense Grid 2. I personally don’t even enjoy the Tower Defense genre all that much, but Defense Grid has always been fun to play. $15 for the original game, a brand new multi-platform engine, cross-platform online co-op multiplayer, all original content remastered, and a full 20-mission sequel with level editor is so much value-for-money that it still blows my mind. I might just up my pledge to $30 so it doesn’t feel like I’m ripping them off.

    • nasenbluten says:

      Yeah, all that IF it gets over $1 million. If not all you get is an 8 map DLC… ripping them off huh?

      • dgbonomo says:

        If you feel it’s a waste, your view has gotten rather skewed by the appearance of digital deals happening all the time. $15 is way less than what a movie and a drink would cost me, and it’d entertain me much, much longer – even if it’s “just” an expansion.

        • nasenbluten says:

          I don’t think the $15 is a waste, but I do think the way they did the kickstarter is misleading.

  14. Bhazor says:

    I loved Defense Grid but those are numbers seem ridiculous. I thought the whole point of crowd sourcing was that you ask for the bare minimum to cover costs. How many people are they employing?

    This looks alot like they’re trying to make a profit before even releasing the first screenshot. Which is worrying.

  15. BurningPet says:

    That title threw a huge smile on my face as i really loved defense grid, but reading further in, it got me really hesitated. i really cant grasp why or how making an expansion would help the development of DG2, beside giving them a few more bucks and a setback,

  16. MattM says:

    Imagine if you were a big donor and the KS finished at around $600k. “Thank you for your $100! Here is a copy of a game you already own in a new engine and a short new DLC. We hope the knowledge that we were able mostly fund a game completely risk free gives you comfort. Would you like to pre-order Defense Grid 2?”

  17. ain says:

    As a diehard TD fan I am sad to say that the first game was incredibly repetitive and had a bad pace to it in general.

    That aside I shy away from kickstarters in general.

  18. HarrietTubgirl says:

    The first thing I noticed upon going to their Kickstarter is the ridiculous amount of money they supposedly require. I enjoyed Defense Grid but they are obviously just trying to make some extra money.

  19. Moraven says:

    They even have partners in Razer and AMD (who are looking for some good advertisement).

    Cost along with the success with DF1 and Hidden Path also still doing work for Valve. I want more, but think will wait till a steam sale for this. (bought first game probably 3 times between bundles and full price on release)

    • Moraven says:

      “Don’t you have enough money already for DG2, from DG1 or Valve on CS:GO?
      We put everything we had into Defense Grid; we wanted the game to be able to reach a lot of people, and looking back we probably sold the game at too low a price. It paid for it’s cost, but not enough for us to make DG2 on our own. It takes a lot of money to make games (especially ones with 3d art instead of 2d sprites). We’ve been pitching it for several years but it’s not f2p social (where the money is now in small games), or AAA (where the money is in big games). We still think there’s enough interest to be successful, but that’s what we’re finding out by doing a Kickstarter.

      Since Defense Grid shipped, we’ve been working for other folks who look for people who make high quality games – most recently Valve for the Counter-Strike franchise – and that has been great work that helps our team gel even further and allows us to create great game experiences, but it also isn’t going to provide enough to fund a Defense Grid 2.”

      • trjp says:

        If the mistake was pricing it too low – then surely the solution is simply to make a sequel and price it higher? That still doesn’t explain why they expect a ‘Kickstart’ to actually be ‘almost full funding’ tho. In that case it’s not a “Kickstart” – it’s a pre-order.

        • LintMan says:

          If the mistake was pricing it too low – then surely the solution is simply to make a sequel and price it higher?

          They can’t SELL the sequel until they MAKE the sequel, regardless of what price they will sell it for later. And they can’t afford to make it on their own.

          That still doesn’t explain why they expect a ‘Kickstart’ to actually be ‘almost full funding’ tho. In that case it’s not a “Kickstart” – it’s a pre-order.

          Kickstarter is SUPPOSED to be about getting full funding – enough money to do the entire job. When inXile was asking for $900K for Wasteland 2, that was their estimate for making the entire game. Same with Double Fine’s KS. So yes, Kickstarter is essentially very much a pre-order system.

          Now, the difference with the Defense Grid 2 KS is that they set it up sort of like a “flexible funding” indiegogo project, so they keep the money even if they don’t hit the full target, so you might pay your $15 and not get DG2 but only the expansion. I totally understand people’s issues with that and wish they did it the traditional all-or-nothing way, but I like DG enough and want DG2 enough that I’ll back this anyway.

  20. MikoSquiz says:

    This is problematic. I want a Defense Grid sequel, but I have no interest in more levels for the first one. I found the last few of the original levels grindingly hard enough, thank you. I never even considered buying the DLC.

  21. wodin says:

    Tower defense games bore me to be honest and I see them as really a quick distraction. Thats alot of money to ask for a quick distraction. I hate puzzles aswell so it doesn’t appeal. However both puzzle and TD games are damn popular these days.

    I sometimes think though alot of money in game development is wasted to be honest. I mean half a million?? People used to make them in their bedrooms and still do. With the tools around now aswell really it should be cutting the cost of games down. I wonder where most of the money goes…PR? It can’t go purely in wages and software. Art assets are ten and penny and there are loads of artist out there who are superb willing to do art for games relatively cheaply. Find a new name, an up and coming artist etc.

    I reckon like many areas these days lots of money gets wasted or spent unwisely in this industry.

  22. Moraven says:

    Need more kickstarters to do
    http://kickingitforward.org/

  23. Scandalon says:

    For everyone having such a negative reaction/response, did you actually watch the video? It explains things fairly well.

    (I will note that I enjoyed the first one up to a certain point, never finished it…so not exactly a fanboi blinded by enthusiasm. :)

    • BurningPet says:

      No, It doesn’t. it doesn’t explain how an 8 level expansion pack cost the same to develop as a new engine with multiplayer support or a level editor. Anyway you look at it, you are funding an expansion pack first and a sequel after. i don’t want an expansion pack. i want my money to go 100% toward work on the new engine and i wont pledge unless i see it can positively reach at least 750,000.

      • jalf says:

        You know you can cancel your pledge again, right? So if you want them to reach 750k, perhaps you should pledge, and then, if it looks like they won’t reach that mark, cancel it again?

  24. fuzzy_dunlop says:

    one of the best games ive played in years, totaly addictive and great fun.

  25. Iskariot says:

    If you like TD then Defense Grid is IT!.
    It had been out for a while when an enthusiastic review directed my attention to it.
    I bought it and got hooked.
    The game is a real blast for any TD lover.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      To you, too, I say check out Defender’s Quest(lengthy demo on their homepage and the saves carry over to the full version).
      It’ll probably get a boost of enjoyment if you like a touch of RPG on top of TD.

      I played maybe 7 missions of Defense Grid after buying it, but in the end I got frustrated and in 1 mission didn’t even care enough anymore to figure stuff out, but just wanted to beat the level so I looked at a video for it.

      Didn’t happen to me in DQ as badly; there I felt like I was rewarded for the tries(you still get “scrap”=Gold and XP for a failed attempt, leveling your party) and it kept its enjoyment up.

  26. KDR_11k says:

    Personally I hated Defense Grid, it was just terminally boring to me and having to play it was one of the worst parts of the Steam summer camp (or was it the christmas sale? Can’t remember) last year. So for my personal benefit it would be best if this fails and there’s no DG2 that could ever be a requirement for tickets in another steam sale but I recognize that that’s a really silly grudge to hold. If people enjoy it then they should get more.

  27. RegisteredUser says:

    Speaking of things worthy of 250-500k, why isn’t Defender’s Quest getting more exposure?
    Found it ten times more endearing and enjoyable than DG, and that’s constantly on mention and on steam..

    I hope RPS covers it when the gold edition / 1.0 comes out.
    (On this note: Seriously Adam, how is Defense Grid better than Plants vs Zombies or Defender’s Quest? I just don’t get you *sniff*)

    (Also I agree that 250k for a tower defense game sounds incredibly overdone. What are they planning, HD rendered CGI cutscenes for all missions? Its a genre that you can do in flash for crying out loud..and they’ve already got all the content and engine from the first one at hand as is, even if you argue that they chose to go down a much more high-fidelity path)

  28. jalf says:

    I’m impressed at everyone’s knowledge of Hidden Path’s economic situation. Yes, you bought the game (for a couple of dollars, mind you), and therefore you conclude that they must be swimming in cash?

    Do you guys know something I don’t?

    Because the reason publishers exist, for example, is that even successful developers can rarely afford to fund a new game from scratch. Sure, Valve can afford it, Notch can afford it, several others can afford it. But the norm, even for popular games, is that if the game sells well, they make enough to stay in business. Not enough to pay for their next game, but enough to tide them over until they can build a prototype to pitch to publishers, and sign a contract with them.

    Perhaps they’ve set the numbers too high on this KS, or perhaps they should offer more for the 500k tier. Those are valid concerns.

    But claiming with some kind of smug confidence that they don’t need the money?
    Come on… Could we at least pose it as a *possibility*, rather than fact? Try saying “I wonder how much of a profit they made on DG. I wonder how much cash they have left now, and how much it would cost to develop DG2″. Rather than “I happen to know that they actually own a mid-sized European country and have more funds available than Apple, and they don’t actually need this kickstarter at all, they’re just trying to get more money for nothing”. Unless you know that’s true, of course.

    Anyway, I’m backing it. If it looks like they’ll only reach the 500k mark, perhaps I’ll withdraw my money when they near the deadline.

    But until then? It’s worth a shot.

    • RakeShark says:

      I think Schafer set the bar as far as my expectations on price point. 300-500k to make a new game, everything above that is for accessibility and modern concessions. A couple of video game Kickstarter projects are using this “over-funded tier teaser”, as opposed to a straight up “we reach this goal and you get the game we want to make”. That might be what’s rubbing people the wrong way.

      Personally I don’t like the idea of funding something successfully, but according to the lack over-fund we don’t get the game as intended. I wouldn’t mind at all if they said “We want to make a full length campaign using the assets we have, but we need help,” making DG2 a full expansion rather than a totally new game. But this currently feels like calculated teasing rather than humility and gratitude. We grumble about PR machines asking for 1 million Facebook likes to release screenshots for a game, but it’s at least a single target. This is like asking 300k likes for the wireframe of the screenshot, then promising at 500k the grey shade screenshot, 750k adds some textures and painted background, and 1 million gives a fully rendered screenshot. Except the likes are money.

      As a rule of thumb, you can have plans for the overflow of donated funds, but it’s best not to discuss them upfront with your prospective donators before they’ve given you their money, especially if there’s a product-in-return involved and quality is in question. It makes you look like greedy jerk sometimes.

    • trjp says:

      I think people have several legit issues with this – but you’re right, backing and then removing backing if it fails to reach a level (and it won’t reach $1M – I’m pretty sure of that) is an option.

      The issues are there tho

      1 – why are they asking for such massive sums – esp when they clearly have some high-end sponsorship on-board
      2 – why do 8 maps cost $250K (a ridiculous sum) but a whole new engine/upgrade of DG is the same price?
      3 – how is a whole new game only twice the cost of 8 maps!?!?

      IMO if it’s a Kickstarter for DG2, success should give you DG2 – not DG with some new bits or shinier graphics.

      That would be like the OUYA only giving you a controller or the DoubleFine one sending you a copy of Grim Fandango with some colouring-in on the box.

    • MattM says:

      Hidden Path has put their hand out and asked for $1,000,000 in exchange for a promise. Commenters are discussing the style of their kick-starter and the value of the funding milestones in a fairly polite way. Some commenters have no problem with the KS and have already donated, others have expressed reservations. You seem to be annoyed that anyone is making any criticism or discussing the finances of a company asking for financial help. You could just disagree and offer a argument that $1m is a reasonable amount or tiered kickstarters are great.

  29. johnnyfiction says:

    I understand the reservations/cynicism expressed above but as a software engineer (not in games industry) I know too well that good features get dropped from existing projects and good projects get dropped entirely because management don’t think it’s worth the development time/cost.

    If this kickstarter gives those who manage the company budget the confidence to commit the development team to extend or better still build a sequel to a game I loved then that’s great news.

    Yes, the KS tiers are a bit silly and the total amount requested for the full sequel seems a lot if you have no idea of the expenses involved or the financial situation of the company (and I don’t either).

    But my steam stats say I’ve spent 62 hours playing the original Defense Grid for which I paid a few dollars in a Steam sale. I’d be happy to chuck them $15 just to thank them for the hours of fun they’ve provided me already. So I’m in.

    Thanks for this post. I might have missed the project without it.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      In the end, the criticism can be interpreted as just that, bad communication. It doesn’t have to mean we all hate them for asking much much monies.
      Obviously nobody was skeptical when other big names asked six figures+ to make a whole new game; the issue here is that we see folks who already put out something that runs and is named as reference of a genre by many, yet seem incredibly strapped for cash and are asking for seemingly high proportion.

      That they don’t make it clear to the people they want the money from WHY and WHERE is a shortcoming of theirs and a kind of a moment of realization on the whole kickstarter thing in general.
      I mean, some excellent stuff has come out from “2 guys in the basement” and here there’s this huge team. Where do all the differences stem from, where do they sit, how does their financing stack up vs others, etc pp.
      It could be said that their promotion, as many promotions, rely heavily on the emotional push-button of “we’re only doing it for you, and out of love, of course” and kinda wipe away the financial side of the pitch that you’d also have to think of if you were to take this to an actual pro/corp financier.

      Its only fair to have this realization and ask that maybe we move the paradigm a bit more into a balance of “of course we all love games, but are you also not ripping everyone off in the process and can you show us why and how this is so”.
      Not that I’m against the giving-spirit, raw us-all-together nature of it. I actually dig that quite a lot.
      It just feels like its quickly slipping into “Hey, just do a heartfelt seeming 5 minute video and in rolls the dosh! Yay!” territory, and us humans, we are quick to make a formula of things and exploit stuff to death.
      I still sincerely think the KS trend is one of the BEST things to happen to PC gaming since the “indie revolution”. Mostly because fuck generica, sequelitis, console targeting and drm.

  30. Dr_Nick says:

    Normally I dislike kickstarter projects, but if it means I get to play more Defense Grid, I’m willing to put some money up.

  31. alienkun says:

    What we need is a kickstarter for Homeworld 3 =/

  32. ryan22215 says:

    pledged, $15. Here’s hoping for a million, but either way i won’t be withdrawing my pledge.

  33. Captain_Cowkill says:

    1.000.000$ for a complete tower defense ? Must be a joke.

  34. syndicatedragon says:

    I will gladly buy this when it is released. I reserve my KS funds for up and coming indies, not studios that have already made well-known games.