Kickstarter Katchup – 15th July 2012

By John Walker on July 15th, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

A day late, thanks to an angry English Channel attempting to smash everything on board a ferry, including all the children. But still just as shiny. And increasingly ridiculously long. Here are a bunch of PC games looking for funds. And below are some rules:

Featuring a game in this list doesn’t mean we endorse it. We likely haven’t played, and as such can’t say whether it’s worth your cash. That’s your call.
Letting me know about a game (which you can do via my name above) doesn’t mean I’ll include it, and that’s the way it is.
Flexible Funding is extremely problematic, and we’ll warn you every time a project is using it – it means they’ll get your money even if they don’t reach their target, which means you have no guarantee what your money will fund.

The Winners

CLANG – Subutai Corp

Phew, it just made it. Looking touch and go, the now familiar Kickstarter final push saw it not only clear the half million target, but reach an impressive $526,125, which I’m sure means Neal Stephenson – and his bank manager – is relieved that he won’t have to finish things off with 500k of his own money. Although goodness knows how much it cost to have that daft lab and make all those films. Also, you can still throw money at them via PayPal.

Z. Downward Viral

Wow. I’ve been on holiday this week, so not keeping up with all these KS projects, but wow. I really didn’t see how this one was going to make it. With a week left they were still less than halfway to their $100k total. But 11 hours ago, pow, they finished with an extra $24,288 in the bank. Incredible. I think others struggling to make their money would do well to check out their updates, especially this one. Coverage makes a big difference, and while RPS is pretty good at it, other gaming sites are really incredibly terrible. (Note: we can always spot when a company has asked its readers to email us, and it’s always actually a bit annoying – make sure you write short, polite emails, not long, threatening nonsense.)

Reincarnation: The Root Of All Evil – Christopher Gianelloni

Yesterday the KS finished on a cutesy point and click, based on some popular Flash adventures, giving the project an extra $3,849 on top of the $15,000 target. And that extra cash all came in the final three days.

Indie Graphics Builder – Eldon Harris

This one still has two weeks left, and continues to gross profits. It’s now over $6,500, despite setting a $1,850 goal. It’s a project that lets you create your own gaming sprites using a base set of over 5,000 parts that you can construct in your Photoshop of choice.

Super Retro Squad – Exploding Rabbit

Two weeks ago they’d doubled their $10,000 target. Now they’ve quadrupled it. And with four days to go, their biggest stretch goal of $50,000 is within reach. The lack of updates smacks a little strangely – it’d be nice to see some expression of happiness about the amazing success of the legitimised incarnation of the Super Mario Bros. Crossover series.

The Losers

HeXit – Full Throttle Games

It seems no matter how big the boobies, it wasn’t to be for this pre-rendered adventure. Inevitably they’re developing it anyway, planning to take longer.

Alpha Colony – DreamQuest Games

There are a few hours left on the clock here, but clearly they’re not going to go from $93,122 to $500,000 before this afternoon. I’m bewildered why this was left to run its inevitable course, rather than cancelled, linking to a new one with a sensible target. They are going to try again, but I’m not sure how leaving this one to fail is in their favour. They’ve shown they could make $100,000, which is a ton of money for a project that didn’t even have a dev team when it launched. Instead they’ve going to aim for $175,000, with a 45 day collection, this time with a bunch more PR.

The Players

Skyjacker – Digitilus

Goal: $200,000
Now: $94,990
Days Left: 7

Gosh, these poor guys. Their second attempt and they still haven’t cleared $100k. But look at Z. – it proves it can still happen if you can rally backers to let gaming sites know, get some decent attention, even get a tweet out of a big name twitterer. Because the game looks great. Although they’ve arsed up their KS frontpage to such a degree now that apparently the most important thing is a video of the team and then an update about the soundtrack. Argh! The Updates page is for updates! The front page should immediately tell me about the game, not make me scroll FOURTEEN pages before the game is described. GUYS!

Detective Grimoire – SFB Games & Armor Games

Goal: $25,000
Now: $6,010
Days Left: 18

From a British pair who were, until recently, the Super Flash Brothers, comes a cartoon adventure game. It was originally pitched as an iOS/Android game, but has recently added a stretch goal at $30k that means it would come to PC a month later. From the look of the content in the video – and there’s lots of it – it’s something that would be nice to see happen. Sent to a swamp, Det. Grimoire must solve a murder via what look like pleasingly traditional adventure techniques. And the voice acting is splendid.

Magrunner: Dark Pulse – 3AM Games

Goal: €100,000
Now: €67,665
Days Left: 34

We’ve not featured anything from yet another fund raising portal, GamesPlanet Lab. It’s a dark-ish first-person puzzle action game, taking inspiration from a cyberpunk reimagining of Lovecraft. Blimey. I’m not too enamoured to learn that 3AM are a spin-off from Frogwares, they who make the awful Sherlock Holmes games (yes, those ones, with the terrifying portalling Watson), but this is an attempt to do something different.

Legends Of Aethereus – Three Gate Studios

Goal: $25,000
Now: $18,819
Days Left: 6

Incredible progress in the last week for this smart-looking Unity hack-n-slash. It’s leapt from 8k to nearly 19k. It’d be a huge shame not to see it meet the goal in the next week. And they finally woke up and starting doing regular, informative updates. Talking of which, you can find lots more info about it in this recent update.

Kaiju Combat – Sunstone Games

Goal: $350,000
Now: $19,121
Days Left: 17

As the bigger names drift away from the Kickstarter upsurge, the smaller indies are taking over and in turn the goals are shrinking. So seeing a $350,000 goal appearing is becoming striking. That’s what Simon Strange is after for his monster fighting game. The man known for his Godzilla games is looking to make a psuedo fourth game in the series, without the IP. Using the same creative team for the monsters, this is clearly aimed at those who’ve been jonesing for more Godzilla since the last release in 2007, with the 1-4 player battles. It’s a huge target, and there are two and a half weeks to get there.

DIVEKICK – Adam Heart

Goal: $30,000
Now: $20,013
Days Left: 17

The spoof fighting game that began as a joke and has ended as a serious project is making great progress. Another $8k added to the total this week, putting them over two-thirds of the way there.

Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire – Membraine Studios

Goal: $35,000
Now: $6,885
Days Left: 6
WARNING: FLEXIBLE FUNDING

While it seems very likely this’ll be in the “Losers” column next week, please bear in mind that any money you pledge will reach Membrane Studios anyway. A flurry of updates have appeared recently, but it’s not seen a huge amount more cash come in. Unless there’s a big push this week they’ll fall short of their goal, and have to make do with what they’ve raised. We’re not sure how that works. It’s a turn-based strategy that does look rather nice – and the more they get, clearly the more use the rest of the pledged money will be.

Insurgency 2 – New World Interactive

Goal: $180,000
Now: $8,468
Days Left: 54

Jeremy Blum was the project lead on Red Orchestra. That’s enough to get some attention. He was also the lead on Insurgency, the 2007 total conversion for Half-Life 2. The sequel aims to create its own genre, “High-speed tactical”, a team-based shooter that aims to have much more realistic weapon handling. It’s already looking extremely impressive. $15 will net you a copy of the game when it’s out, which is currently aiming for March next year. Or pay $360 and you’ll be in on the alpha right away. (I can imagine some of the reward tiers will bother a few – pay extra and you’ll get better weapons when you start playing the game.)

Divine Tactics – GarStudios

Goal: $3,000
Now: $50
Days Left: 24

An incredibly poor video does very little for a deeply odd looking strategy RPG, that will attempt to emulate the best features of Fire Emblem and Super Robot Wars. It’s incredibly low-fi, but I just have this weird feeling there’s an RPS contingent who’ll see beyond the squares and find something they’re interested in.

Moon Intern – LarryPixel

Goal: $30,000
Now: $9,686
Days Left: 22

Winning the award for the best game name I’ve seen in weeks, this pixelly madness is a side-scrolling platformer setting you a series of tasks, and then, they claim, reacting to how you play to craft it to your style. It’ll either become more puzzle-filled or more action-focused, depending upon how it reads you. Also, you are an intern on the moon! This looks brill.

Jack Houston And The Necronauts

Goal: $56,000
Now: $37,699
Days Left: 25

The stop-motion employing adventure continues to make good progress, with another $7.5k added to the tally, and over three weeks left. It’d be a shame to see this one stall. They’re emphasising there will be no DLC or DRM at any point, which is clearly a crowd pleaser. Although I’d point out that the crowd might be slightly confused when it completely rules out the acceptance of DLC. More game after the game’s out? That’s good!

Legacy Of The Last Refuge – Jonathan R Jones

Goal: $10,000
Now: $1,376
Days Left: 26

Another nostalgia-happy project, aiming to make a very old-school RPG. The laconic presentation seems to take pessimism over the current state of RPGs to a slightly pathological degree, seemingly unaware of the retro role-players that are delivering what he’s after. But still, another one is a good thing. It’s perhaps problematic that after his dreary complaining about how the classic styles are lost that his in-game footage shows a massively cluttered and confusing page of illegible text, and tiny, scratchy graphics that end up looking a touch drab after the gorgeous old games he shows beforehand.

Day One – Pendulo Studios

Goal: €300,000
Now: €20,952
Days Left: 55

You may well know the name Pendulo Studios from their horrible, horrible Runaway games. It seems they too are after the crowd-sourced cash, using GamesPlanet Lab to raise a vast €300,000. They’ve already made an impressive €20k, despite featuring a video that doesn’t say anything useful about the game at all. As is their wont, it appears to feature an unlikeable main character – a feature that made the first sexist Runaway game quite so unlikeable. But maybe they’ll pitch it better this time? Oh, and be warned: they say that if they make the current goal they’ll make a “short” game, with a real target of three quarters of a million Euro to make a full-length project.

Coma: A Mind Adventure – Warcelona

Goal: $7,400
Now: $2,875
Days Left: 46 hours
WARNING: FLEXIBLE FUNDING

Having made only $500 in the last week, I’m both disappointed that this really interesting-looking game isn’t going to get the full amount it needed, and disappointed that it’ll get the third of its goal anyway thanks to flexible funding. Still, I hope they’ll be able to make something as impressive as the video suggests it could be with what they’ve got.

The Living: 30 Days To Survive

Goal: $60,000
Now: $7,454
Days Left: 6

Bums – this Day Z-a-like free-to-play 30 day survival game looks like it has a ton of potential, but isn’t anywhere near its goal with under a week left. However, still lacking any in-game footage is clearly very problematic, along with barely any updates.

Rapid Assault – Cornered Rat Software

Goal: $100,000
Now: $35,000
Days Left: 5

Also looking shaky is Rapid Assault, the online tactical shooter that recalls Red Orchestra. However, we’ve seen many projects make more than half their goal in that final week.

Jetpack 2 – Adept Software

Goal: $10,000
Now: $5,487
Days Left: 55

20 years after Jetpack, Adam Pederson is looking to get the funding to work full-time on a hi-res sequel to the platformer. It’ll come with its own level editor, and has one of the most strangely disturbing videos in a while.

Don’t Save The World: An RPG – Sakura River Interactive

Goal: $520
Now: $35,000
Days Left: 53

Incredibly ambitious, the aim here is to create a game that lets you completely redefine the game’s world/story by the decisions you make, including not doing what the game asks you to. There’s no actual evidence in the video of how this will work, but with 53 days left hopefully they’ll start explaining. It’s clearly going down the JRPG route, but they claim will let you even choose whether it plays as a traditional RPG, a turn-based RPG or a management sim. Those are incredibly huge claims. And mercifully, they’ve opted to use Indiegogo’s fixed funding.

And Something Else

OUYA – OUYA

Goal: $950,000
Now: $4,774,365
Days Left: 24

Based on the somewhat peculiar premise that there are fewer games being made to play on television, OUYA is a new “open” console built on Android. Which means it’s an open console, allowing anyone to develop for it without needing devkits or licensing. Which is bloody brilliant. It’s open so much that you can even hack the console itself to suit your needs. Shame about the ridiculous name, but an inexpensive console for players – just $99 – and inexpensive console development for developers, without having to go through the shit of PSN or XBLA, is a stunning idea. And clearly people agree, with nearly $5 million funded already. Lots of developers have already said they’d support it. This could be a big thing. It’s going to contain a Tegra3 quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal flash storage, all of which seems a touch low really. But then keeping it under a hundred bucks is probably tough. But really, I’d prefer to pay an extra $20 and at least double the RAM.

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124 Comments »

  1. LuNatic says:

    I really don’t see the point of a console that’s only as powerful as a smartphone, especially given that a number of smart phones can already plug directly into a TV. Why not just use your iThingie as a controller/processor all-in-one?

    • mckertis says:

      Because some people think it’s deplorable to support Apple in any way, shape, or form, and their iThingies are just a trendy scam for those who dont know any better and are ready to pay through the nose for things they have barely any use for ?

      • JFS says:

        Thanks, man. Thanks.

      • neonordnance says:

        u mad bro?

      • Wisq says:

        Apple, for all the shit they get for being “closed” and “evil”, has actually done far more to wrestle control back from the carriers and put it into the hands of consumers. Google set off to help in this goal, then stabbed us all in the back and went the complete other way, to the side of the carriers. And because they smiled the entire time they were doing it and fed us this “open” bullshit, we thanked them for it. We’re still thanking them for it!

        http://parislemon.com/post/15604811641/why-i-hate-android

        Interesting article, although I don’t take either side on the smartphone holy war.

        • Red_Avatar says:

          Interesting in the sense that it sheds a different viewpoint on the matter but a lot of that blogpost is based on rumours, half-truths and exaggerated facts, sadly enough :S. He makes a HUGE deal about Google siding with carriers because *gasp* Android is open to modification and for locking it to carriers.

          He’d have a point if it wasn’t for the fact that almost every Android phone has an unlocked version while the iPhone is STILL tied to a single carrier depending on the country you go to (with no iOS alternatives available there except through import and Apple are notorious for refusing warranty on imported items) so his whole tirade is misinformed and hypocritical. His entire criticism focusses on a non-issue where he basically accuses Google of not making it so Android is open only for its users which is ridiculous.

          That’s not to say Android or Google is perfect but it’s the cheapest, the most open, the easiest to mod and it does its job really well. My brother wanted to use my old HTC Desire and so I wiped it and replaced it with a new ROM – in 3 hours time, I had a completely different phone software wise, all because of how open Android is. Sure, you can jailbreak your iPhone, but you won’t have this kind of freedom.

        • Cenarl says:

          I just want to know what magical powers Apple gives to consumers that he is referring to.

          • Contrafibularity says:

            iBliss

            Features: instilling the psychological drive to suppress any curiosity as to where one’s iThing is made and by whom under what circumstances, by means of fine-tuned micro-tailored advertising campaigns appealing to subconscious desires you didn’t even know you had. No peeking! Our electronics sweatshops are trade secrets. We won’t just sue, we’ll make you want to kill yourself, just like we did to that guy who lost one of our iPhone prototypes, and all those expendable wide-eyed sweatshop workers who wanted to provide for their families but ended up jumping of the roof. It’s magic.

            Too harsh? I don’t think so. Not harsh enough, definitely.

    • D3xter says:

      “I really don’t see the point of a console that’s only as powerful as a smartphone”

      I don’t see the point of the Xbawks 360 and PlayStation 3 either.

      • Alextended says:

        Uh, there are no mainstream smartphones or tablets as powerful as those yet, and no, the new iPad having a super high resolution screen doesn’t mean it’s as/more powerful considering it can’t even run the sloppy looking iPad2 games at that resolution without performance issues and in many cases (like that new Gameloft FPS) with reduced visual quality. Not to mention those two are old systems that will be replaced by successors soon and for years after their release nothing portable even came close, with the failing Vita (hardware with similarities to the latest iPads, but better) being the closest but still not on the same level at all. Hell, the popular smartphones and tablets (at least those that aren’t actually small form PCs that cost a few thousands in the case of the latter) aren’t even as powerful as the lowly Wii outside having some newer graphical technology features like modern pixel shaders, considering they don’t offer games with the visual complexity of titles like Super Mario Galaxy and at best have some initially impressive games that soon show how skin deep that beauty is with their static and limited environments (that includes Infinity Blade, Dead Trigger, Shadowgun etc).

        • D3xter says:

          TEGRA3-based platforms already ran rather interesting physics and lighting demos as well as a playable live demo of Lost Planet 2 like a year ago: http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/02/nvidia-kal-el-development-platform-hands-on-video/

          Now remember that they’re not exactly built for “graphics power” and don’t have powerful dedicated graphics hardware other than what the GeForce-based “Ultra Low Power” GPU does.
          The hardware in nowadays “console generation” on the other hand is getting REALLY old now (8-9 years), not to forget that they only have 512MB of RAM. It could just be that a TEGRA4-based platform can outperform them soon (or at least nearly).

          • Alextended says:

            That “Lost Planet 2 demo” is a severely downgraded version of what the PCS360 got, from polycounts, to textures, to effects. It was also used to demonstrate the PSVita at one time. I’m not sure what a few one-room demos should prove either, having these features possible in a full game that doesn’t have to be restricted to very limited, empty and static environments is a whole different thing. If they could do that 2 years ago in real world conditions according to you outside limited tech demos then how come there aren’t any games with that sort of quality even two years later on systems better than that? Even by companies with good tech know how like Epic which have some of the most impressive games on such platforms but still don’t hold a candle compared to what those consoles have proven capable of (which doesn’t mean every game is more impressive, just as Angry Birds isn’t the best smartphones do)? It’s simple: they can’t.

        • malkav11 says:

          The new iPad actually has significantly more powerful hardware than the iPad 2. The thing is, it’s also running at a massively higher resolution, which can decrease relative performance depending on the game.

      • Felixader says:

        @Dext3er: The point is to have fun while playing it, just like with everything i play a game on.
        Was that a trick question or something?

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Because that’s what the Apple TV is for, and look how well that’s working out.

  2. pakoito says:

    The Ouya is close to a scam. The product will probably be delivered, but there is no real community to back it, and the pitch video is very deceptive.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-07-14-saturday-soapbox-the-trouble-with-ouya

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Looks like I was too slow posting that link!

    • videogone says:

      “What Ouya offers developers beyond the PC, other than the brocade of television gaming, is yet another shard of Android customers and the cast-iron guarantee their software will be pirated.
      For whatever reason, I was completely on-board with this piece until that sentence ended. Weird stuff.

      • yutt says:

        This criticism of OUYA is bizarre. Especially coming from PC gamers.

        Do we attack the Humble Bundle as a “guarantee the games will be pirated”? Now open DRM-free platforms are bad because ~SCARY WORDS~?

        I don’t get what is so bad about it. It is cheap and relatively powerful. It probably isn’t going to change the world, but I’d rather see attempts at making an open console platform than whatever overpriced, proprietary wall-gardens MS and Sony are developing next.

        • The Random One says:

          I agree. My position on OOOOOOOOOO-YAH! is one of cautious optimism (too cautious too actually fund it, in fact) but that article’s complaints seem completely alien. He seems to be under the impression that devs will only try to port games from the consoles (which will run poorly) or smartphones (which are optmized for touchscreens). The idea that people might want to create their own games fitting the system’s specifications doesn’t even pass his mind. He also seems to forget that when iOS was a new thing there was a lot of games that tried to recreate joypads using touchscreens.

          Mind you, it is indeed possible that Ooya is a scam or a pipe dream. He just doesn’t defend that reasoning very well.

        • urahara says:

          My concern about Ouya is that is is so cheap. Wait listen to me before you blow holes in my thought process.
          The original amount of console they were making is rather small (in a production sense). People have said you can buy the parts for $67. For a $99 product that sounds pretty good. But you also need to factor delivery of parts, assembly, the machines you need to assemble OUYA in the first place (unless you are making them all by hand), and of course the buildings you need (offices, production space and storage). $99 suddenly seems a little tighter. Yes if you buy in bulk you get discounts, but it seems a little close to the edge on price.

          Even if it worked as said it has two problems I can see.
          1) it is competing against not only smartphones (which work because they are portable and phones), but also PCs (which are non-portable but designer-friendly)
          2) Scaling. Have you ever played an old game on a big screen. Even PS2 games can look ugly as they are built for smaller TVs than we use today (thats why old games ask whether you are using 50 or 60Hz but new ones as for your resolution). Multiply this effect by fifty for the jump from even a tablet to your monster TV. I admit some games will look ok still but most which arent designed for the OUYA are goinf to be eye-watering ugly (loser of a bar brawl ugly)

    • LionsPhil says:

      Bloody spamfilter.

      It’s not even close to being the first no-show “open” console. (Unfortunately this most recent scam is busy generating so much noise that I can’t remember and dig up one of the more infamous examples. The Linux crowd are a desperate lot. Edit: Ah, the Phantom, metioned in the Eurogamer article. And from there you can get to the Indrema, another infamous no-show.)

      OpenPandora doesn’t seem to have done tooooo badly at producing a shippable open handheld, mind, and it’s doesn’t seem as much of a complete goddamn mess as the GP2X.

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      It’s just a shame that there is no way to hook up a PC to a TV.

      • caddyB says:

        You win all my points sir.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        Let alone any flexible type of gamepad, joystick, steering wheel, throttles, etc to said PC.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      It’s not a great argument to say that there’s no community to back it, when 37000+ have already put down money for it. Sure, 37000 is small-fry compared to the big 3, but far more already than can qualify as “no real community”.

      • Shuck says:

        But if you’re a developer choosing a platform to develop for, a user base of even 100K doesn’t constitute a sufficient audience, especially if the revenue model is free-to-play, which is what the Ouya is based around.

        • pakoito says:

          Bing. It’s a console for hobbyist, and as a part of the Gp32/2X/Wiz community I can see how this one will flop badly.

        • rustybroomhandle says:

          But as a developer on this you are developing for Android, not necessarily just for the OUYA. You would develop your game to offer multiple control schemes. Much like right now where some games support the D-Pad etc. of the Xperia Play in addition to just touch controls.

          Unlike the big 3, this device won’t have any exclusive content. And that is a good thing.

          • irongamer says:

            I think a big issue is people have only had exposure to certain operation systems on phone like devices. Their brain has basically been wired to believe that these OS types can only exist on a phone and can only be used for slicing digital fruit, throwing pixel birds, scheduling tasks, and making calls.

            I’m not saying that the OUYA will pump out the most ground breaking next generation graphics, it is far from that. I’m just saying Android can easily be used to push pixels to your big screen if you so desire. Does anyone desire that? Over 30,000 seem to want to give it a shot. The OUYA offers that ability at a very low price.

            I am curious how many of the initial buyers are picking it up as a test dev system for Android 4. That is the biggest temptation for me to pick one up. I’m sure others are picking it up to root it for a streaming system for their TV.

            Tablets have slowly been pulling these mobile OSs out of the carriers subscription death grip. I see the OUYA as another step or lateral movement. Easy and inexpensive access to Android with pretty much zero strings attached.

            Sure the OUYA marketing team will hype it. But I think the real gem is seeing more mobile OS’s escaping the carrirer’s grasp in yet another form.

          • pakoito says:

            Have you ever developed? Have you ever developed in Android? The backlash is coming mostly from the dev community because we’d rather have Linux than Android. More “freedom”, more “openness”, more “market”, more “users”, better “performance” and more importantly, more and better libraries. SDL -> Android every day.

            If you say “but Android is Linux” I’ll buy a plane ticket to your city and slap you in the face.

          • rustybroomhandle says:

            Golly gee wizz, guess what I do for a living. Do you even realise that “SDL” and “Android” are not two mutually exclusive concepts? You can compile the SDL libs on Android and build SDL apps for Android.

            And I am tempted to say “Android is Linux” and send you my home address, just to see how long I would have to wait for you to come “slap [me] in the face” – and see how far that sort of stupidity will go. And it’s wise to refrain from making threats like that, especially not knowing exactly who you are making these threats to.

          • jrodman says:

            When people say “Linux” they do not mean the kernel, they mean the whole stack. glibc, SDL, xorg, etc. Android isn’t those things.

            Meanwhile, you sure can find a way to bulid and install SDL on an Android system, but now you’re not making an Android app, which are written against the Android APIs in Dalvik. So at that point it’s the worst of both worlds. It would not run generally on non-rooted systems, would have binary compatability issues, and would be way more hassle than something that was just traditionally linux-based in the first place.

            Meanwhile, I’m not sure I agree with the idea that Android-based is worse from a developer perspective. It’s certainly different though.

          • Harlander says:

            More “freedom”, more “openness”, more “market”, more “users”, better “performance”

            What’s with the scare quotes?

          • enobayram says:

            I prefer developing for “Linux” over developing for Android any day of the week, but Android isn’t that bad. Besides, bringing your good old Ubuntu to OUYA wouldn’t help much for game development either, since the GPU on the device supports OpenGL ES. The consequence of that would be having yet another peculiar platform, where you need to port everything. I really doubt that you need your users to root their phones to run SDL apps (I didn’t try porting an SDL app to Android), but there are (permissive) FOSS game engines running on a desktop as well as on both mobile platforms.

        • Cyrius says:

          30000 people backed the concept, I wonder what the number will be like when(if) it hits retail. Arguably, the reason the Wii was successful was because of its low price compared to the other consoles. This thing makes the Wii (at release) look expensive, so I wonder if it will be a smash hit.

          I think I may be coming off as a crusader for the Ouya here, and I will admit I backed the Kickstarter, but that is not the case. I want to see a shakeup in gaming because I am sick of seeing Sequel Sagas: The Sequel Returns 3 Part 2. The potential for the thing to diversify gaming is there, whether or not we see Crysis 3 (another sequel) on it.

          Also, I wish they chose a different name so I didn’t feel like such a tool every time I type out Ouya.

    • dE says:

      In all honesty, I’m expecting at least some of the Kickstarter Projects to disappear in a smoke of thin money air. There’s too much of a gold rush going on, for it to not draw in shady figures too. In general, I reckon a lot of people will find themselves rather disappointed with the whole Kickstarter thing as time goes by.
      At the moment it seems like the next big thing, a way to fund the games no one else funded. And that’s great. But I feel that people won’t quite get what they thought they would (quality wise – clashing expectations). I’m also not sure folks are quite used to the idea that their kickstarter bucks might simply disappear with nothing to show for it.

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        Exactly. One has to wonder, what is the benefit of backing something like this. Sure the *smart* money is on waiting for the thing to come out, and then just buying it if it’s still of interest. I backed several projects, notably the Pebble, not at that point because they needed my money, but because it was a great opportunity to get it soon and cheap. For most of these games, I would “wait for the Steam sale”.

        Given that a lot of comment threads on RPS tend to go something like:

        “Wow I really wish I hadn’t pre-ordered this…”
        “Why would anyone pre-order something in this day and age?!”

        There’s a case to be made, that as with the Double Fine and Wasteland 2s, it’s case of “either we make enough money through this, or else it never gets made”. But more often now, like with the (in my opinion, deplorable) Defense Grid 1.5 kickstarter, you have to question what the real agenda is. And why people feel they need to “back” such endeavours. Defense Grid is a great game, sold lots of copies and DLC, but, by their own admission, they completely mismanaged it and have no capital for future investment. These are the people you want to entrust your money to?

    • Cyrius says:

      I have seen a lot of developer support on Twitter, and obviously the community wants it as it raised over 4 million USD already. What community are you talking about? The pc games community?

      Eurogamer is also the most negative, hate-filled game journalism community out there. Their opinion is worth nothing to me. I really like the comment about Mojang in that article, consider Mojang ALREADY DID say they would support the platform.

      Not to mention the console obviously has been in development for a while and the kickstarter clearly states it is to bring the console to . The Tegra 4 is nearly upon us and they are using the Tegra 3. If it was really a scam they would have thrown out the gnarliest hardware they possibly could have. Also, if it was a scam all these well established celebrity designers and industry folks would not attach their names to it.

      • Phantoon says:

        I don’t know that Kotaku is the most hate-filled, but it’s certainly the most hate-inducing that people take seriously. I’d certainly rank it as far worse than Eurogamer. It’s the difference between news and tabloids.

        • Cyrius says:

          I consider Kotaku more of a multimedia outlet than a gaming outlet, although I am not a Kotaku fan either. They should fire their web designer.

          That said I just see Eurogamer consistently shit on games which are otherwise unanimously loved, or praise games which are otherwise unanimously bashed. I myself sometimes have similar views (Mass Effect 3 was bad etc. http://fuuu.us/257) but theirs are consistent enough for me to get the ‘angsty teenager who tries too hard to be different’ vibe from it.

      • RobF says:

        Mojang said they’d *consider* supporting it if it was a success. Which is not quite the same thing as supporting it at all, really.

        • Cyrius says:

          If you really want to get technical about it there is already an Android version of Minecraft out there, and this thing is going to run Android.

          • RobF says:

            I don’t especially but it’s shit compared to every other version. So erm, yeah. Huzzah?

    • InternetBatman says:

      I stopped reading the article after this gem “Open systems do not work for software sales; you are basically saying you’ll build a business on an honesty box.”

      It sounds like a crap ton of ridiculous promises but the article is no better.

      • yutt says:

        Here we are in 2012 and the basis of the article is a variant of “PC gaming can’t work”.

  3. Bhazor says:

    1 gb RAM and a 8gb hard drive?
    You’re kidding. You’re kidding right?

    My netbook’s more powerful than that.

    More importantly the claim that there’s no way to get in to the market for newcomers is ridiculous. I find it ironic they say that only to immediately bring up Minecraft. A game from an industry outsider that went on to make over 3 metric shit tonnes.

    • Khalan says:

      Bear in mind the 360 and PS3 both have half that amount of ram. Performance will depend on how they setup the OS and games to run on the Ouya.

      Plus $99 is probably less than you payed for your netbook.

      Having said that I didn’t really like the pitch video – everything is free to play? Apparently if a game has a demo it’s a free to play game. Seems a bit misleading.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I hate to defend Ouya, because I do think it’s an awful idea that will never gain enough traction.

      But spec-wise, it’s supremely capable for what it’s supposed to be: an Android console. And it’s $99.

      • LionsPhil says:

        That’s meaningless until there’s an actual functioning prototype to show. I can promise you a box of hyperintelligent rocks for $5 that runs Crysis, but that doesn’t mean I can actually deliver it.

        • malkav11 says:

          Exactly. Nobody else has been able to turn out this sort of hardware (which may not seem like that much to our jaded PC eyes, but is apparently pretty spiffy in the context it’s normally used) for this sort of price. I find the idea that some guys I’ve never heard of pitching a Kickstarter can do so where major electronics companies have not decidedly iffy. Not impossible, I suppose, but pretty darn unlikely. I’d be a lot easier to convince if there were something in the ballpark, but with a more closed philosophy, or if they were merely undercutting a slightly more expensive neighbor, or if they had some evident plan to survive taking a significant loss on the hardware the way Microsoft and Sony have done with their current consoles.

          And I still wouldn’t particularly want it. Android is a smartphone OS that’s barely grappling with use for tablets, much less a console. There’s not much of a games library even for Android phones. It’s possible that there will be specific development for Ouya, but even if every single backer is receiving a console (assuming they ever do receive anything), we’re currently looking at an install base of about 35 thousand people. That’s… not much. No, I think it’s destined in best case scenario to be a hobbyist device for emulators and the occasional homebrew thing like Xbox Media Center was for the original Xbox. And that’s all fine and good, but I feel like I can accomplish everything I’d want from that stuff at my PC.

          • emertonom says:

            The price point doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. The Vizio Co-Star is a vaguely comparable commercial device with the same cost, $99. (I can’t find the tech specs…I think I read somewhere that it’s dual-core ARM processor, but I can’t find that anymore.) It’s Google TV rather than Android. The Asus/Google Nexus 7 has the same specs and is $199, but that pays for an IPS touch screen, so without that the price would come down.

            The things that trouble me are that it has *only* the game controller (and not a more wiimote-like doodad) and the store. They talk a lot about how the system is going to be open and so forth, but the best way to make the system open would be to use the existing Android stuff–Google Play store and so forth. Instead, they’re talking about having their own store, with hurdles (their odd definition of “free to play”) as requirements before apps can get listed. Putting extra hurdles in front of developers while having a tiny user base is a recipe for disaster. And it means the apps already available for Android which are best suited to the TV, like Netflix and OnLive, are going to be hampered. And who is looking forward to typing by using an on-screen keyboard and a touchpad mouse?

            I think a device something like this is going to be a big thing in a few years. (Since it’s acquired Gaikai and worked with Android for the Xperia Play, Sony may be planning for an upcoming Playstation to be implemented as a basically similar device.) But I don’t think the designers have thought everything through on this one, and I think their users are going to be disappointed.

          • Shuck says:

            @emertonom: As you say, the device is the guts of a Nexus 7 tablet, but minus the touchscreen, battery, camera, gps, motion sensors, etc. but with a controller added. That’s (more than) half the cost of the device gone. The price is definitely reasonable.

          • LionsPhil says:

            The Nexus 7 is sold at cost, with various perks (store credit, etc.) on top of that from Google’s deep pockets. So sayeth Andy Rubin, Google’s Android bod.

            Its purpose isn’t to be directly profitable, but to crowbar a bigger market share for profit later. Google have the kind of capital to pull that kind of stunt.

        • Unaco says:

          Except, y’know, an Android based computing device is slightly more feasible than a bag of Hyper-intelligent rocks. Not really a fair comparison.

        • TillEulenspiegel says:

          The specs given are comparable to high-end Android tablets. The price tag is feasible, given the lack of screen or battery. It’s little more than a standard Tegra 3 board.

          So…what’s the problem here?

          • RobF says:

            re: Ouya pricing, Craig Rothwell doesn’t think the pricing is as straightforward to achieve as they’re trying to convince:

            http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Ouya/feature.asp?c=43030

          • malkav11 says:

            High end Android tablets often cost $350+. I guess you could claim that the screen (there will be a touchscreen in the Ouya controllers, btw) and battery cost $200+ by themselves, but that seems unlikely to me.

          • rustybroomhandle says:

            @malkav11

            Not a touchscreen as far as I am aware, just a touchpad.

          • FriendlyFire says:

            @malkav11:

            You need to read up on pricing schemes more:
            http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/Low-End-Google-Nexus-7-Carries-$157-BOM-Teardown-Reveals.aspx

            iSuppli’s teardown of the Nexus 7, which runs on Tegra 3, shows that the display and battery cost ~$75 out of a ~$160 total cost. The processor is the next most expensive piece at $21. Bear in mind that such a device also won’t need mechanical/electro-mechanical devices (think vibration motor, gyroscope, etc.) or a camera, which brings the cost down further.

            $99 is low on the pricing scale, but I wouldn’t call it entirely unattainable.

          • malkav11 says:

            I don’t think it’s necessarily out of the question, but a lot of variables affect price, and I don’t think we can expect the Ouya folks to have the kind of access and economy of scale that, say, Google does. (And $75 != $200+, btw.) And even if they can produce it for $100, can they do it in a way that makes the hardware profitable? Will they really have a sustainable business model if not? (And let’s keep in mind that Kickstarter and Amazon Payments will take a chunk of the proceeds – around 10%, from what I understand. Smart projects budget that in. Has Ouya?) I guess we’ll see.

          • Baines says:

            One possible problem is that they aren’t selling the console for $100.

            From the pledge tiers, the $100 price tag gets you a console with a single controller, and you can add $30 to get a second controller. That makes the console ~$70 and a controller ~$30. Of course you have some wiggle room with those numbers.

            Honestly, the $30 controller worries me more than the console itself. Current console controllers are priced in the $40-$60 area. Yes, there is a lot of mark-up there, and you can get cheaper third party controllers. But low priced third party controllers can be a gamble, where some are almost as good as the originals and others are low quality knock-offs.

            I worry that Ouya will end up with some low-quality knock-off of current gen console controllers.

            Mind, I also worry that so far I’ve seen no indication that the Ouya can support more than two controllers. That bugs me since one of the few reasons I can see to invest in one is the possibility of 3/4 player same-screen gaming. That’s the main advantage I can think of over just hooking up a cheap PC to a TV, that it can be a hassle to get more controllers on said PC.

    • Shralla says:

      Your netbook is also running a netbook OS designed to let you do pretty much anything you want. Have you even looked at the specs for the consoles? Epic had to BEG Microsoft to put more than 512MB RAM in the Xbox 360.

  4. Andy_Panthro says:

    This article just about sums up my fears about the OUYA: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-07-14-saturday-soapbox-the-trouble-with-ouya

    Although I wouldn’t have pegged it as a scam, it does seem very ambitious. But they have made a lot of money with the kickstarter, so perhaps there is a chance for it all to work out.

    • Stochastic says:

      $5 million is next to nothing if you’re trying to fund the development of a new platform/console.

      I will be SHOCKED if Ouya succeeds. It just seems destined to fail based on what I know of it.

      • Shralla says:

        Maybe if you were trying to fund the development of brand new hardware and technology, but they’re not. They’re shoving computer parts in a box and shipping it with some controllers. They only made the kickstarter to fund the production costs of the console to begin with. They already have the system itself finished.

        • RobF says:

          It’s far more likely that it’s to get the attention of further investors rather than to fund the production entirely. What they’re claiming they’re attempting to do won’t be covered by the budget of a shit kids Wii game that they’ve managed to raise.

    • D3xter says:

      That article seems ignorant to borderline stupid at best…

      He starts off by saying it’s a scam and will never happen, goes over to ignoring that the controller is supposed to also act as a touch device, then explains at great length how GoG and Humble Bundles (where Linux users are consistantly the largest spenders) could never work and DRM is great and Xbawks and UbiDRM are the best things ever, just to end on the note of how you need Billion dollar budgets and great “AAA” games and “launch title” and all that “AAA” crap to succeed and things like MP3 didn’t revolutionize the music world (if the labels wanted or not) and there ain’t dozens of different cheap SetTop boxes for the TV selling rather well like WDTV Live, Boxee, Xtreamer etc. and how it isn’t basically just another Android device (a well established platform by now).

      Besides, the hardware of a lot of mobile devices about now (maybe aside from the raw graphics power) is reaching just about the level of the last console generation initiated ~8 years ago, how much do you think manufacturing an Xbawks still costs nowadays…?

      • Ysellian says:

        What on earth are you rambling on about?

        “goes over to ignoring that the controller is supposed to also act as a touch device,”

        As of now this thing doesn’t have a controller, this thing has NOTHING and all you have is their word for it. I’m shocked you are defending this “fantasy”.

        People need to start pulling their money out of this project and wait until there is something the developers can show for it.

        • D3xter says:

          You’re the one talking gibberish, it’s not like they asked the impossible here, they want to put already established technology connected together in a box and sell it together with some software, Tegra 3 is a thing and there’s dozens of tablets based on it out in the woods, go look it up: http://www.nvidia.com/object/tegra-3-processor.html
          Android is also an established platform and market name with a rather large library of software and development tools by now.

          And it wouldn’t be the first appliance that went from Retailers and similar not looking at it or the “idea” with their arse to being prominently featured in Retail stores, that thing already made $5 Million and built up quite some “buzz”, there are IThingies that got their shelf space with considerably less: http://gigaom.com/apple/kickstarter-breathes-fresh-air-into-the-stale-ios-accessory-industry/

          It’s not any more “fantasy” or “hard” than creating a programmable watch, now if it takes off or not and if they manage to bring it under the people is quite another question, but that article was just senseless at best.

          • Ysellian says:

            Tegra3 is a thing. No shit, my smartphone runs on it. Anyway:

            “they want to put already established technology connected together in a box and sell it together with some software”

            Is absolutely fine. But they are also selling first party games, world class controllers with a touchpad and a whole new experience to console gaming.

            Reminds be a lot about “the car of tomorrow” I once saw in the dragons den. All very practical, but nothing truly outstanding to make it succeed in any way. Which is why I call this thing a “fantasy”.

    • spectone says:

      I don’t believe it is a scam. I think it is very wishful thinking.

      It needs lots of marketing, not now but during and after release in march next year. It has lots of attention now because of the Kickstarter but I wonder how many people will be interested in the device next year.

      If I told you that you could buy an Android console now for $99 with a couple of games on a custom store, would you even bother?

  5. ArcaneSaint says:

    Don’t Save The World: An RPG – Sakura River Interactive
    Goal: $520
    Now: $35,000

    I’m not sure why, but for some reason I think you got the “Goal” and “Now” amounts mixed up.

  6. FTomato says:

    Magrunner looks really cool, but it looks like the single player campaign is already done – the fundraising is for adding a PVP multiplayer mode to a first person puzzle game, which sounds questionable. For people who aren’t interested in the multiplayer mode, the first relevant stretch goal is at €200,000 for a Mac port and expanded single player.

  7. MeestaNob says:

    If the Ouya functioned as a Onlive/Gaikai terminal it would be perfect, but the system they are promising is hopelessly underpowered to do anything other than high-spec mobile device games, blown up on a plasma TV.

    This isn’t a scam, it’s just a waste of money.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      I think you are completely missing the point. This thing is not being built to run big AAA titles or marketed as such.

    • emertonom says:

      If you root the device it should function as an Onlive terminal, since Onlive is available on Google Play Market. I don’t think it’ll work on Ouya out of the box, though.

  8. sub-program 32 says:

    I must say, despite the moral oddness of the flexible funding, that Coma game really does look rather fasinating, what with the world changing with the weather in significant ways (or at least planned to). And it probably is not a scam either with its multiple demo videos, so I donated. In fact, the FF thing probably sealed the deal there ironically, cos I might not have done it if I thought it would not reach them anyway.

  9. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    A console running on android? I’m rolling my eyes so hard

  10. Binman88 says:

    I said this last week, but I’m still surprised that you consider it a bummer that The Living isn’t getting funded. Of course it isn’t, and you shouldn’t want it to succeed. Not based on what they’ve shown so far.

    I’ll refrain from calling it a scam again, but they have shown absolutely NOTHING worth pledging money towards. It’s all promises and concept art – art they again reuse in their “update” video displayed on monitors in the background. What the hell have they been working on? Staring at the same concept art for the last week? Surely they’d have shown even a blurry screenshot of what the game looks like by now, considering they promised a playable build that never materialised. With less than a week to go, I’m still of the opinion that they were hoping to quietly reach their target and disappear with everyone’s cash, perhaps providing continued “we’ve run into some problems” updates on their blog in the coming months so make it seem less like theft. I will be genuinely shocked if they ever come forward with something resembling a game.

  11. dgbonomo says:

    It’s worth pointing out that the Defense Grid 2 Kickstarter is happening as well: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/07/13/griddle-me-this-defense-grid-2-kickstarter/

    They’re almost at $100k, with additional events planned to help raise awareness. If any of the Kickstarters deserve our support, it’s probably theirs. Please pledge and/or help them by being involved in the monday twitter event and, of course, tell your friends. :)

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hiddenpath/defense-grid-2

    • StranaMente says:

      The crazy thing is that they give you steam codes for the first game (plus expansions if the pledge is over 30$) as soon as they receive confirmation for your pledge, not at the end of the kickstarter.
      How do they manage people cancelling their pledge?

  12. Alextended says:

    OUYA seems like a destined to be super niche product that is mostly bought by homebrew devs and hobbyists than consumers looking for fun. Like the various handhelds with the same premise that pop up occasionally. Devs could just as well develop for PC without having to learn a new platform and gain knowledge that will continue being valuable for the foreseeable future, unlike such a platform’s special features and quirks. Or just develop for any number of more popular Android platforms. Okay, you’ll probably have to go for a touch interface in that case, but that’s valuable too, and it’s not like it’s bad to cater to that audience over developing for an OS as big as Android yet limiting use only to platforms with buttons like this one, if it’s not the only one. This is all assuming they care that much about doing it all for free rather than also being willing to do it for relatively cheap and so go for iOS as well, or the various digital distribution platforms on other systems, from XBLIG to the eShop or whatever else.

    Anyway, have RPS mentioned Star Command? It’s quite lovely looking and I love that it’s getting a PC release as I’d prefer to play it on my desktop than my iPad2. Skyjacker seems to get a ton of mentions on here but projects like Star Command and Realm Explorer don’t seem to, with fatal results in the case of the latter (which only got a very negative report, perhaps the dude was feeling cranky at the time, contrary to the advertisement-like post on OUYA). I’m a bit miffed about Star Command since the alleged PC port is asking for more money than the full iOS game on their kickstarter (I think that money apparently wasn’t even enough to finish the iOS game which is why they ask for more now under the lure of a PC port, which isn’t sounding so nice) but I still want it enough to have backed it alongside FTL, Wasteland 2, Shadowrun Returns, Realm Explorer and Cross of the Dutchman. Hopefully I won’t regret any of these in the end (well, a couple of these didn’t make it so my pledge didn’t go through).

  13. wisnoskij says:

    “horrible, horrible Runaway games”
    I kept waiting for you to turn that into a joke. The Runaway series and the first game in particular are universally considered pillars of the genre. It is probably the most highly regarded adventure of its time and easily compared as a modern monkeys island in popularity.

    • MondSemmel says:

      Huh? If the series is a modern Monkey Island, how do you explain its metacritic scores of 74, 67, 79? I know those scores don’t mean much, but surely a game with reviews like these can not be considered a modern classic.

      I remember kind of liking the first part of the series, but I don’t remember enough to know whether the protagonist was sexist or unlikeable. I do, however, remember that the second part of the series ended on a ridiculous, horribad cliffhanger – that’s something I never forgave the devs. So I never played the third and final part.

    • malkav11 says:

      Universally? Hardly. They’re awful. They do seem to have a certain baffling popularity in some circles, but…ugh.

    • Acorino says:

      It seems John never took another look at the games of Pendulo Studios after the second Runaway, which is a shame, because I heard good things about the third and The Next Big Thing was solid, if not spectacular fun. They nailed the conventions of a traditional comic adventure game there. It’s funny and the puzzles are wacky, but logical in a cartoony way. And entirely fair.

      No, Pendulo Studios never created a masterpiece, but they did learn from criticism.

      Edit: The first Runaway can be credited for starting some kind of adventure gaming renaissance in Germany when it was released here in 2002. It was the first in a string of adventure game releases by publisher dtp, followed by Tony Tough, The Westerner and Black Mirror, which all received special polish for the German release. For example, the German version of Black Mirror lacked the dead ends and waiting periods that infuriated some international gamers. And the voice acting was top-notch, too!

      Edit2: Richard, where did your post go to?

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      “a modern monkeys island”

      As opposed to an old-fashioned monkey’s island?

  14. Lambchops says:

    Moon Intern looks pretty neat actually. I initially had a slight fear that it might be dull and grindy to play when it kept mentioning jobs but that was alleviated somewhat by the way they seemed to be structuring the story. Quite tempted to punt a pledge its way, it has been a while since I’ve backed something.

  15. Raiel says:

    Legacy Of The Last Refuge – Jonathan R Jones

    Hey! That’s me!

    Many thanks for the write up, Mr. Walker, but “laconic” and “slightly pathological (pessimism)”? OK, yeah… that sounds about right — even my wife said so. :-)

    I’d like to mention though, that I’ve never heard of a turn-based, party-of-four RPG incorporating roguelike elements such as permadeath and procedurally generated environs. If anyone else has, please point it out to me so I don’t make a carbon copy.

    Also… there’s an ALPHA available to play. If old school RPGs are your thing, please give this a go!

    • Alextended says:

      Mysterious Castle. It’s also awesome and available for PC and iOS. Look it up, I can’t link or the comment will be auto-moderated and it’s a dice roll if it will ever be approved by the mods here in that case. The next version will be even better too. Now I’ll check your game out since you mention those elements are part of it and I love that game dearly despite its current unfinished state. I don’t know of any others like it, I always wondered why roguelikes don’t incorporate party mechanics as they seem like a perfect fit to enhance the gameplay with and I was extremely happy when I found Mysterious Castle which proved it.

      Edit: well, Monsters’ Den probably counts. It’s also an awesome series, the latest (and very recent) entry is dubbed Chronicles (I don’t think there’s much reason to play anything previous so go for that for now, just as the original wasn’t necessary if you had played Book of Dread instead) and it seems like a kind of stop gap release before Godfall (which will bring many new additions) incorporating some of its features in the formula of the previous games. I love the combat mechanics. Although Chronicles is less turn based.

      Edit again: well perhaps your game is different in that’s more like an RPG with roguelike mechanics than a roguelike with party RPG mechanics. Although the next major release of Mysterious Castle could get closer to that too with the choices & consequences hinted.

    • kianduatha says:

      If you are doubting the graphics, just try out the alpha for a bit. It looks scrunched in a tiny preview box, but that’s because the game leverages higher resolutions.

      • Alextended says:

        If that reply is meant for me, I don’t mind low end graphics if you look at the games I suggested. Edit: nevermind, I see that wasn’t meant for me!

    • StranaMente says:

      Apart from the turn based requirement, from what I heard Krater has the other features, but haven’t played it I may be wrong.

    • jrodman says:

      RPG and permadeath make an awkward intersection.

      In crawl, when I die, I lost an hour, or maybe 5 if I was playing extremely well. I start over a new game like solitaire.

      In a party-based RPG, I will spend 20 hours or more advancing my position through the game. Then my archer or mage or whatever I’ve grown attached to dies, and I’m supposed to just replace them and move on?

      At best, players will find ways to defeat your permadeath aspirations, which makes your development time misdirected and your game design compromised. At worst, the burned players will curse your name for decades.

      • Alextended says:

        Depends how it’s done, the Fire Emblem series and other SRPGs have employed permadeath mechanics, not in the roguelike sense where you fully restart upon death but in that if secondary characters die you don’t have to reload if you think you won’t do any better next time and just continue, and yes, replace them with other troops. In the case of Fire Emblem it could also alter the storyline since secondary characters weren’t just randomised non descript troops as in, for example, Final Fantasy Tactics. The X-Com games are famous for their expendable troops as well. Also, while some games allow you to choose between permadeath features on or off I find it’s a worse experience for players who don’t, for example if you play Mount&Blade and just reload your save every time something goes wrong instead of live with the consequences (being captured, losing your army, whatever) by selecting no quitting without saving, the game is far more dull so, while some players will certainly try to game the system and reduce their fun factor I don’t think gameplay design should be sacrificed to cater to them as others do understand that and enjoy those, it’s not like anything resembling a roguelike on any level, not to mention being an indie game, is going for mainstream acceptance and sales. Then again, there’s Minecraft too, which went mainstream with perma death.

  16. Hodge says:

    Wow, I’d managed to completely miss the whole OUYA thing until now. It’s like a bunch of marketing executives were playing magnetic poetry with currently-fashionable buzzwords (KICKSTARTER! INDIE! ANDROID! OPEN! GAMING!) and then dared each other to go public with the result.

  17. captaincheese says:

    There’s also a Kickstarter running for PC/Mac versions of Star Command, that cleverphone thingy that lost most of its funding from the first go. As far as I can tell, this one is all for extra stuff on top of what the first one paid for, rather than holding the game hostage until they get more money. Regardless, it’s looking pretty sweet, & they’re nearly half-way funded with 24 days still to go.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/starcommand/star-command-kickstart-part-2-the-pc-mac-space-adv

    • JFS says:

      Yeah, I wonder why RPS didn’t cover that one, especially as I learned about it here (in the comments, mind you, it was going to be mobile only at first). Seems like its getting funded, and might have a lot of potential.

  18. Acorino says:

    AR-K: A Dark Acid Adventure Comedy

    This Kickstarter is for episodes 2-4. You can download the first episode for free on the Kickstarter update page. It looks like a solid, well-made adventure game, but it’s not my cup of tea.

  19. MythArcana says:

    Mass saturation point. It will be interesting to visit 1983 again.

  20. Shooop says:

    Insurgency 2 looks extremely promising. Has anyone played the first one?

    • BOTA49 says:

      Yeah, and it had great potential if it wasn’t abandoned. It’s the first game I can think of that had a suppression effect, had great sound effects, and fantastic weapon models. The only thing that has me hesitating about supporting this is that it appears to have an unlock system for kit. I don’t want to have to grind to gain access to all the weapons in another MP game ever again.

    • Strange_guy says:

      It’s a Source mod, so you could probably get it for free yourself and there appears to be over 100 people currently playing (might be fake player counts though).

      Though I had played a lot of insurgency so I’ll share my thoughts. It was a good semi-realistic shooter, with nice objective and class features. Not so sure about the kickstarter though, lot of the changes I’m not sure are good (unlock system, heard they had some alpha videos a while ago that had it more counterstrike like). “The main difference between the game and the mod has to do with the smaller scale and more linear nature of our maps” is also rather worrying.

    • Misnomer says:

      I was very active in the original Insurgency scene. It was early days for me in FPS gaming, but it taught me a thing or two about developers. Quite simply, these modders didn’t understand why their players enjoyed their game (a common problem). They kept adding things like cosmetic adjustments (sunglasses for characters) rather than dealing with the issues with bugs that prevented the game from being played well. They removed class distinctions, added superfluous weapons, and generally made the game worse with each patch…though some of the maps were quite brilliant.

      I might support this if they showed that they understood that the simplicity of a game where you have limited numbers of roles forced to use certain weapons decided by nationality. A game where the shear force of realism mechanics in a small environment make it a brutal team shooter (think small scale ARMA 2 crossed with TF2 class orientation).

      Their website shows none of that. They are just making another MOH or COD where player customization is the driving factor with realism plastered underneath. I have already seen what that did to RO2 and it doesn’t appeal to me. The bigger studios do that better.

      Realism itself wasn’t the draw of insurgency, it was the pace of combat and the mechanics of the game that forced teamplay (they had a very early version of a BC2 like Rush perhaps more similar to MOH 2010′s “campaign”) plus they did a nice push and pull style map like the 5cp TF2 maps. Yet the game degenerated into TDM on CS map ports.

      Plus, I don’t imagine this will succeed. The original RO or Insurgency type players are few and far between these days. My clan started as an Insurgency community, today we would be lucky to get a quarter of our members (mostly BF3 and MW3 players) to try Insurgency, probably only 4 or 5 to actually play it.

  21. The Random One says:

    GamePlanet’s site is worth of its name. I see it with the text in English, section headers in Portuguese, and project data in French.

  22. kaka says:

    Wait wait wait. You didn’t like the Runaway series? It’s what made me get into the world of adventure games. Wow…

    • malkav11 says:

      I’m sorry your excursion into the genre had to start in such a way, but at least there’s nowhere to go but up, right? (That’s not really fair, there are worse. Most Myst clones, for starters.)

      • kaka says:

        but it was pure brilliance!

        • RegisteredUser says:

          You don’t understand.

          Any videogames depicting females are now works of sexist propaganda, thus making them horrible.
          Get with the trend!

  23. Hedenius says:

    Holy shit. I never expected OUYA to raise 5.000.000$. And with 24 days to go. That’s an insane amount of money. Lets just hope something really good will come out of it. I’ve got my doubts though, but I still find it interesting. I hope RPS will keep us updated on what happens in the future even though it’s not PC-gaming.

    I seriously don’t get Indie Graphics Builder though. The quality is your standard “programmer friend art” at best. Sure, it’s a small goal, but it’s just a collection of mediocre 2D sprites and tiles? Can someone explain why this is a good idea?

  24. sinister agent says:

    (Note: we can always spot when a company has asked its readers to email us, and it’s always actually a bit annoying – make sure you write short, polite emails, not long, threatening nonsense.)

    Hmmm. RPS comment chums! What future games can we sabotage by posing as its fans and swamping RPS with an irritating e-shriek?

  25. dudesaidwot says:

    Something else that deserves some love: Thousand Pounds Action Company and their attempt to revive martial arts action movies with “Clandestine: Follow The Path.” Wotsit have to do with PC? Well, they have made a short film based on Street Figher X Tekken (which IS a PC game) that’s far too good to be left alone to fend for itself..

    SF x Tekken movie link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn_HaEf62h4

    Clandestine link:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thousandpounds/clandestine-follow-the-path

    They desperately need and deserve publicity IMHO.

  26. Snids says:

    I think Ouya looks great.

    There is nothing “new” with the hardware but it’s the streamlined experience that you’ll be buying. I’ve been playing plenty of games on my Galaxy S2 and I’d love the opportunity to easily and wirelessly get the image on the big screen. That, coupled with hardware controls is enough for me.

    Modern smartphones have plenty of hardware power, Just look at the most recent titles. Dead Trigger etc. Imagine the emulation capabilities.

    I think there’s a lot of unjustified ney-saying over this. Remember that MP3 players existed before the iPod. Make it easy and cheap and it a winner.

  27. TechnicalBen says:

    I’m wondering if it would actually be helpful to unkickstart some of those ideas and pitches. Is that possible? Can I charge the devs for wasting my time watching their videos?

    Well, the non “indie” ones that is, I can at least accept a person dreams.