Kickstarter Katchup – 21st September 2012

By Adam Smith on September 22nd, 2012 at 12:56 pm.

Hello, mic check mic check, is this thing on? John has left me in charge of the Kickstarter Katchup while he’s holidaying on The Moon so let’s kommence this safari through the korridors of krowdfunding. I’m going to stop with the ‘k’s now lest I inadvertently awaken Midway’s legal team. We are here to observe the week’s happenings in the world of crowdfunded games and some game-related paraphernalia. There’s only two winners this week and one is a big ‘un. Can you guess what it is? Can you? Oh, Alec already told you…read the rules and then dig in.

The 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 will be worth your cash. That’s your call.
  • Letting John know about a game (which you can do via his name at the foot of the site or on any of his articles) doesn’t mean it will definitely be included. Leaving links in the comments is a good way to let other readers know about projects, but please email John if you want them considered for the list.
  • We only include games where pledges reach developers only if the target is met.
  • Projects asking for fifty billion dollars, with 45c in pledges, fall off the list eventually. It gives more space for other games.
  • Projects that have reached their funding get included in the Winners list, and then aren’t featured in the weeks after that, to give more attention to those that are still needing the cash. Tough if you don’t like it.
  • Gentlemen must remove their hats while in the Katchup or the presence of a lady. Ladies must leave the toilet seat up in case a gentleman wants to have a wee.

The Winners

Project Eternity – Obsidian Entertainment

This project reminds me of how this whole Kickstarter craze first came to our attention – developers of yore getting the band back together. There was never any doubt that the minds behind Planescape: Torment might be greeted with a fair degree of jollity and goodwill when they proposed a new traditional, party-based RPG. It’s still quite amazing how much cold, hard cash is being cast in their direction though. At $1.8 million with 24 days to go, it’s stretch goal time. Mac and Linux support are in, as are new races and companions. $2 million will unlock a customisable house for the player’s party to loiter in and it looks like every $200,000 above that will lead to more factions, regions and/or companions. More details here, written by John as it happens, so he’s still kind of doing all the work even though he’s away. Hurrah!

Sealark – Clairvoire

This one has made quite a splash. You might say it’s been reeling in the dollars. No red herrings here, there’s nothing fishy about such a well-scaled project being anticipated with baited breath. No trout about it, it’s a winner. Imagine Harvest Moon but with fishing instead of farming, and then imagine more exploration and adventuring. Imagine lovely music and charming pixel art, romance and friendship. Sealark received a lot of twitter buzz almost immediately after the Kickstarter launched but it’s still incredible to see $29,731 raised for a project that was gunning for $5,000.

There are 22 days to go and in a wholly sensible update, the developer has announced that any money after $30,000 cannot possible create more content, because all the content will be in the game anyway and there’s a nine month deadline. More of this would be appreciated. Coming up with ideas for exciting features and then scrapping them because not enough cash arrived seems wrong-headed at times. Extra money raised for Sealark will go into the creation of an expansion after release.

The Losers

Worlds Beyond – chaOs

This 2D pixel RPG isn’t really a loser because the developers have pulled the plug on the Kickstarter rather than failing to reach their goal. Josiah, the chap working on the game’s art and audio, had this to say:

Due to some recent events in my life that I’m not comfortable discussing, I’ve realized that I can’t commit myself to this project in a way that’s fair to you guys or Ruben. I know it’s hard to get across in a way that doesn’t sound like I’m taking the easy way out or being lazy, but what this project demanded from me I am not able to provide.

Lead designer Ruben Rodriguez will not “be working on Worlds Beyond, but…taking the engine…and continuing work on it.” All pledges will be returned. All the best to Josiah and Ruben, and whatever they choose to work on next, whether it be game or not.

The Epic Space Game – Edward Melville

Boo! I’m not happy to see The Epic Space Game here. It reminded me of Subspace and Space Rangers as well as other lovely top-down things that probably have ‘space’ in the title. With only $7,000 of a $20,000 goal, the Kickstarter is a goner but hopefully progress will continue somehow because this was a game with actual playable builds and a creator who talked the talk very well in his updates.

The Players

Blackspace – PixelFoundry

Goal: $350,000
Now: $49,967
Days: 26

It’s a hefty goal but it’s a hefty game, this, an RTS with destructible terrain to be mined and exploited. As Jim said, earlier this week “this is a simulation-heavy RTS with destructible everything, meticulous physics modelling, asteroid geology, and an exploration/discovery aspect that is unusual in RTS games”. I agree with those statements of fact, but I also agree with the suggestion that it’s refreshing to see an ambitious project that looks, well, quite fresh. Just shy of $50,000 raised and almost a month to go, this might be a player in the Katchup up until its final week.

Scrumbleship – dirkson

Goal: $8,000
Now: $1,378
Days: 25

Reminding me immediately of Blockade Runner, Scrumbleship aims to be the “most accurate space combat simulation. Ever.” That claim, along with a video and a demo, has been enough to raise $1,378 in a few days, setting the project in good stead to reach it’s very reasonable $8,000 goal. Voxelly and delicious, Scrumbleship is already an accomplished piece of programming but AI crews, a persistent multiplayer universe and “organic ships that need food and can heal damage” are among the many things that $8,000 and a great deal of work could add. Reward tiers include physical voxels shipped to your home. That seems kind of cool.

Pro Pinball: Revived & Remastered – Silverball Studios

Goal: $400,000
Now: $84,717
Days: 12

Just shy of $20,000 raised this week for the revival of the Pro Pinball license, which means unless there’s a sudden rush of wealthy pinball wizards, this one is probably going to miss its goal by some distance. There have been plenty of updates, including revised and additional reward tiers, and Silverball are handling the project admirably, but the demand doesn’t seem to be there. I love pinball but I’d be more excited by an entire collection of new tables rather than mostly recreations of previous Pro Pinball titles. The latest tiers are $20 and $30, the first providing digital downloads of the four remastered tables and the new one on iOS or Android, and the latter providing the same on any platform.

10,000 Hours – Tiger Sheep

Goal: $5,000
Now: $2,101
Days: 6

10,000 Hours is the most confusing thing ever. Not only does a new video of the progress made seem to take pleasure in showing that almost no progress has been made, that video is for a game called Deceit. Hmmm. The project has also lost $4 since John wrote about it last week. The whole setup reminds me of Molyneux’s current experiments and part of me thinks this is a social experiment of a different kind. Watch the video below and see how far 10,000 Hours has come.

And a spider!

Conclave – 10×10 Room

Goal: $75,000
Now: $47,707
Days: Less than one.

Time is almost out for this emulation of the table-top RPG experience, a way to play with friends wherever they might be. The final push has already started. Yesterday Conclave went from 53% funded to 62%, but there’s going to have be a lot of activity in the next few hours for this to succeed.

MORE – IdeaLcenter

Goal: $50,000
Now: $30,018
Days: 36

The 4X game that ditches the X’s and pops the four elements of play in its title instead, MORE (Military, Organisation, Research, Economy) is doing fantastically well. It’s impossible to know if it’ll be the successor to Master of Orion 2 that IdeaLcenter want it to be but the backers seem to believe, with steady progress being made toward the less than planet-sized $50,000 goal. Below, a video of the Brutas race. It put me right off my lunch, the Brutas being minotaur-type things with too many limbs and glistening exposed muscle instead of skin. I think they have little bone beards as well.

Pangenic – The Dada Factory

Goal: $45,000
Now: $7,289
Days: 13

Stuff and nonsense. Pangenic’s turn-based Victorian scientists should be raking in the farthings, with a theme and tactical approach that appeal to every man and woman of sense. But with a single update, which contains little information except the admittedly splendid news of Mac and Linux support, the project hasn’t attracted a great deal of attention. More videos are promised in the next couple of weeks but we need the videos now! If they were here, I could post one right there, showing you why Pangenic deserves a pledge, but as there’s nothing new to show, I don’t know that it does, and all we really have to go on is the theme and the style. Which I like very much. It’s obviously difficult running a Kickstarter and working a day job as well, but updating early and often seems the best way to go.

Chris Taylor’s Arakion – Chris Taylor

Goal: $25,000
Now: $15,143
Days: 14

The other other Chris Taylor’s first-person RPG continues its steady trundle toward the $25,000 goal. New stretch goals have just been announced, including a randomly generated infinite dungeon. Those are my favourite sorts of dungeon because I’m a masochistic non-completionist. Stretch goals do seem somewhat optimistic, although I have a feeling this one will squeak over the line.

Portas Aurora: Arrival – Daniel Randall

Goal: $25,000
Now: $382
Days: 6

There was an update two days ago, detailing a slight change in the colour of the GUI, so the project hasn’t been abandoned, which is admirable given how slowly the funding has been trickling in. I’m not even sure it’s a trickle. The occasional drip, perhaps. Promise of an incredibly detailed, hand-crafted galaxy hasn’t made the project stand out and that’s likely because there’s nothing to make this galaxy stand out from all the others.

Starship Corporation – Coronado Games

Goal: 6,000
Now: $17,021
Days: 20

Still looking for more monies, despite hitting its goal, this Indiegogo powered project is for an RTS with customisable spaceships and planetary installations. The latest news is an attempt to get the game on Steam. You can’t argue with David’s logic.

Steam > more players > more funds > more game!

MORE GAME!

And A Couple Of Other Thing

Sensible Software 1986-1999 – Read-Only Memory

Darren Wall’s plan to create beautiful books about videogames is a fine one, if expensive, with $38 necessary to secure a copy of the first book, about Sensible Software. With $23,371 raised as of last week, the project looked like a guaranteed success, but this week’s figure is only $28,571. It’ll still make it, surely, with less than $1,500 and two weeks to go, but maybe all the nineties kids have already made their pledge. I’m quite keen on the Vinyl EP edition, I must say.

Loading – A Gaming Bar For London

There’s much more information about this both at the project page and here, but essentially some experienced barfolk are attempting to raise $50,000 to open a games cafe and cocktail bar in London. Obviously, $50,000 isn’t going to be enough but it should be enough to ‘secure the rest of the funding’. The chaps do have prior experience, currently operating a similar operation in the Southwest of England. I’m mainly posting this because I’m interested to hear how many people like the idea? Do you enjoy going to bars anyway? If so, do you see any reason to have a bar for gaming and gamers? If not, would this appeal more than a regular drinking hole? The Kyoto Lounge here in Manchester offers something of the sort and I’ve never actually been. Pool’s my game when I’m drinking and I’m absolutely, irredeemably terrible at it I’ll have you know.

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59 Comments »

  1. TheLupineOne says:

    Well I’m certainly not Kickstarting Sealark, seeing as Flashygoodness has blocked me on twitter et al. I wish I could make it up with him though. I’m refusing to listen to anything he composes until we’re at peace.

    Although the name “Sealark” makes me think of “Noah and Nelly in SkylArk”.

  2. Prime says:

    *jizzes in pants* I’ll take Starship Corporation, please. Yes.

    • mwoody says:

      Caaareful. Make sure you read those tiers – where it nickel-and-dimes you, requiring a $100 investment to actually get the entire game – and watch the video, where the creepy guy talks about the greatness of Ayn Rand without a touch of irony.

      There’s a reason a game that seems so custom-built to appeal to a certain segment of the gaming populace is still so poorly funded.

      • Prime says:

        Yes, I did notice that as I read through the Kickstarter page. You raise some valid concerns. Another one could be the rather blatant use of the Aliens IP. Hard not to see a huge legal hammer coming down on them in the very near future. An enormous shame, though, as the game did, and still does, make me do ungentlemanly things in my trouser department.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        I think that’s only because this is going the full F2P way though. If you look at it, the entire SP campaign is going to be released for free. The only thing you loose is some cosmetic/stat boosters possibly. Plus, the Dev even suggests, after a time period/funding level they will release the other game elements for free as well (perhaps giving other bonuses to paying customers, on a rolling update kind of way).

        So I agree, F2P is less than ideal as content ends up rather expensive. However, it’s the closest attempt to doing the right thing I’ve seen so far.

      • Unaco says:

        I just watched the video on the IndieGoGo page, and saw not a hint of “the greatness of Ayn Rand”. He mentions that the singleplayer/story campaign would be based on the story/plot of “Atlas Shrugged”… but that’s all. I can see that being a good choice for such a game. But there was zero, nada, no praise for Ayn Rand.

        Am I missing a video, or did you just hear the name Ayn Rand and go slightly deranged? Does the very name ‘Ayn Rand’ evoke such knee jerk outrage?

        Also… why is the guy ‘creepy’? You getting that from his voice or what?

        • BAshment says:

          That’s what I was thinking. Even if he was pro ayn rand and objectivism I don’t think people are kick-starting projects because of the dev’s philosophical stance. I mean how dare someone have different opinions to you right?

          • MadMatty says:

            Hell yeah Starship Corporation looks great, like a slightly shifted focus from FTL.
            Gameplay doesnt have to be complicated, to be complex. That is, if you make a good UI.

            And after Wikii´ng Ayne Rand, im gonna read a book of hers, or watch one of the movies, aswell

            hehe

          • ReV_VAdAUL says:

            Given how awful and deeply unenjoyable the last attempt to adapt Ayn Rand’s screed was: http://www.metacritic.com/movie/atlas-shrugged-part-i it is an issue that directly affects the quality of the game content if the campaign is to be based upon it.

            In addition, of course people can decide not to fund a Kickstarter based on the beliefs of the person requesting funds. A vocal group of misogynists had extremely strong opposition to the Tropes vs Women kickstarter because it promoted Feminism for instance.

          • BAshment says:

            @rev
            Of course people can do whatever they want. My point is not funding a game that you otherwise would of funded, because the story will be based on a novel by someone you don’t like, is quite close minded. The trope documentary is not a fair example, for one it is not a work of fiction and actively promotes feminism Therefore it makes sense that someone that hate’s feminism will not fund it, and would probably derive no enjoyment from it.

          • Herzog says:

            @madmatty: If you want to watch a movie dont watch the new Atlas Shrugged movie, its terrible. If you want to watch a movie based on Rands work I would suggest The Fountainhead (1949) with Gary Cooper. In case you want to read anything I think it doesnt matter. Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are a good start ;)

          • malkav11 says:

            Ayn Rand’s works are extremely shoddily written propaganda, so wanting to base the story of one’s game on them does not instill me with confidence that that story will be well written nor that it will not attempt to push political beliefs that I find extremely objectionable. And I for one do think game stories are important.

          • Raiyan 1.0 says:

            Everybody knows that the best Randian movies are the Ironman films.

            “I’ve successfully privatized peace.”

          • MadMatty says:

            Yeah the Gary Cooper one sounds fine, tho i think i´d rather read the book, or one book. Most movie adaptions of books are lacking, to say the least.
            As for that “feminism” kickstarter- that wasn´t a feminist- that was a dingbat.
            Someone must´ve not seen the videos.

            As for “shoddily written propaganda” …well, reading like 20 pages of a library book, then putting it down won´t exactly leave me convulsing wildly. I read it was a bit of anti-communist propaganda here and there, and her witnessing in the anti-communist McCarthy trials… fled from Russia and so on…. atleast it sounds like it has a bit of controversy.

          • Unaco says:

            He’s mentioned that Atlas Shrugged is an inspiration for the theme of the Hero Entrepreneur (so the Player character and the heads of other Starship Corporations will be individuals, with ‘personalities’ etc). Also for things like Corporations being more powerful than Governments or entire Planets. He’s not going to be following the story of the book exactly… so how shoddily written the book is won’t have any bearing. He’s even said it’s as much inspired by Asimov’s Foundation series as Atlas Shrugged, but no one is even mentioning that.

            I think it’s a good fit… I want to be running Weyland Yutani, and not British Leyland, in the game.

            As for the book itself… It is pretty shoddily written, 90% of the philosophy behind it is bullsh*t… but the story/plot to it aren’t actually that bad, in my opinion… it does have that escapist quality to it, and heroes and villains and triumph through adversity and pirates and sex on a train and all that. If it was 1/3 the length, it would maybe be bearable.

            What I’m still not getting is why simply by mentioning Ayn Rand and/or Atlas Shrugged does the game suddenly turn into a love letter to Randian Objectivism and philosophy? Why does the guy become creepy, seriously? To me it’s a purely knee jerk outrage reaction to the name Ayn Rand. He mentions Aliens… Does that mean the game automatically praises Militarisation and Fascism? 2001 is also mentioned… Does that mean the game promotes the ideas and philosophies of Friedrich Nietzsche? If someone makes a game that has a ‘Biblical story’ or biblically inspired story, does that mean the creator is praising Christianity? Or are they just using aspects of these works as inspiration without necessarily espousing the beliefs/philosophy of these works?

          • USER47 says:

            It is funny how everyone is sensitive about Ayn Rand, but nobody criticizes for example Bioshock with its extremely shallow take on antilibertarian message…

          • malkav11 says:

            Aliens is an action movie. 2001 is a science fiction story. They may draw on or tacitly endorse certain viewpoints, but they are primarily there to entertain. Unless the person drawing on them as influences is specifically keying in on aspects of those works that make me uncomfortable (if any), I’m not likely to be bothered. Ayn Rand’s books are a thin veneer of fiction to make the pill of her philosophy go down better. They are explicitly there to try to convince you of the rightness of objectivism. Invoking her work as an influence automatically reads as invoking objectivist philosophy as an influence because there is nothing else there to mine. I would be similarly skeptical of someone invoking the Bible unless they were explicitly treating it as a work of mythology from which to mine cool resonant images because there is an entire genre of Christian media out there that is all about pushing the ideology (and sanitized ideology-friendly content for the already converted). I mean, we’ll see, I suppose. But I’m not buying into this game before it’s out and evaluated.

      • Smurph says:

        I checked the personal page for the guy making Starship Corporation, and the guy talks about how he has no programming experience and is using GameMaker to develop the game. I could see making a game of that scale alone being hard for an industry veteran,l much less a newbie. And I’ve never heard of the tool he’s using. The video does look pretty nice though.

        • USER47 says:

          Uh, you never heard of Game Maker?:-o

        • Cerebulon says:

          There’s a playable alpha version of the ship designer available on the game website and it works well. Game Maker is used by a lot of people who don’t have programming experience… Of course that mostly means kids with awful, awful end products… But this guy certainly seems to know what he’s doing.

          As for the copyright stuff, he’s said that the sound effects in the trailer/project video are placeholders and I’d imagine the company names in the game are too, he’ll probably replace them with similar sounding, but non-copywrited versions long before release.

          As for it being free to play, I’m not sure where but he did definitely say it somewhere, possibly on the forum when questioned about it. Note that the reward tiers only include “Access to the multiplayer game”. I believe the plan right now at least is he intends to have the base game free, with a one-time payment of something like $5 for a multiplayer account, and some extra ship hulls and mission types for sale later. By the menus in the playable alpha, there is still a hell of a lot that will included in the base, free game.

  3. Shadowcat says:

    I love pinball but I’d be more excited by an entire collection of new tables rather than mostly recreations of previous Pro Pinball titles.

    I guess that’s indicative of the struggle that has always accompanied the Pro Pinball titles — how to convince people that any single one of these tables is much better than any collection of multiple tables that other pinball games offer.

    The existing collection of Pro Pinball tables represents an enormous amount of development time and effort. There’s no way that they could churn out a whole new collection of tables of that quality in this timeframe. They’re doing what they’ve always done — making one great table, which will very likely be ranked among the best of the best. The “remastered” original tables should bring compatibility improvements, some graphical niceties, and (most importantly, I think) even better physics to what are still the best PC pinball tables around.

    People who love pinball should be excited about this, and I think the two new pledge/reward levels are very fair (and if you still only want the new table, it’s just $15).

    • Adam Smith says:

      True enough and I still really hope this makes it.

    • Colonel J says:

      Very excited by this one, and I agree $15 is fair for the one new table but I do think their price points for the full package were set too high and will have put people off. The new $30 tier for the 4 remastered tables and the one new one is more like it – much more attractive than the original $50 tier.

    • mwoody says:

      Alright, fair enough; sold at the $30 tier. I complained they were too pricey in last week’s kickstarter, and now that they’ve dropped their prices… *Sigh* my poor wallet.

  4. Hoaxfish says:

    I think at this point in time we can proclaim FTL as an example of Kickstarter working, though FTL had a lot of development before it even came to Kickstarter.

    I guess the next step is to have one of the games that only really entered development because of a successful kickstarter reach completion.

    • BurningPet says:

      Since FTL was never literally Kickstarted by KIckstarter and only used the platform after completing more than 3/4 of the game, then no, FTL is not that one example people keep referring to when asked to provide a successful project that actually delivered.

      Not that i don’t think we wont see any, but as far as know, i haven’t seen any one yet in the gaming category.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Yeah, I chipped in for FTL but the company was primarily using KS to drive media and preorders. It’ll be 12 months b4 anything genuinely new emerges from the KS trend, if ever.

        • servercat says:

          “No time to explain” was an orignal project, funded through kickstarter. Just before the big boom in games at KS.

          • pakoito says:

            I backed it and ended up very disappointed :( Flash game with awful performance, glitchy and incomplete. Also it was “season one” so he sold just a handful of levels.

    • Big Murray says:

      I think it’s rather unfair to have companies using Kickstarter in the manner which FTL did, because it’ll create consumer expectation that you should have a lot to show already before you put your project up. Which’ll lead to projects which genuinely can’t get off the ground without funding not getting sponsored by many people, while companies which show up with a near finished game saying “Hai, look at our shiny new game, publicity please?” will become the norm.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        I think they need a balance.

        The opposite of FTL’s kickstarter are the projects that have absolutely nothing to show more than some “ideas”. For unknown people (as opposed to double-fine/obsidian/etc celebs) it’s rather hard to get people to trust that they can or will deliver on promises if they have nothing to show in terms of professionalism or skill.

      • mwoody says:

        You make a good point. I’ve caught myself skipping over projects that have little to show for it in terms of video or screenshots, which really goes against the idea of kickstarter. But the problem is: making games is hard. I have zero faith in the abilities of someone who has never done this before and only has an idea, but hasn’t gotten far enough along in development to know exactly what has to happen to complete the project.

        I guess we should just think of it as “kickfinisher” where gaming is concerned.

        • Baines says:

          The ones with little to show for it arguably shouldn’t be seeing support.

          It would be just as bad for Kickstarter if too many people start to believe that they can get thousands of dollars just for posting their pipedreams, because many of those people are going to have trouble delivering (if they intend to deliver at all).

          If you aren’t a known quantity, then you really should need to show evidence that you have a real project, and that you have the drive to work on that project. Otherwise, why should people trust you? I’ve seen too many things started with good intentions that stall out or fail. I’ve stalled out on too many of my *own* projects, when I haven’t held my nose to the grindstone.

  5. malkav11 says:

    Conclave is pretty cool and already fully functional – the Kickstarter funds would go towards expanding the amount of content and adding new features rather than coding the game in the first place – and they’ve made the game completely accessible for free during the Kickstarter window at http://www.playconclave.com.

    I recommend checking it out. And if like me you enjoy it, $10 is the minimum buy in to get the full game content (and be able to invite your friends to paid quests whether or not they’ve spent any money). Just do it soon!

    • Illessa says:

      Yeah, the beta is pretty limited but shows a ton of promise given all the improvements they’ve been talking about working on. I’ve been having a lot of fun with half a dozen games on the go with several different friends in markedly different party arrangements, just experimenting. The 10×10 room guys sound upbeat and like they have some sort of plan for failure in the comments. But I’d love to see a last minute turn around for them in the remaining 10 hours.

      • malkav11 says:

        They now have a $5k backer and are a bit over $7k from their goal with four hours to go. Here’s hoping!

        • AngoraFish says:

          Looks like the devs and their mothers dug deep into their credit card balances to make sure they didn’t walk away with nothing.

  6. hello_mr.Trout says:

    perhaps not entirely appropriate, due to it having a post earlier in the week, but the blackspace project seems pretty deserving of attention: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1035580424/blackspace-plan-dig-defend-survive. an rts with destructible terrain! i’m surprised it isn’t a genre staple. now, if only there was a kickstarter to splice this with planetary annihilation…

    • Adam Smith says:

      I actually wrote the paragraph for Blackspace yesterday and then, like a great idiot, forgot to copy it in today. Added it now. Thanks for the reminder!

    • abandonhope says:

      I’m really surprised Blackspace isn’t doing MUCH better, like halfway to goal already. Where are all those people who complained about Planetary Annihilation’s cartoony style? Kickstarter makes absolutely no sense sometimes.

      • ffordesoon says:

        Pet theory of mine that has purely assumptive and probably incorrect evidence behind it:

        Most of the people who complain about “cartoony graphics” talk a good game, but when push comes to shove, they find graphics focused on being photorealistic dull as dishwater, and that’s reflected in their spending habits. i don’t think even they realize it.

        Also, I think how well-lit their room is and how bright their monitor is plays a huge part in their complaints, as does the increased level of color vibrancy on LCD monitors in general, and even how close they sit to the monitor. There’s also an ingrained preference for prebaked CG sprites among PC RPG and RTS gamers in particular, even when 3D provides a better color balance and is more detailed.

        People who complain about cartoony graphics have likely been playing PC games since the days of CRT monitors, and also probably still put blinds or curtains over the windows in their rooms, assuming the room isn’t already windowless. CRTs used to look better that way, as I recall, so they’re probably still in the habit of keeping their room CRT-ready instead of LCD-ready. When they say Diablo III “makes [their] eyes hurt,” I think it’s largely because they play in a dark room with the brightness turned all the way up on their LCD monitor.

        Which, you know, of course that makes your eyes hurt. You’re still playing the game as if it’s got a bunch of slightly washed-out, static, prebaked 2D environments with equally washed-out enemies with jerky, canned animations on a CRT monitor. The game itself looks roughly equivalent to Diablo 2 in terms of color palette; it’s simply that it’s more vibrant than D2, because it’s meant to look good on an LCD screen at a variety of light levels.

        That could all be wrong, of course, but I do think someone should look into this, because it’s a massively important issue that nobody seems to think is massively important.

        • abandonhope says:

          You might well have something there. I was somewhat surprised at the complaints, simply because of how much PA’s art style reminded me of TA. Memory, fallibility, all that crap. It still doesn’t explain how slow out of the gate Blackspace has been. The way RPS reported on it was like, “Oh god, yes, THIS.” I thought that sentiment would be the norm. Was the TA name recognition really that valuable? I mean, yeah, it worked on me, but so did a similar project I had to judge on its own potential merit.

      • Hypocee says:

        My theory – ‘stower defence, innit. The other facets got me past that, but…it’s another tower defence game.

  7. Clean3d says:

    Sorry, I don’t get it. Water those italics for?

  8. MistyMike says:

    I only just noticed that you can see the reflection of Adam Smith’s face in that puddle of Kickstarter Ketchup.

  9. mjig says:

    I know that Kickstarter Katchup is for games only, but for those interested, the gaming web series Pure Pwnage has started crowd funding for their movie on indiegogo. They reached their minimum funding in under 24 hours but are still looking for more.

    http://www.indiegogo.com/purepwnage

  10. apocraphyn says:

    Cheers for letting us know about the Kyoto Bar, Adam. I’ll probably give it a look when Christmas comes. Go go, Project Eternity!

  11. ukpanik says:

    I’m surprised at the lackluster support for Pangenic. Maybe they do need more updates.

  12. Hoaxfish says:

    Something else cropped up this week… Kickstarter changed its Hardware and Product Design Project Guidelines:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/kickstarter-is-not-a-store

    As far as I understand it, it’s about making sure projects can deliver, and don’t overpromise (maliciously or otherwise). I’m not sure how this effects video-games since the “main product” is electronic data (so making multiple copies is trivial)… Apparently (in the comment section of that blogpost) it’s just specifically the “Hardware” and “Product Design” sections of the site, so not games.

    But, I think things like Occulus and Ouya would have broken these new rules.

    • AngoraFish says:

      The changes should apply to games as well. Planetary Annihilation would have fallen foul of the rule change – there are going to be a lot of disappointed backers when they realise that nothing shown in the pics or videos was actual gameplay, or even an actual game engine.

  13. Slinkyboy says:

    Every time I watch the same Starship Corporation – Coronado Games video, I always see something new and interesting, but it’s the same video ><

  14. Oathbreaker says:

    Can we please have each game tagged with a few keywords? Like RPG, turn-based tactics, strategy, 8-bit, FPS, RTS etc?

    Cheers.

  15. step21 says:

    Not strictly games related, but comics are almost like games, right? The incredibly beautiful wormworld series (Not your standard webcomic!) is having a kickstarter right now, to raise money for a line of merchandise to keep the project going.
    Check out the graphic novel for free, in multiple languages, here: http://www.wormworldsaga.com/
    The kickstarter with some awesome goodies, is here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/daniellieske/the-wormworld-saga-treasure-chest

  16. crinkles esq. says:

    Project Eternity is a game that would not be allowed on Kickstarter if it had been submitted after the site changed its submission rules. They no longer allow projects which do not have a prototype to show. Credit reels and developers talking about how pumped they are no longer satisfy the minimum requirements. I think it’s a good thing, but it will require game studios to do more up front. [note: I have nothing against Project Eternity]

    And Starship Corporation…well, I hope that guy is ready to lawyer up with the amount of assumedly unlicensed footage he used.

  17. step21 says:

    @crinkles esq: The change is for hardware products only afaik.

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