Kickstarter Katchup – 13th October 2012

By John Walker on October 13th, 2012 at 11:12 am.

Er, hello. Um, I’ve completely forgotten how to do this. Where do I put the red wires again? Adam’s been in charge of the Katchup for so long that at this point I’m filling in for him. I think I’ve got it, hang on. Phlurrbbubububububub. Phlurrrbbububuubbb. Phlurbububububububububububububububu…

Got it. So, down below you can see the gaming Kickstarters that have caught our eye of late. I’ve managed to nab one of those weeks where lots that Adam has been following have just ticked over their targets. Thus stealing all sense of closure from him.

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 me know about a game (which you can do via my name at the top of this article) 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 me 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.
  • Obstructing the Katchup’s doors can be dangerous. Please remove all bags, coats and heads before travelling.

The Winners

Monsters! A 2D Shooter – Zenas Bellace

A RoboTron for the retro future looks like it’s wanted. The four thousand bucks is safely in the bank, with four days still to top it up.

Scrumbleship – dirkson

Real life space ships are built of voxels, so it only makes sense that a virtual simulation of the same would be popular. There’s still a week on the clock to see by how much it can exceed its $8k.

Ring Runner: Flight Of The Sages – Ring Runner

And top-down space shooting will see the sweet light of day now Ring Runner has ticked over its $12k. There’s still a month left for this one to keep topping up, and obviously there are now stretch goals. They’re reaching for $50k, which they believe will allow them to bring it to XBLIG.

M.O.R.E. – IdeaLcenter

Adam wanted this space strategy-me-do to win so he could write, “Please sir, can I have some MORE?” “Yes you can! In a few months time.” WELL I WROTE IT. HA. $50k dinged, with two weeks remaining.

The Losers

Papier Adventure – Spycraft Studios

The pencil sketched adventure didn’t even get 10% of the way there. They’ve yet to formulate their plans for carrying on regardless.

The Players

Citadel Of Sorcery – MMO Magic

Goal: $700,000
Now: $20,266
Days: 26

Pretty much every MMO announces itself by promising it won’t be like all the others, won’t have generic quests, and won’t have spawning monsters. Citadel Of Sorcery is doing the same. I am old and somewhat cynical. However, if they can stick to their promises this could be intriguing. They’re after a vast amount of money, without a big name hook, so it’s going to be tricky. Check out the increasingly silly video to see their huge promises:

Nexus 2: The Gods Awaken – HD Interactive/Most Wanted Ent

Goal: $650,000 goal
Now: $126,343
Days: 15

Talking of huge amounts of money that probably won’t be enough, Nexus 2 just added $36,000 in a week (although this is only half what it raised the previous week), but needs one heck of a lot more if it’s going to get close to its massive $650k target in the next two weeks. The tactical space game is going to need to get some sort of very high-profile plugging if it’s going to jump into the super-big leagues.

Blackspace – PixelFoundry

Goal: $350,000
Now: $123,043
Days: 5

Gosh, it really is the week for it. $12,000 added on – enough to fund most the games we cover here – and it still doesn’t make a dent in the target. There’s under a week for the tower-defence-cum-space-strategy to almost triple its funding.

Starjacked: The Aventure Begins – Tanuki-geddon Studio

Goal: $25,000
Now: $896
Days: 15

Kickstarted space sims really do seem to be the most volatile genre, and a pretty busy one. On the pile is Starjacked, which combines space flight with first person exploration, in elaborate political machinations. In the somewhat cute video, they explain, “If we don’t make our goal, we will feel a little disappointed.”

Sword of Fargoal 2 – Fargoal, LLC

Goal: $50,000
Now: $35,519
Days: 1

Ooh, this one’s going to hurt. They’ve made an epic $11k in the last seven days, but it’s not enough. With just 12 hours left on the clock, they still need another $15,000. A superbly run campaign sadly doesn’t look like it was enough. Sad face.

Timber And Stone – Robert Reed

Goal: $50,000
Now: $10,629
Days: 13

When historians look back at Kickstarter they’ll add, “And it gave us voxels.” A sadly poorly conceived video fails to say what the game is before it starts explaining its minutiae, but this is a city building game that owes the usual amount to Minecraft. To me it looks like Minecraft meets Settlers, but am I’m actually now asleep thanks to the somnambulistic commentary.

Divine Space – Dodo Games

Goal: $100,000
Now: $5,174
Days: 41

RPGs really aren’t set in space often enough. After $100k, with a month and a half to get there. This has to be the first dubbed Kickstarter video I’ve seen. It’s an ambitious video, but one where you can’t help but scream, “GET ON WITH TELLING ME ABOUT THE GAME.” The final version of the game will be completely free, and actually free, not “free to play”. It’ll have ship construction (because apparently all Kickstarter projects must now), and there are plans in place to turn it into an MMO.

Devil’s Cove Adventure Game – Anarchy Enterprises

Goal: $185,000
Now: $5,189
Days: 18

Anarchy Enterprises have made lots of games, and the majority would be labelled ‘casual games’ by many a man. Hidden object hunts, basic browser-based tycoon games and the like. Presumably, their attempt to Kickstart a more traditional point and click adventure speaks, at least a little, of an inability to gather the more extensive funding required to make a game of this type. Whatever the purse that funds the development of the rest, this dark mystery set in a cursed town requires the assistance of you, the public, and much of your money. $15 is the minimum pledge for a copy of the game and the video shows off a fair bit of the environmental and character design. But only a couple of grand has been poured in this week, making this not look too hopeful so far.

And Another Thing

AdventureX 2012

Returning for a second year, AdventureX is a small adventure gaming show in London. They’re looking to raise a teeny $2,200 to get this year’s secured for the 15th and 16th December, to enable it to be completely free to attend. And they’ve already announced adventure supremo Dave Gilbert as a guest. They’re a thousand dollars in, with a good amount of time to see the rest raised.

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45 Comments »

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  1. XisLoose says:

    A friend of mine has an Indiegogo project running that might interest a few people here.
    They’re making an action-comedy webseries about online gamers. Worth checking out :)
    Link here .

    Important note: It’s a flexible campaign, meaning they get the money even if they don’t reach their goal.

  2. Caiman says:

    The Sword of Fargoal 2 guys are doing a Kickathon for their final push, which seems like a great idea. Seems like a cliff they have to climb, but stranger things have happened. Really loved the first one so fingers are crossed.

    • Scifibookguy says:

      Sword of Fargoal 2 made it’s goal by a whopping… $161! Grats to them :)

  3. ThTa says:

    Also worth mentioning: Star Citizen managed to reel in some $445,000 in one day, from just 4500 backers, despite the site being down most of that time. (On that note, the site’s still misbehaving a bit, which is why I’m personally still waiting to pledge.)

    To which I say: You done good, humanity. You done good.

    • wodin says:

      But be aware that the SP side of the game isn’t the focus apparently..I’ve heard they want 4 million before you get a fully fledged single player experience..otherwise it’s more like a tutorial…

      I have my eyes on Rogue System for SP game if SC doesn’t deliver in that respect.

      • RakeShark says:

        False. You could certainly argue the options and scope of the Freelancer-esque multiplayer is bigger than a Wing Commander-esque single player, but the focus is on both equally.

        Besides, Roberts loves to tell stories. Everything he’s done has had story as a central focus, arguably sometimes to the detriment of other parts of the game.

  4. Premium User Badge

    c-Row says:

    Anybody remembers the name of the project where you could construct your own spaceships in an isometric perspective? I think somebody mentioned it in the comments of a previous Katchup…

    • stiffkittin says:

      Not sure if these are what you mean but both space shooter-sim Skyjacker and space sandbox Kinetic Void have construction mechanics that take place in a 3rd-person “shipyard” view.

      EDIT: Just noticed your question already answered below – Starship Corporation.

  5. KDR_11k says:

    Good, with all those games with spaceship building I won’t need to make my own. Well, it’d be enough if e.g. Blockade Runner would finally add combat in a proper capacity but that doesn’t seem to be a priority for them when they can just keep pushing it as a crappy 3D model editor.

  6. Col Sanders says:

    Don’t forget that Starship Corporation reached it’s funding goal on indiegogo :D
    http://www.indiegogo.com/starshipcorp
    http://www.starshipcorporation.com/news/index/

    First kckstarter thingy I actual put money in..
    Might also be what c-Row is on about?

    • Premium User Badge

      c-Row says:

      Yes, that’s the one! Thank you. :)

    • Prime says:

      Yeah, it reached the online multiplayer goal but failed to get up to the Story led-campaign goal. That’s a shame – I love a good sci-fi story, me.

      [EDIT] Reading fail! Hurrah! The Pre-order is still running so they think they can get the rest of the funds they need from that! Awesome!

      • wodin says:

        Just like Star Citizen then (well that has the SP side that sounds like a tutorial to the main event an MMO..yawn)..I will wait until I hear they have a proper fully fledged SP game. God I hate all this MMO bullshit.

  7. mwoody says:

    Wow, kind of a depressing week for Kickstarters. I’d say it’s the bubble bursting, but it seems to be more that we’re seeing larger and larger asking prices, and they’re just not sustainable.

    • Premium User Badge

      melnificent says:

      Just the greedy side of humanity showing through…… I miss the genuine kickstarter projects and realistic budget goals.

      Why does every other project want $200k+?

      • Hoaxfish says:

        I think one of the main problems is that nobody really gives coverage to failed kickstarters.

        Successful ones get a round of applause when they end, the big ones get rolling articles (during the funding period, and afterwards as they progress). Throw in talk about how Publishers are dead, long live Crowd-funding, and you have “ideas” running wild.

        I think I’ve seen maybe one or two articles in total that actually deal with failed kickstarters, and those took a dry academic view in terms of “how to do it right next time” (arguably an assumption that all Kickstarters should be successful, and failure is abnormal)

        So, the majority of coverage is “big success all day every day” while the failed projects simply disappear.

      • malkav11 says:

        200k is actually a pretty tiny game budget. For under that you’re talking either a very small team (probably only a couple of people at most, at least in a full time capacity) or a significant amount of external funding. So I question the idea that these larger figures are “unrealistic” budgets. Certainly, it may be unlikely that they’ll get there, but it’s likely closer to what they really need to make the game.

        • Premium User Badge

          melnificent says:

          true 200k is a small amount for a game project, but when you have the 3-4 man teams saying we need 200k+ (and more frequently 500k+). Then you have to question the project goals and spend.
          4 people doing it from scratch, with their own kit and a livable (not great but not minimum) wage. And you should be looking at 100k for a year.
          Considering most of these projects are aiming for release within a year then they are over inflating to fleece the goodwill of the public….. ie. behave like the publishers they are claiming do that sort of thing.

  8. Premium User Badge

    yhancik says:

    Oh gosh, That Divine Space picture… it’s like they mashed together Star Wars fan art, a sci-fi porn DVD cover and a screenshot from Eve Incarna

    • AntiDanilevski says:

      Hello there, yhancik!

      Yes, our artist made it on intention. We have been chosing from couple of other ideas but decided to go for this one, because old-school spirit of our game. Thanks for noticing this, it’s exactly how we wanted people to see that picture (and our movie too).

      By the way, some other pictures that could be there are on our site, main page.

      Thanks to John for adding us to that article! We hope to bring you a good and intersting game with a good storyline.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Jackablade says:

    Citadel of Sorcery looks a little concerning. Everything about that video, coupled with the fact that the team appears to have been hand picked from the Hotwheels Crash team at Mattel Interactive (really), makes my bullshit senses tingle. And yet based on the amount of money that’s been pledged so far and the amount of time left, they could actually make the 700 grand.

    Even if we assume that the team is more competent than a quick glance would indicate, the project that they’re pitching is impossible – a vast, procedural world that also has meaningful quest content individually tailored to each player and the kind of scripted NPC interaction seen in the trailer? Even a seasoned MMO developer with a huge team, hundreds of millions of dollars and a vast amount of time would be unlikely to be able to pull that off.

    If this thing gets funded and then crashes and burns spectacularly, it’s likely to put a pretty serious dent in people’s inclination to fund games through Kickstarter.

    • Calneon says:

      I agree, I have no idea how they plan to pull it off. They want to make quests that actually mean something, yet they’re relying on procedural generation? It doesn’t look like they’re going to succeed anyway, an average of ~$227 per backer, including one of $10,000.

    • malkav11 says:

      I am straight up not interested in ever crowdfunding an MMO, I will tell you that. So I for one will be unfazed by this project not delivering.

      Seriously, it’s a genre that doesn’t work for most companies with significant budgets and real design chops, and in which even the best entries in the genre tend to provide less interesting play experiences than their singleplayer/smallscale coop counterparts. I have no idea why I would want that from indies, when the issues common to all MMOs are likely to still rear their head, but the budget and execution must inevitably be so much less.

  10. Hoaxfish says:

    The “Old School RPG” has turned into “Shaker” and they’ve actually started putting out information

  11. Prime says:

    I tried the demo of Ring-Runner. I had really really wanted to like this game but there’s just something I can’t put my finger on that’s putting me off. It might be the twitchy controls. It certainly looks gorgeous but the combat is…frustrating at times. Lots of pointless circling. Maybe it’s me getting old and creaky. :(

    Nexus, Nexus, Nexus…another game I find hard to recommend despite the jaw-dropping visuals. It’s the controls again, this time there seems to be a huge disconnect between what you tell your ships to do and what actually happens. Also, combat takes a geological Age, sloooooooowly whittling down shields and then subsystems with weapons that look awesome but feel as effective as paper spit-balls. As much as I’d love to see a sequel I don’t think I’ll be putting any money forward for it. Sorry, chaps.

  12. ZephaniahGrey says:

    I really feel for the guys doing Fargoal (I just got it! Far-goal!) they really have a lot of love for their project, and it’ll be sad if they don’t make it. I would have liked to play Timber and Stone too, so here’s hoping these guys continue on past this failure.
    It seems like the best way to succeed with Kickstarter is to set a small, easily attainable goal, and hope for me. Sealark only asked for $5000, and has made over $55000. I think when people are SURE a project will succeed they’re more willing to kick in and “win.” But when the project goal is too high, or seems unlikely, people are hesitant because they don’t want to be on a “losing team.” It’s stupid, because you lose nothing for backing a project that doesn’t make it, but people seem to not understand that, or the win/lose concept is just too strong in people.

    • Premium User Badge

      aleander says:

      Actually, more people need to fund Timber & Stone. In fact someone should make him a new video. This one is good as in it shows what the game is doing honestly, but it’s bad, because the game won’t happen if it doesn’t get a better pitch.

      • Scifibookguy says:

        I’m with you, I hope Timber & Stone makes it’s goal.

  13. Celimah says:

    Celimah here. I am on the Citadel of Sorcery team. Having read through your posts on our Kickstarter project, I would like to address some of your concerns. I guess the first one would be the “impossible” statement. We have been getting dueling responses and this is one of them. The other is “what have they been doing for eight years?” So, the answer to both those questions is we have created our own engine and a procedural world over the last eight years. It took us this long because we had to finance it ourselves, and time is also money. Could a big company with a big budget do this. Yes, but they haven’t. We have.

    Another response is why should an indie MMO use Kickstarter? Players are unhappy with the “less interesting play experiences” in MMOs. We were too. Big companies have big money, that they don’t like to risk. It is why the gaming public keeps getting those less interesting experiences. We have taken that risk ourselves. Again, investing our time and money over eight years. Yes, we are an indie company, but isn’t Kickstarter about helping people with great ideas who don’t have outside funding reach their goal? Many Kickstarter funds are simply an idea, and yet they are given the benefit of the doubt. We know our project is a really big one, so we are trying to show, and in our videos tell you, as much as we can at this point to let you know how dedicated we are. We are asking for help, and that is what Kickstarter is about.

    We have said we will make this game no matter what. That is true. If you had personally invested eight years of your life toward something you really believed in, wouldn’t you finish? But as you can tell by the amount of time we have been working, we haven’t had the money to make things happen quickly. Art is one of the things we haven’t had the time and money for. Our art has pretty much been for testing purposes. Real game art is one of the things we need Kickstarter for although there is much more we could use help with. We would really appreciate your help on our Kickstarter.

    • wodin says:

      I think your trouble is eight years ago the MMO market was new and fresh..now eight years later it’s stale and many are either fed up with them or never really got into them in the first place.

      Unfortunately you may have missed the boat.

      However saying this I’m no fan of MMO anyway and would rather developers concentrate on fantastic, deep single player games. So maybe my opinion is unbalanced.

      Still best of luck.

      • MyGoodFellow says:

        I know when I first heard about CoS years ago I wrote it off, myself. But when I checked back years later, it was still going. I’ve seen other games that were being shut down in less time than that. Some of them who had already found publisher funding and been pushed forward, only to be shut down at the last minute. I think of WISH when I think of that. A game I wanted to see become reality, shut down in the middle of beta by the investors. This kind of thing made me re-evaluate the claims of the Dev team for CoS, simply because they are still here, and their project is having information about it released steadily. This more than any other thing convinced me that they were serious about taking it to Live.

        I’ve seen big claims before too, but in a market that has ‘gone stale’ I think it is only stale because people are impatient to push out the next big winner, cutting corners and skimping on features that the players really want. Can the same be said of a developer who has had the determination over 8 years, to put together a game that could well change the market, again?

    • Scifibookguy says:

      I just wanted to chime in about Citadel of Sorcery, because I had some questions about the game, and the dev team responded very quickly. I have no worries about my pledge :)

  14. wodin says:

    Poor SoF upto 41,000 with 25mins left…

  15. Slinkyboy says:

    Yay, someone bought the Sword of Fargoal :D right?

  16. AngoraFish says:

    “Projects asking for fifty billion dollars, with 45c in pledges, fall off the list eventually. It gives more space for other games.”

  17. Celimah says:

    Thanks Wodin for the good wishes. However, our design is not out of date, no one has even come close to what you we are doing. We did really look ahead and have kept track of what has been happening in the industry. The only thing outdated is the look of our Art, and that is not our game art. The looks of the game will be different and comparable to other good MMOs in quality compared to what we have now. That is what we keep trying to tell everyone. The tech for our design is what we worked on because it was the hardest. Our Art will be fresh because it is one of the later things we are working on. It is really difficult to help people understand how much we have really accomplished when they are actually seeing our least impressive stuff. It is why we have been trying to publish interviews and have videos explaining the game design.

    Oh, and someone said something about procedural quests. Quests are not procedural. They are written by writers in a great program called ArticyDraft by Nevigo. Then our level builders use our Enact Tool Set (part of the tech we worked on so much) to build the quests and other story types.

    Last, our NPCs are not scripted. If you watch our videos you will see them moving around and they are NOT scripted. That is one of things the Enact Tool set does. We have over 400 NPCs in the Citadel right now, and they all are on our A.I. Net. No one knows exactly what they will do on any given day. The NPC makes those decisions. We can predict things they probably will do, like go to work or go home at the end of the day, but they could just as easily take the day off and hang out gambling or go to the auction. They could choose to meet a friend and go out dancing or go to the theater before they go home at night after work. They live their lives based on who they are.

    I hope this helps explain a bit more about what we are doing. Sorry if I am a bit long winded. There is just so much we are doing!

    Celimah

    • Scifibookguy says:

      Chiming in again… :) I was a programmer for over 25 years, and back in the 1980’s I programmed a piece of software for the IBM System/23 that was used to analyze programs written for that computer (and my boss made a lot of money on it). No one else ever wrote anything like it. So I have no problems seeing someone like MMO Magic create something that has never been written. And I’m still happy with my pledge :)

      • Celimah says:

        Hey Scifibookguy, We are finding people that have programmed have a pretty good idea how difficult it is to accomplish what we have done. And yes, just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done. All least that is what we believe. Thanks for the pledge. We can only hope more people find and support us!

    • wodin says:

      No problem. I can imagine how disheartening ti is to her negative comments and Ido wish you all the best in your game and really hope you succeed. I just have no interest in MMO’s so sadly wont back it. I do hope others will though.

  18. Premium User Badge

    jrodman says:

    Strangely, fargoal made it!

    • wodin says:

      WOW..do you think they where running around the banks or parents and family to get the money pledged before the time was up? I do…no way would you let it slip at 41,000 with 9,000 to go.

    • AntiDanilevski says:

      Guys made in in last minutes. There been a moment when they could fail… so close!
      Congratulations to them, I’ve added my little bit there too ;)

  19. AntiDanilevski says:

    Hi all, Divine Space is here!

    Thanks to John for addin us to Katchup and to everyone who backed us. This is very important for us – as for any other indie team – to get at least to 30% in first two weeks, and thanks to you all, this becoming possible. This is first (and only one) big portal who wrote about us, by the way.
    RPS, we ♥ you!

    I invite everyone whi isn’t there yet to join our crew and come aboard. It will be an interesting adventure, and we will delight you with fresh, regular updates and stories (don’t worry – they will be proofreaded, and sorry for my english by the way) .

    Meanwhile, come and listen some music on our Kickstarter page – it’s good, I’m listening it myself from time to time. Also, in previous update, you can find a demo of ringtone pack and listen it (4 ringtones and 22 sounds to make your mobile special).

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask, I’ll be glad to answer!

  20. Cor Cordis says:

    Ooooh, Project Eternity got funded already. It’s just that it managed the 3,5 milion mark so i guess you’ll be mentioning that in future news/interviews….