Kickstarter Katchup – 2nd November 2012

By Adam Smith on November 3rd, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

The British are coming! Lock up your tea, crumpets, biscuits, mild sexual innuendo and depressing postcards of empty beaches, because the toodle-pipping rotters need all that and more to fuel their infernal game-machines. The beginning of the Britstarter era brings a great deal of tempting prospects for your perusal – for starters, we’ve got the spirit of Bullfrog, the sequel to The Ship, a martial arts masterclass, dark fantasies and a dash of tweedpunk robo-horror. Never change, fair isles of wonder, never change.

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. Include the word Kickstarter in the subject line too if you care about making my life even slightly easier.
  • 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.
  • I’m not doing currency conversion on all of these, so do pay attention to prices since they now come in either US dollars or GBP. I’ve lumped all the British newcomers at the top this week.
  • If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae in our Katchup.

The Winners

Strike Suit Zero – Born Ready Games

Goal: $100,000
Now: $104,730

The ‘is it a mech, is it a spaceship’* game has blasted over the finish line and into the successosphere with two weeks to go, but don’t stop paying attention now because apparently there’s an exciting announcement due next week. The game does look splendid and plays well. With more than 2,700 backers, what are the chances of this though?

…the person who pushed us over the line was in fact Steven Masters, Lead Designer on Assassin’s Creed 3.

Over the line and into a haystack full of money. Hurrah!

*it’s both, thanks to the powers of transformation

The Losers

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

The sequel to The Jupiter Incident fell far short of its $650,000 goal, with just over $150,000 in pledges. It’s hard to see what went wrong, with an eager fanbase, decent videos and updates, and a proven team. Perhaps the goal seemed too high and people didn’t care to back an unlikely project? I still think we’ll hear from the team again soon, with a new approach.

Unfortunately we have not met our target but we have learnt a lot from doing our first Kickstarter campaign and we will use this exerience to evaluate the situation and decide what could be the best way forward for Nexus 2.

Here’s hoping the future’s bright.

The Players

Maia – Simon Roth

Goal: £100,042
Now: £23,914
Days: 25

Maia looks absolutely extraordinary and when a game can cite Aliens and Theme Hospital as influences then it certainly has the ‘talk’ part of any vocalisation/ambulation setup well in place. I’ve actually seen the engine being operated by an excitable Roth in the flesh, earlier this year at Rezzed. At the time, I formed the impression that he was a programming genius with excellent hair. I appreciated the former but just felt a sort of envy at the latter. I felt old. What I didn’t know at the time was that the actual ideas that all that mathematical wizardry was powering were quite so exciting. Watch the video and see if it’s not one of the most exciting things you’ve seen in a while. And I don’t mean the hair.

The Ship: Full Steam Ahead – Blazing Griffin

Goal: £128,000
Now: £5,605
Days: 57

Here come the British, riding in on a murder-ship of elegant design. The sequel to The Ship is allowing itself a stately two month period to sail into port. Nathan already wrote about it this week and deviously suggested that he was plotting to strike me down as I watched the video, which you can see below. Fear not for my safety though, because he doesn’t know about my hiding place, ‘neath decks and four leagues from the mizzen mast as the crow flies (I do not know anything about ships).

Kung Fu Superstar – Kinesthetic Games

Goal: £200,000
Now: £12,220
Days: 32

Out with the old, in with the new. Or maybe we can keep the old and have something new as well – let’s see how it goes. Kung Fu Superstar is a fighting game that aims to teach actual kung fu moves, along with other fighting techniques, while telling the story of an enthusiast who becomes an international movie star. It’s certainly ambitious, hoping to release on console as well as PC, with Kinect support where available, which may could mean on PC as well. Other control options will be available. The team have plenty of experience, counting Black, Dirt, GRID and Fables II and III among their experience, and the pitch is strong. I like the idea of using martial arts movies as a backdrop for the game, making it a sort of beat ‘em up Stuntman, but will the idea work? This is the problem with new things. It’s so much harder to imagine what it’ll be like to play them. A swordless Samurai Shodown maybe?

Sui Generis – Bare Mettle Entertainment

Goal: £150,000
Now: £6,070
Days: 27

The English clergyman Frederick William Robertson is said to have learned Italian so that he could Dante without losing so much of the poetry in translation and that’s the sort of thing that makes me feel lazy for having a pop-up Inferno picture book on my shelf. I was reminded of Robertson when I read that project lead Madoc Evans learned programming purely because he wanted to make this open world RPG. That’s the sort of dedication to an idea that makes me smile and I also have a great amount of respect for people who realise that the idea isn’t enough on its own. Hard graft, that’s so often the key. Sui Generis looks to be a technically accomplished dark fantasy sort of a thing, with no elves or dwarves but plenty of freedom. Well worth a look.

Sir, You Are Being Hunted – Big Robot

Goal: £40,000
Now: £23,504
Days: 29

Parish notice: Jim Rossignol of Big Robot and Jim Rossignol of Rock, Paper, Shotgun are one and the same. You are reading words on Rock, Paper, Shotgun about a Big Robot project.

Aristocratic robots hunt players across the procedurally generated British countryside in this survival horror game. The team have designed a world based around their own lives and it is therefore no surprise that it features acute awareness of class divisions, “a disembodied sinister butler”, moustaches and tea. Jim doesn’t have a moustache but he has enough tea to make up for that.

MaK – VergeGameStudio

Goal: $230,000
Now: $22,895
Days: 16

MaK is, as Nathan so correctly stated, a lot like Mario Galaxy and Minecraft smashed together in a Hadron Collider. That’s if, as I understand it, Hadron Colliders are a sort of meta-device whereby genres and creative works are thrown at each other until something new pops out at the other end. I’m almost certain that’s something Professor Timothy Science has said about them in the past. The resulting product is a gorgeous game of gravity and comedy. You really should watch the video.

Hero-U: Rogue to Redeption – Corey Cole

Goal: $400,000
Now: $166,620
Days: 17

Grarrghh. That’s the sound I make when I realise I’ve been a massive idiot, or when I’ve eaten one too many bags of crisps. Grarrghh. That time I stubbed my toe. The first time was due to idiocy though and it’s because I missed this off the list last week and that’s one of the most massively idiotic things I could have done. From the makers of one of my favourite series of games, Quest For Glory, Hero-U has one of the most delightful puns I’ve seen in ages as a subtitle. Much better than the sort of rubbish I churn out of the cheese-encrusted pun-barrel every day. We have an interview about the game and there’s a video below. Grarrghh. That was crisps.

StarForge – CodeHatch

Goal: $75,000
Now: $43,711
Days: 27

Jim baked a wisdom pie when he wrote these words about StarForge: “Any development team that tries to sell its crowd-sourcing efforts with a video of a multi-blade chainsaw fight on a spacecraft floating above a planet, ending with one of the characters plunging into the clouds below, gets my vote.” Pledgers receive a work in progress alpha and the huge scale of the sci-fi combat and construction is bewildering. Plenty of time to raise the rest of the cash and updates are coming thick and fast. This is a very open campaign with lots of communication and the alpha to boot.

Antharion – Orphic Software

Goal: $15,000
Now: $8,780
Days: 15

Antharion continues to remind me of a Spiderweb game and has added details of stretch goals that include crafting and cooking now, which means I’m duty-bound to be reminded of all the loaves I baked in Ultima VII as well. I’ve never made bread in real life so, to me, that kind of experience is a lot like raining nuclear fire on an alien planet from above or feeling bad about killing an ogre. It’s an old-school RPG that seems to have a definite idea of what it wants to be – exploration- and party-based, with simulated NPCs rather than talking signposts and tactical turn-based combat. Sounds good to me.

Interstellar Marines: Prologue – Zero Point Software

Goal: $600,000
Now: $69,883
Days: 25

This sci-fi co-op tactical FPS with nonlinear gameplay (one day I’ll take six lines to breezily summarise a game) looks good to me, with space-sharks that may actually be normal sharks that happen to be in space, and an extensive explanatory video. The ‘Prologue’ tacked after the title’s colon is a little worrying and even though they are currently kickstarting their game, the developers are already planning a trilogy, which seems to be jumping the gun a little. The big change since last week is an update of the tier system, providing four copies of the game for co-op play to anyone pledging $45 or above, as opposed to the $200 they cost previously.

Super Comboman – Super Comboman Team

Goal: $14,900
Now: $10,523
Days: 11

Physics-based beat ‘em up puzzler Super Comboman is more like a beat ‘em up with physics-based puzzles by the look of things. These descriptions really are quite cumbersome aren’t they? It’s the one with the talking fannypack. Lots of video updates, with another due sometime today, and strong progress since last week.

Distance – Refract Studios

Goal: $125,000
Now: $57,261
Days: 14

The follow-up to Nitronic Rush hasn’t found the fast lane yet, although there’s still time. It’s like Wipeout only the vehicles look a bit like Smartphones, until you realise they’re proper cars that grow wings when wings are needed. You can play Nitronic Rush for free right now to get an idea as to whether Distance might be your carburettor of fish and there’s a new gameplay trailer below as well.

Shadowgate – Zojoi

Goal: $120,000
Now: $63,045
Days: 23

The Shadowgate remake has a spring in its sagelike step, halfway to its target with more than three weeks to go. There’s lots of new artwork over at the project page, some of which is being added as downloadable calendars for the $30 pledgers. They’ll also receive digital versions of the cloth map. Even though it depicts very traditional fantasy scenes, I find all of the art appealing and that’s one way to make an older game attractive to a new audience without compromising its roots. Roots hate to be compromised.

Songmasters “The Music Wars” – ARMOGASTE

Goal: $20,000
Now: $11,220
Days: 29

I always thought that combining space and music instantly caused David Bowie to appear, or a vinyl recording of Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. Apparently it can also create a musical RPG that my brain still fails to understand. There’s a video that’s probably intended to help but doesn’t. Not really. A demo/tutorial is promised soon and maybe that will shed some light on the matter.

Forced – BetaDwarf

Goal: $40,000
Now: $14,217
Days: 28

The tactical person’s RPG, which emphasises teamwork rather than selfish loot-snaffling, has had a solid if unspectacular week on the funding front, but updates have continued steadily. I get the impression that a lot of developers have become more accustomed to the importance of the interaction that updates allow, or maybe that’s just because I tend to follow projects that are well-managed. I have a demo of Forced and said I’d try it out last week and then I did lots of other things instead. My head hangs in shame and I’ll be sure to take a look this week because, even if I’m sometimes too busy to do them justice as soon as I should, I really do appreciate Kickstarter projects that have something as advanced as a playable demo to show.

Divine Space – Dodo Games

Goal: $100,000
Now: $20,537
Days: 20

As I suspected, this space RPG/adventure project has seen the initial speed of funding reduced significantly as it comes into the middle period of its life. Based around real astronomical data, Divine Space is aiming to present a hard sci-fi core based around “a probable future” rather than a galactic fantasy world. There have been loads of updates, mostly with links to the development blog, going deeper into the science side of the fiction.

Ars Magica Video Game – Black Chicken Studios

Goal: $290,000
Now: $52,735
Days: 15

Ars Magica needs a kick up the arse and I mean that in the politest possible way. A kick delivered by a slipper made out of money. It’s the only way this RPG from the Academagia team is going to reach its target. There are extensive details about the combat system in the latest update.

Combat in Years of Conquest uses the tabletop system in full and adds in an extra dimension of environmental effects. On the tabletop, you have a GM to tell you what your surroundings are, and in the video game you have the Environment. This is an abstract set of features and conditions which are reachable by any party (with some restrictions on positionality) within the bounds of the combat. It’s very diverse, and can range from a tree, your wagon, a muddy pool and a boulder, all in one encounter.

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90 Comments »

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  1. LionsPhil says:

    Jim doesn’t have a moustache

    AND WHY NOT?

  2. Premium User Badge

    golem09 says:

    Sui Generis looks… amazing.
    This is really the tech I excpected from 2012.

    • mwoody says:

      Aye, completely physics-based combat, a full open world, and a constant-save system that means there’s no such thing as a “throwaway” fight – some lucky jerk with a dagger can end you if you don’t pay attention – are like a laundry list of my “yes, please” ideas.

      • Caiman says:

        Finally, after all these decades, someone finally comes up with a decent physics-based combat system for an RPG. However, until I read this comment thread and decided to check it out, I’d have totally ignored it. Generic name, generic artwork, generic description. Good lord guys! It’s terrible. But 2 mins into the video when that first sword fight comes along, and you want to pitch. But if they have so little idea about how to create a compelling name and universe, what hope for the eventual game based on the awesome tech? Still, they could remake Ultima Underworld with that and I’d sure as hell buy it.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah. I’ll put up with a slightly goofy run animation for all that delicious dynamic IK-and-physics-based stuff. Swordfights that aren’t just two people standing in place taking turns to slash at each-other!

      That beatdown toward the end is wonderfully “oh crap I am getting my posterior handed to myself”, much more so than a hitpoint bar emptying or a canned knockdown animation.

      The game isn’t really tickling me much, but for pity’s sake license out the tech.

      • Premium User Badge

        golem09 says:

        Well, there is no game yet, it’s tech only. And only tech made it spare time.
        But yes, they should license the hell out of it.
        Or even better, make it moddable. This would be the rpg maker of the new decade.
        And it would sell shitloads if you can get 3 total conversions for it in some years.

        • TillEulenspiegel says:

          It baffles me that nobody’s licensing their engine and assets, at least not at indie-affordable rates (a few thousand $). A complete fantasy RPG kit would be a wonderful, wonderful thing.

          You could make hundreds of completely different games using the exact same art and core engine, letting you spend all your time coding interesting new game mechanics and building a unique world.

          • Shuck says:

            The problem is that getting your work to the point where it’s licensable is usually more work than actually finishing a game with it. It needs to be complete, working (i.e. not buggy), and have polished, accessible tools and good documentation – that’s far more work than people realize.
            Also, selling assets is problematic as many buyers don’t look beyond graphics – if you’re trying to sell a bunch of different games with the same assets, the first game out the door will have the advantage.

          • InternetBatman says:

            Neverwinter Nights tried doing it with premium modules. It didn’t really work even though some were high quality. Personally, I think if Valve were smart they would make an RPG / RPG maker in the Source engine, integrate workshop, and let players go wild with modules.

            @Shuck There are plenty of RPG maker games that have sold well enough, and Jeff Vogel’s games have had the same assets for years.

          • Shuck says:

            @InternetBatman: Yeah, I guess I should have specified: for super-low budget games with crude graphics, that can work because people are clearly not buying the games for the visuals. Once you start getting into more complex graphics (e.g. using 3D assets), I suspect that quickly falls apart, though. If you need to sell a significant number of copies, that wouldn’t work.
            It’s unfortunate, as I’d like to see more asset sharing and reuse to drive down production costs.

          • TillEulenspiegel says:

            You seem to be talking about AAA standards, which really don’t apply to indie games. You can do great-looking stuff in 3D that isn’t bleeding edge. Look at, say, Torchlight for an extreme example.

            Of course I’d expect them to release their game first. And then work on polishing it up for third parties. But nobody ever does that, and I don’t get it.

            All that work producing art for one single game, and that’s it. Even if the game is a failure, the art’s still worth something, but nope, it all goes down the drain every time.

          • Shuck says:

            @TillEulenspiegel: It holds true to some degree once you get beyond the indiest of indie games. (Though certainly the bigger the project, the more true that is.)
            Licensing assets is also problematic for the developer who is going to use them – the assets are unlikely to fully match your needs (in terms of style, animations, having the full range of desired assets, etc.) which means creating new assets to match the existing ones and modifying the ones you license (which means you also have to have the source files in formats that are compatible with the tools you’re using). You end up spending a lot of time and resources getting them to work the way you need them to, after you’ve spent the money to license them. Which means they have to be really cheap to make that worthwhile (which decreases the incentive for the original developers). You’re better off paying someone in China next to nothing to custom make the assets to fit your needs, or exploit some would-be game artist willing to work for free (depending on your budget level).
            Which is to say: the art really isn’t worth anything.

    • StranaMente says:

      It looks interesting, but what is it about? Where’s the game in that? It’s a really wonderful tech demo, but no words were spoken about the story. I’ll wait until they say something more about what they’re trying to do with that tech.

        • StranaMente says:

          Thanks, now I read it.
          To be fair it looks a bit bland. The tale of your rising from peasant to saviour, you are the one, there’s a great evil that has been stirred by wizard, there are many unique npc’s that react to your actions.
          It’s not really inspiring.
          It can be anything, at this point, but it better be something less generic.

          • Premium User Badge

            golem09 says:

            Just that you don’t have to step in, and the story goes on without you.

      • pakoito says:

        From this point to Skyrim you only need map design and some basic scripting “if PC gets here trigger flag QUEST_15_COMPLETED” or “if NPC_783 is STATE_DEAD then activate flag QUEST_220_COMPLETED” :P

        • Premium User Badge

          golem09 says:

          Have you seen the work they put into the sky?
          Without any effort, this game could be turned into a third person Dark Souls or Skyrim sequel instead of an iso RPG.
          And I think it even already looks better.

          • StranaMente says:

            The fact that it has a great tech behind doesn’t mean anything, until there’s some interesting writing to support that, you know it, right?

          • Tuco says:

            @StranaMente: Story in games is (ironically) overrated. I want solid mechanics and compelling world interaction. A good story is great added value, sure, but it doesn’t make the bulk of the game I’m actually interested in.
            I would pick a solid game with the most dumb storyline over the most compelling tale ever told in games played through linear progression and quicktime events.

            That said, this game (Sui Generis) has a lot to prove but it surely looks ambitious and promising enough.

          • InternetBatman says:

            The great tech shows far more promise than most Kickstarter games. If nothing else, having that engine out in the world could mean some great mods.

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        They posted this: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1473965863/sui-generis/posts

        Still not a whole lot more info, but it says they’ll be posting more.

        EDIT: Wups, too late I am. :)

    • Premium User Badge

      yhancik says:

      For a moment (and partly because of the name, partly because of the “one-man engine”) I thought Sui Generis was related to a project I heard about a long time ago called Genesis http://vimeo.com/22471685

  3. Veedash says:

    Sui Generis, first thing that came to mind http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocTRdnLlGBc
    Argentine hippies.

  4. BigJonno says:

    Someone please throw piles of money at the Ars Magica game.

  5. TillEulenspiegel says:

    The prospect of an Ars Magica CRPG is extremely interesting. It’s one of the more unique RPG systems to originate in the 80s, nothing at all like D&D. They go into detail about how they plan to translate some of the more tricky parts to a videogame in the updates, which you should go read.

    My only concern with Black Chicken Studios is their interface design. Academagia’s interface was a real mess, but I haven’t played Scheherazade.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yeah, I’m hoping they’ve learned some lessons in interface design since then (though it’s worth noting that there is a shot of a dialogue screen on the main project page). Academagia is still really cool, but I think both it and this new project would have a significantly wider audience if it had been more approachable from a UI standpoint.

    • barnthebear says:

      I really hope Ars Magica gets more love (and by love, I mean funding)… Only fifteen days left, and they’re still a good bit away from their goal.

  6. Artesia says:

    People, please support Hero-U. I know that many (myself included) are disliking too cartoony art, but the game looks very promising nonetheless, authors are actively talking with people, taking suggestions and criticisms, small backer community is wonderful, and I can go on and on.

    Please, if haven’t played QfG series, and intrigued by adventure/RPG hybrid – try it now (it’s available on GoG, and there’s remake of the second game in the series, which you can get here http://goo.gl/McwQG ), I think you won’t be dissapointed. And when you tried and liked it – please, back Hero-U!

  7. kwyjibo says:

    As awesome as old Kung-Fu movies are, I’m unconvinced that Kinect will be able to accurately recreate your split second flurry of punches when it can’t even handle Fable: The Journey.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I think it looks neat, and if it came to the PC it could also be using significantly different (and better hardware than the Kinect). If leap motion ever came out it might work well, although it might have a short range.

      https://leapmotion.com/

      One of the things holding Kinect back is the extremely low resolution of its cameras. That could change quickly.

  8. Tiax says:

    It’s funny, I’m a huge fan of the first Nexus but I don’t care as much as Nexus 2 missing its target than Distance not being funded.

    Nitronic Rush was *so* good, I can’t even phantom how much fun Distance would be.

  9. Chizu says:

    I really want Distance to get funded.
    But its progress has been kinda slow, I have a horrible feeling its not gonna make its target, and that makes me very sad indeed.

    • The First Door says:

      I was just thinking the same thing. Sadly I think their tiers were perhaps a little off to begin with. Still, now they’ve put in a $35 tier for the exclusive car and are saying they want to support at least two-player split-screen I hope it’ll pick up a bit!

      • Chizu says:

        yeah, I bumped up my pledge to the new tier, and hopefully them announcing they will be supporting Linux at launch will perhaps bring a few more people in.
        Its not like they are not trying either, they’ve added the new gameplay footage, updated the pitch video, contacting loads of press sites and stuff, Actively replying to all their comments and listening to people on what they want.

        I really hope this manages to get a surge before the end like some kickstarters do, its sad seeing their effort go to waste.

        • Xocrates says:

          Same here.

          At this point I expect them to make it, but if they do they’re very likely to cut it very close.

          The game looks great, and it would be criminal if it failed.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Yeah. They feel high. ~£20 to get the game without a vehicle being locked out? Or even a tenner for with? For something that’s intermittent-play popcorn-entertainment (even if it’s very good at that)?

        It’s hard to not weight that up against the big, deep, sink-hours-into-them titles I’ve got for that kind of price in sales, even if I can totally spring twenty quid on having this game exist in my life.

  10. Megakoresh says:

    Sad story about Nexus 2. Not unexpected though, it was a marketing failure, nothing more. I hope they do some better PR for their next campaign, that game deserves to see the light of day.

    Here hoping that Distance makes it. I really really want to play that game.

    • Shuck says:

      Unfortunately it’s also a failure of Kickstarter itself. It’s almost impossible to raise significant sums for game projects, unless you have big names and/or serious nostalgia on your side. I suspect even with significant awareness, they just don’t have enough fans to make this happen. Only a tiny, tiny fraction of the people who would buy the game will support a Kickstarter campaign to make it, and the sales weren’t that great for the first one. Their only hope is if they have fans passionate enough to each kick in significant amounts of money.

  11. Moni says:

    What the hell? I wasn’t even aware there was a Nexus 2 kickstarter. I really liked the first game :(

    • Chizu says:

      I don’t think they publicized it enough, I only found out about the Nexus 2 kickstarter like the day before it ended, and no way was it gonna make its target then.
      I know a couple of people who probably would have been really interested in that, but they had no idea it existed.

  12. Ich Will says:

    Kickstarter coming to Britain has brought some wonderful projects onto it, I really cannot wait for it to roll out to further countries!

  13. Mr. Mister says:

    DISTANCE YOU CAN DO IT. I BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF HARDCORE DRIVING (aka SCREW GRAVITY).

  14. hemmingjay says:

    Maia is the best gaming investment you could make this year.

    • Belsameth says:

      This.

    • varangian says:

      So I wanted to pledge £15 to this but Kickstarter seems unwilling to co-operate. Like many sensible people I use Noscript to stop rogue Javascript hijacking the system. Usually allowing the host site to run script is enough to make payments but in Kickstarter’s case I had to allow cloudfront before it would allow me to enter a UK address and even then I had to enter a space for line 2 of my address (I don’t have one) as otherwise it insisted on ‘Apartment, suite, etc.’ being the entry. When I hit confirm it then just spun a time passing icon before telling me it was embarrassed at the delay and the pledge had failed. Trying again and enabling other sites didn’t produce any joy in the short time before my threshold of boredom was reached.

      Anyone encountered this and solved it? And how about a Kickstarter project to make Kickstarter fit for purpose. I’d definitely pledge money for that. Oh wait…

  15. Prime says:

    Sir, You Are Being Hunted looks like jolly-gosh-whee-wow-wizard fun, and Messrs Rossignol and Carey presented it with applomb. By chance, is it reasonable to surmise that the terrifying image of Master Rossignol’s soulless visage looming large over half the televisual display will remain in the final work? Lawks, that put the frighteners upon my soul, did that!

  16. EricShaun says:

    A shame Spud’s Quest wasn’t mentioned
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/409406442/spuds-quest

  17. Branthog says:

    As a filthy American, I have to say that I was a bit surprised the first time I ran into a Kickstarter in GBP. I hadn’t realized they had opened up to the UK that day, so I thought I’d accidentally been linked to a project in the UK and wound up with the wrong geo’s domain or settings for my account. Couldn’t figure that out. Then thought maybe I’d accidentally changed some display setting. Nope.

    Hopefully they will alter prices to display in whatever currency the person want. It’s incredibly simple (just do a daily or hourly check of conversion rates for the currencies involved and calculate that when displaying each page).

    As a stupid American, £ might as well be Microsoft Xbox Live Space Bucks. I’m all, like “I just backed this project with 20 squiggly Ls, but I have no idea what that is in real monies!”. :P

    Anyway, I love the flood of UK projects since this changed. This is really need. I had been planning to slow my project backing after backing my 300th crowd-funding project, but with so many great ones coming out this week, I’ve totally ignored that plan.

    • Demiath says:

      As someone from a small country with an internationally insignificant currency (i.e. the Swedish Krona), checking currency conversion rates seems like the most natural thing to do at least a couple of times a day. It’s not that big of a deal, really…but of course it would be nice in principle if all websites included a currency conversion algorithm by default.

      On a completely unrelated note, here’s the obligatory mention of the crowdfunding project for Grimoire, which all fans of classic RPG must check out:
      http://www.indiegogo.com/grimoireforever?a=1663056

    • The Random One says:

      That doesn’t work because you only get charged when the project ends (at the exchange rate valid when the project ends). Someone who was very cynical could very well sue Kickstarter because it said it was a $20.86 tier and he was charged for $21.33.

      Like Demianth, I’m from a country with an internationally insignificant currency, the Brazilian Real, so having to do conversion before you buy/back anything is second nature to me. Unlike him (probably) I find it very easy to get a rough estimate. Double the price if it’s in US dollars, triple if in pounds. Euro is a problem though. I think you have to double the price then divide it by three or something. It’s easier to convert Celsius to Farenheit (which I can’t do either).

    • mwoody says:

      I agreed at first, though the point about exchange rates changing by the time the thing ends is a good one. But for me, the larger problem is that UK projects have different options for paying, and I like to know that up front. All my other Kickstarters I’ve managed through Amazon Payments, but for UK stuff I have to just put in a credit card.

  18. Hoaxfish says:

    Could someone explain to me how Kickstarter is handling backer tiers in UK£?

    I can’t tell if it’s doing a 1:1 from $ to £ (i.e. more expensive for £ backing), if there is no $ version, or what?

    I’m not adverse to paying $10 for some games where I would baulk at £10.

    • malkav11 says:

      Kickstarter doesn’t set tiers, the project creators do. So I would assume that British people making projects would understand the difference between US dollar prices and pound prices and set their tiers and asks accordingly, but it will be up to them.

    • Branthog says:

      I’m not entirely sure I know what you mean. If a project needs 100k GBP, then it needs 160k USD. If I, as an American, back a project created int he UK for 10 GBP, then I am actually paying 16 USD (or whatever the actual conversion rate is at the moment I am finally charged, when the project succeeds).

      • Hoaxfish says:

        I think mainly my issue is that “10” is a nice round number and people like nice round numbers… so 10, 15, 20, 25 tiers are much more likely than 6, 9, 12, 15 (roughly the equivalent $ to £ rate atm). Of course, these projects using £, but sticking to “round numbers” are basically going to be more expensive for the base “get the game” tiers.

  19. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    Message to Jim – Sir, you have been funded (by me),

    Looking like you are going to reach your required funding without too much difficulty. Game looks like it is going to be at least a great experiment. Hope we get to see some more gameplay footage, once your Kickstarter ends.

  20. InternetBatman says:

    This week had a really good round of kickstarters.

    I loved the look of Kung Fu superstars, but kinda doubt it will get funded. Motion control games are a non-starter with a lot of PC gamers. Clang! had trouble getting its money and it had an amazing pitch video and Neil Stephenson attached to it.

    Sui Generis looked really cool, if a bit dark, and I even loved the somewhat janky combat animations.

    Mak looks amazing. Hope it gets there.

  21. neonordnance says:

    starforge looks truly amazing, as does SYABH.

    indie procedural shooter renaissance?

  22. pilouuuu says:

    Maia and Sui Generis look very great indeed! They show that while you can try old-school games while being innovative and using great technology at the same time.

    Hopefully Kickstarter will put PC gaming back on its rails, giving us innovative gameplay AND moving forward the technology which has been stuck since this generation consoles appeared.

  23. Core says:

    Shame that the Interstellar Marines game seems to be struggling to meet it’s funding goal. The game looks interesting.

  24. Slinkyboy says:

    Sucks that Nexus 2 failed, but they failed truly because they’re lazy pricks.They should work for free(invest time and money) to create new footage of the game they’re making if it’s supposed to be way better than the footage they made 10 years ago that they keep showing… Also they didn’t give us much info on the unknown team members.

  25. spectone says:

    NOT A GAME but a game creation tool

    The Game Creators are kickstarting “FPS Creator reloaded” a tool allowing you to easily create a FPS.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tgc/fps-creator-reloaded

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  27. Xocrates says:

    I said this before when they announced it and will say it again. The Ship kickstarter has a cool looking video and nothing else.

    I want a solid Ship sequel that fixes the problems of the first one, not a prettier remake.

    And while I hate to see a kickstarter fail, with that pitch and at the current rate I do not expect this one to succeed.

  28. Premium User Badge

    Jackablade says:

    Wait, what? Hold on, stop the thread. Back up a bit there…

    There’s a pop-up book of Dante’s Inferno?!

  29. Premium User Badge

    Rhygadon says:

    I have to say, both the video and the text for Sui Generis set off major alarm bells for me. Partly it’s the “If it’s possible for one autodidact to do all this, why can’t hugely-funded teams of experts pull it off?” factor. For indie-style goals that big companies simply don’t pursue, sure. But *everybody* wants beautiful terrain and dynamic volumetric clouds and murky water and and fully modeled 3D object interactions, running at respectable framerates. So why can this one guy do it if Bethesda et al. can’t?

    Partly it’s that a lot of the interest value depends on inferences that we are encouraged to make but that he doesn’t actually commit himself to. (I don’t think he ever explicitly says that the combat we’re seeing is actually being played out in real time, or that the enemies we see onscreen are being controlled by AI rather than a canned script or a second human.)

    Partly it’s that he keeps saying “we” in the video, but then says he did it all himself, and mentions no actual role for anybody else. There are other people listed in the text description, but the bios contain things like “He has maintained a low profile developing bespoke solutions” (convenient!) and “He also has an exceptional talent for conducting research, rapidly becoming an authority on almost any subject.”

    And then, of course, there’s the idea that dynamic simulated systems can substitute for quests, story or combat-system design. Here again, shoals that some of gaming’s most brilliant minds and best-funded teams have broken themselves upon. No indication that this team has given any thought to why this has failed in the past or what they’re going to do differently.

    I really really want this game to exist. I hope it does, and if it comes out I’ll buy it, and feel bad for having doubted such a team of geniuses. But I’d need to see a *lot* more before I could be convinced that this isn’t just a pretty graphics engine given the illusion of life by a whole lot of scripting.

    • Madoc says:

      Hi, Madoc Evans here.

      The only explanation I can give you as to why I can do what I did is that I’m extremely passionate about it and I’ve given this everything I possibly can.

      I did all the programming, yes. It’s not convenient that I’ve kept a low profile, it’s deliberate. I’ve turned down some very significant job offers because I just wanted to make this game, not develop IP for someone else. We might not have impressive resumes, most of us have known eachother since school and we’ve shared this vision for this game all our lives.

      We’re not substituting anything for story and most certainly combat system design, we’re trying to do something more with them. I’m quite confident our combat design can be considered extremely complex by any standards. But we haven’t implemented it yet, nor many other things, that’s why we’re asking for help. To be brutally honest after designing my entire engine and tools from scratch, the design of a combat system seems like the most trivial of tasks to me. We’ve been focusing on implementing the most challenging stuff, not the most significant in terms of gameplay.

      While our story might seem shallow and generic at first glance, it is the product of many years of inspiration and the meat of it is in twists, lots of them. You’re supposed to find these yourself while playing, we’re not going to spoil our entire game.

      I am sincerely baffled by the amount of skepticism we’ve encountered. It seems we are being compared to the Holy Grail of gaming rather than the actual games out there.

      Assuming you can believe that we’re indeed not charlatans after a quick buck, thank you for your compliments :).

      Madoc

    • Madoc says:

      P.S. Almost forgot. The videos are recorded in real time on an off the shelf mid-range computer. To compensate for the video’s horrible 30 fps we have the engine render each frame 8 times for smoother motion (yes, in real time). This is a feature available also in game. The computer doesn’t have fast storage (just a regular HDD) so we have to compress the video in real time which is a huge load on the system. Bottom line, it’s fast, really fast. In the videos I personally play one character and the other is AI controlled, all in real time while recording the video at effectively 240 fps.

    • Premium User Badge

      Rhygadon says:

      Hi Madoc —

      Thanks for the detailed reply. At one point while I was writing the above, I thought “Hey wait, given the reach of RPS the developers will probably be reading this, so I should try not to be hurtful” and went back to edit out pointless snark. Glad I did.

      I’m happy to see your clarifications re: what’s going on in the video; if your AI can really produce behavior like the way that the giant-ogre-thing kicks the fallen player back to get him into weapon range, that’s very impressive.

      As for why you’re getting so much skepticism, I think it’s just that much of what you say sounds like hubris coming from a new and untested developer. There’s a huge jump between getting a simulation system working and making it the basis of a *fun* and robust gameplay experience, and this is where so many past attempts have fallen down. Have you played Die By the Sword (the closest precedent for your combat system), and read the criticisms of how it played, and thought about how your combat system could avoid the same problems? Are you aware that plenty of high-profile games, dating back at least to Ultima Online, have promised living dynamic worlds and have wound up either scaling those back before release or finding that players mostly missed the complexity and just noticed the points where it delivered absurd results?

      Or, to put it differently: game design is a very different discipline from engine design. It may seem simpler, but in fact it’s probably more often the point of failure for modern RPGs and immersive sims, and in any case it requires a) different skills and b) a mind honed by analysis of other games in the same space. If anyone on your team has that skill set, you might want to make that clearer. If not, that seems like an important spot on your roster to fill ASAP.

      In any case, thanks again for taking the time to reply. Even if I still honestly think it’s hubristic, your vision does sound like something worth aspiring to, so I’ll go back it now. :)

      • Madoc says:

        Hi again,

        I sure did play Die by the Sword. Fantastically clumsy. Our game is nothing like that, not even close. You don’t direct your sword with the mouse, just your character and It’s extremely fluid and easy to play.

        I’m not some kind of idiot savant. My biggest strength is not programming skills but thinking outside the box. I only program so that I may achieve my vision for a fun game. I’m a creative person, I even did a large amount of the artwork such as the demon on our KS page and the armours in the game. 100% original concepts of mine, whether you like them or not is another matter.

        Just because we happen to have some nice tech it means that’s what we’re all about? It’s not. It’s simulation over repetive mechanical gameplay, it’s reactive characters instead of heavily scripted ones that turn into complete idiots as soon as you do anything that isn’t exactly what the designer intended. We want immersion and that also means a world that can react realistically to your actions.

        Most of us have been avid gamers for over 20 years and before we had computers we played PnP RPGs. We’ve done nothing but criticise game design and work on our own for as long as we can remember. Used to be that great games came from smart people who are seriously passionate about games, not acclaimed industry professionals in a market saturated with formulaic mass market products. Does no one remember those days? We haven’t had fun since. Just what is this fabled skill set? I’m pretty sure it’s mostly targeted at making money, I haven’t seen a complex design I don’t consider fundamentally flawed in over 10 years. We’re here to make intense fun, not money.

        I can see how this all sounds hubristic. It’s our vision, it’s what we hoped games would evolve into instead of what we’re offered today and we honestly believe in it. Maybe we won’t achieve everything we hope but so far we’re extremely pleased with what we have and we’re just getting started. At least it will be a step in what we consider the right direction.

        Madoc

        • Belsameth says:

          Thank you for your long and detailed answers. I too was on the fence about it, for the same reason as the original poster to which you responded. The fact that you responded here in, what seems to be, a direct and honest matter means I’ll see if I can free up some cash to back :)

        • khomotso says:

          I’m with Belsameth. I appreciate your earnest replies, but in my mind they reinforce the original concerns: I see a lot of what, tbh, I can only call immaturity. But I think your dedication will eventually carry you through to something special, and I’ve backed the project. It seems likely to me that this particular Kickstarter won’t succeed, but I think you’ll learn from that, and I want to encourage you to keep trying.

  30. KillahMate says:

    Is it just me, or does Strike Suit Zero seem far more interesting, both visually and conceptually, than that Star Citizen thing? It doesn’t have the CryEngine 3 hype behind it, but it just looks better. I’m guessing mostly due to excellent art direction, which is of course always more important.

    Conceptually, it doesn’t have Star Citizen’s MMO angle – those always make me wary – and it promises to bring something new to the space sim with the variable ship modes.

    I can’ be certain about any of this, of course, but I know that I will be contributing to Strike Suit Zero. Star Citizen, not so much.

    • mwoody says:

      i just can’t get in to any of these space sims. They all look and feel the same, which I know isn’t true but there it is. It’d take a Space Rangers sequel to get me to pay attention, I think.

      • WCG says:

        I agree. Partly, that’s because I really can’t play those ‘real-time’ space sims. As bad as I am at ‘real-time’ combat with a sword, I’m completely, utterly, impossibly inept at doing so with a spaceship!

        But I’m not interested in combat in space, either. That’s not why space interests me. I don’t have wet dreams about Star Wars or anything. Well, just different tastes, I know.

        But yes, Space Rangers was fun. Still, I would REALLY like to see more exploring and/or colonizing games in other solar systems or on other planets. I want some danger, of course, just not fantasy combat set in a space environment. Indeed, I’d prefer that the universe itself be the biggest threat.

  31. Premium User Badge

    Moorkh says:

    Damn, what a fine array of gems, this week. Too bad most will not reach their targets.
    Not because they are aiming too high, mind, nor because their efforts are not good enough. It’s much more simple: bad timing!
    In the past three weeks, I have spent around $350 on crowdfunding, along with significant cash on finished games I could buy online and in stores. I simply can’t justify spending any more at the moment, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one in this dilemma.
    The lesson here: Christmas season simply is not the optimal time to place your Kickstarter in – people are usually already tempted by a broad range of AAA titles pulling on their spending money. Wait till February instead, and make sure no big names are currently hogging all the crowdsourcing attention.
    Then, launch and profit.

  32. muskieratboi says:

    Shadowgate.. Remake..

    *nerdgasm*

    I can not “Shut up and take my money” loud enough.

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