Kickstarter Katchup – 10th November 2012

By Adam Smith on November 10th, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

The mechanised middle class march onward, beating the bushes and scouring the horizon for fresh prey. Sir, You Are Being Hunted has been funded and is the only winner this week. In other news, Elite has a new logo, wrestling attempts to set up its squared circle on the PC and some promising projects stumble and stall. It’s another week without losers, but there are lots of slow movers. Also, be aware that newcomers are at the top of the ‘Players’ column so there is some mingling of dollars and pounds. Always check which currency your pledges would be 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 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.
  • Be aware that there are two currencies in play. Always check!
  • Do not consume the Katchup before operating heavy machinery or driving. In fact, it’s best never to consume the Katchup at all.

The Winners

Sir, You Are Being Hunted – Big Robot

Goal: £40,000
Now: £55,259

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.

It’s the mechanical-man-shooter that will fire a bullet through the steely face of the British class system and, by Jove, it has been funded. Pledges have already stretched beyond some goals and The Landowner, an “aberrant mechanical ultra-toff”, will be in the game, as will wildlife slaying and a castle biome. Hot air balloon patrols are next, at £60,000, and everything beyond that is shrouded in mystery thicker than the fog on a midnight moor. Every stretch goal distracts Jim slightly more, bringing my plan to infiltrate the secret cellars that run beneath Castle Shotgun ever closer to fruition.

The Losers

Nothing but Beck in here.

The Players

Elite: Dangerous – Frontier Developments

Goal: £1,250,000
Now: £392,337
Days: 55

This was something of a surprise. David Braben had spoken about his desire to return to Elite, the game wot made him and many other people, but the plan had been to do it once The Outsider was complete. Then The Outsider failed to happen, people lost their jobs, and Frontier Developments turned to Kickstarter with a logo, a name and a massive funding target. There has been a video update but it contains the footage of the game in the background rather than up-front and centre stage, as if this were an advertising campaign rather than a crowdfunding platform. My first reaction, when I saw the name, was childish excitement. Are names and memories enough though? Is it unfair to grumble about that here when the Doublefine Adventure was reliant on much the same, albeit more recent memories and a good deal of charisma? Let’s see what updates Frontier provide in the next week.

SPORTSFRIENDS – Die Gute Fabrik

Goal: $150,000
Now: $31,890
Days: 30

Alec has already covered this – briefly, it’s a collection of four semi-mythical multiplayer indie games, the games that are heard of in whispers and that seem to have been at expos and conventions for years. It doesn’t include Monaco or Spy Party, having more of a competitive sports theme, so here’s what’s planned: Johann Sebastian Joust, BaraBariBall, Super Pole Riders and Hokra. Initial release will be on PS3, Autumn 2013, with Mac/PC coming later.

Pro Wrestling X – Wrestling Gamers United

Goal: $75,000
Now: $6,195
Days: 27

I took to my twitterbox recently and decried the lack of a modern incarnation of Fire Pro Wrestling on my PC’s hard drive. I think I was drunk and accidentally watching TNA at the time, which I deeply regret, but my point stands. Imagine how surprised I was when my boozy twitter-talk inspired a Kickstarter project (it didn’t) that looks almost exactly like the kind of thing I was dreaming of.

The ultimate goal: the fun of No Mercy + the depth of Fire Pro Wrestling.

Hurrah! The basic game is complete and the money is to update animation and assets. The feature list is hugely impressive and here’s the video.

Pier Solar HD – WaterMelon Co

Goal: $139,000
Now: $80,822
Days: 25

Pier Solar has history.

Pier Solar was originally designed and developed for the SEGA Mega Drive & SEGA Genesis. Yes, you read that right!! It was actually the only newly developed game for SEGA’s 16-bit system in the new millennium.

So there you go! A console RPG made in the 16-bit style and indeed on a 16-bit system. The Kickstarter brings it all into HD and ports it to Windows, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360 and, gloriously Dreamcast. Here’s the video.

Maia – Simon Roth

Goal: £100,042
Now: £39,638
Days: 18

Maia’s Kickstarter has informative updates, a strong initial pitch and reasonable reward tiers, so it should be aiming for stretch goals now rather than creeping toward its target. Maybe the idea itself doesn’t have broad appeal? But it’s a simulation-heavy sci-fi colony management kind of thing inspired by every ’90s god/management game you ever loved, so that’s clearly not the case. Recent updates include an extensive Q&A session and confirmation that a failed Kickstarter does not mean Maia will die: “I will find a way to make this game happen. Maia is inevitable.” Reassuring, but I’d rather it happened soon and completely.

The Ship: Full Steam Ahead – Blazing Griffin

Goal: £128,000
Now: £8,108
Days: 50

The long-haul 60 day campaign that Full Steam Ahead launched seems very sensible now that the first week and a half is complete. No updates yet, but a steampunk sequel to The Ship seems like it should be more attractive than < £10,000/10 days. Appeal is now measured thusly. To find out how appealing you are to the world, start a Kickstarter project which aims to raise money in order to permit your continued existence. How will it all end?

Kung Fu Superstar – Kinesthetic Games

Goal: £200,000
Now: £19,033
Days: 24

I didn’t pick up on the ‘Origin’ subtitle at the end of Kung Fu Superstar’s title when I wrote about it last week, but John did. Perhaps in response to that, the team have included an update that explains exactly what they’re trying to fund.

We don’t want our backers to bankroll a AAA project, we don’t think that’s what Kickstarter is for. The way we’re approaching it is, we made sure we ask for just enough to complete developing our innovative technology and build the exciting beginning of the saga with it in the form of Kung Fu Superstar: Origin.

The word ‘Origin’ isn’t used on the front page until tiers are discussed, which is why I missed it last week (sorry!). There is a new video with more details about how controls will work.

Sui Generis – Bare Mettle Entertainment

Goal: £150,000
Now: £37,203
Days: 19

Sui Generis’ remarkable technology continues to impress the majority of those who see it. Whether there’s a decent RPG behind that tech is a question that’s already been asked and Bare Mettle have responded. Personally, I’m pretty much sold on the technology. I didn’t even know fantasy RPGs tried not to be generic!

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption – Corey Cole

Goal: $400,000
Now: $212,309
Days: 10

It’s been a good week for Hero-U, the game from the lovely Quest For Glory folks, although the next ten days will have to be even better. Corey and Lori could have traded on a name to an extent but they haven’t done that at all – of course they mention Quest for Glory, but they’ve engaged with Kickstarter completely, using the project page as a platform from which to speak to the media, to address concerns and to build a community. If you’re interested adventure games, turn-based RPGs or what the Quest for Glory designers are up to now, it’s well worth taking a look at all the updates. And our interview.

StarForge – CodeHatch

Goal: $75,000
Now: $71,148
Days: 20

Astounding first-person combat and construction are the order of the day in StarForge, whose scale and ambition is frankly ludicrous. Thankfully, they’ve already done a great deal of the work and their funding campaign has been sensibly laid out, with goals and targets clearly explained. It’ll surely be in the winners column next week and I can only imagine the team will then set their sights on making entire galaxies collide with one another.

Antharion – Orphic Software

Goal: $15,000
Now: $9,867
Days: 7

No updates since last week on Antharion’s page. It’s a project that tickled my particular fancies – a massive slice of turn-based, party-based, open-world RPG. I was feeling confident about its chances last week but there hasn’t been a great deal of activity in the last seven days. I still think it’ll make it but I’m already mourning the potential lack of cooking, which is pegged at a $21,000 stretch goal.

Interstellar Marines: Prologue – Zero Point Software

Goal: $600,000
Now: $93,330
Days: 17

Interstellar Marines is up-front about being a prologue but I’m still a little unclear as what the first part of this promising tactical co-op first-person shooter will contain. To learn more about the Prologue, the team and the sharks, I’ll be talking to them in the near future. In the meantime, here’s a shark-thing.

Super Comboman – Super Comboman Team

Goal: $14,900
Now: $12,612
Days: 4

Super Comboman is almost there. The days are short and the goal is close, but the baddie-juggling beat ‘em up is almost certainly going to make it. The latest video goes behind the scenes and into the sound studio. I note that the developers have spotted the reason so many giggle at their babbling mascot. It’s not because of his wit!

Did you know that Fanny packs are named Bumbags in Europe because Fanny has another slang meaning?

Distance – Refract Studios

Goal: $125,000
Now: $78,300
Days: 6

The follow-up to Nitronic Rush is still trying to find fifth gear, or the dashboard button that causes it to launch into the air, fire jets from its rear and fly to another planet. The team promise plenty of updates over the final days.

One of them is a new gameplay video showing the parkour/exploration elements of the game and some other cool surprises.

It’s a racing game with parkour/exploration elements. That’s a decent selling point right there.

Shadowgate – Zojoi

Goal: $120,000
Now: $72,428
Days: 15

The gorgeous Shadowgate remake has hit the difficult middle period and funding has slowed down considerably. I do wonder how many bells the name rings, let alone how many people have been waiting decades for an updated version of the first-person adventure. Updates include the opening of official forums, some parts of which are only open to backers.

Songmasters “The Music Wars” – ARMOGASTE

Goal: $20,000
Now: $11,587
Days: 22

Judging by the less than $1,000 raised in the last week, the video explaining how combat will work in this multiplayer musical strategy game may have confused everyone else as much as it confused me. Undaunted, the team are doing something I haven’t come across before – a live event at which people can meet the team and see the progress they’ve made so far. It’s in Paris at Dernier Bar avant la fin du Monde on Sunday November 18th. Neat idea. Maybe that Rossignol chap will rent out an English country pub and regale the populace with tales of tweedy horror.

Forced – BetaDwarf

Goal: $40,000
Now: $18,495
Days: 20

The tactical ARPG is making steady progress. I still haven’t tried the demo the developers kindly sent me because I am a terrible human being. To make up for this, I shall take time out of my busy Sunday schedule (recovering from Saturday night) to spend time with it. Promise! Thoughts on Monday.

Divine Space – Dodo Games

Goal: $100,000
Now: $23,491
Days: 20

Divine Space, which promises adventure and hard science fiction, hasn’t seen much activity over the last week, although the team continue to update and knowledge of the project is slowly spreading around the internet. They’ve opened a forum as well to encourage interaction. Take a look.

Ars Magica Video Game – Black Chicken Studios

Goal: $290,000
Now: $65,743
Days: 8

Args Magica sounds absolutely fascinating – if I shout about how much each update makes me think of King of Dragon Pass, would that entice everyone to go and read more about it? It does remind me of King of Dragon Pass and there aren’t many games like that around. Go and read all about it immediately.

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116 Comments »

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  1. simoroth says:

    I don’t usually comment on threads involving my own stuff, but today is my birthday so I’ll make an exception.

    Please, please support Maia! We could really do with a big leap forward. If you know people who might like it, spread the word. We’ve got more videos, music and art incoming in the next update, but really want to hit the halfway mark before we go all out for the final push.

    • hemmingjay says:

      Simon, I am confident Maia will be a success. These things tend to pick up exponentially in the final week. Given that the numerous news organizations have praised your concept and assets I am sure it’s just a matter of time. Keep the updates coming!

      • AngoraFish says:

        I’m a backer, but I worry that the amount of money likely to be generated is much more niche (ie smaller) when funding is sought in pounds rather than the ‘universal’ currency of US dollars.

        • lordcooper says:

          Why would it be? It’s not exactly hard to use an online currency converter.

          • mwoody says:

            But Americans are wary of other currencies. You have to understand that most Americans will never have cause to pay for something in anything other than dollars for our entire lives. Not to mention Kickstarter has far less payment options available when using pounds instead of dollars (no Amazon, for example, which was the one that frustrated me).

            It’s not a stumbling block to RPS readers, certainly, but it’s just enough of a barrier to turn away the casually interested.

          • Premium User Badge

            Aerothorn says:

            For one thing, many American banks will assume your card has been stolen if you spend in the UK without warning them ahead of time (this happened to me for backing SYABH). Meaning that those customers must call their bank up before pledging; it’s a legitamite hurdle to impulse buys. There are also “foreign transaction fees” for pretty much any credit card.

            Finally, currency conversion is such that things in pounds tend to cost more.

          • Subject 706 says:

            @lordcooper
            There is the relative strength of the currency to consider. I am a backer from Sweden. The english pound is way stronger against our currency than the dollar, for example.

        • rawrty says:

          As an American the only issue it caused me is that I had to wait to get home from work to become a backer.

          For some reason you can’t link your Amazon account (which has the CC I use exclusively for anything online). I don’t carry that card on me so I had to wait until I got home to enter it manually.

          Of course there is the issue of exchange rate and fees, but I can’t believe that would be much of an issue to most people. Perhaps there are a a few to whom the concept of foreign currency would render them in a state of such bewilderment they were unable to pledge, but I like to think the average American is capable of doing the basic math required (or at least type 10 GBP to US Dollars into Google).

          • malkav11 says:

            The use of Amazon Payments was why Kickstarter originally didn’t support projects outside of the US. I can only assume that they had to find alternate means of doing transactions to make UK support work.

    • Gnoupi says:

      I say, the “half way” need the reschedule of the drunken cooking session. Because Maia is a great thing, it deserves to be made by a person without eyebrows.

      In all seriousness, I hadn’t noticed that this was the game I was expecting when it was first announced on RPS, the kickstarter somehow slipped by me. So, good reminder, with the 8 pints.

      Would be great if the Kickstarter was starting back, because it’s a bit slowing down, currently, indeed.

    • Kohlrabi says:

      Happy birthday, and best of luck to you and your Maia. :)

    • MOKKA says:

      Seeing you struggle to get enough money really makes me wish I had a credit card to support you. Stupid Kickstarter with their stupid payment options.

    • eightohnine says:

      I’m having a hard time selling Maia to my friends and colleagues. Yes, with veteran gamers just dropping the names “Dungeon Keeper” or “Theme Hospital” makes it an instant sell. But unfortunately these are the exception. The others think the visuals and tech in the videos are neat, but the lack of actual gameplay is a complete turn-off to them. I imagine you could achieve a huge boost in commits, just by adding a minute or two of even the most basic gameplay mechanics (digging out a first room, installing the first tech, just the very basics).

      • Yosharian says:

        “Dungeon Keeper”

        Hmm

      • simoroth says:

        More game play will be the focus of the next update. :)

        It’s kind of weird finding out people don’t know who Bullfrog is. I met some journalists at Eurogamer who had never even heard of Dungeon Keeper. Blew my mind.

    • Anguy says:

      Happy Birthday! Hope my money helps

    • Gink says:

      Have high hopes for this game, and I`d say that alongside Clockwork Empires it`s one of the most anticipated games on the horizon for me at the moment.

      I`ve backed you, really hope you make your goal. Happy birthday.

    • AngoraFish says:

      Limited ‘earlybird’ pricing is a big disincentive to backing. Having cheaper, sold-out options clearly visible on the Kickstarter page is no different from turning up to buy something from a shop, only to discover that the item I’m looking for was on sale yesterday for half the price and the sale sticker is still clearly visible. Good luck getting me to part with even a cent of my hard earned cash at that point. Surely 18 months out from a game’s release all backers are sufficiently early to justify paying the same price (which could have been £10 for everyone, in which case the project would be more than £1000 closer to its goal).

      • Belsameth says:

        You must either be very wealthy, being unable to buy anything because it’s been on sale at some point before you wanted to buy it, or very poor because you buy everything fist day.

        Either way, good luck to you sir. I am glad this kind of silliness seems to be a minority :)

        • mwoody says:

          Not THAT much of a minority: I wholeheartedly agree. The “bargain” tiers were a bad idea, turning away those that need convincing (latecomers) while rewarding those who would have joined on anyway. What’s more, it provides a strong push to NOT back higher tiers amongst those who sign on first, as in doing so they’d essentially “lose their place in line.”

          Don’t get me wrong: he had me at “Dungeon Keeper.” And I am in one of the early adopter tiers. But I just don’t see why making 500 backers happy at the expense of the several thousand needed to hit the goal is a worthwhile tradeoff.

        • LintMan says:

          The early bird thing generally doesn’t sit well with me, either. It’s not a complete showstopper for me, but it is definitely a disincentive, if I’ve missed out on the better price.

          To me, this is not the same as “someone got a better deal buying this thing sometime in the past that I’m buying right now. In this case, no one on kickstarter has actually paid anything yet. This is “we’re all chipping in to support this project and receive a reward – but those guys are getting the same exact reward for giving less money.” Or rather “I feel like a sap for paying more for the same reward that these other guys are going to get for less money just because they heard about the project sooner”.

          And if I happen to get in early enough to get the early bird, it works as a disincentive for me to upgrade my pledge amount because I’m already getting “the good deal”.

    • AlKaPwn says:

      I would love to donate but it does not seem to accept paypal or amazon which puts me in a bit of a pickle.

    • sk2k says:

      It’s sad that there a still no other option to back Maia. The credit card only thing with Kickstarter sucks.

    • Premium User Badge

      Carra says:

      I kickstarted it and I’m looking forwards to this game.

  2. Tiax says:

    I’m gonna be SO sad if Distance doesn’t make it…

  3. Didden says:

    Maybe, just before Christmas, isn’t the best time to, you know, ask for lots of money off of people. Not sure how many people are willing to back these sort of things each month. For me, launching another space sim, during the same time Star Citizen is also asking for a lot of money, doesn’t really seem to calculate either.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Chaz says:

    Not a game as such but I’d like “FPS Creator Reloaded” to reach it’s goals, as I rather fancy having a crack at making my own FPS. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tgc/fps-creator-reloaded

    • The Random One says:

      I love anything that makes it easier for Common Joes and Jills to create games so I’ll be sure to check that one out. Thanks!

    • soldant says:

      Except the FPS Creators have been particularly bad. They’re horrifically inefficient engines for a start, but the devs then went on to sell a bunch of “content packs” for lots of money. The entire thing was absurdly commercialised. Don’t support this grab for cash, FPS Creator needs to die because it’s a bad product and nothing is likely to change that. You’d be better off checking out any of the addons for Unity, like Playmaker, if you want to make games without doing much coding.

      • Premium User Badge

        Chaz says:

        Yeah, from what I’ve seen FPS Creator does have some pretty severe limitations. However as much as I’d love to have the time to get into something like Unity, I’m not a developer and have no programing experience, no 3D modeling experience. I’d have to make all the assets myself, and for one person sitting at home just trying to knock out a playable level for a bit of fun and creativity, then Unity is just not a practical place to start.

        Sure they went on to sell content packs, but what’s wrong with that? You still had the option of creating and bringing in your own content.

  5. Lemming says:

    I’m of course dubious of Elite 4 like many people because Braben wont show the prototype fully that he clearly has in the background on his KS video.

    However, it irks me that some are saying ‘Star Citizen seems like the better option’, when it doesn’t have nearly the same scope as a new Elite. Star Citizen’s last achieved stretch goal was a new star system. You can’t compare that to a game that has a whole galaxy of procedurally generated stars and planets from the off.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I think Star Citizen is the better option right now because they have far more to show, made a far more convincing pitch, explain what they’re going to do with all the money and show a clear development plan. They’ll be fairly different games if they come out, but we barely have an idea of what Elite will be like and we certainly don’t have a good idea of what it is right now.

    • Premium User Badge

      FriendlyFire says:

      I’ll be blunt: procedural generation isn’t always a selling point. Quite often, it’s the contrary.

      I’ve already seen games and mods with generated star systems… and in most cases, the effect is that after seeing a handful of them, you’ve seen them all. There’s no story behind them, no logic or aesthetic, it’s just random stuff piled together in a general area of space.

      Meanwhile, handcrafted systems tell a story. Things are placed according to a logic currently unattainable by automated algorithms. There’s a beauty to it. I’d rather have ten masterfully crafted systems to a billion automated ones, because who cares about the 999,999,500 other systems you probably never will travel to?

      • Lanfranc says:

        I suppose they will use the same technique as in Frontier and First Encounters, where the central sectors around Earth were scripted, while the rest of the galaxy was created procedurally. So it’s really more of a method to generate an illusion of a large universe beyond the main playing area, even if you’re probably never going to visit even a tiny fraction of the procedurally generated parts.

      • malkav11 says:

        That’s pretty much my feeling on procedural content. Its use in a game isn’t a selling point, it’s a reason for me to hold off and wait to see how it’s actually implemented and what portion of the content it represents. It’s pretty much the only reason I haven’t yet backed Sir, You are Being Hunted.

        • LintMan says:

          Procedural generation is good when you want to have a randomized world for replayability purposes, which is very likely why they use it for Sir. Without that, you’d probably end up either with one fixed map layout with some item randomization, or something tile-based.

          • malkav11 says:

            I understand that that’s why it’s used, but my experience with other games (e.g. Diablo II) is that it often tends to create a world that’s not interesting to me the first time around, much less on replays. I tend to find it much more effective to use it to fill in gaps around handcrafted content, or to, say, cause different handcrafted story events and quests to spawn on different playthroughs, rather than having the content be procedurally generated from the start.

          • LintMan says:

            I generally prefer handcrafted story events and quests also, but I don’t think that thosesorts of elements apply to the type of game the devs are tying to make here. My impression is that the devs expect the gameplay to emerge for the player’s choices and interactions with the AI, all of which is impacted by the lay of the land. Probably not a lot of story, quests/missions, or scripted events. I think it’s the player against the map – a bit like a roguelike in that way.

            Looking just not over at the KS comment section, I found this:
            “Is there a narrative structure in place (or planned) apart from the escape, or is it going to be a purely sandbox game with a “create your own story” approach?”

            It’s purely sandbox, but we are furnishing the world with lore. So there’s a tale to be told, things to read and discover, and a narrator (your butler), but how you go about all that is completely freeform.

            That’s certainly not the only rouite they could have chosen, but it seems like it has the potential to be pretty fun. I can see aspects like the AI quality and the variety of player options mattering far more to the gameplay than the terrain generator.

          • malkav11 says:

            I just plain won’t know if it’ll appeal to me or not until it’s out and I can play it. I’m not against procedural elements in games full stop, and I have enjoyed occasional games that use them, but I’m probably not going to back a Kickstarter that’s using it as a major selling point because the odds are against it working for me.

    • The Random One says:

      Exactly! That’s why F.U.E.L., a game that won the Guiness Record for the largest play area, only possible because of the procedural generation used to create it, is widely considered to be the racing game of the decade and all these silly Burnout and Need for Speed games that only have one tiny city to drive around here have flopped.

      • mwoody says:

        I don’t entirely disagree, but let’s look at both sides here: Minecraft, Terraria, Dwarf Fortress, the entire Roguelike genre.

  6. Paul says:

    There is a crazy kickstarter saturation right now, so many of them are going to fail. I backed 8 projects already and certainly am not going to back anymore for at least 6 months.

  7. InternetBatman says:

    Sports friends looks really, really fun. One question though, how will Joust be playable on PC?

    There are several fundamental differences between Doublefine Adventure and Elite. Most importantly, DFA promised backers a movie so backers would have something even in the game was a total failure. Doublefine were also more honest about the current stage of development. It’s hard to believe that Braben has been making elite in a skunkworks, and has so little to show. Doublefine’s tiers were well thought out and they communicated with fans. This didn’t even have a video for three days, and they don’t even differentiate between the early backer tier and the normal tier.

    • The Random One says:

      Yeah, a lot of people forget about the DFA documentary, even though for me it was a deciding point for me. Plus, I think that a lot of people might not really be into adventure games but supported because they wanted Kickstarter to be an alternative to publishers; now that that point’s already hammered so hard, they are being much more selective with their choices.

      Or maybe it’s just me.

    • Premium User Badge

      elderman says:

      The SPORTSFRIENDS Kickstarter page talks about controlling Joust with Playstation Move + Bluetooth. Also Wiimote and Sixaxis support. It really would be nice to know more about how these console controllers will connect with the PC version.

      Obviously, to play Joust you’ll need to buy controllers.

      I’m so glad that this game might come to PC.

  8. Cooper says:

    The issue with Sui Genereis & info about the game is not “so what’s the story”. It’s “so what’s the game”

    Is this an action game or turn based? Or something pseudo turn based?
    (Magic? Ranged weapons?)

    Is that animation system put to any use beyond making when I click on an enemy look cool?

    Does the wonderful terrain system mean we have vast areas to go off and explore in, or is this a bit more linear?

    Is it more sandbox-y in going here, doing that and dveloping your character / story or is it more driven by a narrative and a series of locations reached in sequence?

    I have watched that video and still have no buggering clue what -game- my money would go to. An update on the story helps not much in this…

    • InternetBatman says:

      Every single one of these questions is answered in the video and in their third and fourth updates.

      It has magic and they show it, later they say ranged weapons are a skill, and the combat is very clearly ARPG combat.
      The animation system also shows a lot of reactivity, look at the knight fighting the ogre.
      They say in the pitch that the game is about exploring.
      They are very clear that the game is non-linear and pretty sandboxy.

  9. caddyB says:

    There’s also the Indiegogo thing for Sots:The Pit from Kerberos, who recently fixed up Sots2 nice and good after one year of constant patching ( talk about dedication eh ): http://www.indiegogo.com/sots-thepit

    While their campaign is flexible, meaning they take your money RIGHT NOW, they have a playable alpha/demo here: http://sots-thepit.com/demo/

    It’s a roguelike in the vein of Dungeons of Dredmor. It’s a bit on the easy side, but alpha is alpha as TB would say. Give it a try if you’re into that sort of thing.

    • vecordae says:

      I’m gonna echo Owen Faraday on this one: “if you decide to contribute to Kerberos’ Indiegogo, make sure you drop me a line. I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in purchasing, too.”

  10. RakeShark says:

    “Is it unfair to grumble about that here when the Doublefine Adventure was reliant on much the same, albeit more recent memories and a good deal of charisma?”

    To be somewhat fair, DoubleFine only asked for 400k, where as Braben is asking for 2 million.

    • Premium User Badge

      Andy_Panthro says:

      DoubleFine were also the first “big name” project, so they got away with a lot more vague ideas than they would perhaps do today. Certainly as I’ve begun to use Kickstarter more often, the amount of information I require before putting my money down has increased. (You could say I should have been this cautious from the beginning, but I certainly got caught up in the hype for the DoubleFine project).

      Of course the other issue is that I’ve backed quite a few projects already, and my money is not limitless. The glut of games has reached a point where I can only afford to back far fewer projects at lower tiers, if I back anything new at all. All the games I’ve backed aren’t due to be released for months or years, so I’ve a long wait!

    • Premium User Badge

      FriendlyFire says:

      Double Fine also has made a lot of great games with a similar focus to what was proposed in the pitch. Frontier Developments, meanwhile, mostly made kid-friendly phone games. Going from that to Elite is a rather large step.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Doublefine also had the movie so that customers would get something if the experiment failed. And they had a pitch; a really good pitch. Elite didn’t have a video.

    • KevinLew says:

      To me, the worst part about Elite: Dangerous is that it is flat-out asking for $2 million. For most games, $2M would be an ungodly stretch goal, but the developers are just telling fans: “Either you give me all of the money or you can kiss Elite 4 goodbye.” This is probably the closest thing to taking nostalgia and holding it hostage.

      Any game that has a *mininum* of $1M to make should find a publisher to sponsor them. It makes no sense that indie gaming needs millions of dollars to develop award-winning games, because they don’t. There are endless examples of games that cost under a million dollars and they were highly praised by critics and fans.

      In any case, I am starting to see why Kickstarter is being used so much. Elite: Dangerous, like many other games, follows a specific formula. A developer has an old project that they really want to make, but it has no business viability. That is, it would cost more to make than the revenue it would earn. However, the lead person won’t let it go because this is his/her “baby” . Since no sane publisher/investor would back that kind of proposal, they go to random strangers and ask for money, because then the game can be made without any care if they make a profit anymore.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I disagree. Indie games were the first wave, but now we need a wave of creative, independent AA developers. Some genres just require a lot of money to make. A professional rpg has huge amounts of content, a spaceflight game requires good graphics (they’re very much part of the experience). It’s pretty obvious that publishers just don’t want to make high quality isometric rpgs. Dragon Age sold more than any other Bioware game to that point, and they still changed it dramatically for DA 2.

        This is because business thinking focuses not on breaking-even or profit, but the idea of opportunity cost. Opportunity cost means that if a game makes a small profit it’s seen as losing money because they didn’t spend that money on something more profitable.

        I think the real test for large Kickstarters will be whether they repeatedly use Kickstarter funding or whether they get enough money to sustain independent development. I do think that large kickstarters should be careful and show more responsibility than Elite, Old-School RPG, and to a far lesser extent Star Citizen.

  11. Auspex says:

    Archer Mayor’s The Lost Case Files looks like the kind of thing that might be of interest to RPS types. No updates and <1% funding after a week isn't exactly promising though.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1324801784/archer-mayors-the-lost-case-files

  12. AngoraFish says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the problem with Maia and Sui Generis is the £ sign. Americans have an innate fear of anything not specifically and obviously targeting them, given that the world so obviously revolves around them 99% of the time. Concepts such as charging your credit card in a foreign currency and scary and confusing.

    • simoroth says:

      Yeah. I can’t speak for the Sui, but for us it has been a problem. At least with a handful of backers. Although taking to forum threads shows that it’s a stumbling block for quite a few.

      I do like the threads from Americans complaining about it being in Euros though. :D

      • Juxtapox says:

        I’m a backer of your project and I think there’s one thing that might put people off(for some reason). Since it’s in pounds, Kickstarter never asked to simply login to my Amazon payment, but rather fill in my credit card info in Kickstarter itself.
        Not sure if not being able to use Amazon is making people turn around when trying to pledge.

        • Voronwer says:

          I did not know this. That’s kind of annoying, because it isn’t like there doesn’t exist a UK version of amazon where you can use your US amazon account to buy things.

          Really, kickstarter should look into Paypal payment options.

          • The Random One says:

            Paypal would never touch Kickstarter; it has shut down projects for a lot less.

          • AngoraFish says:

            @ Random One. Funny than how so many kickstarters, such as “Sir, You Are Being Hunted”, are now offering PayPal as a second pledge option through their own websites.

          • Premium User Badge

            BubuIIC says:

            Paypal does not support the deferred payments required for the whole kickstarter process. Otherwise if a project fails, possibly thousands of payments would have to be refunded to all the backers. And when projects offer a Paypal option, they are already completely funded (or they are sure they’ll make it at least).
            As for amazon, I’ve he heard amazon payments is not available outside the US. That means all funds raised via a kickstarter project have to go to a US based bank account.
            Now for their UK launch they build their own payment system and I guess with that they can expand to other countries as well.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Indeed; BubuIIC has it.

        • Premium User Badge

          darkChozo says:

          This is more or less my problem contributing to Maia; not that I fear your strange Britlandish squiggly symbol or that I fear Kickstarter will steal my credit card info, but because Kickstarter’s payment system refuses to accept my card. Not really much I can do to fix that, so a non-contributer I remain.

    • Premium User Badge

      Andy_Panthro says:

      Given that everything is dealt with through Amazon Payments, surely there should be a way for people to back with the appropriate amount in their local currency using a current exchange rate?

      • AngoraFish says:

        You will be surprised to learn then that Amazon Payments is not an option offered on the UK version of Kickstarter.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Thank you for stereotyping Americans. The world is now a better place.

      I think a more productive way of looking at it is that you should sell something to customers in their own currency. Kickstarter is definitely about selling something, otherwise the reward tiers wouldn’t have a copy of the finished product. If a majority of your potential customers are Americans, then it should be in their currency.

      I don’t know if UK kickstarters even offer the option of USD and British people get shafted in this case. That’s not the fault of the creator; they should just set up conditions that makes transactions as easy as possible for the majority of their customers. In the long run, Kickstarter needs to fix this problem by showing local currency, or allowing creators to list multiple prices on the page.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Idiotic and ignorant as his comment may have been, you really didn’t help dispel his stereotype when you go on to write “If a majority of your potential customers are Americans, then it should be in their currency”.

        Europeans have to deal with US $ on a daily basis, we are OK with it, why should a British developer be forced to register as an American company with all the hassle and expense that involves if they don’t want to scare off the American market? Surely US citizens are more cosmopolitan that that?

        • Premium User Badge

          elderman says:

          Surely US citizens are more cosmopolitan that that?

          I think you’ll find some are and some aren’t.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Sure, and there are a good few folks here who typically read the daily mail, blame foreigners for all their woes (I’ve run out of toilet paper, damn immigrants!) who would rather shred their money than spend it in dollars or euros, but they are a small minority, and I can’t believe one of the most forward and progressive nations of our times would have anything other than an equally low percentage of people who feel likewise.

            Re. forward and progressive: every nation can cite embarrassing backwardness – Britain only criminalized owning slaves a few years ago believe it or not, until then they relied on other laws to cover it

          • Premium User Badge

            elderman says:

            I’ve found in many places I’ve gone, people for whom any hint of foreignness is off-putting. The USA’s also a big — surely the biggest — market for games. So even if the percentage of Americans put off by the idea of buying in another currency is no larger than the percentage of people from other places with the same discomfort, they could make up a larger proportion of the Kickstarting population.

            [Edit] Statistics to back up the idea that the USA’s the biggest gaming market. [/Edit]

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @Elderman – good find with the stats! It does demonstrate that despite being the biggest market, the US is not bigger than the rest of the world put together, its market being well under a third of the total share, thus in my opinion weakening the argument even more that all video game transactions offered to American citizens must be in dollars for them to be able to cope with it.

            At the end of the day, making a company a multinational – which is what you are insisting is the best idea for indie devs – is a horrifyingly complicated and expensive process. I can’t understand why you all think this is a good idea – are you all US citizens proving the OP kinda right?

          • InternetBatman says:

            By selling and distributing a good in around the world it already is a multinational business entity, and it already is in a very difficult situation. What I’m suggesting is that they should embrace practices that favor the majority of their customers until Kickstarter (which is the real source of the problem) fixes what will be a systemic problem.

          • Premium User Badge

            elderman says:

            I’ve never quite understood what the problem is that people are encountering. In my experience, a bank card can handle charges in more than one currency. I pay for things in Euros, Dollars, Pounds, and Kroner using the same account and let my bank figure out the exchange rates.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Because there are more of them and it’s where most of your customers are going to be.

          • Emeraude says:

            Do we have valid statistics of the origin of funders for Kickstarters ?

            Would be interesting to see if your allegation holds true, and how many backers are willing to suffer being imposed the use of USD instead of their own currency in any case.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I think there are more gamers in “The rest of the World” than you believe.

          • InternetBatman says:

            But since the option for Kickstarter right now is USD or GBP, it’s fair to assume that the US has more customers than Great Britain since it has six times the population. Here’s a very simple scenario:

            A creator is selling a game on Kickstarter for 10 GBP. Assume that 10% of potential customers are lost to currency conversion, for whatever reason. If a creator has just British and American customers (I think those are the only places it officially operates in), and they get 5000 potential customers, they would lose 71 British customers or 710 GBP if the project was in USD (639 after fees). If it was in pounds they would lose 428 customers, or 4280 pounds (3852 after fees). So by making the decision to use GBP they lose 3570 pounds (3213 with fees) – the costs of setting up US operations (which is nominally far less).

            This is not a US versus the rest of the world situation. This is a Britain vs. the rest of the world situation. The logic holds the same for any currency with more wealth than GPB. If Kickstarter was available in most places, it would theoretically (I don’t have hard data on actual Kickstarter consumption habits) make sense to list it in Euros, then USD, then Yuan, then Yen, then GPB.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Batman has it.

            This is not some nationalistic dick-waving thing. This is simple demographics.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Because the person selling the product should be the one that undertakes the hassle and paperwork, especially if your business is partially driven by impulse buys. I’m not saying it’s fair or right, but it is the optimal decision.

          The current kickstarter system would be much better if it either automatically detected local currency and translated prices, or had their own one click service that they would pass through to amazon.

          • Emeraude says:

            Taking these global trend charts with a huge grain of salt – we don’t know how much they relate to Kickstarter, I don’t see much optimizing of worth in courting those 27% of the market in such a way specifically. Unless your point happens to be that the majority of those 27% can’t be bothered to use a foreign currency – which falls back on the original cliché we’d like to vilify.

            Not that I wouldn’t mind seeing Euro and USD options added to all Kickstarter projects, but the idea that having to deal with a foreign currency could be a deal breaker for more than a tiny minority of people boggles my mind.

            Edit: also, I’m probably too willingly naive for my own good, but though Kickstarter has become a preorder system for most projects, I like to think the original donation model should still be the reference. It’s not a sale.

          • InternetBatman says:

            In short, it’s better to optimize for 28% of the world market than what’s likely smaller than 9%.

            I wasn’t arguing at all that Americans were afraid of foreign currency. I think that a large portion of entertainment purchases are impulse buys. Each extra step between seeing the pitch and pledging is time for the impulse buyer to reconsider their purchase. So when there’s a price in a foreign currency you have to go to google and look up the conversion, then you have to go to kickstarter and fill in your credit card information, and then make the purchase. I would argue that you lose customers in each step for reasons that have nothing to do with xenophobia and more to do with the impulsivity of the customer.

            So when you make a Kickstarter, you want to have it to be the easiest for the largest amount of impulsive customers. Since there aren’t options for the Euro (I think) that means you want it in USD.

          • Emeraude says:

            And I would argue that the loss over that is so low that it’s probably not worth the effort for a project maker to implement USD payments in lieu of Kickstarter. Which means I *am* actually defending the US as far as the accusations of being backward and self-centered are concerned.

            Oh, and personally, I’d say *anything* that adds to steps in the process and makes it less like an impulse buy and more like thought over investment is a net positive for everyone involved in the long run, .

  13. His Dudeness says:

    [Wax On]
    How could Adam forget to mention the insupposable and stupendous looking pitch for Lore?!?
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1376466869/lore
    This ‘real player’ only wants to grind a 1.5 Million Green bucks into dust…peanuts I know, yet 1.5 Million facepalms are the more likely outcome.
    [Wax Off]
    On a more serious note, reading through the comments on this erm, pitch-of-sorts, I can’t help but wonder if the proprietor of this non-starter has a bit of an Asperger affliction.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Naum says:

    Oy, Sir has a Paypal option now! Would have loved to see that info mentioned here.

  15. Spoon Of Doom says:

    I seriously have no idea why Maia is having such a hard time. In a fair and perfect world, it would already have three times its target amount by now, and would probably end up with all the money in the known universe and Slartibartfast would volunteer as world designer.
    It’s a game I’ve been waiting for for such a long time, one that covers an itch that had the last halfway decent scratch back with Evil Genius. I don’t know when that game came out, but it sure feels like five or six centuries.

    I can only assume that it has to do with
    a) Americans being afraid of the currency with the scribbly L that I have no idea how to do on my keyboard and
    b) People being put off by Kickstarter itself because it doesn’t offer Amazon Payments and instead wants to have your credit card details.

    I’d suggest putting a rough conversion of the price in Dollars into the reward descriptions, so that people know the ballpark of how much money they need to fork up for each without having to google it and get distracted by TVTropes along the way.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      The reward for pledging £1000 is a pint with the creator.

      Yeah.

      EDIT: I meant the dev. Not a glass of beer with whichever God you believe in.
      EDIT 2: TBH all the rewards are a bit guff. That might be putting folks off slightly.

      • Spoon Of Doom says:

        I’m not sure I agree with that. a copy of the game, Alpha access, desktop backgrounds, soundtrack, posters, have your name or head in the game, figurines, etc… Seems like pretty solid and standard Kickstarter fare to me. What more would you want? And the 1000 quid reward includes most of the other stuff, and a “meet the dev(s)”-reward isn’t too uncommon really.

        • Xocrates says:

          I would say the problem is more the value than the actual rewards. Up to the 10£ tier it’s fine, but then the only noteworthy “low” tiers are the soundtrack at 25£ (~40$) and your name in game at 42£ (65$+) which is far too much for those kind of rewards.

      • The Random One says:

        The original reward was to have a pint with the Creator, but Gods that forbid the drinking of alcohol refused at the request of their PR teams.

        The lack of Amazon payments for pounds is puzzling indeed, but to be honest I trust Kickstarter with my credit card details more than Amazon.

  16. Tams80 says:

    Stop it! I don’t have the money to spare for all these!

    Maybe I shouldn’t have pledged so much for the Loading bar IndieGoGo project.

  17. Premium User Badge

    soulblur says:

    I am sad that Ars Magica doesn’t look like it’s going to make it. Does sound like a spectacular game – that mix of strategy, roleplaying and adventure that I struggle to find (although now I’m going to go off and buy King of Dragon Pass). And from what Black Chicken are saying, there won’t be another Kickstarter if this one fails. *Sad face* Maybe it would have been better to run it a few weeks after Academagia Year 2 was released. Guess we’ll never know.

    • Tams80 says:

      It sounds interesting, but there’s something about their pitch which is poor. That and they don’t seem to have a game to show yet.

      • Lanfranc says:

        Seems to me the problem is they’re talking a whole lot of how much like Ars Magica it’ll be, but very little (if anything at all) about what the actual gameplay will be like. So that probably limits the broader appeal a great deal.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yeah, I’m really pulling for Ars Magica, but barring some serious eleventh hour stuff (that they probably don’t have the cred to attract) it looks pretty doomed at this point. Sad. I do think it might have been a better idea to try later on when they’ve a project or two more out the gate and the initial damage to their reputation caused by missteps with Academagia year one could have been addressed with better UI and more people having played their games.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      And from what Black Chicken are saying, there won’t be another Kickstarter if this one fails.

      Well that’s just stupid. Especially since they also say that without Kickstarter success, the project won’t get made.

      I’m now quite annoyed, having been teased with the prospect of an Ars Magica CRPG that they weren’t really committed to in the first place. They seem to be interpreting their failure in marketing as a rejection of the game concept itself, which is absurd.

    • Emeraude says:

      Yeah, Ars Magica is one of those project I want to see happen, but nothing I see for now makes me hopeful about it.

      They definitely should try another later on, differently prepared, if this one fails… if they can that is.

  18. Mechy Tiki says:

    Still no mention of Spud’s Quest? Such a cool looking little project, but it seems to be having a lot of trouble getting much funding…

    • EricShaun says:

      I know… wtf! No mention- no funding.

    • Siannah says:

      I’m also sourly missing Spud’s Quest on this weeks Katchup. Looks like a cool game and a great homage to the Dizzy series – check it out guys.

    • jamal says:

      WHERE THE FK IS SPUDS QUEST??????

  19. Caiman says:

    Divine Space looks interesting, until you realise its main goal is an iPad version with no guarantee of a PC version, and the pledge rewards don’t seem to indicate that you actually get a copy of the game, with some confusing stuff about having VIP access. Is this an MMO? Apparently there will be one, after the single player version, but why isn’t that offered as a reward. Ugh. If my experience is typical, great interest followed by “not touching with barge pole” response, no wonder it’s struggling.

    • malkav11 says:

      You don’t get a copy of the game because they will not be charging for the game itself.

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  21. Baines says:

    For all the creators’ love of N64 No Mercy, Pro Wrestling X is missing a major aspect of that game, which is support for four players. Limiting the game to only two players lets them dodge some serious gameplay design stumbling blocks, but it also leeches a lot of the enjoyment out of such a title.

  22. Mentalepsy says:

    The tactical RPG #103 has potential, but they really need to get themselves in gear. The setting is fascinating, but gameplay details are limited (a few sentences in the FAQ) and there’s been little campaign activity.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bytelogic/103-a-turn-based-strategy-game/

  23. Premium User Badge

    melnificent says:

    Here’s the company accounts for Frontier (I paid for them) – https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6D0wb_TVffWTWlOY1prVGp1dXc/edit

    These are the 2010-2011 ones. The new ones aren’t due until next year, so bare in mind these are 2 years old….. the new ones aren’t due until 2013 :(

    Kinectimals was there only release in the 2010-2011 year and the rest was royalties from thrillville and Lostwinds. Between then and now I they released the Kinect Disneyland game and…… please someone say they released something else.

    Of interest is the £900k markup of The outsider tech. With an claimed writeoff of £4.5m. Basically saying that the game they developed in house and abandoned cost them money to write off. This is a fallicy as stopping the production of a game and switching projects should not cost the company a great deal of extra money. Especially if it is being claimed that the tech from the cancelled project is being used for “future projects”, there is a close to 0 cost of cancellation as the wages, rent, etc have already been paid.

    I’ve asked Frontier questions via kickstarter, and I will post when I get a response.

    • Lanfranc says:

      It costs them money in the sense that the wages etc. paid for the development represents an investment in game assets (code, art, audio, etc.). If the game isn’t going to be released, those assets are worthless and need to be removed from the balance sheet. That’s what the material write off represents (technically it’s rather a write down, since they retain some value, but that’s a detail.)

      It’s just like if they had spent the money working on a physical product made to order, the customer couldn’t buy it, and they couldn’t sell it to anyone else. That would represent a loss and would have to be written off as well.

  24. wodin says:

    Star Citizen has sucked all the money out of crowdfunding I reckon.

    I’m starting to think there should be a limit to how much you can ask for..so your leaving something for someone else.

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