Kickstarter Katchup – 1st December 2012

By Adam Smith on December 1st, 2012 at 1:01 pm.

As we enter Christmasember and the elves enter the sweatshop, it seems only fitting that today’s Kickstarter Katchup is filled with merriment. More winners than EVER BEFORE! Two projects that DOUBLED THEIR FUNDING IN THE FINAL DAYS! I doff my comical Santa hat to Maia and Sui Generis, both of which are hugely ambitious and required more than small potatoes to fund their dreams – and both convinced the world to pledge. They’re not the only winners though and even the week’s loser (I might change that word in future Katchups because I’m a softie) has a positive spin, with hardy developers planning to continue their hard work. Bless ‘em all.

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!
  • Even though that gum you like is going to come back in style, gum chewing is not permitted anywhere in the Katchup for health and safety reasons..

The Winners

Maia – Simon Roth

Goal: £100,042
Now: £140,481

Remarkable. Maia doubled its funding in the last three days and I think there are plenty of people who will be chuffed about that, myself included. It’s been a rollercoaster and at the death, a coming together of the indie community in bundle form provided an extra lift, although it was Total Biscuit’s attention that dragged the finishing line ever closer. Maia isn’t the only rip-roaring and against all odds success story of the week though…

Sui Generis – Bare Mettle Entertainment

Goal: £150,000
Now: £160,055

Another phenomenal success story and another project that doubled its funding in the final days. With all the queries and cussing about ‘wealthy’ developers trading on nostalgia and unrealistic targets, Sui Generis and Maia stand out as fresh games driven by the talent and passion of people who aren’t quite ready to have their names up in lights yet. What a splendid week of winners and there are still more to write about!

Limit Theory – Josh Parnell

Goal: $50,000
Now: $86,393

With three weeks left and almost double the target raised already, Josh Parnell is thinking about stretch goals for his procedurally generated space sim. With planetary ownership at $133,000 and Mac/Linux support at $100,000, these are significant plans rather than extra licks of paint. Therefore, sensible Josh has already announced that they would be delivered post-release, so as not to allow success to push the game back from its planned schedule. There’s already plenty of time, with completion not anticipated until January 2014. You can learn more about Limit Theory by reading wot Jim and Josh said to each other earlier this week.

Moments of Silence – myformerselves

Goal: $2,400
Now: $2,891

The noir fever dream from the creator of Middens has filled the cap that was in its hand and now returns to the drawing board, where things like this are being drawn. The piece in the style of a medieval manuscript is the best concept art I’ve seen since Aldobrandino’s Li Livres dou Santé.

Spud’s Quest – ChrisD

Goal: £5,000
Now: £6,033

Triumph for not-Dizzy puzzle adventure Spud’s Quest, which impressed right out of the gates with a playable demo and frequent communication with (potential) pledgers. The next phase of work begins now, in preparation for release in spring 2013, but continued updates on development should be forthcoming as well. ChrisD also graciously thanks the Oliver Twins for providing the inspiration for Spud.

Pier Solar HD – WaterMelon Co

Goal: $139,000
Now: $173,957

Well, that’s one 16-bit RPG that’ll soon be on Windows, Mac, Linux and more. A triumph that will most likely be enjoyed by people who like that sort of thing! I just realised that I’ve asked if any RPS chums have played the original release, maybe even asked twice, and then I forget to check the comments so I don’t know if anyone actually has. Email me if you have so I can pretend I know things.

Songmasters “The Music Wars” – ARMOGASTE

Goal: $20,000
Now: $20,380

The wonders that a playable portion can do. ARMOGASTE released a demo and shortly afterwards funding skyrocketed. Or at least that’s how I’m interpreting events, because it supports my argument that people want to see and (if possible) play with as much as possible before coughing up some cash.

Forced – BetaDwarf

Goal: $40,000
Now: $65,413

A final winner in a week of revelry and it’s Forced, a game that I’ve actually played in early demo form and very much enjoyed. It was another project that looked doomed to fall as short as a BetaDwarf but won out in the end. What a marvellous week it has been.

The Losers

Interstellar Marines: Prologue – Zero Point Software

No last minute pre-Christmas miracle for Interstellar Marines but the developers have their chins up and rather than plunging straight back into a Kickstarter project, they’re going to concentrate on making the game and funding through their own website.

The Players

War for the Overworld – Subterranean Games

Goal: £150,000
Now: £22,660
Days: 33

If looking at Kickstarter projects has taught me one thing it’s that some people are even worse at voiceovers than I would be if somebody made me perform one at gunpoint. Also that a lot of people cite Dungeon Keeper when trying to explain why people should give them money. “Hey, remember Dungeon Keeper”, they’ll say and then post a video of a piece of concept art with a monotone voiceover. War for the Overworld actually looks like it could be the real deal though and the devs mention Evil Genius as well as Dungeon Keeper. They also have a playable prototype (hurrah for playable prototypes) so do take a look.

Project GODUS – 22cans

Goal: £450,000
Now: £182,030
Days: 20

A god game that might need a miracle? I didn’t expect GODUS to slow down quite as much as it has and while it isn’t in any real danger of failing yet, it might end up needing the kind of dramatic boost we saw twice this week, for both Maia and Sui Generis. Plenty of new information has been released, mainly in the form of video design diaries. All of the information is captured in this document, which will be updated so that it remains current, and there’s a three-pronged nostalgiassault with references to Populous, Dungeon Keeper and Black and White. Personally, that’s two-pronged since the latter doesn’t inspire any warm feelings but the updates do at least give a better idea of what 22cans are hoping to create.

Tiny Barbarian DX – Michael Stearns

Goal: $12,000
Now: $7,931
Days: 18

Tiny Barbarian DX continues the journey toward its fairly tiny goal. It’s all rather quiet in the land of the Frost Giants, so why not take a look at the original (free!) game to pass the time?

Antharion – Orphic Software

Goal: $10,000
Now: $5,978
Days: 35

Seeking $5,000 last than in its last attempt, which ended a few days ago, this actual old-school fantasy RPG is so far up my street it might as well just move in and share a bed with me. I’m slightly concerned that a third of the original target has been scrapped, particularly since $10,000 isn’t a huge amount of money at all. I mean, it’d be a huge amount for me but I don’t make anything except words and the occasional stir-fry. The team said this: “We’d been working on this thing for over a year, never really knowing if anyone else would actually be interested in it other than ourselves. So to find out that there were so many people out there who believed in what we were doing was just an amazing feeling.” It’s been a great start this time round and I think they’ll make it. Maybe they’ll even reach the $15,000.

Predestination – Brain and Nerd

Goal: $25,000
Now: $15,364
Days: 27

This impressive 4X strategy game raised ten thousand dollars in the last week and there’s a galactic kilogram (weightier than a normal kilogram) of information waiting in the updates. There are details on the unique playstyle of the different races, multiplayer stretch goals (including PBEM and hotseat), colonisation and fleet combat. Here is a video of a planet being beaten up.

Dizzy Returns – The Oliver Twins

Goal: £350,000
Now: £20,393
Days: 20

As promised, The Oliver Twins have explained the reasoning behind what many saw as a gargantuan £350,000 goal, also speaking to Digital Spy. The Kickstarter page itself revealed some concept art and infromatin on locations. As the targeted amount suggested from the start, Dizzy Returns would be bigger than any other Dizzy game to date, but voice acting and “console quality” graphics are also promised. They don’t specify which console’s quality they’ll be trying to capture, but at last they’re not going for PC quality, eh? With all the graphics we have in our towerful machines they’d have to add £200,000 on to the target just to cram them in.

Kaiju Combat – Sunstone Games

Goal: $100,000
Now: $30,122
Days: 20

The giant monster battler is fairly deep into its second Kickstarter run and progress is slow. Kaiju Combat does seem like the kind of game that could discover a contingent of pledgers who don’t spend a great deal of time perusing the halls of Kickstarter. Hope is not lost. The latest update has details on the game’s boss – when every character is a huge beastie, is the boss simply a larger beastie? Yes! Here are the details on Nemesis.

Below – Failbetter Games

Goal: £15,000
Now: £4,569
Days: 12

Last week I said that Below probably doesn’t need frequent updates because there’s a playable prototype available. Somebody pointed out in the comments that updates would still be appropriate and I admit my error – with only one update since it launched, Below’s Kickstarter page looks like it’s been abandoned. It almost certainly hasn’t – and Failbetter have the previous to show they are capable of greatness – but the future doesn’t look bright for the digital card game.

Elite: Dangerous – Frontier Developments

Goal: £1,250,000
Now: £631,630
Days: 34

Elite: Dangerous has spaceships in it – you can see them here. It also has a galaxy that evolves over time, which is much more interesting if you ask me, which you didn’t, but being here is an implicit acknowledgement that you don’t object to reading my Saturday morning brain-slop. Mr Braben explains how a player’s actions might cause economic changes in the video below.

SPORTSFRIENDS – Die Gute Fabrik

Goal: $150,000
Now: $66,209
Days: 9

Pledge $15 or more to the multiplayer jollity collection and receive TENNNES, which looks fantastic. It’s Pong with less restrictions, tennis with the rules worn down to a scoring system. I still reckon this will make it, despite a very slow couple of weeks just gone. There’s a wide community with their eyes on it and I anticipate a big push sometime soon. Anyone here pledged? Anyone planning to?

Pro Wrestling X – Wrestling Gamers United

Goal: $75,000
Now: $16,396
Days: 6

Perhaps it’s the man-grappling fan in me that assumed Pro Wrestling X would have an easier ride. I lament the lack of a decent modern PC wrestling game every single day and this looked like it might fit the bill. To soothe the pain, UK residents can watch Rab’s short on British wrestling. The rest of you can’t though because that’s the way television stations work apparently.

The Ship: Full Steam Ahead – Blazing Griffin

Goal: £128,000
Now: £12,258
Days: 29

I’ll be talking to Blazing Griffin early next week, all being well, and hope to learn more about this sequel. It’s been a very slow start but there’s still a month to go so everything could change.

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81 Comments »

  1. Deadly Habit says:

    Damn no mention of Thorvalla yet again?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Thorvalla is looking pretty dead right now ($45k of $1mill, 17 days left)

      I’m amazed by the idea that, given the guy’s apparently involvement in Planescape: Torment, I’ve never heard of him (especially in comparison to the other “big name” people who worked on PS:T like Chris Avellone, Feargus Urquhart). Considerably less clout than Project Eternity’s line-up.

      I do like the chick riding a giant-bat though.

      • Premium User Badge

        Oozo says:

        If I’m not wrong, he was a producer, not a designer for Torment. Howeve, he was the designer for the Realms of Arcania-games, which in some circles are held in equally high esteem. (They are among the most complex and ambitious RPGs ever created.) So I’m a bit disappointed that the KS is dead already. (Even though the pitch was not stellar.)

        Oh, and Adam: Any reason why you didn’t include Hoopz Barkley 2 in the list of winners?

    • enobayram says:

      I love how he uses Mt. Rushmore as a symbol for “be in the game”.

  2. Hoaxfish says:

    Can’t remember if this has been posted before:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lagamespace/la-game-space-a-place-for-re-imagining-video-games

    It’s to build a sort of community workspace.

    The more important thing is that you can get a whole bunch of games from well-known people.

    5$ gets you a new game from the guy who made Katamari Damacy and Noby Noby boy, working with the guy who made Canabalt.

    For the 15$ tier you get Noitu Love 2: Devolution, Aquaria, Off-Road Velociraptor Safari, The Basement Collection, and Super Crate Box: X-Mas Edition… as well as 30 new games by a mixture of people (reasonably famous people). I believe Noitu Love, etc are recent additions to the tier reward, in case anyone has previously looked at it before.

    The new games are experiemental/prototypes, so it’s obviously not going to be 30+ AAA man-shoots.

    The various tier points upwards are the normal T-shirts and posters.. and stuff that might be useful if you actually live near LA and are a game-dev or something.

    They need about $65k (out of $250k) within the next 6 days to pass the goal.

    edit: actually looks like RPS has knowledge of it somewhere, since their page has a quote from John Walker

    edit 2: found the original article: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/11/16/30-new-indie-games-by-known-devs-for-15-for-good/

    • mwoody says:

      Whoah whoah whoah, I’ve been passing right by that one for WEEKS now, thinking I had no interest in helping build a physical location in a state thousands of miles away. I had thoroughly misunderstood the title.

      Everyone, go read this Kickstarter. $5 gets you a new game by the guy who made Katamari Damacy, and there’s more.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        I think I was doing the same “the building sounds cool, but I don’t even live in the same country so I can hardly visit it”… then someone (I think Indiegame blog) mentioned you get a bunch of games, and who was making those games (and I really haven’t gotten round to buying Aquaria) so I plunked down the money.

  3. Premium User Badge

    CheesyJelly says:

    Can you please ask Blazing Griffin who they actually are? I’m weary to back their kickstarter when they’re being incredibly vague about what the team has been involved with in the past…

  4. Inigo says:

    I was fairly leery of War for the Overworld when they announced they were abandoning their original remake and starting from scratch, but then they got Richard Ridings to narrate their video and now I feel all weird inside.

  5. GraemeL says:

    I thought Below looked interesting and decided to check out the prototype before making my mind up on whether to back or not.

    Clicked the sign in with twitter button and it wanted permission to alter my profile and post tweets for me. Erm, no.

    Tried to register an account and tabbing from the email to password field replaces the page with raw javascript code. Switched from Firefox to Chrome to see if it was a browser problem and got the same result.

    Decided it’s not worth backing.

    • malkav11 says:

      None of the StoryNexus games, Below included, will post to your social networks without your directly asking them to. I’m not actually sure if anything other than Fallen London currently even supports posting stuff to your social networks at all – it was something I only ever did for a once a day action refresh in Fallen London, and that’s not currently working, nor is it supported in the other games. So I’m not sure why you’re having trouble with the e-mail-based account generation, but Twitter and Facebook would be safe.

      • Premium User Badge

        lazy8 says:

        Are you really suggesting that Twitter and Facebook are safe?

        • malkav11 says:

          When the concern is “will this game spam my friends without asking?”, yes. Failbetter doesn’t do that. From the perspective of “should I sign up for these services to begin with?”, probably not. But he clearly already has a Twitter account.

    • The Random One says:

      I’m very confused. You can register into StoryNexus with just an e-mail and password, like every other site on the universe, though you can also register through twitter of facebook, like an alarmingly high number of sites on the universe. I admitedly haven’t checked out Below but unless they pulled the prototype from the regular StoryNexus site you can create an account there and check it out through the top bar (or even force it through its url, which I suppose should be below.storynexus.com).

  6. Demiath says:

    What about Telepath Tactics, a Fire Emblem-style tactical turn-based RPG with extensive multiplayer support as well as a singleplayer campaign? The game has already been in development for two years and the creator is the thoughtful, experienced indie RPG developer Craig Stern (Telepath RPG: Servants of God) who have, among other things, often been featured in Sunday Papers here on RPS.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1426761469/telepath-tactics?ref=live

  7. oleo says:

    Hello,
    I am posting a link to Oxygen (a small turn based strategy game) :

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/oleomingus/oxygen-a-turn-based-strategy-game?ref=card

    Do visit the Kickstarter page.
    Thank you.

  8. sybrid says:

    War for the Overworld sounds interesting, although calling what is currently up a playable demo seems a bit dishonest – unless I missed something, it looks to me like a map you can walk around in the first person… and that’s it. It doesn’t exactly give you an idea as to how the game plays, unless the game is controlled in the first person and you’re the only creature in it and you can’t do anything but walk around and jump (at least I think you can’t – I tried clicking on stuff, but I didn’t try every key on my keyboard, just all of the letters and space bar, as well as left and right clicking with the mouse).

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s still better than most video game kickstarters put up, but I don’t see how it would sell anyone on the game who wasn’t already sold – I came out of that demo with exactly as much knowledge about the game as I walked into it with.

    Also I think they forgot to attach colliders to the statues, because I could clip right through them.

    Still, a new Dungeon Keeper game, even if it’s had the serial numbers filed off, is definitely worth watching.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Their page refers to it as a “playable showcase”, while RPS has called it a “playable prototype”, it’s only that the actual page URL has the word “demo” in it.

      I haven’t played it yet, but I think the language was specifically tailored not to suggest it was an example of the fuller game, but rather just a demonstration of the technology/interaction.

  9. MeestaNob says:

    I know I’m going to get piled on, but in my opinion the reason The Ship 2 isn’t doing very well is because the first one wasn’t very interesting to the vast majority of gamers. Ugly, boring, and pointless, but an RPS darling, so I await your cries of “mad and wrong!” etc.

    • gschmidl says:

      Totally agree.

    • Rich says:

      Wrad and mong!

    • InternetBatman says:

      I wasn’t a huge fan of it either.

    • Xocrates says:

      Yeah, it was interesting, but hugely flawed. The promise of a straight-up remake in a new setting just isn’t captivating.

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      Madong!

      From this moment, I will stand for the opposite: Gnodam.

    • mwoody says:

      I was really fascinated when the Ship first came out, as it was a new kind of thinking, deliberate multiplayer I’d never seen before. But then Assassin’s Creed multiplayer ended up being a carbon copy with tons more features, so I see no reason to go back to it.

      It wasn’t helped by my finding a steampunk setting much less interesting than the original.

    • Yglorba says:

      I thought The Ship had a cool idea, and I had a bit of fun with it. But yeah, ultimately it was flawed on a conceptual level; I can’t say I’m eager for a new version. It’s just that once you learn all the rules and get used to a level, the game wears thin fast.

      On top of this, it requires a specific type of player for multiplayer to be fun, and most of those players bleed away fast. The fact that the servers are basically dead now doesn’t inspire hope for a remake unless they drastically change the formula, which it doesn’t sound like they’re doing.

  10. Rich says:

    Apart from the surface exploration and combat (a nice idea), and the turn based rather than real time tactical combat (less nice), I can’t see much to distinguish Predestination – Brain and Nerd from SotS and its ilk. The planetary bombardment trailer didn’t even look much better than SotS.

    • mwoody says:

      Uh, not to put too fine a point on it, but if you consider real time combat to be superior to turn based (blasphemer!) then no, it’s probably not going to thrill you.

      • Rich says:

        It’s not a question of if it will thrill me. I want to know what really makes it stand out? There are a hell of a lot of of 4X space games out there.

        Fair enough, though, if the answer is that it’s an entirely turn-based alternative to the others.

        • Tinabeans says:

          Hi there, Rich! Thanks so much for bringing this up – it’s something we’ve been asked quite a fair bit in interviews, PMs and comments, so I think I will make a wee update to highlight our unique points a bit more and tie all our responses together.

          You’ve already hit on our main unique points when you mention the surface exploration, tactical combat via a strategic hex grid and bombardment mechanics. You also mentioned our turn-based combat, which isn’t quite as unique but is something that the team as players really get behind.

          One thing you didn’t mention (and that we’re really bloody excited about!) is our terraforming system, which will have significant tactical implications. It also goes hand in hand with making truly unique races – each race will favour a certain planet type and will as such gain certain bonuses from that.

          While on the topic of races, I think we’re pretty unique in our efforts in customisability: we are making a point-buy race system for players, ships will be modular to allow you to make strategic design choices and you will be able to customise your game in terms of galaxy size etc. We hope that our efforts in this department make for a higher level of replayability than other titles.

          Our blueprint system is unique and should stop mid and late-game micromanagement from becoming a chore. With that system, you can save set blueprints for certain colony types. Let’s say you’re playing an aggressive game in which ship production is a priority: instead of having to fill each and every colony with ship-building-related objects, you simply make a blueprint for a ship-building colony and set up each new colony you desire to follow that same construction pattern. Similarly, if you update a blueprint with newly researched tech, you can roll out that update to every colony with the same blueprint without having to visit them all. We hoe that’ll give you more time to focus on the fun stuff, like smiting your enemies and making explosions happen!

          Sorry for a long-winded answer – I fairly rattle on when I start ahaha!

          My best,

          Tina, Project Manager @ Brain and Nerd

          • TillEulenspiegel says:

            Really appreciate this kind of informative community engagement. It made me take a closer look at Predestination – I haven’t truly enjoyed a 4X since MOO2, and this seems very promising.

          • Tinabeans says:

            Thanks so much, TillEulenspiegel! We reply to absolutely everyone who shows an interest, because it’s something that is really important to me. I really don’t get the point of having a community of backers if you don’t engage with them ahaha!

            Tina, Project Manager @ Brain and Nerd

          • Rich says:

            Good post Tina.

            I’d be interested to know more about the terraforming. A lot of games have some kind of terraforming and a few have species-specific preferences, so I’d like to know what sort of system you’ve gone for. Now I think about it, that planetary bombardment trailer ended with the planet as a molten blob. Are scorched (or frozen, dusty, flooded etc.) earth tactics going to be possible.

            Also, the blueprint idea is a very good one. Star Ruler’s governors achieve the same sort of thing, but you don’t get the same kind of control. With your system you can refine your blueprints to be as efficient as possible for a given planetary function.

          • Tinabeans says:

            Hey, Rich!

            There will be various technologies you can get in the course of a game that can convert a planet from one type to another. Terran planets will obviously have all 4 environments, so will be suitable for all races. However, those technologies don’t only apply to planets you own: an enemy can use terraforming tech to mess with a terran planet, say, to flood or freeze it. This’ll be particularly useful if two races have colonised the same planet – you are playing a robot? Terraform the planet to a frozen planet and watch your fleshy competition freeze to death!

            I hope that answers your question! Thanks again for asking about the game.

            Tina, Project Manager@Brain and Nerd

          • Rich says:

            “if two races have colonised the same planet”
            Now, that is interesting.

    • AngoraFish says:

      Hopefully the Irish accent in the video will make its way into the final game.

  11. StranaMente says:

    Project Godus had some unusual peak on the 8th day http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/22cans/project-godus/#chart-daily when they announced a new low level tier. During that day they lost almost 3.000£ only to recover at the end, but still close with a net loss of -46£.
    Let’s put this under “how to not do your kickstarter campaign” list.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I still think Godus has a unique problem. The main name, Peter Molyneux, is not unknown, obscure or forgotten… but his “notable” public perception is one of failing to deliver on promises. The very thing Kickstarters rely on is the perception that a developer can make good on its promises.

      However, it is still partially balanced by his Bullfrog/early Lionhead output, giving his name some positive weight.

      I think one of the best moves has been for the Godus updates to have that other guy to remove the idea that it’s just Peter alone in a room going through ideas.

      • Grogmonkey says:

        There are a few problems with the Godus Kickstarter, most of which boil down to the fact that the entire thing is based off of words and some concept art. There isn’t a solid piece of gameplay to the game so far, and even in one video their guy coding the prototype was asked “We’ll have a playable demo before the end of the Kickstarter, right?” To which the reply was “… maybe.” This is not a team that’s ready to sell a game; it’s only selling an idea. And it’s selling it off the back of the words ‘Populous’, ‘Black and White’ and ‘Dungeon Keeper.’

        There’s also the issue of confusion in the design (there isn’t even a game yet and we already have the two faces of the Kickstarter disagreeing about what the game is going to be about!). The middle three videos (and I haven’t watched the last one yet) all contain points where questions from the community were asked, fears briefly allayed, then quickly dashed on the rocks of Peter’s “well… that’s not exactly true…” It’s no surprise that these problems occured at the same time as people leaving the Kickstarter in droves.

        Honestly, I just think there aren’t enough people that will blindly back something with no semblence of a plan or any type of prototype. And those that would have already done so. Peter really needs to pull something magical out to convince people that he’s not full of crap and can actually deliver the goods. Past events suggest that that’s unlikely to be the case.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          The one thing in the videos I find a bit weird is that they demonstrate a number of the concepts using a variety of old media… Lego models, Peter drawing with pencil and paper, physically pointing a camera at a laptop screen to show some concept art.

          I know there’s a sort of “in the moment” discussion thing going on, but it feels like they haven’t seen “content-creation” software before. Compare it to 24hr game jams which throw up working games in hours, you’d thing they could slap together a bit of video splicing and tech prototyping.

        • Xocrates says:

          Design is iterative, and clearly Molyneux’s main reason for doing the kickstarter was to have audience participation in the process. I expect there would be disagreements and some vagueness at this point.

          Granted, they’re selling an idea, but I don’t think they’re doing a terrible job at it, and Double Fine got loads of money by selling an idea for an idea, while Maia had people campaigning left and right for it despite never explaining the game or shown anything other than fairly pointless tech demos.

          • Grogmonkey says:

            Yes all design is iterative, but only up to a point. That point should be when you start asking people to pony up £450,000. Because if you want me to put my £20 down, then I want guarantees that that design is still going to be valid in 9 months when the game is done. At the moment, it’s been a week and already the two designers that are being put in front of the camera can’t agree on what the design is. This is not an iterative process, this is people not knowing what they’re doing.

            (And just so we’re clear, this isn’t some kind of armchair game development talking…)

            Which brings us to point two; the main reason for doing this Kickstarter is to raise £450,000, not to ‘engage the audience in the design process’. We know this because 1) Peter Molyneux doth not often share design duties, and 2) he has already said things are going to be in the game that people in the comments section do not want (see: having to build on flat land, and not being able to bring people into your home world).

            Granted, Double Fine did well by selling a dream. But a couple of points: Double Fine have a recent and proven track record. Molyneux’s last game was Curiosity (I find it curious that no one is talking about THAT any more…), which is beset with questions and technical difficulties. Hard for people to forget such a recent ball-dropping. Maia sold because it HAD a tech demo. And Roth did a fairly good job of explaining what his idea was (it’s like Dungeon Keeper and Theme Hospital and tower defence). There’s tech demos and screenshots and mock-ups and actual things that help shape a video game. Godus has about 5 pieces of concept art, a fairly pointless design document (riddled with gramatical and spelling errors, by the way), and some Lego.

      • Jimbo says:

        Except ‘other guy’ doesn’t really sound like he knows what he’s talking about (because he’s ~12) and there’s no chemistry between the two of them at all. Has he even played the games they spend whole first video referencing?

        I’m also not convinced that taking the ‘best bits’ from game x, y & z and jamming them all together is the best way to go about designing a new game, or even a good way to go about it. Sure, apply the lessons you have learned where it’s appropriate to do so, but this sounds more like the vision is being dictated by those lessons rather than enhanced by them.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          The “let’s look at DK/Populous/your-fav-game-here” idea is poor because there’s no real discussion of the depth and impact on the rest of those games, or even how they’d blend the elements together. I think it would be a world better if they had some functioning prototype, and as they show their systems they refer back to the original inspiration from X game.

          While I think they could’ve got a better “other guy” (or maybe made the discussions a little less unplanned free-form), it’s the idea that there’s just someone else there (a stand-in avatar of the unformed backer opinion). Hopefully there’s some place in Peter’s brain where he realises he’s saying this stuff out loud, to other people, because there is a physical reminder sitting next to him.

          • Yglorba says:

            The one that annoys me most is the comparisons many game concepts make to Dwarf Fortress, since one of Dwarf Fortresses’ most salient features is the insane emergent complexity resulting from over a decade of constant development. It’s not something you can replicate over the course of a “normal” game lifecycle.

        • Xocrates says:

          “but this sounds more like the vision is being dictated by those lessons rather than enhanced by them.”

          Given that Godus seems to have nearly nothing in common with Dungeon Keeper and Black and White, I find that interpretation to be erroneous. They discussed what worked and didn’t work in those games, and what features they wanted to use. It’s hard to argue that the vision is being dictated when, for instances, the only things they take from Black and White is the physicality of the world and the idea of gestures (which is used in a slightly different context).

      • Caiman says:

        Lionhead proved they could deliver solid products (the Fable series, of which 2 was the highlight) despite Peter’s overhyping of the concepts and ideas. Indeed, by the third game I wondered if they’d lost sight of what was enjoyable about the concept, with nearly every activity boiled down to the most simplistic idea of “gameplay”. He just went way too far with it.

        Then Curiosity, what a disaster! I was impressed by Peter’s ability to get so much attention for a toy about clicking blocks, with less gameplay than Minesweeper, but not only is the end product about as compelling as you’d imagine (ie. not at all) its execution has been terrible.

        When it comes to risk, I’d say putting money down on Project Godus KS would rank pretty highly. Good luck to anyone who does, but I’m steering well clear of it.

    • Xocrates says:

      Did they actually create a low level tier? I was under the impression they just made a new non-limited 15£ tier and a 20£ version of the limited 15£ tier.

      Anyway, and regardless of all the bizarre backlash, I honestly do hope that Godus succeeds. Past the hyperbole it genuinely sounds like an interesting game, even if it underdelivers, and Molyneux and friends have been one of the most open teams I’ve seen on kickstarter.

      I would give a miss to the godamn squeaky chairs though.

  12. Text_Fish says:

    Peter Molyneux talks like a stoned vicar. It’s quite a relaxing ambient sound, but I struggle to pay attention.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Holy hell. Wild Bill Stealey* pitching a Kickstarter? I was joking the other day that all we need now is for Matthew Smith to pop his head up out of a toilet and try and pitch funding for a Jet Set Willy MMO.

      * My apologies… that’s Lt. Colonel JW “Wild Bill” Stealey.

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      F-35 funding ends tomorrow and it’s not even at 1%. While I played F-19 and Gunship more than was healthy, and I’d love to play a middle-ground game between Hawx and DCS, the “heroic” pitch video and lack of any updates since October do not inspire confidence.

  13. Prime says:

    Love that Maia made it. Excellent news. That completes my ‘Most Anticipated’ list of awesome gaming now actually coming my way: Limit Theory, Starship Corporation, Maia…maybe Star Command as well. Brilliant.

  14. adonf says:

    even the week’s loser (I might change that word in future Katchups because I’m a softie)

    PC gaming, right?

  15. Lanfranc says:

    Seems that contrary to all the recent hand wringing about how Kickstarter is being taken over by big names with nostalgia-driven projects to the detriment of the smaller projects, the latter are still doing quite well while the former (Braben, Molyneux) appear to be struggling quite a bit.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some sort of psychological break-point in the backer community when Shaker/Old School RPG by Romero’s company got cancelled before it could failed.

      At least with some things, the original devs seem to have be beaten to the punch by indie fans. Maia coming ahead of Godus, Spud’s quest ahead of Dizzy, Limit Theory ahead of Elite (though behind Star Citizen I guess). A lot of the indies know they’re lower on the food chain as well, so often come bringing playable demos, or more developed concepts.

      • b0rsuk says:

        But the popularity of Maia largely relies on the premise that “God games are not made anymore”, and Simon mentioned Peter Molyneux in first words of his project description. If fans of Peter Molyneux’s games are feeling they’re being neglected, surely they should be overjoyed by having THE man return to god games ?

        Simon didn’t have much to show, his first video actually shows almost exclusively static objects, no actual gameplay. He scrambled to remedy that before the end of the Kickstarter, and he’s relatively little known. And somehow he doubled his funding in the last few days. Maybe Molyneux should ask Total Biscuit to help him ? Maybe Total Biscuit’s recommendation is worth more these days ?

        • Hoaxfish says:

          Obviously the current pitch of Maia looks a little differently (changes reflect the new details etc), but I felt that while it did bring references to Dungeon Keeper (and molyneux/bullfrog in general) it also brought other things which were not anchored in nostalgia for those games. Arguably the sci-fi aesthetic pulls in another form of nostalgia (Silent Running, etc).. but baring some other instances like Startopia, it’s fairly outside standard “management game” resprays (i.e. most DK clones… are set in a dungeon with fantasy monsters, magic, etc)… actually the genre is fairly diverse once you’re outside the “fantasy era” thing.

          At no point during the main pitch video does he claim God Games aren’t being made any more (something Molyneux, and TB’s video promoting Maia do). Name-dropping Dwarf Fortress is fairly obviously counter to that idea. Of course, with Dungeons, Impire, a Game of Dwarves, etc all sticking quite close to the visual setting of DK… making another DK visual-clone could easily lead to a misstep in terms of setting yourself apart.

          So, I guess my point is that while he may be kindling an sleepy genre, a lot of the pitch seemed to say he was not backward looking… TB’s move to explicitly highlight the “old school/neglected” aspect may not be entirely in keeping with what the game is aiming for exactly even if it helped pass the funding goal. As it has been pitched it obviously competes with other God Games, whether or not they rely on nostalgia.

    • Prime says:

      Yeah, that’s been good to see.

      It’s getting a bit irritating how most folk ’round these parts, including some local journalists, seem to approach Kickstarter like it’s going to bite or explode killing every first born son. “How long will it last before ‘fatigue’ sets in? Is Kickstarter based purely on Nostaliga/will it prevent truly original ideas from occurring? Will the established names ruin it for the little fish?” Don’t get me wrong. Caution is always wise. It’s just that has to be balanced with nice things, like hope and optimism, and that’s sadly rare in these pages of late. Has a decade of DRM, Micropayments and Publisher abuse of Gamers really taken that much of a toll?

      • b0rsuk says:

        If the first round of Kickstarter projects are mostly good and great… never.

  16. mwoody says:

    Alright, predestination gets my monies. The tier structure is also very clever – lots of extra value like “all dlc free for life” or “extra copy” – so points for that. I may end up being pulled even further up the reward tree.

    • Tinabeans says:

      Aww, thanks so much for that! I’m glad you liked our reward tiers, actually – we stayed away from giving away small physical shinies and focused in on what we actually want to give you: a compelling game! Tee shirts are cool and keyrings are cute, but we realise our limits and are trying to do the best we can on a competitive budget.

      Tina, Project Manager @ Brain and Nerd

  17. znisses says:

    Well, one that I hope will make is http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/monstrouscompany/road-rebel-with-music-by-rob-zombie-motorhead-puss
    Looks cool to me and being a sucker for drving, shooting and good music… well, I want it :)

  18. pilouuuu says:

    I’m so happy for Maia and Sui Generis!

  19. Entitled says:

    I think some some projects are being too generous for their own good, offering a full copy for £5-£10 like Maia and Sui Generis, while other, equally popular games can get twice the money from the same amount of backers, or the same amount of money from half the backers.

    Most people don’t look at Kickstarter as a shop in the sense that they are actively looking out for cheap sales and preferring those over expensive ones, yet most of them don’t think of it as charity either, as long as they get a copy, very few will care about giving more for symbolic extras. As long as it’s a roughly reasonable value, they will just hit the first tier, so raising the minimun to £20 could have almost doubled their incomes.

    • malkav11 says:

      I am far, far more likely to back a game project that offers the complete game in the $5-15 (or pound equivalent range) than any higher. It’s not that I won’t ever go higher, but I have to be very sold on the game concept and the ability of the team in question to deliver on it. Because ultimately, Kickstarters are a risk – there’s rarely even a prototype game available, and it’s unlikely I will see the finished product within a year’s time, if ever. I’m willing to risk a few bucks on almost anything that seems like it’d be cool and might pan out. I’m not likely to be willing to risk much more, and if I am it’s more sensible to try to hook me with higher tiers with digital bonuses like art, music, and so forth than it is to price the basic game tier higher. Because just because -I’m- more interested than average doesn’t mean other potential backers will be.

  20. stiffkittin says:

    @Entitled, sort of agree with you about the £10 range, but this maybe reflects what they feel they’ll ultimately charge for the game. Charging less for games is proving a very lucrative trend in digital distribution these days. Not just for indies either.

    As for Maia there’s a lot to be said for encouraging that first spurt of backers prepared to risk their cash, with a limited offer ‘early-bird’ deal. Raising awareness and building community is worth gold to indie projects.

  21. Lemming says:

    I don’t mean the ‘oldies’ any ill-will (I backed elite 4 for a start), but I find it heartening that the new kids (spud’s quest, kinect void and Maia) have all reached their funding while their peers and inspirations who’ve either sat on their laurels ignoring their fans, or come out of the blue because they’ve seen which way the profitable wind is blowing, are struggling.

    It seems somehow fitting that there seems to be a collective “no, you’ve had your chance, let someone else have a go” from the gaming community. Obsidian, IneXile and Double-fine don’t really fall into that category, as they’ve all publicly tried to do games we wanted to see for a long time.

  22. Premium User Badge

    elderman says:

    I hope Adam’s right that Sportsfriends will find its support base. I’m a supporter because I want to play these games, have wanted to for ages, and I want to share these games with my friends. Also because I love the idea of local multiplayer on the PC.

    I wonder if one of the reasons that the bundle has struggled a bit so far is because it will require extra hardware: gamepads, and in the case of J.S. Joust motion-sensitive controllers. That makes for an extra expense; and it’s a bit hard to figure out what gear you’ll need. In the end, if I understand right, to play all the games it’ll require gamepads, bluetooth, and Playstation Move controllers (or possibly some other controllers with built-in accelerometers.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I was originally excited by the idea of Sportsfriends; I would love to see more local multiplayer come to the pc. My partner and I are really interested in computer games to play on the tv right now. However, Sportsfriends has some serious problems, that kept me from even seriously considering it:

      Most of them are multiple controller games, and lack any keyboard support.
      They boot into their own custom linux distro play.
      They don’t even know if Joust is playable on PC; if it is you need to set up wiimote support.
      There’s no mention of the Razer hydra.
      The super sportsfriends games require an x-box controller.

      After these issues it kinda seems like a Camoflaj situation, where PC is included just to make the money they need, but the real platform is something else.

      • Premium User Badge

        elderman says:

        I just want other people reading this to understand that it seems like the hardware and platform support is going to be there for the Sportsfriends games if the campaign succeeds. The Kickstarter page says bundle will be cross-platform and support “a wide range of controllers”.

        Getting from where the games are now, in the alpha state played at special events, to the broad support for PC platforms and PS3 is what the Kickstarter is for. After the work of “two expert multi-platform programmers to port all the games” a lot of the limitations will disappear.

        The more frustrating limitations that wont go away are for some of the rewards at higher contribution levels.

  23. PatrickSwayze says:

    No love for the Legend Of Dungeon?

    Well it’s surpassed it’s goal so is it already a winner?

    Either way it looks fantastic and there is a playable demo that’s regularly updated on the Kickstarter.

  24. Branthog says:

    Man, the second Kickstarter attempt for Alpha Colony is really a sad tale. Near the end, they got a private backer and a grant of some sort from the State of Colorado Film Incentive something or other to basically match their fundraising dollar for dollar. meaning that if they raised the $50k goal, they’d have $100k for the project.

    The $50,000 fundraiser failed in the final seconds by $28. That’s six-thousands-of-one-percent. Ouch.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1547218311/alpha-colony-an-exploration-building-and-trading-g

    My kickstarter ledger: http://goo.gl/AiGW2

    • mwoody says:

      Wow, that is a shame. Looking at their stretch goals, though… a single player campaign, hotseat multiplayer, and online multiplayer are all stretch goals (the third being a $300k [!] one). What would the $50k version even have been?