Kickstarter Katchup – 10th February 2013

By Adam Smith on February 10th, 2013 at 7:55 pm.

In terms of anticipation and dollars pledged, this has been the week of Dreamfall Chapters but you already knew about that one, right? The Katchup concerns itself with all Kreatures, great and small, and there are plenty of newcomers this week, including Tom Hall’s keen platforming tools, Projects Awakened and Cornerstone, the mad and possibly brilliant Ritual Dementia and gorgeous light-speed drifter, Race The Sun. Some projects are teetering on the brink of failure but, as we have seen with the adventure game in the past, any news reports of Kickstarter’s death are entirely premature.

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 stare directly into the Katchup without the correct protective goggles.

The Winners

The 90′s Arcade Racer – Pelikan13

Goal: £10,000
Now: £11,006

The colourful arcade racer is over the finish line and Paypal support has been added, in the hope that some of those stretch goals can be reached. The project’s scope has already changed somewhat though, with an announcement expected soon regarding new team members and (possibly) new platforms. Linux and Windows are already supported though, so what platforms could Pelikan13 possibly be talking about?

Fortis Rex – Ancient Realms Studios

Goal: $7,000
Now: $7,431

A little over a week ago, Ancient Realms were considering scrapping the current Kickstarter to return with a stronger pitch later in the year. What a difference a few days can make. There will be a combat arena demo of the game available on February 23rd but it’ll only be available to backers, whether through Kickstarter or Paypal. The finished product should be similar to Mount and Blade and it’ll be interesting to see what marks Fortis Rex out as it approaches release at the end of the year.

The Losers

Nada.

The Players

Delver’s Drop – Pixelscopic

Goal: $75,000
Now: $13,639
Days: 30

I love delving. I didn’t even realise how much I loved it until I tallied up a list of all the games I play that involve any action that could reasonably be described as ‘delvish’ in nature. There were 476 games on that list and Delver’s Drop could be added to their number. It’s a top-down dungeon crawler, with loot, lots of enemies, infinite environments and fetching graphics. A closed beta is expected in August and a pledge of $25 or more will grant access to that, while the full game is due in October on PC and Mac, with mobile versions to follow.

Dreamfall Chapters – Red Thread Games

Goal: $850,000
Now: $539,988
Days: 27

Not a bad start, eh? Chances are, you already know that Dreamfall Chapters is the eagerly awaited continuation and indeed conclusion to the trilogy that began with The Longest Journey. If you do want to know more, you could read the first part of my mega-interview with Ragnar Tornquist and key members of the team. Or you could read the second part. When I publish it. Tomorrow.

Race the Sun – Flippfly

Goal: $20,000
Now: $1,416
Days: 24

Sometimes I spend so long looking at the forest that I forget to point out the individual trees. I should have noticed Race the Sun as soon as the Kickstarter flew into action but the intervention of attentive readers was required to ensure it is listed here. Jim wrote about the free version of this gorgeous race through infinity a while ago and you can still try that version. The Kickstarter aims to raise the necessary cash to add full mod tools, multiplayer co-op, new game modes and more. The free version just sapped a good deal of my evening and when a Sunday evening is being sacrificed to the Katchup, I consider every second I can salvage to be precious.

Project Awakened – Phosphor Games Studio

Goal: $500,000
Now: $93,591
Days: 23

Nathan has the full scoop (I reckon he’s a Phish Food kinda guy) on the ultra-customisation of Project Awakened.

The basic idea behind Project Awakened is that you get a nigh-bottomless pool of superheroic powers and looks to mix and match in whatever manner you please.

A new video showing the depth of the ‘create a player’ functionality, which is the heart of the game, is expected soon, so look out for that. In the meantime, permit your eyes to feast on this.

Project Cornerstone – Aidem Studios

Goal: $24,000
Now: $4,132
Days: 27

“An Open world, action/adventure/puzzle game with an emphasis on physics and player-choice” is what Aidem Studios promise and the early footage reminds me of Wind Waker, which is a pleasant thing to be reminded of, as long as no late-game sea-hunts are involved. It’s a game that puts a focus on playing with the world and its component parts, and I’m planning to try my hand at an early build sometime in the near future.

Ritual Dementia – Sithog

Goal: $10,000
Now: $955
Days: 18

I’ve had more emails regarding Ritual Dementia this week than any other Kickstarter project. It’s easy to see why, with a set of features as impressive as they are odd: perma-death, family bonds, genetic commingling with demons, ecosystems, wildlife, rituals, hunting, hydration, survival, sanity and prosthetic limbs. I’m not sold on the look but the Kickstarter page does contain these phrases: “Explore the dangerous plains, carnivorous forests, and what I think looks like a castle” and “A lo-rez graphical adventure to protect your eyes from the graphic nature of this game”. I have to say, reading that that kind of sells me on the look. I’m also impressed by the promised October release date, which allows for three months of ‘padding’ to deal with unexpected problems and perfection of the dark arts.

Worlds of Wander – Tom Hall’s Pieces of Fun

Goal: $400,000
Now: $42,313
Days: 19

Tom Hall’s new Kickstarter venture could be called Commander Keen’s Little Big Planet, except that would probably lead to lawsuits and, hey, maybe the legal fees could be paid by way of crowdfunding? The campaign is actually to raise money for Worlds of Wander, a platform game creator, and Secret Spaceship Club, which will be the first game made using the tools, and a spiritual sequel to Commander Keen. The initial pitch video, which you can see below, didn’t particularly interest me but there’s a suggestion of something unusual in the latest update. The main character will have:

Normal, happy, sad, mad, afraid states. What emotional state you are in determines your abilities…who you can interact with and how you interact with them!

I’m listening.

Asylum – Senscape

Goal: $100,666
Now: $65,670
Days: 17

There is a huge market for horror and despite the many bumps in the night and bloodbaths that an average week of game releases includes, terrifying games are few and far between. The excitement that builds around trailers for the likes of Amnesia and Among the Sleep is proof of the craving for chills that exists. Scratches was flawed but frightening, and while the new game from creators Senscape doesn’t have a particularly original setting (clue’s in the title), it has already attracted a large chunk of its target figure. Intriguingly, it’s set to be an adventure game with mod potential:

Many other game genres allow you to create mods, so why not an adventure game? Thus, we’re formally announcing that, yes, when the game is complete you will have access to every asset we produced and an SDK that we will prepare for this reason alone.

Here’s a new video:

Terminus – Harbour Games

Goal: $25,000
Now: $4,431
Days: 10

It’s all gone a little quiet on the distant frontier, with the colony-builder struggling to attract funding and without an update for a week and a half. There was mention of further videos and ‘gameplay mock-ups’ but nothing has materialised yet and it may well be the lack of anything particularly concrete to show that has caused potential backers to shy away from what is a compelling concept. Colony management, with all manner of disasters waiting in the wings.

Wildman – Gas Powered Games

Goal: $1,100,000
Now: $465,236
Days: 5

Nathan spoke to Chris Taylor at DICE:

“I’ve been fighting on the field for 15 years as an independent developer. I don’t want to sell my soul. I’ve turned down all these opportunities to do it, and it wasn’t exactly to the devil, but it wasn’t a golden ticket either. I knew if I sold, I’d probably be shut down in three-to-five years. I didn’t want that. I want Gas Powered Games to go on for decades. So I’ve been fighting and fighting and fighting.”

Full interview here.

Unwritten: That Which Happened – Roxlou Games

Goal: $75,000
Now: $47,073
Days: 3

There’s not much more for me to say about Unwritten. I’ve spoken to Joe Houston about the game, the Kickstarter and what happens if the pledges don’t arrive. I’ve expressed my own feelings as to why this is one of the most interesting turn-based strategy concepts I’ve seen in a good while. With less than 72 hours to go and a fair chunk of cash left to raise, it’d be easy to despair but Roxlou are thinking positive:

For you budding Kickstarter statisticians, our next big milestone comes at 81%, or $60,750. At that point only 0.05% of projects with that much funding have failed. Feel free to check the stats for yourself.

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37 Comments »

  1. abandonhope says:

    Unwritten. I don’t know where the last big rush is going to come from, but I’m pretty confident it’s going to come.

    Also, Kickstarter is suddenly filled to the brim with tempting projects again. I bit on Project Awakened and The Longest Journey.

    I wish Terminus were doing better.

    • LegendaryTeeth says:

      I think the problem with Unwritten is that there isn’t much to get beyond the basic game at $15. $25 to get in a week early? Eh. $30 for a beta? I have finished games to play. $50 for a soundtrack? Maybe, but that’s more the sort of thing I want after I know the music is good.

      The $100+ stuff looks ok, but that’s pretty far away from $15. I might have done it for $50, especially seeing how much they are struggling.

      • jrodman says:

        You’re probably right, but I don’t let the funding levels stop me from contributing more or less as I see fit.
        If I thought this game was likely the best thing ever that I really wanted made, I might put in 60 bucks and check “yes, the game please, that’s it”

        Meanwhile there are other things that I’ve wanted to see made a bit and didn’t want to give me anything for less than 30 dollars. They got like 5 from me.

      • Moraven says:

        They should maybe try to include more digital goods.

        The one problem with the bundling physical rewards is unless lots ordered them, you end up losing money than having any actually towards development of the project.

      • abandonhope says:

        I think some of the rewards were priced oddly, which is probably why they added a whole slew of digital add-ons. I added $10 to my pledge for the soundtrack, for instance. I really like the screen print, but I don’t have that kind of money. A poster of that would have been cool, but the truth is I never do anything with posters anyway.

        • JFS says:

          I’d even go as far and say that 15 $ for the basic game might be a little too much, given that it seems very experimental and far from everyone’s cup of tea.

          A lot of Kickstarter game campaigns give the game at 10 $, with semi-AA stuff such as Wasteland 2 or Project Eternity or nearly finished games such as FTL going up to 15 to 25 $. In those cases, however, you’re more likely to know what you get for that money. As newcomers, they probably should have aimed a little lower.

          • jrodman says:

            In the end I pledged 10 for this, because I think it’s an interesting concept, and probably should get made, but I have no interest in playing it.

          • abandonhope says:

            FTL was actually $10, which I think is the best argument for Unwritten being $10, because they’re pretty similar in scope. I’ve noticed that entry-level, get-the-game tiers have been trending up in price, and I’m not a fan.

            I’ve seen a lot of people argue that pledging to a Kickstarter is not a pre-order (true) and that you shouldn’t expect to get a discount, but I think that’s bullshit. It’s much riskier than a pre-order, because it might never get made, or it might turn out shit, and it’s a much bigger ask than a pre-order, because you have to wait a long damn time to play.

            That said, Unwritten is easily worth $15 to me. The extra $10 I pledged because I absolutely adore the music so far, and I’m happy to throw a few extra to the projects I want that are doing something truly different. I want different a lot more than I want to feed my nostalgia, although my nostalgia is kind of hungry.

            In the end I think niche projects probably need to charge more than $10, depending on budget requirements, simply because there aren’t going to be enough people who’d want the game or even bother to try to understand it. Simply not having the right keywords–fantasy, magic, zombies, Schafer*–is enough to bounce a lot of people.

            So yeah, I dunno. I’m a cheap bastard, but I feel like I have to balance my preference for spending little with my searing desire for new experiences in games.

            *insert the dev, gaming legend or franchise you worship here

    • c-Row says:

      Terminus would probably do better if they hadn’t stopped updating their site after the fourth update. I’d like to see this happen, but they didn’t even provide something like concept art to back their idea… :-/

  2. tigerfort says:

    Yaay for Adam, who sacrifices his Sundays that I might investigate games to possibly throw money at without having to wander into the troll-infested swamps of Kickstarter itself.

  3. mwoody says:

    It really seems like Kickstarter is rebounding from its holiday lull.

    Ritual Dementia is interesting, though I am confused by this quote:

    If I am funded even further then I can get developer certifications to publish on consoles like the Playstation 720, Xbox Vista, and Wii U2.

    If it’s a joke, I don’t get it.

  4. Hoaxfish says:

    Both Race the Sun and Delver’s Drop (probably my favourite looking game this week) have Steam Greenlight pages as well.

    Also, Death Inc is still in play on Kickstarter (and Greenlight again).. they’ve already had 6 updates about various things.

    Golem is a new one, and looks fairly neat. It’s by a studio that won an Oscar for best animated short, and have made some fun iOS apps (not PC games before as far as I can see).

    Someone mentioned it elsewhere, but this seems appropriate too… Wasteland 2 has put out a gameplay video.

    Project Cornerstone’s 2D reminds me a bit of Treasure Adventure World (the coming HD version), but I’m glad to see all that 3D physics.

    At The Gates is also a winner (currently 109% funded).

    • jrodman says:

      Golem looks .. unlikely to succeed.

      A sort of unclear game design, from a studio who has zero PC games so far, asking for 750k. I don’t think that’s going to work.

      I’m sort of interested in what I’ve read so far, but it’s not clear enough for me to back yet.

  5. ukpanik says:

    A decaying asylum. How innovative.

    • abandonhope says:

      Yeah, have we run out of scary settings or something? The game doesn’t look at all bad, but I’d kind of like to be frightened somewhere else.

    • Velko says:

      Haunted Ministry of Public Works!

      You wander around endless rows of cubicles now empty and devoid of life as we know it. Suddenly you are scared shitless by a horribly misformed undead bureaucrat who violently throws a plan of a new highway at you. Then you have 30 days to file an official complaint.

    • The Pink Ninja says:

      I’m curious: ‘xactly what settings haven’t been done or aren’t silly by their natures?

      You either have settings that are just silly (Haunted ministry of public works, haunted brothel, haunted Camden market) or stuff that has been done in other games: Cryostasis did boats, Alan Wake did forests, Silent Hill did towns, Left 4 Dead did farms and hospitals. I’m sure I could mention at lot more if I was really a horror game affianardo. And that’s just games, before we get into movies and TV shows.

      This is assuming you don’t want to do fantasy or sci-fi anyway… actually I could really go for a sci-fi horror game not centrered about space and blaster guns.

  6. killias2 says:

    After writing about it just a few days ago, I’m surprised At the Gates didn’t get a mention. It’s passed its goal, but the pace of funding has definitely slowed to a crawl.

  7. Teovald says:

    I have The Longest Journey and Dreamfall in my game library but since I know too many unfinished stories already I have never really delved into them. It looks like it is time to install TLJ.

  8. kupofatu says:

    just as Phyllis explained I cannot believe that some people can get paid $6404 in 4 weeks on the internet. did you read this page http://www.Cloud65.com

  9. Martel says:

    ROAM looks to have almost doubled it’s funding request and still almost has 2 weeks to go as well

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/roam/roam

  10. Klingsor says:

    As I came in a bit late last week here once more: there is a Transport Tycoon like game being worked on. It’s called Train Fever and the developer is campaigning on Gambitious: http://gambitious.com/ideas/2496-train-fever-pc-mac

    Unfortunately the plattform is more about professional funding rather than real crowd funding and it’s currently not accessible from the US. However I just thought it might be worth bringing it to your attention.

  11. Wonderboy2402 says:

    Unwritten sounds really interesting. I especially like their choice for music and the presentation of choice. I kicked in.

  12. AlienMind says:

    Please check out http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/factorio/x/879943?c=home
    It’s about being crash-landed on a planet having NOTHING and having to build everything from scratch.
    Has demo and everything.

    • Tiax says:

      I SECOND THAT !

      No, really, I came here to post about Factorio and from the few levels I played (there’s a free alpha with 3 playable missions) I could be such a good game !

  13. Aerothorn says:

    Adam, clarification: Dreamfall Chapters is NOT the third game in the Longest Journey Trilogy. If Tornquist’s old blog posts are still reliable, it’s essentially “part 2 of part 2″ i.e. the Dreamer Cycle constituted the middle of the trilogy, with an as-yet-unrevealed/not-wholly-written game (possibly called The War of the Balance) being the third game in the trilogy.

    Which, yeah, is pretty obtuse.

    • The Random One says:

      Not as obtuse as Assassin’s Creed 2 being three games long, but I liked that…

  14. Bobka says:

    Why no mention of Death Inc.?

    I’m surprised at just how slowly that project is gaining funds. It’s growing even more slowly than At The Gates (in raw cash as well as percentage of goal).

  15. Tams80 says:

    Project Awakened looks fantastic, but I really hope they make the characters hold their weapons properly. Sure, they have superpowers, but hip firing is just plain stupid.

  16. SlappyBag says:

    Although not technically a game I’m one of the developers working on HabitRPG and it might be up all your guys street;

    https://habitrpg.com/
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lefnire/habitrpg-mobile

  17. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    Ritual Dementia has MDickie written all over it. Uncanny.

  18. Shooop says:

    Holy hell. Project Awakened is…

    YES. GIVE ME THAT.

    • The Pink Ninja says:

      I agree with the wanting but it’s never gonna make it :(

  19. derella says:

    So happy for Ragnar and Co. As excited as I am for DFC, I can’t wait to see what they do after that!

  20. Branthog says:

    God damn it. I spent thousands of dollars backing game related Kickstarters in 2012. I swore I’d slow down in 2013. Hang back and watch the fruits of my contributions in the first big KS year, first. Instead, I’m well on my way to my 500th backed project. WHY HAVE I NO IMPULSE CONTROL?!