Kickstarter Katchup – 3rd March 2013

By Adam Smith on March 3rd, 2013 at 6:14 pm.

There haven’t been any ‘losers’ in the Katchup for a while, partly because projects that are moving very slowly tend to be removed before they run out of time, and partly because there haven’t been quite as many small projects to cover. The list of ‘players’ is increasing rapidly though and even though the first comment will undoubtedly be from somebody reminded me of a game that I’ve missed, there are plenty of things to see. However, the influx of new entrants is balanced somewhat by this week’s losers. One is a small, surreal project, the other is a grander and more direct proposition. The creators of both have vowed to continue their work in some form.

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 several currencies in play. Always check!
  • When you have finished consuming the Katchup, please place the wrapper into a waste disposal unit. Do not leave discard it willy-nilly because it is garish, non-biodegradable and constructed of highly radioactive materials.

The Winners

Actual Sunlight – Will O’Neill

Goal: C$2,000
Now: C$2,545

Considering the small target, this looked like being a much closer thing than the final result might suggest. It’s a triumph for the truly indie project though, with the two thousand target going toward artist’s fees for updated graphics and whatever is left paying for as much original music as possible, and the Steam Greenlight submission fee. It’s easy to forget that those fees are a barrier when dealing with projects valued at a few hundred thousand dollars and more every week. You can read John’s thoughts on the current free version of Actual Sunlight here.

Days of Dawn – Bumblebee

Goal: $50,000
Now: $54,135

This was Bumblebee’s second attempt to Kickstart their striking open-world RPG, with turn-based combat and a ‘unique’ emotional magic system. When I mentioned it in last week’s Katchup there were a couple of hours left on the clock and almost ten thousand dollars to raise so it’s quite a surprise to write Days of Dawn into the winners’ section. It’s still possible to donate via Payapal. Reaching $62,000 would unlock Android and cross-platform support, while the $55,000 goal, which seems inevitable at this point, will allow for more content.

Factorio – Tomas Kozelek

Goal: €17.000
Now: €20.446

Factorio has had an incredible campaign. Two weeks ago I started to receive emails about it, from people who seemed amazed that I hadn’t already been playing the alpha demo, which you can should try right now. It’s “a 2D game about building factories on an alien planet” and when the full alpha comes out later this month, I’m hoping that even more people play it and realise that it might be one of the most intriguing strategic-puzzlers ever committed to code. Word of mouth has done wonders for the game already – when I played it, I immediately knew that there were four or five people in my life who have been waiting for this kind of thing for a long time. Even if it’s not for you, you’ll more than likely know somebody who is waiting to fall in love with its exploration of arcane, alien assembly and management.

The Losers

Ritual Dementia – Sithog

Goal: $10,000
Now: $4,343

Ritual Dementia was a risky proposition – for many, it was clearly too weird to fund, but thankfully, it’s too rare to die. Sithog will be returning to Kickstarter in the near future to re-pitch the generational roguelike-horror adventure. In the meantime, you can follow any developments at the Sithog website and it wouldn’t be a bad thing if you checked out some other games while you’re there. Lumberjack Simulator is great and contains the essential ingredient of every game of the year worth its salt. Bears.

Worlds of Wander – Tom Hall’s Pieces of Fun

Goal: $400,000
Now: $107,766
Days: 5

Tom Hall’s platform game creation toolset and Keen successor had a surge of support in its final hours but it wasn’t enough. Chins are up though, at publicly at least, and the project has its own website.

We will do our best to make this is a reality in our spare time (and that also depends on what our day job’s company rules are). But we will get there. If you want to be generous and support our efforts, donate here.

Those are direct contributions, remember, rather than ‘protected’ Kickstarter pledges.

The Players

Ultimate Disassembly – Noble Empire

Goal: $30,000
Now: $930
Days: 53

I’ve played with a few of Noble Empire’s disassembly kits before, although I didn’t know they were all the creations of one studio. You can pick apart the inner workings of several guns and vehicles via the company’s website, or you can take a look at the more ambitious models in the video below. The four models set for inclusion are a time-travelling automobile, a WWII carrier-capable aircraft, a Humvee and a Russian helicopter. These projects are fascinating, making me dream of another life where I decided against being a medieval lord, dark fantasy hero or spaceship pilot, and chose to be a mechanical engineer instead. It’s a good life.

XING: The Land Beyond – White Lotus Interactive

Goal: $15,000
Now: $8,876
Days: 28

I look at a lot of games so I’m forgiving myself for the lapse that occurred a few moments ago. I was preparing to write about this first-person adventure and as I scrolled through the Kickstarter page, I noticed that one of the handsome men of RPS had already written about the game. What a silly headline he had written! Turns out it was me. It’s good to see the project in such fine shape and the small target reflects the progress already made. I’ve included a video packed with exploration below because it’s ace. The actual pitch video is, as always, at the top of the Kickstarter page.

J.U.L.I.A. Enhanced Edition – CBE Software

Goal: $5,000
Now: $2,207
Days: 41

J.U.L.I.A. is a sci-fi adventure with a strong sense of xenobiological mystery and several different playstyles. I have to admit, I only ever found time to play the demo of the original release but it has developed an appreciative following. The crowdfunding campaign is at least partly a result of the fallout from the Lace Mamba Global situation. CBE cancelled their publishing agreement with the firm back in January:

It’s an extremely sad ending of the past four years of our life. We’ve created the game using our very own budget without any external funding yet we were able to create a title we are really proud of. When well-known publisher, whom we have trusted so much, behaved like that, it was an extremely demotivating experience for us.

All of the earnings from the original release have been spent to repurchase the rights to the game so that it can be self-published in its enhanced form.

Empire Eden – New Horizon Games

Goal: $19,000
Now: $522
Days: 24

Watching Empire Eden in action reminds me of a holiday during which I spent every day playing Shinobi on an arcade machine. I don’t even know if I was in England or somewhere overseas. I think it might have been Italy. Maybe it was raining and I had at least a vague excuse to be trapped indoors but probably not. Anyhow, Empire Eden reminds me of those times because, at least superficially, it resembles Shinobi, although it may be more like Contra or something else entirely. I’m not the best person to quiz about these run n’ gun affairs. I should warn you that the pitch video contains a bare bottom, although it’s only made out of a few pixels so shouldn’t cause too much offence to any passing nuns.

Grump’s Quest – Rockkiss

Goal: £450,000
Now: £5,265
Days: 25

In search of almost half a million pounds, Grump’s Quest aims to combine the best of Donkey Kong Country and Abe’s Oddysee. The finished game is a long way off, with an estimated release date of June 2014, but a great deal of work has already gone into building the right team for the job. Rockkiss brings together folks with experience in game design, and visual effects work in television and film.

Our animation has been on channels from the BBC and Discovery to Disney, with our games team lead by Simon Credland being credited on numerous titles published by Sony, EA and SEGA.

Ten pounds is the minimum pledge to secure a copy of the game. Hopefully we’ll see more of the design work in future updates.

Fathom – Ironsun Studios

Goal: £120,000
Now: £2,146
Days: 26

Ahoy there, full steam ahead, or should I say ‘full steamPUNK ahead’? I definitely shouldn’t because I sound like a nincompoop when I say that. I sound bad enough just saying ‘ahoy’. Anyhow, Fathom is an attractive underwater steampunk:

You play as Nathaniel Lockhart, a Victorian adventurer, who is shipwrecked in the Caribbean Sea during the late 1870’s. Your memories of events surrounding the shipwreck are hazy, but since your rescue violent dreams of a mysterious craft attacking the Cruise Liner dominate your every thought.

Nathaniel Lockhart strikes me as a sensible steampunk name and the game strikes me as Aquaria and Bioshock’s lovechild.

Rogue System – DCI

Goal: $300,000
Now: $23,610
Days: 18

Jim spotted Rogue System long before the Kickstarter campaign started and now, two weeks after the campaign began, I’ve managed to notice it as well. The core of the premise is to create a spaceship sim with the in-depth fidelity of an aircraft flight simulator. How can a fictional craft have accurately simulated parts, you might well ask, and I’d respond by furrowing my brow and pretending to be a space captain.

The goal of the “Core Module,” or CM (the base sim), is to combine the depth and fidelity of a complex flight simulator with the classic gameplay of the space combat genre. Systems are modeled individually and are dependent on each other for proper operation; and, they are fully under the player’s control.

Aurora Rising – KaneFreeman

Goal: $15,000
Now: $5,250
Days: 13

The pitch for Aurora Rising is simple and appealing – ‘FTL in a more traditional RPG setting’. The aim is to include ship combat similar to FTL, with more in depth crew and equipment management:

The game strives to create a balance between dynamic space combat, crew micromanagement, strategic ground combat, and elements found in more traditional RPGs. Elements such as hidden items for you to find, new skills for your crew members to discover and a compelling storyline.

I hadn’t realised quite how similar the combat would look until I saw the video below, which shows the new UI at play.

Death Inc. – Ambient Studios

Goal: £300,000
Now: £104,132
Days: 3

Alanis Morissette would probably choke on her jagged little pills and insert a couple of new lines into her next performance of ‘Ironic’ if she noticed that Death Inc. has had one of its strongest weeks right before the end of its campaign. The art design was an instant hook for me and there’s a powerful pedigree in the team as well, with ex-employees of Media Molecule, Lionhead, and Criterion at the heart of the new studio. They’ve even released a prototype for people to play with and there’s no sign of a towel flying in from the corner. Here’s the latest video, showing the day/night cycle and all that it entails.

Mage’s Initiation – Himalaya Studios

Goal: $65,000
Now: $62,371
Days: 19

The folks behind Mage’s Initiation have been remaking Sierra adventures for more than a decade and their new project is an original game that has a strong resemblance to the greatest of Sierra series, Quest for Glory. You can’t argue with that assertion unless you’re willing to back Police Quest because you enjoy nothing more than mindless procedural guff, or Gabriel Knight because you’re too hip to play games with swords and sorcery in them. You can try Himalaya’s remakes here. Mage’s Intiation is clearly on the path to success but the updates are all excitable babbling about rewards and new/adjusted tiers, which won’t be particularly interesting unless you really want a cloth map or have lots of money to spare. Come to think of it, I do like cloth maps.

Poker Smash – Void Star Creations

Goal: $7,500
Now: $2,028
Days: 17

In my own words, based on experience with the XBLA version, Poker Smash is “a fast-paced, combo/hand-building game, which shares some of its genetic makeup with Tetris Attack”. The port is apparently almost complete and a demo is available but the most recent (and indeed only) update on the Kickstarter page seems rather desperate.

We need you to spread the word! We have a great conversion rate of people backing us, but we need more people to know that we exist!

WE NEED YOUR HEEEEEELLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is not a poker face.

Back to Bed – Bedtime Gaming

Goal: $12,000
Now: $3,790
Days: 13

This puzzle-laden somnambulist simulator has not made a great deal of progress in the last seven days, which is a shame because the demo, created for the IGF Student Showcase, was delightful, if rather simple. If they reach the target, the team will be expanding the game considerably, with new levels, new mechanics and a second world with a new visual theme. After having my socks blown off by its trailer earlier this week, seeing an isometric puzzler automatically causes me to mention Pavilion again.

Var and the Vikings – Brainworth

Goal: $31,000
Now: $7,834
Days: 20

There are a lot of diverse projects loitering around the Katchup at the moment, making slow progress toward their goals. Var and the Vikings actually doubled its earnings this week but it’s still less than a third of the way to victory. There’s plenty of time left and I suspect that some of these more esoteric projects, with smaller funding targets, will defy the usual mid-term slump, maintaining slow, steady progress throughout.

Var and the Vikings is a puzzle-platformer that will teach players about ‘behavior trees’, an artificial intelligence tool used commonly in video games and 3D animation…To this end, players of Var and the Vikings will design artificial brains for their Nordic heroes, automating them in the same way that game programmers design non-player characters in current commercial video games.

Try the prototype.

Enemy – Tom Johnson

Goal: $15,000
Now: $14,582
Days: 5

Four hundred dollars left to go, but I’m celebrating already. Enemy has enough metaludological gubbins at its core to make my weary academic mind creak pleasantly back into action but wrapped around all of that is a tactical roguelike, with combat inspired by UFO: Enemy Unknown and heaps of procedural generation. Its worlds are patchwork quilts of gaming history and they hang on a scaffolding of physics-driven turn-based tactics. There is a large update detailing the skill system:

Mental health is also drained by sustaining injuries, and seeing allies injured; loss is reduced in the presence of allies and increased when a character is alone.

Delver’s Drop – Pixelscopic

Goal: $75,000
Now: $63,705
Days: 9

Delver’s Drop picked up the pace this week and appears to be destined for victory. I’ve had the chance to play an early build and it looks as impressive in motion as it does in stills, making good use of what I like to call ‘debris effects’. Things break apart well, including the player character, who bursts into skeletal components when he dies. Each level of the drop is like a small arena, with various forms of loot-stash to smash into bits, monsters to murder and traps to avoid. The current build only contains one game mode, which is a survivalist dash to the bottom of the pit, or rather a headlong dash toward death. I’ve already become quite accomplished, until I meet ghosts. And then they slaughter me, every single time.

Race the Sun – Flippfly

Goal: $20,000
Now: $7,745
Days: 4

The demo version of Race the Sun is stylish and slick, which makes the extremely slow progress of the Kickstarter perplexing. It’s possible that the endless racer genre doesn’t naturally lend itself to the possibility of expansion, but Flippfly’s new pitch video attempts to put such doubts to rest. Along with more obstacles and scenery, the full game would have modding tools and multiplayer support. The new video is below.

Project Awakened – Phosphor Games Studio

Goal: $500,000
Now: $255,081
Days: 3

Project Awakened has pushed its ‘create-a-player’ feature so hard that it’s entirely possible that some people don’t realise the entire game isn’t an avatar construction kit. There are missions, with multiple approaches possible, a plot that involves some dramatic alternative history and varied multiplayer scenarios:

Different gameplay scenarios will call for different character makeups. A capture-the-flag game might involve one character with stealth abilities sneaking past the opposing team and grabbing their flag, while another character with freezing powers stops the enemy flag carrier.

That said, the latest video does show more of the character customisation, which involves a hand that splits open in a horribly unnatural fashion, and a skull with startling eyes that happily reminds me of the Knightmare ‘Life Force’ face as it peels back in the latter stages of a contestant’s life.

Project Cornerstone – Aidem Studios

Goal: $24,000
Now: $8,154
Days: 6

Project Cornerstone doesn’t have a mind-bendingly brilliant concept or a pitch video that makes my jaw drop, but it looks like a solid combination of various things that I do enjoy. It’s a roast dinner but at the moment the Yorkshire pudding is entirely lacking a gravy-coat and the potatoes are undercooked. Sixteen thousand dollars are needed to complete the dish and the latest video shows a reasonably large slice of the meat of the matter.

And also!

Continue Magazine

Goal: £50,000
Now: £2,659
Days: 18

Continue is “a features-led magazine celebrating ALL forms of gaming and gaming culture”. What that means is long-form explorations, dissections and dissertations of and on topics related to gaming, specific games and the wider culture of human persons ‘having fun’. The money would go toward producing four more issues and paying the writers who produce the included features. Continue invests in slow-burn journalism, allowing time for research and development of stories and only releases an issue once every three months, so the funding would support a year of publications. Check the reward tiers for details on what’s in it for you, because not every pledge will receive every issue. In place of a playable demo, you can see samples from the first three issues here.

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78 Comments »

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  1. int says:

    Project Awakened seems Molyneuxian with their promises.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      You can do anything

    • gwathdring says:

      I haven’t heard or seen them espouse particularly interesting ideas for balance and synergy between all of the different ability types. I haven’t heard a really solid narrative idea for all their talk about an interesting single-player campaign. I haven’t heard them talk about interesting ideas for enemy types and player obstacles. I understand that this Kickstarter is not for a game they’re most-of-the-way done with, but they don’t seem to have and solid design goals that go beyond the “that sounds like it could be really awesome” stage. So far, I’m getting build-a-super-bear and muck about. I’m not hearing them explain what will make it replayable and what will establish multiple paths through a mission. I’m just hearing that they’d like certain things to be true, they’ve got a gorgeous engine they’ve licensed and a seemingly well equipped art team to make it shine fairly well in their tech-demos … and the barest whisper of an actual game design. I’m not surprised they’re so far behind their target.

      Also talking about varied multiplayer scenarios falls really flat when “basic multi-player support” is a stretch goal that occurs when the already distant funding target is doubled.

    • The Random One says:

      The videos bring it down a notch. You can do anything, as long as it’s related to attacking people. It’s essentially Saints’ Row with superpowers, which is enough for me, but I can see why people aren’t backing it.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Saint’s Row prrrobably had a budget of over half a mil, and its superpowers were mostly constrained to one chain of DLC missions.

        • Shuck says:

          Clearly that half a million isn’t paying for the whole game’s development since they’ve obviously already spent millions (heck, it probably isn’t paying for whatever they have left to do, or covering the cost of the Unreal license). Like most Kickstarters, the amount being raised doesn’t actually have much of a relationship to the money they need. I’m not entirely sure what they do need the money for, though, or even if they need the money. Hopefully they don’t, as they’re clearly not going to get it at this point.

  2. Hoaxfish says:

    Death Inc also has a video for physics “gadgets” (i.e. trebuchet you can “wind” to fire, spinny death wheels your units can push into enemies, a cannon you need to aim by pushing), a breakdown of the troops types (including how plague doctors will work), and how the abilities like plague rats will work.

    Also, the first video for tropes vs women vs games is supposedly arriving on Thursday (7th march).

    • StranaMente says:

      Death inc. has a lovely art style, but what they shown of the game itself isn’t really inspiring. That said I pledged, since I hope they’ll refine the concept in time and I would really like to grab one of the shirts.

      Speaking of Tropes vs. women, as has already been said, one of the worse things is that a reasonable discussion about the subjects these videos will treat won’t be possible. This subject has polarized the parts involved.
      I hope and confide that the RPS may rationally and reasonably analyze those videos, since I value their work, and I liked their stand on many other subjects, even if this will surely attract some of the worse scumbags.

      • Xocrates says:

        “I hope and confide that the RPS may rationally and reasonably analyze those videos”

        Should they, though?

        Given the brouhaha regarding the kickstarter I fully expect then to give the videos a nod when they first come out, but Sarkeesian had been doing this kind of videos for some time, except related to other forms of entertainment, and she’s neither unique in making these kind of things nor is she exceptionally insightful.

        While the topic is relevant, I do wonder if there really is any reason to go so far as to dissect the videos, since I really do not see what’s to gain out of it. She’s a voice among many, and giving her the spotlight would be reductive.

        • StranaMente says:

          You’re right, but the reason I would like to hear from them, is that after those video will come out a lot of rage will be unleashed and there won’t be much intelligent reasoning on them.
          It’s very likely that the videogame comunity will be submerged for days by people screaming about these videos, but I will gladly hear people talk about them too, and I know what the RPS is capable of in this respect.

          • gwathdring says:

            I doubt it. Most of the people who made a fuss have probably either forgotten about it or won’t be very interested in the final result one way or the other. If gaming websites make a big fuss about it, we’ll see some trouble I’m sure. But I don’t think we’ll hear that much screaming and incoherent rage.

            Maybe I’m too optimistic?

          • Premium User Badge

            Lambchops says:

            @ Gwathdring

            Way, way, way too optimistic. That’s optimism cubed right there, you could take someone’s eye out with that!

          • Xocrates says:

            @StranaMente: While I agree that could be interesting, it would be so from a curiosity standpoint, not for any actual gain.

            Like you said, there will likely be people screaming about these videos, but by focusing on those videos you would essentially be vindicating the screaming by reducing the discussion to them, and this is a subject that requires the discussion to be much broader.

            Frankly, a honest discussion of the reactions (from both sides) to the videos is likely to be a much more relevant than the discussion of the videos themselves.

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            I’m not sure RPS could. There was a post about a horse riding game, last week I think, which was one of the very rare occasions that RPS deals with games played mostly by women. It would’ve been an excellent opportunity to examine some interesting questions around that fact. Instead, we got a spittle-flecked rant that I’ll cease describing to prevent deletion of my comment.
            If that’s the best RPS can do on the subject of women and gaming, they’d best ignore the whole thing.
            http://politicalmadness.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/yourenothelping.jpg

  3. rei says:

    I don’t know how much it’s okay to copy other games, but I can’t help feeling Aurora Rising is a bit too shameless about it without even trying to just be “inspired by” rather than just straight up lifting things. Even down to little things like the choice dialog. And I could swear the logo on the pirate ship looks familiar. Just seems odd.

    • LionsPhil says:

      It’s, uh, yeah. Not exactly trying to differentiate itself.

      The strong, strong impression it gives off is “copy the successful thing”.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        It also looks like it’s doing that other thing that can happen when you copy… failing to understand why the original chose to do the thing it did.

        From that combat video, it looks painfully slow compared to FTL’s stress-inducing back&forths.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Yeah, I honestly don’t know why you can’t see both ships at once, even if it has to be in minature because they plan multi-way battles or something.

    • Jorum says:

      Yes. It’s a fine idea but I’m uncomfortable with just how much it looks like a mod of FTL.
      Even seems to use the same font.

    • Lemming says:

      I’ll see your odd, and raise you a ‘bloody cheeky’. They haven’t even tried to do their own art.

    • mouton says:

      I generally dislike using the word “ripoff” but in this case, uh, I don’t know.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Yeah, but on the other hand, FTL with a meatier game around the lovely ship combat system is exactly what I wanted from FTL in the first place.

      I haven’t backed this game and I probably won’t, but I don’t really see an ethical problem with its existence. Iteration is good. If the FTL guys were planning a similar kind of sequel or expansion, it’d be questionable, but that’s not the case.

      A billion and a half games have copied WoW right down to the interface styling, and the only negative thing I’d say about that is it tends to make them shitty, uninspired games. FTL’s core mechanic was a clever thing that almost should be copied, because there’s so much possible depth to explore.

  4. StranaMente says:

    Ithaka of the Clouds – Jonas Kyratzes
    Goal 12.000$
    Now 8.162$
    Days 22
    The indiegogo campaign for the new game from Jonas Kyratzes, him of The sea will claim everything and The fabulous Screech, is still going.
    It gained another two thousands dollars this week, even though it slowed down a bit, as was expected.
    This campaing is a fixed funding one (meaning that he will get the money only if the minum is reached, just like kickstarter), you can pay via paypal, and it’s in american dollars.
    There are many interesting pledge levels and he has quite a pedigree.
    If you are interested you can look in the campaign page to check his previous games, some of which are completely free and can be played on line.

    • Seraph says:

      Also, great new Q&A vid:

    • The Random One says:

      I almost backed it at the level in which you become the author of a book in the game, but as a wannabe writer who has never written anything that does not seem a very good start.

      • alphasmart says:

        a little off topic, but I think it’s a bit silly to say you’re a “wannabe writer who has never written anything”. You wanna be a writer? WRITE!

  5. Shakes999 says:

    Why does it feel like tom hall thinks Kickstarter is just a ATM machine?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Neither of the projects he was involved in seem to have had a good grasp of what Kickstarter “expects”.

      The biggest problem with this one seems to have been that game-making “made easy” software is already fairly common, with stuff like Gamemaker or Unity being released products, and Kickstarter itself having had a fair number of them as well.

      The other problem was the whole “game and gamemaker” bundle which seems to have pushed up the base-price of the tiers… and the main characters looked like smug arseholes.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Factorio forgot to pay obeisance to the dark gods and now Paypal has eaten their money.

    • LionsPhil says:

      If people are honestly still trusting Paypal at this point then I don’t know what can be done to help them short of invoking the mental health act.

    • The Random One says:

      Like fraternity hazing, Paypal blocking your funds is a harsh but unavoidable part of becoming a grown up.

      I am so proud of you, Factorio.

  7. Zeno says:

    Aurora Rising is a straight up ripoff. You can’t just say “inspired by” then completely steal the UI and concept for a game. I want more games like FTL too, but I don’t want people to just completely clone the game.

    • cloudnein says:

      Not defending Aurora Rising, but FTL is ripoff of battlestations.info (which Cardboard Children should play.) Just sayin’.

      • Premium User Badge

        Hypocee says:

        Since Subset hadn’t played Battlestations when they made the game, that’s not true.

        It’s intended as a ripoff/variant of Red November though.

  8. Delusibeta says:

    Also worthy of note: Skullgirls’ Indiegogo to fund DLC characters arrived with a $150k goal on Monday, proceeded to blast that and now sitting pretty at $287,277. I suppose it’s understandable that it slipped beneath the radar, considering a) the goal was reached on day one and b) it’s to fund DLC, the PC version is already been funded thanks to Marvellous AQL. Still worth mentioning, however, is the fact that they’re quite ambitious with their stretch goals, with a second DLC character hidden behind a $375k wall. It’s also yet another opportunity to pre-order the PC version, and you might (pending successful negotiations with Valve) get TF2 and DOTA 2 stuff with that (again, pending negotiations with Valve).

    And before anyone complains, the DLC will be free on consoles (and presumably PC) for two months after its finished, largely because of restrictions on promo codes.

    • gwathdring says:

      TF2 is free-to-play, and if it ever leaves Beta, DOTA 2 will be, too.

      • Trithne says:

        TF2 is free, the Hats are not. That is “TF2 stuff”. DOTA2 looks to be going down the hats route too.

      • wilynumber13 says:

        He was referring to the Skullgirls DLC characters being free, not the TF2 stuff. Traditionally, DLC fighting game characters have cost money to get, with the recent exception of Playstation All-Stars.

  9. Dizzard says:

    I don’t really get Project Awakened. It seems like it’s trying to be everything for everyone and that makes me very wary.

  10. SouperSteve0 says:

    “Authentic Disassembling Experience You Have Never Dreamed About”. Well they got that one right.

    • Ler says:

      We rewrote Kickstarter texts)
      No it looks like: “A fun visual tool for understanding how cars, gunships, aircraft work (with X-ray vision) and taking them apart in a realistic fashion.”
      NE developers

  11. UncadeDave says:

    Hey, I’m the developer of Another Castle, just launched this week on Kickstarter. It’s a platformer with roguelike elements, you can check it out here:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/uncadedave/another-castle

    Funding’s gone pretty well so far, with over half of the goal being met. I sent an email a couple of days ago, any chance of it being added to the katchup?

  12. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    I saw someone who looked like that bloke in the Fathom concept art while I saw buying a baguette for lunch today. He had the hat and everything, although lacked for the impressive beard. Alas steampunk doesn’t work in real life. Might have given him a pass as a “loveable British eccentric TM” if he’d been either a) not in Oxford, or b) not blatantly an undergrad student. Unfortunately neither was true and I could only jump to the judgement that he was, loathe as I am to use the word, a pretentious twat (that’s the word “pretentious” I was loathe to use, just to clarify!).

    On a more Katchup related note I have to admit I silently screamed at the trailer for Var and the Vikings “but Zoombinis was fun!” though I have to admit that might just be my childhood memories and the fact that it was about the only time you could play a computer game at my primary school. Well that and, for some absolutely unknown reason, Shufflepuck cafe.

  13. Zeewolf says:

    Fathom seems cool, but is it Windows 8 only? If so, I can’t quite see it succeeding on KS.

    • Premium User Badge

      phlebas says:

      The page says 7/8, which sounds reasonable.
      Having a playable demo and only making it available for pledges of £25 and over seems a bit silly though.

  14. Premium User Badge

    HallowedError says:

    Rogue system looks really interesting and I love the pitch video. It felt like I had sat down in front of the guy and he was just talking to someone who asked about it. I’ll be paying attention to this one.

    • mwoody says:

      The idea is interesting, but understanding what you’re getting for each tier is as difficult as piloting the spacecraft. Is it a free game? Episodic? DLC-heavy?

      • MJuliano says:

        Yes, sorry about that. Kickstarters non-formated rewards really jumbled it up. There is the Core Module (or base sim) that you can get beginning at the $20 reward level. This is the dynamic/scripted military campaign, option to fly as an interceptor or strike fighter pilot in one of two squdrons (both squadrons fly together each mission to achieve a common goal), and the ability to walk around within the player’s orbital station in first-person mode.

        Later Extension Modules will add more gameplay. You can get the Core (CM), and ALL extension modules (EM’s) when released, along with full testing of the Core (expected to begin a year from now), beginning at $100. The reason for breaking it up was that I can only expect to be funded for the minimum amount, which would provide for only a small team. There is NO WAY a small team could do EVERYTHING I want in two years. You’d need an 4 or 5 million dollar team to even attempt it.

        The blue rewards chart is a bit easier to follow. “The Future” section describes planned extensions, and everything above that applies to the Core Module.

        Finally, there will be a bunch of free content, too (new ships, new missions, etc) and it is fully community moddable, so plenty of chances for various mods of your favorite sci-fi sim…

    • MJuliano says:

      Hi, I’m Michael Juliano. That was the intent of the pitch video. I don’t have a “famous” last name, so I felt it was important that you get to know me as well as what I’m trying to create.

      The write-up above brought out a question that a lot of people ask, “how can you ‘realistically’ model fictional systems?” This is, certainly, science fiction just as any space combat sim is. The difference being that I am modeling these fictional systems right down to the breaker, switch and shut-off valve level.

      Two reasons for doing this: one, the player will have FULL control of their ship if they want it, just as a real pilot would. Two, gone are the days of the health bar and 0-100% damage. Now, the ship can be damaged in so many ways–each offering a challenge to the player (again, just as you find in the more “hardcore” flight sims.

      Now, for a lighter experience the ship’s computer can be set to handle the low level functions. But if you want a “study-sim” like experience you can do it all yourself.

      Anyway, just noticed the comment and wanted to take a moment to reply, and make myself available for questions.

      Cheers…

      • Premium User Badge

        HallowedError says:

        I wish I could pledge but I’m in a rough spot right now. It’s unfortunate that no one else seems to be either. It seems like there is something missing that gets the masses interested and I’m not sure what it is. If the Kickstarter fails I really hope you find a way to keep working on it. This is a game that supplies something that no other game does and it’d be a shame if it never got out there.

    • crinkles esq. says:

      Rogue System does seem really promising, like a cross between Privateer and Falcon 4.0. The ship systems already built seem like the lead developer knows what he’s doing. But the goals sound fairly ambitious and the art style isn’t really nailed down, so it’s hard to tell how it will turn out.

      • MJuliano says:

        Absolutely correct. One of the first tasks for myself and the artist I will hire is a full and proper design phase. I’ve spent the last two years working on code–the core ship systems, the galaxy generator, damage handling, etc. Art has NOT been my focus, core gameplay has.

        The concept of the Orbital Station is a MUCH better indication of the visual look I want for Rogue System–science fiction, but with a strong tie to reality (rotating sections to create false gravity, ship designs based around the axis of thrust, etc).

        The Core Module is very streamlined for a small team and very achievable–a single dynamic campaign, a defined list of military assets to build, and to be able to walk within the station and do a limited number of things. Stretch goals would allow more.

        Beyond that, each Extension Module adds a new element to gameplay. Each one will be tackled in turn so we don’t get overwhelmed. It’s a very sane development plan–not taking on more than would be possible at any one time with the smallest team size…

        Hope this helps a bit…

    • Premium User Badge

      Thurgret says:

      Rogue System looks rather interesting. On the flip-side, my wallet’s looking a bit measly. Kickstarter fatigue, I guess. It’s the sort of thing that I might easily chip a hundred towards, but– as is, I honestly can’t say I’ll put in more than just one of the lower tiers. I don’t think I’m entirely alone in that sentiment, either.

      For what it’s worth, I do think the maker could stand to try and get it out there a bit more. I hear loads about certain Kickstarters, just being talked about by (Internet) people — this one, I’m only really aware of because I read RPS regularly.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    I saw the video title “Xing: Land beyond gameplay” and thought it was some meta-commentary on the games industry. Still looks pretty, mind.

    • JFS says:

      I wonder what the other XING (www.xing.com), which is pretty big in Germany at least, will have to say about that game.

  16. crinkles esq. says:

    So Race the Sun is basically a 2013 version of the Pylons area of the 1983 Star Wars arcade game? The part I endured so I could get back to blowing up TIE-Fighters? Well, someone must be a fan of that gameplay I suppose. I will say that I do quite like the art style.

    To The Land Beyond devs — you might want to make the walking speed of your exploration game a bit less Call of Duty. Kind of ruins the atmosphere a bit when you’re hauling arse through these crafted environments for no particular reason.

    Delver’s Drop seems quite polished, but not sure what really makes it stand out against the slew of other roguelikes. Factorio seems quite bizarre and graphically very amateur, but possibly addictive. Will have to try the demo.

  17. alphasmart says:

    Why has nobody talked about Grimoire yet? http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/grimoire-forever

  18. Branthog says:

    Just when I was watching the JULIA video and thinking “good god, that character’s face is incredibly off-putting”, they made a point about how part of the improvement project will be focused on making her look less like a zergling. That got $7 out of me, right there. (*Sigh*, and it is now my #448th backed crowd-funding project, FFS).

    I keep tabs on upcoming crowdfunding projects, but RPS usually still points out a couple I wasn’t aware of and manages to spur me on to pledge more than I should. Freaking great.. jeeze. :P

  19. Chizu says:

    I’d back Race the Sun, but I simple can’t afford to right now.
    And I did already actually buy the game. So I don’t feel too guilty about not being able to back it :v
    Real shame its kickstarter never really took off though.

  20. Mephz says:

    too me death inc looks like a money grab, gameplay looks terrible, I have my doubts that it will ever work. I’m also not a fan of the art but some people here seem to be, but that’s unrelated anyway..

    • jatan says:

      sure does look like exactly that- with some heavy handed backing from elements of lazy games press and some updates that border on the embarrassing in tone..

  21. Sintua says:

    I took to emailing the writer, didn’t even *think* of posting in the comments…

    I’m John Gosling, and I’ve just launched  Net Gain: Corporate Espionage! A strategy game where you take on the role of a corporate broker, managing a team of elite operatives and spies, devising plans to bring down the competition, and dominating the global markets! In Net Gain, you get to be the puppet master, directing the shadow war between monolithic conglomerates.

    I hope you guys like our project, and I’d love to see it in the Kickstarter Katchup!

  22. Cruxador says:

    Yeah, I’ve seen this Net Gain game too it looks great.

    • Sintua says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you like the look! We’ll be posting a big update about Missions sometime tonight or tomorrow morning.

  23. Bob says:

    I wish I had lots of cash to throw at Continue. They have some great writers contributing and they cover games of all kinds. I’d be more interested in the video game articles naturally, but a good read is a good read whatever the topic.

  24. Robin says:

    The World’s Biggest Wordsearch – Supersonic Software
    Goal: £5,000
    Now : £1,362
    Days: 23

    A slightly different Kickstarter from the developers of Micro Machines 2 and Mashed, looking to create a enormous (5,500+ word) wordsearch to be released in PC downloadable, app and giant poster form.

    Rewards include the option to put your name or a word of your choice into the puzzle, to actually be part of the world record attempt. The goal amount is pretty modest and if it’s funded there should be a quick turnaround on the finished goods.

  25. wodin says:

    Such a shame Rogue System a space sim really trying to do something with more depth is struggling and unlikely to be funded..and we get Torment hitting half a million in less than a day. Yes Torment will be cool..but we have a few old school RPG’s being made now…yet Space Sim fans seem happy with SC and Elite..such a shame… the amount of money many people have pumped into SC and yet they can’t spare $30 to get this baby done aswell.