Kickstarter Katchup – April 14th 2013

By Adam Smith on April 14th, 2013 at 11:13 pm.

Last weekend took on a life of its own, which is the sort of thing weekends should probably do more often, and I was stranded away from my trusty keyboard and therefore unable to type words about games that might exist at some point in the future. This was a sad thing. Fortunately, missing a week means that there are more winners than ever before and the bumper crop contains two games that I’ve played and enjoyed, at least three that I look forward to playing when they are released and a project that makes me realise how much I want to play with an Oculus Rift.

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!
  • This week’s Katchup was composed while listening to Boards of Canada and the new Kurt Vile album. Also some EL-P for good measure..

The Winners

Divinity: Original Sin – Larian Studios

Goal: $400,000
Now: $492,638

Before reading on, if you haven’t already you could spend a few minutes reading my impressions of Original Sin, which should help to explain why I’m pleased as punch that Larian have reached their goal. I’d like them to reach the million dollar stretch goal as well, despite being almost entirely allergic to the idea of holding amazing features to ransom. I know that’s not what every stretch goal represents but that doesn’t stop a rash from covering my keyboard whenever I consider them. The female character, in the image at the top of the Kickstarter page, is now wearing armour that protects much more of her body than the previous set. The new attire is a result of Larian listening and responding to community feedback.

Ritual Dementia – Sithog

Goal: $7,000
Now: $8,008

This was Ritual Dementia’s second appearance on Kickstarter and a couple of weeks ago, with three days left before possible ruination, the campaign was $1,500 short. I’m glad the project has been successful because all of these words are appropriate to use when discussing the game: ‘deliriously’, ‘frightening’, ‘exploration driven’, ‘genetic manipulation’, ‘limb loss’ and ‘demon breeding’. The game is now on Greenlight and the extra continents planned as stretch goals will be added at some point after release, which is almost a year away.

Contract Work – Iterative Games

Goal: $5,000
Now: $5,086

Crikey. That must be one of the closest Kickstarter finishes ever recorded. Has anything ever succeeded by one dollar? It must have happened. Find it. Let’s all look and say ‘blimey, that was a near thing’ and then tell our grandchildren about it. Hopefully it’ll be something good rather than a campaign to make artificial fruits constructed entirely from frozen urine, or a machine that sits in the corner of a room reminding the occupants of their past misdeeds and idiocies. Contract Work certainly looks better than those things, being a side-scrolling cyberpunk action RPG. You can play the demo by pointing your browser and face over here.

Consortium – Interdimensional Games

Goal: $50,000
Now: $54,299

Consortium is a sci-fi adventure that cares more about storytelling and characters than lasers and death bots. I’m happy to see it succeed and, in keeping with the basis on dialogue and personal interactions, many of the updates contain extensive character profiles. Good reading.

The Gallery: Six Elements – CloudHead Games

Goal: $65,000
Now: $70,504

Pretend to wander through painted worlds while actually wearing an Oculus Rift headset and stubbing your toe on the cat and then falling down some stairs. Why is your computer next to a staircase? That was an accident waiting to happen and I don’t think you can sue CloudHead Games or anybody else. The game does support other control methods buy, even though my body contains almost as much cynicism as caffeine at any one time, I’m starting to desire an Oculus Rift of my own. Is that even the correct phrasing? Would I own a ‘Rift’ of some sort? I am eager to plunge my brain into virtual realities.

Strategizer: Art Of Defense – White Titan Games

Goal: £10,000
Now: £10,202

The base-building RTS raised 20% of the necessaries during the final three days of its campaign. The team are still receiving donations at their website. The game is due in June although anyone who pledged enough to receive beta access should watch their inbox at the end of this very month.

Humans Must Answer – Sumom Games

Goal: £5,000
Now: £5,519

I wonder how much the demo helped? I certainly enjoyed it and there’s something about this game of space chickens and side-scrolling shooting that has pleased me since I first heard about it. It should be out next month, with the five grand providing resources and time for polishing and completion.

Pulse – Team Pixel Pi

Goal: $75,000
Now: $80,977

Pulse is “a first person survival game that takes place in an unseen world revealed only by sound”. Pulse has a prototype. Pulse nearly didn’t reach its goal but then this happened.

The Players

The Enraged – Right Side Down Games

Goal: $12,000
Now: $5,374
Days: 12

Here’s a tedious fact – I write the new entries in the ‘Players’ section of the Katchup in reverse order, very occasionally shifting them around to put a project that I particularly like closer to the top, hoping people will be more likely to look at it there. Terrible biased, I know, but that’s the way it is. The Enraged is at the top because it looks interesting, because it doesn’t have a great deal of time left and because it’s the last entry I’m writing tonight. It’s a turn-based RPG set in the modern world, except (of course) full of monsters, and it has some neat ideas about survival and group management. There is a demo but I haven’t had time to try it. You should.

Mineral Cities – Gareth Jenkins

Goal: £6,000
Now: £1,824
Days: 10

Mineral Cities sounds like a clever, elegant simulation and is precisely the sort of project I enjoy discovering, or in this case being told about. Rather than hollering about its superiority to the latest in simulated cities, Gareth’s project lays out its own ideas, some tweaked from existing concepts such as the triple zones of Maxis’ series, and then plunges them into a “peaceful future space, where rules are simple and minerals are king”.

You’ll quickly find yourself analysing the simplest of decisions. Anticipation, remorse, regret and reflection. It’s like playing Go with yourself while watching Solaris.

Magnificent.

Road Redemption – DarkSeas Games

Goal: $160,000
Now: $33,138
Days: 27

People really liked Road Rash, I guess, judging by the manner in which this motorbike brawler/racer has thundered out of the gates. I was one of those people, truth be told, playing whichever version of the game it was that had Soundgarden music in it for hours and hours and hours, and never managing to be very good at it. My favourite thing was crashing, refusing to get back on my bike, and running toward the finish line. I still chuckle thinking about it and it must surely be a possibility in Road Redemption?

PreApocalypse – Zachary Kingston

Goal: $8,000
Now: $1,426
Days: 25

It’s a great name, isn’t it? Zachary’s strategy/tactics game isn’t set in any old pre-apocalyptic period, it’s the point in history right before the end of everything, or at least it will be if you, the player, don’t sort things out.

Assume the throne of a doomed empire. Battle against time, politics, and uncertainty to prevent Armageddon.

It’s a one-person project with a modest goal and, judging by the words on the page, a sensible approach to scheduling and workload. Well worth a look.

Flowstorm – Neat Corporation

Goal: $50,000
Now: $2,832
Days: 17

John played Flowstorm’s web prototype earlier this week and wrote this:

…it is a game about manoeuvring a little rocket ship THAT’S A DANGEROUSLY SIMILAR SHAPE TO MY NIGHTMARES, through ludicrously tight curvy corridors. And what’s rather pleasing to discover is that’s a game about skidding, as much as it is thrusting. (Missus.)

I played it too and loved the way my ship shattered like glass, fragments splintering and shuddering to the ground. I also liked that the engines sound like whipped cream squirting out of a can.

Worlds of Magic – Wastelands Interactive

Goal: £30,000
Now: £18,388
Days: 17

I love Master of Magic, even when I remove my rose-tinted monocle and accept that it wasn’t the perfect game that my memory likes to bludgeon all other fantasy 4X games with. Worlds of Magic is being constructed by veterans of the strategy genre and looks like the closest thing to a modern take on the Microprose masterpiece as anything else out there. I’ll find out more when I talk to Wastelands in the next couple of days.

Infinite Space 3: Sea of Stars – Digital Eel

Goal: $30,000
Now: $22,127
Days: 19

I’ve spent a great deal of time playing the previous Infinite Space games, won over by their short-form space stories that require minimal effort to extract preposterous and bizarre tales of adventure from. I’m not keen on the 3d maps, partly because I fear complication and clutter in a game that I’d prefer to be clean and compact, but I’m happy to be proven wrong once I actually get my hands on the game, which should occur sometime around the year’s end.

The Big Blue – Playchemy

Goal: $665,000
Now: $48,930
Days: 14

I don’t think The Big Blue is going to make it, which may well disappoint those who miss Ecco the Dolphin. It’s a spiritual successor with the original team on board and reading some of the text in the updates has reminded me that the Ecco series was as mad as a milliner pouring chamomile tea into a march hare’s ears.

One day there is loud white noise in the ocean, the next day silence. Imagine the first Singers who sing out, “hello” and another singer from across the globe answers, “hey whats up?.”

OK.

The songs are dense with information and the sound bursts are quick and loud. All one million dolphins are doing the same thing. Singing these song bursts at the rate of 100 per minute…If you try to enter this matrix of dolphins, they will sing a Repulsion Song that will throw you back 100 meters. Other than that, they will not acknowledge you in anyway, but they will NOT let you enter their space.

Eh?

Bik – Mike Pinto

Goal: $12,000
Now: $5,877
Days: <1

I thought Bik would be on its way to the jazz-infused, pixellated promised land but pledgers haven’t been attracted to the game that is almost a biro. Among the seventeen updates, I found this demonstration of the game as it currently exists, utilising placeholder art. In the few hours that remain, perhaps this pinch of a possible point and click future may convince some to consider the sci-fi adventure. There is also a demo.

Netherworld – Martin Ziegler

Goal: £7,500
Now: £575
Days: 17

Because I am both a busy man and an occasional ignoramus, I haven’t managed to try the demo of Netherworld yet, but perhaps you have? It’s available right now, so there are no excuses. Unless, like me, you are a busy ignoramus, in which case that may be all the excuse you need. It’s a campaign in need of traction but there’s surely an audience waiting to discover this an abstract roguelike that the creator describes as:

“FTL meets Magicka in a somewhat Björk universe.”

Surely?

Guns Of Icarus Online: Adventure Mode – Muse Games

Goal: $100,000
Now: $97,902
Days: 36

I hadn’t really noticed that the campaign for Guns of Icarus’ persistent world, adventure-focused mode was going to run for quite as long as it is. Muse have almost reached the goal with over a month to spare which presumably means there are going to be lots and lots of stretch goal updates in the following weeks. Here’s the first of the bi-weekly video updates. The second is already available but I enjoyed this one more so you’ll have to click on the Kickstarter page link above if you want to watch the other. It’s a hard life.

Planet Explorers – Pathea Games

Goal: $100,000
Now: $95,200
Days: 6

By this time next week, the sandbox of voxels will be a thing of the future, which is to say, it will definitely be happening. It’s not Minecraft in space because it’s also a bit like Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts in space, allowing players to build vehicles, most of which will hopefully be wonky and hilarious. It also has a proper story set on a planet designed by the creators rather than the crazed mind of a computer. Here’s the word on stretch goals, which is like a brain-salve following the last two entries:

“I just want to say…what is up with stretch goals? We’re doing them only because everyone else seems to be doing it and people expect this. But I don’t believe in stretch goals, I believe in you do it or you don’t, there is no try. :) Everything listed on our “stretch” goals, with the exception of the last 2 maybe, we plan to do anyway once we have the capacity, doesn’t matter if we make the goals or not.”

Mmmm…brain-salve.

Something Fragile – Happy Badger Studio

Goal: $18,000
Now: $6,842
Days: 11

Hand-crafted platform-puzzler, Something Fragile, certainly looks different, unless you live in a room made of fabric filled with scrapbook clippings and knitted hearts. In that case it probably looks very familiar and you’re a maniac who has been locked away to make the rest of us safe. Thanks to requests from a mysterious presence referred to as ‘the community’, the game will be released with Linux support if the base goal is met.

__________________

« | »

, , .

48 Comments »

  1. pakoito says:

    If you don’t back Original Sin at $65 tier (2 copies of OS + 1 of Dragon Commander) I would say you’re a fool and deserve to play Dragon Age 2 and vanilla Oblivion for the rest of your life.

    • Heliocentric says:

      How is Dragon Commander? It looks vaugely Sacrifice-y.

      • pakoito says:

        It’s a mixed bag. Every turn you:

        * Recruit, upgrade and move armies around in a Total War boardgame.
        * Take part in politics for your kingdom. Every ally faction represents a sort of real-life political party: Leftwinged Elves, Libertarian Lizards, Conservative Dwarves, Integrist Undead and Imp Technocrats with real-life quotes from politicians. You will be making choices about topics like homosexual marriage, punishing rebels, free religion, abortion…which unlocks faction cards.
        * Play cards for bonuses/reinforcements for your armies.
        * Resolve all combats.

        Now in-combat is RTS. Factions are symmetrical so you have to play your cards and upgrades correctly. All player dragons are in combat, but only some have armies. Everyone is allowed to play cards to influence too.

        Every map has limited resources (population) which is granted by building control so the game is fast or just attrition to up to 30 minutes. Dragons can be spawned to fight ingame with damage and spells but their death has a big economical impact. Three dragon types for different playstyles: econ, combat and hybrid.

        Here’s one hour of Dragon Commander with everything covered. The first 9 minutes are just mic setup

        http://www.twitch.tv/larianstudios/b/389054545

        • Heliocentric says:

          I could get behind that but it could also go wrong in so many ways, I need a demo/review.

          • pakoito says:

            I edited a thousand times, anyway check the stream and make a choice. I’d bet $25 on it if you can afford it, and you’ll help OS.

          • iridescence says:

            ” I’d bet $25 on it if you can afford it, and you’ll help OS.”

            Where is it available for $25? Costs $40 to pre-order on GOG which seems like a lot. Interesting looking game though.

          • pakoito says:

            >Where is it available for $25?

            Kickstarter Original Sin at $65 tier (2 copies of OS + 1 of Dragon Commander)

        • iridescence says:

          “Kickstarter Original Sin at $65 tier (2 copies of OS + 1 of Dragon Commander)”

          Isn’t that just one copy of each game? unless I’m reading it wrong? I don’t really need 2 copies of OS anyway but it comes still comes out to $40 for DC + $25 for OS. (Well you do get some extras like the soundtrack with it if you care about that)

    • Oasx says:

      I can understand why people are exited about Original Sin, but i really don’t like turn based rpg’s..

  2. Creeping Death says:

    No mention of Ghost of a Tale? The project wont happen if it doesnt make the target, which I feel would be a massive shame.

    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ghost-of-a-tale

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      That does look rather interesting. I would hope, however, it uses the fighting sparsely and more as a highlight of danger than anything else. So that when a fight occurs it is can always be a harrowing experience and keep the tension and mystery intact.

  3. Heliocentric says:

    How is Dragon Commander? It looks vaugely Sacrifice-y.

  4. frankatank34 says:

    It’s exciting to see the positive feedback for The Enraged! We greatly appreciate everyone’s support of our project!

  5. Vesuvan says:

    Thanks for putting these up every week. I made an account to point out that Camelot Unchained, which is a very big “player” is also running. It’s an MMO in the style of Dark Ages of Camelot from the same creator.

  6. joe football says:

    One reason the kickstarter from the ecco people might be doing so poorly is that what they described sounds distressingly different from an ecco game. They talk about wanting to make it an MMO and all the mock up footage they showed was on a tablet. I love ecco, but their pitch killed my enthusiasm

    • lowprices says:

      Yeah, I think mentioning Ecco has hurt as much as it’s helped. The game concept they’re pitching does sound interesting, but most people go to the page expecting a new Ecco game, which this isn’t.

  7. NickAbc423 says:

    I’m surprised to see no mention of Shovel Knights.

  8. MrLebanon says:

    Road Redemption.. I was just talking with my friends about how we need a new road rash game. Damn! Backed!

    • Spoon Of Doom says:

      Me too! I hope it’ll turn out to be as much fun as it looks. The point that turned me into a backer was when he kicked the other biker in front of the oncoming truck. Or when he sliced another biker in midjump with a sword. Or the part where we finally get a game like Road Rash again. This is looking brilliant!

  9. Noburu says:

    I hope Worlds of Magic makes it. It looks to be the closest thing yet to Master of Magic. MoM is still one of, if not my favorite games ever.

  10. MadTinkerer says:

    What. Still no mention of From Bedrooms To Billions? Really!?!

    Come on, guys, there’s usually at least one relevant film in the film section that needs to be Kickstarted. I mean, not every month, but fairly often. And this is a documentary about the good ol’ days of the British Game Industry. Speccy! BBC Micro! Amiger! Elite! Crazy Jeff Minter games! ZZap64! The games Peter Molyneux made back when he made good games! JET SET FUCKING WILLY

    I’m not even British and I’m excited for this! Come on, then!

  11. Acegikmo says:

    Thanks for including Flowstorm!
    We’ve just updated the game to have another rocket, that is more newbie friendly, so if you thought it was a bit too difficult at first, you might find the learning curve a bit smoother this time around :)

  12. golem09 says:

    My 2 current kickstarter favorites are sadly not present:
    C-Wars
    Chasm

    Sry, no links, it’s a hassle on a mobile device

  13. PostApoc says:

    Risk of Rain is currently one of my most anticipated kickstarter projects. I love the blend of roguelike platformer and having a demo you can test now doesn’t hurt :)

  14. cptgone says:

    The female character [...] is now wearing armour that protects much more of her body”
    OK, now make the male less muscular, and both uglier, pot bellied and dumb looking, so that all are equal, and some even more.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      You only think you are making a valid point, but you really are not. You should have thought about it more.

    • Spoon Of Doom says:

      Yeah, because improving an armour that looks like it’s from a Victoria’s Secret catalogue and doesn’t protect anything to move it somewhat more in the direction of actual, useful armour which covers the body is not only the same as making her ugly, it is also a decision that clearly makes the endresult discriminating towards men.

      But really, are you serious? Personally, I like games in which female characters are displayed sane enough so that I don’t need to cringe and be ashamed whenever a female person enters the room and sees the game.

      • cptgone says:

        some boys don’t go to the swimming pool cause they’re not muscular enough.
        so why does this anti-sexism thing have to be so one-sided?

        and why is it only about nudity? people like to idolise people, assessing many traits. fact of life: we are not equal – so why should we round down to the lowest common denominator?

        also, i resent [auto] censorship.
        i’m not into the scantily clad pin-up thing myself, but why abolish it over the petty ideology of the day?

        • Spoon Of Doom says:

          What’s one-sided about it? They gave the woman actual armour instead of playboy “armour”, which makes a lot more sense and thus is more appropriate in a game that (presumably) tries to paint a somewhat believable world. Look at her, it’s not like they turned her into Frankenstein’s monster. Also, I don’t see the male character showing off his mad sixpack or something, but maybe that’s at some later part in the video that I haven’t watched?

          And because some dudes don’t go to the swimming pool, we can’t start improving games by starting with this simple point of believable armour? I just don’t get what the problem is here.

          Also, I really don’t get what “we are not equal” has to do with any of this, least of all this specific case. Making the female character wear more or less appropriate armour somehow says that there’s no difference between man and woman, or what’s the point?

          It’s a stretch to go from “a respectable portion of fans has a problem with the chainmail-bikini trope, so we listened to them and dressed the woman up a bit more appropriately” to auto or any other kind of censorship.

          I don’t really have much time to discuss gender depictions and sexism in games, so I’ll leave it at that for now.

          • cptgone says:

            you have a point. i guess i’m still too worked up by John Walker’s recent rant and my fear of censorship. i realise now this isn’t the place to address that.

        • Sordarias says:

          Funny you should mention ‘lowest common denomoniator’. If you don’t believe chainmail bikinis do exactly that, you’re all kinds of moronic.

      • Subject 706 says:

        Couldn’t agree more. The chainmail-bikini thing is as stupid and juvenile as it is possible to be.

        • 2Ben says:

          What tells you she doesn’t have some kind of energy field or magic thingie that let her not need an actual armour ? For a magician type that even would be logical…

          • Mentalepsy says:

            Well, if protecting yourself in combat were as easy as wearing a shield-generating ring or bracer – one so effective and easily acquired that physical armor is essentially superfluous – then both men and women would be wearing them, and neither would be walking around in heavy outfits made of metal.

      • Mentalepsy says:

        Yes. I’m a big fan of female warriors, and I am damn tired of the gristle-brained lingerie armor trope. I am constantly disappointed that it is still so ubiquitous.

    • Sordarias says:

      I fail to see the point here beyond ‘no! my lingerie armor is gone! curse you!’ even though it’s a juvenile and archaic relic of games past that deserves to be buried and forgotten.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Ironically, most women I know don’t mind the scantily clad females in video games. One even suggested to make the female fighters sexier in some game so you “want to fight along with them” :P . Often it seems that these sexy fantasy characters wear what many women would if they were less shy and there wasn’t the ever present risk of sexual assault.

      This argument is gonna be one-sided anyways because of the mostly male readership of RPS. This is not about feminism, it’s a bunch of guys arguing about how their fantasy girlfriends should be dressed.

  15. frightlever says:

    Glad to see Planet Explorers is almost guaranteed to make it. The freely available demo consumed me for a couple of weekends. Now I’m waiting for major developments or a release.

  16. Scratches Beard With Pipe Stem says:

    Besides FTL, have any good Kickstarter games been released yet?

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Remember, FTL was mostly finished when they started their Kickstarter. Kickstarter projects often start with no work done whatsoever (Broken Age) or just concept work. So very few video game projects from around the same time, or more recently, have had sufficient time to complete between FTL’s release.

      From the list of things I’ve backed:

      Full version released: Giana Sisters, Ravaged,

      And the following have had Alpha or Beta releases to the backers: Chuck’s Challenge 3D, Jetpack 2, Malevolence, and Castle Story.

      Most projects I’ve backed have had regular updates, usually at least one video update every few months as well as monthly or even weekly text updates. Only a few have crashed and burned, but that’s to be expected.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>