Spider-Man Too: Energy Hook Launches $1 Kickstarter

By John Walker on May 10th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

When you mention web-spinning games, there’s one distinct cry: Spider-Man 2! Lauded for its swooshing through the streets, it’s the game to which all others fall short in this respect. As we reported a few months back, the man responsible for that well-loved slinging is working on Energy Hook, that intends to take the mechanic and go further with it. That’s Jamie Fristrom, the technical director and designer on Spidey 2, who was the one who ensured that the webs had to attach to buildings, rather than the sky. And now he’s after your cash. All $1 of it.

Energy Hook appears to be a combination of accurate rope swinging, and stunt games like SSX. Fristrom’s odd Kickstarter goal of a single dollar is, he says, because he’s determined that he’s going to finish this game no matter how much is raised. But the more he gets, the better that game he can make will be. He has, in essence, gamed Kickstarter to be purely about pre-ordering and stretch goals.

Were you a cynical type, you could also argue he’s gaming Kickstarter to get around the need to clear a particular funding goal before he gets the cash – but then since so many projects deliberately set their figures lower than they need, and rely on stretch goals, if anything it seems a more honest approach. His stretch goals go up to $130,000 presently, with a new set of levels added at $90k, but the assurance is that the game will be finished and released if just a buck is raised. It’ll be interesting to see how donators react to the approach. It’ll be $10 to secure a copy of the game on release.

There’s an absolute ton of in-game footage in the KS video, which you can see here:

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96 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    Yachmenev says:

    No f’cking way I´m pledging to a $1 goal project. That’s just the project leader trying to take the easy route.

    Set a proper goal and write a proper pitch that explains the set goal, then I might be interested.

    • Tacroy says:

      On the one hand I agree with you in general, but this game in particular looks close enough to done that I’d believe his “I’m releasing it anyway, I just need to gauge interest to know how much time to invest” spiel.

      Honestly though he probably should have set the goal at 30k and gone from there.

      • Entitled says:

        It’s more honest this way.

        He could have put up a fake goal project even though he already has the funding for the game itself, and then use all the KS funding for stretch goals.

        But at least this way, backers know what they are actually backing.

        • Premium User Badge

          Yachmenev says:

          Sure, he’s honest about not having a clear and convincing project plan, you gotta give him that. Everything else about this is pretty stupid, and disrespectful against potential backers though.

          I don’t want him to put up a fake goal, I want him to put up a proper goal that he believes in. This way of using kickstarter to check potential interest is something I won’t spend anything on.

          • Kitsunin says:

            The way I see it: He is going to release the game. At present his intention is to release it without any of the stretch goal content. The Kickstarter exists so that people can pre-order his game, with optional perks (Something which cannot be done outside of Kickstarter, hence why it isn’t just pre-orders). However, he would like to make the game into more than he is planning to at present, so he is using Kickstarter, that he might see how much he can put into the game, or if he should just start wrapping development up now, which he would do if it weren’t for Kickstarter.

            I don’t see that as being dishonest at all. If anything it’s much LESS dishonest than these games, like Forge for instance, which start a Kickstarter, their Kickstarter fails, then they release anyways…what the hell was the Kickstarter for, then? Shouldn’t they have just done what this guy did?

          • Hmm-Hmm. says:

            Well, he has said he will make the game no matter what, so that’s a big reason. Compare that to the many projects which depend on kickstarter to realise their.. well.. project.

    • Gnarf says:

      If I’m mildly interested but not super-interested in some Kickstarter, there’s always some retard commenting on how the Kickstarter is total bullshit that makes me go “I’m probably supposed to do the opposite of this guy here and throw some money at it.”

    • iucounu says:

      Yeah, I don’t want to invest in a $1 Kickstarter. What I want from a KS pitch is something that looks like a business plan. “I plan to make a thing, and indeed have already prototyped it for you to look at; I have calculated that it will cost $y; please give me $y.’ Here, I know that I am handing over cash for something that doesn’t yet exist and may never live up to its promise, but I’m adequately reassured by the notion that they’ve identified all the steps they need to take to fulfil my pledge. I also know that if I’ve just gone barmy and backed an obvious lemon, the wisdom of crowds might save me from actually parting with cash.

      Here the proposition seems to be more like “Either I have no idea how to go about this, or I don’t need your money; please hand it over right away.” I don’t think it fits the model. The way KS operates best is when it encourages certain kinds of behaviour – engagement with backers, plenty of detail and communication, clear goals and rewards, and actually delivering stuff. On a $1 Kickstarter, there’s no critical need to do any of that. It encourages laziness and imprecision.

      The thing is, KS is already risky enough. I backed STAR COMMAND (the PC version) and when the iOS version came out as well I skipped a pint and bought a copy there, too. It’s… kind of disappointing so far. It feels like an irritating and skinny version of FTL with a fiddly interface. It’s not what I thought I might be getting, which would be a Kairosoft version of Star Trek, RPG elements and all; though perhaps this is really version 0.4 of the game, features-wise. As the first thing I’ll be getting as a KS backer, though, it was a bit of a reality check.

    • Mctittles says:

      One problem I see with a $1 goal is you will probably get less total donated that way because of number priming.

      When someone sees a 2 million dollar goal, their mind starts at 2 million and goes down from that to determine how much to donate. At $1 your mind has to go up from that so the maximum determined in your head to donate is likely much lower.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        Is that really a problem, though? As long as it’s clear what people will get and what additional money donated will give to the project (at stretch goal points or otherwise) I see no problem there.

  2. AngoraFish says:

    Time to dump Kickstarter Katchup’s restriction on covering flexible funding… discuss.

    • Wurstwaffel says:

      Woa, I didn’t even know about that restriction, should’ve read the rules. Why is it there in the first place?

      • Erinduck says:

        Probably because flex funding is ridiculously exploitative since you get the money regardless of how little funding you actually get.

        • Premium User Badge

          darkChozo says:

          Is it exploitative? The reason why flex funding could be seen as bad, as far as I can reason, is that it potentially means that a project will be in a state where there’s no chance it could be finished, but the money disappears anyway. Like, if there’s some minimum floor of support you need – a year’s worth of salary, or $20,000 worth of tools, or something – to make the project even possible. Without a goal, you end up in a place where funders still lose their money even though it’s essentially pointless; you’re not getting off the ground.

          In this case, it sounds like he’s essentially asking for the equivalent of an expanded budget. His floor for completion is extremely low because he’s already got most of the game; within his existing budget, he could release the game, though it might not be feature-complete or might be buggy. He could establish some arbitrary minimum goal (say, $10000 for a major feature), but it’d basically be lip service; due to the nature of software development, any extra time or money spent will probably result in an improvement of the software, via bug-fixes and testing and such.

          I mean, feel free to question the intent behind this or the clarity of the pitch or anything, but just questioning it on the goal itself seems a bit lacking.

      • John Walker says:

        It’s there because the IndieGoGo flexible funding model is far too easily exploited. If you need $30,000 to make your game, and you raise $2,000, you obviously aren’t going to be able to do anything at all with that. But you still get $2,000 of people’s money. That’s just not a model RPS sees as something to be endorsed or encouraged. It seems fair to us to have a rule in place that we’ll feature projects where the consumer is relatively protected by there being at least a stated goal.

        Which yes, also makes *this* project a controversial one, and hence my raising the point in the piece, and questioning the validity of such a choice. Does this cross that line? Should we be happy linking to it?

        I made the decision that yes, we are in this case, because not only has the developer has made it clear that the game will definitely be appearing, but further I’ve actually played a build of it and therefore know it’s already a working game. This funding is all about seeing how much more he can afford to add to it before deciding it’s done. But my position on this is still moveable.

        • DrollRemark says:

          This is basically just pre-ordering under another name.

          • Eclipse says:

            not at all, when you preorder, you preorder a game that’s going to be out for sure, and you can have your money back, flex funding is VERY exploitative, it’s for people in search for easy money

          • jalf says:

            How about the project?

            What about it? The project *itself* has no other costs than “costs of living of the developer who’s making it”. Which, incidentally, is what he’s asking for.

            Presumably it has some set needs before it can be released?

            Well, if you read what he said, he’s got a playable buil now. He *could* just polish that up and sell it very soon. So it doesn’t have many *needs* beyond what has already been done. But it would be very barebones, and people would probably expect more than that.

            Quantify those into hours of development and set a price for it.

            He did. $1 plus his savings will cover what it absolutely **needs**.

            Everything beyond that goes into making the game better (by, and let us be 100% clear here, spending *all* the money on “costs of living” because that is the only ongoing expense there is to making the game better)

            and to cover this living needs while he finishes the game.

            Yes… like every other game kickstarter ever made. Once again, there is nothing *else* the money could go towards.

            There is a world of difference between that, and having a project plan that where you work from a budget.

            Why do you say he hasn’t got those? Sounds like he’s got a plan to me. And the budget is fairly simple, since (a) there are no expenses other than costs of living, and (b) he is close to having something that could be shipped *if necessary*.

            Subtle point perhaps, but still against the TOS of Kickstarter as I read them.

            “subtle” does not, in fact, mean “imaginary”. Just saying.
            But once again, is it really that important to you to shut down people making games, that you report them in a fit of KS-induced rage, when as soon as someone questions you on it, you start backing off and say “well, it’s a subtle point”, and “the TOS as I read them”, and the complete “anyway” copout, “And it remains a unsubtle means of making a flexible funding project without using the flexible funding option.”

            Maybe, if you don’t have a stronger case than that, you should give him, and any other KS project which isn’t *obviously* a scam, the benefit of the doubt?

        • GhostBoy says:

          If your position on this is moveable, consider please that this project is, essentially, a request for people to give the creator money, regardless of the fact that the game, by their own admonition, will be made anyway. The creator also cites cost of living as part of his own reason for the 1$ goal.

          This makes the project fall under charity projects, and more precisely “fund my life” projects, both of which are against Kickstarters terms of service. I’ve reported it as such, and I think others should too, rather than try to rationalize the merits of the idea. It’s exploitative and no amount of “well Kickstarter is just preorders anyway” argumentation is going to change that, This should be discouraged.

          • Chris D says:

            It’s not really “fund my life” if he’s producing a game at the end of it, surely? And living expenses are going to comprise at least 90% of all videogame projects. There aren’t that many physical expenses involved. Maybe a grand to buy a PC that’s up to the job but other than that you’re paying people to spend their time making a game rather than doing something else to pay the rent.

            If we demand that only people who can’t afford it themselves are allowed to use kickstarter then that seems to be precisely the point at which it becomes a charity. If anyone is allowed to use it then it’s a business proposition, and that seems to be a more useful way of giving us the best chance of seeing the games we want to play get made.

            I support anyones right not to support a kickstarter for whatever reasons they see fit but I don’t see that it hurts us that anyone is allowed to ask.

          • jalf says:

            his project is, essentially, a request for people to give the creator money, regardless of the fact that the game, by their own admonition, will be made anyway.

            But the game that will be made will be different depending on whether he raises $1 or $1,000,000. In other words, the money raised goes towards further development on the game.

            The creator also cites cost of living as part of his own reason for the 1$ goal.

            Gosh, shocking.

            You know, my wage goes towards my cost of living too. I don’t know the details of John’s finanicial situation, but I would suspect that his income *also* goes towards paying for his costs of living.

            That is how it works literally every time anyone gets paid for anything.

            The Double Fine project went towards making sure the DF developers were able to eat while making the game.

            This may be news to you, but everyone needs to eat. And generally, that is a major reason why people have jobs. People who go indie and make games *also* need to eat, and this *also* costs money. Therefore, the period of time in which you can afford to eat determines the length of time you can afford to keep developing the game.

            So honestly, what the f’ing hell is your problem? Whinging about things here is one thing, and just shows that some people here are more interested in rules lawyering than in actual games, but reporting it as violating KS rules for *that* is completely absurd and out of the blue, and I think, utterly pathetic.

            Yes. let’s try to get the guy’s source of income for the next X months of development shut down just because YOU cannot cope with the idea that the money raised basically goes towards the only thing it *could* go towards, the only thing every *other* game dev KS has gone towards: paying the developer to stay alive while making the game.

            Let’s do everything we can to prevent someone from making a game. Because apparently, that is what we, as gamers, or as RPS commenters, are all about. We hate games, and we hate people making games, and we hate games being made.

            What… the… fuck…

            Can you think of a single *other* thing that he could spend the money on, if not costs of living?

            How about…. NFL licenses? No, wait, he’s not making a NFL game.

            Hardware to use for developing the game? Oh right, he’s been working on it for a couple of years already, so presumably he *has* a PC.

            What *else* do you think KS money should go towards, if not “costs of living”?

          • GhostBoy says:

            @Chris D: The difference is in the fact that he is not asking for money for the project itself, he is asking for money for other things: To quote the KS “And having a family to support, it would be irresponsible of me to keep working on the game for too much longer or blow what’s left of our savings on it, which is why I’m trying to raise some money—to get an idea of how much people want this game, and find out how much more time and money I can responsibly spend.”

            Kickstarters terms are clearly defined as being about the projects. Saying “salary is just another project expense” is a cop-out in this case. He is not asking for money for the project, he is asking for money for other things. That goes against the terms of Kickstarter. Nevermind the whole debate about what Kickstarter “should be about”, this is just exploiting a loophole. I do not give him points off for being “honest about it”.

          • GhostBoy says:

            @jalf “What *else* do you think KS money should go towards, if not “costs of living”?”

            How about the project? Presumably it has some set needs before it can be released? Quantify those into hours of development and set a price for it. The creator says very clearly that money put towards this kickstarter will be used as a guage towards popularity and to cover this living needs while he finishes the game. There is a world of difference between that, and having a project plan that where you work from a budget. Subtle point perhaps, but still against the TOS of Kickstarter as I read them.

            And it remains a unsubtle means of making a flexible funding project without using the flexible funding option.

          • jalf says:

            Kickstarters terms are clearly defined as being about the projects. Saying “salary is just another project expense” is a cop-out in this case

            By that logic, no video game kickstarter could ever justify asking for more than, oh, say, $20,000.
            Salary is *the* main expense when making a game. LIterally nothing else matters.

            Sure, if you’re starting from scratch, factor in a few thousand bucks for software licenses and hardware. And if you’re a big’ish team, you might need to pay rent on an office. Oh, and a few bucks per month for electricity and internet.

            But that’s basically it. Everything else is salary. When Double Fine asked for hundreds of thousands, it was not “for the project”, it was for “salaries for the team making the project”. The same goes for all the other big kickstarters.

          • GhostBoy says:

            By that logic, he needs 1 dollar for salary. Which is clearly not the case, so at best he is being disingenuous.

            I am obviously not saying that salary cannot be a project cost, but then he should present it as such. This Kickstarter has us giving the creator money to fund various unrelated expenses beyond the requirement of the project itself. If he wanted to gauge potential market for his game, make a poll, ask people on a website, arrange for real and honest preorders rather than this charade, enlist to Steam Greenlight… any of these options would give him the number. Instead, he asked for money, to support his family.

            Ruthlessly, I really don’t care how much money he wants to justify making this game to his family. As a backer, my concern should be whether fund are going towards a project I see some potential in.

            Compare Divinity: Orginal Sin which also did a KS for a game that was done, but could use more polish and content. They did it honestly: Set a goal for how much is needed for it to be considered a proper expanded edition, put together a plan for expenses, line up some further features for stretch goals and put that up.

            Or to put it another way: What precisely would the project he is making be, if he only got his funding goal of 1 $? Heck, let’s go to 200% funded and give him 2$? There would be no project of course, but he would have gotten 2 dollars for nothing. So clearly the limit for him to actually do more work is higher. What motivation, beyond the obvious of wanting to keep whatever funds he gets regardless, would he have to not tell us this limit? This is exploitative, it’s dishonest, it might go against the KS TOS (we shall see if they react… I know I’m not the only one who reported this) and that he has a working demo of the game does not excuse any of these things.

    • Shivoa says:

      “Time to dump Kickstarter Katchup”

      Yup, that about sums up my view (which obviously don’t matter, RPS can post what they want). Things are rotten in the world of crowdfunding. If the RPS writer believes in promoting a project then that’s awesome, post an article about it. Otherwise the round-up is all getting a bit too close to promoting potential scammers for my tastes.

      Plenty of games have been developed thanks in part to a donation link on an indie’s website (with no attention given to them via news articles unless they put out a new game, especially a free one on their site to drive traffic past the donate button) and with the abuse of KS for projects that aren’t in any way “we need to gauge interest and gather funding for a project to be viable” then it seems to need to cover them all is much reduced.

      • Shivoa says:

        * doesn’t matter
        * the need to

        Damn you lack of an edit comment feature!

        • AngoraFish says:

          You’re not getting the “Click to Edit” button?

          • Shivoa says:

            Ah, I’m obviously forgetting when they updated comments to enable that via some AJAXy magic. Just getting block and reply buttons on current (non-JS) device.

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        You know they don’t just randomly throw a bunch on links into that segment. They look at each and write at least 1 paragraph about each campaign they include.

        I think you are being needlessly negative. Nothing wrong with a bit of caution, sure… but your attitude just dumps a bunch of undeserved piss in the stew.

    • The Random One says:

      I’ll not that while Kickstarter Katchup doesn’t post flexible funding campaigns, (and thus shouldn’t post on this), some flexible funding campaigns have been featured on regular articles. I don’t see any need to change, and I find this project fishy as well. I’ll buy it when it’s done.

  3. frightlever says:

    Aren’t Penny Arcade doing something similar?

    PA, sure, but Random Q. Dude and his $1 Kickstarter is going to get skeevy very quickly.

    • frightlever says:

      Yup, here we go:

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pennyarcade/penny-arcades-podcast-downloadable-content-the-ret?ref=users

      A ten dollar Kickstarter that has raised $66.6k so far. Or thereabouts.

      (I’d edit my original post but every time I edit a post to add a link it calls me a spammer and kills the post)

    • Premium User Badge

      Yachmenev says:

      They might have started a trend with that now, which won’t be good for us potential backers, only for them as project owners.

      PA’s kickstarter is even more shameful then this though.

      • Entitled says:

        PA is significantly mor reasonable than this. They are offering a service, that they can certainly make in either case, and they are aking money for it, as content providers usually do.

        With this one, at least there is an unmeasurable risk of the game not getting made, so there is a chance that he is basically still asking gamers to “invest” in his plans, instead of safely selling something (in advance).

        • jalf says:

          With this one, at least there is an unmeasurable risk of the game not getting made, so there is a chance that he is basically still asking gamers to “invest” in his plans, instead of safely selling something (in advance).

          Uh, I think you just described what Kickstarter *is*.

          With every KS project, there is an unmeasurable risk of the project not being made, and it *is* basically asking people to invest in their plans.

          KS has certainly never been “safely selling something in advance”.

          • Entitled says:

            Except that Penny Arcade going bankrupt before they could make their podcast, is about as likely as amazon.com going bankrupt before they could deliver the stuff that you ordered there.

            Every transaction in the world has a larger than zero chance of falling though, but with established companies, it is not MEANINGFULLY larger than zero, because they wouldn’t benefit from getting in a class action lawasuit for breach of contract, so as long as they exist, they have to serve you.

            Therefore obscure indie kickstarters are much more risky than corporate ones .

          • jalf says:

            Perhaps I misunderstood you (or you misunderstood me). I wasn’t commenting on the PA kickstarter, but as I understood your comment, you were saying that it detracts from *this* KS that it is investing, rather than preordering, basically.

            To which I pointed out that KS has *always* been closer to investing than to preordering. It is about saying “I believe in this project. Here’s some money to help you finish it”.

            If your point was simply that this one is more risky than PA’s podcast KS, then yes, I agree completely. :)

          • Entitled says:

            Basically, yeah. I disagree that Kickstarter inherently had this or that “meaning”, beyond being a system where you are backing ideas and getting products.

            The “investing” and “pre-ordering” analogies were both always faulty. Small projects can be a bit closer to your interpretation of what it was “about”, but big projects have a potential to establish a major alternative to the publishing model that’s reliability becomes pretty similar to shopping.

            In this sense, I believe that projects with a strong backround have more leeway, because we know that they will get made anyways, while unsafe indies have more to prove.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Entitled

            Except that Penny Arcade going bankrupt before they could make their podcast, is about as likely as amazon.com going bankrupt before they could deliver the stuff that you ordered there.

            If PA are so flush then maybe they shouldnt resort to such transparently shady funding techniques.

    • Bhazor says:

      I can’t be the only person consistently appalled that such a huge company grew from such a mediocre webcomic. Everytime they’re mentioned I go to the website and just gawp at the comic trying to locate the funny.

      • NicoTn says:

        Every company starts small.

      • jalf says:

        No, you’re not the only one. But I find it hard to sympathize with you and your peers.

        “Appalled”, really?

        People like different things, and a hell of a lot of people enjoy their comics. You might not, and that’s fine, but it blows my mind that people can be “appalled” that others enjoy it.

        • misterT0AST says:

          I am shocked that you had your mind blown that he is appalled.
          It’s a concerto of gasps.

        • Bhazor says:

          I’m appalled in the same way I’m appalled by the success of Twilight and the Transformers movies. Something that shit becoming that successful? Someone is getting screwed somewhere along the line.

          • The Godzilla Hunter says:

            People pay for entertainment and get entertained. Those who created it get money.

            Where in this equation is someone getting screwed?

            (other than those poor fellows who get eaten by vampires, thinking that they are nice and sparkly and not deadly)

          • Paul.Power says:

            To be fair to PA, “mediocre” is a good word for it: there’s plenty of webcomics that are better than it, but plenty that are much worse. I certainly wouldn’t compare it to Twilight: that’s more Ctrl+Alt+Delete’s territory.

          • Phasma Felis says:

            Aw, diddums. It’s so hard when people like things you don’t like, isn’t it?

            (I actively loathe the Transformers movies, BTW. You want to know my secret for dealing with all that angst? I don’t watch ‘em or buy their merchandise. It’s surprisingly easy!)

      • Nasarius says:

        There was a period of a few years when PA was quite good. If you have some time to waste, start from the very beginning and just read on. There’s some great stuff around the early 2000s, and it didn’t become truly awful until the switch to the latest art style, which looks terrible and is accompanied with equally bad writing.

      • iucounu says:

        Eh, the middle-period stuff is often really good, but I don’t find it particularly funny these days. I’m usually more interested to see what Tycho has to say in his blog posts, which may be because I don’t really read anything regularly that deals with console gaming.

      • Premium User Badge

        ffordesoon says:

        I like Penny Arcade. I don’t have a problem with you not liking it. Why do you have a problem with me liking it?

        And comparing it to Twilight or Transformers is just ridiculous, unless you’re saying those are “mediocre” too.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Curses, my own game design, “The Adventures of GRAPPLO – The Man with the Grappling Hook Arms” needs to be updated in light of the competition.

    • frightlever says:

      You mean Bionic Commando?

      • pakoito says:

        Bionic AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *explosion*

        • pakoito says:

          80k 80k 80k so long sucker 80k 80k 80k assist 80k BIONIC AAAARM

      • Premium User Badge

        Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        Doesn’t Bionic Commando only have the one grappling hook arm?

      • Teovald says:

        I loved the grappling mechanics in Bionic Commando. Grappling from building to building was a ton of fun.
        This game was screaming for an open world setting (and a proper story).
        It is a sham that it was botched by artificial invisible borders that meant almost insta death if you got 2 meters away from the scripted mission path.

        • Kaira- says:

          Is the new Bionic Commando (or have there been more than 1?) any good? I have fond memories of NES Bionic Commando.

          • Premium User Badge

            Hodge says:

            There were two of them. There was a 2D update of the NES game called Bionic Commando Rearmed which was fairly well received, and a rebooted 3D one just called Bionic Commando which wasn’t.

            I played Rearmed and it thought it was okay up until the first grindy boss battle, where it lost me.

          • Teovald says:

            There were 2 new BC games launched at the same time :
            -Bionic Commando : the one I am talking about. Extremely good controls ruined by corridor design. I still liked that game for its grappling mechanics.
            -Bionic Commando rearmed : a 2D sidescroller accompanying the other release. It must be very forgettable because that’s all I remember about it.

          • Wedge says:

            There’s also the forgotten Bionic Commando Gameboy Color game, which I believe is an original title and quite good.

          • Premium User Badge

            RobF says:

            God, the 2d version was gutting in its terribleness. Absolutely fantastic demo though, full marks to whoever put that together as it was a complete instabuy on finishing. If I’d known the rest of the game would be tedious, tedious guff complete with terrible top down Commando stages I’d have stayed well away.

          • Phasma Felis says:

            BC Rearmed has a pretty cool game somewhere inside it, but you’re not actually allowed to play it, because the three difficulty levels are Impossible To Fail, Impossible To Fail, and Insanely Hard.

  5. Erinduck says:

    Great, ANOTHER ridiculously low goal kickstarter that completely undermines the point of the platform.

  6. Phantom_Renegade says:

    The 1 dollar thing seems to be a way to get around clearly defined goals and elaboration on how the money will be used. I thought one of the big things that were good about kickstarter was the transparency towards the backers. If the point of this kickstarter is to make things better, then set realistic goals for that instead of using them as stretch goals. Granted, as it’s 1 dollar it’ll succeed no matter what, it just removes the accountability of all the other money. This is basically what’s been predicted since Kickstarter got big. First we get people like the Mythical nonsense, actively conning people. Then we get Molyneux, ruining stuff for the little guys who actually need the platform and now this, gaming the system.

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      stahlwerk says:

      While I don’t have any problem with molyneux’ KS, really, the rest of your points are very much spot on, and I’d add the following:

      If he says he can successfully finish the game for $1, why should I even consider giving him more? The stretch goals? If they’re so great, why doesn’t he make an “Please help me expand my game idea” KS with a reasonable budget for implementing the most requested features and add the fluff as stretch goals. What? Can’t be bothered to research the expectations and requirements of your target market? Well, then you won’t get my money.

      Edit: huh, I need more coffee, in my head this post wasn’t as redundant as it is on reading it back-to-back with yours…

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        blind_boy_grunt says:

        well, people seem to confuse kickstarter often enough with a preorder system. He just makes it an actual one.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    John stop writing about spiders mans and write about games, you anarcho-syndicalist bumface.

  8. jalf says:

    Am I the only one who kind of wonders at some people’s perspective?

    Is the only interesting angle here really “this is not what Kickstarter is for! I can’t support a Kickstarter project which doesn’t follow the spirit of the Kickstarter rules”?

    Isn’t there another angle that’s relevant: “this guy is making a game which could be interesting. Pitching in with a few bucks might let him develop it properly”?

    I mean, ultimately, who cares about Kickstarter? The interesting thing about Kickstarter projects is not that they’re kickstarter projects, but that they lead to interesting projects being developed Shouldn’t the project’s goal count for something when determining whether to contribute? Or is that *solely* determined by the technicalities of the funding campaign?

    I’m not saying people should or shouldn’t pledge towards this (I haven’t), but it seems a bit odd that the *only* thing that is apparently worth discussing is the $1 goal.

    • Entitled says:

      Yeah, people are getting pretty obsessive with their private fantasies about what Kickstarter was ought to be all about.

      • Premium User Badge

        Yachmenev says:

        It really isn’t that much harder than this: There are good kickstarter projects and there are bad kickstarter projects. This and the PA Podcast are the latter.

        • jalf says:

          Apparently it *is* much harder than this.

          Because plenty of people disagree that the PA KS is “bad”. As weird as it may seem, perhaps your word is not law.

          And perhaps, deciding whether a KS is “good or bad” is not the most interesting thing in the world. Perhaps sometimes, the end product it *creates* is more interesting. Perhaps… just perhaps… the fact that some people divide KS projects into “good” and “bad” solely based on how they interpret KS’s rules is exactly my point.

          Some people really should get out more. Go for a walk, buy a big icecream, sit in the sun for ten minutes.

          And when you come back, ask yourself if your greatest mission in life really is to argue for why a game should *not* be funded.

    • Wurstwaffel says:

      I agree. Why do people have to be such cynical dicks about crowdfunding?

      • The Random One says:

        Yeah, why couldn’t these cynics have backed poor Lore?

        http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1376466869/lore-0/?ref=kicktraq

        I don’t preorder, so I only put money in Kickstarter when they have not yet been fundend, because otherwise it’s far safer to buy the game when it’s ready and I know I won’t have wasted my money after all the game’s assets are destroyed by a ghost’s curse. By setting an $1 goal they’re telling me they don’t need my money, so I won’t give it to them. If you disagree with my point of view you are free to give them your own money; as long as the dev is honest we’ll both have the game when it comes out.

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    stahlwerk says:

    Show of hands, who else read the title as “Launches $1M Kickstarter”?

  10. jonfitt says:

    Ok so it’s alpha pre-ordering. Fine. However if it’s an alpha pre-order then I require a demo now, and then on purchase I want to get regularly updated builds.

    Otherwise what’s the point of me giving money now? I don’t get anything now. You’ve said you’re going to make it anyway, so I’m not contributing to make something happen that wouldn’t otherwise. Contributing for stretch goals? Please. Let’s see if the game is any good first before we talk about stretch goals. Those are just cherries to keep the ball rolling for when a game brings in way more than expected.
    Stretch goals are pre-purchasing DLC when the game isn’t even finished.

    • jalf says:

      At the $20 tier you get early access to beta builds.
      At the $30 tier, you get early access to alpha builds.

      Just sayin’.

  11. captain lust says:

    If you don’t like 1 dollar kickstarters then don’t back 1 dollar kickstarters. Simple as that.

  12. 3lbFlax says:

    Spider-Man 2 got everything right, and it’s hard to pin down exactly what that means. Connecting to buildings was part of it, but as I recall the third game did that, but still failed to capture the same feel. I think the camera angles were very important in maintaining the ‘flow’, and ensuring you never felt lost, even when you were upside-down and travelling very fast in the wrong direction.

    At any rate, I’ve tried a fair few of the Spider-Man games since then, and they’ve all disappointed me because they can’t get the swinging right. Obviously attaching the line to the sky is madness, but it’s more than that. For all I know it was a perfect storm of elements that included technical limitations.

    One of my favourite activities on the Xbox was loading up S-M2 and attempting to web-sling my way from the bottom of Manhattan to the top. What I really wanted was a challenge mode to do just that, without landing on your feet and picking any route you wanted, trying to beat your best time. I think that would have just about been my ideal game at the time.

    I think, at the risk of soliciting unwanted attention, I just love games where you can swing. This goes back to Hunchback and Underwurlde in the 8-bit days, which used to fascinate me. So any recommendations of good rope-swingin’ games would be most welcome.

    • Koozer says:

      I think the main thing Spiderman 2 got right was that swinging could be as easy or hard you liked, and nothing about it was clearly sacrificed in the name of gameplay, like the magical skyropes of the newer games.

      Sure, you could just alternate between holding L or R while pushing forwards on your analogue stick, but you could also spend hours trying to perfect your pendulum swings for maximum speed, or maximum height, or to conserve the most momentum going round corners, or trying to climb a single skyscraper by swinging round it, or just doing the double-web-slingshot-thing that looks cool but takes so long to set up it’s actually quite pointless.

  13. captainparty says:

    This game is going to get made, so, if you want to pay now and help it be the best it could be, you can, if you just want to buy it when it comes out, fine, wait, but if you donate, it might make it a much better game.

    I’ve obviously missed the part where he’s forcibly making you pay for the Kickstarter

  14. hypercrisis says:

    Oh boy, more established figures in the industry make a mockery of Kickstarter and gleefully destroy its credibility for their vanity projects.

    Shameful and disrespectful.

  15. toasthaste says:

    This emerging trend of setting funding goals absurdly low makes me uncomfortable, though I can’t quite articulate why. I don’t think it would bother me if they were hosting a sort of “pre-order + bonuses” thing on their own site, so it might just be my fear of change with regards to how Kickstarter is used.

    Also this game looks incredibly fun. Flooded cities, anti-gravity, proper webslinging/grappling action. I wants.

  16. vartul says:

    I’ve been a pre-alpha tester and I can say that the mechanics are spot on. The system is a delight to use, though it takes some learning(just like Batman’s dive bomb gliding system in Arkham City. Love that game).

    And I don’t understand all this talk about accountability. The creator would only be accountable to me(or anyone else) AFTER I’ve backed the game. He’s not accountable to everybody who hears about the game. So why the pointless talks?

    I don’t know how the rest of the game will turn out to be but I immensely enjoyed the section I got to play.
    Hope he reaches some good stretch goals.

  17. Cleave says:

    awesome just pledged at the alpha level can’t wait to try it. I thought about making this exact game years ago.

  18. Wonkyth says:

    I played Monaco with Jamie Fristrom during beta. Swell fellow, even when drunk, and I’m confident that the game will be awesome. :D