Kickstarter Katchup – June 16th 2013

By Adam Smith on June 16th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.

Occasionally projects appear that tickle me right in the hype-ocampus. They’re the kind of games I’d like to take out for a drink. I want to get to know them better and feel like I’ve waited my whole life to meet them. It’s awkward when two appear at the same time but thankfully I don’t have to choose a favourite. Frozen State is an open world survival horror RPG with a spooky ecosystem and shades of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. while GhostControl is a ghostbusters management game with turn-based tactical trapping. A good week.

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 Koreless.

The Winners

Dungeon Of Elements – Frogdice

Goal: $20,000
Now: $20,605

I wish I’d seen this one earlier but I’m glad it managed to squeak past its target without the ever-burning gaze of Rock, Paper, Sauron upon it. I’ve been on the lookout for something to replace Puzzle Quest as my podcast accompaniment of choice since the sequels to Puzzle Quest failed to fill that role themselves. Three cheers for Dungeon of Elements then, which looks like it may have the right combination of RPG features, simple puzzles and narrative scaffolding. The original pitch video is below and there are around three days remaining.

Endica VII:The Dream King – Nick Ridgway

Goal: $1,400
Now: $1,470

The Dream King has had an odd couple of months. The project’s first Kickstarter campaign ended far short of a $14,000 goal but the game swiftly returned with a goal that was only a tenth of the original. Some of the stretch goals appear to cover the sort of updates and enhancements that would have been part of the original Kickstarter plans, including improved audio and graphics. The game itself is a co-op side-scrolling RPG inspired by the diverse likes of Final Fantasy, Metroid, Castlevania, Mega Man, and Zelda. A demo is available.

The Players

Frozen State – Snow Arc

Goal: £60,000
Now: £8,573
Days: 25

“Frozen State is a survival based horror RPG, set in a Siberian, post apocalyptic wasteland.” And if that sentence didn’t capture all of my interest, the fact that I was reminded of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. several times while reading the page and watching videos of the pre-alpha would have secured whatever remained. Coming to Windows, Mac and Linux, the game has been in development for almost a year but the team reckon they’ll need around fourteen months and at least sixty thousand pounds to complete their ambitious design. With an open world, weather and day-night cycles, randomised interiors, and tactical combat, Frozen State has the potential to be a vast and compelling experience. Here’s some alpha footage – the enemies currently lack AI.

A Vampyre Story: Year One – William Tiller

Goal: $200,000
Now: $44,572
Days: 14

Did you play A Vampyre Story? I didn’t but I thought John might have done because it’s a point and click adventure and he does love them so. The RPS tag-o-tron finds no results so I checked to see if John had met the vampyre behind Horace’s back (an impossibility, of course), dallying with another website. It appears not, but when I say ‘vampyre John Walker’ to Google, the first result is disturbing. Why does the first paragraph ends with the sound of a comedy trombone? Curious. Don’t worry about that – watch the pitch video for the prequel adventure, which will be a “short, episodic length game”, instead.

GhostControl Inc. – Application Systems/Bumblebee

Goal: £7,500
Now: £4,504
Days: 20

‘X-COM meets the Ghostbusters’ is one of the strongest pitches I’ve ever heard and while that’s not exactly how GhostControl is described on its campaign page, that’s what it looks like. Although ghost hunters can’t die. How can something be compared to X-COM when squad members can’t die, eh? Well, how about this?

We decided we want a fun game and death isn‘t fun. So a way of losing a hunter is for him to be frustrated and leave because you don‘t pay enough or he happens to damage too many things. Or he may go crazy about all the shit he has seen and ends up in an asylum.

Death isn’t fun? Huh. At least they recognise that going crazy and ending up in an asylum is fun.

World of Diving – Vertigo Games

Goal: $75,000
Now: $14,805
Days: 17

I love games that are about being in a place and looking at things. Generally I’m not too upset if there are things to shoot as well, provided there are quiet moments as well. Not enough locations exist simply for the virtual tourist to enjoy, however, so World of Diving should be right up my reef. It’s a diving game! The problem is, the depths of the ocean unnerve me and even at their most colourful and vibrant, I consider them to be places where monsters most likely dwell. That said, World of Diving does appeal, although the thought of playing with the supported Oculus Rift is simultaneously thrilling and horrifying.

Fleish & Cherry In Crazy Hotel – Red Little House Studios

Goal: €29.000
Now: €5.651
Days: 18

When one of the most attractive parts of a game is its art style – in this case, old-timey cartoon design and animation – then updates containing character and location illustrations are most welcome. The latest image contains a line of folks in what looks very much like an illustrated identity parade. I can’t be sure because it’s an incredibly small image. Maybe my navigation of Indiegogo’s gallery is lacking, but I can’t find a version larger enough to make the viewing pay off.

Deus Ex Machina 2 – Mel Croucher

Goal: £64,000
Now: £21,186
Days: 21

Last week, when writing about the sequel to “the first multimedia video game” and “classic 1984 Game Of The Year”, I forgot to mention that every playthrough takes exactly one hour to finish. The journey from conception to death and beyond in one hour? Expect psychedelic environments, prog, Christopher Lee and Ian Dury. For details on what you’d be doing during the hour into which life is condensed, take a look at this update in which ‘gameplay is revealed’.

Void Destroyer – Paul Zakrzewski

Goal: $20,000
Now: $15,982
Days: 15

This space sim/RTS has a playable demo and a commendable approach to communication with backers, potential and actual. There have been thirty updates since the campaign began, including news of a recent podcast appearance on Space Game Junkie. The title of that recording is ‘The Dark Souls of Space Games?’ and if the answer is a ‘yes’, resounding or otherwise, I’ll be tempted to donate the final four thousand dollars myself.

Our Darker Purpose – Avidly Wild Games

Goal: $40,000
Now: $17,514
Days: 11

I continue to be impressed by every sentence and image that appears on Avidly Wild’s Kickstarter page but the sound of the crowd is a murmur rather than a resounding bellow of support. Why are paragraphs like this not bringing in the cash?

In many games, once a room has been cleared, it stays empty. 99% of the time, that’s also true in Our Darker Purpose. The glass children represent an exception — once in a blue moon, they appear in a room that you’ve already cleared and that you consider “safe.” We love mechanics like this because they give the game a chance to surprise the player, and in the process reveal more of Edgewood’s creepy history. We guarantee that after an encounter with them, you will never re-enter a room the same way.

Hurrah for creepy children!

Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet! – Alasdair Beckett-King

Goal: £15,000
Now: £11,969
Days: 12

The Fowl Fleet should be ready to set sail next week or shortly afterwards. Success seems extremely likely for the point and click sequel, which means it’s time to consider stretch goals. The target numbers have been revamped following pledger feedback, and the most eye-catching are Mac/Linux ports and translations.

Armikrog – Pencil Test

Goal: $900,000
Now: $533,457
Days: 11

At this rate, we may never see the claymation successor to The Neverhood but after a trip to Los Angeles for E3, Pencil Test are back on the campaign trail. The first move, as the final ten days draw closer, is to announce full support for three extra languages:

After hearing the requests of our international friends, Armikrog will now be localized in French, Italian, German and Spanish! Localization wasn’t included in our initial funding goal, but we’ve been so impressed with the support we’ve received internationally that we’ve re-prioritized some of our budget to make this happen.

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46 Comments »

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  1. Discopanda says:

    It’s not a game, but Dude Bro Party Massacre 3 is pretty great, from the fine chaps at Five Second Films.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/5sf/dude-bro-party-massacre-3

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    Weee, time once again to spam ye with our own campaign at http://igg.me/at/makerseden/x/2294040 which does not qualify for ye olde Ketchup due to the funding scheme. As funding incentive we’re throwing in an already made game, albeit a rather silly one that features rainbow-lasers (It was made to raise funds for our cat’s eye operation). :P

    And can y’all please also go get Nellie Cootalot funded? Ktnx!

    • DrMcCoy says:

      I for one fully support Maker’s Eden, for what it’s worth (probably nothing). :)

      I won’t back Nelly Cootalot though, since I don’t support stuff where portability is a stretch goal. Wine is crutch, a necessarily evil, so to speak, not something to be actively developed for.
      Also, I don’t have a credit card, so I can’t back directly on Kickstarter. :P

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        Heh, it’s worth more than it looks. :P Just a tiny bit more and our mouths are fed for a month. We’re laying a bit low at the moment though while working on getting a demo ready.

        Also see your name popped up on the Pixie Dream Cat charts. I have no idea who that “Babaloo” person in the top 2 slots is, but I have been trying and failing to beat that score.

        • DrMcCoy says:

          Well, I gave up getting a better score. Really not my type of game. :P

          From one of the FLOSS projects I’m part of (ScummVM), it should be obvious though that I love adventures. Since I also love Noir (Blade Runner, Discworld Noir and Grim Fandango are among my many favourite adventures), Maker’s Eden seems like it’s tailored specifically to my tastes. I’m a bit disappointed it’s not getting more attention.

          • rustybroomhandle says:

            There was a nice writeup about it on Indiestatik, and it was also mentioned on adventuregamers.com and justadventure.com so that’s something.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Oozo says:

    Nelly Cootalot just released a demo in the hope of sailing over the finishing line asap:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/315061806/nelly-cootalot-the-fowl-fleet-retro-pirate-adventu/posts/511553

  4. Nidokoenig says:

    Looking at Ghost Control’s reward tiers, it says that the boxed copy will come with an additional license, in addition to the one from the basic digital download tier. That to me implies it won’t be DRM free, which is a big problem for a three man outfit that could have completely disappeared in a couple of years, not that it isn’t a bit off under normal circumstances.

    • Premium User Badge

      Bugamn says:

      License doesn’t really mean DRM. When you install a game from GoG you agree with a license.

      According to the FAQ, the digital copy is DRM free:

      “Reward: Digital copy of the game

      You will receive a DRM free copy of the game for PC, Mac or Linux – your choice.”

      • Nidokoenig says:

        Ah, my mistake. The update emphasised the boxed version coming with an additional license, that seems odd to mention if DRM isn’t an issue. Just ambiguous wording then, I’ll get on with throwing money at them.

        • Premium User Badge

          Bugamn says:

          I think they want to say that you can give the boxed copy and keep the digital version and it won’t be seen as piracy by them (unlike installing the digital version on all your friends’ pcs).

  5. Muzman says:

    I had to giggle at the Frozen State video. I thought the player guy had a little kid following him around, as per endless other disaster/apocalypse tales of late. I thought, cool for an indie to try, especially an open Stalker like thing. Protection, resource sharing etc. Then he goes up to the house and it’s just “Eh, leave the tot outside with the spiders” (I guess it’s not a kid, it’s a, I dunno, torch bearing Roomba or something)

  6. qwurp says:

    A 2D Nikola Tesla puzzle-platformer. 35% to goal with a little under 3 weeks left. Will be a tight run to make their goal. Unless of course RPS talks about them! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1660691250/tesla-breaks-the-world

    Who doesn’t like the idea of a game where you play as Nikola Tesla?

    • Premium User Badge

      Bugamn says:

      I think I’ve seen already 3 games where he is the sole protagonist in Steam Greenlight.

      • qwurp says:

        Wow, I’ve only seen 1! But either way, Tesla deserves all the recognition he can get IMO. Anyone that can change the world then die penniless and alone in a hotel room… He should be in more books, schools, games, movies…

    • riverman says:

      the gameplay looked about as fun as DishWashingSimulator2003

  7. InternetBatman says:

    I’m personally following Unrest right now. 5 days left for an RPG that views violence as meaningful and has the story go on after your character dies. Also, Indian theme.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/698883673/unrest-an-unconventional-rpg-set-in-ancient-india

  8. mwoody says:

    Anyone else look at stretch goals for a game that barely met its goal and feel less inclined to pledge because “this is all stuff missing from the game?”

    • InternetBatman says:

      Some stretch goals make it obvious that people have no clue what they’re doing and I’m less likely to pledge then.

  9. mwoody says:

    Sad and baffling to see “Darker Purpose” floundering. It’s Edward Gorey-style art meets Binding of Isaac. What’s not to like?

    Less surprising is how poorly Frozen State has been received, with a pitch that sounds like it came from Google translate. And check out the second tier:

    digital copy with 33% discount on completion + free, lifetime updates

    What does this mean? They’ve clarified in the comments that it does include a copy of the game and all DLC for life, but I can’t understand their answers enough to figure out the 33% bit. I’m not keen to try to struggle through a game filled with text that cryptic.

    • MondSemmel says:

      I _think_ what they mean is that the game is going to be 15 pounds on release (completion), so that the backer price represents a 33% discount. Those guys really should have gotten _any_ English speaker to check their Kickstarter website…

      • iridescence says:

        That’s definitely what I took from it. The game looks cool. Any RPG with a grim atmosphere and which doesn’t make you an all powerful god among men gets my vote. Backed it.

    • Bhazor says:

      I have a similar problem with Our Dark Purpose, namely that they’re advertising a bunch of DLC packs before the game’s even funded.

      Nope. Don’t like that.

      • mwoody says:

        DLC Packs? I’m can’t locate what you’re talking about; please point me in the right direction, as that’s certainly something that would give me pause.

        I do note that they have in-game rewards attached to pledge tiers, which is a frustrating rookie mistake.

        • malkav11 says:

          I think the Kickstarter exclusive reward packs may be what he’s confusing for DLC. They are a bit offputting, I must say.

          • Satori4 says:

            Hey guys!

            I’m the developer of Frozen State. Thanks for your criticism. You let us know what we are doing wrong. It’s very useful and next time we will not make the same mistakes.

            I’d like to apologise for any confusion that our rewards have raised, the bad impression that my presentation could leave and, of course, my bad English.

            Regarding DLC, I meant world expansions: locations, quests, enemies and so on. We are a small team and in order to make big and interesting open world we wether need a lot of money or time. Dividing the game into three big chunks is the most sensible way to implement everything we want, having our humble resources.

            If you don’t like the game, presentation or you have any hesitations, please, Do Not support us on Kickstarter.

            Cheers,

            Alex

            P.S. Would like to say thank you to Adam for writing about us.

    • Premium User Badge

      strangeloup says:

      “Edward Gorey-style art meets Binding of Isaac” is pretty much exactly the reason I don’t want to back that project. I utterly loathed BoI and the ‘woo spooky goth’ genre of art was already tedious in the late 90s when everyone was copying Nightmare Before Xmas and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac.

      Disclaimer: I may be a cynical old git.

  10. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    Hmm. So the rather not-good Vampyre Story now goes the Kickstarter route for more episodes, and then uses that for prequels instead of a continuation of the FIRST EPISODE OF MANY PLANNED that they made? Hmm. Hmm. Hmmhmm.

    • TehK says:

      Oh, I quite liked Vampyre Story. Although I have to admit, that it was some kind of “renaissance” of Point&Click. After not having played one for several years, suddenly there were Vampyre Story, Ceville and the excellent (although only in German) Edna. They gave me back this warm, cozy feeling of my childhood where I could simply enjoy a nice story and solve some absurd riddles ;)

      So yes, while I’m not in the mood to back the project as of yet, I’m quite looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

  11. mwoody says:

    Sorry to spam the thread, but one more: Frontiers is an open-world exploration game that takes queues from Daggerfall and includes purchasable housing. The Kickstarter is due to launch tomorrow (was going to be today, but apparently the approval process delayed things).

    EDIT: Fixed link; sorry about that.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Your red text doesn’t seem to be a link (and Googling ‘Frontiers’ proves… less than useful >.>)

      • Alien426 says:

        Google is not the only search you can use. In the context of indie funding both kickstarter.com and indiegogo.com would be viable starting points.

        http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/frontiers

        Apart from that, googling the project is also possible but requires some thought:
        “Frontiers game funding” yields success (via a page on indiegamemag.com)

    • Alien426 says:

      I will not fund a game where exploration means following a line on the ground…

  12. kwyjibo says:

    Fleish and Cherry has shot itself in the foot for going Indiegogo. The game has so much charm, it would have been funded ages ago had it been on Kickstarter.

    Open up a US bank account, set up a US shell company if required. Come back stronger.

    Even using Kickstarter UK is a poor choice, US backers already have all their Amazon payments a few clicks away, removing friction from the payment process. – http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/995134339/the-realm-game/posts/488073

  13. flyz says:

    Combat Cats was also looked over this week and last week. Only needs $300 till funded!

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1248339394/combat-cats

    (Windows/Mac/Linux plus phone support..but if this is the reason it was looked over, why have articles been done on 10000000 and puzzle quest? — Very similar games that both have phone versions!)

  14. Premium User Badge

    Arvind says:

    My project, Unrest, has only 4 days left. In the past few days, we’ve released a lot of lore updates, and a new sample from the soundtrack.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/698883673/unrest-an-unconventional-rpg-set-in-ancient-india/

    Also, Brian Fargo mentioned it on twitter (YESSSS): https://twitter.com/BrianFargo/status/343790039903375361

  15. Aperger94 says:

    I still can’t understand how Armikrog isn’t already funded.

    • lomaxgnome says:

      $25 entry price for the game. Can’t think of a single successful Kickstarter game that was that high. And $900k for an adventure game seems a bit optimistic as well, sure DoubleFine got a lot, but they rode a wave of nostalgia and even they only started off asking for 400k. Plus Earthworm Jim was overrated.

      • Caiman says:

        Star Citizen was $30 minimum fee for the game. Elite Dangerous was £25 for the game (nearly $40). I’m sure there are others, but these are the two I backed that come to mind. Seems pretty good value when the final game is likely to be at least double that.

    • MeestaNob says:

      Adding extra languages is a good way to help the total along.

      I cant imagine releasing a old-school adventure game without German language these days, they’re pretty much the only place making them any more aren’t they?

  16. Imbecile says:

    Its not a computer game, but if you have any interest in ccgs you might want to take a look at this kickstarter. Apologies for the plug, but I’m honestly a fan rather than one of the kickstarters. Its an excellent game.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2113976333/shadowfist-dynamic-card-game-revelations-and-reinf

  17. jozeph says:

    I’ve you like in-game exploration… Frontiers has now moved its campaign to kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/railboy/frontiers-explore-discover-survive

  18. wal7er says:

    If you’re keen to see the latest Kickstarter games coming out check out the Kickspy browse list:

    http://www.kickspy.com/browse/new/video-games

    You can even narrow customize the list (by hittins Search) and get it emailed to you daily or weekly