Eden Starter: Mirror’s-Edge-Inspired Eden Star On Kickstarter

By Nathan Grayson on October 19th, 2013 at 6:00 pm.

When you wish upon a star, anything your heart desires will come to you. So say the musical sages at Disney. They are wrong. So to make up for our glaring inability to will whatever dumb thing we want into existence, humanity invented Kickstarter. Eden Star, meanwhile, is something I’ve very much wished for – on many stars, no less – for quite some time. Its fusion of dizzying Mirror’s-Edge-style runleaping and high-impact, physics-powered buildsmashing looks as slick as an oil spill atop an ice lake on a planet made of wet noodles. I would like for it to exist, and maybe, hopefully, Kickstarter will make that happen.

SMASH SMASH SMASH. I do so love combat that’s essentially a long range version of what Hulk did to Loki at the end of Avengers. Also, the ability to fluidly combine building and free-running – sailing through the air in stomach-lurching. don’t-look-down slow-mo and materializing a platform to break your fall – made my face do this O_O

Here’s how it works:

“The core gameplay of Eden Star is simple: establish a base, expand and defend it whilst exploring the surrounding environment for the remnants of the lost colony. Upgrade your armament and deploy additional Eden Kits to expand your outpost, inviting friends to join you in attacking large alien nests for greater reward.”

“During the daylight hours you will need to explore, excavate, build and upgrade your equipment. You will still encounter enemies in the daytime, though in smaller numbers, and some of the more deadly creatures will only venture out at night.”

So basically, explore by day, defend by night. And then run and build like a crazy person when everything inevitably fails to go according to plan and monsters start kicking down all your cute little sandcastles.

Speaking of kicking, Eden Star’s Kickstarter is kind of whopper. Developer Flix is asking for £620,000, which is no small sum for a creator without pure, unfiltered nostalgia bubbling around in our brain chemicals, happy memories fluttering like butterflies. Personally, I’m pretty excited about what Eden Star’s offering, but as of writing it had barely even pushed past £10,000.

It’s still got plenty of time on the clock, but Kickstarter favors those with momentum above all else. Like its own protagonist with angry aliens baring down on all sides, Eden Star needs to get moving. Here’s hoping it figures something out before it gets chewed up and spat out by crowdfunding’s many rigors.

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29 Comments »

  1. kwyjibo says:

    You want $1M and you don’t have a Tim Schafer on board.

    It’s not going to happen. Are they doing this just to catch the eye of a publisher?

    • Don Reba says:

      But, hey, look at this. Doesn’t it sound super-sensible and exactly like the thing we want to encourage?

      Due to Kickstarters terms and conditions, the funding goal must be at least the minimum needed to complete the game. There have been a few campaigns recently where developers set their funding goal too low and have been unable to complete their projects. We want to be able to deliver what we promise (and are careful not to promise anything we can’t deliver!)

      Our costings have been thoroughly worked out for the entire production including; the costs of producing and distributing the rewards, VAT, Kickstarter’s cut, licensing fees, electricity, rent, development costs… the list goes on. We hope to show you more on our budgeting plans in a future update.

      • SominiTheCommenter says:

        Damned if you bend the rules, damned if you follow them.

      • pepperfez says:

        That’s not sexy at all! If I wanted to know their budget I would watch the feature-length documentary from the stretch goal!

      • Tssha says:

        They’ve also done something I think is quite sensible, and that’s to price their product accordingly. Their prices aren’t too low, and thus those who buy in will be worth a quite a bit more individually.

        One mistake a lot of Kickstarter projects make is that they don’t price their buy-in accordingly, and thus the base, while wide, won’t ever be quite wide enough. I’ve seen games price their minimum buy-in at $10 and, surprise surprise, they never reach even their modest funding goal. Not that it can’t happen like that, but you’ve gotta cast a pretty wide net in order to make it work (usually with a big name attached to it), or you have to have enough bite in the funding tiers in order to get a high enough per backer price ratio.

        It’s a business decision, and it requires a sensible business sense to price the product high enough that you actually stand a decent chance of making enough money to pay for development. This is true whether you Kickstart or go with the traditional publisher model. A lot of indies don’t have that sense, and they can fail accordingly.

    • Bobka says:

      I get that it’s the thing to say that Kickstarters without big names don’t go very far, but Hyper Light Drifter just closed on $645,000 without any names to their name, so to speak, as have at least a few others. Off the top of my head, Castle Story and Stonehearth both surpassed the $700,000 mark without any recognizable faces; I’m sure others could think of a few more.

      A good pitch (or failing that, a compelling idea) really can be enough to make that kind of money. Good pitches just aren’t that common.

  2. BLACKOUT-MK2 says:

    It looks really interesting. I noticed they said on the Kickstarter page that the final product will be on Unreal Engine 4 so is the above trailer on UE3 or UE4?

    • loquee says:

      From the kickstarter page: “Although the Pre-Alpha Combat Tech Demo has been developed in UE3, the full game is currently in development in UE4.”

      But I also suspected parts of it to be UE4 before looking it up.
      However, if they can achieve this with UE3 only, I´m really looking forward to the UE4 stuff they will create.
      But a trailer alone will never tell, since the footage can still be rendered from engine with ridiculous settings and prettyfied by postprduction.

  3. DatonKallandor says:

    Asking for too much on an unproven product and team. Not gonna happen. What is it with devs asking for way too much because their game’s scope is far too big. The Mandate, Eden Star – we get you want to do all the game there ever was, but you ain’t going to get the money to do all the game there ever was. Make it smaller scale, make it cheaper and you’ll actually get funded.

    Just because Chris Roberts could do it doesn’t mean you can. He’s fucking Chris Roberts. Star Citizen is the WoW of the crowdfunding scene. You’re never going to copy their success so STOP killing yourself trying to.

    • suibhne says:

      Well, they are Greenlit (which happened in record time after their listing) and they publicly showed proof-of-concept at Eurogamer, so it’s not a totally unknown project. I generally agree with you, but at least this team has a decently-functioning prototype rather than just a grab-bag of not-at-all-baked ideas.

      All that said, their pitch seems pretty weak. Obvious typos, lots of “More information coming soon…” – not really the best foot to put forward for a KS campaign facing the kinds of challenges you outlined.

  4. Freud says:

    I think familiar instead of new gameplay is what really attracts the Kickstarter Audience.

    • Tssha says:

      I would argue instead that it’s a feeling of “DO WANT” that fuels this sort of massive project funding. Whether it’s the kind of game that they don’t make anymore, or the kind of game you WISH they made, it’s always something that perks up the ears of interested backers and makes them go “I want this, and it won’t be made without my help”.

      Certainly, gratitude to a person who’s provided you with many good gaming vittles over the years can attract that kind of attention, but a big, flashy new project that’s doing something completely different can also grab it. It’s rarer, but it happens.

      PULSAR: Lost Colony, for instance, has made its funding goal with 11 days to spare. Granted, it’s a modest goal, but they did it with YouTube videos and a solid tech demo. You just gotta present the goods in an appealing manner and price according to the scale of the project.

  5. Michael Fogg says:

    Mirror’s Edge was an abject failure, can’t believe anyone would want to advertise their project by association with ME. Unless you want to impress those folks for whom the presence of a Strong Female Character makes up for all the weaknesses.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Mirror’s Edge was a commercial failure, but a critical success and a triumph of game design (with the exception of the inclusion of play-wieldable-guns due to publisher meddling)

    • TechnicalBen says:

      How did it fail?

      As posted above by suibhne, it may have failed commercially, but those who played it/liked running/jumping in FPS games loved it.

      Take it like some of the other sim games. It may be a smaller audience, but you can still make a really good game for that small audience. Polish and performance worked in ME. It may have been lacking a little in some areas, but it definitely tried and pushed boundaries.

      This might be the downfall of this game though. While it looks to do what it does well, it may only appeal to a small audience. That’s no problem, but it does mean you have to scale to project to the budget.

    • tetracycloide says:

      What does Eden Starter have to do with your personal politics exactly?

  6. LTK says:

    I’m backing this. The core gameplay already looks entertaining enough to be worthwhile, and the destructability is just icing on the cake. I definitely want to see this get made.

  7. Don Reba says:

    It looks amazing and it so deserves to be made.
    Backed.

  8. Tiguh says:

    So to make up for our glaring inability to will whatever dumb thing we want into existence,

    I fucking love you Nathan Grayson. Be mine?

  9. Nibblet says:

    Looks pretty awesome but i rather doubt it will get the funding it needs.
    Co-op and consoles are two big kickstarter nono’s as is asking for a hefty 620k without any well known names attached to it.

  10. Moraven says:

    Here is their trailer of the their previous work on the same game concept.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0m0BLakftM

    Wonder why they had to turn into a new company? New game name?

    • Snidesworth says:

      Looks like they went from a defined single player experience to open world survival co-op. No idea about the company change though.

    • Don Reba says:

      Here is their reply:

      More info on that soon :) Just know for now they are separate games, not just a name change.

      So, ah, stay tuned.

  11. Wedge says:

    I wish this looked good, but it all seems to be less than the sum of it’s parts. The whole smashy gravity gun arm thing looks cool, but fairly shallow, and we already had the awesome magnet gun in Red Faction: Armageddon. Then there’s a slick looking but basic platforming setup in a world that can’t decide if it wants to have an aesthetic or be made for pure level design, and thus ends up achieving neither. And of course some magic block placing, because apparently every game ever needs to let you do that now. I just don’t see how any of this stuff comes together into a coherent game.

  12. Artist says:

    “Mirror’s-Edge-Inspired”
    epic facepalm…

  13. AlienMind says:

    warning – this has ingame exclusives at 60 pound tier

  14. Vast_Girth says:

    Looks good, but i have nearly 20 kickerstarters backed and nothing to show for it yet, so I’m only going to add to that for something that’s truly special. . I will buy it on release if it makes it out.

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