Mechagodzilla ‘Em Up: Kerberos Crowdfunding Kaiju-a-Gogo

By Alice O'Connor on May 13th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound, he pulls the spitting high tension wires down

As someone involved a bit with playful live events, my dream project is a Godzilla-esque model city installation. I want to fill a room with city for people to interact with as they see fit, wandering through its streets, admiring the handicraft, sitting down and chillaxing in the park, or perhaps stomping it down to the ground while roaring. Kaiju-a-Gogo is more focused on that last part.

Sword of the Stars devs Kerberos Productions are coming down to Earth with a smashy strategy game about taking over the world by crushing cities, armies, governments, and giant robots with a honking great customisable kaiju. If that sounds like your bag, you can back it on Kickstarter.

Kaiju-a-Gogo plots world domination with one weird trick: sending out a giant monster to trash cities and crush their defenders. You’re trying to demoralise the populace so they surrender to your rule, see, and smashing also nets your kooky scientist resources to make their kaiju mightier. The game will offer a choice of three kaiju (a plant thing, a Frankenstein, or a robodinosaur), each with around a skill tree of around 90 upgrades. Naturally you have a secret island base too, which needs fortifying in case the world comes a-knocking. I broadly support the ideas of this game.

Kerberos are asking for $50,000 Canadian on Kickstarter (£27,000), offering copies of the finished game to people who pledge at least $15 CAD (£8-ish) or $12 CAD if you get in early. They’re hoping to release it by the end of November. Should they pass the funding goal, they’re looking to add mod tools as well as more features and other usual stretch video game goals.

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64 Comments »

  1. BarryAllen says:

    >Available on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android platforms!

    Woo more shitty phone games on PC!

    • BlueTemplar says:

      Is FTL a shitty game?

      • BarryAllen says:

        Was FTL designed with phones in mind? No it wasn’t. It just so happens it’s simple controls work on a phone.

        Let’s face it any game designed with phones in mind is going to be fucky in some way. Can you honestly see them selling the mobile version for $15 on the iOS/Android markets? No it will be cheap as fuck and have micro-transactions. The PC version might not include the micro-transactions but the game will probably be made around them being there thus the gameplay will suffer in some way. Mobile phone games or games that are on PC but designed with mobile in mind are very rarely good as no one is willing to make an actual good game for phones with no bullshit involved.

        • Emeraude says:

          Was FTL designed with phones in mind? No it wasn’t. It just so happens it’s simple controls work on a phone.

          Doesn’t that also mean, in reverse, that its mechanical aspects are deep enough that, had it been designed for a phone first and foremost; it would have found its place on PC anyway ?

          • Baines says:

            The debatable point there is that if it had been designed for a phone first and foremost, then it wouldn’t be the FTL that we currently have.

          • Emeraude says:

            Yes, but I’ve seen no argument so far about why it should be so.

          • BarryAllen says:

            >The debatable point there is that if it had been designed for a phone first and foremost, then it wouldn’t be the FTL that we currently have

            I’m glad someone gets what I’m on about.

          • The Random One says:

            Yes, we understand that is the point you are trying to make, and are waiting for your arguments so an actual discussion can happen.

          • Sian says:

            @The Random One: But he did make his points: Games with mobile platforms in mind from the start are more often than not designed with microtransactions in mind, which in turn influences the design quite heavily. The devs make the game unpleasant in some aspect in order to be able to sell you things that remove this unpleasantness.

            The PC versions of these games often retain the unpleasantness to a noticeable degree.

          • Emeraude says:

            @Sian

            Yes, but that is dependent on the economical realities of the platform, which are indicative of but not in any way an imperative influence on what kind of games you can expect from it.

            I mean, there is an argument to be made as of why designing certain kind of games for the cellphone can and almost invariably will result in inferior products – if only because of available screen space and control scheme – but frankly I don’t see how FTL belongs to those. Nor how its design has any feature that makes it more a PC game than any other platform’s.

          • Sian says:

            @Emeraude: Sure, but we’re not primarily talking about FTL, we’re talking about Kaiju-A-Gogo. BarryAllen expressed his concern about the game not being good because it’s going to be designed with mobile devices in mind. FTL was brought in as an example of a good mobile game (and rightly so, even though it came out on PC first), but the fact of the matter is that most mobile games are designed in a way that doesn’t appeal to many desktop gamers (at least I think “many” is the appropriate term – can’t speak for everyone).

            I think BarryAllens concerns about the way designing Kaiju-A-Gogo with mobile platforms in mind are completely valid, which is one of the reasons why I’ll hold off participating in this campaign until Kerberos tell us more about how they’re going to go about this.

          • Emeraude says:

            @Sian:

            I understand the concern, I have issues when said concerns are passed as some form of undeniable truth.

            I mean: Let’s face it any game designed with phones in mind is going to be fucky in some way. is as far as I’m concerned factually false. There are valid reasons to fear why it could be so, but no argument proving how it would necessarily be so.

          • Sian says:

            @Emeraude:
            True, but I pass it off as standard internet hyperbole.

          • The Random One says:

            The original post essentially says “this game is coming out for phones, therefore will be shit”. That is not hyperbole, that is presenting “all games for phones are shit” as an unargueable premise.

          • BarryAllen says:

            The vast majority of games for phones are shit. There are a few ones that are good like Super Hexagon, Fruit Ninja and some games ported over from other platforms such as Beat Hazard, Metal Slug and the aforementioned FTL. You can’t deny that the mobile space is a shit place for games currently. The only ones that make any money are ones with microtransactions. No one is willing to spend more than £1 on a game so you’re never going to get a good experience as it’s not worth trying to deliver one because you wont make any money off it.

          • The Random One says:

            Yes, so it may be wise to doubt a game that releases on phones first and is then ported to PC. It is not so wise to doubt a game that is being released on PC first because it is also being released on phones.

          • Sian says:

            Okay, I sent Kerberos a message asking about this and here’s their reply:

            “We design as PC devs first and we’re not big fans of Candy Crush levels of IAP shenanigans. That said, it’s true, you sell PC games at one price point and mobile games another – talking a bit about what that means during the campaign might not be a bad idea.”

            Soooo… We wait and see, I guess.

        • dontnormally says:

          FTL absolutely was designed with tablets in mind.

          Do you remember that it(s demo) was initially a launch title for the On-Live cloud game-streaming service?

          • BarryAllen says:

            I played DIRT 3 on the bus using my phone via OnLive, doesn’t mean it’s a mobile game in any way. I used OnLive mostly on my PC for the 30 minute trials they offered on games. Just because somethings demo was on OnLive doesn’t mean it was designed for tablets.

          • Laurentius says:

            Say what ?
            Just becuase On-Live went to bed with IGF and offered bunch indie games (Dear Esther, SpaceChem, FTL etc.)demos on their service, doesn’t mean FTL was designed with mobiles in mind. Kickstarter was clear about that and it took 1 and half year to actually port the game to ipad.

        • BlueTemplar says:

          I get your point, but :

          First, you keep saying “phone”. I specifically mentioned FTL, because the port was targeted to tablets, not phones. From what I have seen, this is also the case for Ground Pounders, and will probably be the case for Kaiju a Gogo too.

          Second, knowing Kerberos, I am willing to bet there will be no micro transactions.

          Third, there ARE good phone games, UniWar comes to mind…

    • mouton says:

      It’s people like you who give the PC platform a bad name.

      • BarryAllen says:

        If it makes you feel better I think all poor quality shitty phone games should stay away from consoles and PC.

        • Sharlie Shaplin says:

          I think you should let other people decide what they want, and not expect everyone to conform to your wishes/opinions.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        Person A makes sweeping statement about object B. Person B makes sweeping statement about group A that person A belongs to.

        Person B misses the point and downfall of sweeping statements, while complaining about sweeping statements. :P

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    • lilythomas01254 says:

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    • castewar says:

      I know exactly where Barry is coming from. Not that I agree that his points apply to our game, but they are valid points. Currently there is a huge uptick in developing for the mobile platform – this isn’t crazy, have you seen the numbers The Simpsons game does? That’s check-out-my-hat-it’s-made-of-money type stuff right there. And that’s fairly benign compared to the trend towards designing your game specifically to make people pay to keep things moving along.

      That’s – as Sian posted – not what we’re doing here. It’s not what we do at all. So far, in our full indie incarnation, we’ve designed for PC first and foremost. Then we move it to mobile. Some shuffling of the content does happen between PC and mobile, just because PC gamers will spend 10-60 bucks on a game outright, mobile gamers won’t. So, for us, on PC you get all three monsters (maybe more, depending on how the Kickstarter goes) – on mobile, you get one monster, and the others can be picked up via IAPs.

      Hopefully that clears some things up.

  2. SpinalJack says:

    Thats sort of the opposite to my game: http://www.kaijupanic.com where you defend cities instead of destroy them.

  3. Tycow says:

    After the awfulness of Fort Zombie and SOTS 2, I think I’ll pass.

    • anandus says:

      Indeed, it’s very optimistic of them to expect gamers to fund a game up front with such a bad track record.

      • Trithne says:

        I enjoyed The Pit. Not so much what I tried of Ground Pounders, which appears to be Mecron reverting to auteur form.

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      Cinek says:

      +1

    • mouton says:

      The Pit was great and polished, though.

      • SillyWizard says:

        The Pit is a shitload of fuck, as the Angry Video Game Nerd would say. It’s even worse than many shitty games, because it does such a good job of making you think it’s playable. I sank way too many hours in that game before figuring out it was a pile of garbage to give Kerberos any more of my time.

        The problem with it is that it’s designed to not be winnable on any given playthrough. As you play, you (hopefully) find recipes for items and weapons that you’ll need to progress. However, the drop-chances for any given item are low enough that until you have many, many recipes, you’ll probably never live long enough/have the requisite materials to craft anything worthwhile.

        Coupled with the fact that there’s a significant chance to find nothing in chests, the game is just a massive fuck-you to the player.

        • MattM says:

          I agree about the problems with SOTS: The Pit. When I read the forums looking for help with the game I saw people posting about the problems they were having with the game. The developers could have agreed, disagreed, or ignored the posts. Instead they generally insulted the posters and argued that true fans liked their design choices and that they were infallible.

          • mouton says:

            Yeah, that Mecron fellow does not really understand that “communication” thing.

        • mouton says:

          Huh? I finished the game a few times. Yes, it is brutal, but is fun. Far from unwinnable, just not as friendly as most games are nowadays.

          But that is not the question about quality anyway. It is a question of difficulty curve. Mechanics, graphics etc. work fine, they are just tuned not to your liking.

          • SillyWizard says:

            For me, it’s a question of “Did these people/this guy make something designed to be fun and appeal to me?” My first-hand experience with SotS: The Pit, and my second-hand experience with SotS 2, is that Kerberos doesn’t make games designed to be fun and appeal to its audience.

            It makes games with arbitrary mechanics that Mecron has decreed will exist for no other reason than that he’s decreed that they will exist, and he gets the final say, so fuck you if you don’t like it.

            I’m happy for you that you enjoyed The Pit. I have too little time and too many things I’d rather do than play a game that actively demonstrate its designer’s desire that nobody play it. (See also: the Eschalon series — requiring that the player remembers to save before pretty much each search of a corpse/chest/whatever or fuck you.)

            It’s great that people enjoy games that are designed to make it needlessly difficult (or at the very least, annoying) to play them. You know what, nevermind. It’s not great. Fuck these games, and I’m sad that you enjoyed this one, because I would rather asshats like Mecron not feel vindicated at all when they develop bullshit like the Pit.

            >:(

          • mouton says:

            @SillyWizard

            Some games are just brutal like that. Doesn’t mean the developers hate you, it just means the game is not for you. It is by far not the only one and some of the mare stupidly popular (like, Dark Souls).

            I will not defend Mecron in the least, he is…let’s say, uh, “troubled”. But developers’ personalities mean little to me in terms of how I judge games (or films or books or music etc.).

            “It makes games with arbitrary mechanics that Mecron has decreed will exist for no other reason than that he’s decreed that they will exist, and he gets the final say, so fuck you if you don’t like it.”

            Uhh, why should it be any other way? That’s how game design works, some fellows have some “vision”, they code it in and then the player decides whether they like it or not.

          • SillyWizard says:

            Super Meat Boy is brutal. Hotline Miami is brutal. FTL is brutal. Don’t Starve is brutal. Each of these games, however, is playable. While death is common in each of these games, it is within the realm of possibility to win on any given play-through, given a healthy helping of skill and/or luck.

            Conversely, SotS: The Pit is designed to require that you fail until you are able to utilize any lucky windfalls that come your way. You have to have a store of recipes which can only be acquired through (what felt to me) to be an endless string of otherwise meaningless failures.

            (Really the thing that chapped my ass the most about SotS: TP was the frequency with which chests contained nothing. Nothing at all. In a game half as hard as TP, that would be a slap in the dick. In TP it was a firm confirmation that Kerberos really doesn’t want me to give them any more of my money, ever.)

            Another interesting thing about the above games and is that at least a couple of them were developed using a very beneficial, iterative process which allowed for player feedback to influence the development of the game, in an attempt to maximize the fun which could be had. I emphasize “attempt” there because Kerberos doesn’t give a fuck if anyone is having fun with their shitty insults to gaming.

            I recognize that brilliant game designers are best left unmolested, to present us with a pure bit of gaming genius unsullied by the pleas from the peanut gallery. Mecron is not a brilliant game designer. His being a cock on top of not being particularly good at his job simply reinforces the necessity of his audience to recognize his nonsense for what it is, and stop giving him their money. It’s the only way he’ll learn (one hopes).

          • vecordae says:

            @mouton

            In all fairness, Mecron probably DOES hate us. The man, at the very least, has little to no respect for his own playerbase.

          • mouton says:

            @SillyWizard

            Look, I don’t care if you like the game or not. But please don’t call it “unplayable” when it certainly is playable. Not every game appeals to everyone, stop trying to brand it as some kind of absolute.

          • SillyWizard says:

            Farts.

          • mouton says:

            Ewww

    • Sian says:

      I didn’t follow Fort Zombie (zombie fatigue), so I have no idea what happened there, but SotS 2 really was a disaster. But SotS 2 is a very complex game and I’m pretty sure there were things going on between Paradox and Kerberos for which the game suffered. As Mouton said, The Pit was decent enough and this looks like it might be simple enough for Kerberos to pull off.

      I’m really on the fence about this. I like the idea and I can spare 15 $, but do I really trust Kerberos to do things right – and do I really want to support Mecron? (Yeah, I don’t like the guy.)

      • malkav11 says:

        Basically, it was put out in an unfinished state and then while it was iterated on a few times it was never, y’know, actually finished. Kind of like SOTS 2, as I understand it. Except that Fort Zombie seems to have been basically abandoned, whereas last I heard SOTS 2 was still being sporadically patched, albeit in ways that often break new things.

  4. MobileAssaultDuck says:

    I’m still a little gun shy with Kerberos after SotS2.

    SotS1 was one of my favourite strategy games so I bought SotS2 on launch and, well… fuck.

  5. ZamFear says:

    The header image reminds me of The Movie Monster Game.

    • twaitsfan says:

      Played me quite a bit of Movie Monster on the C64. A great game from that generation. Hard as the dickens too.

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      quietone says:

      Ah, yes…been waiting since then for something similar. Great idea, deserves a new opportunity.

    • castewar says:

      Crush, Crumble, and Chomp is another inspiration for Kaiju-A-GoGo – most of us are old gamers, and we have a soft spot for bringing back under-appreciated genres and games, updating them, and introducing new gamers to them.

  6. somnolentsurfer says:

    The opening paragraph of this had me thinking of Lungfishopolis expanded to fill a whole game. I’m sure a strategy version could be great too, but it’s hard to imagine it having the gratifying feel of stomping up a city.

  7. SillyWizard says:

    This is a no. Kerberos hates the people that buy its games. Go eat a dick, Kerberos.

  8. Emeraude says:

    Edit: misfire /grumble

  9. Emeraude says:

    Edit: those misfires really getting on my nerve. I wonder what causes them.

  10. vecordae says:

    My favorite part of any Kerberos game is all the seething resentment for me, the player, that goes into every design decision.

  11. Eebahgum says:

    Did someone say Kajagoogoo?

  12. Premium User Badge

    Hypocee says:

    Given that Doublefine aside, multiple Kickstarters are what previously published studios do when they’re circling the drain, I get the feeling that in the next couple years we may see a new dog-themed indie company minus one person. Even I am starting to feel that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

  13. MellowKrogoth says:

    This game oozes so much style, and I really liked SOTS: The Pit (it’s the first true roguelike with nice graphics that I liked, it’s like Dungeons of Dredmor but less cluttered and in a stranger universe). Ground Pounders seems pretty interesting as well so far.
    So, instantly backed.