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Kickstarter Katchup - 10th November 2012

Dangerous Times

The mechanised middle class march onward, beating the bushes and scouring the horizon for fresh prey. Sir, You Are Being Hunted has been funded and is the only winner this week. In other news, Elite has a new logo, wrestling attempts to set up its squared circle on the PC and some promising projects stumble and stall. It's another week without losers, but there are lots of slow movers. Also, be aware that newcomers are at the top of the 'Players' column so there is some mingling of dollars and pounds. Always check which currency your pledges would be in.

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 two currencies in play. Always check!
  • Do not consume the Katchup before operating heavy machinery or driving. In fact, it's best never to consume the Katchup at all.

The Winners

Sir, You Are Being Hunted - Big Robot

Goal: £40,000
Now: £55,259

Parish notice: Jim Rossignol of Big Robot and Jim Rossignol of Rock, Paper, Shotgun are one and the same. You are reading words on Rock, Paper, Shotgun about a Big Robot project.

It's the mechanical-man-shooter that will fire a bullet through the steely face of the British class system and, by Jove, it has been funded. Pledges have already stretched beyond some goals and The Landowner, an "aberrant mechanical ultra-toff", will be in the game, as will wildlife slaying and a castle biome. Hot air balloon patrols are next, at £60,000, and everything beyond that is shrouded in mystery thicker than the fog on a midnight moor. Every stretch goal distracts Jim slightly more, bringing my plan to infiltrate the secret cellars that run beneath Castle Shotgun ever closer to fruition.

The Losers

Nothing but Beck in here.

The Players

Elite: Dangerous - Frontier Developments

Goal: £1,250,000
Now: £392,337
Days: 55

This was something of a surprise. David Braben had spoken about his desire to return to Elite, the game wot made him and many other people, but the plan had been to do it once The Outsider was complete. Then The Outsider failed to happen, people lost their jobs, and Frontier Developments turned to Kickstarter with a logo, a name and a massive funding target. There has been a video update but it contains the footage of the game in the background rather than up-front and centre stage, as if this were an advertising campaign rather than a crowdfunding platform. My first reaction, when I saw the name, was childish excitement. Are names and memories enough though? Is it unfair to grumble about that here when the Doublefine Adventure was reliant on much the same, albeit more recent memories and a good deal of charisma? Let's see what updates Frontier provide in the next week.


Goal: $150,000
Now: $31,890
Days: 30

Alec has already covered this - briefly, it's a collection of four semi-mythical multiplayer indie games, the games that are heard of in whispers and that seem to have been at expos and conventions for years. It doesn't include Monaco or Spy Party, having more of a competitive sports theme, so here's what's planned: Johann Sebastian Joust, BaraBariBall, Super Pole Riders and Hokra. Initial release will be on PS3, Autumn 2013, with Mac/PC coming later.

Pro Wrestling X - Wrestling Gamers United

Goal: $75,000
Now: $6,195
Days: 27

I took to my twitterbox recently and decried the lack of a modern incarnation of Fire Pro Wrestling on my PC's hard drive. I think I was drunk and accidentally watching TNA at the time, which I deeply regret, but my point stands. Imagine how surprised I was when my boozy twitter-talk inspired a Kickstarter project (it didn't) that looks almost exactly like the kind of thing I was dreaming of.

The ultimate goal: the fun of No Mercy + the depth of Fire Pro Wrestling.

Hurrah! The basic game is complete and the money is to update animation and assets. The feature list is hugely impressive and here's the video.

Pier Solar HD - WaterMelon Co

Goal: $139,000
Now: $80,822
Days: 25

Pier Solar has history.

Pier Solar was originally designed and developed for the SEGA Mega Drive & SEGA Genesis. Yes, you read that right!! It was actually the only newly developed game for SEGA's 16-bit system in the new millennium.

So there you go! A console RPG made in the 16-bit style and indeed on a 16-bit system. The Kickstarter brings it all into HD and ports it to Windows, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360 and, gloriously Dreamcast. Here's the video.

Maia - Simon Roth

Goal: £100,042
Now: £39,638
Days: 18

Maia's Kickstarter has informative updates, a strong initial pitch and reasonable reward tiers, so it should be aiming for stretch goals now rather than creeping toward its target. Maybe the idea itself doesn't have broad appeal? But it's a simulation-heavy sci-fi colony management kind of thing inspired by every '90s god/management game you ever loved, so that's clearly not the case. Recent updates include an extensive Q&A session and confirmation that a failed Kickstarter does not mean Maia will die: "I will find a way to make this game happen. Maia is inevitable." Reassuring, but I'd rather it happened soon and completely.

The Ship: Full Steam Ahead - Blazing Griffin

Goal: £128,000
Now: £8,108
Days: 50

The long-haul 60 day campaign that Full Steam Ahead launched seems very sensible now that the first week and a half is complete. No updates yet, but a steampunk sequel to The Ship seems like it should be more attractive than < £10,000/10 days. Appeal is now measured thusly. To find out how appealing you are to the world, start a Kickstarter project which aims to raise money in order to permit your continued existence. How will it all end? Kung Fu Superstar - Kinesthetic Games

Goal: £200,000
Now: £19,033
Days: 24

I didn't pick up on the 'Origin' subtitle at the end of Kung Fu Superstar's title when I wrote about it last week, but John did. Perhaps in response to that, the team have included an update that explains exactly what they're trying to fund.

We don't want our backers to bankroll a AAA project, we don't think that's what Kickstarter is for. The way we're approaching it is, we made sure we ask for just enough to complete developing our innovative technology and build the exciting beginning of the saga with it in the form of Kung Fu Superstar: Origin.

The word 'Origin' isn't used on the front page until tiers are discussed, which is why I missed it last week (sorry!). There is a new video with more details about how controls will work.

Sui Generis - Bare Mettle Entertainment

Goal: £150,000
Now: £37,203
Days: 19

Sui Generis' remarkable technology continues to impress the majority of those who see it. Whether there's a decent RPG behind that tech is a question that's already been asked and Bare Mettle have responded. Personally, I'm pretty much sold on the technology. I didn't even know fantasy RPGs tried not to be generic!

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption - Corey Cole

Goal: $400,000
Now: $212,309
Days: 10

It's been a good week for Hero-U, the game from the lovely Quest For Glory folks, although the next ten days will have to be even better. Corey and Lori could have traded on a name to an extent but they haven't done that at all - of course they mention Quest for Glory, but they've engaged with Kickstarter completely, using the project page as a platform from which to speak to the media, to address concerns and to build a community. If you're interested adventure games, turn-based RPGs or what the Quest for Glory designers are up to now, it's well worth taking a look at all the updates. And our interview.

StarForge - CodeHatch

Goal: $75,000
Now: $71,148
Days: 20

Astounding first-person combat and construction are the order of the day in StarForge, whose scale and ambition is frankly ludicrous. Thankfully, they've already done a great deal of the work and their funding campaign has been sensibly laid out, with goals and targets clearly explained. It'll surely be in the winners column next week and I can only imagine the team will then set their sights on making entire galaxies collide with one another.

Antharion - Orphic Software

Goal: $15,000
Now: $9,867
Days: 7

No updates since last week on Antharion's page. It's a project that tickled my particular fancies - a massive slice of turn-based, party-based, open-world RPG. I was feeling confident about its chances last week but there hasn't been a great deal of activity in the last seven days. I still think it'll make it but I'm already mourning the potential lack of cooking, which is pegged at a $21,000 stretch goal.

Interstellar Marines: Prologue - Zero Point Software

Goal: $600,000
Now: $93,330
Days: 17

Interstellar Marines is up-front about being a prologue but I'm still a little unclear as what the first part of this promising tactical co-op first-person shooter will contain. To learn more about the Prologue, the team and the sharks, I'll be talking to them in the near future. In the meantime, here's a shark-thing.

Super Comboman - Super Comboman Team

Goal: $14,900
Now: $12,612
Days: 4

Super Comboman is almost there. The days are short and the goal is close, but the baddie-juggling beat 'em up is almost certainly going to make it. The latest video goes behind the scenes and into the sound studio. I note that the developers have spotted the reason so many giggle at their babbling mascot. It's not because of his wit!

Did you know that Fanny packs are named Bumbags in Europe because Fanny has another slang meaning?

Distance - Refract Studios

Goal: $125,000
Now: $78,300
Days: 6

The follow-up to Nitronic Rush is still trying to find fifth gear, or the dashboard button that causes it to launch into the air, fire jets from its rear and fly to another planet. The team promise plenty of updates over the final days.

One of them is a new gameplay video showing the parkour/exploration elements of the game and some other cool surprises.

It's a racing game with parkour/exploration elements. That's a decent selling point right there.

Shadowgate - Zojoi

Goal: $120,000
Now: $72,428
Days: 15

The gorgeous Shadowgate remake has hit the difficult middle period and funding has slowed down considerably. I do wonder how many bells the name rings, let alone how many people have been waiting decades for an updated version of the first-person adventure. Updates include the opening of official forums, some parts of which are only open to backers.

Songmasters "The Music Wars" - ARMOGASTE

Goal: $20,000
Now: $11,587
Days: 22

Judging by the less than $1,000 raised in the last week, the video explaining how combat will work in this multiplayer musical strategy game may have confused everyone else as much as it confused me. Undaunted, the team are doing something I haven't come across before - a live event at which people can meet the team and see the progress they've made so far. It's in Paris at Dernier Bar avant la fin du Monde on Sunday November 18th. Neat idea. Maybe that Rossignol chap will rent out an English country pub and regale the populace with tales of tweedy horror.

Forced - BetaDwarf

Goal: $40,000
Now: $18,495
Days: 20

The tactical ARPG is making steady progress. I still haven't tried the demo the developers kindly sent me because I am a terrible human being. To make up for this, I shall take time out of my busy Sunday schedule (recovering from Saturday night) to spend time with it. Promise! Thoughts on Monday.

Divine Space - Dodo Games

Goal: $100,000
Now: $23,491
Days: 20

Divine Space, which promises adventure and hard science fiction, hasn't seen much activity over the last week, although the team continue to update and knowledge of the project is slowly spreading around the internet. They've opened a forum as well to encourage interaction. Take a look.

Ars Magica Video Game - Black Chicken Studios

Goal: $290,000
Now: $65,743
Days: 8

Args Magica sounds absolutely fascinating - if I shout about how much each update makes me think of King of Dragon Pass, would that entice everyone to go and read more about it? It does remind me of King of Dragon Pass and there aren't many games like that around. Go and read all about it immediately.

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About the Author

Adam Smith

Former Deputy Editor

Adam wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun between 2011-2018, rising through the ranks to become its Deputy Editor. He now works at Larian Studios on Baldur's Gate 3.