Wilco: Two Guys’ SpaceVenture Kickstarter Just Makes It

As appears to so often be the case, the Space Quest creators’ Kickstarter for SpaceVenture has managed to reach its enormous half million target in the last moments. With three days to go they were still close to $100,000 short, but a remarkable eleventh hour surge has seen it reach $529,175, with just three hours to go. So it seems there will be more not-Roger Wilco having more not-space janitor adventures in not-Space Quest.

The forthcoming game seems to heavily involve a chicken called Cluck Y’egger. That’s the point at which the humour is pitched. Here’s some nonsense from that:

The voice cast lined up for this is spectacular. Gary Owens, the wonderful narrator from the earlier Space Quest games is there, along with Rob “Pinky” Paulson, Robert “Jim Raynor” Clothworthy, John “Sniper” Patrick Lowrie, and Ellen “GLaDOS” McLain. Let’s hope the words they’ll now be writing will do them justice.


  1. fiddlesticks says:

    I’m glad they made it. I liked most of the Space Quest games and what they’ve shown so far has been promising, especially the voice talent they brought on board. Really excited to see the final product.

    I do wish they hadn’t updated quite so frequently, though. It felt more like spam than actual information at times.

    • wccrawford says:

      It felt like spam because it was. They were having trouble attracting attention and were using updates to attempt to do that.

      Personally, I think the prototypes hurt their campaign. It’s for a platform they aren’t targeting, and confused people into thinking it was the only platform. They were extremely unpolished. They showed almost no imagination or humor, as their other series’ did. In short, nothing about them was a good idea.

      In addition to that, they tried to follow DoubleFine and just say they were going to make a game, and not actually talk about the plans for the game. Then they introduce a space plumber and a giant chicken, with absolutely no context except that the chicken is someone the plumber’s daydream hero. WTF?

      I think there’s tons of potential, and they totally failed to show it, despite their frequent updates.

      For the record, I like the frequent updates, on all the projects I’ve backed. I just don’t think SpaceVenture’s updates were effective at what they were trying to do.

      • djbriandamage says:

        Except that it worked! Happy as I am that my contribution helped them reach this goal, this was the project that convinced me to turn off all my Kickstarter email updates. I think we can safely expect all underperforming Kickstarter projects to employ increasingly larger megaphones as the zero-hour approacheth.

      • Quarex says:

        I did not really care for the frequent updates, either, but I actually think you are totally wrong about the prototypes, as they impressed me both in their artistic content and their “proving that they are actually working constantly already”ness.

        I hate adventure games, but I had enough fun with the prototypes to impress me.

  2. Quatlo says:

    And that epic Klendathu Drop.

  3. MeestaNob says:

    I’m also happy to see another successful Kickstarter for a resurrection of old world PC gaming, but am I the only one that was not overly impressed by the updates, and not particularly reassured that these two have buried the hatchet? (the youtube stuff didn’t have a lot of chemistry and felt strained, or something)

    I hope investors get something out of this, never mind something that’s actually really good.

    • wccrawford says:

      Wait, there was bad blood between them?

      I’ve tried to figure out their careers since Sierra, and failed. Supposedly they worked on other games, but I couldn’t figure out which ones. It makes them look like they’ve been out of the industry all this time. And apparently not in touch with each other? Weird.

      Contrast this to Jane Jensen who has a clear series of games listed on WIkipedia and obviously stayed in the industry the whole time. It was a lot easier to back her campaign… And in fact, I backed it for a lot higher amount.

      • gschmidl says:

        There was an interview a few years ago with one of them where he clearly let off years of pent-up frustrations and said some very hurtful things. And then they seem to have made up. There’s not really any animosity going on in any of the podcasts or SQ commentaries. Then Josh Mandel, Ken Williams, and others showed up, and also did interviews.

        Even if the Kickstarter had failed, having those commentaries and interviews and so forth would have been worth it.

        EDIT: All of it is here: link to en.wikipedia.org including what they’ve been doing in the meantime.

      • MeestaNob says:

        Yeah (link to rockpapershotgun.com), 2nd paragraph implies happened in the 90’s. I’m sure I read some other stuff about it but cant find it any more.

        It may just have been the friction of working together so long? Sounds like it’s all good now though, whatever it was. Hope they produce something awesome, the 21st century needs more point-n-click in it’s gaming diet.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Mmhmm. It’s repeatedly failing to split my sides, or even get a smile rather than a grimace, but at least now it’ll hopefully turn into some kind of completed game that can be demo’d and Wot-I-Thunk’d and maybe by that point they’ll have recaptured the knack and everything will be wonderful.

  4. John Walker says:

    Indeed – I’ve complained about their dreadful updates every time I’ve posted about it before, especially in the Katchup. But I thought since they’d made it I’d give them a break this time.

  5. Torgen says:

    I wish Cluck Y’Egger, Astro Cock was going to be the protagonist. I also see that they’ve backed off the “Astro Cock” part (that doesn’t sound right) and changed his badge to CY instead of AC. I suppose it’s for the best, as it would have cost them sales.

    EDIT: And Gary Owens will always mean “Laugh-In” to me.

  6. Lemming says:

    I hope the game turns out to be good, because this was probably the most cynical KS campaign I’ve seen. They certainly didn’t deserve to make it this far, so they’d better appreciate that they did.

    • wccrawford says:

      Can you explain what you mean by cynical?

      I’ve seen other campaigns that actively campaign *against* other campaigns, and I’ve seen campaigns that don’t appreciate the donations at all and simply whip their followers for failing to bring in enough other people. I’ve seen campaigns that call it a huge conspiracy and say that KS doesn’t work for small developers, and that only the big ones get funded. (They’re wrong, of course.) I’ve seen campaigns that absolutely refuse to believe it’s their own fault that they didn’t get funded.

      None of those is how I’d describe SpaceVentures, despite my criticisms of how they ran the campaign.

      • Lemming says:

        Because it seemed to me to be the very definition of going on name and past glory alone. Not only had neither of these guys done anything of note for years, they didn’t even like each other.

        On that basis alone they decided to get back together for a Kickstarter and ask for a whopping $500,000. A ludicrous amount of money to ask for with nothing to show but dicking around on video. Clearly they wouldn’t want anything to do with each other if money wasn’t involved – not the best basis for a working partnership.

        It’s a KS that’s won through with the bare minimum of effort. Other KS’s have featured some of the criteria I’ve mentioned, but this is the first one I’ve seen slam all that together and still win.

        • Baktosh says:

          I disagree with the ‘nothing to show but dicking around on video’ part. No matter how well/poorly they were received, the prototype they put together showed they still know how to put together a Sierra style adventure game. I think that’s ultimately what people wanted from the KS, even if it doesn’t look likely that they’ll be able to create something new in the SQ universe.

  7. MondSemmel says:

    Is there anything stopping the people involved in the kickstarter project to just back their own project to get over the required funding goal? Is that even illegal?

    I so often read about projects miraculously finishing their funding on their last day, and while I know that most backers appear in the first and last few hours/days of every project, some of these success stories still seem quite dubious from time to time.

    Does anyone have any knowledge/opinion on this matter?

    • Lanfranc says:

      According to the Kickstarter FAQ, paying yourself is in fact against not just the Kickstarter rules, but also the rules of the credit card companies. In the worst case, that could get their Amazon account cancelled, which of course would basically mean no money at all anyway.

      • MondSemmel says:

        Thank you. I didn’t think of looking for the Kickstarter FAQ, and I wasn’t aware that it’s illegal in general, not just on Kickstarter.

  8. Andy_Panthro says:

    And the adventure gaming kickstarters keep on coming:

    link to kickstarter.com

    Quest for Infamy is a new game from the guys behind the King’s Quest 3 remake and Space Quest 2 remake.

    It’s inspired by Quest for Glory, and they already have a playable demo, so go and try it and see what you think!