Kickstarter Katchup – 23rd June 2012

The URL for this one is in April. Imagine if I actually updated it.

Oh dear, this is getting out of control. With 28 tabs open on one screen, and a blank page on this one, Kickstarter Katchup is getting busy. Do keep sending in suggestions to the email linked in my name above. That doesn’t guarantee they’ll be featured, of course. And being featured here doesn’t mean we endorse the projects. It’s your call what you choose to fund. Lots of new games added this week, with just one previous mention finishing unfunded, and three success stories.

The Winners

Word Realms – Asymmetric

Beyond anything that’s come from this campaign, I’ve learned how to spell “asymmetric”. In other news, they eventually swooshed past their funding to reach $121,442. A slow, wobbly campaign finished in style, with a high-content final week. So to everyone who whinged that they don’t like the art – plrrlbblbbbbbb.

The Repopulation – The Repopulation

As expected last week, The Repopulation has received its funding and then some. After $25,000, it’s now almost on $29,000 and there are still 9 days to go. The sci-fi sandbox MMO has received what strikes me as an incredibly small some for an MMO, and naturally they’re now stretching for more. $35k is the current target, which they say will bring lots more detail to the final game.

Dead State – DoubleBear Productions

If anything, I’m surprised this one didn’t get there faster. But as of yesterday, it cleared its $150,000 ambition, and now with 12 days left they’re stretching as high as $360k. That would add a whole expansion to the zombie RPG, while $300k would add a new city, and $180k a weapons pack.

Zombie Playground – Massive Black

Zombie Playground has obliterated its goal. On $87k last week, it’s now at $131,997, far exceeding its $100k ambition. There are three days left, but their Kickstarter page is such a giant mess I gave up trying to find if there were any stretch goals. The Updates page is for updates people, not the front page. Sigh. (Oh, I went back and madly they have stretch goals reaching to $2m.)

The Losers

Torchships – John Carl Gillespie

After a very slow campaign, it’s not a surprise that this one didn’t make it, but certainly a shame. A final spurt to $11k still didn’t get it any closer to the $40,000 target. Instead he’s now looking at a pre-order model and a playable demo, which seems a smart route. Although really, I’m surprised he doesn’t reboot the Kickstarter and ask for just $20k. I think with the attention this finally received, he might get there. Might.

The Runners

From Bedrooms To Billions

On indiegogo, there’s an attempt to raise funds for a documentary on the rise of the UK games industry. They’re asking for $35k, and with 25 days left they’ve currently reached $4,500. It requires all the funding to succeed.

CLANG – Subutai Corporation

Adding another $50k over the last week, Neal Stephenson’s CLANG is now at $323,608 of its half million goal. With 16 days left, it seems relatively likely that we’ll be seeing the peripheral-based sword fighting game get funded, if perhaps not reaching any significant milestones after this. Here’s some pretty disturbing insight into their sword lab:

Haunts – Rick Dakan

The multiplayer ghostie game continues to creep, snail-like, up about a grand a week. But with only two left, it’s going to have to pick up the pace to get from $17,588 to the $25,000 it needs.

Kenshi – Chris Hunt

You know how Indiegogo could improve? Put the name of the company/people making the project at the top. Anyway, Kenshi is a promising-looking combination of X-Com and Oblivion (they say), a free-roaming, squad-based RPG. Indiegogo allows “flexible funding” which means no matter how far they fall short of their $40,000 target, they’ll get the cash. Which… seems odd to me. But anyhow, they’ve currently just squeaked over $2,000, and probably deserve a lot more interest than they’ve had so far.

Retrovirus – Cadenza Interactive

I know we officially don’t endorse any Kickstarters before we’ve played the game, but I’ve got some working code of this one to try out this weekend, so will soon be able to know either way. In the meantime, what is wrong with everyone? This is a Descent-like! We NEED those! They’ve more than doubled their money in the last week, but that still only puts them on $10k, when they need $75,000.

HeXit – Full Throttle Games

I still get the flashbacks. Just the words “pre-rendered adventure” send me back into the terrible memories of my early days with PC Gamer, reviewing Myst clone after Myst clone. But while I may have the distant, glazed look as my fingers search for the trigger, perhaps you’re less scarred and can notice just how pretty HeXit looks. They’re after $75k, and are just about to reach $15k.

Skyjacker – Digitilus

29 days left, second try, stunning looking game. I’m not really into my space shooting, but watching the videos we posted this week made me want. They’re creeping their way up, now nudging on $69,000, but needing $200k, so there’s a long way to go. But seriously, watch those videos.

Z. – Downward Viral

More zombies, in the form of a turn-based social game with CCG vibes. Describing themselves as a cross between Magic: The Gathering and Left 4 Dead, a collectable card game where you don’t need to wrestle with the rules. And they’ve just scored themselves a massive publicity coup, with Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert agreeing to appear as zombie cards.

Cold Fusion – Dustin Gleaves

Adding a bit more than another $1,500 this week, on its way to $15,000, this Steampunk RPG has bothered a few by being in RPG Maker. But surely it’s about the writing, not the engine? Although, er, we can’t tell what that’s like at this point either. But still, this could well be your thing. Not too impressed that there weren’t any updates for two weeks, and then one yesterday, private to backers about a mystery new reward tier. Er – reward tiers might be something you want to promote to those who haven’t backed yet.

Ground Branch – BlackFoot Studios

Under two weeks left, and things are still moving slowly for the former Red Storm designer’s project. An attempt to recapture the squad-based tactical shooters of the last decade is aiming for a massive $425,000, but has so far only seen $68k. It’s gone up an impressive $23,000 in the last week, but perhaps ambitions were set a bit too high.

Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire – Membraine Studios

A 3D tactical strategy wargame, aiming for $35,000 on Indiegogo. They’re at $4,375, but be warned that this is another flexible funding campaign, meaning if they don’t get to their target they’ll get whatever they’ve raised anyway. I find this a bit of an odd trend. But you can see the game running here:

Alpha Colony: A Tribute To Mule – DreamQuest Games

Their mad attempt to get half a million for a sequel to a game most have forgotten isn’t doing so badly. They’ve made $25,000 in the last week. But with three weeks left, I think their ambitions will still prove to have been a little, well, over the top. However, they’ve received an endorsement from EA founder, Trip Hawkins, arguing it “should be backed”, so there you go.

OuterEdge – WAK Design

Oh, voxels. You crazy, disturbing things. They’re being used in an FPS sandbox survival game that seems to combine Minecraft with Killing Floor. They’re only looking for $20,000, but so far have only raised $1,684 in their first three weeks. I’ve a feeling that quite a few RPSers will like the look of this one.

Spectrum – A Rock Called Steve

Opting for Indiegogo’s far more sensible Fixed Funding option, this one is hoping for $5k. There are 29 days on the clock for a very peculiar-looking side-scrolling shooter focusing on colour in… ways I don’t understand.

Paper Sorcerer – UltraRunawayGames

In disturbing squish-o-vision, the promo video for this one tells us about a game in which we’re a sorcerer trapped inside a book. It’s a first-person, turn-based RPG, inspired by Shadowgate. It’s only asking for $5,000, which seems… low. Halfway there, with two weeks left. The art style is definitely worth checking out:


  1. rustybroomhandle says:

    Well golly, so happy to see game designers just cannot let go of the “oversexified woman standing in simultaneous shiny butt plus boob showing pose” thing. [ Insert eyeroll at HeXit ]

    Protip: We’re not all 15 year old boys. I’m also willing to bet that the point & click adventure game market is mostly not 15 year old boys.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      Protip: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • AngoraFish says:

        protip: Chicks have boobs. 51% of the world’s population has them. Boobs are not obscene.

    • D3xter says:

      Other than obviously Dead State and CLANG it really looks like the only interesting one to me right now, seems like great art and setting, but their latest move of Exclusive DLC for the game for backers over a certain tier leaves me dumbfounded…

      “New Reward
      $50 – All the tiers above plus an unlock code for a short side story where you can control another character in the game.

      A new location with a few additional scenes and 20-30 minutes of extra gameplay with another character in the game. This is just a short addition to the story and you will not miss anything from the main plot as you will still get the result of that character’s action if you don’t have the unlock code. This is an exclusive offer for our backers.”

      I don’t buy full games I’m really interested in like Mass Effect 3 or Risen 2 because of Day1 DLC and here they’re trying to raise money from interested people and do this…

      • FunktionJCB says:

        I actually made a pledge for this game, but removed it as soon as they announced this idiotic exclusive content only for backers above $50.
        If this was present at the start of their campaign, people would be informed about their intentions and pledge/not pledge accordingly, knowing that all tiers below $50 get a “gimped” copy of the game. But they pulled this during their campaign, which makes matters worse, in my opinion.

        I’m all for supporting small teams/developers, and I purchase quite a few games and backed quite a few projects in order to do so. But this is a typical case of an “indie” company pulling a “major” company move, and I personally won’t support things like these.

        • Shadowcat says:

          I note that Dead State has pulled the same move: “$360k – Mini-Expansion For Backers After Release (Adds military-grade weapons and zones of control)”.

          • bladedsmoke says:

            Nope, that’s not how it’s worded at all. The mini-expansion will be available to everyone for purchase, but backers will get it for free.

          • D3xter says:

            “Get Post Release Content for free” (which I take is the meaning of calling it an Expansion, e.g. an actual “Expansion” a few months after the game is already out and whoever backs now gets it for free) isn’t quite the same as locking up game content to only a few select people or Day1 DLC.
            The Dead State devs have been rather adamant about not offering “Exclusive Content” to certain backers or at certain levels, not even as much as an extra weapon or whatever and I respect that a lot.

            “Why don’t you add DLC/special reward tier items ?

            Our team philosophy is that if we create extra content such as new levels, weapon packs, and special features, we want everybody who buys the game to enjoy it. So, here’s the deal – when we meet our stretch goals, we’ll be adding a whole lot of items that most game companies would package as DLC, but in the spirit of a game about everyone working together, we ask that if you are interested in additional items or content, you give an extra amount you consider fair to help meet our stretch goals. Everyone works together for the benefit of more game for everybody. No costume packs, no special game-breaking weapon, no super cool level for select players only – just more fun for everybody. ”

            I also don’t think Dead State will reach that level so we likely won’t have to deal with it, hoping for at least 210k though.

    • Torgen says:

      @rustybroomhandle: That’s called Green’s Disease-
      link to

    • Skabooga says:

      In that brief shot of the developers’ office, I thought that was a pin-up girl poster hanging from the cabinet, but after watching the rest of the trailer, I’m pretty sure it is the protagonist’s concept art.

  2. Jayson82 says:

    Sooooo The Repopulation is not about boneing then?

    • psaldorn says:

      The Repopulation isaboutlearningtospeakveryveryquicklythroughyourcuecardataratethatmeansthoughtforthelistenerisimpossible.

      Interested, but that dude needs to take a breath, we’re here to listen to you, buddy!

      Edit: Too long for the comment box, baby.

  3. ChainsawCharlie says:

    That The Repopulation UI looks tad like the old SWG UI eh?

  4. shaydeeadi says:

    There is a demo available for Kenshi too to see if you think it is worth backing or not.

  5. spezz says:

    Just became the 399th backer of Retrovirus. My first backing. They gave me a copy of their last game on Reddit the other day. Sol Survivor is now one of only two tower defense games I actually like.

    These guys may not have much flash or any zombies, but damn they know how to make a fun game.

    • Johnny Law says:

      Good running commentary on their Retrovirus gameplay videos too; I like where their heads are with this one.

  6. Flappybat says:

    Skyjacker turned me off with the ingame videos. Something about the game doesn’t sit right with me. The gaudy colours, bad music and awkward UI shout low budget Eastern European game. I’d want to back Freespace or Freelancer, not Darkstar One Rave Edition.

    The developers of Retrovirus should seriously consider a demo. It looks great.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      Low budget Eastern European games are the best games.

    • wodin says:

      The flying and movement seemed really odd. Did not like at all.

      • Veav says:

        You guys realize that’s why it’s on Kickstarter, right? To help fund the dev cycle that takes in feedback like this and makes changes? This is an early concept demo – elements will be removed if necessary and the survivors tightened up and polished. We’d like it to be with your input.

        edit: maybe you were talking about Retrovirus, and the same thing goes for them. I’ve backed ’em – the more sixaxis, the better. :D

    • Veav says:

      Freelancer (release date 2003) and Freespace (release date 1999) – around that time 1M-4M was the usual budget, Freelancer probably got a little more. Skyjacker has a goal of 200k to supplement what they’ve been paying out-of-pocket to develop on their own time (and prices have gone up in the last ten years). Every Kickstarter game is low-budget!

      I want a Freelancer 2, as does everyone I respect and admire; the way to get it made is to give the market confidence, by supporting games like this. And you get in on the ground floor, you can make your input heard, help steer development towards the ideal game you’re looking for. Or you can talk about how an alpha build demonstration of basic game concepts doesn’t meet the expectations set by the polished end product of Digital Anvil/Microsoft Game Studios as refined by a decade of modders.

      Constructive criticism is awesome, and we want it. But we also need funding to do something with it.

  7. Buemba says:

    Too bad the Zombie Playground digital artbook is only included in the $50.00+ tiers. The art of that game looks awesome, but not as an $35.00 extra on top of the price of the game.

  8. Rivensteel says:

    Interesting, Outer Edge looks very much like Starforge, which is farther along in development. They’re both going to have to compete with the DayZ Minecraft mod, however.

    • Skabooga says:

      Man, it really is no joke that every game gets recreated in Minecraft.

  9. FunktionJCB says:

    Zombie Playground looks really interesting, but there’s no way I’m backing it.
    It’s another of those campaigns that give exclusive in-game items to certain backers. To get all the exclusive items, you need only to pledge $500…

    And incredibly, they say if the game reaches a funding of $500.000 through the Kickstarter funds or through other financing, they will use a Free to Play model. So, the backers who paid for the game and/or items will get access to a game that will be free to everyone anyway. Weird.

    I wish most of these campaigns stopped fragmenting the player base as soon as they start. Exclusive characters, game content, and more for different backing tiers from the get-go doesn’t seem like the best way to handle this.

    Paper Sorcerer, another awesome looking campaign, is also reserving 2 summons for those who pledge $50 or more. Considering the game has only 12 summons, it seems again a baffling decision.
    Asking people to pay $50 or more to get the whole content when you are an unproven developer just starting up a project without any playable demo doesn’t seem like a fair proposition.

  10. roryok says:

    HeXit, 0:31 – Those tits are just ridiculous. Every time I see a rack like that in a game it makes me cringe. Big boobs are great in the real world, but in games they’re just embarassing. It’s actually putting me off the otherwise quite cool looking point and click Mass Effect thing they have going on.

    • Jay says:

      That’s one of the worst examples I’ve seen yet. They have this genuinely gorgeous game, and then they have those awkward-looking things that don’t even fit with the rest of the model they’re on. “Maybe it’s something they didn’t really notice and might get fixed,” you think, but then you notice their walls are covered in pin-ups in the same style.

  11. tangoliber says:

    I funded Gentrieve 2, from the developer of 3079 (which I love.) It’s a procedurally generated 3D metroidvania. Only needs 5k.

  12. gschmidl says:

    Oh thank God, FINALLY some zombie games to play. I haven’t seen one in decades.

  13. Hoaxfish says:

    Just a follow-up of last week, “that” men in videogames project has added a video, as well as specified which charities the money will go to (prostate, breast, and lung cancer split 25:25:50).

    • Acorino says:

      I don’t get this project. Why are they asking for money if they don’t need it? I can give money to charities myself. Anyway, I wouldn’t have pledged anyway, if the project video is any indication of the quality the web episodes will be, then…eh.
      That’s before all the other arguments come in how valid a project this is anyway. The parallels with the women in videogames kickstarter are all too obvious, at least superficially it seems like a pisstake. This isn’t helped by the joke-y beginning of the project video and a similar reporting of harassment. Look, it says, men have it bad too!
      But they seem to be serious and they’re making some vaid points in the video, but I think those issues aren’t exclusive to the portrayal of men. I think fiction portrays pretty much everything in an idealized fashion, so…why focus solely on men? Why not instead ask about the dangers and advantages of idealization in general and shed a light on how stereotypes are formed and evolve?
      I don’t think there’s any misandry in video games, not that I know of or ever noticed. And as a man I think I would notice. There is just bad and unimaginative writing, characters that are merely designed to be power fantasies for male gamers. So…huh?

  14. Gasmask Hero says:

    Word Realms made it, just you know. With $20k+ to spare.

    • John Walker says:

      Dammit – I was thinking, “remember to add Word Realms” all the way through writing, then forgot. Cheers.

  15. Cedric says:

    I’m all for supporting small teams/developers, and I purchase quite a few games and backed quite a few projects in order to do so. But this is a typical case of an “indie” company pulling a “major” company move, and I personally won’t support things like these.

  16. GR00V3R says:

    Thanks, RPS! We’re _absolutely ecstatic_ that you’ve covered our campaign for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire. Great to see non-US teams like us getting some love on RPS. (If you didn’t know, Australian and other non-US teams can’t legitimately use Kickstarter without entering some very murky waters in terms of tax…maybe even money laundering issues.)

    If anyone here has any questions about Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire or our campaign, we’ll be monitoring this thread and will try to come back to you straight away (unless we’re asleep—it’s almost midnight here in Sydney). :)

    • gambituk says:

      I used to play Final Liberation and the trailer looks excellent. I don’t have a PC anymore though. Any plans to release on the iPad?

      • GR00V3R says:

        Yes. We plan on releasing on PC, Mac, Linux _and_ iPad. :)

        What’s more, the intent is that players should be able to start the game on one platform (say, their PC), continue the same game on the train using a mobile device (such as your iPad), and then maybe complete the game on yet another platform (say, a Mac) in the office. :)

        • gambituk says:

          That is insanely awesome! I’ll contribute immediately :D

  17. Jon Tetrino says:

    Thanks for the link good sir! I may have only just started but the growth is slow and steady. I am hoping to release more media for Spectrum soon!

  18. Acorino says:

    I like the looks of Coma: A Mind Adventure, personally I think the first person puzzler genre could do with some more exemplaries of its kind. The gameplay sounds innovative, though I’m unsure how it might actually work.

    Edit: Oh, forget what I just said, they’ve uploaded two videos that show the gameplay in greater detail! link to

    Looks very lovely!

  19. The Infamous Woodchuck says:

    it’s a shame torchship didn’t make it, the game sounds very promising. A game that blends KSP and Freespace together… oh god why?