Kickstarter Katchup – 21st July 2012

Lots more projects in the loser column this week, although the real plump projects are still in the midst of their runs. Hopefully we’ll be seeing a packed winner column in coming weeks. As ever, if there’s a fund raiser for a game you’ve spotted, or you indeed are hoping to make, let me know via my name above. One thing – unless someone changes my mind, I’ve decided to no longer include any “flexible funding” projects, as offered by Indiegogo. They aren’t in the spirit of the whole endeavour, and are essentially temporary tipjars, with too much risk that donated money will reach developers who fall far short of reaching any useful amount. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a metric ton of projects to peruse below.

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 above) doesn’t guarantee I’ll include it.
Bacon is better crispy than floppy, and there’s no debate to be had.

The Winners

SpaceChem: Limited Edition – Zachtronics Industries

A neat idea – Barth is offering limited edition physical copies of the much loved SpaceChem via Kickstarter. The goal was set low at $600, and is now at $3,361 with 9 days left. It takes a $25 pledge to receive a copy, signed by Zach, or $45 for two. Add on $3 if your one of those dirty non-North-Americans.

Legends Of Aethereus – Three Gate Studios

Really fast progress over the last fortnight saw this really nice looking ARPG swoop past its modest $25,000 goal, with over $28k raised and just a few hours left on the clock.

The Losers

Coma: A Mind Adventure – Warcelona

A loser in so much as it fell halfway short of its $7,400 goal, but thanks to the concerning Flexible Funding option on Indiegogo, receives the $3,355 anyway. I wonder if people would have been more willing to fund what looked like a very interesting concept if they knew their money was guaranteed to reach them only when they made enough.

Rapid Assault – Cornered Rat Software

Only making it 40% of the way to its $100,000 aim, this old-school WW2 shooter is going to have to finish itself without crowd funding. But then a measly four updates over the entire campaign showed about the same disinterest from the developers as it received from donators. They’ve not even updated saying their plans now the Kickstarter’s failed – in fact, they didn’t post anything since the 6th July. Not a great way to run a fund raiser.

The Living: 30 Days To Survive – RocketBearStudios

A shame that this Day Z-like zombie survival game never caught on. It’s only managed to raise $8,236 of a $60,000 target, with 11 hours left. But again, only three updates throughout, nothing at all in the final week. Anyone noticing a pattern here? If you don’t look like you’re interested in your Kickstarter, why do you think anyone else would be?

Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire – Membraine Studios

Another sort-of-failure, since this turn-based strategy will get the fragment of its $35,000 goal, even though it only raised $7,380 of it. It means the game will take a lot longer to develop, but they promise will still be released.

The Players

Shadowrun Online – Cliffhanger Productions

Goal: $500,000
Now: $88,024
Days: 24

Shadowrun Returns was one of the flagship Kickstarter success stories, back in April, raising $1.8m when they’d only asked for $400,000. Now there’s another attempt to bring the series back, this time as an MMO, asking for a hefty half million. A 3D turn-based RPG of an MMO, from the team who most recently worked on Jagged Alliance Online. It’s a bit target, but another $4,000 poured in over last night. There’s collaboration with the pen-n-paper writers, which means the player behaviour in the MMO will eventually effect the table-top game, and, well, watch the video:

Skyjacker – Digitilus

Goal: $200,000
Now: $104,595
Hours: 46

It’s been a tough time for this seriously impressive looking space sim. A second Kickstarter, and still they haven’t managed to raise the $200,000 they’re after. There are 46 hours left on the clock, and they’re only just over halfway. But they’re not taking this as a defeat. Looking at it as a community created, taking many lessons learned, they plan to do something else – something they’ve yet to reveal. But to say thank you to everyone who offered them the $100,000 they likely won’t get, they’re giving the soundtrack to everyone who pledged, including all future tracks recorded. Which is a decent thing.

Bad Dudes 2 – Pinstripe Games

Goal: $80,000
Now: $3,938
Days: 18

Indeed, it is a sequel to the 1988 arcade madness of Bad Dudes, in which the president is kidnapped by ninjas, and rescued by, er, two bad dudes. This will be a co-op beat-em-up, set 23 years (why not 24?) after the events of the original, as Blade and Striker once more rescue a kidnapped president. Presumably not the same one. At the moment they’re just showing concept art, as this is very early on. But that’s always a risk when asking for cash – they’ve nothing but concept art to show so far. $10 donation will net you the game when it’s out, in what they’re saying will be nine months.

Jack Houston And The Necronauts

Goal: $56,000
Now: $40,292
Days Left: 19

The stop-motion point and click adventure is seeing its funding climb nicely. There are still nearly three weeks left for the final push, and just the words “stop-motion point and click adventure” really ought to be enough to entice. They’ve confidently announced some stretch goals, reaching as high as $100,000 for a much larger game, and extra goodies for hefty pledgers, and $90,000 for getting themselves Unity 4 and releasing across Mac, Linux and tablets as well.

Moon Intern – Larry Pixel

Goal: $30,000
Now: 11,662
Days: 16

I’m a bit astonished anyone was able to read last week’s entry for this one and not slap down some cash. But only a couple of grand has been raised over the last week, for a side-scrolling platformer that adapts itself to suit how you play.

Legacy Of The Last Refuge – Jonathan R Jones

Goal: $10,000
Now: $2,069
Days: 20

Slow progress for this oldest of old-school RPG builds, tacking on less than $500 in the last week (although suddenly another $200 last night). If you want to give it a try, the alpha is available here.

Jetpack 2 – Adept Software

Goal: $10,000
Now: $6,656
Days: 49

With seven weeks left, you have to think this long-belated sequel to Jetpack will reach its goal by attrition. But with another grand added this week, it’s not exactly crawling either. Also, check out the ultra-disturbing video.

Insurgency 2 – New World Interactive

Goal: $180,000
Now: $17,999
Days: 48

There’s a reason people don’t come to me with betting tips. If you’d asked me to pick a Kickstarter that would see its funding pour in instantly, I’d have said it was a full sequel to the uber-popular Insurgency mod. Almost $10k has been given over the last week, which is no small change, but I’m bemused this hasn’t gone crazy. Anyway, they’ve left themselves seven more weeks to make the huge climb up to $180k.

Day One – Pendulo

Goal: €300,000
Now: €28,991
Days: 50

I was smartly told off in the comments for my dismissal of Pendulo’s Runaway games. Admittedly, after disliking the first two quite so much I never touched the third, but others have argued it was a big improvement. Hopefully continuing that trend will be Day One, a point and click in their style, with an anti-hero central character (i.e. you play a jerk). They’ve seen another €8,000 arrive this week, but be warned, that massive €300k goal will only net you a “short game”. They want €750,000 to make anything full length.

Bad Planet – Red Fly Studio

Goal: $575,000
Now: $10,479
Days: 25

Raw Entertainment was started six years ago as an independent comic publisher, co-founded by Thomas Jane, the Punisher himself (and more recently lead in the excellent Hung), and Tim Bradstreet, cover artist on books like The Punisher and Hellblazer. Based on a Vicadin nightmare Jane had a few years back, an alien creature comes to Earth to help battle an attacking force of 12-legged spider things. Red Fly approached them and suggested it be a videogame. $15 will net you a copy, but unfortunately the video rather forgets to talk about what the game will be like. Which, the text tells us, will be brutal combat, lots of story, and an episodic release.

Magrunner: Dark Pulse – 3AM Games

Goal: €100,000
Now: €78,190
Days: 28

The spin-off developer from Frogwares Games is making great progress with their Lovecraft-inspired first-person puzzler (that hopefully won’t contain anything anywhere near as frightening as Watson in their Sherlock games). With so long left, it looks very likely to get there.

Kaiju Combat – Sunstone Games

Goal: $350,000
Now: $25,087
Days: 11

They’re not pretending that the next week and a half will see another $325,000 arrive to reach the huge goal for this Godzilla-by-another-name sequel from Simon Strange. That’s not been helped by the lack of in-game footage, something that’s come about because of a bit of a vicious circle they’re stuck in. Without the cash they can’t pay the license fees to show the footage, which they need to do to get the cash. They’re planning to give out a digital poster to everyone who’s pledged, whether they succeed or not, and then plan to relaunch the Kickstarter in October. By then they’ll hopefully have renegotiated their license agreements, which they’re hoping to do by getting a few of their $500 donators to give them some money via Paypal – carefully managed and limited. This means monster designs will get done. And they’re going to lower their next KS to $100,000, and look for the other $200,000 elsewhere.

OURFIRG – A and B and S and A

Goal: $6,000
Now: $1,697
Days: 13

Inspired by point and click games, but created as a 3D third-person game, this is a fantasy adventure with an astonishingly terrible name. Unlike so many, they’ve got a ton of in-game footage on their updates page, and have got this far in just four months. They’re only asking for $6,000, which as a Greek studio I think will make them the richest people in the country.

Star Command – War Balloon

Goal: $100,000
Now: $66,175
Days: 18

I swear I am losing my mind. I’m certain I mentioned this one last week – I remember writing about it. And yet, apparently I didn’t. Am I writing Kickstarter Katchups in my dreams now? Anyway, my nervous breakdown aside, this iOS/Android game ran a Kickstarter to get their game over onto PC. And it’s looking good. There’s over two weeks left to raise the final third, for a spaceship management game that seems half Startopia, half Star Trek parody, with an explorable universe and “crappy civilisations” to discover. Frankly, it looks bloody brilliant.

Perch – Aaron Neugebauer

Goal: $1,500
Now: $1,144
Days: 21

Calling itself a “pure platforming game”, where the only danger is falling, this is a physics-led seasonal jumping game, intended to be released as a free Flash browser-based game. He’s only after a tiny smidgeon of cash. And if he gets more than he’s asking, I think he’d be insane not to port this to phones. And best of all, Aaron stresses that even if you don’t give him money, he’ll still think you’re nice. But, er, Aaron – you’ve raised more than 2/3 of your money? How about you put up an update?

Detective Grimoire – SFB Games/Armor Games

Goal: $25,000
Now: $9,415
Days: 12

I wonder if it was a mistake for them to have a PC version be a stretch goal at $30k, rather than within their original target. There’s still over a week to go, and a decent $3k was added on this week, but limiting this really nice looking adventure to tablets at the first level might be their downfall. Still, it looks like just the sort of thing I want to play on my Android, so, hmmmm. And not to be a broken record, but yet ANOTHER project that barely updates, and then when it does, limits it to the one group of people to whom they don’t need to appeal – those who’ve already given them money. Sigh.

DIVEKICK – Adam Heart

Goal: $30,000
Now: $22,681
Days: 10

After $8k was added on the week before last, this week saw a slightly calmer $2,500 climb. It would just be cruel if this joke-turned-full game beat-em-up project weren’t to get to its goal now.

And Something Else

We chronicled the failure of DreamQuest Games’ attempt to make half a million dollars for a remake of M.U.L.E., Alpha Colony, in this column. But they did raise a very impressive $100,000, none of which they got of course. It wasn’t a flop at all – they just set their sights far too high. They’re launching a new Kickstarter soon, with a more sensible goal, but in the meantime lead designer Chris Williamson has also put together a piece called 20 Ways To Screw Your Kickstarter Game Project. In it he acknowledges the goal was too high, and admits that perhaps keeping the project a secret until the Kickstarter’s launch, so it could be “a secret”, perhaps wasn’t a brilliant idea. It’s a fun piece (if a touch snarky in places), and possibly a useful read for others planning a go.


  1. Yachmenev says:

    No Defence Grid 2?

    • SpakAttack says:

      I want more Defense Grid!

    • aequidens says:

      The problem with defense grid is that they pretend to ask for 250k when they’re really asking for a million.
      If they hit 250k, they only have enough to make an expansion to the original game, I feel that paying 15 dollars for such an expansion is a bit steep.
      Then after that come the 500k and 750k goals, which really aren’t all that interesting to most people.
      And then finally after that comes the actual goal of the campaign at a million dollar.

      It’s stupid to make your main goal a stretch goal, this campaign is set up for disappointment.
      And that’s a sad thing, because I want more defense grid.

      • Vinraith says:

        The FAQ makes it clear that if you fund this project for at least $15 and they EVER make Defense Grid 2, you’ll get it. I suppose it depends on whether you have faith they’ll eventually manage it, even if they don’t get there in this particular drive.

        • aequidens says:

          Then I stand corrected, and I’ll throw them my 15 bucks. Still I think they should have communicated it more clearly.

          • AngoraFish says:

            It is fairly clear that they did a double-take at the adverse reaction to the original funding model and are now backpedaling, somewhat grudgingly and with a bunch of provisos attached. The developers have already burnt their bridges with me on this one. I’ll wait for the inevitable steam sale if it ever comes out.

          • LintMan says:

            @AngoraFish – That’s not clear at all. If you look in their comments page, they make it clear quite early on that they intend all contributors to receive DG2, regardless of reaching the $1M goal. There was certainly no backpedalling. The only thing they’re guilty of is not being more clear about this, but at the same time it’s understandable: If they don’t actually get all the money they need, they can’t quite promise to give the game to contributors, when it’s not at all certain if or when the game will ever get made in that situation. And in any case, what group running a kickstarter wants to advertise their failure plans front and center at the start of their campaign? Especially if your plan is “don’t worry, you’ll get the game anyway, eventually”.

          • AngoraFish says:

            Actually, the original material was quite explicit that only KS funded material would be provided if the $1 million goal wasn’t reached: “Backers contributing $15 or more will receive a digital copy of Defense Grid: Containment (tentatively scheduled for December 2012) [this is the 8-map expansion only], and any new Defense Grid content funded by this Kickstarter campaign once development is complete.” PR Newswire (link to It should also raise alarm bells that development of the game is so financially viable that Hidden Path has already signed substantial marketing and distribution deals to ensure that the new game will “take full advantage of AMD Radeon™ graphics technology and Razer’s performance gaming hardware.” Regardless, let’s be clear about this, even on the most generous interpretation, this a quite explicit attempt to game the kickstarter system with a ‘flexible funding’ model rightly derided in RPS coverage of the subject, where people are not guaranteed to get the game they paid for even if the base funding condition is met. Note that they’ve since modified a lot of their text (not all) to imply that the four funding levels are some kind logical game development progression towards DG2. Obviously, however, tasks like adding levels to DG1 and remastering DG1 content are resource-intensive distractions to development of the main game, not complimentary additions to it.

          • LintMan says:

            You don’t need to go to PR Newswire to see that. It’s still there in the “What do I get for my $15?” FAQ. When they are stating the reward you will get for your funding, they are limiting it to the stuff they know they can provide given the overall funding level they reach. They can’t just say “if we reach $250K, you’re going to get DG2”, because they don’t know if or when they’ll be able to make DG2 if they don’t get all the funding they need. The rewards as stated are a promise of what they will deliver (given a specific funding level achieved). So the best they can say is “if and when we do make DG2, we’ll remember your contribution and still give it to you”.

            Honestly, I’d have preferred in Hidden Path went for the straight amount of money they needed for DG2 instead of how they did it, but I just dont see it as some sort of evil scheme on their part. As I see it, they weren’t entirely confident of reaching the full goal and were attempting to hedge their bets, and used the tiered goals they could provide while progressing along the path towards DG2. They’re pretty much doing something very much like Indiegogo’s “flexible funding”. (Not my favorite, but I do think they’ll get it done eventually.) I just don’t see it as some sort of scam or scheme to make people pay for the game twice.

  2. FTomato says:

    I feel like I should warn about Magrunner again. I personally think the game looks really cool, but the developers already said that the game will release without the goal they’re asking for. The money is being raised for a PvP multiplayer mode (for a first person puzzle game), which sounds questionable. The first target that impacts the single player campaign is 200K for a mac port and more SP levels.

    Backer beware.

    • wu wei says:

      I feel like I should warn about Magrunner again

      Why? They’re very up front about everything you said, you’ve basically just summarised their project page.

  3. blind_boy_grunt says:

    i really dislike that star command kickstarter. They need a 100.000 to port a game from something that runs on android and iphones? I’d think there is a bigger difference between those two than mac and idevices.
    And the pc/mac version will still only come out after the tiny devices version is released? The handheld kickstarter made 37.000, this one is already at 66.000, shouldn’t that tell them something?
    It just seems they are holding the game hostage.
    ok i’ll stop whining now.
    Game looks really nice.

    • John Walker says:

      I got the impression from their page that the PC version isn’t just a straight port, but a definitive version of the game with new content.

      Also, I think they address complaints about the delay of the tablet version there too.

    • Jorum says:

      The most stupid thing about this is they made the announcement that they were launching a PC kickstarter a “backers” only update.

      I kinda interested in PC version, but without RPS i’d still have no idea there was another KS.

    • blind_boy_grunt says:

      This might sound more grumpy than i am:
      “new UI, better sound, more FX” is not saying anything.
      Before that they talk just about higher resolution ui, which i think is not a feature but a neccessity, better sound probably just means less compression. And more fx… well that means whatever they want it to mean, more particles per explosion? more bloodspatters per hit? So just changing a variable from 5 to 20.
      and i don’t think they address the different release dates so much as just saying that one will be released later than the other.
      Their game looks great and i want to play it. Just didn’t like that sales pitch that much.

  4. barelyhomosapien says:

    I’m supporting Star Command, because, as they explain, they’ll be bringing in more people and adding additional content to the game on top of porting it.

    Plus I never got to fund the iOS version and it sounds like a more indepth FTL (which is already awesome)

  5. hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

    I’d support the Shadowrun project for the accents alone.

    • Tatourmi says:

      Hmph, I won’t. I mean, that whole crossover thing scares me quite a bit. Do your game if you want to, and however you want to (The whole thing is pretty far from shadowrun already, with concepts like classes, talismans that somehow protect you from programs and long term enchants…), but please don’t mess too much with the universe.

      They intend to put a megacorp to its knees with shadowrunners? “As the story develops, the player’s actions will draw all the megacorps into a struggle for power, and the repercussions of this struggle may shake the foundations of society to its very core.” really?

      Oh well, I realize this sounds a lot like nerdrage, and to be honest it probably is. But I am truly afraid for the setting. There are several ways to apprehend the shadowrun universe and theirs is clearly not mine, for me shadowrun is not about big guns and action and world-changing plots, it is about survival in a neo-anarchist world, being unable to change anything and the crazed population and situations who exist in such a universe. People who dream of becoming an A.I, A.I’s who dream of becoming human, the commercialization of memes, the tragedy of people who were born ghouls, the new forms of racism, the motivations of the corporate employee, the definition of humanity. It is a rich and clever universe, and I don’t trust MMO players to make it move in the right direction.

      • imperialus says:

        What do you mean “for me shadowrun is not about big guns and action and world-changing plots,” Lemme just list off the names of a few adventures that had massive effects on the world. Harlequin’s Back, The Universal Brotherhood series, Renraku Archeology Shutdown, Bug City, SuperTuesday, Year of the Comet… There is a ton of room for zany world affecting shenanigans in Shadowrun. I mean this is a world where a Dragon was elected president of the UCAS and on his inauguration night he committed suicide in a blood magic ritual in order to sever a bridge between our world and an alien metaplane so that the horrors from freaking Earthdawn couldn’t take over the world. This is a world where Ares detonated a nuclear weapon in downtown Chicago in order to prevent it from being taken over by hostile insect spirits. An insane artificial intelligence took over an arcology in the heart of Seattle and turned its inhabitants into mindless cybernetic zombies… Do I really need to keep going?

        As for crashing one of the AAA’s I say go for it! There is some serious dust in the Corporate Court that needs cleaning. I mean is Renraku some sort of sacred cow now? One of the best things that happened to Shadowrun’s metaplot was the shakup of the big 10 during the second crash. I mean this isn’t even the first time that Players have been handed control of the plot. IIRC Dunkelzahn’s election was decided by people who bought Super Tuesday filling out a little card in the back and mailing it in.

        • malkav11 says:

          He may mean that that wasn’t what the game was about for him? Y’know, like he said?

          • dE says:

            Well his (Tatourmi’s) vision seems somewhat disconnected with the Shadowrun Universe. Which is fine really, it’s a P&P at heart and the strength of P&Ps has always been to adapt and modify it to your needs. He seems to have mixed in even more Neuromancer than Shadowrun did and included some Ghost in the Shell for good measure.

            But in a way it’s like dropping into a Fallout Forum and talking about Robot Horses, it’s like mentioning Battlemechs going nuclear meltdown to a bunch of Battletech Guys, it’s like saying Star Detroyers can’t hurt the Enterprise because it shoots lasers, it’s like… well you get the idea.
            It’s a vision that’s not quite compatible with the actual setting.

          • imperialus says:

            Ahh, the “it’s only my ‘opinion'” defense… Well when someone’s opinion happens to be at odds with how the creators and current developers have handled the setting for the past 20+ years then I think it deserves comment. Shadowrun’s setting has seen massive changes since it was first written. I mean we’ve already seen Fuchi, Novatech, Cross, and Yamatetsu go down (or in the case of Yamatetsu undergo a radical restructuring) so he obviously can’t be upset about the concept of a AAA biting it, so he’s upset about the idea that players might be able to influence which corp goes down? Why? I mean there’s the risk that the current writers will do a crap job of integrating the change but that’s a risk no matter what. I mean I didn’t think that the Year of the Comet stuff was terribly well integrated, but that hardly ruined Shadowrun for me.

            Personally I’d love to see the Azzies go down, do as much damage as possible on their way out and then have the Pueblo Corporate Council take their place on the Corporate Court. Bring some of the Native influence back to Shadowrun.

          • malkav11 says:

            Not being interested in giant megaplots because you prefer to run the setting in other directions is a perfectly valid stance. It’s not a reason the people making Shadowrun games should cater to him, but it’s a valid way to play it.

          • Nick says:

            but then why complain, the beauty of a P&P setting is you can do things entirely your way, surely? I mean there is nothing to stop people using source books from long defunct editions of whatever game if they can find them and adapt anything that needs it, is there? People don’t have to just stop playing, say, old WoD games just because the setting was changed/relaunched, or cease playing whatever edition of D&D just because 4.57135 is out.

      • ceriphim says:

        You know what really worries me? Have you seen the concept art for characters/people?

        It’s AWWWWFUL

        Seriously. The actual concept art for the places, objects, etc is great, but the tone and style of the actual inhabitants is goddamn terrible and could actually ruin the game for me (and I supported the KS at $125).

        They have literally DOZENS of sourcebooks to draw from and they decide the orks look like they’re from WH40k? They people look like they jumped off a Gorillaz album cover?

        (EDIT FOR CLARIFICATION – Talking about SR Returns, the orig KS)

        What. The. Fuck.

        • imperialus says:

          Now this sentiment I agree with… Fortunately it seems like a lot of people do so we might still see the art direction change.

  6. Chris D says:

    Dear John Walker,

    I have enjoyed much of your writing in the past and thought you were someone whose opinion I could respect even if I didn’t always agree. But after your comments about bacon which are, to use the technical term, wrong, wrong, wrongity wrong, I see you are nothing but a hipster and a charlatan who has had their integrity bought out by… by crispy bacon makers or something. I think I speak for the vast majority of right-thinking people who enjoy their bacon floppy as God intended when I say we think you are a smelly poo-face.

    Good Day Sir!

    P.S. You’re also quite pretentious!

    • John Walker says:

      I’m in the pay of Big Crispy.

    • DrunkDog says:

      Floppy bacon = Flacon
      Crispy bacon = Cracon

      I rest my case.

      • Chris D says:

        Crispy bacon lovers just need to learn to let go and accept that they’re wrong. Or as I like to put it:

        “Release the Cracon!”

      • alundra says:


        How come only in RPS?

    • SpakAttack says:

      Crispy ftw

    • Kaira- says:

      Floppy bacon? What a disgusting abomination of nature.

    • LionsPhil says:

      If it bends, it needs more fire.

    • blind_boy_grunt says:

      so floppy bacon is a thing? For like people?
      We are talking bacon put in a pan to let it fry but taken out before it is done? That can’t be it, right?
      …oh i get it! Floppy bacon just means ham. Good one, john. Took me a while to get the joke because english isn’t my first language. HAHA floppy bacon, the absurdity!

    • Chris D says:

      Also, anyone who thinks maple syrup is an acceptable accompaniment for bacon, your opinion doesn’t count!

      • Dark Malady says:

        Floppy Bacon that is just crisp around the edges drowned in maple syrup is wonderful. even better with violet crumble, marscapone, and a good meaty sausage rolled up in a pancake as well.

      • John Walker says:

        Get out my website.

        • Chris D says:

          I hope you got a fair price when you traded your soul to your syrupy new masters.

  7. Tiax says:

    BTW, SpaceChem is doing a mini-kickstarter (the goal is 600 $, obviously already reached) to publish physical copies of the game.

    It’s nothing fancy, but the actual game is such a treat that some people could be interested :

    link to

  8. dgbonomo says:

    The Defense Grid 2 Kickstarter is still going on, as well: link to

    It’s definitely worth pointing out that ANYONE who pledges over $15 WILL get ALL content, including Defense Grid 2, as long as the Kickstarter reaches its $250k goal. Defense Grid 2 WILL happen, but it will take much longer if the Kickstarter fails. With $250k, they can at least slowly begin work on it. Everyone who has pledged will be remembered and receive all content up to and INCLUDING DG2 when it is finished at no extra cost.

    $15 is the price of stale popcorn, watered down drinks, and a bad 90-minute movie. All of the content developed during their Kickstarter will entertain you for far, far, FAR longer, without people moving back and forth in front of your screen all the time.

    • malkav11 says:

      You know, that actually is worth pointing out. I had avoided backing because their targets seemed unrealistic and I wasn’t interested in paying $15 just for a little more Defense Grid content (it’s not like I’ve finished the game as is), but if they’re definitely doing it whether or not they hit the necessary stretch goal to hit their funding target for it, -and- backers of the Kickstarter get that stuff, then yeah, okay.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Actually, if you read the the new FAQ (only created after the torrent of criticism about their original funding model), although they have now added in an amendment that you’ll now get DG2 if it ever gets released. They still aren’t guaranteeing that it will ever be released. In fact, their plan for making the rest of the $1 million is selling off the earlier DLC chunks for peanuts and reinvesting the proceeds, except… they’ve already told us that this is the model they used selling DG1 and made no money out of doing it, which is why they need kickstarter in the first place. The Gordian Knot of lame justifications, backpedaling and outright logical contradictions associated with this entire kickstarter should rightly leave fans with a very bad taste in their mouths indeed.

        • malkav11 says:

          The FAQ question says:
          the answer is we’ll keep trying to make DG2, and we’ll get a portion of the way because of you whether that’s 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 or more. And for anything we raise here, we will focus on delivering you the things we promised (that’s a big deal to us – you’re trusting us and we have to deliver for you to keep this partnership going), and then once we deliver everything we promised, we’ll do what we can to come up with the rest. We’ll sell the pieces that make sense to sell and use the proceeds, we’ll work on other games for other people if we need to and save any profit, and we’ll work to complete the full DG2. When we do – and that may be more than a year out if we don’t raise everything needed in this kickstarter – you will still get a code for DG2 when it is released. We won’t forget you or how you helped us get as far as we will get through this campagin [sic]

          To me this reads as
          a) the plan if they don’t make it to a million is that they will raise funding for the rest by selling the product of any development the kickstarter does succeed in funding (i.e. presumably the DLC they’re producing, primarily) and if that doesn’t do it, doing work for hire for other studios and saving the money they get from that. (For example, right now they’re apparently working on the new Counterstrike for Valve.)
          b) however they wind up getting there, they intend to get there and they will provide Defense Grid 2 to anyone who backed at least $15 when they do.

          I can certainly understand remaining skeptical and of course if the project fails to fund, all bets are off. But it’s a more palatable prospect than their initial pitch.

  9. Sheng-ji says:

    Hopefully next week Castle Story kickstarter will be up

    • Bobka says:

      I wanted to mention this too, considering the developers are from my home town and the game looks like a mashup of all my favorite genres. But guess what – it’s not just hopefully, it’s true! They’ve started a countdown on their site, and the campaign is launching in 5 days, 20 hours as of now.

      link to

      • says:

        I waited for that! Great concept, can’t wait to see it’s Kickstarter. Hopefully it won’t last long to get to the mark!

  10. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    There are some very nice music samples on the Star Command kickstarter page. Seems like a good way to attract pledges. I’m not that interested in the game though.

  11. GameCat says:

    Damn, I hope that Coma will be made anyway. It looks interesing.

  12. malkav11 says:

    Detective Grimoire did release a Flash demo of the game on their website:

    And although this has nothing to do with games and has already reached its target, I feel like this IndieGoGo project makes a nice antidote to the cynicism I’m seeing increasingly associated with the crowdfunding phenomenon: some folks in Pennsylvania were about to lose their home because of back taxes they couldn’t afford to pay, asked the internet for some help, and got it and then some in about three days, despite not being able to offer any tangible rewards.

    • AngoraFish says:

      Multiple comments about middle class welfare and starving orphans spring immediately to mind…

  13. Jorum says:

    “I wonder if people would have been more willing to fund what looked like a very interesting concept if they knew their money was guaranteed to reach them only when they made enough.”

    – I would have, so that’s 1 at least..

  14. LionsPhil says:

    Think “The Dig”, if Ben from Full Throttle gut-punched Boston Low and commanded the mission in his place.

    This would be a lot more “take my money” if there were actually some indication of their writing ability on the kickstarter page.

    Or their stop-motion-animating, in fact. Drawn concept art is nice and all, but how does it translate to little models?

  15. LionsPhil says:

    One of the greatest things about being a successful entrepreneur is the humility to learn from my mistakes.

    4. Do hire a Community Manager with no experience in video games and no personal passion for your project.

    6. Do have your Web marketing guy leave you hanging the day before your Kickstarter launch.

    12. Don’t learn to use Twitter, it’s only for kids and celebrities!

    21. During the second attempt, do make a blog post that portrays you as a truly stupendous arsehole. Claim humility while blame-shifting.

    8. Do [as actual advice] plan in advance with the media to have a respected blogger ‘break’ your announcement.

    Truly, truly, stupendous. This isn’t a game developer; this is a marketing sleezebag.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Or it was quite funny, and you are an arse.

      • Bahoxu says:

        Most of it makes sense, but the parts where he blames his failure on his old community manager and web-page person are just bad form.

        The boss does not get to bad-mouth the people he hired.

  16. Lamellama says:

    I really would like for companies to do a bit more of a business proposal like pitch where they break down the funding and show some sort of schedule. So many games seem to be asking for money that from what I can tell, they don’t really need, treating kickstarter like some kind of pre-order promotional service rather than a project funding initiative.

    Star Command really looks great and I would love to help fund it but from the information they give, the game looks close to complete. Why do they need $100,000? I may as well wait until it is released and buy it for <$10. And I guarantee it will get released even if they don't make the goal.

  17. Moraven says:

    The Space Chem limited edition makes me think of this recent Special Edition crowdfunding of Ni no Kuni.

    How it works is the special edition is pre order only and the more pre orders they get, the more stuff it comes with as they hit their goals.

  18. malexmave says:

    I’ll back the first decent Linux project (That is not an adventure, because I dont play those) with at least 25$. Why are all the games Win+Mac only? So many cool games I can’t play, and if I can’t play the finished game, why should I back it?

    Humble Bundle has shown that there is money in Linux gaming, even Steam has seen that. I would have expected the independent developers of the world to react to that, but I guess I’m just a few years early…

    • malkav11 says:

      There being money in Linux gaming does not mean that there isn’t a lot more money in Windows gaming. An indie team would have to either develop in a largely platform agnostic way (perhaps using Java or Flash or something along those lines), or lead with one version and then port. The former might be a wise call if the project parameters allow it, but I can see no reason for anyone to lead Linux in the latter scenario.

      Also, most developers are going to come from a Windows development background. I doubt most have ever touched Linux.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I’m sure they’ve tried Linux, most people of a technical bent play with it every now and then. I think the whole point will be largely moot if Unity provides good porting options and HTML5 ever comes.

  19. lowprices says:

    Don’t believe the hype, John. While the third Runaway game is a notable improvement over the first two, this just raises the quality from ‘hilariously, spectacularly awful’ to ‘pretty bad’.

    Also, if you hate the first two games, why on earth would anybody expect you to try the third?

  20. wodin says:

    STARCOMMAND…I said it in big letters as it looks bloody marvelous..even more bloody marvelous than FTL…

  21. InternetBatman says:

    I’m glad RPS/Walker decided to stop including flexible funding projects. I think it was the right decision.

  22. TechSmurfy says:

    “They’re only asking for $6,000, which as a Greek studio I think will make them the richest people in the country.”

    Oh- that was mean.

  23. solosnake says:

    Has anyone ever played a Kickstarted game..?

  24. pakoito says:

    From the Shadowrun Online FAQ

    >F2P? That’s not a real game … is it?
    Well, we are not doing a facebook game, we aren’t even doing a traditional browser game. We are doing an MMO inside browsers and tablets. As far as game quality goes: With any boxed or downloadable game, once you bought it, the deal is done and if it is a bad game you just spent money for nothing. In a free to play game this logic is turned around: if the game isn’t fun, you won’t be forced to spend a cent on it. So, from our point of view, a free to play game for a critical audience with refined taste is sort of the hardest thing one can do. It needs to convince people it is worth the money and there is no dazzling marketing and shiny packaging to hide any mistakes or lack of quality. We are very much dedicated to quality and we hope to be able to convince you the game is worth it…

    That’s some bullshit there, obviously and blatantly obviating thirty years of game demos and shareware.

  25. Mattressi says:

    It’s a shame Insurgency isn’t getting more money, but I have to admit that I haven’t given any. My biggest problem is that they use the words “smaller” and “more linear” to describe their maps. One of the things I loved about the original mod was that it had large maps – not such huge maps that the game should have been a persistent world like Day Z, but not so small that they were like every other FPS without vehicles (CSS, COD, etc). It sounds like they will release it even if they don’t get enough money, but I hope that they’ll take the time to see why it fails (if it does) and to correct any issues. I’m not saying that my reasons for not giving money are everyone’s, just that I hope they see why such a popular mod’s sequel isn’t as popular.

    Insurgency really was one of my all-time favourite games.

  26. ADarkHorse says:

    Add on $3 if your one of those dirty non-North-Americans.

    Sorry to do this but “you’re” not “your”

  27. Baines says:

    I don’t understand the license problem that Kaiju Combat has supposedly hit when it comes to showing video.

    It shouldn’t be the Toho license, because getting the Toho license was a +$100k stretch goal. Surely they don’t just have unusable Godzilla models, when they may never have been allowed to use them. And if they were, then couldn’t they at least knock out some non-infringing models to show off the idea of the game, even if they were obviously not-ready-for-prime-time?

    I don’t see why a software/engine license issue prevent them from showing video, unless they were illegally using the software. It isn’t like they’d be releasing a playable game, just video…

  28. LintMan says:

    Moon Intern seemed really appealing until I remembered that I hate platformers. If it was some other gameplay style, I’d be all over it.

    Detective Grimoire looks good, but I have no use for a iphone/android version, so I’m holding off until it gets near the PC version stretch goal.

  29. UnSubject says:

    So why support Kickstarter but not Indiegogo?

    How it is more “risky” for pledgers, given that both methods are open about what it means to pledge (and one of the pro-crowd sourcing arguments is that pledgers ‘know’ the risks when they put money in)? Why is it an all-or-nothing approach? Is getting no money at all better than getting less than you wanted as a developer?

    What is “the spirit of the whole endeavour”? By excluding Indiegogo, RPS is saying that Kickstarter is the only crowdsourcing model it supports, so that devs should use it if they want RPS to write crowd funding-related articles about their game.

    Crowd funding lives and dies on the awareness it generates. RPS has already noted that by selecting some projects and not others , it’s helping promote certain titles (and even though you say you aren’t endorsing any of these titles, you are through promotion).

    That you’ve also snarked at Indiegogo within the article – and I’m sure that the Coma developers appreciate that they got half the money they were looking for instead of none – and in previous coverage you helped deter RPS pledgers with a “disappointed that it’ll get the third of its goal anyway thanks to flexible funding” comment. (I’m not saying that Coma only struggled due to the RPS comment, but when you list a page of options and then slap WARNINGs over one of them it certainly encourages people to look at other the options over that one.)

    If you wanted to split Kickstarter Katcup and Indigogo Go Go into two separate articles, so the differences are clear, that I’d understand. But right now RPS is Indiegogo don’t go.

    (Before anyone asks, I’ve got no attachment to Indiegogo or Coma. In fact, I’m a crowd funding cynic. But if RPS is going to take a position that will influence a developers decision about which crowd funding mechanism to use – and its a decision that could spell the difference between being funded or not, which may in turn be worth quite a bit of money – then RPS should explain why they are going down that route).

    • TechSmurfy says:

      Not defending anybody here, just it’s worth noting that IndieGogo projects are still included in this column as long as they’re not “flex-funded”. Also, aside from KS and IG, there are other crowd-funding services like GamesPlanet Lab, so no, it’s not a Kickstarter-only column.

      It has nothing to do with the service provider (KS, IG etc.), as you imply. It only has to do with the way of funding – target reaching rather than flex-funding.

      PS: Now, if the column got re-titled, it’d be easier to avoid any further confusion…

  30. Muzman says:

    Technically you’d think people would be throwing money at Skyjacker like it’s a Lucas free Star Wars Sequel starring Batman, when you look at the models and concepts etc
    Personally I need reminding that it looks great every time though, since when I think of it it’s just “that one with the hideous HUD”.
    It’s actually not that bad I think, it’s just got this colour scheme straight out of ’94. Two-tone hard Cyan and Emerald Green like you’ve only got web safe colours to play with. Makes me want to puke just thinking about it.
    Are we all that superficial? Could be.

    • Ta'Lon says:

      I have to agree on that HUD issue, but since a lot of people have complained about it the devs have already confirmed color options as one of the things they are gonna implement. Overall they seem pretty open to feedback.

      What I really don’t understand is why this is struggling so much.
      They have:
      – almost all the game assets already finished
      – a working demo (that has been expanded for the second time today)
      – a solid backstory with two books already written and more planned
      – a very active team lead that has been answering questions almost 24/7 on Kickstarter

      The risk seems minimal while the chances of a good game coming out of this are high.
      It seems all the people complaining about not getting decent space shooters have suddenly gone into hiding.

      • Muzman says:

        Zacly. It should be blowing the doors off if you look at it for longer than a moment. Strange that it’s not.

  31. Hicks233 says:

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