Kickstarter Katchup – 15th September 2012

As you watch the vast sums of money being poured into games that don’t exist yet, you can then wonder at the finances of the world and ask yourself confusing questions. There are two utterly massive million-makers below, along with the usual happy-go-lucky attempts to raise more modest sums. And remember, reading the rules before whinging in the comments makes you far less likely to be stuffed full of bombs!

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 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.
  • 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.
  • No more than three school children in the Katchup at any time.

The Winners

Homestuck Adventure Game – MS Paint Adventures

It’s pretty odd being on the outside of the Homestuck phenomenon. Not having followed the web series, I – like many others – wasn’t aware just how big of a thing it is. The proposal to turn it into an adventure game makes that pretty clear. Aiming for a massive $700,000 (more than most the pro adventure developers have pitched for, it’s worth noting) it had already smashed through that in a week, and with almost three weeks left is currently on an extraordinary $1.25m. That’s from 12,600 pledgers, making the mean pledge around $100.

Camden – Gamesmith

Gamesmith’s plan to make a series of Kickstarted games is off to a good start. Their first project, a gor-blimey-guvnor London-based tile-based game has made 150% of its aims with $15,169 at the finishing post.

Island Forge – Potential Games

Aw, the little MMO that could! After looking so shaky for so long, it still needed nearly half its money with five days to go. And because apparently all Kickstarter projects are like Disney basketball movies, everyone waited until then to fund the island-making game. It finished $556 over its $4,000 target.

Expeditions: Conquistador

Another one that went down to the thinnest of wires, but eventually those last-minute funding elves showed up and pushed the strategy/RPG over its $70,000 ambitions by another $7k. That left them falling short of any stretch goals, but after such a painstaking run I’m sure they’re just delighted to have the funding.

The Losers

Harmonia – Baroque Studios

The RPG never really got rolling, but the team plan to try to dedicate a couple of hours a day to the game to keep it going without the funding.

Deozoa: Legends Of Eden – Ignis Studios

Very strange one, this. With two weeks still to go, and $13,437 of their $75k goal raised, they pulled the plug themselves. The awfully-similar-to-Pokemon monster hunter was certainly raising funds slowly, but as you can see above there are plenty of projects that make their target from this point. But here’s the thing – suggestions from backers have made them realise they could finish the game for far less funding. “A fraction” they say. So they plan to implement some of these new ideas, then come back with a new Kickstarter. Interesting journey.

The Players

Project Eternity – Obsidian Entertainment

Goal: $1,100,000
Now: $799,080
Days: 31

There couldn’t be a bigger headline Kickstarter game. The team behind Planescape: Torment want to make an RPG in that traditional style, party-based, old-school combat, and with mature content. And on only its second day it would a huge surprise if it didn’t reach its massive $1.1m funding. I got up less than an hour ago and it was on $780,000 after just 14 hours. Now it’s on $799,000. By the time this article goes up, goodness knows. When something’s making $20,000 in an hour – an hour when most of America has gone to bed, and most of Europe hasn’t woken up – this could empty the planet’s banks by the time it’s month-long run is over. Kicktraq sees it trending toward nearly $13m. That seems extremely unlikely, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this clock over $4m by the time it’s done.

Worlds Beyond – chaOs

Goal: $20,000
Now: $3,358
Days: 20

A 2D pixel RPG about the end of the world promises believable character writing, “a unique sci-fi storyline”. It also appears to feature very old-school SNESy combat. But oh my goodness indies, get a decent mic to record your videos!

Pro Pinball: Revived & Remastered – Silverball Studios

Goal: $400,000
Now: $67,002
Days: 20

They’ve doubled their pledges in the last week, but it’s hard not to worry that they set their sights a touch high for a pinball game. Silverball plan to revive their Pro Pinball license, but I can’t help wish they’d set a more realistic goal for such a niche genre. Take a look at their earliest demo.

10,000 Hours – Tiger Sheep

Goal: $5,000
Now: $2,105
Days: 13

A company that makes their money creating tutorial videos for business software has a lot of spare time on their hands. So they plan to make a game within it. They want to test the theory that it takes 10,000 hours to master something, by, er, giving you the stuff they make? Um, I don’t get it. Maybe you will from the video. Every $10 you back earns you 1000 hours’ worth of the content they create, but I’m not sure how this makes us master anything.

Conclave – 10×10 Room

Goal: $75,000
Now: $32,535
Days: 7

Another $8k added on to the RPG inspired by table-top gaming, designed to be played asynchronously from browsers. There’s still a very long way to go, and there’s only a week to do it in. This one’s going to need a push.

MORE – IdeaLcenter

Goal: $50,000
Now: $22,071
Days: 43

People really want those 4X space strategies, don’t they? $14,000 raised this week puts it just shy of halfway there, but with a month and a half to go there’s plenty of time to get there. They’re aiming to make the successor to Masters Of Orion 2 they’ve been waiting for for years.

The Epic Space Game – Edward Melville

Goal: $20,000
Now: $4,862
Days: 6

Not all space games are as popular, however. This top-down 2D shooter, that’s also a sandbox MMO, and space trading game, is struggling, only a quarter of the way to its goal with less than a week left.

Pangenic – The Dada Factory

Goal: $45,000
Now: $3,031
Days: 20

Victorian scientists were famous for their turn-based combat, and that’s what is being represented here. The hand-drawn art makes for an excellent look, and they’re aiming for Winter next year.

Chris Taylor’s Arakion – Chris Taylor

Goal: $25,000
Now: $10,221
Days: 21

Chris Taylor – no, not that one… no, not that one either – has made an amazing $10k this week for his first-person group-based RPG, set on floating platforms in a strange magical world.

Portas Aurora: Arrival – Daniel Randall

Goal: $25,000
Now: $231
Days: 13

Not much love has been shown to this self-described sci-fi RPG. Watching the video, it’s easy to see why. Incredibly crude don’t seem to portray anything to do with an RPG, and there’s not even a voice-over to explain anything.

Starship Corporation – Er, David?

Goal: 6,000
Now: $15,208
Days: 20

I really bloody wish IndieGoGo would redesign their ridiculous layout that doesn’t display a developer name anywhere on the front page. That aside, this is a one-man team making a spacey RTS, that has already smashed through its initial goal of $6,000, sat on $15k with 20 days left. He’s stretched up to $30,000.

Starship Corporation – The Project from Starship Corporation on Vimeo.

And Another Thing

Sensible Software 1986-1999 – Read-Only Memory

Darren Wall’s Read-Only Memory project is to create a series of books about videogames that will be beautifully presented, he says. This first one about the loved Sensi will be written by Gary Penn, if they can raise $30,000. And they’re looking pretty likely to – they’re at $23,371 with three weeks to go. It certainly doesn’t come cheap though – a $38 pledge is necessary to get a copy of the book when it’s done, which is… a bloody lot. The concept sounds great though – I just wish there wasn’t the pretty unaware dig at the standard of videogame books at the start.


  1. rustybroomhandle says:

    When I watch the Sensible Software vid, all I can think of is “labiodental approximant”. Beautiful well-wvitten books!

    Anyhoo, I’d buy the book if it were 1 inch tall.

    EDIT: How is Starship Corporation not funded 3x over already?

    • mwoody says:

      Because on top of some weird pro-Ayn Rand stuff in the video, it includes big chunks of the game as being only for certain backer tiers. I refuse to give a cent to somehow who is going to lock me out of stuff I helped fund because I “only” gave them $50.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Wow, $100 to actually get all the content.

        And people complain about DLC and normal publishing pre-order bonuses.

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        Ah yeah – I can see that now. I posted halfway through seeing the gameplay footage. :P

    • Rugged Malone says:

      Strange pricing, and the fact it’s being built using GameMaker, by someone just learning to program.

  2. AngoraFish says:

    “The Epic Space Game” seems to buck the “Projects asking for fifty billion dollars, with 45c in pledges, fall off the list eventually” clause every single week. The game is well off trend because it looks amateur, has almost no specific detail about gameplay, is a one-man MMO and is ultimately meant to be free to play… who on RPS has shares in this game?

    • John Walker says:

      It is at quarter of its funding. It in no perceivable way fits into that category. But hey, thanks for the accusations of corruption!

  3. Red_Avatar says:

    I’d love to fund the Sensible Software 1986-1999 book but $38 ??? Dear lord! I do love Gary Penn, though. He was one of my favorite original PC Gamer writers (although I didn’t always agree with him – he tended to slam games that were more complex than what he was used to). I do love all Sensible Software games but, again, $38 ??? Now if that had included the vinyl, I’d have grabbed it in a heartbeat but the vinyl is $180 ????????? Dear lord …

    • Deano2099 says:

      Yeah, ebook version for $5, even without the pretty graphics, and I’d have backed instantly.

    • Branthog says:

      Yep. I was eager to back it. I’d have paid $10 for a PDF version, but I have no interest in spending $40 to get a physical version that’s just going to be tossed on a cluttered shelf and get damaged over time and feel obligated to not read, because “hey, I spent $40 on that and I don’t want creases and bends and finger marks risked”.

  4. DiTH says:

    Obsidian’s project is allready at 880k and it looks like it will be funded in 1 day.Thats insane stuff but it i wonder if 1 Million is enough for a company like Obsidian to make a game or its more like part of their expenses.

    Surely the last games made by obsidian should have cost closer to 10M at least.

    • RatherDashing says:

      Psychonauts had a budget of $11.8 million, that did not keep Double Fine from asking for $300,000 to make an adventure game when the options were do that or fire people.

      (their goal was $400,000, but remember: The documentary was $100,00 of that total)

      Yes, Obsidian’s big games(which they’ll still be working on, by the way) like South Park will absolutely cost a great deal more to make. Companies that use publisher funding to back big projects is nothing new, it’s what STARTED the bubble in the first place! Acting like this is some brand-new development is disingenuous at best.

    • InternetBatman says:

      They have a huge advantage over other kickstarted games because they already have their own engine and a heap of assets for it. I imagine that the money from this will fund one team that works on this while the other teams work on publisher projects.

    • Eleven says:

      The money from the Kickstarter is almost certainly only part of the picture. I would imagine 25k preorders worth $1M in the first day is a pretty impressive statistic for Obsidian to wave under the noses of investors looking for sure fire winners.

      Kickstarter has become almost a de-risking process. An old-school RPG would normally be seen as too high risk for conventional funding, but with a large chunk of upfront cash and all the free viral publicity that Kickstarter generates, commercial backers may be a lot less nervous about taking a niche game to retail.

  5. AngoraFish says:

    I’ve been a kickstarter obsessive since Double Fine (23 projects backed), but I can’t help but feel that (other than Obsidian, who flagged a possible kickstarter within a few days of Double Fine) the KS balloon has well and truly deflated. All the half decent games already in development have now blown their wad, and what we’re now left with is a bunch of bedroom dreamers and a couple of late bloomers to carry the torch.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I think this was the end of wave, and it’ll take a little bit, but project Gianna was fairly recent and that looked like a quality game.

    • Gasmask Hero says:

      Number of projects backed does in no way equal authority. Are you saying you personally believed in 23 projects enought to back them? There’s no limit to creativity, you know.

    • malkav11 says:

      I’m happy things seem to be dying down some. I can’t afford to keep backing at the rate I was over the summer. That said, Kickstarter (even for videogames) was around before Double Fine, and will continue to have stuff to back for some time to come, I expect. I can’t seem to get away from them. If it’s not videogames, it’s indie roleplaying games (of the tabletop variety), or comics or something.

    • Zeewolf says:

      I can’t quite agree. The Planetary Annihilation-kickstarter ended yesterday. Currently there’s stuff like Eternity, Pro Pinball and Broken Sword. We know the Quest for Glory-creators have a Kickstarter lined up, and there’s probably a lot more coming in the next few months. I mean, there was no advance warning with Planetary Annihilation, for instance, it just popped up and boom.

    • Caiman says:

      I think it’s too early in the game to tell yet. There’s certainly a whole laundry list of developers who are trusted and who very likely want to bring independent ideas to the market, and while they might not get as much money as they do from publishers, the ability to work outside of those constraints is no small thing to achieve. How frustrating to spend four years of your life on something you don’t really believe in, and if it’s not successful to see your reputation take a hit for something you didn’t really feel passionate about anyway? Still, a lot will depend on the success (or otherwise) of these early Kickstarter funded projects. I think if these are brought to market and meet expectations, then more people will be likely to put down money on the next one. A high profile failure, on the other hand, is going to put the brakes on big-time as it highlights the risks associated with speculative investment. It’s going to be interesting to see which direction it takes over the next year or two.

    • Branthog says:

      Really? I don’t feel that way, at all. I’ve backed 220+ Kickstarter projects (most of them video games) and there is no sign of it stopping. There’s still plenty of interesting stuff out there of various degrees of potential and creativity and feasibility. Not everything has to be Obsidian quality or from Double Fine (though I backed both of those, too). Hell, I even caved in and kicked $100 to the 10,000 Hour guys and $10 to the Space Corporation guys. It’s fun to watch these guys make a go of things and hopefully I’ll end up with a few interesting games (like FTL, already).

  6. Andy_Panthro says:

    Glad Expeditions: Conquistador got it’s funding, kinda wish it’d managed at least the first stretch goal. Hopefully they’ll get enough post-release sales to make those extras worthwhile as DLC or something.

    • Voronwer says:

      Logic Artists promised to use the money they did reach to implement as many passive abilities as they could. So they might not have reached that stretch goal (now as they will put up a Paypal account), but they will implement as much as they can from it.

      I do wish they’d been able to reach 100k, but I’m glad they got funded.

  7. Andy_Panthro says:

    Oh and a great website for monitoring Kickstarter funding is

    Watching the trend on Project Eternity has been quite amusing, when I backed it the trend was for about $8M, then it jumped to $11M, $13M and now it’s sitting at almost $14.5M. Of course this will settle down after a few days ( link to )

    link to

  8. Metaphorazine says:

    Why no mention of Planetary Annihilation getting fully funded and hitting every one of its stretch goals?

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, that surprised me.

    • subedii says:

      Probably because it was listed as one of the “Winners” a few weeks back when it got fully funded.

      Still think it would be relevant to add though. It finished just yesterday and blew well past double its original asking number, all the planet types are in, Galactic Warfare’s in, and even a documentary now.

      They did a livestream for a few hours leading to the countdown (and a few hours after that), which you can see on their Twitch TV channel if anyone’s interested. They take a tonne of fan questions (they are really good about answering questions anyone’s been asking) during the whole thing, and you get to hear John Patrick Lowrie (the voiceover dude) do his Darth Vader impression, amongst other things. He’s even there with his wife Ellen Mclain (most famous for voicing GLaDOS).

      link to

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Yep, if it already hit its goal in a previous Katchup – and got an additional news story on RPS – then there’s no point mentioning it here.

      • subedii says:

        Personally I didn’t really understand that. 12 hours to go and all of a sudden the games news sites are posting about how PA crossed 2 million. The result being that most didn’t do an actual writeup on the whole thing when it actually finished, and counted the final amount and the final stretch goal.

        Considering it was one of the biggest funded kickstarters, it just seemed a bit weird. I mean it wouldn’t have killed anyone to wait a few hours before posting so that the whole story could be told.

        In case anyone’s wondering though, the final Kickstarter tally came to $2,228,344.

        Paypal came to $101,876 (as of the Stream, and IIRC it’s still going for a little while longer, so that could increase)

        That comes together for a grand total of: $2,330,220

    • John Walker says:

      I will seriously give up this column if people can’t be bothered to read the damn rules at the top. It hurts my soul too much.

      This column is about alerting people to Kickstarters they may want to pledge toward. I list those we’ve been following that have met their goals, then they drop out. As it says at the top. Every sodding week.

  9. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    The starship corporation game looked pretty cool but then at the end he said he wants to make the campaign about how great Ayn Rand and Libertarianism is and there is no way I’d want to give money towards further that awful ideology.

    On a more positive note I’m really glad Project Eternity is doing so well.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, that was a bit of a 8| moment.

      Also the earlier comment about the free lot having superior technology. Sod the real-world politics, that’s out-of-place for the stereotypical space-fi setting: it’s always the big, sinister organizations who have the shiniest deathbeams, and the plucky rebels have to triumph over them with cunning and the uncrushable will of the proletariat!

    • Michael Riley says:

      Exactly. I was pretty bummed when I saw that. All he says is that it will be inspired by Atlas Shrugged…. and my naive optimistic self wants to say that maybe it’s more like Bioshock inspired, rather than Paul Ryan inspired. I’d probably only be kidding myself.

    • Caiman says:

      I don’t understand this criticism at all. He says he wants to create (at higher funding levels) a story campaign inspired by Atlas Shrugged. How is that different to the Bioshock universe, and how do you conclude that it will be about “how great Ayn Rand and Libertarianism is” and that he wants to “futher that awful ideology”? How do you know it will not lambaste the whole ideology as Bioshock did? No really, I can understand you not liking his funding tiers where you pay more to receive more content, but it seems a bit of a leap to conclude that having a story be inspired by a book means you subscribe to its ideology. I suspect he’s a little naive in his politics, but still.

  10. Cruyelo says:

    Knock-Knock finished it’s run 4 days ago, raising 41k while asking for 30k.
    It’s not as much as I’d love them to raise… but it’s good enough.

  11. Delusibeta says:

    One Kickstarter that flew under that Katchup radar (and happily got the cash) was Mercenary Kings, by Tribute Games (the folks who did the Scott Pilgrim game and Wizorb). It looks like they’re going for a Contra style game, and they got the animator for the Scott Pilgrim game on board. It looks good, and I threw $15 dollars at it. That said, it’s now closed, so you all are going to have to wait. BWHAHAHAHAetc.

    Link: link to

  12. coffeetable says:

    For a long time I didn’t understand why people would throw $10,000 at a Kickstarter. But I’ve just worked it out. Mega-rich tech entrepreneurs see in silly games what medieval Italian aristocracy saw in portraits of smiling women.

    For us plebs Kickstarter’s about buying a game, but for them it’s about commissioning a work of art.

    • TCM says:

      Considering the value of artwork is very rarely realized in its time, that actually isn’t a bad comparison.

    • AngoraFish says:

      For better or worse, the world is a place where there are tragically a few too many individuals with a spare $10,000 to kick around, and a few too many children dying for lack of a $2 vaccine.

      • Gasmask Hero says:

        First world problems and all that, eh? Dying child sites are -> that way. Here we discuss games. And occasionally sexism.

        • AngoraFish says:

          wake up on the wrong side of bed this moring, much? trolls are over that way -> at /b/

      • Baines says:

        Considered starting a Kickstarter for it?

        Seriously. You should be able to work it under Kickstarter’s structure. If not, talking to Kickstarter should be able to get it approved. (Penny Arcade apparently got approval first for their “remove an ad” Kickstarter, and that was a less noble idea.)

        It is a bit of work and hassle to start up, but it is an important issue. Many complain, few perform.

        • The Random One says:

          Kickstarter specifically forbids donations or charitable causes.

          Plus, it’s not just a case of scrouging up twelve gazillion dollars and giving it to people. You’d have to come up with the logistics to use that money wisely so you actually work on the superstructure and doesn’t just stop people from dying of hunger for a few months. It’s much better to just research and find out what groups are already working towards that and give them some money instead of Andrew Hussie.

        • phlebas says:

          Indiegogo does allow such things. It means that whenever you look at the front page you’ll see a load of projects from people in primitive countries trying to beg the cost of basic healthcare or lifesaving treatment.

    • Jackablade says:

      I don’t suppose you can write off a Kickstarter contribution on your tax return, can you?

      • jrodman says:

        Kickstarter calls them gifts (and you agree to this). Meanwhile I doubt any of them are registered nonprofits.

        So, no.

      • Branthog says:

        No. Kickstarter does not allow charities.

    • Branthog says:

      That “Homestuck” kickstarter is one of the worst I have ever seen. For asking so much money, they offer NO insight or demonstration of what the game will be like. Not even concept art. They don’t even explain what the fuck “Homestuck” is (I’ve never heard of it). I approached it like I do every Kickstarter — as something I might want to chip into. But after the first thirty seconds of the Kickstarter video, I just said “this looks like some shitty anime-music-video-amateur-mix found on youtube made for ritilin kids”.

  13. Ghoulie says:

    Going to post this one again this week:

    link to

    If just because I think the Legion deserves more fleshing out in Fallout lore.

  14. EMelville says:

    You say we’re unpopular(Epic Space Game). But the only blog that even really talked about us was RPS.

    According to my stats, the most external backers are actually from here. And it was just a few fricken sentences a week. Can you believe that?

    In terms of being featured on KS, It looks like you have to reach a certain amount within a certain time to get up there on the front page. Even with a working demo, without actual press, there really isn’t much left to do.

    And I noticed your comment about Island Forge, you don’t realize that in the final hours you get featured as “Ending Soon”. It isn’t much but it’s something positive to look forward to.

    But all in all, just can’t thank you enough John for the help.


  15. Bhazor says:

    Starship Corporation is an idea I really really love in fact it’s annoyingly similar to a game I was planning. That said it seems like a pretty ambitious project for someone who admits to having zero programming experience when he started this. Hope this does well but I’m waiting to try the alpha before I put my money down.

  16. AHJohnstone says:

    Hey RPS, thanks for featuring Pangenic! We’re really excited to make this game and posts like yours make all the difference at this stage of fundraising.

    In the meantime, if anyone has any feedback or questions for us, or suggestions for making our pitch more attractive we’d love to hear them. The RPS community more or less IS the target demographic for this game. We’re committed to making this a community driven project, so tell us what you’d like to see!

    – Alex Johnstone

  17. feoinc says:

    John, you can remove Project Eternity from the list, it just reached 1.1M :D

    • Bhazor says:

      In <24 hours.

      Thats… quite the thing.

    • The Random One says:

      Kicktraq is now listing its estimated goal as NINETEEN million. Of course, with a single day of data it’s difficult to believe it’s an actually believable estimate.

  18. MaxNormal says:

    There is a hardware kickstarter project that might be of interest to RPS reader – icontrolpad 2
    link to
    It’s a gaming controller with a full Keyboard incorporated, roughly the size of an Iphone 4.

    It will be particularly useful with Steams Big picture mode, and for those of us with HTPCs that can also handle some gaming. I have an icontrolpad version one and the controls (dpad, buttons dual analog nubs) are excellent.

  19. jrodman says:

    Ugh, I’m so prejudiced. Noticing that Dada Factory is based in Salt Lake, Utah, my gut feeling is to avoid, after proposition 8.

  20. jamesgecko says:

    There are so many Kickstarter games that I’m not even funding. I would love to see a Homestruck game. Planetary Annihilation looks amazing. Project Eternity looks amazing. But all of these things were fully funded and well into the stretch goals by the time I heard about them (eg, hours after they went up). These things are guaranteed to be awesome without any help from me, and dropping my $20 bill into the pot right now doesn’t really get me any benefit until release.

    At release I’ll be giving them my $20 or so anyway and getting instant gratification. Should I feel bad about not pre-funding their inevitable success?

    Now Auro, that was worthy of funding. It’s an unconventional semi-obscure roguelike that has like four guys behind it, failed the first kickstarter attempt, and needed to exist. I feel like a hipster.

    • LionsPhil says:

      At that point, you’re basically pre-ordering for a discount and/or backer goodies, almost like a normally-funded game.

      (Except if a normally-funded pre-ordered game falls through, presumably you get your money back.)

    • jrodman says:

      Well, you get to make your own rules out to do this funding thing, but even a game that has “hit its goal” isn’t automatically going to get finished in that budget. For something you really want, giving them your money to work with up front might be helpful.

      Of course, this seems less plausible when a target has hit 5x its target funding goal before you heard of it.