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Kickstarter Katchup – 10th February 2013

Kick It With A Tribe Called Quest

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In terms of anticipation and dollars pledged, this has been the week of Dreamfall Chapters but you already knew about that one, right? The Katchup concerns itself with all Kreatures, great and small, and there are plenty of newcomers this week, including Tom Hall’s keen platforming tools, Projects Awakened and Cornerstone, the mad and possibly brilliant Ritual Dementia and gorgeous light-speed drifter, Race The Sun. Some projects are teetering on the brink of failure but, as we have seen with the adventure game in the past, any news reports of Kickstarter’s death are entirely premature.

The Rules

  • Featuring a game in this list doesn’t mean we endorse it. We likely haven’t played, and as such can’t say whether it will be worth your cash. That’s your call.
  • Letting me know about a game (which you can do via my name at the top of this article) doesn’t mean it will definitely be included. Leaving links in the comments is a good way to let other readers know about projects, but please email me if you want them considered for the list. Include the word Kickstarter in the subject line too if you care about making my life even slightly easier.
  • We only include games where pledges reach developers only if the target is met.
  • Projects asking for fifty billion dollars, with 45c in pledges, fall off the list eventually. It gives more space for other games.
  • Projects that have reached their funding get included in the Winners list, and then aren’t featured in the weeks after that, to give more attention to those that are still needing the cash. Tough if you don’t like it.
  • Be aware that there are two currencies in play. Always check!
  • Do not stare directly into the Katchup without the correct protective goggles.

The Winners

The 90’s Arcade Racer – Pelikan13

Goal: £10,000
Now: £11,006

The colourful arcade racer is over the finish line and Paypal support has been added, in the hope that some of those stretch goals can be reached. The project’s scope has already changed somewhat though, with an announcement expected soon regarding new team members and (possibly) new platforms. Linux and Windows are already supported though, so what platforms could Pelikan13 possibly be talking about?

Fortis Rex – Ancient Realms Studios

Goal: $7,000
Now: $7,431

A little over a week ago, Ancient Realms were considering scrapping the current Kickstarter to return with a stronger pitch later in the year. What a difference a few days can make. There will be a combat arena demo of the game available on February 23rd but it’ll only be available to backers, whether through Kickstarter or Paypal. The finished product should be similar to Mount and Blade and it’ll be interesting to see what marks Fortis Rex out as it approaches release at the end of the year.

The Losers

Nada.

The Players

Delver’s Drop – Pixelscopic

Goal: $75,000
Now: $13,639
Days: 30

I love delving. I didn’t even realise how much I loved it until I tallied up a list of all the games I play that involve any action that could reasonably be described as ‘delvish’ in nature. There were 476 games on that list and Delver’s Drop could be added to their number. It’s a top-down dungeon crawler, with loot, lots of enemies, infinite environments and fetching graphics. A closed beta is expected in August and a pledge of $25 or more will grant access to that, while the full game is due in October on PC and Mac, with mobile versions to follow.

Dreamfall Chapters – Red Thread Games

Goal: $850,000
Now: $539,988
Days: 27

Not a bad start, eh? Chances are, you already know that Dreamfall Chapters is the eagerly awaited continuation and indeed conclusion to the trilogy that began with The Longest Journey. If you do want to know more, you could read the first part of my mega-interview with Ragnar Tornquist and key members of the team. Or you could read the second part. When I publish it. Tomorrow.

Race the Sun – Flippfly

Goal: $20,000
Now: $1,416
Days: 24

Sometimes I spend so long looking at the forest that I forget to point out the individual trees. I should have noticed Race the Sun as soon as the Kickstarter flew into action but the intervention of attentive readers was required to ensure it is listed here. Jim wrote about the free version of this gorgeous race through infinity a while ago and you can still try that version. The Kickstarter aims to raise the necessary cash to add full mod tools, multiplayer co-op, new game modes and more. The free version just sapped a good deal of my evening and when a Sunday evening is being sacrificed to the Katchup, I consider every second I can salvage to be precious.

Project Awakened – Phosphor Games Studio

Goal: $500,000
Now: $93,591
Days: 23

Nathan has the full scoop (I reckon he’s a Phish Food kinda guy) on the ultra-customisation of Project Awakened.

The basic idea behind Project Awakened is that you get a nigh-bottomless pool of superheroic powers and looks to mix and match in whatever manner you please.

A new video showing the depth of the ‘create a player’ functionality, which is the heart of the game, is expected soon, so look out for that. In the meantime, permit your eyes to feast on this.

Project Cornerstone – Aidem Studios

Goal: $24,000
Now: $4,132
Days: 27

“An Open world, action/adventure/puzzle game with an emphasis on physics and player-choice” is what Aidem Studios promise and the early footage reminds me of Wind Waker, which is a pleasant thing to be reminded of, as long as no late-game sea-hunts are involved. It’s a game that puts a focus on playing with the world and its component parts, and I’m planning to try my hand at an early build sometime in the near future.

Ritual Dementia – Sithog

Goal: $10,000
Now: $955
Days: 18

I’ve had more emails regarding Ritual Dementia this week than any other Kickstarter project. It’s easy to see why, with a set of features as impressive as they are odd: perma-death, family bonds, genetic commingling with demons, ecosystems, wildlife, rituals, hunting, hydration, survival, sanity and prosthetic limbs. I’m not sold on the look but the Kickstarter page does contain these phrases: “Explore the dangerous plains, carnivorous forests, and what I think looks like a castle” and “A lo-rez graphical adventure to protect your eyes from the graphic nature of this game”. I have to say, reading that that kind of sells me on the look. I’m also impressed by the promised October release date, which allows for three months of ‘padding’ to deal with unexpected problems and perfection of the dark arts.

Worlds of Wander – Tom Hall’s Pieces of Fun

Goal: $400,000
Now: $42,313
Days: 19

Tom Hall’s new Kickstarter venture could be called Commander Keen’s Little Big Planet, except that would probably lead to lawsuits and, hey, maybe the legal fees could be paid by way of crowdfunding? The campaign is actually to raise money for Worlds of Wander, a platform game creator, and Secret Spaceship Club, which will be the first game made using the tools, and a spiritual sequel to Commander Keen. The initial pitch video, which you can see below, didn’t particularly interest me but there’s a suggestion of something unusual in the latest update. The main character will have:

Normal, happy, sad, mad, afraid states. What emotional state you are in determines your abilities…who you can interact with and how you interact with them!

I’m listening.

Asylum – Senscape

Goal: $100,666
Now: $65,670
Days: 17

There is a huge market for horror and despite the many bumps in the night and bloodbaths that an average week of game releases includes, terrifying games are few and far between. The excitement that builds around trailers for the likes of Amnesia and Among the Sleep is proof of the craving for chills that exists. Scratches was flawed but frightening, and while the new game from creators Senscape doesn’t have a particularly original setting (clue’s in the title), it has already attracted a large chunk of its target figure. Intriguingly, it’s set to be an adventure game with mod potential:

Many other game genres allow you to create mods, so why not an adventure game? Thus, we’re formally announcing that, yes, when the game is complete you will have access to every asset we produced and an SDK that we will prepare for this reason alone.

Here’s a new video:

Terminus – Harbour Games

Goal: $25,000
Now: $4,431
Days: 10

It’s all gone a little quiet on the distant frontier, with the colony-builder struggling to attract funding and without an update for a week and a half. There was mention of further videos and ‘gameplay mock-ups’ but nothing has materialised yet and it may well be the lack of anything particularly concrete to show that has caused potential backers to shy away from what is a compelling concept. Colony management, with all manner of disasters waiting in the wings.

Wildman – Gas Powered Games

Goal: $1,100,000
Now: $465,236
Days: 5

Nathan spoke to Chris Taylor at DICE:

“I’ve been fighting on the field for 15 years as an independent developer. I don’t want to sell my soul. I’ve turned down all these opportunities to do it, and it wasn’t exactly to the devil, but it wasn’t a golden ticket either. I knew if I sold, I’d probably be shut down in three-to-five years. I didn’t want that. I want Gas Powered Games to go on for decades. So I’ve been fighting and fighting and fighting.”

Full interview here.

Unwritten: That Which Happened – Roxlou Games

Goal: $75,000
Now: $47,073
Days: 3

There’s not much more for me to say about Unwritten. I’ve spoken to Joe Houston about the game, the Kickstarter and what happens if the pledges don’t arrive. I’ve expressed my own feelings as to why this is one of the most interesting turn-based strategy concepts I’ve seen in a good while. With less than 72 hours to go and a fair chunk of cash left to raise, it’d be easy to despair but Roxlou are thinking positive:

For you budding Kickstarter statisticians, our next big milestone comes at 81%, or $60,750. At that point only 0.05% of projects with that much funding have failed. Feel free to check the stats for yourself.

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Adam Smith

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