Ungrim: Death Inc Shows Off Multiplayer Reaping

With just a week left on the clock, I’m honestly surprised that the Death Inc Kickstarter has had such a muted response. It looks just like the sort of thing that should fly. Anyway, there’s a couple more videos for you to raise an eyebrow at, one showing multiplayer, and the other showing a few developer chums of Ambient (Sean Murray, Molyneux) talking about their interest in the game.

Watch. Ponder.


  1. Ravenholme says:

    Argh, I really, really want to back these guys, but I simply don’t have the cash :|

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      Me too. It looks like Grim Fandango meets Populus/Black and White, which has to be just about the most perfect game pitch ever. Except, right now, sadly, second to “Hi I’m Ragnar Tornquist”.

      I’m tempted to just take the gamble and pledge money I really don’t have, but I did that when Godus wasn’t looking like it was going to make it, and that ended up costing me.

    • jonfitt says:

      I’m just tapped out on Kickstarters. Unless there’s something extraordinary I’m going to wait until some of my chickens come home to roost before re-kicking.
      Think of it as a Euro boardgame, and I have all my meeples out on the board.

  2. solidsquid says:

    Does it bug everyone else that part of their pitch in the second video is “It’s not a remake” and “These are lovely people”? I’m sure they are nice people, but most people are and that doesn’t mean I want to give them money, nor does something being “original” make it a good game. It looks interesting, sure, but that doesn’t always equate to fun to play

    edit: Peter Moleneux’s comments about it being “unfair” kind of grate too. You’re supposed to be looking for investors, not charitable donations

    • ulix says:

      You do know that you can download a demo and test for yourself if the design is sound, and fun?

      • solidsquid says:

        Huh, interesting, might give that a shot when I get home then. Don’t get me wrong, it might well be that it *is* a good game (in fact it looks like it probably is from the game footage), it was the marketing videos they’ve done I was commenting on rather than the game itself

    • DeVadder says:

      I very much agree. I did play the demo and there is just zero appeal to me. It is to other RTS what Popolous is to Civ 5.
      The interaction, at least in the demo, comes down to: This group, attack that group. And maybe walk a fancy turn on the way.

      And how in te world are they treated unfair? They get insane amounts of coverage from everywhere! While something like Factorio, which is also not a remake, also done by nice people and even more original AND gives you the alpha for free and immediatly for any amount of backing AND asks for a much more reasonable amount of money, takes two weeks before it even gets mentioned on the katchup. While Death Inc. has seen frontpage articles again and again.

      • BurningPet says:

        Factorio should get funded. it deserve it like very few other crowd sourced deserved it. it still has a few design issues in my opinion (running around and fighting is a pointless feature in such a game) but non the less, it’s a great game.

    • jatan says:

      i find the pleading tone very grating
      – it all has the air of entitlement to it-

  3. uNapalm says:

    It looks cool and the demo was fun but 300k is a big old price-tag for this, especially considering that they seem to be doing pretty well without the cash already and the section on exactly what they will be spending all that money on is pretty vague.

    Also the “America! Pledge in your $ and save England (again)” is pretty stupid.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      Doing pretty well in that they’ve published a prototype that was made in ten days? A lot of people can probably afford to take a month off work to try and get something started. Beyond that, I’d imagine it gets unsustainable pretty quickly.

  4. Bughunter says:

    Looks good BUT…BIG SHINNY BUT…the reason their campaign is failing, the ONLY reason, is the $300,000 they are asking for publicly. It doesn’t matter how good your game is, if you’re a small Indie you’ve absolutely got to set your funding limits much lower. Seek partial funding through Kickstarter, get the rest from private investment.

    I see this happen constantly on Kickstarter and its really too bad. Don’t throw your ultimate “we need $800,000 to make this game happen…shhhh we’re 3 guys and we need at least that much to rent our office and hire more people”. Keep the Kickstarter amount to about half of what you actually need, seek the rest of your funding elsewhere (oh and think about moving back to the garage, you don’t need that big office just yet). In fact, you should already have those options in place ahead of your Kickstarter.

    • solidsquid says:

      Or you could work from home and keep in touch via a combination of IRC/IM, VOIP and video conferencing, then you don’t even need the office.

      Actually, was it the Bastion guys who rented a flat together and converted the living room into their office? That seems like a great way to do accommodation on a budget if you have a small team and get on reasonably well

    • JabbleWok says:

      If you use KS for only half your funding, then you must have the other half already in place otherwise you could finish KS with only half of what you need to deliver on what you’ve promised. So where do you get that first half? Isn’t Kickstarter meant to be about, you know, kick starting?

  5. Chris D says:

    I like the idea of Death as a business but I’m finding it hard to get excited about what appears to be a fairly shallow RTS. At the moment I’m not sure where the depth comes from. From what I’ve seen so far I’m convinced they can deliver something competent and pretty but I haven’t seen anything that convinces me, yet, that it’s going to be interesting or fun.

    I realise this sounds harsh and it’s not my intention to say this just to be a dick. If this was already being published I’d keep and eye on it and maybe pick it up if it got decent reviews, but to throw in my money at this stage I’m going to need more to go on. Maybe they’ve already thought about all of this and have lots of really interesting stuff planned but I don’t feel like I’ve seen any of it yet.

    Talk to me about unit types and upgrades. Talk to me about protential strategies and tricks. Tell me anything to make me intrigued or excited. Because all I know so far is that it’s pretty and has an interesting control mechanism and that’s not enough. Show me the meat.

    Edit: Ok, I did find some more details on some of this stuff, but it was halfway down the kickstarter page and it’s a long page. Also fairly sure it wasn’t there first time I checked. I wouldn’t have found it unless I was specifically looking for it.

    • Screwie says:

      This is exactly my problem with the project.

      A demo is a demo of course, but I fail to see where depth can be readily added from what’s been shown. I’m willing to be educated otherwise, though.

  6. 2helix4u says:

    Seems like a bigger, boringer Plague Inc. and is asking for >3x as much money as I’d expect.
    I sort of expect them to still make it though, due to the coverage they’ve been getting.

  7. DonJefe says:

    I tried the demo, and I frankly found it really boring. I like the look, but unless I am missing something, then the gameplay is much too simple.

  8. MeestaNob says:

    I reckon it’s failing because it is paid in pounds via a credit card you need to type in and doesn’t use Amazon money transfers (seriously). That extra few seconds typing in card details is enough to make me think twice about my purchase. Also, being in pounds most people are probably concerned about the exchange rate.

    I dunno. The game looks lovely, but not particularly interesting, so that could be it too.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Ingix says:

    For me the simplicity of the gameplay is a plus as I’m not such a good RTS player.

    Last time I checked before now, the “early bird” £10 tier was inaccessable, because it was limited to 1,000 pledges. Next tier would be £15 which was too much for me, because RTS is something I play rarely, so if the project doesn’t get funded I’m not missing out on much. Now the £10 tier has been reopened (with a 10,000 pledges maximum) and I backed it.

    The moral from my side would be that if you are an unknown team, don’t limit your “appetizer” to just 3% of the money you need.

  10. Brise Bonbons says:

    Firstly, I wonder if there is much demand for a streamlined RTS experience like Death Inc seems to be offering; most RTS players I’m aware of spend all their time getting excited for Planetary Annihilation. At minimum, I assume the crowd on Kick Starter are mostly of the “give us more old school maximalist RTSs” faction.

    Secondly, and perhaps uncharitably, I’m bewildered how the developers went from “let’s make a game about the black death where you play as death” to a combat- and puzzle- focused zombie RTS. There’s so much potential in the history to inspire unique game metaphors, but the most notable mechanic is a (granted, fun, if a bit gimmicky) brushing control scheme (which doesn’t even really fit the idea of a spreading plague). Based on what I’ve seen and played, it is gamification of the most disappointing variety, where the end result is lovingly crafted and fun enough, but little to no consideration has been given to deriving novel game mechanics from the themes and subject matter being addressed.

    This is all very subjective, I suppose. And a bit mean, for which I feel like a jerk. In short, it was a project I was very excited about, until I realized it was apparently just another RTS only simpler, and didn’t really seem to have anything to do with the cool historical events it was “inspired” by.

    Or maybe it does, and I’ve just not seen that update? If so, marketing issues I guess. Still hope they make it, for the record, but I doubt I’ll be backing it.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I seem remember an update that said it was the other way around… They wanted to make a zombie RTS where you play as the zombies. But zombies have been (ahem) done to death, so they came up with a more original scenario.