Kickstarter Katchup – June 2nd 2013

I’ve been quiet for a few weeks so this Katchup is going to be a little different. I’ll add a few new projects, but I’m also looking back all the way to April 28th, when the last Katchup emerged, and checking the success or failure of every project included. That way everyone can remember why they were/weren’t enchanted by Dog Sled Slaga, tell all their friends (again) about that one cool cemetery game, and then commiserate or congratulate as the fate of all is revealed. Yes, the destinies of all are contained herein – even the sad future of that one reader who is doomed to spend the summer of 2016 adapting Portal for the big screen, only to find that Chris Tucker will be providing the voice of GlaDOS and Chell is now Cypher Raige Chad Danger, played by Danny Dyer. Michael Bay directs.

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 several currencies in play. Always check!
  • This week’s Katchup was composed while listening to the sound of the city outside the window.

The Winners

Unrest – Pyrodactyl Games

Goal: $3,000
Now: $18,673

Unrest is an “unconventional RPG set in ancient India”, a description that immediately grabbed my attention. When I posted about the project a week ago, I wasn’t sure if it would attract a great deal of interest, partly because the graphics currently displayed on the project page are a harsh comedown from the wonderful concept art. Turns out people aren’t quite as shallow as I’d feared and Unrest is already a success and with some robust stretch goals already hit, the final game should look far more appealing for those who like good writing and shiny pictures.

The Kingsport Cases – Machines in Motion

Goal: $20,000

Hurrah! Procedurally generated Lovecraftian horror for all. I really like the look of The Kingsport Cases so its success is most pleasing. BUT WAIT

Kingsport Cases producer Andrew Stanek here. In a few minutes, I’m going to add the remaining 8K to the Kickstarter myself.

Oh. This was posted a few hours ago and the full update is worth reading. It’s very frank, explaining why the money was withheld until now and that the $8,000 was the base from which the game would have been funded anyway. That means Machines in Motion are now a good deal short of their goal and have thrown in their savings to ensure the Kickstarter doesn’t fail, leaving them with nothing to show for thirty days of community management and updating. I admire the honesty and the push to raise the extra money through alpha sales will hopefully pay off.

A Hat in Time – Gears For Breakfast

Goal: $30,000
Now: $77,584

Everybody loves a good topper or bowler, as evidenced by the rapid success of A Hat in Time. Surely people aren’t throwing their money through the screen because they enjoy ‘collect-a-thon platformer(s)’ in the style of Nintendo 64 classics? Could there be anything else in the pitch to attract pledgers?

Time is falling apart and it is the job of the brave interstellar-travelling Hat Kid to collect all the time pieces and put them back together! But watch out, you’re in a race against the evil Mustache Girl who wants to use time for evil!

Hats and lip furniture. This is the most complete game I have encountered in a good while.

Jagged Alliance: Flashback – Full Control

Goal: $350,000
Now: $368,614

I was surprised that Flashback came as close to failure as it did and would have been aghast if it had actually missed its goal. Even though Full Control’s Space Hulk is still in development and I haven’t played their previous games, these are developers who at least talk good turn-based tactics. I think they get it and I hope I’m correct.

Dog Sled Saga – Dan FitzGerald

Goal: $6,000
Now: $14,317

I would have been dubious as to the sense of continuing life in a world that turned its back on an adorable dog sled racing simulator, so it’s a good thing that Dog Sled Saga not only raised the necessaries but sped through several stretch goals as well. It is a self-described “saga of rank climbing, reputation building, team management, and pet loving”, featuring such things as a “breathtaking mountain view behind the supermarket”. As well as being adorable, Dog Sled Saga also sounds like a proper challenge. The developers have drawn inspiration from many of my favourite things, including Spelunky, FTL, The Binding of Isaac, XCOM and dogs.

Welcome To Boon Hill – Matthew Ritter

Goal: $5,000
Now: $12,930

While larger games in recognisable genres are now commonplace on Kickstarter, using it as an alternative to other publishing routes, crowd-funding portals are still fertile ground for odd projects that almost certainly wouldn’t receive financial backing anywhere else. Welcome to Boon Hill is an odd game, although people of a sensitive semantic disposition may prefer the term ‘interactive object’ or ‘virtual graveyard’. Walk around for a while, read some epitaphs. Maybe mourn? The stretch goals mean that “a larger graveyard is confirmed. The main graveyard will be expanded some, and there will also be a small pet cemetery as well as a few other expanded goodies in the final game.” Poor pets.

Rex Rocket – Rob Maher and Tyler Bud

Goal: $6,000
Now: $10,987

The retro puzzle-platformer was only a few dollars short of its $11,000 Linux stretch goal, so the developers have decided to embrace the penguin anyway. There will also be an old-school remix of the soundtrack:

he ship’s sonic technician, Saskrotch, will re-write the background music you hear over the PA system, specifically for eons-old technology- he has informed me these relics were called the NES, Game Boy, Genesis, and SNES- and transmit a digital recording to backers at ANY level.

Beep bip boop.

Camelot Unchained – City State Entertainment

Goal: $2,000,000
Now: $2,232,933

“Camelot Unchained is a counter-revolutionary RvR-focused MMORPG from Mark Jacobs and CSE set in a post-apocalyptic yet familiar world.” It’s also one of the most incredible successes I’ve seen in some time. When I last looked, there were three days left and the project was half a million dollars short of its goal. I expected to be adding it to the loser’s column three weeks ago and here I am, placing it in the other column thanks to a massive, late surge. The latest update is only for backers but there have been extensive paragraphs written on the progress since the pledgers came through.

A.N.N.E – Gamesbymo

Goal: $70,000
Now: $100,272

Calling all Walkers, all Walkers please come in. John thought A.N.N.E. looked like a dream and he will no doubt be overjoyed by its great success.

Metroidvania meets Gradius sounds like the sort of thing you could only wish for, chin leant your your interlocked fingers, elbows on the windowsill looking out into a rainy day. But by crikey, that’s what Gamesbymo are up to with A.N.N.E. A 2D pixel art hybrid of ship-flying shoot-em-up and physics puzzles, and on-foot platforming that promises Metroid-like progression.

The only bad news is that the game isn’t out until March 2014.

Among the Sleep – Krillbite Studio

Goal: $200,000
Now: $248,358

Another success! Krillbite did something very clever with Among the Sleep, although I’m not sure how intentional it was. The first trailer introduced the concept – a player-controlled toddler in a surreal domestic nightmare – and created a great deal of conversation and clamour. The Kickstarter came much later, as did playable code at events. Nathan put his hands all over it:

It’s an original concept, and so far, it’s working pretty well for me. Also, the demo came to a close right as the game hit on a rather fascinating theme: imagination. Yes, things started getting crazy, but was any of it real, or is Among The Sleep only about the feeling of being a small, easily frightened child with an overactive imagination?

I can’t wait to try it out myself.

Chasm – Discord Games

Goal: $150,000
Now: $191,897

One day, ‘procedural generation’ may become the new ‘zombies’, causing groans, though presumably not communicating solely by means of those groans. While I’d be sad to see the back of hand-crafted levels, I’m absolutely fascinated by the procedural Pollocks currently at work. Chasm’s attempt seems more risky than most, with a plan to create ‘Metroid-like’ levels. That suggests something more methodical than the surprises and chaos that randomisation often offers. It’s a promising project though and I look forward to seeing more.

Road Redemption – DarkSeas Games

Goal: $160,000
Now: $173,803

DarkSeas arrived, their hogs roaring and ready for the battle ahead, and people said, “oohhh, a Kickstarter campaign for a new Road Rash.” It’s a spiritual successor rather than a sanctioned sequel but it’s as close to the original series’ combo of motorcycling and mayhem as I’ve seen in many a year. The bikes threatened to fail before the race ended but a final push saw Darkseas tumbling over the line, scuffed and bruised, but smiling and proud. The game’s a long way off (August 2014) but if the development period contains as much communication with interested parties as the campaign itself, it shoudl be an interesting ride.

The Losers

The Realm – Atomhawk Design & Lantern Interactive

Goal: £195,000
Now: £94,527

The Realm looked like the point and click adventure that Shadow of the Colossus never was. Even though that sounds like one of the best things ever, the project fell well short of its total. This isn’t the end though:

The lack of US payments was a crucial factor in hurting our campaign. So we plan to relaunch the campaign later this year with a US account. Also a lot of you wanted to see some game footage so we are going to work on that too and come back stronger!

Let’s hope the mighty dollar comes through.

Lex Laser Saves The Galaxy, Again – Defiant Mouse

Goal: $65,000
Now: $13,793

Lex Laser will Kickstart again, or at least that’s the implication:

Obviously, we’re disappointed that the campaign wasn’t successful, but it’s been an extremely useful experience. Game design is an iterative process. You try something, you see how it works, you think about it, and then you try again. It turns out that Kickstarter works much the same way. We’re in the “thinking about it” stage now. It’s clear that we need to improve our game, our pitch, and our PR. Stay tuned.

Digging through the pitch, the tactical-puzzler had appeal, but Kickstarter often relies on some form of instant appeal, or frequent communication. I reckon a second attempt could be a success.

The Players

Massive Chalice – Double Fine

Goal: $725,000
Now: $660,963
Days: 25

When Double Fine invented Kickstarter, or received the code for the website from Mt Sinai (the details are hazy), few could have predicted that even before their first crowd-funded project had been released, another would arrive. It’s here and the cash is almost in hand. It also sounds superb.

…it’s a game of two rather familiar-sounding parts: a strategic part where you – an immortal king battling an invasion of demons – manage your realm, and a turn-based battle where you handle the fighting business of your army of heroes.

Yes please.

Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet! – Alasdair Beckett-King

Goal: £15,000
Now: £7,002
Days: 26

I didn’t exist when RPS emerged from Horace’s nether regions (they’re the parts farthest from all of his other regions) so I shall borrow John’s words to describe The Fowl Fleet, which is a sequel to a game from those distant times.

Only moments after Rock, Paper, Shotgun emerged from Horace’s womb, Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy caught our eye. The 2007 AGS adventure has remained one of the favourite releases from that community, and you can still get it for free now. It’s definitely worth it – a really charming game that shows some proper adventure design chops. So I’m very pleased to see the creator is finally following it up with a full-length sequel.

The pledges are coming in strong.

Rehearsals and Returns – Peter Brinson

Goal: $3,300
Now: $2,450
Days: 26

“This videogame is about conversations that will never take place.” Just like Doom then? Or maybe not. Players collect ‘things to say’ and then meet people that they would almost certainly never meet in their actual lives. Many of them are dead.

The core mechanic of Rehearsals and Returns involves saying something explicitly nice, mean, or wise to various people alive and dead such as Mao Tse Tung, Richard Pryor, Margaret Thatcher, The Pope, Hillary Clinton, Nikola Tesla, Leni Reifenstahl, Tiger Woods, and Rosa Parks.

I don’t know how exactly it’ll work but I want to know. And I want to say nice things to Nikola Tesla.

Armikrog – Pencil Test

Goal: $900,000
Now: $372,824
Days: 25

I never played The Neverhood but John is certainly excited about the idea of the band getting back together, with their claymation crafting tools in hand.

the old gang is making a brand new game, again with animation at its core. And yes, this time stop-motion point and click adventure for PC. YES PLEASE.

I may not have fondled the clay, but I did play Toonstruck. I can’t remember if it was at the Roger Rabbit side of the live action/animation mashup or the shuddersomely terrible Cool World side.

Endica VII:The Dream King – Nick Ridgway

Goal: $1,400
Now: $889
Days: 28

Deja vu. Apart from the addition of a colon, The Dream King is in almost exactly the same position as it was a month ago. How can that be? Closer investigation reveals that though the current total is only a few dollars different, the relaunched Kickstarter page has a goal of $1,400 rather than the original $14,000. Nick is now doing all the work alone, cutting the budget massively. As for the game, it’s still the same: a four-way co-op Mega Man inspired action game, with a large world and plot reminiscent of Symphony of Night. A playable demo is due any day now.


  1. Potocobe says:

    No mention of TUG -The Untitled Game? It succeeded in it’s kickstarter campaign a few days before the end which was May 30th. I’m excited that it did well despite very little hype around it. You might have missed it but I got your back RPS.

    • Koshinator says:

      Agreed, TUG is conspicuously absent – though there are other successful campaigns that weren’t mentioned either – Like perhaps Stonehearth?

      • AlienMind says:

        Contrary to TUG I actually got what the game is about in Stonehearth.

        • tigerfort says:

          Yeah, I thought that looked interesting, too. Don’t know whether they’re accepting paypal now that the Kickstarter is over, but it might still be possible for people to boost them past a few more stretch goals.

          • AngoraFish says:

            Yes, they are still accepting PayPal.

            Phi Dinh, the dev, comes across as a really genuine, gracious guy.

            I’m surprised this didn’t do better.

  2. The Dark One says:

    There was a shocking amount of red in that Nelly Cootalot pitch.

  3. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Wow that Edge review of Doom wasn’t a great read. Otherwise glad to see JA: Flashback and others meet their marks.

    • BTAxis says:

      I thought it was hilarious actually. That reviewer really thought everyone would have stopped caring about Doom in a week or two. Snicker.

    • kwyjibo says:

      That Doom review is fucking hilarious.

      I have never played Doom and thought, “lf only you could talk to these creatures”. What would Molydeux?

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Sounds pretty much spot on, but I never understood its appeal outside of being a tech demo.

  4. golem09 says:

    Are you really not including Darkwood just because it’s indiegogo?
    Or do you keep forgetting the game exists at all?

    I’d also add HEX to the list, a sexy digital Trading Card Game, that wouldn’t be possible with real cards, and will be F2P once it’s out.

      • golem09 says:

        I’ve seen the article. In fact it was even more reason for me to wonder why they didn’t include it here, since I’m used to seeing everythign pop up in the katchups, no matter how much coverage it already had on the site.

    • Branthog says:

      HEX is one of the few games I actually haven’t funded, yet. I always said I’d get tinto TCGs once they mirrored everything about the real world experience (which I’ve never had, either). However, seeing this game . . . I’m not certain how welcoming it may be to players new to both the concept and the specific game.

      I really need to stop, though. I have pledged just shy of $10k as of June 2nd on crowdfunded projects (and paid out over $3k). Every time I say “okay, this is it – no more” something else comes along.

  5. StranaMente says:

    To avoid getting caught in the spam filter I’ll try to divide this comment.
    So, among the winners there are also: Ghost of a Tale (that ended up with €48.700 on a €45.000 goal) and Darkwood, still running with 4 days left and $48.000 on a $40.000 goal. on Indiegogo.

  6. StranaMente says:

    Another campaign still running is the charming Fleish & Cherry in Crazy Hotel on Indiegogo with €4.400 of a €29.000 goal and 32 days still ahead. It’s a fixed funding campaign, so it works just like Kickstarter, meaning that they will take the money only if the goal is met.
    Unfortunately Indiegogo doesn’t let you change your pledge once done (even though you can alway contact the project manager).

  7. Penguin_Factory says:

    I honestly wasn’t sure how people would react to A Hat In Time so I’m super glad to see it met its goal after one day and currently seems to easily be on track to meet all of its stretch goals.

  8. Lordcrazy says:

    You guys also forgot Stonehearth That went well over its goal.

    • BTAxis says:

      It’s also the most promising blocky citybuilder currently in development. There are a few others, such as Gnomoria and Timber and Stone, but they don’t seem to have quite the sense of direction Stonehearth has.

    • Martel says:

      Somehow I hadn’t seen this one yet, thanks for the link. Looks like they’re still accepting Paypal buy-ins even though the kickstarter ended.

  9. malkav11 says:

    Although I appreciate Machine in Motion’s candor about funding their own Kickstarter, I can’t help but feel it was a terrible idea on multiple levels. Firstly, it subverts the purpose and design of the site – you’re meant to pick a funding target that gets you what you need to make your project, and if you don’t hit that, you don’t get the money. Pure and simple. MiM was not going to hit that and shouldn’t have gotten the money. Secondly, if they genuinely needed $20k, and they said they do, they still don’t have enough money to complete the project. It’s all very well and good to bank on good will and preorders, but you can’t, in fact, count on those. Thirdly, Kickstarter projects that fail (as this one did despite collecting the money) provide strong circumstantial evidence that there may not actually be a market for the project, or at least not in its advertised form. Going ahead with it anyway isn’t generally a good idea and certainly isn’t when you’re investing someone else’s money without a guarantee that you’ll be able to deliver.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Absolutely. There’s also the fact that they wasted $800 of their own money in Kickstarter Amazon payments fees to get the rest, so they’re 4% of total funding lower than they were when they said they needed x amount of money.

      I also wouldn’t be surprised if Kickstarter has a program that automatically pledges that provide a large percent of a project’s funding, or pledges over $5000 since this behavior is strictly against the ToS:

      Can I pledge to my own project?
      No. Credit card rules forbid project creators from paying themselves.

      I suspect they’ll be in hot water fairly soon.

      • The Random One says:

        They mention that in the update, and that they believe said part of the FAQ states being unable to fund one’s own project is a technical hurdle and not a Kickstarter-imposed one. I agree that it’s a little fishy though and if Kickstarter doesn’t allow flexible funding style campaigns then I belive there must be a reason. I’ve never had any problems funding flexible funding (uh) campaigns on Indiegogo but I think I’ll be asking them for a refund on this one.

        • malkav11 says:

          Apparently they were wrong – Kickstarter is refunding everyone’s pledges for TOS violation.

  10. abandonhope says:

    Nekro (its Kickstarter anniversary is in a couple days) just landed on Greenlight. Hopefully that means I’ll be playing it soon. New trailer: link to

  11. AlienMind says:

    link to
    link to
    link to
    link to

    Also, please include the DRM status (YES or NO) in the article.

  12. Hugh_Mon says:

    No mention of The Black Tower? FOR SHAME!

    link to

    It’s an 3d (though I think the backgrounds are pre-rendered) indie RPG which takes inspiration from the PSOne generation of RPGs. It looks interesting enough that I really want the campaign to succeed, and with a €330K goal, they need all the help they can get.

  13. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Isn’t the entire website pretty much Kickstarter Katchup now, anyway?

  14. Fomorian1988 says:

    I didn’t exist when RPS emerged from Horace’s nether regions (they’re the parts farthest from all of his other regions)

    Does Horace even have nether regions if he is infinite?

  15. kwyjibo says:

    I know we all hate Japan because they’re a nation of console kids, but this Kickstarter project looks awesome –

    link to

    Instead of getting some poorly coded paint by checklist Minecraft clone, you’ll get a book, and actual research and knowledge will come out of it. The games industry is a terrible archivist, it’s always looking at the shiny and the new. Retro Gamer does well, but other than that – it’s a blank, and things are just lost to time. So let’s write something down for once.

    • cecil1994 says:

      Great, I’m not the only one here interested. Spread the word!

    • Gabe McGrath says:

      I don’t have any complaints with RPS not covering this KS (it’s not PC game related) but if any RPS readers want to read about the people who made most of the amazing arcade games of the 80s, then this book will be “it”.

      John has done amazing work for Retro Gamer (He’s probably got more Japanese arcade devs talking than just about any other Western writer) and I really hope this project succeeds.

  16. misterT0AST says:

    Don’t you dare diss collect-a-thon platformers.
    Don’t you dare.

  17. Muzman says:

    The really funny part about the whole After Earth thing isn’t just Action Heroname, but in a movie starring a father and son team, who play a father and son team in a story about extreme daddy issues, said daddy is named Cypher.
    (I suppose next the kid should really be called Subtext, and M Night Shayamalan has a cameo as a powerful character named Meta)

  18. soulblur says:

    Are gamebooks games? I’m unsure. But Holdfast by Black Chicken Studios (of the Ars Magica kickstarter and Academagia fame), which is a gamebook, got strongly funded. For this, I am excited.

    • NathanH says:

      Gamebooks are definitely games, but perhaps a gamebook on a computer might not be a computer game.

      • BooleanBob says:

        Are books art? Are art books games? Are game books books? Are books books books books books books books books books books books books books books

      • soulblur says:

        Perhaps. I think I play a lot of (maybe) games which are pretty close to gamebooks. Structured narratives? KoDP. Things like Black Chicken Games’ other stuff and Hanako Games. I definitely think it’s a sliding scale.

  19. kincajou says:

    Thank you for coming back with the katchups adam! they’re a pleasure to read

  20. kud13 says:

    No mention of Son of Nor barely making it, just 1k over its goal in the last hours? for shame.

    I get that their campaign may not be as interesting, because a lot of it was gimmick- and additional/experimental hardware based, but I backed it before all that, because I see a type of 3rd person action/platformer in the vein of Soul Reaver that we don’t get enough these days. And when we do, the y don’t perform well enough to stay afloat (RIP, Darksiders series)

  21. Shuck says:

    I hope they have enough money to finish The Kingsport Cases, now. Having to put your own money in is really bad, if for no other reason than you just lost 10% of it. What a mess…

  22. Slinkyboy says:

    Count me out. I tried out Jagged Alliance 2 and the mod everybody is talking about. I loved the first hour of the game, hiring mercs and creating your character, but when it came down to the TBS, I didn’t enjoy it. As a matter of fact, I didn’t enjoy Fallout 1 & 2 either. The graphics-style isn’t attractive to me. I think it’s because I grow up with Nintendo, not a PC until I was 16. I love Baldur’s Gate though :)

    Back to openxcom.

  23. Arvind says:

    Hi everyone, developer of Unrest here.

    For those on the fence about the art style, the new art will look something like this – which in my completely biased opinion, is a lot better looking: link to

    Thanks for the awesome support! :)

  24. Henke says:

    I’d be mad that SPiNTiRES wasn’t on the list if Tim Stone hadn’t already written about it. We have a thread about it on the forum too if anyone wants to discuss it: link to

    10 days and £12 000 to go. Hope it makes it.

    • Alex Ball says:

      I kickstarted this. Love the demo, really hope they make it :)

    • Branthog says:

      I’ve got to say that $31 USD is a bit steep to get a copy of the game on release for a crowdfunding project with a company most people are unfamiliar with. A shame they didn’t make it fall in line with most other projects (even bigger ones with more notoriety) as they probably would have soared past their goal right away and be far over, by now.

  25. Prietix says:

    You forgot AR-K too… link to They got their goal May 27
    It is a Point and Click written by Greg Rucka

  26. Branthog says:

    Yep, as soon as the Kingsport kickstarter closed, I called bullshit on it. They jumped $8,000 with almost no meaningful change in the number of backers in just a few hours. Just received this from Kickstarter:

    Hi there,

    This is a message from Kickstarter Support regarding a recent pledge you made to The Kingsport Cases. Your pledge is being automatically refunded due to self-funding by the creator on this project, which is prohibited on Kickstarter. The refund will be applied to the same payment method you used to make the pledge.

    We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.



  27. Lycandar says:

    Good to see A hat in time doing so well, glad i pledged to it, i really hope they get the wii u support they’re after. Still deciding whether or not to go with massive chalice. If i do, it’ll probably be the $100 pledge because i’d really want to make my own house :P

  28. qwurp says:

    Small little 2D game on Kickstarter where you play as Nikola Tesla and his pigeon battling the Undead and Thomas Edison:

    link to

  29. thulfram says:

    Thanks for bringing back Kickstarter Katchup. Really the highlight of my week! (Sad, yes, I know.)

    Agree with recommendation of Tesla Breaks The World. Who could ask for more? Tesla! Cool art! Humor! Linux. An instant buy for me!