Kickstarter Katchup – June 9th 2013

I can’t stop thinking about the Deus Ex Machina 2 trailer, which you can see below. Make sure to listen to it as well as looking at it, but also be sure to have some powerful mental mouthwash on hand/ It has taken up residence in my brain and I don’t know how to get it out. Maybe I’ll play a game. I’ve spent the weekend playing something that I first covered when it appeared as a Kickstarter campaign – Expeditions: Conquistador. It’s packed with interesting words and systems, many of which deserve a round of applause. Like many crowd-funded projects, it’s a game with obvious inspirations and heritage, but with a personality that is far removed from the fantasy worlds that are common in the genre. I’ll have more to say about it in the next couple of days. Enjoy the music.

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 Hail Mary Mallon and remembering Iain Banks.

The Winners

Darkwood – Acid Wizard

Goal: $40,000
Now: $57,323

Several people pointed out that I was a meanie for not including Darkwood in last week’s Katchup, even though it looked exactly like the sort of thing I should be including. Weird procedurally generated horror, barricading of doors and windows, lighting effects that make me shiver with delight. Of course, I was wrong to miss Darkwood off the winner’s list because it looks fantastic, but I didn’t neglect it because I’m a ‘meanie’. I’m just forgetful. The game won’t be out until mid-2014 but hopefully I won’t forget about it between now and then.

Massive Chalice – Double Fine

Goal: $725,000
Now: $887,529

When a Kickstarter campaign passes the finish line with three weeks to go, it’s usually time to bring out the rack and prepare for some stretch goals. Massive Chalice is remaining flexible though, ready and willing to stretch, but not in any specific direction.

“The exciting thing about taking the game to you guys at this early stage is that some of your ideas are even better than ours. As we go through pre-production into production, some of these ideas are going to trump ours, leading to a game that’s more in line with what our community wants. That’s amazing and we love having you involved in the process!”

No stretch goals then. Nathan has been learning more about the project and has already shared how one aspect of the game changed due to feedback.

Rehearsals and Returns – Peter Brinson

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

Rehearsals and Returns is a game about ‘imaginary conversations’ with the likes of Ghandi, Thatcher and Tesla. It will involve walking, jumping and collecting, as games so often do, but instead of coins or crystals, the player is hunting for phrases and ideas. The current animations are rather plain but some of the Kickstarter cash will be going into the pocket of Jason Ronzani, an artist and animator whose most recent work you can see below. It’s a three minute short about having a snack.

The Players

Fleish & Cherry In Crazy Hotel – Red Little House Studios

Goal: €29.000
Now: €4.964
Days: 25

Jim wrote the words below when the trembling retro-cartoon imagery of Crazy Hotel appeared on his screen:

“Fleish & Cherry In Crazy Hotel remixes dodgy old 1930s cartoons to produce a game that looks quite unlike anything else I can recall. It’s basically a tribute to that early era of animation, and “will be full of details and tributes to the history of animation and to the great artists of the time like Walt Disney, Ub Iwerks, Max Fleischer or Friz Freleng”.”

I say he ‘wrote’ those words but many of them were clearly copied from the developer’s website. You won’t catch me cutting corners by copying and pasting.

Deus Ex Machina 2 – Mel Croucher

Goal: £64,000
Now: £12,817
Days: 28

I’m not sure if the title is supposed to be written in BLOCK CAPITALS, but even if it is, I’m not going to shout it at you, especially because at least 90% of people will immediately assume there’s a Deus Ex: Not An iPad Game Kickstarter, which will cause them to grab JC Denton and cram him back onto their hard drive. The original Deus Ex Machina predates Denton’s cyber-shenanigans though. It came out in 1984 and was an art-game before art-games existed. I never played it but if it’s anything like the sequel, which is apparently almost finished, it was absolutely bonkers. A virtual journey through life, from conception to death and then a bit more. Is it a bit like Rez, but with more sperm-swimming and anti-establishment bashing of The Man? Possibly. The mad cherry on top of the deranged cake is the presence of Christopher Lee’s voice. Actually, no, that’s the icing. The cherry is Ian Dury’s voice, remixed from his 1984 recording. Watch the trailer – it’s like a concept album with an interactive music video about a naked bum having a nightmare.

Void Destroyer – Paul Zakrzewski

Goal: $20,000
Now: $12,538
Days: 22

There was a time when the Katchup was mostly full of space, with the occasional ship zipping about the place. The number of space sims and cosmic RTS games has declined, or perhaps it’s just that I don’t pay as much attention to all of the new ones that are seeking the power of the crowd. Void Destroyer stands out because it isn’t a spaceship sim or a strategy game – it’s both. In some Goldblum-like mishap, two genres have become fused, although hopefully their most intimate parts haven’t fallen off. Imagine if the poor game’s tacticles fell off and had to be stored in a jar! Check out the playable demo to see if the hybrid has survived the transition.

Our Darker Purpose – Avidly Wild Games

Goal: $40,000
Now: $15,255
Days: 18

A quaint school with a Gorey past. A series of mysterious events. A vanishing of adults. The strange and dark world of Edgewood is a fantastic setting for a game and Avidly Wild are taking inspiration from some splendid quarters. Early Zelda and The Binding of Isaac are the main touchstones but it’s the world-building and writing that could make Our Darker Purpose stand out from the crowd-funding crowd. Take the story of Frothy the Dragon:

There’s general disagreement about what exactly went wrong with Frothy the Cardboard Dragon during last year’s Winter Musical. Most believe that the dragon was intended to remain stationary, that it had a relatively minor role in the production, and that red cellophane would have been just as effective as actual fire. Sadly, the enterprising student who originally designed the beast was consumed by his own creation moments before the theater was evacuated.

No one knows where the dragon went after leaving the auditorium, or whether it is still somewhere on the grounds. The Administrators gleefully described the incident as a “remarkable occurrence that stood out in an otherwise unremarkable semester.”


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

Goal: £15,000
Now: £9,626
Days: 19

The Fowl Fleet had a strong opening week but has only raised two thousand pounds since last Sunday. It may be a sequel with a ready-made fanbase, but with the original game being a 2007 AGS release rather than an annual foot-to-ball or war-to-face extravaganza, the waiting masses probably number in the thousands rather than the billions. Even though I didn’t play Spoonbeaks Ahoy, I’m clambering on board ship for Nelly’s next adventure, mainly because I think this is the first campaign I’ve seen that uses the word ‘poo’:

Vogel Island is home to the world’s largest collection of birds. Swans, pelicans, toucans, ducks and, of course, spoonbeaks are all nestled together in one place. It’s an ornithological paradise, and cleaning up the poo is a blinking nightmare.

Armikrog – Pencil Test

Goal: $900,000
Now: $477,833
Days: 18

The spiritual successor to claymation caper Neverhood is creeping toward its goal and Pencil Test have been sharing some of their early work this week. The game’s protagonists, Tommynaut and Beak-Beak, crash onto an alien planet, as shown in this comic strip. After the crash, they meet the Mongrel, a creature with a carnivore with a useful contraption where its tonsils should be. The animatic is below.

Endica VII:The Dream King – Nick Ridgway

Goal: $1,400
Now: $1,290
Days: 21

The playable demo for Endica VII is now available. The game is inspired by Mega Man and Symphony of the Night, but has co-op leanings. Online functionality is not supported in the demo.

Here are the confirmed details: 2-Player Co-op and Versus same screen local multiplayer. There have been a few major changes to the project since the first kickstarter launched April 25th. The name has changed to Endica, the game has gone down to $9.99, and the confirmed maximum player amount is two for now. (This however is likely to change depending on each platform from 1 to 4 players maximum. I will keep you posted on the details concerning this.)


  1. rustybroomhandle says:

    We just launched an Indiegogo for our first-person point & click sci-fi noir adventure, The Maker’s Eden. Doing some fun things with the graphical style too!

    Doesn’t qualify for the Ketchup due to it using flexible funding (all reasoning explained on the Igg page), but we shan’t be running off with anyone’s money to buy booze, honest. :)

    Anyhoo, find it here: link to

  2. JediEagle says:

    Huh, I was sure that AVS will be in this article. What the fudge? Anyway, here’s the link: link to

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      I remember looking forward to the original AVS in 2007/8-ish, but sadly never got around to playing it. Reviews were mixed but daaang the art is gorgeous.

  3. pertusaria says:

    I’m really glad Expeditions is going to get a write-up. I’m not very far into it at all (the weather here is remarkably good), but it looks like it’s going to be great.

    • Jimbo says:

      The second (/main) campaign is hugely disappointing unfortunately. The game has a solid start, but you’ll have seen pretty much everything it has to offer by the time you leave Hispaniola.

      The ending is a Fable 3 level of bad.

  4. Arvind says:

    The developer of Unrest here. I’m extremely thankful for the great levels of support, and we’ve made a new art style for our unconventional ancient Indian RPG (marketing!) – it’s hand painted, you may like it if you found the earlier visuals an eyesore.

    Oh also, we’ve hit a bunch of stretch goals and are near to the ones where we get to add shaders for all the pixels (not to mention a new chapter where you play as a Naga). Check it out: link to

    • StranaMente says:

      Thank you, I’m interested in the game, but I admit I didn’t particularly like the art style. Do you have, by chance, any new image for the characters too?

      • Arvind says:

        My artist minions are hard at work, we will have some images in a couple of days. It’ll be done in a similar style to the new backgrounds.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Love the look of the game, and $10 is a surprisingly good price. I’ll pledge if I have the money near the end.

    • b0rsuk says:

      I really like the music.

  5. zebramatt says:

    Conspicuously disappointed not to see this sci-fi bounty hunting tabletop card & dice game get a mention:

    ~Hunters of Arcfall~
    link to

    I’d really like to see it made cos I NEEDS IT IN ME LIFE!

    Sadly pledges have slowed right down, and there’s only 10 days to go…

    • tigerfort says:

      Is it perhaps just possible that it didn’t get mentioned because it’s a board/card game, not a video one for these newfangled personal computer thingies?

      That said, I’d definitely like to see a RPS-katchup style weekly summary of board/card games, whether here or somewhere like SUSD.

    • thulfram says:

      I agree with @zebramatt. It would be great to cover some of the Kickstarter boardgames, especially since Kickstarter seems to lump boardgames and videogames together anyway. Hunters of Arkfall sounds like a cool game whether it be video or card. I’m happy that Katchup is now more frequent, but it would be cool to include boardgames (isn’t there somebody who does boardgame reviews on the RPS site?).

  6. ZIGS says:

    How weird, one of the voice actors in Deus Ex Machina 2 is the Portuguese Joaquim de Almeida. I wonder how that came about (although he did do some voice work on the excellent Chronicles of Riddick game before)

  7. daphne says:

    A mention of Son of Nor meeting their 150k goal by 1k would have been nice, especially considering RPS overlooked them last week. Certainly more notable than a Double Fine kickstarter meeting its goal, I’d say.

    • loquee says:

      Yep, I was also asking myself why it wasn´t covered, especially since it had an article of its own on rps.
      However, I am looking forward to it. Also curious how the mind control feature will feel (I hope I can borrow one of these devices somewhere to tet it)

  8. flyz says:

    Combat Cats was also looked over this week and last week. Only needs $550 till funded!

    link to

    (Windows/Mac/Linux plus phone support..but if this is the reason it was looked over, why have articles been done on 10000000 and puzzle quest? — Very similar games that both have phone versions!)

  9. GameCat says:

    Rehearsals and Returns seems to somewhat stole (since they have playable build it’s rather me stealing from them :( ) my idea for game where player is obtaining informations and then use it to interact with NPCs (but in my case in real-time).

    At least now I know that I can make successful kickstarter campaign.

  10. BurningPet says:

    Ill add this here:
    link to

    Dungeon Dwellers is a spiritual successor to Dungeon Keeper.

    Now, you might say that there’s already such a game that was successfully kickstarted some time ago called War of the Overlord, but there’s a difference between the two, a difference that, in my opinion, makes Dungeon Dwellers a more promising and faithful successor to the spirit, rather than to the mechanics, of Dungeon keeper.

    Dungeon Keeper great promise and theme was in the building and managing of an underground evil dungeon, and while it got the building right, it completely neglected the managing aspect.

    Dungeon Dweller is adding a production lines system such that can be found in the Settlers or the Anno series. what that means, is that not only you will have to build a dungeon, you will have to build a self sufficient dungeon, one with emphasis on synergies between monsters, between monsters and resources, and between monsters and your enemies.

    Some monsters will like other monsters, some will hate others, some monsters will like to reside deep, some will prefer the outskirts of the dungeon, some will prefer raw meat, some will prefer to chew on corpses and some will love beer. you will not just collect gold or have a farm to feed all your monsters, you will need to turn harvested wheat into flour and then haul it to a bakery to make bread, or, mix with water pumped from the river and make beer through a brewery, which means monsters will travel back and forth and materials will not be arbitrary numbers, but “physical” objects.

    This is basically how it goes. a better, deeper, production and managing aspect of the dungeon. one that force you to think where to place rooms, which monsters to bring and where and what production to focus on.

    Not just building a tower defense dungeon, but actually building a lair of living, underground evils, all with their own affiliations toward each other.

    The developer behind it sound enthusiastic about making games in a cute, nerdy way, that is, to my eyes, the core spirit that drive indieness. the fact that he seem more than capable is another bonus. all in all, i see no reason not to back this one up and i already threw my 30$+ something toward it.

    • BTAxis says:

      Caution though, flexible funding.

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        Considering how much he has done thus far without the funding, this seems like a non-concern.

      • Trinnet says:

        Agreed – much as I’d love a modern version of Dungeon Keeper I’d be very wary of backing this one – it’s been up a month and only made $1,600, and flexible funding means you’ll still be charged when it doesn’t hit it’s goal.

        There’s a very good reason the Katchup doesn’t feature ‘flexible funding’ projects – exercise caution with this one.

        • BurningPet says:

          Usually, i would agree. but here, i have a feeling its just a case of a programmer not knowing how to promote himself. also, if you want to support him, what does it matter if he reach a preset goal or not?

          yes, he would still develop the game anyway, but with additional funds, he could have additional features, hire modelers so he could free himself to program, get sound designers, artists, etc etc.

          • Trinnet says:

            also, if you want to support him, what does it matter if he reach a preset goal or not?

            If you just want to give him money then flexible funding’s fine. If you back the project so that he can achieve the thing the project’s trying to accomplish then flexible funding’s really problematic.

            His campaign is to allow him to work on the game full time, with the aim of finishing it within a year.

            If he doesn’t hit his funding goal, then that doesn’t happen. Instead he’ll work on the game in his spare time.

            And this is where flexible funding kicks backers in the teeth. What they backed was a game they’d get in about a year, made by a guy who was committed to the project because he was working on it full time.

            But if the funding goals aren’t met then they’re backing a game which’ll be made in three years, by a guy who’s making it in his spare time.

            Would they still have backed a project which’ll take three years? Would they still have been as confident that it’d be completed if they’d known it’d be done over a longer timeframe by a guy devoting a significant chunk of his spare time to it?

            Doesn’t matter. It’s too late. We’ve reached the ‘switch’ part of the bait & switch.

            That might seem harsh, but that’s really what flexible funding does – it promises backers one thing, and gives them another. That’s why it’s always a bit sketchy when people tick that box instead of the normal one.

    • InternetBatman says:

      This would be a great candidate for a purchasable alpha.

  11. Theon says:

    Deus Ex Machina doesn’t look very professional (althogh it certainly sounds the bit), but it seems very interesting.
    Also, I think I might be slightly in love with Saruman/Charlemagne’s voice.

    • hatseflats says:

      Same here. I looked at the video, with no intention of pledging, I still don’t know anything about the project, yet I pledged. It is crazy awesome.

      • phlebas says:

        Indeed. Also, awesome crazy.
        The original was distinctive, beautiful, witty, sad, a little bit broken as a game and not really like anything else before or since. Also, some great tunes. It prefigured the CD/DVD multimedia era – the soundtrack was on a tape, with instructions on the tape and screen to pause and play to get them in sync. Really something special. I’m very excited for the new one.

  12. mwoody says:

    Is “Cootalot” intended to sound tremendously dirty, or is that a regional thing?

    • Bhazor says:

      I was going to say Nelly Cootalot: Fowl Fleet sounded like an MLP reference and I am not sure which of us is worse. I think it’s you.

    • Jackablade says:

      I think it’s pretty harmless – a coot is a water bird kinda like a moor hen.

      • AlienMind says:

        In Dexters Laboratory “Cooties” are “female germs”.

        • mwoody says:

          It’s actually a term for lice, it’s just most kids don’t understand that and use it to describe a vaguely infectious disease. It’s an extremely common term in the US.

    • SD says:

      Well, M Woody…

      I dunno if I would say “tremendously” dirty. As you note, regionally “cooter” can refer to lady bits, at least in the U.S. (mostly southern, if I recall, but a common vulgar term nonetheless). That said, “cooter” can also refer to certain amphibian life (turtle). Also, as mentioned next to this comment, “coot” can refer to waterfowl. It also is a common U.S. colloquialism for a simpleton, or idiot (pardon my misinformed etymology if in fact this usage of “coot” reaches beyond the States).

      So, out of a few definitions, most being either semi-aquatic related or comically insulting, only one is vaguely crass, and (as noted) probably regional. That said, who the hell am I to say for sure?

      Also, the project creator is a ginger…

  13. Bhazor says:

    Best thing about Christopher Lee is that he’s clearly just stopped caring what people think about his work and is just doing whatever he thinks might be a bit of a laugh.

    For example link to

  14. RobF says:

    The original Deus Ex Machina is one of my favourite videogame things. It’s the prog-rock album as videogame or the videogame as prog-rock album or something somewhere between the two. It’s absolutely off its box mental and a glorious thing to ever have existed, especially considering it existed in 1984 at a time when we didn’t have all these ideas of what the medium definitely was and what was/wasn’t a game/call the game police oh my.

    I’m a tad disappointed that Mel couldn’t get a better art team behind the reboot though, as excited as I am for the reboot/return, it doesn’t half look janky. I’ll admit, I was sort of hoping the Kickstarter would be for better art but oh well.

  15. Hanban says:

    Yay for Void Destroyer!

  16. jozeph says:

    I’ve found another cool game. It’s called Frontiers. It’s an exploration and survival game. Have a look at link to

    • mwoody says:

      Interesting… I’m not sure I buy that it will hold my interest, though, as it’s basically “Daggerfall without combat.”

      What IS interesting is that their Indiegogo page indicates they’re abandoning Indiegogo, and will start a Kickstarter June 16th. Haven’t seen that before.

      EDIT: Wait, maybe I’m misunderstanding. It’s not without combat, it’s without leveling, I think.

  17. NaySayersBegone says:

    Super excited to see Massive Chalice funded. I am really looking forward to this one. I like their take on strech goals. The Tides of Numeria kickstarter left a really bad taste in my mouth with regard to strech goals – “Just another 20 k$ for a more reactive and interesting world!”

    Another interesting project with a healthy approach (IMO) to strech goals is the Stomping Land (link to People were complaining that he didn’t include many strech goals and his response was along the lines of
    “I appreciate the desire to have this game to be as big as it can possibly get. However I am completely content with it’s current standing relative to my original expectation. Having a modest budget will maintain a modest vision which is essential to any effort.”

    I think that is a good attitude to have. Now whether the game will be any good or not is a different story :)

  18. Phantom_Renegade says:

    Can an aspect of a game really be said to have changed if they’re not even past the concept phase? Right now it’s a couple of ideas and two pieces of art. A good couple of ideas to be sure, but they don’t exactly have a complete vision ready.

  19. qwurp says:

    link to

    Nikola Tesla + Inventions in a 2D puzzle platformer.

  20. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I didn’t know that Iain Banks is dead. :(

    • kincajou says:

      Same here! sad news, although for me most of his novels were hit and miss he was one of the better space opera authors around the place :(

    • AngoraFish says:

      vale, one of the greatest writers of our time.

  21. Zeewolf says:


  22. Imbecile says:

    Obviously its not a computer game, but it is a game thats mid kickstarter. It kinda already exists, but I can recommend it to anyone whos interested in ccgs. If Netrunners the Gold standard for two player, then Shadowfist (imo) is the pinnacle of multiplayer ccgs. Its great :P

    link to