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46

Kickstarter Katchup – June 16th 2013

Ghost with the most

Featured post

Occasionally projects appear that tickle me right in the hype-ocampus. They’re the kind of games I’d like to take out for a drink. I want to get to know them better and feel like I’ve waited my whole life to meet them. It’s awkward when two appear at the same time but thankfully I don’t have to choose a favourite. Frozen State is an open world survival horror RPG with a spooky ecosystem and shades of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. while GhostControl is a ghostbusters management game with turn-based tactical trapping. A good week.

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 Koreless.

The Winners

Dungeon Of Elements – Frogdice

Goal: $20,000
Now: $20,605

I wish I’d seen this one earlier but I’m glad it managed to squeak past its target without the ever-burning gaze of Rock, Paper, Sauron upon it. I’ve been on the lookout for something to replace Puzzle Quest as my podcast accompaniment of choice since the sequels to Puzzle Quest failed to fill that role themselves. Three cheers for Dungeon of Elements then, which looks like it may have the right combination of RPG features, simple puzzles and narrative scaffolding. The original pitch video is below and there are around three days remaining.

Endica VII:The Dream King – Nick Ridgway

Goal: $1,400
Now: $1,470

The Dream King has had an odd couple of months. The project’s first Kickstarter campaign ended far short of a $14,000 goal but the game swiftly returned with a goal that was only a tenth of the original. Some of the stretch goals appear to cover the sort of updates and enhancements that would have been part of the original Kickstarter plans, including improved audio and graphics. The game itself is a co-op side-scrolling RPG inspired by the diverse likes of Final Fantasy, Metroid, Castlevania, Mega Man, and Zelda. A demo is available.

The Players

Frozen State – Snow Arc

Goal: £60,000
Now: £8,573
Days: 25

“Frozen State is a survival based horror RPG, set in a Siberian, post apocalyptic wasteland.” And if that sentence didn’t capture all of my interest, the fact that I was reminded of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. several times while reading the page and watching videos of the pre-alpha would have secured whatever remained. Coming to Windows, Mac and Linux, the game has been in development for almost a year but the team reckon they’ll need around fourteen months and at least sixty thousand pounds to complete their ambitious design. With an open world, weather and day-night cycles, randomised interiors, and tactical combat, Frozen State has the potential to be a vast and compelling experience. Here’s some alpha footage – the enemies currently lack AI.

A Vampyre Story: Year One – William Tiller

Goal: $200,000
Now: $44,572
Days: 14

Did you play A Vampyre Story? I didn’t but I thought John might have done because it’s a point and click adventure and he does love them so. The RPS tag-o-tron finds no results so I checked to see if John had met the vampyre behind Horace’s back (an impossibility, of course), dallying with another website. It appears not, but when I say ‘vampyre John Walker’ to Google, the first result is disturbing. Why does the first paragraph ends with the sound of a comedy trombone? Curious. Don’t worry about that – watch the pitch video for the prequel adventure, which will be a “short, episodic length game”, instead.

GhostControl Inc. – Application Systems/Bumblebee

Goal: £7,500
Now: £4,504
Days: 20

‘X-COM meets the Ghostbusters’ is one of the strongest pitches I’ve ever heard and while that’s not exactly how GhostControl is described on its campaign page, that’s what it looks like. Although ghost hunters can’t die. How can something be compared to X-COM when squad members can’t die, eh? Well, how about this?

We decided we want a fun game and death isn‘t fun. So a way of losing a hunter is for him to be frustrated and leave because you don‘t pay enough or he happens to damage too many things. Or he may go crazy about all the shit he has seen and ends up in an asylum.

Death isn’t fun? Huh. At least they recognise that going crazy and ending up in an asylum is fun.

World of Diving – Vertigo Games

Goal: $75,000
Now: $14,805
Days: 17

I love games that are about being in a place and looking at things. Generally I’m not too upset if there are things to shoot as well, provided there are quiet moments as well. Not enough locations exist simply for the virtual tourist to enjoy, however, so World of Diving should be right up my reef. It’s a diving game! The problem is, the depths of the ocean unnerve me and even at their most colourful and vibrant, I consider them to be places where monsters most likely dwell. That said, World of Diving does appeal, although the thought of playing with the supported Oculus Rift is simultaneously thrilling and horrifying.

Fleish & Cherry In Crazy Hotel – Red Little House Studios

Goal: €29.000
Now: €5.651
Days: 18

When one of the most attractive parts of a game is its art style – in this case, old-timey cartoon design and animation – then updates containing character and location illustrations are most welcome. The latest image contains a line of folks in what looks very much like an illustrated identity parade. I can’t be sure because it’s an incredibly small image. Maybe my navigation of Indiegogo’s gallery is lacking, but I can’t find a version larger enough to make the viewing pay off.

Deus Ex Machina 2 – Mel Croucher

Goal: £64,000
Now: £21,186
Days: 21

Last week, when writing about the sequel to “the first multimedia video game” and “classic 1984 Game Of The Year”, I forgot to mention that every playthrough takes exactly one hour to finish. The journey from conception to death and beyond in one hour? Expect psychedelic environments, prog, Christopher Lee and Ian Dury. For details on what you’d be doing during the hour into which life is condensed, take a look at this update in which ‘gameplay is revealed’.

Void Destroyer – Paul Zakrzewski

Goal: $20,000
Now: $15,982
Days: 15

This space sim/RTS has a playable demo and a commendable approach to communication with backers, potential and actual. There have been thirty updates since the campaign began, including news of a recent podcast appearance on Space Game Junkie. The title of that recording is ‘The Dark Souls of Space Games?’ and if the answer is a ‘yes’, resounding or otherwise, I’ll be tempted to donate the final four thousand dollars myself.

Our Darker Purpose – Avidly Wild Games

Goal: $40,000
Now: $17,514
Days: 11

I continue to be impressed by every sentence and image that appears on Avidly Wild’s Kickstarter page but the sound of the crowd is a murmur rather than a resounding bellow of support. Why are paragraphs like this not bringing in the cash?

In many games, once a room has been cleared, it stays empty. 99% of the time, that’s also true in Our Darker Purpose. The glass children represent an exception — once in a blue moon, they appear in a room that you’ve already cleared and that you consider “safe.” We love mechanics like this because they give the game a chance to surprise the player, and in the process reveal more of Edgewood’s creepy history. We guarantee that after an encounter with them, you will never re-enter a room the same way.

Hurrah for creepy children!

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

Goal: £15,000
Now: £11,969
Days: 12

The Fowl Fleet should be ready to set sail next week or shortly afterwards. Success seems extremely likely for the point and click sequel, which means it’s time to consider stretch goals. The target numbers have been revamped following pledger feedback, and the most eye-catching are Mac/Linux ports and translations.

Armikrog – Pencil Test

Goal: $900,000
Now: $533,457
Days: 11

At this rate, we may never see the claymation successor to The Neverhood but after a trip to Los Angeles for E3, Pencil Test are back on the campaign trail. The first move, as the final ten days draw closer, is to announce full support for three extra languages:

After hearing the requests of our international friends, Armikrog will now be localized in French, Italian, German and Spanish! Localization wasn’t included in our initial funding goal, but we’ve been so impressed with the support we’ve received internationally that we’ve re-prioritized some of our budget to make this happen.

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Adam Smith

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