Cartailed: MotorGun Kickstarter Cancelled

Back in the garage, little man

Pixelbionic’s Kickstarter for vehicular carslaughter game MotorGun was curtailed twelve hours ago, having reached only 10% of their requested donations at $63,120 out of $650,000. Previous Interstate ’76 developers Michael Kaufman and Mike Arkin said in a post last night:

“Kickstarter is a harsh mistress. Lots of projects are pitched to the community and sometimes they resonate and sometimes they don’t. In this case, what we were pitching wasn’t exactly what you guys wanted. So, as a result we’re making the tough decision to not drag it out, and we’re going to cancel the campaign and start working to reformulate it.”

The game was intended to be a team-based goal-oriented combat multiplayer, where the Mad Max-based battle arenas would provide a place for modes such as Capture the Flag. You would also be able to customise and strip down your vehicles for speed or build them up for tanking. Sadly the game as it stood will not be coming to our desktops any more.

The post put up last night also outlines the team’s plans to reformulate another Kickstarter for the same idea. Though losing out on money to bring something creative to fruition is always a sad thing, part of me is quite critical of this idea to try again, given that their theme is ‘cars with guns’. Though many ideas on Kickstarter are sentimental hark-backs through well-driven territory, there’s always something interesting you can do with a twist in narrative or a new innovation or slant on an old brand. MotorGun’s successor needs something original to set it down the right dirt track.

Twisted Metal creator David Jaffe, who was also involved with the project, perhaps inadvertently points out what might be a big problem with the game idea when he talks about MotorGun in the Kickstarter video: “When you think about the idea of…big heavy cars…and missile launchers mounted, that’s just as exciting to me now as it’s always been.” Is it perhaps that the game playing public is not excited by that any more? If so, Pixelbionic may have to spend a little time rethinking their next proposition.


  1. Keyrock says:

    “When you think about the idea of…big heavy cars…and missile launchers mounted, that’s just as exciting to me now as it’s always been.”

    The clear solution is obviously sharks with missile launchers mounted on them.

  2. wodin says:

    I’d like to see a turn based tactical game like car wars..with customisation..rpg elements etc etc..I reckon auto duel would play much better as a top down tactical game..

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      Waltorious says:

      There is already a game that is much like what you describe. It’s called Dark Wind:

      link to

      (Please not that I have not played Dark Wind myself, I’d just read about it somewhere)

      • wodin says:

        Great game Darkwind..I hope Darkwind 2 comes about with an offline single player campaign. The game engine really nails the racing and it’s great gory fun. However I was thinking of going alittle simplier with standard top down view..which would cut back on graphic expense (still have it looking lovely but be able to customise your car\cars from paintwork to body to weapons)..destructible environment..add an RPG up the world by having police forces..gangs..motor bike gangs..mercenary’s..move from realtime to turn based combat mode if say your travelling down a highway to another city you drive in realtime but as soon as your jumped it goes into the turn based combat mode. This mode will have to have alot of work on as it whats to be the best part of the game..needs to feel right as I said Darkwind really get it perfect as it truly feels like a tactical combat game in a car, now DW uses a physics based engine so again I reckon it could be done simpler by looking at some of the great racing boardgame mechanics..Anyway the game would have not just fighting happening it city streets (think Sunday driver car Wars expansion pack) but also have the arenas and wastelands etc etc. Put alot of effort into the cars and engines and tires\suspension and all that to make it feel different whilst driving. Have lots of car\bike choices.

        Oh as a side thought I always thought Darkwind engine would be great if you add a Z axis and turn it into a WW1 tactical air combat game with RPG elements.

  3. ZIGS says:

    Couldn’t David Jaffe easily bankroll the 650k needed?

    • RedViv says:

      I don’t think that has anything to do with how you Kickstart when even a guy with a three million dollar apartment can start a two million oh-so-indie Kickstarter and insult English right with the title.

    • Moraven says:

      He could be already being chipping in a portion and they want/need more to fund it. Zach Braff got this a lot for his movie KS. Another thing is nowadays external investment might only come if they have a successful Kickstarter first.

    • frightlever says:

      Isn’t the beauty of Kickstarter that you get “fans” to pay for the development up front so you don’t have to risk your own money? I mean, sure, the idea was for struggling artists to get funding they couldn’t find anywhere else but Capitalism tends towards the path of least resistance. It’s a good thing that they didn’t self-fund because the market has spoken and people don’t want to buy what they’re selling.

      • Moraven says:

        I think they should be upfront how much is already being self-funded. If people know how much is already invested into it they might be more willing to back it.

        Kickstarter is also become a glorified pre-order system and helps to gauge how much interest is in your game. Not enough interest, maybe try a new game. Everyone seems to try for 2 KSs first before they completely give up. A big part of it also is knowing how to launch a Kickstarter campaign, which a lot of people still do not know how to do.

        • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

          Is becoming?

          Nerds with ideas and nothing more and erm….ah yes preorders, that’s Kickstarter!

  4. Moraven says:

    These developers don’t get it, we want single player campaigns for reboot type games. I can understand multiplier mode is cheaper to develop, but we do not want it. There are to many good multiplier only games that have no scene anymore because there are to many games to compete against, not all have mass appeal and developer support runs dry after awhile.

    Heavy Gear also failed because of this.

    I think Mechwarrior Online is successful due to the larger following Battletech and the Mechwarrior multiplayer scene has stayed alive through Mechwarrior 3/4 and the Crysis mod. Heavy Gear and Interstate 76′ were not multiplayer games and why people remember them.

    And by reformulate they mean ask for 50% less money and still come out with the same game.

    • Oozo says:

      Yeah. When I first heard about this campaign, I thought for a few happy moments that this could be the “Road Game” Jim once wrote about come true. I mean, it’s the Interstate guys! The idea of what they could be able to achieve with today’s technology got me pretty excited. The post-apocalyptic setting was… ok, I thought.
      Then I heard that it was basically Destruction Derby with guns, and I lost all interest. I wonder if the project I fantasized about would have been more successful.

    • drewski says:

      But AI is *hard*.

  5. frightlever says:

    I don’t know that many people want to play niche multiplayer games, particularly as the servers can be kinda lonely after a couple of months. I’m struggling to remember the name of the game but there was a combat racer came out about 2-3 years ago that sank without trace. Actually, there was a Russian one as well. So that’s at least two in the last few years that didn’t catch on. Maybe this could have been different, but was Interstate 76 really best remembered for the Deathmatch or for the campaign?

    EDIT: Death Rally and Post Apocalyptic Racing were the ones I was thinking of.

    • jonahcutter says:

      Make it SP and it probably would of received more interest.

      You can play a SP game, put it down for 6 months or a year, and come back to the same experience. Not likely true for a niche MP game.

    • Baines says:

      That’s why I like two, and particularly four, player split-screen multiplayer. I can still play the game three months after release, as long as I have friends. That’s not true for some of the many online multiplayer games. (It’s also why I miss bots.)

      But, to be fair, split-screen just doesn’t seem to work that well on PC for some reason. And less fair, too many people vocally don’t want or even openly oppose the implementation of split-screen. (They do have reasons to oppose it. It does take time and resources to implement.) Everyone screams for online multiplayer, saying that local multiplayer is useless to them. And then they don’t buy the game, or three months after release they no longer play it online. (And you end up with online being useless to everyone.)

  6. kwyjibo says:

    It’s almost like people don’t like car-shooters, and don’t want to pay for them, and don’t want to play them.

  7. kwyjibo says:

    The last car-shooter to successfully Kickstart, and even get to a release – Ravaged.

    link to

    No one plays it.

    • The Random One says:

      Ravaged ain’t a car shooter, it’s a shooter with cars. Closer to Battlefield than Twisted Metal.

      It’s also pretty bad, but holy shit. A peak of 12 players?

  8. engion3 says:

    I think my 50+ playthroughs of twisted metal 2 as a child ruined me. I no longer have a desire for cars with guns.

    • Baines says:

      I have a desire for cars with guns, but no one wants to make Twisted Metal 2-2.

      Even Twisted Metal: Head-On, the supposed modern recapturing of Twisted Metal 2, was nothing but a Twisted Metal Black reskin. It had TM2’s car designs, but the level design and engine were all Black. It’s kind of like modern FPS versus classic FPS. TM2 was about sometimes ludicrous speed and control leading to fast paced action in small arenas. Black was about “realistic” car physics in giant arenas.

      “Realism,” 256 shades of brown/grey, and the other ills of modern FPS have the same effect on modern car combat. Possibly worse for modern car combat, because at least there are a lot of FPS still being released, so there is still a measure of competition and you have a chance of finding something you like. I watched the video of MotorGun and saw a game that simply looked boring and bland.

  9. analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

    To be fair the cost of Petrol at the moment won’t have helped. My ‘Selling Red Diesel as Biodiesel to Total Fuckin’ Idiots’ Kickstarter if successful may well help their cause. Mind that knock at my door could well be the next ‘Call of Duty’

  10. TheMick says:

    Just logged in to say +1000 for ‘cartailed.’ *golf clap*

  11. Michael Fogg says:

    I’76 was the shit. But mostly due to the brilliant interweaving of story and gameplay. Trying to rework the formula as a multiplayer arena combat game makes me want to reach for my .45.

    • Keyrock says:

      That’s the thing. If they were looking to make another game in the vein of Interstate ’76, I wouldn’t be able to throw my money at them fast enough. What it sounds like is that they were instead making something like another Twisted Metal, and while I loved Twisted Metal 2 back in the day, I’m just not looking for that right now.

  12. dareth says:

    oh my god how did i never hear of this? I76 was one of my favorite games of all time! Obviously they needed more coverage! Dang. I want to give them all my money, and too late.

  13. malkav11 says:

    I’m glad to see there seems to be a general consensus that what’s wanted is singleplayer, both here and in the comments on that update. I know it’s what I was looking for, and why I didn’t back this project.

  14. FuzzieBoy says:

    If anyone here is interested in a good and actually challenging combat racer (I know this is more combat car arena, but the genres aren’t that far apart), Gas Guzzlers Combat Carnage ended up as a surprisingly awesome game, I really do recommend it, especially if you have a pad

  15. dagudman says:


  16. MadTinkerer says:

    Well I didn’t back it for the same reason I haven’t backed the last dozen or so Kickstarters I wanted to back but didn’t: Money is tapped out for this month.

    I’m happier than ever with Kickstarter in general, thanks to Shadowrun Returns “returning” today. But until I can become a successful Indie developer myself, or a job with a better salary falls out of the sky and hits me on the head, I can’t afford to back everything I want to.

    I suspect a lot of people are in the same position. I understand fully that some projects do require a budget in the six digit range, and wish more of them were successful. But sometimes the pool of backers interested in a particular project only has five digits for that month.

  17. Vexing Vision says:

    I loved Interstate 76. I really enjoyed Twisted Metal. But not for most of the reasons touted in MotorGun.

    It was the atmosphere, the stories, the setting. The ability to play a single player campaign. To have gloriously twisted maps in Twisted Metal (Paris’ subway was amazing, as was driving through a mall).

    I do not want my cars with guns to be online competitive multiplayer only.

    Give me a decent single-player campaign WITH a multiplayer mode (and leave me alone with yer team-based madness but give me good, old-fashioned free-for-all deathmatching and private servers) and you’ll have more of my money than I can afford to give.

  18. Werthead says:

    INTERSTATE ’76 was fantastic, but I remember the sequel being completely awful (though I don’t remember if it was the same guys on). 14 years on, that’s still enough to make me cautious about the idea.

  19. Tuco says:

    Make it more like Interstate 76, with a proper single player campaign and a charming setting, and less “generic multiplayer combat arena” and I will buy it in a heartbeat.

  20. warthog2k says:

    Haven’t read the post, but had to log in simply to applaud the use of ‘Cartailed’ in the title.