Space 4X M.O.R.E. Double Dips On Kickstarter

We’ve only mentioned M.O.R.E. once before, a brief nod in 2012 from the dearly departed Kickstarter Katchup when it succeeded in securing funding. It’s a space 4X which developers IdeaLcenter frowningly describe as the first to progress the genre since 1996’s Master of Orion 2, which influences it heavily. Hubris aside, they did rather well, nearly doubling their goal with over $90,000 received.

It turns out that wasn’t enough. Although the originally estimated delivery date of December 2013 has long gone, its developers have launched a second Kickstarter to fund additional content for the game. Hrmm.

IdeaLcenter explained their reasons for going back to Kickstarter in an update to the first campaign. It’s self-aware, admits the original delivery estimate was too optimistic, and keen to stress that the game will be finished either way.

The second Kickstarter outlines what they hope to add with the extra money:

This is our target for this campaign and for this we ask for a little more of your support. We want to make this game as good as possible, by creating some add-ons and new features which will make M.O.R.E. a more complete product. But reaching for your intellect isn’t enough for us. We also want to improve graphics, animations, sound effects, and music as much as we can. Because of that, it would be best to maintain all of our coworkers working on this game for as long as we can, so we will be able to realize most of our ideas.

They’re aiming for an extra $10,000, which will introduce “Deep Space Stations” to the game. There are then a number of stretch goals, which if hit will add those other new features, improved graphics and so on.

Along with the new pitch has been a series of videos, currently on three of eight, posted to the updates page. They’re far more in-depth looks at the systems that are already built into the game, how far along it is and what’s currently being worked on. That’s important to show given the questions about crowdfunding something like this raises: so far the M.O.R.E team haven’t delivered on any of their promises, and needing more money – even if it’s apparently not necessary – suggests mismanagement in some part of the process. It also just feels… icky.

It’ll also be interesting to see how the reality of crowdfunding in 2014 will affect the second campaign. Kickstarter’s an altogether harder place to make money now than it was in 2012. Equally, their low-ball initial target will likely help them over the finish line, but I’d be shocked if they get close to their first result again. $18 will fetch you the game at an Early Bird discount, $22 thereafter, with a revised release date of December 2015.

17 Comments

  1. Artist says:

    Im curious how you calculate additional 10k for another year of development….!

  2. KDR_11k says:

    So the name is appropriate.

  3. Premium User Badge

    BlueTemplar says:

    M.O.A.R.: Featuring a new race of self-aware video game developers always asking for M.O.A.R.!!!
    link to i1.kym-cdn.com

    Jokes aside, this looks more like Space Empires 6 than Master of Orion 4 Master of Orion 2 2, with all the good and all the bad that this implies.

    P.S.: How come you can embed videos in comments, but not images?

    • Ejia says:

      Describing it as SE6 probably does more to recommend it to me than anything else.

  4. Hobbes says:

    Still waiting on some proper journalistic investigation on the double dipping DoubleFine did concerning Spacebase DF-9. Or is that being left to the youtubers?

    • KDR_11k says:

      What’s there to investigate? It’s something to yell about but is there anything to dig up about it?

      • Hobbes says:

        It looks like there may well be, it -seems- that the IndieFund pool plus backers who got involved took a profit share from the sales of Early Access and recouped double their investment from Alpha 1. This pretty much obliterated the funds intended for development of the game, and moved the entirety of the risk related to development costs off of the investors, who cashed out whilst the game was still in early development and onto the backs of the Early Access purchasers.

        There’s sources confirming that the indiefund pool recouped their initial pool investment of 400k within 2 weeks from SEA sales and direct sales, but the terms on the site suggest they then took further payments up to 800k from profit shares on top. From the Alpha, no less. Great profit if you can get it. However nobody outside of the Youtube commentators (TotalBiscuit, Scott Manley, etc) are even -asking the question- if there’s anything of this kind going on because hey, Tim Schafer, GameJournoPros, etcetc.

        • wz says:

          What are the issues here?

          1. Whether Steam Early Access counts as funding or investment in a legal sense.
          Isn’t Early Access money given away without a marketable finished product, and the promise of a return made up from a copy of the finished product if the project succeeds? So I’d say somewhere between charitable funding and investment, possibly investment. Not sure where it stands legally.

          2. Whether these IndieFund investors took profit from another group of funders/inverstors – as opposed to the sales of the finished polished project outcome that the IndieFund investors took a risk on (A risk that entitled them to a full share of the profit under their agreement, no less).

          Steam’s legal people might give some free clarification as to what Early Access is. I assume Early Access purchasers were told of the additional funding in a light that reduced the projects risk. Steam may also take legal action.
          As a result IndieFund may decide to give back the money, as they might be reasonable.

    • evileeyore says:

      Journalism? What journalism? This is a shared blog.

      • wz says:

        The name of the software used for delivery of media on the internet is largely immaterial. RPS is a commercial enterprise and these journalists derive a living full time (and part time) from advertising and subscribers, just like other sites. (No doubt the original post was sarcastic, but it’s a point that should be beyond jest by now even :D)

  5. GabKa says:

    Y.A.W.N

    ;)

  6. Hex says:

    I’m totally turning into an Amplitude fanboy. I want no part of 4X that isn’t Endless Space or Endless Legend.

    • remon says:

      Good for you.

    • Clone42 says:

      Suit yourself. After ~20 hours of Endless Space I want nothing more to do with their lifeless universe, bland diplomacy, meatless (but difficult to read) tech-tree, bare bones ship designer, uninteresting combat, spread-sheet worker-balancing monotony, and form over function UI (have fun exploring all those 6-clicks-deep moons, and figuring out which planets even have them [that’s at least 5 clicks – over and over]). Very slick presentation, and a UI that looks elegant at first (but soon reveals its weaknesses). I liked the Heroes.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I would like to see Amplitude do an Endless Space 2, using the things they learned making Endless Legend a better game. I’d pay full price for that.

    • phanatic62 says:

      Endless Space was okay. I completed one game, but I felt like I had seen all that game had to show. I haven’t played Endless Legend (I scratched my fantasy 4x itch with the Fallen Enchantress games), but the Amplitude game I really enjoy is Endless Dungeon. I bought in pretty early, and I’ve had a great time checking back in every time there’s a significant update.

  7. Telperion says:

    This is why I think it’s absolutely ridiculous to Pledge on software. You just never know what you are going to get, never mind when you might get it. It’s even worse than Early Access, because you only get a little video and some rough concepts. Nothing definitive about a product that’s probably years away from completion, if it ever completes at all.

    Now, board games. Those I Pledge for on a regular basis. They have a finished product, which you can try out yourself, if you can put together some prototype components and read a PDF-rulebook. They are using Kickstarter to cover manufacturing and delivery costs, and use their Kickstarter-campaign as a proof-of-concept, which they can take to retailers – if they so desire. That’s the kind of projects I can get behind.