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Kickstarter Katchup - 15th September 2012

Games wot aren't made

As you watch the vast sums of money being poured into games that don't exist yet, you can then wonder at the finances of the world and ask yourself confusing questions. There are two utterly massive million-makers below, along with the usual happy-go-lucky attempts to raise more modest sums. And remember, reading the rules before whinging in the comments makes you far less likely to be stuffed full of bombs!

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 above) 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.
  • 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.
  • No more than three school children in the Katchup at any time.

The Winners

Homestuck Adventure Game - MS Paint Adventures

It's pretty odd being on the outside of the Homestuck phenomenon. Not having followed the web series, I - like many others - wasn't aware just how big of a thing it is. The proposal to turn it into an adventure game makes that pretty clear. Aiming for a massive $700,000 (more than most the pro adventure developers have pitched for, it's worth noting) it had already smashed through that in a week, and with almost three weeks left is currently on an extraordinary $1.25m. That's from 12,600 pledgers, making the mean pledge around $100.

Camden - Gamesmith

Gamesmith's plan to make a series of Kickstarted games is off to a good start. Their first project, a gor-blimey-guvnor London-based tile-based game has made 150% of its aims with $15,169 at the finishing post.

Island Forge - Potential Games

Aw, the little MMO that could! After looking so shaky for so long, it still needed nearly half its money with five days to go. And because apparently all Kickstarter projects are like Disney basketball movies, everyone waited until then to fund the island-making game. It finished $556 over its $4,000 target.

Expeditions: Conquistador

Another one that went down to the thinnest of wires, but eventually those last-minute funding elves showed up and pushed the strategy/RPG over its $70,000 ambitions by another $7k. That left them falling short of any stretch goals, but after such a painstaking run I'm sure they're just delighted to have the funding.

The Losers

Harmonia - Baroque Studios

The RPG never really got rolling, but the team plan to try to dedicate a couple of hours a day to the game to keep it going without the funding.

Deozoa: Legends Of Eden - Ignis Studios

Very strange one, this. With two weeks still to go, and $13,437 of their $75k goal raised, they pulled the plug themselves. The awfully-similar-to-Pokemon monster hunter was certainly raising funds slowly, but as you can see above there are plenty of projects that make their target from this point. But here's the thing - suggestions from backers have made them realise they could finish the game for far less funding. "A fraction" they say. So they plan to implement some of these new ideas, then come back with a new Kickstarter. Interesting journey.

The Players

Project Eternity - Obsidian Entertainment

Goal: $1,100,000
Now: $799,080
Days: 31

There couldn't be a bigger headline Kickstarter game. The team behind Planescape: Torment want to make an RPG in that traditional style, party-based, old-school combat, and with mature content. And on only its second day it would a huge surprise if it didn't reach its massive $1.1m funding. I got up less than an hour ago and it was on $780,000 after just 14 hours. Now it's on $799,000. By the time this article goes up, goodness knows. When something's making $20,000 in an hour - an hour when most of America has gone to bed, and most of Europe hasn't woken up - this could empty the planet's banks by the time it's month-long run is over. Kicktraq sees it trending toward nearly $13m. That seems extremely unlikely, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see this clock over $4m by the time it's done.

Worlds Beyond - chaOs

Goal: $20,000
Now: $3,358
Days: 20

A 2D pixel RPG about the end of the world promises believable character writing, "a unique sci-fi storyline". It also appears to feature very old-school SNESy combat. But oh my goodness indies, get a decent mic to record your videos!

Pro Pinball: Revived & Remastered - Silverball Studios

Goal: $400,000
Now: $67,002
Days: 20

They've doubled their pledges in the last week, but it's hard not to worry that they set their sights a touch high for a pinball game. Silverball plan to revive their Pro Pinball license, but I can't help wish they'd set a more realistic goal for such a niche genre. Take a look at their earliest demo.

10,000 Hours - Tiger Sheep

Goal: $5,000
Now: $2,105
Days: 13

A company that makes their money creating tutorial videos for business software has a lot of spare time on their hands. So they plan to make a game within it. They want to test the theory that it takes 10,000 hours to master something, by, er, giving you the stuff they make? Um, I don't get it. Maybe you will from the video. Every $10 you back earns you 1000 hours' worth of the content they create, but I'm not sure how this makes us master anything.

Conclave - 10x10 Room

Goal: $75,000
Now: $32,535
Days: 7

Another $8k added on to the RPG inspired by table-top gaming, designed to be played asynchronously from browsers. There's still a very long way to go, and there's only a week to do it in. This one's going to need a push.

MORE - IdeaLcenter

Goal: $50,000
Now: $22,071
Days: 43

People really want those 4X space strategies, don't they? $14,000 raised this week puts it just shy of halfway there, but with a month and a half to go there's plenty of time to get there. They're aiming to make the successor to Masters Of Orion 2 they've been waiting for for years.

The Epic Space Game - Edward Melville

Goal: $20,000
Now: $4,862
Days: 6

Not all space games are as popular, however. This top-down 2D shooter, that’s also a sandbox MMO, and space trading game, is struggling, only a quarter of the way to its goal with less than a week left.

Pangenic - The Dada Factory

Goal: $45,000
Now: $3,031
Days: 20

Victorian scientists were famous for their turn-based combat, and that's what is being represented here. The hand-drawn art makes for an excellent look, and they're aiming for Winter next year.

Chris Taylor's Arakion - Chris Taylor

Goal: $25,000
Now: $10,221
Days: 21

Chris Taylor - no, not that one... no, not that one either - has made an amazing $10k this week for his first-person group-based RPG, set on floating platforms in a strange magical world.

Portas Aurora: Arrival - Daniel Randall

Goal: $25,000
Now: $231
Days: 13

Not much love has been shown to this self-described sci-fi RPG. Watching the video, it's easy to see why. Incredibly crude don't seem to portray anything to do with an RPG, and there's not even a voice-over to explain anything.

Starship Corporation - Er, David?

Goal: 6,000
Now: $15,208
Days: 20

I really bloody wish IndieGoGo would redesign their ridiculous layout that doesn't display a developer name anywhere on the front page. That aside, this is a one-man team making a spacey RTS, that has already smashed through its initial goal of $6,000, sat on $15k with 20 days left. He's stretched up to $30,000.

Starship Corporation - The Project from Starship Corporation on Vimeo.

And Another Thing

Sensible Software 1986-1999 - Read-Only Memory

Darren Wall's Read-Only Memory project is to create a series of books about videogames that will be beautifully presented, he says. This first one about the loved Sensi will be written by Gary Penn, if they can raise $30,000. And they're looking pretty likely to - they're at $23,371 with three weeks to go. It certainly doesn't come cheap though - a $38 pledge is necessary to get a copy of the book when it's done, which is... a bloody lot. The concept sounds great though - I just wish there wasn't the pretty unaware dig at the standard of videogame books at the start.

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