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Kickstarter Katchup – 1st December 2012

A can of Winalot

As we enter Christmasember and the elves enter the sweatshop, it seems only fitting that today's Kickstarter Katchup is filled with merriment. More winners than EVER BEFORE! Two projects that DOUBLED THEIR FUNDING IN THE FINAL DAYS! I doff my comical Santa hat to Maia and Sui Generis, both of which are hugely ambitious and required more than small potatoes to fund their dreams - and both convinced the world to pledge. They're not the only winners though and even the week's loser (I might change that word in future Katchups because I'm a softie) has a positive spin, with hardy developers planning to continue their hard work. Bless 'em all.

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 two currencies in play. Always check!
  • Even though that gum you like is going to come back in style, gum chewing is not permitted anywhere in the Katchup for health and safety reasons..

The Winners

Maia - Simon Roth

Goal: £100,042
Now: £140,481

Remarkable. Maia doubled its funding in the last three days and I think there are plenty of people who will be chuffed about that, myself included. It's been a rollercoaster and at the death, a coming together of the indie community in bundle form provided an extra lift, although it was Total Biscuit's attention that dragged the finishing line ever closer. Maia isn't the only rip-roaring and against all odds success story of the week though...

Sui Generis - Bare Mettle Entertainment

Goal: £150,000
Now: £160,055

Another phenomenal success story and another project that doubled its funding in the final days. With all the queries and cussing about 'wealthy' developers trading on nostalgia and unrealistic targets, Sui Generis and Maia stand out as fresh games driven by the talent and passion of people who aren't quite ready to have their names up in lights yet. What a splendid week of winners and there are still more to write about!

Limit Theory - Josh Parnell

Goal: $50,000
Now: $86,393

With three weeks left and almost double the target raised already, Josh Parnell is thinking about stretch goals for his procedurally generated space sim. With planetary ownership at $133,000 and Mac/Linux support at $100,000, these are significant plans rather than extra licks of paint. Therefore, sensible Josh has already announced that they would be delivered post-release, so as not to allow success to push the game back from its planned schedule. There's already plenty of time, with completion not anticipated until January 2014. You can learn more about Limit Theory by reading wot Jim and Josh said to each other earlier this week.

Moments of Silence - myformerselves

Goal: $2,400
Now: $2,891

The noir fever dream from the creator of Middens has filled the cap that was in its hand and now returns to the drawing board, where things like this are being drawn. The piece in the style of a medieval manuscript is the best concept art I've seen since Aldobrandino's Li Livres dou Santé.

Spud's Quest - ChrisD

Goal: £5,000
Now: £6,033

Triumph for not-Dizzy puzzle adventure Spud's Quest, which impressed right out of the gates with a playable demo and frequent communication with (potential) pledgers. The next phase of work begins now, in preparation for release in spring 2013, but continued updates on development should be forthcoming as well. ChrisD also graciously thanks the Oliver Twins for providing the inspiration for Spud.

Pier Solar HD - WaterMelon Co

Goal: $139,000
Now: $173,957

Well, that's one 16-bit RPG that'll soon be on Windows, Mac, Linux and more. A triumph that will most likely be enjoyed by people who like that sort of thing! I just realised that I've asked if any RPS chums have played the original release, maybe even asked twice, and then I forget to check the comments so I don't know if anyone actually has. Email me if you have so I can pretend I know things.

Songmasters "The Music Wars" - ARMOGASTE

Goal: $20,000
Now: $20,380

The wonders that a playable portion can do. ARMOGASTE released a demo and shortly afterwards funding skyrocketed. Or at least that's how I'm interpreting events, because it supports my argument that people want to see and (if possible) play with as much as possible before coughing up some cash.

Forced - BetaDwarf

Goal: $40,000
Now: $65,413

A final winner in a week of revelry and it's Forced, a game that I've actually played in early demo form and very much enjoyed. It was another project that looked doomed to fall as short as a BetaDwarf but won out in the end. What a marvellous week it has been.

The Losers

Interstellar Marines: Prologue - Zero Point Software

No last minute pre-Christmas miracle for Interstellar Marines but the developers have their chins up and rather than plunging straight back into a Kickstarter project, they're going to concentrate on making the game and funding through their own website.

The Players

War for the Overworld - Subterranean Games

Goal: £150,000
Now: £22,660
Days: 33

If looking at Kickstarter projects has taught me one thing it's that some people are even worse at voiceovers than I would be if somebody made me perform one at gunpoint. Also that a lot of people cite Dungeon Keeper when trying to explain why people should give them money. "Hey, remember Dungeon Keeper", they'll say and then post a video of a piece of concept art with a monotone voiceover. War for the Overworld actually looks like it could be the real deal though and the devs mention Evil Genius as well as Dungeon Keeper. They also have a playable prototype (hurrah for playable prototypes) so do take a look.

Project GODUS - 22cans

Goal: £450,000
Now: £182,030
Days: 20

A god game that might need a miracle? I didn't expect GODUS to slow down quite as much as it has and while it isn't in any real danger of failing yet, it might end up needing the kind of dramatic boost we saw twice this week, for both Maia and Sui Generis. Plenty of new information has been released, mainly in the form of video design diaries. All of the information is captured in this document, which will be updated so that it remains current, and there's a three-pronged nostalgiassault with references to Populous, Dungeon Keeper and Black and White. Personally, that's two-pronged since the latter doesn't inspire any warm feelings but the updates do at least give a better idea of what 22cans are hoping to create.

Tiny Barbarian DX - Michael Stearns

Goal: $12,000
Now: $7,931
Days: 18

Tiny Barbarian DX continues the journey toward its fairly tiny goal. It's all rather quiet in the land of the Frost Giants, so why not take a look at the original (free!) game to pass the time?

Antharion - Orphic Software

Goal: $10,000
Now: $5,978
Days: 35

Seeking $5,000 last than in its last attempt, which ended a few days ago, this actual old-school fantasy RPG is so far up my street it might as well just move in and share a bed with me. I'm slightly concerned that a third of the original target has been scrapped, particularly since $10,000 isn't a huge amount of money at all. I mean, it'd be a huge amount for me but I don't make anything except words and the occasional stir-fry. The team said this: "We’d been working on this thing for over a year, never really knowing if anyone else would actually be interested in it other than ourselves. So to find out that there were so many people out there who believed in what we were doing was just an amazing feeling." It's been a great start this time round and I think they'll make it. Maybe they'll even reach the $15,000.

Predestination - Brain and Nerd

Goal: $25,000
Now: $15,364
Days: 27

This impressive 4X strategy game raised ten thousand dollars in the last week and there's a galactic kilogram (weightier than a normal kilogram) of information waiting in the updates. There are details on the unique playstyle of the different races, multiplayer stretch goals (including PBEM and hotseat), colonisation and fleet combat. Here is a video of a planet being beaten up.

Dizzy Returns - The Oliver Twins

Goal: £350,000
Now: £20,393
Days: 20

As promised, The Oliver Twins have explained the reasoning behind what many saw as a gargantuan £350,000 goal, also speaking to Digital Spy. The Kickstarter page itself revealed some concept art and infromatin on locations. As the targeted amount suggested from the start, Dizzy Returns would be bigger than any other Dizzy game to date, but voice acting and "console quality" graphics are also promised. They don't specify which console's quality they'll be trying to capture, but at last they're not going for PC quality, eh? With all the graphics we have in our towerful machines they'd have to add £200,000 on to the target just to cram them in.

Kaiju Combat - Sunstone Games

Goal: $100,000
Now: $30,122
Days: 20

The giant monster battler is fairly deep into its second Kickstarter run and progress is slow. Kaiju Combat does seem like the kind of game that could discover a contingent of pledgers who don't spend a great deal of time perusing the halls of Kickstarter. Hope is not lost. The latest update has details on the game's boss - when every character is a huge beastie, is the boss simply a larger beastie? Yes! Here are the details on Nemesis.

Below - Failbetter Games

Goal: £15,000
Now: £4,569
Days: 12

Last week I said that Below probably doesn't need frequent updates because there's a playable prototype available. Somebody pointed out in the comments that updates would still be appropriate and I admit my error - with only one update since it launched, Below's Kickstarter page looks like it's been abandoned. It almost certainly hasn't - and Failbetter have the previous to show they are capable of greatness - but the future doesn't look bright for the digital card game.

Elite: Dangerous - Frontier Developments

Goal: £1,250,000
Now: £631,630
Days: 34

Elite: Dangerous has spaceships in it - you can see them here. It also has a galaxy that evolves over time, which is much more interesting if you ask me, which you didn't, but being here is an implicit acknowledgement that you don't object to reading my Saturday morning brain-slop. Mr Braben explains how a player's actions might cause economic changes in the video below.


Goal: $150,000
Now: $66,209
Days: 9

Pledge $15 or more to the multiplayer jollity collection and receive TENNNES, which looks fantastic. It's Pong with less restrictions, tennis with the rules worn down to a scoring system. I still reckon this will make it, despite a very slow couple of weeks just gone. There's a wide community with their eyes on it and I anticipate a big push sometime soon. Anyone here pledged? Anyone planning to?

Pro Wrestling X - Wrestling Gamers United

Goal: $75,000
Now: $16,396
Days: 6

Perhaps it's the man-grappling fan in me that assumed Pro Wrestling X would have an easier ride. I lament the lack of a decent modern PC wrestling game every single day and this looked like it might fit the bill. To soothe the pain, UK residents can watch Rab's short on British wrestling. The rest of you can't though because that's the way television stations work apparently.

The Ship: Full Steam Ahead - Blazing Griffin

Goal: £128,000
Now: £12,258
Days: 29

I'll be talking to Blazing Griffin early next week, all being well, and hope to learn more about this sequel. It's been a very slow start but there's still a month to go so everything could change.

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