|The Top 10 Games That Need A Good Kickstarting|
|Posted: 24.02.2012 12:17 by PRBot||Comments: 3|
Last month no one had heard of Kickstarter, now it’s on everyone’s lips. If you didn’t know, Kickstarter is a website dedicated to getting projects off the ground using public sponsorship. You stick your project on the site, put in a dollar goal, and anyone browsing the website can pledge money to your project if they like the look of it. If enough people offer to back the project and the goal is passed the amount they pledged will be taken and the project can start, hooray. It’s a neat way to circumvent publishers, and anything from books to board games to jazz festivals can be Kickstarted.
The site’s new-found fame is completely thanks to Tim Schafer and Double Fine Productions of course, the ultimate underdogs. They proposed creating something that their community had been requesting for years, a proper old-school adventure the likes of which the team hadn’t made since their time at LucasArts (and a type of comedy adventure that no one has really succeeded at recreating since the Star Wars house abandoned the genre).
Schafer set the bar pretty high, at least in their opinion: $400,000. Kickstarter said it was too much. Perhaps it was having Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert on board, perhaps it was the wonderful rewards scheme ($10,000 nets you lunch with Tim and Ron!), perhaps it was their legion of adoring fans who have wanted this since Double Fine started, but the goal was passed in 8 hours. The current total is now over $2 million with a couple of weeks still to go.
In the wake of this success, several other developers have announced they are considering projects to Kickstart. Obsidian, filled as they are with ex-Black Isle and Troika developers including the creators of Fallout, Planescape: Torment and Arcanum, have announced that they want to try and start a new proper isometric RPG. That’s something I would also pledge money to. And speaking of Fallout, creator of Wasteland (a 1987 title which was a huge influence on Black Isle) Brian Fargo has talked about making a sequel, with a “complete old school vibe and made with input from gamers. Made the gamers way.”
There’s a lot of excitement around Kickstarter. But what of the games on there looking for help right now? There are a lot of exciting projects asking for pledges that aren’t in the headlines, and we thought we’d do these games a service. Please welcome, in no particular order, to the Top 10 Games On Kickstarter That Need Your Support Right Now!
1. Saturday Morning RPG by Mighty Rabbit Studios
This is the game built for me by a group of mes. It’s a Paper Mario-style RPG, a JRPG with 2D characters in a 3D space, based entirely around kid’s cartoons. It’s planned as an episodic release, so instead of a huge Final Fantasy epic it’ll be a series like the Penny Arcade Adventures (except hopefully more successful). Main character Marty is a regular high-school student who’s been granted the power to bring inanimate objects to life – and so of course does this on his favourite cartoons, bringing them into our world. The main menu is a Trapper Keeper (with Scratch ‘N’ Sniff) and the music is by Vince DiCola (Transformers: The Movie) and Kenny Meriedeth (Duck Tales, Power Rangers). This needs making!
2. RS Flux by Screwdriver Studios
An Audiosurf FPS, that’s all you really need to know. A single and multi-player shooter where every part of the combat has a melodic rhythm that flows through every one of your actions, and by defeating enemies you’re creating your own music – or shoot things to your own music. Just wrap your head around that utterly bonkers concept. In terms of creativity that’s a novel and scary idea – scary because I have absolutely no idea how it can work, but really want to see them try!
3. Feeble’s Fable: A Legend of Runes by Atomic Chimp Games
Expect a surge of adventure games on Kickstarter after Double Fine’s mad success, but Feeble’s Fable looks pretty nice (and no, nothing to do with The Feeble Files. It’s got a lovely Bone-esque art style created by an artist called Justin Hillgrove, and a sweet children’s book plot of a boy chosen by the elders of his tribe to go out and save their village. It also wisely follows the Double Fine example of offering a documentary and making sure the basic reward for backing is the game itself. Terrible title, but more adventures are a good thing, and this looks like a fun little game.
4. Infernal Edge 2 by Lazy Brain Games
I was going to dismiss Infernal Edge 2, but then the twist came: it’s a parkour climb-all-over-the-environment game mixed in with Contra. Described by its developer as “a retro action climbing shooter”, just a minute of the video convinced me this is a game that needs to be made. Oh, there’s also a Hookshot, a Laser Sabre, and a storyline based on Nosferatu. The Super Meat Boy of shooters, potentially.
5. Clockwork & Crossbones by Spark Brilliance Productions
Okay, there’s not going to be many social or mobile games on this list, but if you say the words “pirates”, “steampunk”, “airships” and “turn-based strategy” you get my attention no matter the platform. It’s a Facebook game that wants to try and make social gaming be taken more seriously, Clockwork & Crossbones will offer an episodic single-player campaign with new episodes weekly, a completely customisable fleet, and multiplayer PVP and PVE combat. On Facebook. That could be enough to get me actually into social gaming, although they may be hamstrung by creating a strategy game with the abbreviation “C&C”.
6. Abandoned by Black Lion Media
Okay guys, I wish you hadn’t subtitled this project “an amazing 3D game by teenagers!”. I know you think we ought to be impressed, but that just makes you sound inexperienced to anyone who’s not a 40-year-old parent of the people making the game. Nevertheless, it’s actually looking pretty damn good. It’s a first-person adventure/shooter with a similar dark ‘n’ grimy style to Condemned and Penumbra, and is set in an insane asylum. By this point I’d already reached for the ‘Pledge’ button, and the video’s just hugely impressive. Still, please offer a better reward for pledging $3 than “our eternal gratitude”.
7. The Afflicted by Autonomous Games
Wow, talk about guts. An Unreal Engine-powered multiplayer shooter? Yes, we haven’t had any of those in at least a week, possibly two. The Afflicted sounds like it’s combining ideas from Brink (free-running), Uncharted 3 (shifting to different part of a map), EYE: Divine Cybermancy (the look) and several others to create a potentially fun twist on the multiplayer shooter genre. Resource management, objective-based multiplayer, building bases, free-running… to me it sounds like this is the game Brink should’ve been.
8. Bloody Castle by Kilroy FX
A late entry in this list currently standing at $0.00, I have two words for you: “co-operative” and “Amnesia”. A creepy castle with hundreds of rooms, checkpoints, hidden areas and even NPCs and shops, the co-op supposedly plays out like Left 4 Dead with a race to a safe room. The game’s pretty far along already and they want it out on Xbox Live Indie Games (obviously they haven’t read the same articles I have), they at least wisely offer the game free for a $5 backing – if the game’s remotely as good as it looks that’s a bargain.
9. Mars Needs Milk by FlipsideNation
Greatest name and logo combination in gaming history. Mars Needs Milk is a mobile puzzle game that involves aliens abducting cows and for some reason having to escort them as a ball through a maze. Simple, fun and ancient idea, but it’s the style on top of this that makes this such an appealing concept. I just want to own a fun game called Mars Needs Milk about UFOs grabbing cows, what more do you want?!
10. Warbarons by Mattias Carlström
I had several options for the final game on this list, but I decided to go with the hark back to the tile-based turn-based fantasy strategy games of the ‘90s. Warbarons is played entirely in a browser and sports multiplayer, team play, and leaderboards. It’s quite basic in appearance but offers deep and addictive gameplay. Well, it will if it gets off the ground. There’s only a few days left and they’re $1000 short, chip in if this is the game you want to play.
Reading through Kickstarter, I did notice some recurring problems. The first are projects not effectively communicating what their game is about, another involves rewards: the absolutely basic reward should be the game itself. No ifs or buts. Don’t make backers pay $40 for it, and some of the projects above didn’t even offer the game as a pledge reward at all! Definitely something to look at, guys.
As for you guys reading this, if you like the sound of any of the games above please immediately visit them on Kickstarter and offer your support at once. They’ll only be around for a little while and they need YOU to work. Your backing creates the game. Be part of a game’s development and support the indie gaming scene today!
Okay, enough advertisement, go and pledge pledge pledge. Before you go and do that, how about we finish on five games that, now that “a Tim Schafer adventure game” is crossed off of our list, need to be Kickstarted immediately?
1. Warren Spector and a Deus Ex-style RPG: the creator of Deus Ex wants to make another RPG and he’s equally beloved as Tim Schafer, this needs to happen!
2. Yuji Naka’s Prope and a colourful adventure: since leaving SEGA Sonic The Hedgehog overseer Yuji Naka hasn’t made a cute colourful adventure since Billy Hatcher. Rodea The Sky Soldier may change this, but I want more!
3. Tom Hall and Anachronox 2: Anachronox is the forgotten Ion Storm gem, Final Fantasy meets Blade Runner with a splash of Monty Python. It needs to come to GOG, and there needs to be a sequel. However unlikely that is.
4. Monolith Productions and No One Lives Forever 3: want a game that fans crave but publishers don’t want? How about a sequel to Cate Archer’s ‘60s spy shooter? Sadly as Monolith are owned by Warner Bros this isn’t likely, but what happened to all those developers who left Monolith?
5. Crytek UK and TimeSplitters 4: Crytek UK, also known as Free Radical, made the brilliant TimeSplitters series. Crytek are independent. We want another one. Here, let me start up the Kickstarter page for you…