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Analysts from ICO Partners recently reported that donations to video game projects on Kickstarter have seen a dramatic decline. They estimate that by the end of 2014, $27 million will have been pledged, compared to $58 million at the end of the previous year. A 50% reduction makes for grim reading if you are a game developer looking to launch a project, though it should be noted that 2014 is lacking in many of the big name campaigns that were launched in 2013.
Perhaps the bubble has already burst, or perhaps people have become pickier about which projects they participate in, disenfranchised by the multitude of disreputable characters who have tried time and again to launch projects with no aim of actually keeping their promises. As Evil As A Hobby discovered during their broad analysis back in January 2014, only one in three game projects launched between 2009 and 2012 delivered a finished product and accompanying rewards.
As I was finishing up this month’s edition of Kickstart This!, Boston-based Dejobaan Games reached their funding goal for Elegy For A Dead World, “a game about writing fiction,” according to the official description. It is awe-inspiring in its art design, offering a uniquely free reign in crafting the story of the game itself. Thankfully, there are more projects worthy of bringing to your attention. And that’s the point. There will always be great games begging to be made. If there is less money out there, it means less great games, but perhaps it will also add some quality control to a system untamed by accountability.
Unfortunately, the game’s deadline did not meet my own (although I did go on Twitter and rave about it). Thankfully, there are more projects worthy of bringing to your attention. And that’s the point. There will always be great games begging to be made. If there is less money out there, it means less great games, but perhaps it will also add some quality control to a system untamed by accountability.
We kick things off with side-scrolling puzzle shooter Red Cobra, survival adventure Impact Winter, and sci-fi survival horror Extract 237. After that, there is mech vombat MOBA Voxelfield, and last, but not least, The Interactive Adventures of Dog Mendonça and Pizza Boy.
Yes, that last one is real. (more…)
Like it says on the tin, Kickstart This! usually covers game projects currently seeking your funding and support on Kickstarter. However, there is a whole world of crowdfunding platforms out there, and so this month, we’re venturing into the uncharted waters of Indiegogo.
The main difference between the two platforms is that Indiegogo features Flexible Funding, which means a campaign doesn’t need to reach its goal in order to get your cash. Every dollar you pledge goes straight to the developers. While this means more people will most likely gain some form of funding, it also opens the crowdfunding platform up to what we in Scotland would term a “chancer.” In order to find an actual game project, I had to wade through endless endeavours of people trying to raise money to buy a game, build a gaming PC or open a YouTube channel. While the occasional ridiculous project makes it through Kickstarter’s quality control (like Zack Danger Brown’s creamy potato salad), Indiegogo has no filter, allowing someone to beg for a new pair of jeans in the gaming section.
But lurking amidst these vanity projects are some great games waiting for an adrenalin-esque cash injection to push them into full-steam development. First up is steampunk FPS Fabula Mortis, tower defence / FPS hybrid World of Undead, and medieval strategy title Nocturion. Following that is the colourful puzzler Panic Pump, and last but not least, God sim Crest
Let’s Indie-go-go-GO! (more…)
Ubisoft has been sending out mixed signals regarding Nintendo’s beleaguered home console over the last few months. Despite a renewed momentum in sales thanks to the likes of Mario Kart 8 and the release of Hyrule Warriors in Japan, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot announced that Watch Dogs would be the last mature game published on the Wii U. Guillemot pointed to the fact that the Wii U accounted for a mere three percent of the company’s sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. The Xbox One doubled the Wii U’s total with 6%, and the PS4 tripled it with 9%. Impressive, considering they were both launched half-way through this period. The original Wii chipped in for 11%. (more…)
Ah, mice: those lovely little rodents that humanity loves to experiment with. Unfortunately, when the Council of Great Scientists starts researching and tinkering with mice on its space station, they take it a step too far. Like Pinky and the Brain, the mice are transformed into a super-intelligent, power hungry menace with mechanical upgrades, and just like the Brain, they want to take over the world. The first part of their goal is to remove their immediate threat: cats. When your pet, Scram Kitty, is kidnapped along with all the other cats, you grab your anti-grav spin board and head to the space station to save all the imprisoned felines. (more…)
Canadian director Zach Lipovsky, best known for the Made-For-TV movie Tasmanian Devils and the upcoming reboot of the Leprechaun franchise, Leprechaun: Origins, has signed on to helm the film adaptation of Capcom’s Dead Rising. He will be working a the script penned by screenwriter Tim Carter, who served as a Producer on the well-received web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy.
The 90-minute digital film is being produced by Legendary Pictures’ new subsidy Legendary Digital Media, and will be distributed via Sony’s Crackle streaming service in North America, while Content Media Corp has snagged the international distribution rights.
[Source: The Wrap]
Ukrainian studio Beatshapers is bringing zombie mayhem to the PS4 with its twin-stick slaughter title KillAllZombies (officially stylized as #killallzombies, but come on). Akin to Smash TV, the game sees players thrust into a televised arena swarming with zombies. Viewers at home determine when the hordes are released, and how many are in each batch [Ed. Note: a group of zombies is better described as a "murder"].
The arena itself is made up of hundreds of hexagonal tiles, upon which items and objects can appear to help the player survive. The tiles can also disintegrate, revealing deadly traps or blocking players/zombies in their path. The hapless contestant will have a large selection of weaponry and ammo, from standard guns such as revolvers and sawed-off shotguns to futuristic X-Bows and Plasma Guns. As well as typical bullets and arrows, players will be able to win armour-piercing rounds to help stave off the zombies quicker, and freezing bullets to stop them in their tracks.
The game is being designed for the world of social media, with spectators being able to interact with the game as well as watching streams via PS4 and Twitch channels. In a move not unfamiliar to fans of The Hunger Games, viewers can vote every 80 seconds between two types of encounter options – will they unleash more zombies, or offer a timed bonus or permanent perk to aid the player? Players will also be rewarded for trusting the audience, and if they wait for decisions about which perk they are to be gifted, they will also gain additional health and XP.
For the voyeurs in the audience, they will be able to alter the camera angle to disadvantage the player. The truly evil spectators will also be able to interfere with the control scheme, all of which can be done over chat commands in realtime. Beatshapers has also promised that there will be plenty of hidden commands to discover.
The frantic KillAllZombies is expected to be available next month and more information is available at the PlayStation Blog.
For all the sports fans out there who are saddened by the end of the World Cup and Wimbledon, fear not! The Commonwealth Games have kicked off in my backyard in the Scottish city of Glasgow. The royal baton ran right by my house last week, and it was great to see so many people out in the typically wet Glaswegian weather, clapping and cheering the baton bearers on.
Of course, this is what we do with Kickstart This! We pick out projects that we want to see succeed, and cheer them on along with all of our readers around the world. It’s humbling to think that somehow our words have managed to bring just enough extra donations to make the difference between a game being released and a development team drowning their sorrows in a stale pint of beer.
So which games do we have the need to see succeed in this edition? First off is the cartoony tower defense game Fire With Fire, followed by comical point-and-click adventure Kaptain Brawe 2: A Space Travesty. After that, we jump into 2D foodie platformer Bacon Man, cutesy platformer Snot, and, last but not least, Subject 13, a new 3D adventure thriller from Flashback creator Paul Cuisset.
On your mark, get set, go! (more…)
Last year, developer Lat Ware and his team successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign for the brain-bending title Throw Trucks With Your Mind. Now that team is back under the guise of Crooked Tree Studios with a fresh puzzle platformer, For My Brother, which was featured in the latest edition of our monthly look at interesting crowdfunding campaigns, Kickstart This!. We chatted with Katy Levinson, the co-founder of ArcBotics and now Business Development Manager for Crooked Tree, about social media campaigns, art design, and Michael Bay’s The Rock. (more…)