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Most Recent: Features
While my own Kickstarter campaign, The Illuminant Midnight Project, didn’t reach its funding goal, the first big crowdfunding story of 2015, Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee, zoomed past its initial funding goal of £1,000,000 in less than 24 hours, and met its “final” stretch goal a few days later, pushing Playtonic to add further stretch goals. The campaign still has a little less than a month left to run, so there is little doubt it will reach the £2,000,000 goal of free DLC for everybody. The campaign’s success has been built on months of anticipation, coupled with a sweet price point for backers. I pledged £15 to get the game on Wii U, which is insanely good value for the money.
Of course, the former Rare employees have two decades worth of nostalgia to help them succeed, whereas other developers must rely on more modest means to help them complete their gaming projects, bringing us to this week’s Kickstart This! We start with the curious augmented reality game CCTV Nation, before plunging into the depths of hell with top-down shooterOverdosed. Finally, there is stunning sci-fi racer Power Drive 2000.
Where we’re going, we don’t need roads… (more…)
May 2015 isn’t exactly teeming with new releases, but the Warp Zoned staff is all turning towards an unlikely source for this month’s most-anticipated new game… their Wii U consoles. That’s because Nintendo will launch Splatoon, their ridiculously flashy team-based shooter, before the calendar turns over to June. But don’t worry, if you’re not interested in Nintendo’s inky experiment, there are a few other games to tide us over until the Summer. (more…)
The Warp Zoned crew played a ton of games this past month! We dove into games from our backlogs, but also had plenty of fun with lots of new releases. One thing is certain: we weren’t bored! Read on to find out what we played in April. (more…)
So it finally happened. Almost three years after discovering the weird and wonderful world of crowdfunding, and having backed several projects along the way, I have finally joined our Senior Editor Nicole Kline in going from backer to Kickstarter campaigner. I am trying to raise £15,000 to produce a series of three short films dubbed The Illuminant Midnight Project. It’s no easy task, and I am taking in all the lessons I have learned from the campaigns I have covered for Warp Zoned over the years. With a bit of luck, I just might make it.
With that ghastly piece of self-promotion firmly behind us, let us cast our eyes over three video game projects vying for your contributions. Up first we have post-apocalyptic adventure The Silent Roads, followed by space shooter Dimension Drive. Last, but not least, we have Wildfire, a stealth game where everything burns. (more…)
We played a ton of Knight Squad at PAX East. Read our Hands-On Preview here.
Every year at PAX East, there’s always one game that attendees begin to whisper about as they’re chatting with strangers while waiting in one of the many lines. This year, that game was Knight Squad from Chainsawesome Games. All weekend long, crowds were pushed towards their little booth to play their eight-player game that very closely resembles the love child of Gauntlet and Bomberman. This left the developers, including Lead Programmer Jean Simon Otis, completely exhausted, but also excited.
Both feelings were very present when we sat down to talk with Otis at the show. (more…)
Nearly two years ago, I augmented my regular Kickstart This! column with a guide for prospective campaign creators called “How To Get More Coin For Your Game.” Since then, there has been an explosion in games funded via crowdfunding platforms. There have been highs and lows, ups and downs, and despite a recent decline in donations, it is apparent that crowdfunding is here to stay as an alternative way of independent financing.
Yet whenever I browse those vying for my coins, gold rings, or rupees, I am often disheartened by how many of these projects appear to have been cobbled together in a Katamari-like rush, with strips of duct tape covering over the cracks. Finding projects I feel passionately enough about to fund has gone from an exciting trek of discovery to an aimless slog through a myriad of garbage bags and run-down half-way houses. Wander too far and you will get lost among people trying to fund their own lifestyles rather than a game project to be enjoyed by the masses.
Kickstarter, by the nature of its funding model, manages to dissuade those attempting to fund the purchase of a new PS4 or an upgrade to their YouTube Channel, which are found on other platforms such as Indiegogo. Both of these examples were lazily set up, with the Indiegogo placeholder descriptions left in place rather than writing their own. The world is saturated with gaming channels on YouTube and Twitch, bedroom podcasts, and one-man gaming blogs, so if you do need money to fund these endeavours, it is going to be a hard sell, even more so if you are asking for someone to simply buy you a PC, turning a crowdfunding platform into a crowded begging centre.
Yet, at their core, all of these people want to celebrate games, and the more games that are funded through crowdfunding, the more independent voices there are to counter the stale sequelitis being spewed by EA, Ubisoft, Activision and their ilk, the better.
So, armed with a stern brow and steadfast determination, I have revisited my original guide to bash it into a slightly different shape, remoulding it with some blunt advice for anyone looking to run a successful campaign. Follow this, and your project will stand a better chance of reaching its funding goal. (more…)
Kickstart This! Ira, Izle, Upside-Down Dimensions
Apologies for the absence of Kickstart This! on Warp Zoned in March, but my sister decided to get married and then invite a few of us to join them in New York for the first leg of their honeymoon (not as weird as it sounds). While seeing the many sights the Big Apple had to offer, and munching my way through the trifecta of pizza, pretzel, and hot dog, I managed to pop into Nintendo World at Rockefeller Plaza. It was great to meet and play with some American gamers, though my girlfriend dragged me out before I was able to buy some of the amazing tees on sale. It re-invigorated my love for video games, which everyone needs once in a while. Sometimes we all go through slumps where our enthusiasm wanes, and for much of March I was stuck in one.
But I have crossed back over the Atlantic buzzing to play some great games, and help fund some beautiful and unique ones on Kickstarter. This week, I’m travelling into space with Ira, creating new lands in Izle, and becoming a papercraft samurai in Upside-Down Dimensions. (more…)
Maybe it was the blanket of snow that covered the world over the last three months, but Insert Quarter took it slow in Winter 2015. But that doesn’t mean our showcase of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet came to a complete standstill. Have you ever wondered why Sony chose X-Circle-Square-Triangle for the face buttons on the PlayStation controller? Or maybe you’re worried that Batman: Arkham Knight killed the Teen rating?
The answers to those questions (and a few others) can be found in this edition of Insert Quarterly, which catalogs our favorite game writing from the last three months. (more…)