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Kickstart This! Elegy For A Rough Year Edition

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…)

Posted in Features, Mobile, PC, PS4, Top Story, Vita, Wii U, Xbox One |

First Alien: Isolation add-on, Corporate Lockdown, will be available on October 28

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Just in time for Halloween, Sega has announced that the first Alien: Isolation add-on, Corporate Lockdown, will be released on October 28. Priced at $7.99, the add-on will add three new Challenge Maps and a brand new character in an arc that takes place before the events of Isolation:

In Corporate Lockdown, Seegson Executive Ransome has learnt that he has been abandoned by his paymasters. Knowing that the Torrens is on the way, he decides to make his escape and hitch a ride on board, taking decoded Nostromo data with him. However, while escaping he wants to tie up a few loose ends…

Across three new Challenge Maps (“Severance,” “Scorched Earth,” and “Loose Ends”), players are challenged to compete against others through Alien: Isolation’s online leaderboards, to escape the station in the fastest possible time or attain the top score through numerous side quests and hidden bonus objectives. New to Corporate Lockdown is the addition of Gauntlet Mode where players are challenged to top the Gauntlet Mode leaderboards by completing all three Challenge Maps back-to-back without dying.

Corporate Lockdown will also be available as part of the Alien: Isolation Season Pass, which can be purchased for $29.99, a 25% discount versus purchasing all give planned add-on packs separately.

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Guns, Gore & Cannoli brings zombie-killing mobsters to Kickstarter

There are too many zombie games. You know it. I know it. Actual dead people know it. But there are still ways to make zombie games interesting. For example, you could do what Crazy Monkey Studios did and create a hand-drawn side-scrolling shooter where 1920s mobsters shoot zombies while spouting wiseguy catchphrases. To finance their project, Crazy Monkey has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Guns, Gore & Cannoli that concludes on November 17. They’re seeking $30,000 and, as of this writing, have currently collected a little under $800.

Need more convincing? The developer has also made a demo version available on the game’s official website and released this fantastic plot summary:

Welcome to Thugtown in the roaring twenties. A city run by two rival mafia families who skirmish over every inch of the city to distribute their illegal liquor. Meet Vinnie Cannoli, a hard-boiled gangster who comes to Thugtown to straighten a few things out. Vinnie is sent to a messed up city, looking for a “goodfella” who’s gone missing since the zombie-outbreak. Nothing that can’t be solved with a kind word with the local gangsters though. Especially when you’re packing a Tommy gun and a double barrel shotgun to be a little more persuasive. There’s only one thing that’s holding him back… Every friggin’ lowlife in the city turned into a flesh-eating maniac. This is survival horror, wiseguy style… Capiche?

If they reach their goal, Crazy Monkey plans to release Guns, Gore & Cannoli for the PC, PS4, Wii U, and Xbox One in early 2015.

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Hyper Light Drifter Beta Impressions: How To Do A Beta the Right Way

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Who doesn’t love the sweet, slick, retro style of Kickstarter darling Hyper Light Drifter? This 2D action RPG took the indie world by storm last year, ultimately collecting more than $640,000 from backers during its Kickstarter campaign. Watching the videos and seeing the magic unfold as developer Heart Machine met its goal, beat it, and then left it in the dust was a joyful experience. I got a chance to play Hyper Light Drifter at PAX East this year and the staff loved it so much we chose it for our PAXpocalpyse list. And now I’m getting the chance to play it early in my living room thanks to a backers-only beta. The PC beta was originally supposed to be available from October 3rd through the 5th, but after some “internal discussions, the team decided to extend the beta to the 31st. I couldn’t be happier, and I’ll admit – I’ve had a hard time putting it down. (more…)

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Activision releases CoD: Advanced Warfare launch trailer two weeks before its launch

Activision is not bound by your plebeian idea of a calendar with its rigid structure of months and days… they’ve got a new Call of Duty to sell. So if they want to release Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘s “Launch Trailer” more than two weeks before its actual launch, then they can. This trailer, like all the others released for the game so far, opens with a snarling pronouncement from Jonathan Irons (Kevin Spacey), the head of Private Military Contractor that seems to be equal parts Tony Stark and Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Advanced Warfare was developed by Sledgehammer Games and is the first game to be released as part of Activision’s new three-team development rotation. Treyarch will get their turn next year with Infinity Ward coming back around in 2016.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be released on November 4 for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

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Here’s a complete timeline of everything that’s happened in the Borderlands franchise so far

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Some franchises produce a tangled timeline due to a gaggle of sequels, prequels, and side stories mingling with time travel, alternate realities, and cross-dimensional rifts.

Through three games, the storyline in Gearbox’s Borderlands franchise doesn’t do this. But the developer still felt the need to create an official timeline to map the major events of Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (which takes place between the first two games but is presented as a flashback from after Borderlands 2). With the official timeline in place, everyone will be on the same page ahead of the release of Tales From the Borderlands, which should launch before the end of the year.

You can find the timeline after the break, but beware, it contains quite a few spoilers from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. (more…)

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Savage Goliath roars as a pre-order bonus for Evolve in new trailer

2K Games wants you to know that you’ll receive the Savage Goliath skin if you pre-order Evolve The “4v1″ shooter will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One on February 10 and you can catch a glimpse of the red-skinned brute in the brand new trailer above.

Pre-ordering Evolve will also unlock access (at launch) to an exclusive fourth Monster character as well as the upcoming “Big Alpha” test, which will begin on October 31 and run through November 2.

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New Releases: Bayonetta 2, Civilization: Beyond Earth, Just Dance 2015, More

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The third phase of Nintendo’s attempt to dominate the Fall gaming season arrives this week in the form of Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U. Platinum’s stylish witch has been given a second life by The Big N and the developer returned the favor by packaging the original Bayonetta with the sequel. Nintendo will also release a pair of smaller 3DS titles this week: Fantasy Life, an RPG/life simulation hybrid, and Pokemon Art Academy, a drawing game starring Pikachu.

Also available this week is the futuristic Civilization: Beyond Earth for the PC. Firaxis designed the game as a spiritual successor to the popular Alpha Centauri, which is something fans of the franchise have been asking for for a long time.

Speaking of franchises we haven’t seen in a long time… Ubisoft will bring Just Dance 2015 to the PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One this week. That “long time” comment was a joke, by the way. What’s not a joke is the return of Harmonix, who are back with a new music game of their own, the Disney-inspired Fantasia: Music Evolved for the Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Finally this week, Telltale Games will release The Walking Dead Season 2 for the PS4 and Xbox One. Get your cleaning cloth ready, those tear-stained controllers won’t clean themselves.

A complete list of this week’s new releases can be found after the break. (more…)

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