Over the past few years a crowd funding website known as KickStarter has been picking up steam. Launched on April 28th, 2009, KickStarter has funded a diverse array of products, ranging from indie films, comics, music, and food related projects. Recently though, video games and gaming related projects have really bursted into the KickStarter scene. It's a great tool for smaller developers of games and game-related projects to receive financial (and moral) support from their supporters.
How does it work?
KickStarter has a fairly simple premise and executes upon it perfectly. First a group puts up their project, let's say an iOS game, with a certain amount of money they need to fund it. Then if people and like the project they pledge a certain amount of money. The creators of the project almost always offer different "rewards" for pledging various amounts of money. Let's use the iOS game as an example again. You find the game and like it, so you pledge one dollar. For that one dollar you would most likely receive a copy of that game, but for 10 dollars you'd receive a copy of the game and an art book or a mention in the credits. These "rewards" increase in value into massive amounts such as ten thousand dollars and up. If the project doesn't meet it's goal in the set amount of time, they generally hand out refunds to backers, although there are a few infamous stories of non-refunded failed projects like the Zion Eyez HD. Although it’s a very rare occurrence, it should be remembered when using KickStarter.
So now that you know how KickStarter works I'd like to show you a list of all of my favorite video game-related KickStarter projects, both still in the funding process or already done with it.
ALREADY FINISHED CAMPAIGNS:
Probably the biggest gaming-related project to come out of KickStarter is the Ouya game console. The Ouya is an home console with a price estimation of $99(US.) It's running an unannounced Android operating system and all of it's games are based off of free-to-play models. Plus, the Ouya doesn't have any discs or cartridges because all of the games will be streamed or downloaded. Ouya also has a confirmed partnership with OnLive which presumably means the Ouya will have access to its wide range of PC and console games.
Wasteland 2 is a sequel to the amazingly popular 1988 RPG Wasteland and the post-apocalyptic predecessor to the Fallout Series. Started by inExile entertainment on March 13th, 2012 Wasteland 2 more than tripled its $900,000 by the end of its campaign. Unfortunately, not much of the game has been shown besides a few peeves of concept art. A PC, Mac, and Linux version have all been confirmed to be in development.
Leisure Suit Larry
Recently, developer Replay Games acquired the rights to the infamous Leasure Suit Larry franchise, planning to reboot the game. Leisure Suit Larry is a series of adventure games written by Al Lowe and published by Sierra from 1987 to 2009. The main character, is Larry Laffer who, though still somewhat lovable, is a balding, dorky, double entendre-speaking, leisure suit-wearing "loser" in his 40s. The games follow him as he spends much of his life trying (usually unsuccessfully) to seduce attractive women. The games weren't a huge hit due to it's raunchy and sexual nature, but they still have a sturdy following of fans waiting for the October 2012 release.
Cascadia Games LLC, a Portland, Oregon based indie developer, known for the Cavorite Series, are attempting to "turn your IPhone 4+, IPad 2+, and IPod 4+ devices into a retro gaming machine."The package includes the cradle for the device itself, the cables for video/ audio output, and one or two Retrolink NES controllers. The GameDock supports all existing iCade ready games, with more on the way, and can display the video and audio in 1080p. Cascadia additionally says their mission is to "bring a new layer of authenticity to the modern pixilated-game renessaince." Cascade needs $50,000 to follow through with their prototype and they currently stand at around. This is a very cool idea that many people have been asking for that in my opinion would solidify iOS gaming even
STILL IN FUNDING:
The team behind Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game reunited to develop Mercenary Kings, a 2D action game that combines precise platforming action and a compelling crafting system. Accomplish various missions to unfold the story and gather materials dropped by defeated enemies to craft your weapon of choice. Any part of your weapon is customizable, each one altering the effect of your attack. Create an arsenal of weapons either to match your own play style or to match the challenge of a specific mission. Tribute Games, the developer, states there will be a heavy emphasis of 4-player coop. The game is currently in the works for PC only but if funding allows they would love to release it on different platforms. The funding campaign ends on September 13th, 2012 so I highly recommend checking out the site and backing it!
“Defend the penguins and fight off hordes of rocket flying sharks in this fast paced twin stick shooter game on Android!” That tagline says it all. Developer Rapscallion Entertainment is trying something crazy and hilarious with SharQ II and even though I’m not a huge fan of Android exclusive game I still am going the back the hell out of this game. From what they’ve said about the game it seems to be a twin stick shooter in which you control a heavily armed ship tasked with saving penguins from relentless hordes of sharks while gaining money and upgrading said ship. Rapscallion is asking a measly $2,000 in order to add a slew of new features, including a survival mode, new music, and additional options in the store. They’ve also included push goals for the game, so if they pass their $2,000 goal they’ll make the game even better, with an upgrade to Unity Pro if they reach $6,000 and even additional sharks and game modes at $10,000!
Deozoa: Legends of Eden
Deozoa is a monster catching video game combining the rich storytelling of an RPG with the combat system of a turn based strategy. As you explore through the world you will discover and capture over 100 monsters called Deozoa. While this may seem exactly like a generic Pokemonor Monster Rancher game, Deozoa separates itself with a host of unique mechanics and features. Unlike other monster games, your 11 playable human characters battle side by side with their Deozoa to fight their way to victory. The game is currently in development for iOS, Android, Mac, PC, Linux, and Ouya. From what I’ve seen the game looks like and Adventure Quest meet Dragon Quest Monsters game, but with a unique art style. Deozoa’s funding requirements are quite steep for a first time indie game at $78,000 but it looks worth it. I highly recommend checking it out!
So! Now that I’ve listed some of my favorite KickStarter projects I’d like to hear some of yours. Sound off in the comment section below, send me a tweet @DrMrPHD, or shoot me an email at email@example.com! Thanks for reading!