[Opinion] 5 Kickstarter Games To Throw Money At
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Kickstarter is getting all kinds of attention in the last few months. We’ve seen projects ranging from watches that intergrate with smartphones to bathroom beacons highlighting the portable toilets at Burning Man festival.
This has become a great platform for independant game developers to raise money and make games. While this isn’t going to destroy the publisher model by any means, the huge success of some projects like Double Fine Adventure means that there is now another avenue for good ideas to get off the ground.
Some of these projects have got their funding and some still need your help. All of these games are going make an impact.
And take it in mind that the money figures were accurate when I was writing this article, these things can explode without warning. Ok, all the basics out of the way, lets get to the games.
Tex Murphy – Project Fedora - $598,104 pledged of a $450,000 goal.
There hasn’t been an interactive cinematic game like those in the Tex Murphy series in years. With the push of greater graphics and polygon counts games like these have gone never to have a hope of returning. After raising $598,104 through they can bring their ‘futuristic’ film noir style game back to life. Tex Murphy – Project Fedora proposes to have live-action video cut-scenes, fully 3D environments, and multiple story paths.
I’m a sucker for a Film Noir Detective story, usually involving the case to end all cases with trench coats thrown in to boot. When playing other interactive stories like Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy) or even the Professor Layton series, there may not be any twitch gameplay or jet-packs, but if the story and characters are well developed you can have a great time.
Like Double Fine, Big Finish Games are trying to resurrect a genre of game that has been successful in the past and holds that nostalgia value for a lot of gamers. At the very least, 6,963 backers are wanting to see a comeback from Tex Murphy and the terrible one liners that are sure to come with him.
Crea - $6,789 pledged of a $15,000 goal
Do you love games like Minecraft or Terraria? Crea may be the next sandbox focused on exploration and creation. The game is being built from the ground up with mods and the community in mind.
“Every aspect of Crea is designed to be easy to modify and customize. It’s simple to modify characters, weapons, monsters, items, biomes, or to even create new playable races! If you can imagine it, it belongs in the world of Crea!”
This 2D sandbox game with a lighthearted mood, colourful art and RPG elements is being created by Jasson McMorris, a game developer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Kickstarter goal for Crea is to raise $15,000. The incentives include digital copies on launch, custom avatars, copies of the soundtrack by Robot Science and alpha access.
The developer’s ultimate goal is to make Crea available through Steam and take full advantage of their new Steam Workshop. With the workshop you can easily share, find, rate and download mods with the entire Steam community.
So it’s like Terraria, Skyrim, Minecraft and Fez all rolled into one!
Wasteland 2 - $2,933,252 pledged of $900,000 goal
Wasteland was developed by Interplay Productions and released in 1988 and given great reviews. It’s portrayal of a post apocolyptic environment was constantly changing and harrowing.
The Fallout series was even spawned from Wasteland, Fallout 3 and New Vegas while great games though, have been said to be more a post apocalyptic ”The Elder Scrolls” game more than anything. As you can see above, this game has raked in the pledges and should be on track for a great gaming experience. While you can no longer donate through Kickstarter, they are still accepting donations through their PayPal.
Brain Fargo the co-developer of the original Wasteland re-acquired the rights to Wasteland in 2003 and they have since raised over $3 Million ($2,933,252 from Kickstarter and more through PayPal) to get this sequel off the ground.
Wasteland 2 aims to follow in its predecesor’s footsteps with turn-based and party-based role play mechanics. Part of the beauty of the Wasteland and Fallout games is that NPCs that join your party have their own goals and motivations. The idea is that they wont just follow orders mindlessly but will argue with you if your actions and choices are polar to their moral compass.
Shadowrun Online - $103,452 pledged of $500,000 goal
If you liked the idea of the original Shadowrun or the cyber punk fantasy world it has created then grab some friends get Shadowrunning.
MMOing your way through PC, Mac, iOS and Android tablets means there will be no escaping the shadows. The developers are promising player vs player combat, co-op gameplay and a rich story.
In Shadowrun Online players take on missions alone or together in the dystopian world of the 2070s, ranging from hustling a local Ork gang, to stealing valuable cargo from a ghoul-infested warehouse, through infiltrating a remote megacorp research lab to sabotage a top-secret project…
But the main reason you should be getting behind these guys is their promise of free-to-play (not pay to win). There will be a Premium Subscription for those who wish to pay monthly and support the game for some bonuses.
“These boosts are designed and balanced with the rest of the game so they don’t break gameplay, as there are still basic requirements that must be reached before a character can use that snazzy new weapon he or she just purchased at a discount. Overall, the premium subscription will save players some time, and let you focus on the really important adventuring and challenges.”
For players who want to show their support up front there will be a Campaign version of the game where items only cost in-game money and the game can be played with no further cost. In Cliffhanger Productions‘ own words.
“So basically, you buy the game ONCE, really OWN the game, and can play it for as long as you want WITHOUT EXTRA CHARGES. There won’t be any monthly payments either. Like with a pen and paper game new campaigns, cities and other content and feature updates are then sold afterwards as “Add-ons” in packs, but it’s totally up to you if you want them or not. You can play with the basic package as long as you want. We call this model the “Campaign model” since you will have full access to a complete campaign with your Kickstarter pledge, or after launch, with a retail purchase of Shadowrun Online.”
Crack out that leather and flip your sunglasses to night mode to get ready for this beast. Be a hacker, shaman, mage or some sort samurai, just don’t let the mutant Kangaroos catch you.
Echoes of Aeons - $4,382 pledged of $50,000 goal
The first few describing words of Echoes of Aeons (EoA) mentions a combination between The Legend of Mana and Final Fantasy with a modern twist.
An Action Role Playing Game (ARPG) with good looking art style and lots of promise. 20 hours of gameplay not composed of grinding or fetch quests could be exactly the break we need to get a breath of fresh air.
The main drawcard that puts Echoes of Aeons in this list is the combat system. Adaptability in fights keeps things interesting and EoA promises to have multi stage boss battles and interactive combat environments.
For you melee fighters out there this isn’t just your basic swing strike bullshit, load up your strikes in the order you like to create your custom combos. Stacking and weaving spells/runes in ways I can only guess. Skyrim had duel wielding spells but this could be more like Magicka combining fire and rock to create meteors.
If the humour within the games story is written like the Kickstarter page I can see there being some pop culture references in a game that isn’t going to take itself too seriously.
Finally the important part, what you get for donating. Some of the options are pretty regular like digital copies or artwork, but some that stand out are a Beer Stein for quaffing ale (plus an in game one to match) and a custom USB stick loaded with artwork and music from the game.
So I guess you’re all out of money now and now the wait begins. Be sure to let us know if you find any other really good looking projects, Tweet it to us here, share it on our Facebook Page or just write it in the comments below. Me? I’m biding my time on all the games I’ve accrued through the Humble Bundles and trying to whittle down my Pile of Shame before these great looking games demand what little time I have.
Daniel has been secretly playing with Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats in The Sims 3 and hasn’t lost a life yet. He has a Twitter and would love for a follow or three, check it out here.