Mar 232012

New column time! Since I have an interest in Kickstarter projects (I’ve run a successful¬†one in the past and will probably run others in the future) and Kickstarter has really taken off for video game projects in the past month, I thought I’d start this weekly column, The Kickstarter Video Game Report. Every week (generally on Friday), I’ll talk about the latest kickstarter news including the success (or failure) of ongoing video game kickstarters, upcoming kickstarters, and try to bring to your attention the more promising new kickstarters. I’ll also discuss some ways that you can make your own kickstarter project more likely to succeed. Let’s begin!

Right now, the two hottest ongoing kickstarters are Wasteland 2 and The Banner Saga. First up, Wasteland 2. Wasteland 2 is a sequel to an old RPG that was basically the spiritual predecessor to the popular Fallout series. As of today, it’s up to over $1.5 million (original goal was $900,000) which means that the game will not only be coming to the PC but also to Mac and Linux. Although I doubt they’ll raise as much money as the Double Fine Adventure kickstarter (which holds the record at $3.3 million), I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up at $2 million to $2.5 million, especially if they advertise that they’re going to add a cool new feature to the game if it hits $2 million.

Next up, The Banner Saga. The Banner Saga is a Strategy/RPG with a Viking theme. It’s at about $220,000 as I write this, making it the third highest funding amount for a video game kickstarter to date (Double Fine Adventure & Wasteland 2 being #1 & #2). I love the concept and the visuals are excellent but so far we haven’t really seen any proof that the story & gameplay will be up to the high standard shown by the visuals. Mind you, we also haven’t seen any proof that the story & gameplay won’t be excellent but it’s less of a sure-bet than something like Wasteland (which is being made by a lot of the people who made the original).

One thing that I think has been very interesting with both The Banner Saga and Wasteland 2 kickstarters is that neither one just appeared out of nowhere. In both cases, the developers tried to build up some hype for the game before starting the kickstarter, essentially treating the kickstarter like it was a game launch. Based on their success so far, this is something that should be done by more developers.

In other news, Brian Fargo (inXile Entertainment, aka the Wasteland 2 people) has created a site called Kicking It Forward. Here, kickstarter projects can pledge to donate 5% of the profits made after their game has been released to help other kickstarter projects. Other than the possibility of abuse due to lying (people pledging but then not following through), I think this is a great idea and hope many projects decide to participate.

As far as big upcoming projects go, there’s been news of a new Tex Murphy kickstarter project and Vic Ireland (of Working Designs’ fame) has stated that he & Monkey Paw Games will be starting a Kickstarter to bring over a Japanese RPG. ¬†No news yet which Japanese RPG.

Now for a couple of projects that I think are interesting. First up, we have ARG Zombies – an Alternate Reality Game crossed with a Zombie RPG. Looks like it could be a lot of fun. It’s currently at around $5,000 with a $15,000 goal and only a week or so left. Next, we have Americana Dawn – a fantasy take on the American Revolution with JRPG style gameplay. Looks much more impressive than your average RPGMaker game (lots of custom art). It’s already surpassed its modest goal of $2,500 by a few hundred dollars but there’s still a little time left if you want to give them a little extra boost. Also, there’s a sequel to the critically acclaimed Auditorium that could use your support since it only has $37,000 of its $60,000 goal with a week left to go.

And that’s it for this week! Be sure to tune it next Friday for the next installment!

 Posted by at 10:56 am

  6 Responses to “The Kickstarter Video Game Report – Week of March 23, 2012”

  1. I am having fun with kickstarters too, but there are hidden dangers if you don’t pay attention and study the people doing it. There is one fella who was reported on one of the game sites I read, who is doing a kickstarter. The catch is he mentioned in the article that kickstarter doesnt get people anything. He is using the cash entirely to fund making an alpha build of the game he wants to make, and using it to pitch the idea to publishers. So he isn’t using kickstarter to fund a game, he is using it to “TRY” to get publishers who turned him down before to bite after they see an alpha he is going to build with the cash donated.

    I consider this the exact wrong way to use kickstarter, so I won’t be backing him up. I will likely hit the wasteland 2 one, and I already did Double Fines. That Americana one seems interesting as well, and you might as well say Vic Ireland’s kickstarter already has my money when I see it available. Love Working Designs, it is my all time favorite game related company, period, and I was very sad to see it go.

  2. Quick correction: Tex Murphy has a kickstarter up, not Tex Avery. Tex Avery is a famous animator from around 50 years ago – his signature characters were Droopy the dog and a womanizing wolf.

    Second comment: glad to see something like this up. Good advert for Kickstarter projects. Still, if I were you, I’d make it a separate website that’s more Kickstarter-friendly that’s more likely to collect Google hits. Maybe keep that site for Kickstarter posts and then link to it from this site on occasion. Still, good article and great concept!

  3. What a great blog concept! I’ve been loving all this kickstarter stuff lately, it’s nice to see a potential alternative to publishers showing up. I know DoubleFine and Wasteland have the advantage of being by two huge well known groups of people, but the fact that they still were able to raise that much funding from people is impressive. I hope this trend continues, I’d love to pour more of my gaming dollars into straight up backing games I want to play.

  4. Thanks for the head’s up! I’m looking forward to more of these in the future.

    Have you given any thought to using kickstarter for your next game?

  5. i seriously don’t see a need to support guncraft, as its a minecraft mod and as far as I can tell minecraft prints money

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