Video Game Kickstarter Report – Week of Dec 12, 2014

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Dec 122014

New Kickstarters:

Thimbleweed Park – $508k ($375k goal). 6 days left. New old-school point & click adventure game from Ron Gilbert.

Hollow Knight – $28k AUD ($35k AUD goal). 6 days left. Fantasy/insect-based Metroidvania with a cool art style.

Crossing Souls – $43k ($45k goal). 4 days left. Adventure/RPG with a Saturday morning cartoon vibe.

Theresa Duncan CD-ROMs: Visionary Videogames for Girls – $10k ($20k goal). 6 days left. A kickstarter to bring three 90’s adventure games to the Internet for free.

Prismata – $117k CAD ($140k CAD goal). 8 days left. Turn-based card-based competitive game with minimal reliance on chance or grinding.

To Azimuth – $7k ($20k goal). 5 days left. 3D puzzle adventure game. Interesting art style with dreamlike areas that come into being as you enter (a la Bastion).

Americana Dawn – $20k ($70k goal). 10 days left. JRPG set in American Revolution times. Was previously kickstarted in 2012.

Previous Kickstarters:

That Dragon, Cancer – $100k ($85k goal). 11 hours left.

Clannad Official English Release – $287k ($150k goal). 28 days left.

Recently Completed Kickstarters:

You Are Now Earthbound – $306k ($100k goal).

Lizard – $18k CAD ($12k CAD goal).

VIDEO GAMES LIVE: LEVEL 4! – $187k ($150k goal).

RETRO Video Game Magazine Year Two – $50k ($20k goal).

Ethereal – $5k ($17k goal).

 Posted by at 7:13 am
Jun 272013

I was hoping that people would like the idea for our new game, but I wasn’t quite prepared for just how much they liked it. The story for our announcement got picked up by just about every gaming site I follow and the articles (and most of the comments) were hugely positive. Just to link to a few in no particular order…

Joystiq, IGN, Destructoid, Polygon, RockPaperShotgun, Eurogamer, US Gamer, Kotaku, RPGamer, RPGFan, AnimeNewsNetwork, and many, many, more.

I’m planning on writing an article on Monday about some of the lessons that we’ve learned from our previous games and how we intend to use those lessons to make Cosmic Star Heroine our best game ever. Look forward to it!

 Posted by at 5:58 pm

To the Moon Sequel Announced, Now with More Extreme Gun Action!

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Mar 072013

I made a joke on Twitter a while ago to the creator of To the Moon that the only thing that Inception had over his game was more upside-down gun fights. In response, he created this:

Very funny and there’s some good news too – it turns out that the developer is actually working on a spiritual successor to To the Moon called A Bird Story. You can read all about it here.

 Posted by at 12:57 pm

The Video Game Kickstarter Report – Week of Feb 22

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Feb 222013

Cryamore – $187k. 3 days left.
Asylum –  $99k ($100k goal). 5 days left.
Dreamfall Chapters – $1 mil. 15 days left.
At the Gates – $68k. 13 days left.
Worlds of Wonder – $44k ($400k goal). 7 days left.
ROAM – $87k. 2 days left.
Death Inc. – £70k (£300k goal). 12 days left.
Delver’s Drop – $39k ($75k goal). 18 days left.
Throw Trucks With Your Mind – $16k ($40k goal). 19 days left.
Genocide Dolphins – £517 (£5k goal). 5 days left.

First up for this week, we have a new Adventure/RPG hybrid called Mage’s Initiation. Developed by the team responsible for the King’s Quest 1-3 & Quest for Glory 2 remakes, Mage’s Initiation looks to be heavily inspired by the Quest for Glory series. That means multiple character classes, traditional Sierra Online style puzzles, alternate routes of success, and RPG stats. They’re off to a strong start with $39k of their $65k goal raised with 28 days left to go.

Next, we have There Came an Echo – a voice-controlled strategy game by the studio that brought us Sequence. It’s an intriguing idea and looks far more ambitious than the previous game, although I will admit that I thought they handled their launch poorly – launching on a holiday (when all the media is on vacation or busy covering Bungie’s announcement) and with no prior attempts at raising awareness. However, it’s bounced back from a rough start (no doubt thanks to having star Wil Wheaton attached to the project) and is at $42k raised of their $90k goal with 26 days left to go.

Finally, I thought the Death Boulder Bones game project sounded interesting. An endless runner where instead of controlling the runner you control the environment that he runs in, Death Boulder Bones looks like it’d make for a very fun little mobile game. It’s only at $1k of its $28k goal so it definitely needs a push if it wants to make it.

 Posted by at 10:57 am
Jan 142013

Before 2012, I pretty much played whatever I felt like. Sure, I’d try to stay clear from the really bad stuff like GTA & God of War but that’s about it. That changed in 2012 with two particular games.

One of those games was The Walking Dead adventure game series by Telltale. I had heard so much about it being this amazing story experience so when the first two episodes were offered for free to PS+ members, I thought I’d give it a try even though I didn’t watch the TV series. After about 30 minutes of intermittent bouts of heavy swearing, I deleted the game from the hard drive.

The other game was Resident Evil 6. Unlike the vast majority of the Internet, I actually liked what I played of the game. Yeah, it was rough around the corners but there were some awesome moments and the actual gunplay was quite fun once you settled into its peculiar rhythm. However, then there was the violence (and nudity and language but mostly the violence). And what bothered me most wasn’t that the violence bothered me but was on how little the violence bothered me. When Resident Evil 4 came out, it was a lot more violent than previous games in the series and it bothered me but I ignored those feelings because the game was so well done otherwise. Had I become so desensitized that Resident Evil 6 wasn’t bothering me even though the content was much more objectionable than the stuff that was in RE4? This worried me and so I made a vow to more closely monitor what I play in 2013.

I greatly enjoyed Devil May Cry 3 when it came out way back when but I won’t be trying out the new DMC game. A quick comparison of the ESRB descriptors is instructive – DMC3 lists “Blood, Suggestive Themes, Violence” whereas the new DMC list “Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language.” DMC3 was so over-the-top that it verged on a cartoonish parody. The new DMC appears to be playing everything straight but with much more violence, swearing, and sexual content. I’ve heard the game itself is well designed but I’ll be skipping it.

The Last of Us & Tomb Raider are two other big examples of games I’ll probably be skipping in 2013. I’ve enjoyed the various installments of Uncharted (The Last of Us’s spiritual predecessor) & Tomb Raider to various degrees but from the sound of things, The Last of Us and the new Tomb Raider game are going to be drastically more violent than previous games. Shame since other than the violence, Tomb Raider in particular sounds fantastic.

I don’t think that violent video games transform people into homicidal maniacs or anything like that. However, I do think what we play has an influence on us, however subtle. Playing an extremely violent game may not turn us into killers but it might make us a little less likely to be empathetic or a little more likely to be testy or pessimistic. And when multiplied by dozens of games over thousands of hours, even a subtle effect can turn into a major consequence. Games should uplift and inspire. At the very least, they should do no harm. I’m afraid that extremely violent games or games filled with other questionable material may not be “doing no harm” even in those cases where the violence or objectionable content is used to denounce the same.

 Posted by at 10:46 am
Jan 112013

Elite – £1.57 million. Finished.
Pathfinder Online – $739k ($1 million goal). 3 days left.
The Red Queen of Oz – $6k ($40k goal). 13 days left.
Full Bore – $16k. 10 hours left.
Radio the Universe – $57k. 19 days left.
Akaneiro: Demon Hunters – $59k ($200k goal). 22 days.
DREADLINE – $15k ($167k goal). 20 days left.
Tornado Maker – $75k. Finished.

Really quite weak. Only thing of note I noticed was the GameStick – a new console similar to the Ouya in that it lets you play Android games on your TV with a traditional video game controller. Gamestick was taken down briefly due to a copyright problem (their video included a game that they didn’t have the rights for) but it’s back up now and at $330k ($100k goal) with 20 days left. When you see stuff like GameStick and Ouya raising hundreds of thousands or even million dollars, it’s easy to think that they’ll be big success but for perspective, many people think the Vita is bombing and Sony has sold well over a million Vitas worldwide. If it’s hard to get serious developers to take the Vita seriously, it’s going to be even harder to get them to want to develop for systems like the Ouya that probably will never even reach a million systems sold.

 Posted by at 9:22 am

Radiangames Crossfire II is out!

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Dec 162010

Radiangames Crossfire II is out! 80 MS points.

Download the game here.

Also, according to the Radiangames development blog, sales of Radiangames Crossfire II are going to play a big part in deciding his plans for next year and whether or not he makes a sequel to Inferno, so if you like Radiangames’ work (and you should), be sure to support them by purchasing Crossfire II!

 Posted by at 9:06 am
Dec 022010

2 more games from the Indie Games Winter Uprising have been released. Break Limit & the Hypership Out of Control update (which adds a new mode among other things). 80 MS points a piece.

Soulcaster II and Ubergridder are both in the review queue, so if no bugs are discovered, they should be coming out soon.

As for Cthulhu Saves the World, I have the next 3 days free to dedicate to working on it so by Saturday, I ought to have a really good idea of when it will come out. In any case, we’re getting really close.

 Posted by at 8:25 am
Sep 272010

I was originally going to implement a Save Coin system (similar to the one used in Wild Arms 3), but you know what? Forget that! One of the biggest complaints that people have about RPGs is the inability to save whenever you like. Developers usually counter by saying that forced save spots are essential to challenge and balance and all that. You know what I think? I think games should be fun and I think a large part of having fun is doing things your way. If you’re overly cautious and want to save every 5 mins, why should I stand in the way of you playing the game the way you want to? The people who are more daring and want more of a challenge can always limit their saves and take advantage of stuff like the Hard mode and Score Attack modes. Plus schedules aren’t always condusive to long play sessions – sometimes you only have a few minutes to play or something comes up suddenly.

Save anywhere functionality is already in the code (I use it when I’m debugging things) so it’s not like it’s a new feature I have to add. If anything, it’s easier to do it this way.

To go with the ability to save anywhere (outside of combat & conversation, of course), Cthulhu Saves the World will also let you teleport back to towns whenever you like as well. Besides being convenient, this should ensure that you can’t save yourself into an unwinnable state in the middle of a dungeon.

 Posted by at 11:06 pm