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Gamereactor UK

The Crowdfund Watch: April

We're back with another monthly look at the crowdfunding scene.

  • Text: Bengt Lemne

This month has not seen as many high profile game campaigns launched as most recent months - but we've found three campaigns that all are in a similar position where they have managed a respectable start, but where there is still some ways to go to reach the target. Last month's selection was a mix of success stories and clear cut failures.

Current Campaigns

Jagged Alliance: Flashback
Full Controll
Kickstarter page
$94,975 of $350,000 goal (25 days to go)

The Jagged Alliance series is one where we've been treated to a number of attempted reboots, remakes and spin-offs over the last few years, but Danish developer Full Control want to rope the fans of the original couple of games back in by promising a return to the original concept. Full Control, who are perhaps best known for the upcoming Space Hulk game have almost exclusively worked on turn-based games, which sounds like a solid foundation for a new Jagged Alliance.

Outlook: The campaign is off to a solid start and it will likely take a bit of massage (i.e. adding extra perks to have backers contribute more), and some nice updates to get all the way to $350,000. It's not a massively overambitious target given there is a following for Jagged Alliance, but the half-assed handling of the license in recent years paired with the low profile developer could be an issue. The team are looking into involving old team members and modders from the much heralded 1.13 patch in the project. And this could be a smart move to get the core community behind the project.

Among the Sleep
Krillbite Studio
Kickstarter page
$103,084 of $200,000 goal (20 days to go)

Krillbite Studio is a Norwegian team of former students who are seeking funds to be able to work full-time to complete the game they've been working on for a while already (with several of them holding part-time jobs). It's a first person survival horror game that mixes dream and reality as players take control of a 2-year old. It's a novel idea and the team got twitter support from the likes of Cliff Bleszinski on day one for some much needed visability.

Outlook: The campaign is half-way there and with a good sprint it should make it there to the $200,000 target. The game has gotten a bit of attention in media, and thanks to it already being well along in development preview code has been sent out to media outlets - something that should help garner more attention towards the end of the campaign. The team seems to have a reasonable pace and some good ideas as far as updates, add-ons and rewards go - but as always original ideas aren't easy sells.

Road Redemption
DarkSeas Games
Kickstarter page
$81,998 of $160,000 goal (13 days to go)

Road Redemption is a spiritual successor to the classic EA series Road Rash. Motorcycles and violence in perfect harmony. Building on modern day physics and adding in various guns in addition to the melee Road Redemption is an interesting proposition that should have old school gamers salivating. New Orleans-based DarkSeas Games consists of industry veterans although there is no direct connection with the Road Rash series.

Outlook: It's going to be down to the wire for the Road Redemption campaign - just over half the funds with less than two weeks to go. It's one of few games on Kickstarter with a Wii U version of the game offered as reward - something that could see Nintendo fans rallying to the cause.

Last Month's Campaigns

Torment: Tides of Numenera
InXile Entertainment
$4,188,927 of $900,000 goal
Kickstarter page

InXile Entertainment followed up their record start with a strong finish to beat out Project Eternity as the best ever video game on Kickstarter. With additional funds coming in through PayPal, there is every reason for InXile to celebrate. One of the latter stretch goals was the inclusion of Chris Avellone in the design team - Avellone sure is keeping busy. Brian Fargo and his team have really perfected their Kickstarter pitch, it's not just about presenting a product people want to finance - it's about squeezing out every extra dollar.

Shackleton Crater
Joe Got Game
$27,460 of $700,000 goal (cancelled)
Kickstarter page

Joseph Ybarra may be an industry veteran, but asking for $700,000 for something like Shackleton Crater is asking for a lot. It would seem the team is now focused on further fleshing out the concept before possibly returning to Kickstarter or perhaps taking the alpha-fund route.

"We have decided to close our Kickstarter campaign for Shackleton Crater. Our passion for creating a game of lunar colonization has not been shared by sufficient people to realistically continue our Kickstarter campaign, so we are reluctantly ending our current efforts. We wish to thank everyone who contributed to our project. We also thank all of the visitors to our Kickstarter page for showing interest in our proposal.

As part of the feedback we received from everyone we realize that additional gameplay and game details are needed to effectively communicate our product. Our dream of creating Shackleton Crater has not diminished, so we plan to continue our development efforts to provide this detail. Additionally we plan to pursue other opportunities to develop and publish our game. We'll stay in touch with everyone as our plans solidify.

Once again, our thanks to everyone."

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues
of $1,000,000 goal
Kickstarter page

A strong sprint saw Richard Garriott's old school RPG almost double its target on Kickstarter. A further $290,651 has been collected through the official website. It's further proof that there is a strong RPG following on Kickstarter - especially when you have the pedigree of some of the most beloved games of the genre.

The Gallery: Six Elements
CloudHead Games
$82,937 of $65,000 goal
Kickstarter page

One route to success on Kickstarter is to support an already successful project. Many games have stretch goals with Ouya or Oculus Rift support, and The Gallery: Six Elements managed to climb over its target by appealing to the latter audience. Like many other games these days continued crowd funding is available on the official website. A wise move given that there really isn't a market out there for an Oculus Rift title yet.

The Adventures of Dash
$33,121 of $400,000 goal
Kickstarter page

Once it became clear that the campaign was able to gain steam, there wasn't many updates on the campaign page. Still Robert Bowling and his team took the support they did garner to heart.

"We didn't make it to our goal...but we gained nearly 500 friends along the way and that alone, makes it all worth it!
The Adventures of Dash has always been passion project for us and because of YOUR support through the last 30 days, we're even more passionate about it than we were when we started."