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The Crowdfund Watch: October

We're taking a look at four new campaigns and revisit last month's challengers.

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This month on The Crowdfund Watch there aren't a lot of high profile new campaigns, but that doesn't make these projects any less interesting.

The Long Dark (Linux, Mac, PC)
Kickstarter page
Progress: $185,676 pledged of $200,000 CAD goal (5,158 backers) 3 days remaining

A postapocalyptical survival simulation in the Northern wilderness is what Hinterland - a new studio set up by a crew of veterans from the likes of Bioware, Volition, Relic and Riot Games - is pitching at us in this intriguing Kickstarter. A beautiful artstyle, emphasis on story and survival, and some voice actors you may have heard of (Jennifer Hale to name one) makes this one to seriously consider if you're looking to fund something a little different.

Outlook: The Long Dark has enjoyed great press coverage, but the campaign never really exploded out of the gate. As it stands it needs a strong finish to reach its target, but given how close they are it's definitely within the realms of possibility to pull it off. As the studio has received funding from Canada Media Fund's Experimental Stream, the $200,000 are meant to allow for continued independence. Hopefully that will be enough to see the ambitious concept fully realised.

Unwritten: Echoes of Twilight (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Druid Gameworks
Kickstarter page
Progress: $38,046 pledged of $500,000 goal (559 backers) 15 days remaining

Druid Gameworks are proposing something very ambitious - "a single player, open world, open play, fantasy RPG where player choices determine the direction, flow, and the outcome of the game". The team is largely made up of modders responsible for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion's "Reclaiming Sancre Tor".

The Crowdfund Watch: October

Outlook: This campaign has clearly stalled and it would take a miracle at this point to turn things around. Perhaps asking for an ambitious half a million isn't the best route to go for a team that may not have the resumé or name recognition to go along with it. Even if it may be a fair assessment of the cost of the work needed to realise the vision. Nevertheless they have gotten some support and backing, and as they go forward they will be able to harness those fans and the experience they've gained in whatever direction they go next.

Rebuild Gangs of Deadville (PC)
Sarah Northway
Kickstarter page
Progress: $25,255 pledged of $25,000 CAD goal (1,305 backers) 18 days remaining

Rebuild Gangs of Deadville is the third in a series of zombie survival management sims created by Sarah Northway. The two first games Rebuild (flash game) and Rebuild 2 (iOS and Android) established the concept, but as the ambitions scaled with the third game more team members and money was needed. One of the main new features is NPC factions to trade and compete or co-operate with, making it more of a fully envisioned zombie survival-take on Civilization.

The Crowdfund Watch: October

Outlook: Already funded what remains to be seen is how much more it can get. There are stretch goals that add more NPC factions, voice acting and season/weather effects. We rarely look at small projects like this one for our Crowdfund Watches so it will be interesting to see if the same kind of final sprint mechanics are in play when it comes to smaller projects.

Coleco Vision (iOS - potentially Android, PC, Mac and PS Vita)
Rantmedia Games
Kickstarter page
Progress: $5,563 pledged of $250,000 goal (276 backers) 25 days remaining

And now for something different. How about crowdfunding 30 year old games? Well, essentially that's what Rantmedia Games are proposing with the Coleco Vision app. A fully licensed, fleshed out emulator with a graphical user interface that really aims to recreate a livingroom where Coleco Vision sits in front of the TV.

The Crowdfund Watch: October

Outlook: Judging by the interest so far this project won't reach its funding goal. Perhaps people feel that the value isn't there for an app that plays Coleco Vision titles? The campaign should be applauded for its early physical rewards

Last month's Crowdfund Watch:

No tragedies to report this month, three successful Kickstarters and an alternative campaign that seems to be doing alright.

Mighty No. 9 (PC)
Kickstarter page
Funded: $3,845,170 of $900,000 goal (67,226 backers) + $186,380 (PayPal)

The Crowdfund Watch: October

Keiji Inafune's spiritual successor to Mega Man was quickly funded and the only real question was whether it would hit all of its stretch goals. With more than $4,000,000 in funding fans secured versions of the game for Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita, PS4 and Xbox One in addition to the previously announced platforms. With a year and a half to go until the targeted release date all Comcept have left to do is deliver a game that lives up to the legend.

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
WayForward Technologies
Kickstarter page
Funded: $776,084 of $400,000 goal (18,558 backers) + $44,826 (PayPal)

Shantae: Half-Genie held a good and steady pace throughout the campaign and hit its target by a wide margin. The funding continues through PayPal for additional stretch goal (via official website). Great to see a platformer do this well on Kickstarters.

Next Car Game (PC)
Bugbear Entertainment
Campaign page
On-going: Over 3000 pre-orders judging by the progress bar / Steam Greenlight

Bugbear's Next Car Game project is your typical crowdfund affair, but more of an alphafund where everyone will get access to an early version of the game as soon as 10,000 pre-orders have been met. The team has managed to succeed with Steam Greenlight, a major obstacle for any self-published indie project. It's difficult to say without any real numbers whether or not Bugbear will be able to fully finance development this way, but perhaps that's not the plan. Instead they've got a good pool of hardcore fans to help shape the game.

Awesomenauts: Starstorm (Linux, Mac, PC)
Ronimo Games
Kickstarter page
Funded: $345,835 of $125,000 goal (7,496 backers)

The Crowdfund Watch: October

Ronimo Games' Awesomenauts expansion was a different proposition from most of the stuff you see on Kickstarter as it basically asked players to pre-finance DLC for an existing game. Fewer risks involved than with most campaigns in other words, and Ronimo got great support from their fans almost trippling up the target. It's interesting that the average pledge was as high as $46, showing that Awesomenauts players were ready to open their wallets even if it's a rather smallish expansion.

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