What’s the Kickstarter landscape look like now?
There’s been a lot going on with Kickstarter lately. I remember thinking at one point that it felt like I could just dedicate this blog to Kickstarter and nobody would be able to tell the difference. Truth be told, the speed has not slowed down on the amount of amazing projects that have cropped up, but I have started to become a little more picky in what I’m personally choosing to fund (and pre-order if you want to look at it that way). With that I thought it was a good time to take a step back and check out what I’m funding and give you all a quick look at where I think the good money is.
Feels like it appeared out of thin-air, but this is the sort of game I was really hoping for. Basically a spiritual successor to one of my favorite hack-and-slash RPGs: Titan Quest. Why that game never got a sequel I’ll never understand, but the response to having the original devs back at it has been amazing so far. Right now this is a huge pick for me and while it hasn’t met its budget yet I’d be surprised if it didn’t go far, far over.
Already well funded (over 600%!), I still want to give another shout-out for Banner Saga because I believe it has some of the most promise for a turn-based RPG. The gameplay looks terrific and with only another day or so remaining for its funding window I recommend you jump on this right away! Some industry veterans from Bioware lead the project and are set to be releasing some stuff as early as this year. You can also find my earlier write-up on the game here.
By far, this game I am the most excited about. Shadowrun has long been a very unique proposal in terms of setting (magic in a cyber-punk world?), but has also long been a great pen-and-paper RPG. Forgetting that bizarre FPS garbage that came out in the early days of the Xbox 360, this new game will be transposing the gameplay of the original RPG to a modern video game platform. But why am I so excited about this game? I can just see the passion behind the creators and that really speaks to me. Jordan Weisman was behind creating the original game back in its pen-and-paper days and looks like he really wants to bring this franchise back to its former glory. All of their video updates so far have been so sincere and grateful that I can’t help but get a little passionate about it myself!
Through my obsession with the Kickstarter front page lately, I stumbled upon nstaCharge, which is a very cute-looking racing game by first-time game makers IKARIA, a pair of visual artists who work in the motion picture industry, looking to bring their award-winning animated short to the touch screen (and PC). I was pretty pleased by the visuals (have I ever mentioned I’m kind of a sucker for animated film?) and after the pair released some details behind the game it sounded like something I could get behind. Certainly not the next Gran Turismo, but this one I could find myself indulging in whenever I finally decide to grab an iPad. I recommend this if you want to show some love for a truly indie project with a lot of heart.
One takeaway I have is that all this video game business on Kickstarter has introduced me to a lot of other, non-video game related stuff. Board games were one of them, as you can see I’ve contributed to Cartoona, Puzzle Me!, and Velociraptor! Cannibalism! All of them look great and I wish them the best. But I also found myself contributing to a local coffee business in Portland. So maybe Kickstarter really is for the greater good.
I still have my doubts about the long-term unfortunately. Eventually this whole thing will start to fade. I don’t see Kickstarter being a sustainable business model for game start-ups (or re-start-ups, which has been the case most of the time), but we’ll see, Wasteland 2 certainly was an amazing success when many had doubts about how far all these Kickstarter things could go. I’d like to see this become a huge part of the gaming industry some day. Time will tell, but ultimately everyone who keeps contributing to these projects is what will keep all of this going.