The active Kickstarter projects discussion thread.

Discuss whatever you'd like with the Infinitap Games community here!
User avatar
LobsterSundew
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:55 am
Contact:

Re: The active Kickstarter projects discussion thread.

Post by LobsterSundew »

There was an interesting post-mortem on /r/gamedev about a game with development that spanned 13 years. The video isn't a pitch for a Kickstarter, but I might show it to people as an example for how one can build up enthusiasm for a game by weaving a story about the game, its development and the person behind the idea at the same time. Sunset's devs could have done something similar.

Temporus launched just before the weekend. There was already a game like it called A.N.N.E. that is a 2D platformer with shoot'em-up sections.

Shovel Knight is getting close to delivering its Kickstarter rewards.

Beast's Fury was able to get to 105%. The per backer average became very high due to so many piling in at the $45 tier for a copy of the final game.
http://i.imgur.com/wp7BJlU

The Steam Summer Sale is going to make it harder for many small indie game campaigns to get traction. Some projects have strongly stalled.

ranger_lennier
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:37 pm

Re: The active Kickstarter projects discussion thread.

Post by ranger_lennier »

Am I understanding the Beast's Fury campaign correctly in that the fundraising goal they set was only enough to complete a demo with two characters? If so, I'd say there's a substantial risk that they won't be able to fulfill rewards for the whole game, since that's dependent on getting a lot more funding later.

User avatar
LobsterSundew
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:55 am
Contact:

Re: The active Kickstarter projects discussion thread.

Post by LobsterSundew »

Areal has been announced. It is from people who worked at the studios that made S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Metro: Last Light.

InSomnia has relaunched.

TerraTech is a physics-based vehicle construction game that reminded me of Scraps.

The Deer God has an interesting voxel look.
ranger_lennier wrote:Am I understanding the Beast's Fury campaign correctly in that the fundraising goal they set was only enough to complete a demo with two characters? If so, I'd say there's a substantial risk that they won't be able to fulfill rewards for the whole game, since that's dependent on getting a lot more funding later.
The project was originally for a demo with just 2 characters. I backed it because I want more fighting games on Linux and I'm a fan of animation. As someone who spends a lot of time thinking about rewards that work for both project creators and backers perspectives, I really dislike some of their reward decisions. It places a lot of risk for little reward on the backers. The elevated risk I see with this project is the scope of the animation they want to deliver is huge. I learned they wanted 30fps after finding a discussion. 30fps is a big undertaking when a normal indie fighter would probable stay with 15fps. I'm also concerned that a lot of frames will be needed to be done to adjust the finishing moves for each possible match-up in the roster. Eventually the full game is going to need some large investment to be made for it to be possible. Putting the game on Steam's early-access model might not be good enough to fill in the missing amount. The rewards were setup in a way that the project creator now has increased risk from the obligation they established with how they worded the $45 tier saying there will be 18 characters. I would have liked to see them take a DLC approach to the game by having the basic game with 2 characters and more added as they were completed. Backers at high priced tiers would then be promised any DLC made for the game.

Sumoboy was mentioned in the recent update. That campaign is eroding at some of its reward tiers ($15, $25, $35). A $500 pledge disappeared too. The previous crowdfunding attempt on raised $2,055. I've been looking at comments on places like NeoGAF to try to get a sense of public opinion about it.
http://i.imgur.com/AE4fZhr

User avatar
matt
Posts: 2316
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:48 am

Re: The active Kickstarter projects discussion thread.

Post by matt »

What are your thoughts about Areal? While it sounds like an exciting game, but their budget is SUPER low for their scope - ridiculously low. They acknowledge that here:
We've invested all of our savings into making Areal, and don't have funds to go any further. Unlike most companies, every one of our employees has invested their time and money into making Areal. That's why we think Kickstarter is the perfect platform to help us get our game done. If we are successful on Kickstarter, then we know we can finish the game. And having a successful crowd-funding campaign opens up a ton of financial options for us that will make sure that Areal becomes the AAA title that it was always envisioned as. All we need is for the Kickstarter and S.T.AL.K.E.R. community to support our Kickstarter, and Areal is guaranteed an unhurried and complete release.
It sounds to me like they have no money and expect the kickstarter success to bring them mysterious "financial options" that will somehow give them the millions of dollars to complete the game. They have a huge team that includes a "pro-gamer" (granted he's also a designer), a writer, and a community manager, so they aren't exactly a lean team that can stretch the $50k or $200k or whatever they get long enough to court investors. Investment in game projects is extremely rare, and they said they DON'T want publisher involvement, so unless they plan on taking a giant loan from a bank, I'm not sure how the project will end in success. They also have stretch goals up to ONE MILLION DOLLARS, so it shows they are planning on being able to use up a ton of money right from the get go...

I dunno, maybe they know something I don't. The project looks cool, but it seems like there are many red flags....
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

User avatar
LobsterSundew
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:55 am
Contact:

Re: The active Kickstarter projects discussion thread.

Post by LobsterSundew »

matt wrote:What are your thoughts about Areal? While it sounds like an exciting game, but their budget is SUPER low for their scope - ridiculously low. They acknowledge that here:
We've invested all of our savings into making Areal, and don't have funds to go any further. Unlike most companies, every one of our employees has invested their time and money into making Areal. That's why we think Kickstarter is the perfect platform to help us get our game done. If we are successful on Kickstarter, then we know we can finish the game. And having a successful crowd-funding campaign opens up a ton of financial options for us that will make sure that Areal becomes the AAA title that it was always envisioned as. All we need is for the Kickstarter and S.T.AL.K.E.R. community to support our Kickstarter, and Areal is guaranteed an unhurried and complete release.
The concept art is well done, but it is still concept art. There is no actual prototype or alpha visible on the project page. That same wolf image is used four times on the project page (NOT counting every time it appears in the part that talks about rewards). The dogtag banners are visually very unimpressive.

They have an excellent narrator for their pitch video, but the script feels very forced with buzzwords and significant lack of specific details about the gameplay and "Propreitary" was said too many times. The main text of the project page is full of too much puffery for my tastes such as "Areal is a shooter that immediately stands out from its counterparts". There is a surprising lack of information in the main page after discarding the puffery and generalizations. I didn't know it would be a third-person shooter until reading the FAQ (I thought it was first-person like S.T.A.L.K.E.R.). The use of footage from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. in the pitch should have had a line of text or some other clarification that we were not watching footage from Areal.

From how they present the project, it appears that they are focussing more on PS4, Xbox One and Wii U than PC, Mac and Linux. They say it will be on Steam. That is a warning flag for me because it feels like they want to compete directly against AAA titles resulting in rampant scope creep in the game design. They want both English and Russian voice acting. I don't know how platform-agnostic they designed their engine. Some people are wondering if they see Unity3D in the background so it is not clear if they might be building on-top of Unity or not. Just the technical end has enough warning flags for me to avoid backing the project.

Putting the soundtrack at a lower tier than the main pre-order tier breaks the flow. In general, I do not like their rewards structure. The minimum goal looks too low as you mentioned. Desperate people are less likely to press the cancel button when they have good reason to cancel the project. The $100,000 stretch goal mentions "A bunch of our friends that are experienced in the video game industry will join our team". More indications of lack of money is "The easiest way to put it is that we've completely exhausted our collective piggy banks in getting Areal to the point that it's at. Areal is in pre-alpha, and we've sorted out the A.I., inventory systems and many of the missions. The world of Areal is expanding everyday and we need your support on Kickstarter to finish it!".

Just now there seems to be some controversy. People are pulling out.
"We have contacted GSC's lawyers regarding this fraudulent claim of being the developers of Stalker and Metro Last Light. Please do all you can do ensure people know these claims are false."
https://forum.survarium.com/en/viewtopi ... =17&t=3450

User avatar
matt
Posts: 2316
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:48 am

Re: The active Kickstarter projects discussion thread.

Post by matt »

More suspicious things with the project - they received $11k in the last hour according to kicktraq with 46 backers - raising the average per backer to $71, which is pretty high for a game project. :-/ Very suspicious... I wonder if GSC's lawyers will talk kickstarter into taking the project down...
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

User avatar
LobsterSundew
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:55 am
Contact:

Re: The active Kickstarter projects discussion thread.

Post by LobsterSundew »

You should take a look at the horror game Bulb Boy. The campaign looks like it is heavily suffering from bad timing. It launched in the morning on a Friday and ends early on a Sunday morning which will hurt its growth since that is close to the slowest possible choice. The last quarter of months tend to be very slow and there is also a Steam Summer Sale. The marketing seems to have misfired with more presence before the campaign launched than it had after. I don't see much coverage at all now that the campaign is live. I remember seeing the Markiplier video that received half a million views, but that video's popularity had already declined before the campaign went live. It is sad to see this project has only 23 backers including myself. Many people who saw the demo probably don't know the campaign is now up.

There isn't anything I see seriously wrong with Bulb Boy's campaign page itself. I think the project thumbnail looks great. They have a demo for 3 platforms. Rewards are standard. They embedded the Markiplier video which is great. The animated GIFs are fun. Overall the main body of the project page looks like some good effort went into it. The pitch video is an entertaining trailer that conveys the atmosphere of the game well. There isn't enough of a sample for me to properly project how well the campaign is doing. Kicktraq current shows a trend to 14%. Bitly analytics don't show many clicks. I can hope that on Monday when the traffic picks up again they might start getting more backers.
http://imgur.com/G9XBf7L

We Are the Dwarves has good looking 3D modeling and some very entertaining character animations. It too is another campaign that should be doing better. It has less than $10,000 pledged.

Timespinner is a Metroidvania that has a very good trailer. I was initially worried about how slow its start was, but then I was surprised by the campaign suddenly exploding in growth on its second day.

Wild Warfare is a project based in the city of Kelowna that I was living in earlier this year.

I've been overloaded with project previews to critique since Friday because my September 2013 Kickstarter guide was shared around again.

I noticed Areal didn't even launch in the video games category (It is in the Games category competing with tabletop projects). It is still getting more pledges (64% raised) even though many people in the comments are now warning others to be cautious. I'm surprised it has not been cancelled or suspended yet.

User avatar
matt
Posts: 2316
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:48 am

Re: The active Kickstarter projects discussion thread.

Post by matt »

Bulb Boy looks cool I'll have to mention that in a future update.

We are the Dwarves just got $11k from 19 backers. Maybe that funding (presumably from friends and family) will help them with momentum? Momentum is a strange thing on kickstarter...

The whole Areal thing is weird. The official Stalker page has extended and removed support for Areal. It seems like GSC probably won't try to get it canceled though if you read the thread on facebook. I do feel that the kickstarter video is misleading, so perhaps kickstarter will step in...
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

ranger_lennier
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:37 pm

Re: The active Kickstarter projects discussion thread.

Post by ranger_lennier »

LobsterSundew wrote: Sumoboy was mentioned in the recent update. That campaign is eroding at some of its reward tiers ($15, $25, $35). A $500 pledge disappeared too. The previous crowdfunding attempt on raised $2,055. I've been looking at comments on places like NeoGAF to try to get a sense of public opinion about it.
http://i.imgur.com/AE4fZhr
There are definitely people who will withdraw a pledge if it looks like a project isn't going to hit its goal. Of course they generally wouldn't have to, since they won't be charged anything if the Kickstarter fails. It could make sense if the backer wants to pledge the money to another game, while making certain not to go over their personal budget. Personally, by the time I heard about Sumo Boy, it already looked pretty grim. But I liked the style and the message, so I went ahead and pledged to show my support if nothing else.

User avatar
LobsterSundew
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:55 am
Contact:

Re: The active Kickstarter projects discussion thread.

Post by LobsterSundew »

Mighty Tactical Shooter has some interesting execution ideas for making what is normally a reflex heavy genre into a turn-based one.

Pyrella is a 2.5D Metroidvania where players explore a dark temple.

Coffin Dodgers is a scooter racing game that might not have much depth to the racing itself.

Reading Rainbow has set a new record with its 105,857 backers.

Bulb Boy is finally seeing some attention. It might not be enough. Kicktraq is showing a trend to 38%.

Sumoboy's campaign continued to corrode. It was not pretty to watch. The last 48 surge was tiny because morale was so low. Kicktraq tracks the net change in backers and overall amount pledged, so some days it can look like they gained one new backer when they really lost two backers and gained three.
http://imgur.com/jCYyReF

Post Reply