I’ve always been a big fan of Kickstarter and what it means to the industry. Kickstarter has the unique ability to allow small studios and development teams to get access to funding through tapping right into their target market. Lately however, we’ve seen larger companies using it to stay afloat, which goes a bit against what I think it should be used for. So today, we’ll take a look at some of the more unique and interesting video game projects on Kickstarter to help give them a boost.
We are going to start this one out by going old school. Chasm is a Metroid-esque game with randomly generated dungeons, great 2D graphics and obvious influences like the aforementioned Metroid and Castlevania. Anyone from the 80’s and 90’s will feel right at home here.
James Petruzzi, the game’s producer, recently quit his job so he could focus full-time on the development of the game. Other members of the team have varying amounts of professional experience, but it has released 2 other games before this under the Discord Games name. Chasm has received some rave reviews from GDC 2013, so this one seems to be the big game this studio has been pouring their time into doing properly.
With reward tiers of $15 for just the game it feels a little pricey. Larger reward tiers feature for some exclusive in-game content and at $100, you get a shirt, so you’ll be backing this because you like the concept more than it being a good deal.
The Gallery: Six Elements
Get on this one quick because it ends shortly.
For any fan of the Myst series, The Gallery is for you. In the Kickstarter video and in the description, you can get a good feel of this epic looking game. With some impressive visuals that can use the Oculus Rift hardware, CloudHead Games seems to know what they want to do and that is puzzles and exploration in an amazing atmosphere. Currently a staff of just 3 main people, The Gallery looks and sounds amazing. They don’t appear to have really any major industry cred backing them, but with the project as far along as it is now and with the project already beyond 100% in funding, this looks like a green light on seeing this game finished and online in early 2014 with Alpha heading out later this year.
The backing amounts start at $5 for the casual fan that still wants to be a part of the movement. The first real reward tier is up next at $25 and gets you a copy of the game. Since it seems they are going for a major release, it might be a good deal on what the final cost will be. The rewards go all the way up to $5000, but with some interesting rewards to it that might make it worth the cost to some people; like every game they make for the next 10 years and a secret shrine dedicated to you in the game. As usual, there are some different types of merchandise in the middle reward tiers as well as the typical in-game content you see.
Theme Park Studio
As much as I hate full blown studios on Kickstarter pandering for money, there are some times where the game deserves the shot and needs the money to really get out there. Theme Park Studio is one of those games.
Most people will remember the Theme Park and rollercoaster sim games that were fairly popular in the early 2000’s, but lately there has been a serious absence of them around, and that makes me sad. As more youth turn to Michael Bay-style FPS games, these simulation games are either getting super boring and bland or are just disappearing altogether. Pantera Entertainment has been around for 14 years and has done multiple theme park style games, but nothing as in depth as Theme Park Studio. While the main game is already finished, they are coming to Kickstarter to do it right and add in some power to the editor/designer features so users can really dive into creating their own rides. They have reportedly talked to a lot of rollercoaster fanatics out there to make sure that this game exceeds their expectations and that can only mean that it’ll be a screaming good time.
As of the writing of this article, there are still 33 days left on the project and it is about a quarter of the way there. The reward tiers start at $5 with a ‘thank you’ and your name on the website. $20 gets you a digital copy of the game, and if you can jump up to $50, you’ll get a boxed copy as well as a digital copy and will get to be in the closed Beta. Rewards go all the way up to $5000, but it really doesn’t seem worth going past $100 unless you really want to have a credit in the game.
Unfortunately, Indie developers don’t seem to know where to start when it comes to promoting themselves or even their own Kickstarter campaigns. If any of you know of any other deserving Kickstarter campaigns out there, put a link in the comments section and turn other Twinfiknights on to them. Or if you just wanna cheer on any of these 3, give them a shout below.