It only took half a day for it to reach its $500,000 crowdfunding goal, but Divinity: Original Sin 2 finished its Kickstarter campaign in grand fashion yesterday afternoon. Hitting the $2,000,000 mark with just an hour to go, backers unlocked all of the remaining stretch goals to deliver a much larger (and freer) experience than Larian Studio originally planned.Click here to read more...
Well, that was quick. Then again, we're not too surprised considering how good its predecessor was. Having started a Kickstarter campaign for Divinity: Original Sin 2 yesterday, its developers Larian Studios were surprised to find that gamers are willing to throw money at a developer that keeps to their word and makes fantastic games. The campaign has raised over $600,000 so far - beating their target by $100,000 - and there's 34 days left to go.Click here to read more...
The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter is still going strong, but creator Yu Suzuki is looking for a lot more than $3.5 million to realise his vision of the project.
Though, of course, where that money will actually be coming from is still a bit of a grey area.Click here to read more...
Do you miss Banjo Kazooie and the days of the buddy platformer? Wish there was a spiritual sequel? Well now there is. Yooka-Laylee hails from a team of Rare veterans and is now on Kickstarter...
... where it hit its funding target within two hours. 46 days still to go!
From here on out it's stretch goals all the way. Find out what the project's all about in the pitch below.Click here to read more...
Outward: The Adventurer Life Sim is one of the most ambitious Kickstarter pitches I've seen in years, and that's no bad thing.
Hailing from Nine Dots Studio, the small yet capable team behind GoD Factory: Wingmen, Outward plans to merge open-world fantasy RPG adventure with the reality of survival, from constructing shelter to exposure and even purifying water.
"What would it really be like to live the life of an adventurer?" That's the question that Outward intends to prove... at least, if you decide to back it.Click here to read more...
"Have you ever wanted to pick up your poop and throw it at the wall?"
It's one of those immortal questions, and if you answered yes, Bathroom Simulator will be right up your street.Click here to read more...
The MMO scene has been shifting over the last few years. Only the truly ambitious and different titles are able to brave an industry ready to scuttle those unable to stay afloat. It’s my view that without offering tried-and-tested gameplay, or something unique by playing to specific strengths, the old subscription-based theme park MMO has run its course. New and exciting experiences are what players want because static worlds with loot grinds at the end have not only been done before, but have been finely tuned. It's why I’ve been keeping a close eye on Everquest Next and Landmark (although recent events have me worried, but that’s another story) as it is attempting to do something new in terms of its Storybricks system.
However, at the end of 2014 a new project emerged from the shadows, headed by industry veterans J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton. At the start of the year we found out its name – Crowfall – and over the last few months ArtCraft Entertainment have been slowly dropping bits of information, giving us a sense of what Crowfall is, and how it will do things differently. There is plenty of info to go through, but with its Kickstarter campaign now in full swing we have the whole picture in front of us for the first time. With that in mind, having gone through all of the available information, I’ve summarised what Crowfall is all about, and will be discussing exactly why you should be paying attention to it, regardless of whether you are tempted to back it or not.Click here to read more...
Elite: Dangerous is out in a month. And it was announced over the weekend that it won't have an offline mode.
Understandably, a fair few people have not taken this news too well.
The ideal way of playing Elite: Dangerous, as outlined in the original Kickstarter pitch, was always intended to encourage online connectivity, with Frontier realising right from the start that the only real way to create the vast, expansive vision they had for the game was to create a "living, breathing galaxy" that could be added to long after release:
The galaxy for Elite: Dangerous is a shared universe maintained by a central server. All of the meta data for the galaxy is shared between players. This includes the galaxy itself as well as transient information like economies. The aim here is that a player's actions will influence the development of the galaxy, without necessarily having to play multiplayer.
The other important aspect for us is that we can seed the galaxy with events, often these events will be triggered by player actions. With a living breathing galaxy players can discover new and interesting things long after they have started playing.
Originally, that was that. However, an update to the pitch back in December 2012 saw Frontier reassure backers that there'd also be a dedicated offline mode. It wouldn't have the dynamic perks of the connected galaxy, but players wouldn't need to go online. "It will be possible to have a single player game without connecting to the galaxy server," Frontier wrote. "You won't get the features of the evolving galaxy (although we will investigate minimising those differences) and you probably won't be able to sync between server and non-server (again we'll investigate)."
Noting the date is important. Elite: Dangerous was officially crowd-funded on January 3rd, 2013.Click here to read more...
This week, we ask if the Kickstarter bubble has finally burst, celebrate Star Citizen's latest benchmark, and ask just who is to blame for Destiny's awful voiceacting?
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.
I love the old Infinity Engine RPGs, and I'm not alone. Jon often makes the point that the stories modern games tell seem to have suffered as a result of having so many more advanced tools (particularly when we start bandying around the word "cinematic"), and that there's something to be said for text-heavy adventures and RPGs making the very most of their limited options. The writing had to be spot on, the world building exceptionally well researched, everything providing the optimal framing for whatever adventure was to be had.
Games couldn't rely on polish and looks to get by as they can now, they actually had to be good. And we were spoilt rotten with games of exceptional quality.
Pillars of Eternity wants to tap into all of that, reviving that old-school spirit, but upgrading and updating a few of the more clunky mechanisms that have grown rusty over the years, and the team at Obsidian look to be right on track. We've already sent the half-hour gameplay presentation we checked out a couple of weeks back, but we also got the opportunity to put a bunch of further questions to project director Josh Sawyer, and he waxed lyrical regarding classes, romance, and one of the game's best Easter eggs.Click here to read more...
We usually spotlight Kickstarter campaigns for the right reasons: having tested the latest prototypes, interviewed the developers and done our damndest to ensure that the project is potentially deserving of your hard-earned cash.
Occasionally, however, we highlight a campaign because it's utterly bizarre or all the cool Outbrain-pimping sites are doing it. So now that a gaming peripheral designed to be inserted directly into the body with the intention of strengthening pelvic floor muscles is seeking funding, it's time to jump on that bandwagon hard.
Pelvis-first, presumably. Let the shameless bid for hits commence.Click here to read more...
We're seeing a fair few nostalgia trips these days, blending old-school sensibilities with updated systems -- distilling the elements that made classics like Baldur's Gate and Fallout and Elite so utterly brilliant and updating everything to provide a smoother experience that feeds our rose-tinted desires and removes any clunkiness or mechanical cobwebs.
Nostalgia is a powerful thing indeed, and it carried Pillars of Eternity (just called Project Eternity back then) to the top of Kickstarter's funded list, giving Obsidian Entertainment the chance to pay homage to the Infinity Engine games that put so many of its employees on the map.
Last week, we got the chance to check out the game and chat to project lead Josh Sawyer, who delivered a half-hour presentation bringing us up to speed on where development currently sits. There'll be a preview coming shortly, but here's the presentation in full for now. Apologies for the awful visuals (had a slight tech fail on the day).
Radial-G was one of the highlights of this year's Develop Conference Expo. Tammeka Games are currently Kickstarting an antigravity racer in the same basic vein as WipEout and F-Zero, seeking £50,000 to bring the fierce project to Oculus Rift and potentially Project Morpheus, and aren't afraid to let us try it out. Suffice to say that the hands-on prototype was intense... and yet somehow managed to throw me through twisting geometry-defying space tubes at breakneck speeds without even the slightest hint of simulation sickness.
You don't even have to take our word for it, because the demo is free to download and fully-playable on regular monitors.
Keen to know more, I grabbed Tammeka Games producer Sam Watts for an interview, who proceeded to explain how military precision, genre experience, years of preparation, careful planning and smart design have led to Radial-G becoming a very different kind of racer.
Jonathan Lester (Dealspwn): Thanks for talking to us, Sam. First things first, can you give us the elevator pitch? In your own words, what is Radial-G?
Sam Watts (Tammeka Games): It's a high-octane futuristic arcade racer, filling the slot that's been woefully left open by a lack of F-Zero and WipEout, to bring a high-octane antigravity racing to the current and next generation!
Dealspwn: Not to mention Virtual Reality platforms such as the Oculus Rift and Morpheus. I was very impressed by your prototype – what opportunities and challenges did you face when developing a game for VR?
Sam Watts: I don't want to blow our own trumpet too much, but we are very experienced in creating VR experiences. We've done a lot of high-level military virtual reality simulations before with multi-channel output and a lot of back-end networking...Click here to read more...
Crowd-funding is still one of the most unique and fascinating ways for developers to secure enough cash to make great games, but it's not without risk. Coming to the table with little more than a promise and a pitch can be a dangerous game without any guarantees, while plenty of us still cling to some rather dated and disingenuous misconceptions about what Kickstarter and the like actually are.
Today brings us the news that Yogventures, a Yogscast-themed sandbox game that raised over half a million Dollars on Kickstarter in 2012 has now shut down, resulting in no small amount of disappointment and knee-jerk anger from its community. At least the developers came clean, mind, as so often Kickstarter projects can just quietly slide out of existence with no closure whatsoever. Such as we saw with procedural shooter Moon Rift, whose developer simply stopped updating and dropped off the radar several months ago, leaving $8000 worth of backers hanging.
There are lessons to be learned here, whether you're a gamer or a developer considering how best to fund a new title. Crowd-funding can be fantastic when you do it right, but it's not a shop, and over-reaching yourself can be absolutely devastating.Click here to read more...
Radial-G is intense. As an alumni of the WipeOut and F-Zero school of racing, it throws us into antigravity sleds and shoots us down insane twisting tracks, glued to the exterior of wildly crooked tubes that grant us a full range of motion. We'll dodge through fan blades, hurtle over speed boosters and ultimately jostle for position against 31 opponents. The sheer sense of unadulterated velocity is astonishing, even mindblowing.
However, perhaps the most impressive thing about this in-progress indie racer is that it also fully supports the Oculus Rift, allowing you to leap right into the cockpit and immerse yourself in its ridiculously hectic action... without throwing up all over the keyboard.
This is because Radial-G's development team has real pedigree, or in other words: they know what they're doing. They've worked on military-grade simulators before, clearly experienced in mitigating the effects of simulation sickness. Several staffers hail from Acclaim and Black Rock Studios, having previously developed many a racer. Producer Sam Watts even put in a long shift at NCSoft, contributing to Wildstar and other MMOs.
Most importantly, Tammeka Games are only asking for £50,000 to get the ball rolling on Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight - and you can try the free demo right now whether you have an Oculus Rift or not. PS4 owners should pay attention, because a certain Mr. Yoshida has also given it both thumbs up with Morpheus in mind.
If you're tired of waiting for Nintendo and Sony to get their act together, Radial-G is shaping up nicely.Click here to read more...
This mad Kickstarted RTS is one of the most outrageous, high-octane and ludicrous examples of the genre I've ever played, even in Early Access. Halfway between Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander -- because it's made by the same designers -- you'll wage total war with hundreds of units, orbital weaponry and smash planets into each other for the fun of it. The new Galactic War mode adds singleplayer shenanigans into the mix, letting you get the hang of its crazy gameplay before getting involved online.
Thanks to Steam's summer sale, you can save a cool £20 over the next 30 hours. Well worth a punt if you're curious, even in its beta state.
There's a game I really need you to play. It'll only take about ten minutes or so, it's completely free and it's an FPS where you can manipulate time. It's called SUPERHOT, and it's freaking brilliant.
Developed as part of the #7DFPS game jam, in which developers make FPS games in the space of seven days, SUPERHOT is a tiny slice of such irresistible innovation that I spent a good half an hour just mucking about in a game that should really only take a handful of minutes.
The little game jam version was an appetite-whetting delight, but I wanted more, and I wasn't the only one. gamers, devs, press, everyone who played SUPERHOT had one thing to say -- will there be a full game version?Click here to read more...
Developer: Escape Hatch Entertainment LLC
Publisher: Escape Hatch Entertainment LLC
If you claim that your game is the "rebellious stepchild of Wing Commander, X-Wing and Freespace 2," and "the return of the space simulation genre," you'd better make damn sure that the finished product delivers. Especially when you ask for -- and receive -- $150,000 on Kickstarter to make it on the back of that promise.
Starlight Inception certainly talks the talk on PS Vita and PC, and it's exactly the sort of ambitious indie project that I usually evangelise from the rooftops, but I'm dismayed to report that this latter-day space sim falls drastically short of what I'd consider to be an acceptable level of quality. It's not enough to crib from legendary sims and hope for the best, indeed, the constant references to Wing Commander and other better games just reminds us how good we used to have it.
The action takes place "one hundred years from tomorrow," wherein a new war is breaking out between Earth and the non-aligned nations. As a new threat emerges, it's up to the brave fighter jockeys of the
TCS USF Midway carrier to scramble into the black, defend Earth's interests, lead strike missions and a undertake bit of mild escort duty. Though the story is told through stilted, poorly-acted, monotonous, awkwardly-animated cutscenes that do their best to make you fall out of love with the setting before each mission, who cares, because we're here to "light up the sky."
Developers: Stoic Studio
Publishers: Versus Evil
The Banner Saga is a sumptuous feast for the senses. Another magnificent score from Journey composer Austin Wintory rises and falls as gorgeous visuals inspired by Eyvind Earle's work with Disney in the 1950s tell the story of a fantastical world blighted by an ancient evil known as the Dredge. A narrative-driven, tactical RPG of sorts, The Banner Saga casts us into a world that owes much it would seem to Scandanavian myth and legend -- a world that mankind shares with a giant, horned race known as varl. The story flits between a handful of central protagonists; casting you as the leader of a caravan of survivors one chapter, and the head of a band of warriors the next.
Leadership, of course, has its burdens, and the struggle for survival is a tough one. Safety is swiftly proven to be a myth, and each new trek is even more perilous than the last. It's not easy when you have evil beasts stalking the land, brigands lurking in forests who care nothing for the oncoming threat that the Dredge present but will gladly kill you for the food and the valuables your caravan holds, a sun that never sets, and a murderous winter snow. But many of the dangers come from within: squabbling clansmen, drunks who need to have examples made of them, fighters questioning your judgement and your leadership. Desperate times yield desperate people, and unpredictability is rife.
It's clear to see that the small team at Stoic have taken inspiration from a number of sources, but Game of Thrones shines through in resolutely bleak fashion. Sometimes I hear Sean Bean utter "Winter is coming," as more reports pour in of an ancient evil returned, breaching the lands to the North. It's not just the weather, nor the relentless crushing of hope, but rather the fact the choices have real consequences in this game. As you make your way from one town to the next, you're beset upon not only by Dredge but also the troubles of your caravan. Do you accept the help that a band of warriors you've found on the road are offering? They might yield another character for your fighting roster. They might also kill half of your men and steal your precious supplies. And what about when you hear screams coming from a nearby village? Do you rush in yourself to protect those unable to help themselves, do you send others in your stead, or do you turn and run and leave the villagers to their fate? Main characters can and will die, sometimes all too suddenly, and though one or two might make it all of the way through the game with you, you'll be left ruing the fate of those you sent to their deaths with the wrong decision.Click here to read more...
Developer: Uber Entertainment
Whether I'm sweeping a terrifying army of bipedal tanks across an entire planet, desperately defending a colossal robot commander from swarms of bombers or bathing the surface of a moon in nuclear fire, Planetary Annihilation is easily the most ridiculously hectic RTS I've played since Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander.
That's no coincidence. Uber Entertainment may be best known for Monday Night Combat, but Jon Mavor heads up a team of strategy veterans who helped to develop both of those classic titles, and they plan to take the core framework to its unbelievable conclusion. The insanely fast-paced chaos of Total Annihilation meets Supreme Commander's mech combat in a conflict of interplanetary proportions: a fully-simulated solar system itching to be crushed. Players don't just vie for control of a map, rather they duke it out in outrageous pitched battles between hundreds of units for entire planets and moons, or even strap rocket engines onto celestial bodies to create ridiculous weapons of mass planet-smashing destruction.
Planetary Annihilation is barmy, gratuitous, ambitious, bombastic and dangerously over the top - even in its Early Access stage. I therefore like it intensely... at least, when I can wrap my brain around it.Click here to read more...