Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Jan 292016
 

A-Hat-in-Time-Mafia-Town-1The latest delay of Mighty No. 9 is only one of several events that cast a shadow over Kickstarter games. Yet at the same time, Kickstarter has produced hits like Shovel Knight, Divinity: Original Sin, and Undertale.

Some people have sworn off contributing to video game crowdfunding entirely, while others say it’s perfectly safe as long as you do your research. Since I’ve contributed to several, let’s take a look at my own experiences with crowdfunded games.

(Note: I’m only looking at projects for video games, so others like the Hatoful Boyfriend Plush Project won’t be discussed here.)

Republique

Now, I didn’t actually fund Republique, since I didn’t have the means at the time. However, I encouraged people to in one of my earliest blog posts.

Since then, Republique came out, and I have it in my Steam library waiting for me to play it.

Asylum

The first game I ever backed was Asylum, in 2013. A new adventure game by the creators of Scratches (an excellent horror game) with a Lovecraftian story? I couldn’t resist.

Asylum had a troubled development and numerous scheduling difficulties, so it still isn’t out. Nevertheless, backers receive regular updates, so I know it will come out eventually.

Among the Sleep

Among-the-SleepThe next game I backed was Among the Sleep, a first-person horror game from a child’s perspective.

It sounded fantastic, and best of all, this is another success story! I played Among the Sleep and reviewed it last year, finding it to be creepy and enjoyable.

To the survival horror fans out there, Among the Sleep is worth checking out.

Ghost of a Tale

One of my only non-Kickstarter crowdfunding contributions, went to Ghost of a Tale, which looked like the closest thing I’d ever get to a Redwall game. (Though there’s one of those in development limbo now, too.)

Ghost of a Tale has gameplay inspired by The Legend of Zelda and Dark Souls, and it follows the adventure of a brave little mouse.

It didn’t come out in 2015 as planned, but the developer posts regular updates both for backers and on the official website. (I also backed a tier that included physical rewards, and I got those long ago.)

I have a lot of confidence in Ghost of a Tale, and I can’t wait for it to come out.

A Hat in Time

Another one I’m incredibly excited for is A Hat in Time, a 3D platformer in the style of games like Banjo-Kazooie. Not only did I back it and blog about it, I also had a ton of fun with the early builds released to backers.

I even recorded some of the beta.

A lot of time has passed since A Hat in Time’s Kickstarter, but I’ve had enough fun with the beta to be confident about the game’s future.

Soul Saga

I also played the beta for the next game I backed, the RPG Soul Saga. Few things get me as excited as a classic JRPG, and Soul Saga looked like a game I’d love.

That beta build follows Garen, the tragic villain whose story will be included in Soul Saga. While a later build gave us control of the actual main hero, I spent too much time giggling thanks to Tales of Symphonia to actually record Mithos’s saga.

Left: Mithos as he appears in the game. Right: Mithos as he appeared in the Kickstarter.

Left: Mithos as he appears in the game.
Right: Mithos as he appeared in the Kickstarter.

Soul Saga saw some controversy due to its art-style change. After the Kickstarter, the developer went away from the chibi characters initially shown in favor of more realistic proportions.

(The chibi versions of Mithos and Elise will now be available to backers as in-game costumes.)

It doesn’t particularly matter to me, since I don’t play RPGs for their character designs, but it did cast a shadow over Soul Saga.

Soul Saga suffered some setbacks, which made me concerned for a while, but we still get regular updates about it. And, like I said, multiple versions of the beta. I’m still looking forward to it, though not as excited as was before.

Mighty No. 9

Oh boy. Yes, even though I’m not a huge fan of 2D platformers or Mega Man, I got swept up in the hype and backed Mighty No. 9.

It worried me when they announced all sorts of tie-ins, because I thought they should wait for the game to come out before banking on its success. Similarly, the disastrous Red Ash Kickstarter made me wonder why they couldn’t just focus on Might No. 9.

Amid all the worries and delays, I got to play the Mighty No. 9 demo… which reminded me that this isn’t one of my preferred genres, so why did I get involved anyway?

Cosmic Star Heroine

After my list of anticipated games for 2015, anticipated games for 2016, and anticipated turn-based RPGs, it’s probably no surprise to see Cosmic Star Heroine on the list.

Despite its delays, this sci-fi RPG has consistently looked like one of the most polished games I backed. Since I’ve already raved about it recently, I won’t go into all that again… but know that I’m very confident this will 1) be released, and 2) be an excellent game.

Kodama

My first experienced with a failed project was Kodama, a 2D platformer about yokai. I may not love 2D platformers, but I found this Kickstarter during the period when I was championing Yo-Kai Watch and writing “Rokurokubi.” Yokai anything got my attention.

Sadly, not enough people shared my interest. Kodama failed, and I’ve heard nothing about it since. Poor Kodama. I’d love to see it given a second chance…

Source

We’ve now entered my period of crowdfunding bad luck, because next I backed the game Source, a gorgeous Metroidvania. I blogged about it alongside two other games… and they all shared the same fate of Kickstarter failure.

Source is still in development, but news is scarce.

The Eldrich Cases: Dagon

If there’s one thing that gets me running faster than “inspired by Banjo-Kazooie” and “inspired by classic JRPGs,” it’s “inspired by H.P. Lovecraft,” so I backed The Eldritch Cases: Dagon immediately.

Dagon was set to be a horror adventure game in the Cthulhu mythos, and we need more of those. Last I heard, it was still in development, but changed to be a more story-focused 3D adventure game than a puzzle-focused 2D adventure game.

It doesn’t sound quite like the game I backed, but I love story-driven games, so I’m ambivalent.

The Great Gaias

Great-Gaias-battleThe third of the doomed trio I blogged about that day was The Great Gaias (not be confused with the great Gaius, my main reason to recommend Tales of Xillia), another game inspired by classic JRPGs.

It just barely missed making its funding goal, and the Kickstarter fell silent.

However, from the looks of the developer’s website, it’s still being made! I hope for its success, though I can’t help but wonder if I missed an announcement to follow the site, or if backers were somehow left out of the loop.

Luna’s Tale: Curse of the Forgotten Doll

The reason I backed yet another 2D platformer (well, 2.5D) is as forgotten as the doll, but Luna’s Tale: Curse of the Forgotten Doll never got off the ground.

After its campaign failed, the developer vowed to continue pursuing Luna’s Tale, but the website suggests they may have moved on…

H.P. Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

Lovecraft. Horror adventure game. Charles Dexter Ward. When I saw H.P. Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, I went crazy, immediately backed it, and encouraged everyone else to do so, despite it being from the developer that had not yet released Asylum.

The campaign failed, though I have hope Senscape will return to it someday… after Asylum comes out.

Aviary Attorney

Ace Attorney, but with birds? I fell in love with the idea for Aviary Attorney, which successfully launched last month!

There were some concerns over one of its endings not being in the released game, but now that everything is in order, I hope to play (and review) Aviary Attorney soon.

The Dekker Records

Dekker-Records-Cthulhu-pronunciationI supported The Dekker Records from the start, and although this turn-based noir RPG didn’t meet its funding goal, it didn’t disappear, either.

In fact, I played and reviewed The Dekker Records last year.

It was only the first part, since the Kickstarter failure meant they had to split the game, but it was a lot of fun.

An enhanced version is due out later this year, and I’m sure we can look forward to Part 2.

Happy Hell

3D platformers began to pop up on all sides, and I supported many of them, such as Happy Hell.

Happy Hell’s development is plugging along, with a new update this past week. It’s one of the weirder platformers I backed (a bit Faustian, as I said before), and so far everything seems to be on track.

Clive-N-Wrench

Clive-N-Wrench definitely had Banjo-Kazooie in mind, but despite my love for such games and attempt to help it out, its Kickstarter was a veritable disaster.

Yet Clive-N-Wrench live on! The developer is still hard at work creating the game and sharing updates, so it seems like this one will definitely come to fruition.

Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan

After Clive, I was a bit burned out on crowdfunding projects, so I didn’t back anything for a while… until I spotted Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan. Add action RPG “inspired by the old school ‘Tales of’ series” to the list of phrases that catches my attention.

In addition to a great description, Aurion had something I love to see in crowdfunding game projects: a demo!

After I played the basic demo (and I really should return now that I have a controller), I backed the game and blogged about it. It’s still too soon after Aurion’s campaign to judge its progress, but things seem to be going smoothly.

Muv-Luv

I’ve become a fan of visual novels, so when I heard people raving about how one of the greatest visual novel series ever would finally be localized, I pitched in and backed Muv-Luv.

As near as I can tell, Muv-Luv is a school romance story and its sequels are about fighting aliens. Or something. It sounds crazy and interesting, and it blasted through its stretch goals thanks to the incredible devotion fans have to the original Japanese games.

I really want to see what the craze is about, and so far Muv-Luv’s Kickstarter seems like a safe bet.

Psychonauts 2

Maybe I shouldn’t have done it.

I try not to back crowdfunding projects if they seem at all sketchy. I steered clear of Shadow of the Eternals even though I desperately wanted that game to exist. And I had a bad feeling about Psychonauts 2.

But… it’s Psychonauts 2! I never thought this game would exist at all! No matter the risks, I had to contribute to this game becoming a reality. Time will tell if it was a good decision or not.

In conclusion…

I feel I’ve done well with crowdfunding, with only 2 or 3 games I backed causing me concern and a lot of great games in my future, but what do you think? After hearing my experiences, how do you feel about video game crowdfunding projects? Which of these games looks the most promising… or the most concerning?

Let me know in the comments!

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  6 Responses to “My Experience With Crowdfunded Games”

  1. You should probably put your shitty example somewhere not-first.

    I still haven’t actually backed any crowd-funding games, despite me asking others to. Which leads me to feel bad for Luna’s Tale since I wrote about it and Maestro actually included us as part of their list of press coverage. Sure, they got our syntax wrong and never fixed it after I pointed it out (also ew mobile version url?) but still. I wanted it to succeed. 🙁

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