Shallow Space: Insurgency.

Do you remember Homeworld? I sure do. I played the hell out of the original Homeworld, the Cataclysm expansion and Homeworld 2. The franchise is without doubt my favorite science fiction 3D real time strategy franchises set in space. But that’s a very limited niche, to be honest, and there hasn’t been many games in that particular genre since. One of the few games is Ancient Space, which looked very promising, but only received mixed reviews. Also, remastered versions of Homeworld and Homeworld 2 were recently released in the Homeworld Remastered Collection, but I haven’t touched those – for once I’ll let a fond memory stay a fond memory. At least until the collection is on sale for 75% off.

Now there is another game in the works that fits the description: Shallow Space: Insurgency. The game has been Greenlit on Steam and it’s among the most popular projects on IndieDB. The developer, Special Circumstance Games, is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to get “a burst of funding to polish up the game, pay some of our contractors, and acquire the needed assets”. Unfortunately, the campaign doesn’t look too encouraging right now. Well over half way through their campaign, they have only raised 10% of the funds they are asking for, and with a fixed funding campaign, it’s unlikely that they will see any money coming in.

Compared to many other games that seek crowdfunding, Shallow Space: Insurgency actually has a playable demo available. It’s far from feature complete, but I hope it gives an idea of what kind of game it will be when it’s finally released.

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5 New Kicks.

Do you have a little money burning a hole in your pockets? What about helping someone realize their life long game development dream?

Here’s another Kickstarter post (other entries tagged with Kickstarter). As you probably notice, I’m having a hard time giving it a creative title. The last time I wrote about Kickstarter projects, roughly half a year ago, I had a look at some of the more embarrassing endeavors in the games category. From people begging for money to play Call of Duty for 48 hours straight to huge sporting events that probably never happened. There were some massive train wrecks among those projects, but there are a few projects that get successfully funded through Kickstarter – about a third, according to their own statistics.

Let’s have a look at five computer game projects you can pledge to right now. One of them is already well funded, while the other four are all in danger of hitting their deadline date unfunded. And since it’s Kickstarter, they won’t receive a penny unless they are fully funded when their campaign ends.

Shadowrun: Hong Kong

The first project comes from Harebrained Schemes LLC, a seasoned creator of successful Kickstarter campaigns. Their greatest success so far has been Shadowrun Returns, which I didn’t pledge to personally, but my friend Klas threw a lot of money at the project. He even got his name in the game credits. I know this because I checked.

Now Harebrained is back with another Shadowrun campaign, and this time they are only asking for a little bit of money to polish a version of the game set in Hong Kong. Being a company that has already showed that they deliver on their promises, they’re already funded and then some. The promise of more high quality Shadowrun was enough for me to pledge the $15 needed to receive a copy of the game on release.

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The Failures of Kickstarter.

You are probably familiar with Kickstarter, the site where people with an idea can share it and try to finance it through crowdsourcing. Every Kickstarter campaign asks for a sum of money, which is a pledge goal they have to reach before the campaign finishes. If the goal is reached or exceeded, the project will get the funds. If the goal is not reached, all pledges are returned to the backers.

So far I’ve backed 16 successful projects on Kickstarter, all of them in the games category. Some of these projects have been massive money printers for the creators, like Planetary Annihilation, which raised USD 2,229,344, and Torment: Tides of Numenera, with USD 4,188,927 from 74,405 backers. Kickstarter’s greatest success story, regardless of category, is perhaps Pebble, a smartwatch company that not only raised USD 10,266,845 and went on to become a well known brand name, but also arguably kickstarted (pun very much intended) the smartwatch craze we’re seeing these days.

Wow.

You can probably see why Kickstarter seems like such a great place to raise money for what – at least in someones head – sounds like a fantastic idea. But while a few Kickstarter campaigns are immensely successful, the majority of them fail to meet the pledge goal before the time runs out – and some of these campaigns fall so flat on their face, it must really hurt for the people starting them. At the time of writing, there are 8 campaigns in the games category that will finish within the next 48 hours and have failed to raise a single dollar so far. Nil. Zip. Nada. Some of them have been running for almost 60 days.

Ouch.

Let’s have a look at a couple of the campaigns and try to figure out why they crash and burn this hard.

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Kickstarting.

A few months ago, I wrote an entry about a couple of project I’d supported on Kickstarter. All the projects were funded a long time ago when I finally wrote about them, making it impossible for you too to pledge and get all those high tier goodies you can usually get. This time I’ve decided to highlight four projects that are not yet fully funded or still have some time left of their campaign. I’m considering pledging money to these projects and you also have the time to get into the deal if you have some money to spare.

DUELYST

DUELYST is a squad-based, tactical combat with ranked competitive play, designed and developed by veterans from Diablo III and Rogue Legacy. “Diablo III” might not be a certificate of high quality for many seasoned players since the first release of Diablo III turned out to be a real mess. But the 2.0 patch of the game corrected most of the mistakes and the recently released expansion, Reaper of Souls, has received good review scores, both from “professional” reviewers and gamers.

The focus of DUELYST is on squad-based combat on a tactical map for intense, fast-paced 1v1 battles with the simple winning objective of defeating your opponent’s General. The game plays like the classic tactics games of our childhood while avoiding the standard tropes from the past. You’ll never need to spend hours on resource management or grind random encounters to get to the next fight.

For me, this sounds great – time is a luxury and with the little one coming in to play in not-so-long, it’ll get even more challenging to be able to pour hours and hours into a game. Also, DUELYST is not pay-to-win, something I can like – I’m am play-to-win guy.

DUELYST is already funded, and at the time of writing they’ve also reached their first stretch goal; additional battle units, spells and Linux support. They are not too far from the second stretch goal, either; a brand new faction and there are quite a few other stretch goals that might turn what currently looks like a good game, into an even better game.

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Kickstarted.

It’s been a good 18 months now since I backed my first Kickstarter project, “Make Leisure Suit Larry come again!“. That campaign was a raging success, raising a sweet $150,000 more than was actually needed to get Leisure Suit Larry to come again. After long months of waiting and a few delays, the Kickstarter backers were finally able to enjoy the reloaded version of the first Leisure Suit Larry games when Larry came again in June, and Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded was released.

Even though the Kickstarter campaign was a success, the game saw mixed reviews in the video game press. Personally, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d thought I would, either, as I pointed out in my review. Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded was unfinished, unpolished and perhaps a childhood memory that had been best left as just that; a memory. But even if the resurrection of Larry Laffer felt a bit like a dud, I continued to support Kickstarter campaigns.

As of right now I’ve supported no less than 9 additional campaigns, and some of the looks really promising! Here’s a quick look at the ones that has seen the most progress since they were funded.

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