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Tag: Kickstarter (page 1 of 4)

Limit Theory Development Ends

After 6 grueling years, Josh finally admits defeat, and pulls the plug in Limit Theory.

In 2012, Josh Parnell had a vision: Limit Theory, an open-world space simulator, a sandbox game with no restrictions. In the beautiful, procedurally generated universe, players could explore, trade, pirate, mine, escort, hunt, defend, build, and more.

To finance Limit Theory, Josh did what many indie developers did in 2012. He launched a Kickstarter campaign. With great screenshots, amazing videos, and his unprecedented enthusiasm, Josh managed to raise a grand total of $187,865 from 5,449 backers. I was one of them, and I even covered the game on this site. The campaign was a success, and he now had the means to focus on Limit Theory without having to worry about money.

The game was a massive undertaking, with an enormous scope. Josh was a computer graphics student at the time, but that didn’t stop him from working 40 hours a week on Limit Theory. Unlike many other Kickstarter projects, he also engaged with his audience regularly, and somehow found the time post regular video updates on YouTube.

The game was originally slated for release in 2014, just two years after the Kickstarter campaign ended. It became obvious early on that the planned release date was not even remotely realistic. Limit Theory had the scope of No Man’s Sky – sans multiplayer – and it kept changing slightly. Josh, being a perfectionist, seemed to find it hard to actually finish a particular feature, and move on to the next. On top of that, he would not only develop the game’s features, he would also develop game’s engine from scratch.

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Core Worlds Digital

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, and I’ll just continue to naïvely throw money at campaigns on Kickstarter.

As you probably know by now, Kickstarter is one of my favorite sites. As one of the first crowdfunding sites, it enables people with a good idea a delusional fantasy to find the money to turn their mushroom induced hallucination into something real. Not everything Kickstarter touches turns into gold, though. Campaigners more often than not underestimate the scope of their plans. That leads to massive delays when the project is funded, and the actual work starts. Sometimes, the project even derails completely, and while most of them don’t turn into a spectacular train-wreck the size of Confederate Express, there is often some entertainment value in the aftermath.

Here’s a look at another Kickstarter campaign I pledged to that promised the moon, but turned into hot air: Core Worlds Digital.

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The Confederate Express Mess

Over the years, I’ve backed over 40 Kickstarter projects. Most of the them have delivered as promised, but Confederate Express turned out to be a spectacular failure.

The Confederate Express campaign launched on Kickstarter way back in 2013. The game was touted as “a strategy-oriented tactical RPG”, and the campaign launched with an impressive tech demo showing off the pixel art graphics engine. Confederate Express got mentioned by high traffic gaming sites like PC Gamer, and Destructoid, which undoubtedly boosted the campaign’s popularity. When it ended, 2,386 backers had pledged nearly $40,000. Several of the stretch goals were met, some of which drastically expanded the scope of the game. A small venture capital investment firm also threw some money at the game. With the extra money, the developer decided to use to expand the scope even further.

While the extra money sounded like a good idea in theory, it didn’t work out very well in practice. Adding more features means adding more complexity, and the addition funding wouldn’t be available until after the developers helped the VC firm finish another project. After Confederate Express was successfully funded in November 2013, little was heard until July 2014. The developer, now using the company name Kilobite, announced Knuckle Club. With that announcement came also the news that the development of Confederate Express had been postponed, citing “recent restructuring of Kilobite” as the cause. Kilobite also tried to get Knuckle Club funded through another Kickstarter campaign, but the site suspended the campaign before it reached $1,000.

By now, most of the backers were screaming bloody murder, and they started to dig around in the dirt to try to figure out was really going on. The media also got involved, and what they discovered was quite fascinating.

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Simon Stålenhag: The Electric State

The alternative history artist Simon Stålenhag turns his attention towards the US.

I’ve never had any real relationship with art. Whether it’s a painting, a sculpture, or something that simply looks hastily thrown together minutes before the exhibition opened, none of it has never really been able to catch my interest. Not even the 130 kg sea of blue candy. Everything has fallen into one of three categories: “Meh”, “not nice”, or “confusing”. Yes, when it comes to fine art, I’m a simpleton1.

But a few years ago, I discovered an artist whose work struck a chord with me. Swedish multi-talent Simon Stålenhag, who I also wrote about back in 2015, makes amazing works of art. By taking science fiction and alternative history elements, and putting them into a familiar 80s and 90s settings, he has very effectively caught the attention of his – and thus my – generation.

After a very successful Kickstarter campaign two years ago, Stålenhag has released two books. In both “Tales from the Loop” and “Things from the Flood“, he mixes his paintings with an intriguing narrative. If you, like me, grew up in the 80s and 90s, Stålenhag’s paintings will trigger your imagination by themselves, but with the addition of the book’s narrative they really come to life.

And now there’s third book project in the works: The Electric State.

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AI War 2 Kickstarter Campaign, Take Two

You might remember Arcen Games‘ first AI War 2 Kickstarter campaign. I wrote about it when the campaign launched, and while I threw quite a lot of money Arcen’s way, I didn’t really think they would reach their very ambitious $299,400 funding goal in time.

When people say “I hate to say I told you so”, they rarely really do. But when Arcen Games founder Chris Park cancelled the campaign on November 10, I felt really bad for him. I don’t know Chris personally, and I’ve never talked to the guy. Still, by following what he’s been doing to promote both his company and the AI War 2 Kickstarter campaign, it’s obvious that this is a man who lives and breathes for making games he really believes in. Park is not a guy who gives up, and lays down in the fetal position under a desk when the world kicks him in the nuts.

Instead, he goes back to the drawing board, takes good advice from the people around him, and returns with a new, better, and refined AI War 2 Kickstarter campaign.

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