Vegard Skjefstad

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Tag: Kickstarter (page 3 of 5)

This is the Police

This is the Police is the result of a $25,000 Kickstarter campaign launched in January 2015. Belarusian developer Weappy Studio managed to raise a sweet $35,508 to finish development of their “strategy/adventure game about power and corruption, duty and choice”. Estimated delivery date for the game was December 2015, but as we all know, computer game developers always fail to finish on time. In August, 2016, however, Weappy Studio delivered on their promises and the game was finally released.

In This is the Police you’re put in the big – and probably sweaty – shoes of Jack Boyd, the police chief of Freeburg, a average sized city with above average crime problems. Boyd is retiring in 180 days, but before those 180 days are up, he wants to get his hands on half a million dollars “retirement fund”. There are many ways for a retiring police chief to amass that kind of money. Do you chose to serve your city like an honest cop, with the money coming from your monthly paycheck and rewards from locking up wanted criminals, or do you prefer to get rich by working with the mob, and other shady characters you find lurking in Freeburg’s dark underworld? Is it possible to stay friends with everyone, have a clear conscience and make the necessary money, all at the same time?

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The Norlan Whisky Glass

I can’t quite figure out if the Norlan guys are for real, or if it’s just a very elaborate hoax. Either way; now I want a glass of whisky.

I’m tempted to pledge a few bucks to their Kickstarter campaign, because the glasses look really cool. But the imminent failure of one of my more expensive crowdfunding endeavors have made me a little bit more cautious with who and what I throw my hard earned money at.

Is it all just a load of hipster and highbrow bullshit, or do the features of the Norlan glass actually have any basis in reality? Have a look at the campaign and judge for yourself.

Planetary Annihilation Collector’s Edition

Planetary Annihilation was once the greatest financial success story in the computer games category on Kickstarter. When the campaign was launched back in August 2012, creator Uber Entertainment had nothing except for a concept video and a need for $900,000. It was a long shot, but with promises of Total Annihilation-inspired gameplay on a planetary scale, and planets with rocket thrusters, the PA campaign quickly gained massive traction. After 30 days, Uber Entertainment had raked in an impressive $2,229,344.

I was one of the 44,162 backers who got caught in the headlights of the shiny Planetary Annihilation campaign. Not only did I pledge enough to get the game as a digital download when it was released, I also got access to the alpha and beta versions, the opportunity to name a planet in the game (I named it “vegard”, of course) and a physical collector’s edition game box. All in all, I threw $175 at the campaign, more than ten times what I’d usually spend on a game.

Then the waiting game started. Two years later, in early September 2014, after over a year on Steam Early Access and numerous delays, Planetary Annihilation was officially launched. But the reception was mixed. While the game had some original ideas, it turned out that it was quite hard to implement them. Planetary warfare, for instance, sounds great, but it’s very hard for the player to handle such a vast battlefield. Also, the game lacked a proper tutorial, and for a complex game like Planetary Annihilation, a good tutorial is essential to give new players – at least those of us who prefer single player – a little help to get off the ground.

The Kickstarter backers didn’t responds too well to what Planetary Annihilation turned out to be. In fact, when Uber Entertainment, just one month after the Planetary Annihilation launch, created a new Kickstarter campaign, Human Resources, it quickly became apparent that the campaign would bomb. The timing was terrible – players were using most of their time complaining about Planetary Annihilation – and the Human Resources campaign was pretty much created using the same mold as the campaign for Planetary Annihilation: No actual gameplay, just a lavish concept video and stellar promises of “insanely huge battles”.

But gamers tend not to allow themselves to be fooled twice1, and just shy of three weeks in to the campaign, Uber Entertainment admitted defeat and cancelled Human Resources.

It’s safe to say that Planetary Annihilation did not live up to the high expectations set by Uber Entertainment themselves both during the Kickstarter campaign and later during the development process. Now that the company has finally managed to provide their higher tier backers with physical rewards, can the arrival of the Planetary Annihilation Collector’s Edition make up for the disappointment?

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Kung Fury

What do you do if you have started work on an over-the-top action comedy featuring arcade-robots, dinosaurs, nazis, vikings, norse gods, mutants, but need money to finish the project? You turn to Kickstarter, of course.

That’s exactly the situation David Sandberg found himself in late 2013. He had started work on a project called Kung Fury, spent $5,000 out of his own pocket, but was running out of money. On Kickstarter, he asked for $200,000 to finish a 30 minutes version of the movie, but the internet decided they really wanted to see a movie about the super kung fu-cop called Kung Fury, and threw well over $600,000 at Sandberg.

Now it looks like he has actually delivered on his promises. The movie was released yesterday, and it has already racked over 3 million views on YouTube. Enjoy:

There’s also a Kung Fury game available on Steam: Kung Fury: Street Rage.

Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today

My game reviews are usually focusing on relatively old games. The main reason for this is that I buy most of my games on sale and games on sales don’t tend to be recent releases. This time, however, we have an exception. The dystopian point and click adventure Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today was released under a month ago, and I’ve already managed to play my way through it. Here’s my quick and dirty review.

Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today is developed by Fictiorama Studios, a Spanish indie game studio founded by 3 brothers; Mario, Alberto, and Luis Oliván. They describe their game as “a dark point and click adventure [with] old-school 2D graphic adventure game featuring space-time distortions, a dystopian atmosphere… and a dark, bloodstained plot”. About a year ago, Fictiorama Studios turned to Kickstarter for funding to complete the game, and that’s where I noticed it and pledged. I’m for some messed up reason drawn towards dystopian themed fiction, movies and game, so Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today was right up my alley. When the Kickstarter campaign ended, Fictiorama Studios had met their funding goal and even managed to raise enough money for their first stretch goal; 3 additional locations and 2 new characters.

In the game you play Michael, who wakes up in dark room with a bad case of amnesia. Not remembering a thing from the past is a classic way to start both adventure and role playing games since it makes it very easy for the developer to drop the player in the middle of the story without the need to provide a back story. You also get the immediate sense of mystery and adventure, since the player has to help the poor character figure out what happened. So the very beginning of the game is very regular, but that’s pretty much the only part of the Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today story where you’ll get the feeling that “someone else has done this before”. As a whole, the game’s narrative feels very original.

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