Tags Posts tagged with "Kickstarter"

Kickstarter

One would be remiss by dismissing Yasumi Matsuno’s (Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII) next big project Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians as yet another example of golden-age videogames talent “slumming it” through the usual channels of Kickstarter and mobile gaming. Co-developers Playdek are no slouches—the team was responsible for  Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, in my opinion the premiere trading card game sim out there for mobile devices.

unsung-heroes2The game is scheduled for release on iOS and Android devices sometime next year, however Matsuno and his development teammates over at Playdek have turned to Kickstarter to drum up funds to not only bring it to more platforms (PCs/Macs, as well as the 3DS and Vita handhelds), but also to help bring in fresh, familiar talent to the project. Stretch goals include adding luminaries such as Alexander O. Smith (responsible for localizing many of Square’s great RPGs), as well as vaunted composer Hitoshi Sakimoto. To reiterate, the Kickstarter isn’t meant to hold the game’s release hostage: “Playdek and Yasumi Matsuno will continue to develop Unsung Story regardless of whether or not funding is met. The main focus on the crowd-sourcing isn’t to create the game but rather to bring the game to the platforms requested by our fans and to help further the immersive world being created by Mr. Matsuno.”

Before getting too excited, remember that Matsuno won’t be exactly as hands-on with the game as he was with prior projects. Speaking out on Twitter, Matsuno echoes, “There was some concept art [for the game] that I’d never seen in the article, but I like that it doesn’t have the typical look of my projects. My involvement in the project is limited to providing the original design plan, the story, and the setting, so I have no idea what the actual game will look like and what the UI will look like.”

The project has a fair chance of meeting its funding goal, with $136,549 already raised as of this writing.

The Kickstarter campaign of Keiji Inafune’s latest project Mighty No. 9 (aka his big “up yours” to Capcom for being douche bags in general) has hit its stretch goal of $2.2 million. This means we’re going to see Mighty No. 9 for consoles namely the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. If backers will plunk down another $1.1 million, then we will also see ports for next-gen consoles (PS4 and Xbox One) when it hits $3.3 million.

At this point, Mighty No. 9 is backed by roughly 39,000 people with over $2.2 million so that’s roughly $55 contributed on average. Makes me curious exactly how many people will be buying this game after it is released. You can head over to their Kickstarter page to find out what all the buzz is about and find out more about the game, especially the boss robots.

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Very good and nice.

Source: Destructoid and Kickstarter

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Keiji Inafune, co-creator of Mega Man, launched a Kickstarter campaign for Mighty No. 9. It’s basically Inafune’s “fuck you” to Capcom for not letting him make more Mega Man games (they cancelled Mega Man Universe and that forced him to leave Capcom).

For all intents and purposes, this is a new Mega Man with a different name because Inafune does not have the rights to his own work. They are trying to raise $900,000 to make the project a reality. It is being developed for the PC but includes stretch goals for release on other platforms which is a “high priority”. As of time of writing, the Kickstarter page has amassed $209,000.

From the Kickstarter Page:

 “Mighty No. 9 is an all-new Japanese side-scrolling action game that takes the best aspects of the 8- and 16-bit era classics you know and love, and transforms them with modern tech, fresh mechanics, and fan input into something fresh and amazing!

You play as Beck, the 9th in a line of powerful robots, and the only one not infected by a mysterious computer virus that has caused mechanized creatures the world over to go berserk. Run, jump, blast, and transform your way through six stages (or more, via stretch goals) you can tackle in any order you choose, using weapons and abilities stolen from your enemies to take down your fellow Mighty Number robots and confront the final evil that threatens the planet!”

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Want to be a backer (you should)? Head to the source link for Mighty No. 9‘s Kickstarter page.

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Perhaps I’m being incredibly obtuse, or expecting too much from a project that has nothing yet to show for itself but a fancy Kickstarter page, but absolutely nothing about “Japan’s Indie RPG”, Project Phoenix excites me. I see it as yet another platform for sly industry vets to namedrop and ride on their past achievements to fund an otherwise-unremarkable project on very suspect terms. Indeed, it follows very closely the standard M.O. of successful Kickstarter ventures: putting forth very successful faces behind proposals that consist of  nothing but promises and very vague handwaving. Quite frankly, I’ve been burnt far too many times on Kickstarter projects, and this particular one just raises the “bullshit” flag.

Let’s start with the game’s premise and promise, as presented through the Kickstarter page’s introductory video. Most KS users fail to understand their role in backing a project: most expect their contribution to be a “pre-order” or a guarantee for a finished product, when in reality they are looking at their financial contribution the wrong way. When I back a Kickstarter project, I consider myself an investor, rather than a consumer. I back projects because I believe in the project’s message and its people. Yet nothing in their presentation nor their “project plan” (aka the squiggles that go below the video) convinces me that Project Phoenix has anything of merit that I would personally feel comfortable backing, whether it’s for the cause of their lofty promise of “reviving” the JRPG genre, or the actual, finished product.

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Can’t take away the fact that this is some badass art, however.

Project Phoenix is a sprawling adventure in which you explore a vast, rich land and do battle against formidable enemies. The gameplay eschews micromanagement in favour of a focused Real Time Strategy system enhanced by JRPG elements. You can level your characters and teach them new abilities but at the same time they behave intelligently when you are not controlling them directly.

I’m sorry, but even the game’s main sell sheet sounds incredibly condescending to me, and essentially masks the fact that they are creating what appears to be a MOBA. This is all speculation and conjecture, of course; but let’s call a spade a spade. At this point I’m guessing that this is a DotA clone with excellent concept art and potentially okay music (more on that later). Personal tastes are subjective, so it’s difficult to get excited over a game produced in a genre that I have zero interest in.

Alas, that’s one of the inherent problems in gaming fandom: the influence of name-dropping goes a long way, and nostalgia trumps reality. On paper, I suppose the “cast,” as it were, sounds solid: the project’s game designer worked on LA Noire (I’m one of those nutlords that actually enjoyed that game), its art director tangentially worked on Final Fantasy, and they hired a 3D modeler that worked on Halo and Crysis. In execution, I wholeheartedly wish this team luck: that’s quite an eclectic mix of tastes, and just seems to be a project manager’s worst nightmare. And for anyone expecting Nobuo Uematsu to churn out another classic OST  — have you listened to anything the man has produced in the past few years? Dude’s there to collect a paycheck, and be a bulletpoint on the game’s sell page.

I hope our readers out there understand my apprehensions about Project Phoenix. I’m sure it has something of interest going for it, but upon further inspection, I could not find a single thing about the game that’s sold me on it… yet. Please sell me on this game! I really want to understand why people are hyped for an (iPhone-targeted) RTS that’s supposed to “revive” Japanese RPGs.

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So, were any of you legitimately looking forward to Final Fantasy VII: The Web Series? Yes? Good, because Square Enix C&D’ed it and we don’t have to hear any more about this awful project anymore. For the uninitiated, the Kickstarter was aiming to raise a lofty $400,000 essentially to take a giant dump on Square Enix’ intellectual property, and the company rightfully and understandably asked Kickstarter to shut it down. Signing their final update as ‘President Shinra,’ the series creators noted “[they’re] in the process of opening up discussions with the team regarding the ongoing status of our project and hopefully the continuation of our Kickstarter campaign.”

I hold no sense of nostalgia for Final Fantasy VII, so I’m neither happy nor enraged at this piece of news. What does tickle my skittle however is Schadenfreude, which can be found on the campaign creators’ Facebook page. Because, um… yes, it makes total sense: Square Enix taking down your project from Kickstarter means that they will fund your vanity project.

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The artwork of Broken Age

The simplified story is Double Fine’s first Kickstarter campaign for the game that is now known as Broken Age was crowd funded for eight (8) times the original budget of $400,000 to $3.3 million and in spite that, will require more money to finish the full game due to the scale and scope of the game according to Tim Schafer in a letter to the game’s backers which was published on Gamastura. The proposition to solve the problem of having to finish the game in 2015 was to split the game in two parts  where the first part will be release on January 2014 (ahead of the original schedule of July 2014) where non-backers can jump in on through Steam Early Access for a fee. The said fees paid up for early access to part 1 of the game will be used to polish and complete part 2 of Broken Age. This option was decided upon after ruling out going to publishers for money or running another fund Kickstarter campaign. Backers of Broken Age will not necessarily be affected as they will still receive the full game (Part 1 and Part 2) without having to fork over extra money.

In my opinion, this sets a bad precedent and possibly puts Kickstarter campaigns in a bad light. While I wouldn’t doubt that Tim Schafer and the people at Double Fine are hard at work I can’t help but question how could they have stretched development on the game with a budget eight (8) times the original requirement into something that would require much more. I can understandably be excited with the fact that the game’s development stretched out into something that could potentially be an epic game but is a letter explaining general road blocks and issues enough to justify telling people all their contributions are great but still not enough to develop the game envisioned in spite of hitting eight (8) times to original target funding proper? As a non-backer, I think this is as far as I would go on the issue but I certainly would love my backed game Massive Chalice to go from development into completion without going through something like this.

While crowd funding is a great way for indies to get a product produced, it may lack the traditional structure of businesses where the business model and time frame between a product’s development and launch needs to be strategically sound for investors to bet their money on a company. Crowd funding isn’t exactly an investments kind of setup, you’re basically funding a product out of your own pocket with no desire of earning from the venture unless otherwise stated in the funding tier you placed. Then again, even public corporations don’t fair that well under more rigid business practices. The biggest questions right now with Broken Age are: “What happens when the revenues from part 1 are still not enough?” and “exactly how successful is this game going to be with this new development?

You can read the whole letter by Tim Schafer addressed to Broken Age backers at Gamastura or jump into backing Broken Age here if the game and the issue piqued your interest.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

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The Virtuix Omni is basically an omni-directional treadmill designed for use with the Oculus Rift VR Headset —  allowing the gamer to stand up and traverse the game’s virtual worlds with the natural use of their own feet.

Kickstarter campaign went live today with a goal of $150,000, but it has earned more than double that, almost one thousand backers pledged $368,987 running total.

The money from the campaign will be used improving the prototype. One of the main goals is to make a more streamlined design for mass production. Looks pretty neat, to say the least.

Hit the source link for more details on the Omni.

Source: Virtuix Omni Kickstarter Page

 

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Double Fine Studio’s new project, Massive Chalice, reaches its funding goal of $725,000 five (5) days into the Kickstarter campagin. While it doesn’t come as a surprise to us, the big question now is what comes next? The campaign for Massive Chalice does not have any specific stretch goals but in a video update on their campaign, Brian Muir (project lead) tells us that the game is in a pre-production stage and while there is an abundance of ideas both from their team and the supporters so they feel that stretch goals will come after they narrow down the best ideas for the core product.

Also, they added new tiers to the Massive Chalice Kickstarter campaign, a low tier which grants an in-game item to boost 1st generation characters and another tier which includes a physical copy (due to public demand). With twenty-two (22) days left for the campaign, we can expect more updates and previews on what we can expect this game to play and look like and perhaps concrete stretch goals.

I am inviting everyone to check out Double Fine Studio’s Massive Chalice here.

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b6f51df9c05615f479b943cac8d3c5ce_largeIn this 30lives exclusive interview, I had the pleasure of talking to another Indie game developer, Radiant Entertainment. It was founded by twin brothers Tom and Tony Cannon about 18 months ago because they share an ambition and passion of writing video games. They have a respectable amount of experience in the coding field, having worked for companies in Silicon Valley for quite awhile before founding their own company.

Their first game, Stonehearth made huge waves on Kickstarter and has been successfully funded, earning a whopping $751,920 of its $120,000 goal. This interview was conducted weeks ago and it’s only now that I have finished transcribing this particular conversation due to other numerous interviews I conducted during the busy month of May! It was well worth it.

 

30: Nice to meet you Tom!

Hey there! It’s nice to talk with you! This is our first game and we’re very excited! Tony isn’t around for now so I’ll be your guy today!

803b8ecf01477e6c662f74bbdd04298a_large30: Well then, let’s waste no time on intros! Please tell us all about Stonehearth!

Your job in the game is to guide a little band of settlers as they survive and build a city in a fantasy world. Along the way you’ll design and build shelter, build farms, and defend your town from invaders.

30: What games inspired or influenced in creating Stonehearth?

The look is definitely inspired by classics of the SNES and PS1 era like the Zelda games and ChronoTrigger. Our combat and class system is inspired by Final Fantasy Tactics. The overall gameplay is definitely inspired by the old Maxis simulation games like Sim City, and by Dwarf Fortress.

30: What does Stonehearth have that stands out compared to other games?

Definitely a very large focus on moddabilty, certainly. We’re building the game to be moddable top to bottom. So if you want to add a sword or a new monster or a new kind of gameplay, you can totally do that. For some of these things you’ll need to code in LUA, but just adding a new item or customizing the look of your settlers will be pretty easy.

Other than that, Stonehearth will have a unique mix of RPG and sandbox features. Usually in a sandbox game it’s all about just exploring the rules of the world, but we want to add some of the story elements that you would find in an RPG.

steamworkshop_webupload_previewfile_142375476_preview30: Mind elaborating on what RPG concepts or examples this sandbox game will have? This is a first for me.

Well, let’s say NPCs will come to your town and you’ll need to decide… how you’re going to interact with them?  Will you form an alliance, or maybe steal from them?

 

30: I’m so ecstatic to see that the Kickstarter campaign has gone to the stratosphere, with already DOUBLE the pledge goal amount and with a LARGE window of 21 days to spare! It’s a staggering feat!  (Author’s note: this question was asked weeks ago, the campaign was successfully funded)

We’re really thrilled, but also humbled, by the results of the Kickstarter! The biggest thing for us is that we’re happy so many other people like the idea for the game.  We asked for advice from everyone we could find who had done a Kickstarter. They consistently told us that we needed to show the game, but that we also needed to tell our personal story.

So we spent a lot of time thinking about how to talk about the game but also about the journey we’ve been on for the past 18 months, and why we want to continue to make the game.

30: I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but I have identical twin cousins myself and I must say the only thing they share is physical appearance. They are totally different people!

Hahaha yeah, I agree with your take on twins!

92078a3b27d77620764da9128afdfd67_large30: What responsibilities and functions did you two perform during the game’s creation? Just because you’re twins doesn’t mean you’re all the same inside!

Although Tony and I can both code, you’re right, other than that we have pretty different skills, and Tony is a stronger coder than me.  So I do all of the art, and Tony writes 98% of the code. 

30: I am humbled by your acknowledgment of your brother’s strength over yours. I find you very respectable.

Why thank you!  We both contribute equally to the game design though!

30: It seems that Stonehearth will support only PC, Mac and Linux. How about console versions?

Yes, it’s true we’ve only announced for PC, Mac, and Linux for now.  We know PC gaming the best, so we want to focus there first and put out a really great game. Other platforms aren’t out of the question, but our focus is PC first.

30: Do you have any other games in development? Any plans for the future?

Like all gamers, we have lots of ideas, but at this point that’s all those are. It’s all about Stonehearth right now.

c006d08e4296a20429c145de27a67855_large30: I did some detective work and discovered you guys have a VERY impressive portfolio. Please tell me more about Shoryuken.com and the EVO Fighting Game Championships.

Oh, right! Well, we’ve been hard-core fighting game players and fans since Street Fighter II.  Shoryuken.com is my site, which focuses on fighting game news and strategy. Together along with our partner Joey Cuellar we also run Evo, an annual fighting game tournament in Las Vegas which gets over 5000 players every year. This is all stuff that we just put together over the last 20 years because we really love fighting games and want to support them.

30: Do they have any connection to Stonehearth?

There’s no connection between that stuff and Stonehearth. With Stonehearth we’re putting the fighting game stuff to the side for a bit and focusing on our other passions.

30: This is something I ask all my interviewees. What’s your opinion regarding 1st day DLC and DRM?

DRM is a losing game. You’re not going to stop a motivated pirate.  In fact sometimes they will look at your DRM as a challenge and you’ll just motivate them more! Even worse, DRM inconveniences your paying customers. We’re just focused on making a great game that people won’t mind paying for because they’re getting a lot of enjoyment out of playing.

30: Let’s conclude this interview with one last question: what do you feel about piracy and its repercussions?

I haven’t even shipped a game yet, so I don’t really feel like my opinion on big topics like these have any weight. I can only tell you how we will deal with issues like piracy in our games. From our point of view, we’re focused 100% on making terrific games and putting them in the hands of our customers. If we do that, then I think we will be successful and have a great future.

05ce1f1ecdbd945b0b0d042a0be58deb_largeThe Stonehearth Kickstarter campaign may be over, but you can still pledge and donate over Paypal!

Don’t forget to vote YES for them on Steam Greenlight and visit their Facebook, Twitter and Youtube pages for updates!

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m not quite sure if anybody truly longs for the days of collect-a-thon games circa Nintendo 64-era Rare (Donkey Kong 64, Banjo Kazooie); however if you’re one in this rare breed of nostalgia, then count your lucky stars and get your butt to Kickstarter. A Hat in Time debuted today on the wildly-polarizing crowdfunding service and—from what we’ve seen in the early trailers Danish developers Gears for Breakfast are showing off—this 3D platformer looks mighty impressive.

I’ve always been bothered at Nintendo’s decision of shying away from the flat cel-shading technology they used in The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (even opting for a far less impressive look in the upcoming Wind Waker HD), but A Hat in Time proves that a timeless art style will always trump strange corporate hubris/fan bickering. Yes, one can argue that this is straight up cribbing WW’s art direction and character design, but y’know what? I’m okay with this.

A Hat in Time will see a projected release in 2014. PC/Mac only for now, with a possible Wii U release. Back this project at http://hatintime.com/Kickstarter

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A little customer insight would have went a long way to prevent this disaster.

So I read that Square Enix’s senior executive managing director Yosuke Matsuda talked on about the crowd funding site Kickstarter and the Steam Greenlight Community in a publisher’s earning call. It was mentioned that they (Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight) were the way to go for the future of developing and marketing games. The company (Square Enix) posted an expected loss of  $148 million for the previous fiscal year (2012) primarily attributed to extraordinary costs and under-performing “hit titles” such as Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, and a personal favorite of mine, Sleeping Dogs. I have to point out that in spite of selling millions of copies, they were still considered under-performing might also point out what they’re doing wrong in at least the marketing department of these games. Aside from those, I also have to call out bad business practices with their recent Final Fantasy titles:

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In spite of all the trash I talk, I will be buying this game when it comes out.

The colossal flop and notorious vaporware are Final Fantasy XIV and the possibly defunct Final Fantasy XIII Versus. The first title (Final Fantasy XIV) gained notoriety over 2 years ago by being the major Final Fantasy flop and fell into obscurity by being a critical disaster, having a delayed console port with a major apology from Square Enix, and then relaunched this year after a possibly grueling and costly redevelopment process. It still baffles me to this day how the original Final Fantasy XIV could have gotten the green light and was developed to become one of the worse high-profile game launches in years. Only the hardest of core Final Fantasy fans will find this remotely relevant now as normal people would have moved on with their lives. I for one am satisfied with Lightning and the Final Fantasy XIII series. Yes, the characters (except Lightning, my waifu) pretty much suck ass especially her sister Serah, but the combat system is a damn fine tuned beast for people who like turn-based games.

Then we’ve got Final Fantasy XIII: Versus, seven years in the making with barely any updates and is surrounded with rumors of re-branding, re-development for the PS4 and what-not. It’s one of the top titles in my vaporware list because the studio doing it and the publisher couldn’t be straight up about the game’s development process and progress. What you have was such a big hype and absolutely nothing to show for it. I know they have other games, I mentioned it in the first paragraph. But fact of the matter is, Square Enix is Final Fantasy always was, and always will be. Other titles can pick up slack in some way yet if their main product, the Final Fantasy numbers suck ass, you know they’re in trouble.

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That’s great and all Lightning, but will I ever see the light of day?

While I certainly agree that Kickstarter and the Steam Greenlight community is a good way for developers to reach out to potential customers, the above mentioned titles among other things are the reasons why I believe a huge company such as Square Enix doesn’t belong there. For one, they (Square Enix) have the resources (always had) but never did they or any major publisher actually made any initiative or effort to reach out  and be more transparent to consumers in the current console cycle or before that in their development of games.

I’m not saying they can’t do crowd funding, what I’m saying is they should stay away from sites like Kickstarter, and even the Steam Greenlight community. These guys have reach and resources to get their product advertised to the end users. Independent game developers, no matter how talented they are, don’t have the same amount of resources. As a matter of fact, you’ll need a big name like Brian Fargo to strike critical success with crowd funding. No offense against the man, but that’s just how it is. The guy’s game was published, people liked it, he disappeared, came back as an independent but was appreciated for his commercial success through a game publisher.

Major game publishers have erred in one way or another in this console cycle and I don’t believe any of them will actually get a better rep when they start jumping on the crowd funding and people input-oriented roles they have chose to ignore for the past decade or more. None of them deserves a free pass now or even in the next generation. There are many things big gaming companies can learn from emerging and successful independent game developers. Square Enix seems to be riding on this line of thought or making us think that way, now let’s see if they will actually put their money where there mouth is at and change their ways.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

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Last week I sent out a few e-mails to video game developers on Kickstarter (both Indie and otherwise) and requested to do an interview with them. Thankfully a LOT of them actually replied back and the 1st to respond was Mr. Phi Dinh of Phi Games, maker of the new ARPG in development Tiny Keep. Brimming with excitement, this ol’ chap flew to the UK and sat down to have some tea with Phi. OK I lied, I didn’t fly to the UK (I wish I did), but I DID interview him and together we had a very good time.

phiA bit of a background on Mr. Dinh: he started coding at age 11 (simple text-related codes for adventure games). He grew up studying Computer Science in the University of Birmingham where he developed a few games as his final projects, which fostered his love for programming to grow bigger and eventually led him to work at the video game industry. He currently doesn’t have a big shot company of his own unlike many Indie developers (who knows, that could change soon), but that doesn’t stop him from making games that he himself wants to play. Here’s how our lil’ online chitchat went along…

 

30: Greetings Mr. Dinh! Nice to have you today!

Hi! Please call me Phi! Pronounced “fee” by the way. I’m both the programmer and project manager and it’s up to me to pull everything together and hopefully create Tiny Keep, which for years has been my dream game.

 

30: Well then, let’s start by talking about the game. What’s Tiny Keep all about?

Tiny Keep just looks like another run-of-the-mill hack and slash game, but I really wanted to make something different, something unique to play. So I focused on the AI, the big selling point of the game; intelligent monsters with believable behaviors! The rest of the gameplay is kept simple, no crazy combat systems and no dry stat progression dialogs – I’m hoping players will be blown away just by their interaction with the dungeon and its inhabitants. Oh and there’s definitely no button mashing. That’s my vision!

 

30: Do you have any specific games that inspired and influenced you in creating Tiny Keep?

Definitely! I used to love playing classic roguelikes like err... Rogue! There’s also Net Hack… oh and Ultima IV was pretty cool too, I swear it was the first open world game I ever played. The amount of stuff you could do in that game was ridiculous! And then there’s old board games like Hero Quest, I remember playing with my cousin and I was the evil wizard Morcar. All those little bits of furniture, walls, doors, treasure chests and plastic Orcs, I LOVED them! Yeah it may look a little bit sad I guess, but a lot of my childhood was shaped by these games.

 

30: Don’t be ashamed, board games are AWESOME!

Hahaha well, I guess you can tell why I wanted to make one of my own!

 

69205bab21b6e12a0de146a5c684ac86_large30: Since it’s YOUR OWN game, what features does it have that stands out compared to others?

Well, I’m VERY PROUD of the AI, and I’ll always point that out when talking about Tiny Keep. It’s totally the most exciting thing about the whole game, but it’s also the hardest to get right – so I’m spending the majority of my time building behaviors, testing, tweaking, rinse and repeat. A lot of people seem to like my procedural generation stuff too, I ended up posting my algorithm onto Reddit and they loved it and it brought a lot of backers to Kickstarter. Put the two together and I think you’ve got something unbeatable!

 

30: It looks like this game doesn’t follow the typical RPG template or formula.

The thing that frustrates me about RPGs is that a lot of them focus on the combat system, leveling/grinding and things like that; they usually have poor AI, monsters either standing still waiting for you to come or they blindly chase you around the map.

 

30: OMG you’re so right, they’re basically either just sitting ducks or broken cheaters waiting to gank you up! LOL

This needs to change! lol

 

30: Speaking of changes, any plans on releasing Tiny Keep to other platforms once it becomes successful?

Windows and Mac versions, for sure. I’d love to support Linux, but currently the engine I’m using doesn’t fully support it. After that I’d love to port the game to iOS and Android. It can pretty much be done out of the box, with a little bit of optimization work. If I ever get the game onto Steam, the whole Steam console thing is very exciting. The game looks great on a big HD telly (TV)!

 

83aa6f2f803375056ce2d81516710802_large30: What’s the biggest challenge or obstacle you have faced so far in making this game?

Apart from the whole Kickstarter process (which is an emotional rollercoaster of its own) I think the biggest obstacle for me as a programmer is the graphics. I admit I’m a bit of a perfectionist at that. When I first started making the game it was all in 2D, like most roguelikes. I had to use some placeholder sprites I found on the internet, but it was really frustrating making it all look good enough. I tried to do a bit of pixel art but I guess design isn’t my strong point.

I had everything else perfect: the dungeon generation, the AI, the multiplayer networking stuff, all working how I wanted it but the graphics just looked plain BAD. I think the project fell by the wayside for a year or so… then I discovered 3D graphics, and got in contact with an amazing artist, Matthias Andre from Germany and everything was alright again! So I LOVE developing this game – I’m really having the best time of my life!

 

30: Well the game looks BEAUTIFUL so good job guys! Another thing I wanna know is: why turn to crowdfunding?

Thanks man! I’m glad you like it! Sometimes when you work on something for so long you forget what the game might look like to other people, and you begin doubting yourself and your project. Some days it seems easier to just quit and make something else…. but then you have to remind yourself that this is THE project, and it really is worth my time. When people comment on my game saying it’s beautiful or that they can’t wait to play it, that really means a lot to me, and it strengthens my belief in the game.

As for Kickstarter… I’m a big fan of crowdfunding in general, because it gives HUGE opportunities to people and encourages them to work on their dream projects that would otherwise be too risky for corporate backing. I think that’s the way the world is going, more power to the small people! For me, crowdfunding is a source of money that would otherwise be IMPOSSIBLE through other means. I need the funding because I really want to commit to the project full time. I’m kinda at the point where there’s only so much I can do in my spare evenings and weekends!

 

30: Let’s go on to more philosophical topics. Tiny Keep’s a dungeon crawler like Diablo, which is known to be violent. What do you think of violent video games in general? Will Tiny Keep be serious or friendly? I believe this is a landmine topic in America right now, but I imagine it’s a lot different in the UK where you live.

To be honest I think the UK has a very different mindset when it comes to violence in games and on TV. I think it’s much more accepted here, though probably not as much as the rest of Europe! The last time I heard of any parents complain about games here was the first GTA (Grand Theft Auto), where running over grannies was the next big thing”. As you can probably tell from the graphics, Tiny Keep has a more lighthearted nature. The art style is completely different from the serious D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) stuff that you get with most of the games in this genre. I think it adds a real personality to the game.

I hope players who are more used to the other stuff CAN SEE PAST THE CUTE GRAPHICS AND APPRECIATE THE GAME FOR WHAT IT IS, a challenging and innovative dungeon crawler.

 

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30: Here’s one question I ask ALL developers. What’s your opinion regarding 1st day DLC and DRM?

Damn anagrams. I’m not interested in any of that rubbish – I just want to sell games at a fixed price, TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT! In the same way I dislike achievements, social games, and so I couldn’t care less about DLC or DRM! I guarantee you, however that every game that I make will be complete in its own right. If there’s ever any updates, THEY WILL BE FREE. The only time I’ll charge for something is for official expansion packs and things like that. I guess I’m a little bit old school in that respect, but these are the type of games I would much prefer to invest myself. 

 

30: I love how you’re being a straight shooter without the politically correct BS!

MORE PREMIUM, LESS FREEMIUM!

 

30: OK my final question is rather sensitive. What’s your personal perspective on video game piracy? Do you think it’s an unavoidable and inevitable part of the industry?

My honest answer? I’m not worried about it. It’s better that way! I create a great game and people either buy or acquire it through other means. Either way, when these people play my game I hope theyre getting some enjoyment out of it. Perhaps if games were less about corporate giants and more about the individuals that make it, these “pirates” would be more inclined to buy the game because they want to support the devs. Anyway, making games for me isn’t about profit, IT’S BECAUSE I LOVE DOING IT! Isn’t that the whole point of the Indie Game industry?

 

30: Well then that’s a wrap! Thanks again for taking the time to be with me today Phi! 

Thanks for having me, I loved every single moment of it! Let’s do this again soon when Tiny Keep is released!

 

 

3789492991e6a5baf2e509e9c4c1a7f1_largeFor the latest news about Tiny Keep, visit the official site.

Don’t forget to support and make the game happen by pledging at their Kickstarter page!

 

 

 

 

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I adore pixel art. I came from that generation of gamers (80s-90s), so it has a special place in my cold, black, evil, un-beating heart. So when indie developer Gamesbymo introduced A.N.N.E. (or Anne, if you prefer) to Kickstarter, I ceased my usual suspicious late-night internet activities to read the details and in less than 5 minutes I turned into this:

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Anne is in gorgeous 16-bit, which is about time since the indie scene has been saturated with 8-bit lately. It’s a true 2D game in 720p, so they advised to make sure our monitors supports 1280X720. The gameplay is a generous granola mix: a Metroidvania-Gradius hybrid with physics elements, and to top it off, it’s open world! So basically it’s Metroidcastlevaniagradiusangrybirdsskyrim, all in one pack.

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What really attracted me to this game like a whore to Tyrion Lannister is that the Kickstarter pledge awards are even sexier. In particular I took a BIG interest in the $100 level pledge, which is the game, complete in an SNES-themed box, cartridge, manual and the best part, a USB controller that resembles the original SNES controller. I mean, why settle for an original golden PS3 controller when I can have an SNES-like one? I hope they won’t screw this one up. Nostalgia may be overrated but I’m allowed to indulge in it once in a while.

The game also lists a lot of very promising stretch goals, and I quote ad verbatim:

  • $90,000 Milestone: Mac and Linux Versions!
  • $100,000 Milestone: Achievements! Gender Swap Mode!
  • $115,000 Milestone: New game+!
  • $130,000 Milestone: OUYA version. Challenge areas: Disapearing blocks? Alternate ending for completing every challenging areas?
  • $145,000 Milestone: PSN Version/Vita Version
  • $160,000 Milestone: Protect the ship two-player local co-op Mode!
  • $180,000 Milestone: WiiU version
  • $350,000 Insanity Milestone: ???

Yes, if enough money gets tossed their way, we can have Anne on OUYA, VITA and WiiU! It’s like Shovel Knight all over again! What more can I ask for?

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If you’re a very awesome individual, you’ll definitely support sexy indies like this. So zoom to Kickstarter now and pledge! While you’re at it, hop on Steam and make sure to Greenlight this game! You may also find Gamesbymo on their Official Site, Facebook and Twitter pages. The game is expected to be released on early to mid-2014, but you can bet that 30lives will be keeping an eye on it, and so should you! Stay tuned for more details as they unfold!

 

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It’s no shocker that crowd-funded products can and will most-likely result in less-than stellar products and apparently, our recent preview of the product and even a benchmark test from Futuremark show that the Android-powered Ouya is clearly behind new smartphones and tablets.

The Ouya ranked 78 out of 258 listed devices with a score of 4,010 points losing to current generation android smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy IV which scored a whooping 10,772 points. Sure, the Ouya outperforms older android devices from Samsung starting from the Galaxy SII all the way down to the Galaxy Note 10.1, but the the benchmark differs from 200+ – 1,200+ points only. A far cry from the benchmark difference of Ouya compared to the new android smartphones.

In my opinion, the Ouya just got annihilated before guys who pledged money to the Kickstarter (rubs) even got their hands on the console.

News sourced from Gamesindustry.biz

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This is a good example of a Kickstarter project that deserves your money and I’m glad that this game got funded.  Shovel Knight by Yacht Club games is a “love letter to 8 bits” and it looks like it’s going to romance its socks off.  The devs got a whopping 300k from over 14,000 backers which is a good show of support to this indie project.  Why am I swooning over this game?

  • The game looks sweet!  8-bit done right, maybe to perfection EVEN.  Shovel Knight follows the NES color pallette which makes it really beautiful.
  • Great character design and concept for the lead (and eponymous) character.
  • The animation and movement of the characters varies a whole lot — down to the lowly minions.
  • Totally plays like your favorite Rockman (Megaman) game!
  • 4-player arena mode, bitches! (local only but who cares)
  • Gender swap mode for feminazis! (haha totally kidding… no, not really)
  • Jake Kaufman is composing the soundtrack for the game.  He did some music for Contra 4 and Shantae and his latest work is featured in Double Dragon Neon.
  • And also! Manami Matsumae (the composer of awesome themes from Rockman) is creating new and original music for the game! If that doesn’t make you cream your pants, you have a serious problem.
  • The guys who developed this game worked in some pretty cool titles so the quality is expected to be topnotch.
  •  Finally, doesn’t Yacht Club remind you of YC Bikini briefs?  For a man who packs a wallop!

Still not convinced? Here is a video:

 

Since they are totally funded, the project sees the light of day and we will get to play the game when it gets released commercially.  They are looking at the PC, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS for the maiden launch and will even have the stereoscopic 3D support!  Help them get greenlighted over at Steam.

 

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While we wait for local Philippine efforts such as Gladiator: SPQR to produce anything of real note, let us quickly highlight an indie game from our neighboring SEA country, Indonesia. DreadOut has been in development for two years, and looks to be a fairly well-made take on the cluttered horror game genre. Developers digitalhappines aren’t afraid to expose their inspirations, as they straight up tell us—”[if]  you loved the Fatal Frame/Project Zero series of games you’ll certainly enjoy playing this game!” I played the demo and while it’s still a little rough around the edges, I absolutely loved it. DreadOut’s probably the closest we’ll ever get to getting Tecmo’s beloved horror games on the PC.

They’ve been on Steam Greenlight for a while, and are looking for more funding via IndieGogo. Support these guys, will ya? Check out some of their interesting ghost designs after the break, as well as a teaser trailer.

Which leaves me wondering, why in the hell do we not have games based on our folk/urban mythos yet? Untapped goldmine right there.

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Remember the Street Fighter: Legacy short film? The fan film that had the vision of what a Street Fighter movie should be promised to have a full length follow-up movie/series. The guys did a very good job that Capcom gave their blessing to go ahead with the project.

With that said, Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist is well on it’s way into production but they need further funding to make it the best possible SF film ever so they started a Kickstarter Campaign for it.

Watch the Kickstarter Campaign video pitch (pretty exciting stuff) above to know exactly what’s going on and head on to their Kickstarter page for updates on the project.

 

Source: Street Fighter – Assassin’s Fist Kickstarter