This article is fast becoming one of my favourite things to do. In addition to finding fantastic games to write about, I had a quick look at some stats regarding the success of projects on Kickstarter. I wasn’t surprised to see that only about 44% of projects succeed. As far as games are concerned, the majority don’t succeed (https://www.kickstarter.com/help/stats), receiving 20% of their funding or less. The successful ones are the ones that build up a following and engage with the community, keeping the fans up to date and providing sneak peeks at what’s going on. You need to work to get that money! Otherwise we’d all be doing it.
So highlighting some of these projects and bringing awareness to the gaming community can only be a good thing. Without further ado then, let’s see what’s going on in the indie world.
The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
End date: 23rd March
Creators: King Art Games
Top Reward: $5000 or more – everything from the superfan pack and a day behind-the-scenes in London, Berlin, their office or anywhere as long they’re there
Every little helps reward: $25 – digital edition of the game and forum access
What is it?
The sequel to the critically acclaimed and very popular point and click adventure game The Book of Unwritten Tales. The story will continue to follow the lives of the four main characters, Wilbo, Nate, Ivo and Critter, in their strange and wicked fantasy world. It has all the trademarks of an epic RPG, with side quests, numerous locations and quirky characters combined with the puzzle solving and charm of a point and click. The trademark humour can be found in the video on the Kickstarter site and the developers promise spoofing of such fantasy staples as World of Warcraft, The Lord of the Rings, Discworld, Game of Thrones, Dungeons and Dragons, Harry Potter and more.
I must confess to not having played the first game but after seeing the level of detail and ingenuity of The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, I’m fairly excited to play both games. King Art Games have already surpassed their goal and are now working on perfecting the game by adding even more side quests, a full orchestral score and behind-the-scenes production blogs. Their desire to involve the fans and pledgers as much as possible is touching and the enthusiasm for the game is contagious to say the least.
King Art Games are hoping to bring their quirky story to the general public in early 2015 but pledgers of more than $25 will have early Steam access to each chapter as it is released. There are plenty of incentives to pledge to this particular project but the simple knowledge that the game looks fresh and the developers have a proven track record of keeping their promises will probably be enough for anyone.
End date: 25th March
Creator: Inactive Pixel Studios
Top reward: $100 AUD or more – Beta test, digital and hard copy of game with signed cover by team, credit placement and art work
Every little helps reward: $10 AUD or more – Beta test
What is it?
A first person horror survival game. Your unnamed protagonist awakes to find himself in a dark and twisted place that he recognises but somehow doesn’t feel quite right. On finding a video camera, he must retrace the steps of whomever it belongs to and endure unspeakable horrors to make sense of what is happening. Explore the open world, find clues, complete puzzles and, most importantly, try to stay alive.
As far as horror games go, it’s not a completely original idea and some of the descriptions and alpha gameplay look reminiscent of Amnesia but I’m a sucker for horror and there are hints that the game may take an unexpected direction. The atmosphere is certainly creepy and there’s always something unnerving about a child’s laughter in the right circumstances.
Creator: Redkeep Games
End date: 8th April
Top reward: $10,000 or more – US supporters will be flown to game studio to meet and discuss game; for those outside the US, a Skype session will be arranged
Every little helps reward: $5 – supporter badge
What is it?
A dungeon crawler where you can join up to five other players and take on a dungeon controlled by an actual person, the Dungeon Master. Options will include multiplayer or single player versus AI, co-op and PvP modes and the choice to be a dungeon master or hero. You can also customise heroes, minions and dungeons and unlock in-depth talent trees.
This is quite an ambitious project but it looks promising and anyone who enjoys playing at being a dungeon master will no doubt be salivating at the prospect of customising and controlling their very own dungeon. It’s worth checking out the Redkeep Games website if you’re interested, if only to drool some more over the very pretty artwork.
Platform: Board game
Creator: Gray Wolf Games
End date: 1st April
Top reward: $5000 – a name of your choosing will be placed lovingly in the first edition of the LINEAGE rule book.
Every little helps reward: $1 or more – you will be included in all the updates so you can keep track of the progress
What is it?
A strategy board game that embraces the universal concept of the Tao. This game is deeply rooted in Chinese philosophy and carries with it the concepts of yin and yang, the four seasons, chi (energy), and the eight directions. It is for 2-6 players, ages 12 and up and requires strategic thought, tactics and cooperation. Players can discover and gather chi, train with Masters, create or destroy walls, conquer or free towns, avoid or serve the Emperor, follow the seasons, visit temples and palaces, exert influence and maintain your lineage.
After being struck with the idea while learning the ways of Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong, the developers have come up with a game that employs careful strategy and celebrates the concepts of the Chinese way of life. With the ability to have a random board every time you play, there’s no way this will feel like the same game every time and the artwork on the squares is exquisite.