Ten... crowd-funded games from veteran devs
Kickstart my career revamp?
Project round-up The world is awash innovative ideas and clever product blueprints, although the folk who come up with them are often too penniless to take things further. Which is why fundraising site Kickstarter has been such a success of late.
But the site isn't limited to new inventors. We've seen a wave of veteran videogame developers seek public funds to help brush the cobwebs off their classic franchises. Bypassing the need for a big-name publisher can give developers the freedom to give us the games we'd like to play. Or maybe the majors just aren't interested.
This week, Carmageddon joined the list. Here are ten more.
Auditorium 2: Duet
Independent studio Cipher Prime built its original music-based puzzler as a Flash game in 2008. It was then ported to iOS and published by EA, subsequently making its way onto the PS3, Xbox 360 and PSP. The team wants to take things up a notch now and make the game co-operative with its sequel, Auditorium 2, but it wants to do that without the need for The Man. The game should see release this October.
This RPG meets turn-based strategy from some of the team that worked on Star Wars: The Old Republic managed to raise considerable funding after exciting the gaming public with stunning preliminary designs. Aimed at gamers who appreciate art, story and strategy, Banner Saga was "painstakingly hand-animated" and promises to be DRM-free and available at first on PC and Mac.
Double Fine Adventure
Tim Schafer, famed for games such as Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle and The Secret of Monkey Island, managed to get the funding required for his next game in eight hours. In fact, his team went on to raise almost $3.5m for Double Fine Adventure, eclipsing the $400,000 requirement by a long shot.
The game itself is a classic point-and-click, although further details are hazy. Over the 6-8 week development time, though, backers will be sent exclusive video updates and given the opportunity to provide feedback and discuss the game's direction.
Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards
Last month, we saw Al Lowe and Replay Games pitch for a complete remake of the 1987 classic Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards. After raising more than enough wonga through crowd-funding, it promises support for PC, Mac and mobile devices from day one.
It seems the world wanted to watch Larry come again, and it shall. The little squirt is set for a return this October.
DarkForge, a group of veterans hailing from studios such as Blizzard, Sony and Microsoft, decided to go it alone with its old school game about necromancy. The overhead, randomly generated action game is all about summoning evil to do your dirty work, drawing influence from classics such as Myth: The Fallen Lords, Giants: Citizen Kabuto and Dungeon Keeper.
Fans of RPG classic Shadowrun flocked in droves to donate towards its revival and raised a stupendous amount of cash in the process. Shadowrun Returns is now set for release in 2013 promising an even greater 'Blade Runner meets Lord of the Rings' adventure, where man crosses both magic and machine, and the Matrix is in full effect.
LucasArts veteran Garry Gaber and his team at Escape Hatch Entertainment reached out for crowd-funding in order to develop what he calls "the rebellious stepchild of Wing Commander, X-wing and Freespace 2" and promises a fresh approach to the classic space combat game. Starlight Inception is expected to shoot onto shelves next summer for PC and PlayStation Vita.
This spiritual successor to Rainbow Six and Swat is what the developers call a "thinking-person's shooter". We assume that means you won't be teabagged after getting fragged by a teen with lolwhut Tourette's, but we wont hold our breath.
While lead designer for Takedown is Bafta Award winner Christian Allen and the team behind the project consists of a handsome collection of industry veterans, getting the community involved was crucial to the game's development, apparently, and thus Kickstarter was the obvious route for funding.
The post-apocalyptic RPG Wasteland got the Kickstarter green light last month, paving the way for Interplay founder and famed games developer Brian Fargo to proceed with the game's revival. After collecting a total just shy of $3m, a version of Wasteland 2 for PC, Mac OS X and Linux are all on the way, expected around October 2013.
After publishers generally told the team to get stuffed because no one is interested in old-school RPGs, crowd-sourcing has proven otherwise.
With the official return of X-Com pushed back, gamers have used Kickstarter as a means to bring their own version to market sooner. Step in Xenonauts from Goldhawk Interactive, a London-based studio with experience on commercial titles such as Battlefield 3 and Heroes of Might and Magic.
The "Strategic Planetary Defence Simulator" has been highly talked up by our resident old-school gamer, Lucy Orr, who can't wait to get her mitts on the X-Com-esque title. The team hopes to raise $50,000 in the next 31 days, in order to release Xenonauts to as high a standard as possible. It is almost there already, so things look promising. ®