Kickstart your Engines – September 2016

Feature article

Kickstarter has solidified itself as a big hitter when it comes to the funding of interesting and desired video game titles. With thousands of products releasing every month, consumers make the ultimate decision as to which handful of games survive and which will be forgotten in time. With that in mind, I’ve pawed my way through the huge library of hopeful projects to compile a list of September’s biggest and most successful Kickstarter games.

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Campaign Breakdown – Dual Universe

Campaign Start Date:             07/09/16
Funds Raised (so far):             $578,327 AUD
Total Funds Needed:               $730,437 AUD
Campaign End Date:               12/10/16

Game Overview:
Dual Universe is  a science-fiction, sandbox MMORPG. Every player will be contained within a solitary, player-driven, expansive and persistent universe.

When games of a large scope land on Kickstarter they fail more often then they succeed. Asking for a large chunk of money from the public runs a massive risk because even if you generate a lot of love and attention you may never hit your goal. As a result, very few games come close to raising the kind of money that Dual Universe has so far managed to raise. By far, Dual Universe is the most successful gaming Kickstarter this month, if examined from a strictly ‘money raised’ metric; which is why it’s appearing on this list. However, the game still has a long way to go. With the campaign ending well into October it most certainly has a chance of achieving its funding goal, but nothing is guaranteed.

Dual Universe is your classic, intergalactic MMORPG (think Eve Online). It will be an almost endless, persistent world with all players contained within the same universe; no zones, no instances, no loads. The game will feature a player-driven economy, trading, factions, territory control and warring. With voxel-based building also integrated into the game, players will be able to design and create their own ships, cities, or space-stations the size of moons. The game will feature PvP combat outside of ‘safe zones’, planet scanning and mining for resources. Players can construct almost anything with the game’s voxel-builder, program their creations with complex behaviours and send those creations into mass production.

 

Campaign Breakdown – Code: HARDCORE

Campaign Start Date:             11/09/16
Funds Raised (so far):             $150,971 AUD
Total Funds Needed:               $85,438 AUD
Campaign End Date:               26/10/16

Game Overview:
Code: HARDCORE is a mech based, 2-Dimensional, platform, combat game. Jump in your mech and get ready to battle it out with your friends.

Code: HARDCORE is by far one of the most successful campaigns to emerge from Kickstarter this month. The game has already raised an incredible amount of money when compared to your average Kickstarter campaign. It has also managed to completely eclipse its funding goal, generating more money than it ever needed. With almost an entire month of the campaign remaining, Code: HARDCORE can continue to raise revenue, increase their game’s scope and solidify itself as one of Septembers most successful Kickstarters.

Code: HARDCORE wants to bring mechs back into the spotlight. This 2D game will see people face-off against one another in arenas of mechanical warfare. With a multitude of different mechs available, you can choose a style of play that suits you – big and powerful or small and manoeuvrable. Out platform, out strategise and out damage your friends with local multiplayer or take your skills online to see how they hold up. The game will also offer a full, single-player experience for players to enjoy.

 

Campaign Breakdown – Rad Rodgers

Campaign Start Date:             06/09/16
Funds Raised (so far):             $75,823 AUD
Total Funds Needed:               $65,180 AUD
Campaign End Date:               06/10/16

Game Overview:
Rad Rodgers is a side-scrolling, action, platformer. The game stars Rad Rodger and his buddy Dusty in a humour-filled, 2D adventure.

Rad Rodgers has managed to make a name for itself this month with the amount of attention and money it has so far acquired. Choosing to run a campaign only 30 days long, Rad Rodgers needed to raise a lot of money very quickly – and so they did. With the campaign coming to an end soon, the project has recently managed to hit and surpass its funding goal with confidence and bravado.

Taking inspiration from 90’s platformers, Rad Rodgers looks to bring the action back into the platforming genre. Armed with an arsenal of different weapons – thanks to his buddy Dusty, Rad Rodgers will run and gun his way through hostile critters and perilous platforming segments. The game will feature beautiful, natural environments juxtaposed against a slew of gun fire and explosions. Rad Rodgers will also bring a sense of humour and quirky characters into the mix to keep things light and funny.

 

Campaign Breakdown – Voyage of Fortune’s Star

Campaign Start Date:             21/09/16
Funds Raised (so far):             $66,716 AUD
Total Funds Needed:               $260,841 AUD
Campaign End Date:               24/10/16

Game Overview:
Voyage of a Fortune’s star is a pen and paper RPG in a digital format. Embark on a grand journey with this swashbuckling, pirate themed adventure.

Launching not too long ago on the 21st of September, Voyage of Fortune’s Star very quickly created a buzz about it and raised a staggering amount of money in a very short amount of time. The game is another large-scale, Kickstarter project. Asking for over $260,000 AUD would usually run a big risk but Voyage of Fortune’s Star is well on its way to achieving that funding. With over $65,000 AUD raised in under 10 days, this project has solidified itself as a hugely desired and successful title.

Voyage of Fortune’s Star comes from very interesting origins. The game will be an adaptation of an old and much loved pen and paper RPG called 7th Sea. Amazingly, 7th Sea was so loved by the community that when a Kickstarter campaign launched in February of this year (with the goal of creating a 7th Sea second edition) it received a ludicrous $1,714,288 AUD and was funded in 7 minutes. It would be a fairly safe bet to suggest that Voyage of Fortune’s Star is riding that wave of success and looking to make it big again. The game will allow you to experience the 7th Sea story in all of the glory of a digital, action RPG format.

 

Campaign Breakdown – I.C.U.

Campaign Start Date:             28/09/16
Funds Raised (so far):             $88,912 AUD
Total Funds Needed:               $65,162 AUD
Campaign End Date:               1/11/16

Game Overview:
I.C.U. is an interactive horror game that puts a streamer in the hot seat and allows their viewers to dictate what occurs within the game.

I.C.U. was an absolute, last minute addition to this feature. With September nearing its end I began feeling confident that no other Kickstarter project could make it big this month – boy was I wrong. Launching on the 28th, I.C.U. surpassed its funding goal within the first 8 hours of its campaign, achieving a staggering amount of money very quickly. The campaign still has over a month of funding left though, so I.C.U. can continue to raise revenue and become bigger and better than ever imagined.

I.C.U. won’t be your typical video game experience. In fact, for most of us, we won’t ever be able to play the game ourselves. This is because the game will have ‘contestants’ and ‘viewers’. The contestants will be made up of video game streamers who will attempt to survive everything the game throws their way. The viewers role will be to alter the contestants experience by voting on different choices that impact on the environment or interactivity of the game.

 

Campaign Breakdown – The Rabbit and the Owl

Campaign Start Date:             01/09/16
Funds Raised (so far):             $17,460 AUD
Total Funds Needed:               $6,521 AUD
Campaign End Date:               1/10/16

Game Overview:
The Rabbit and the Owl is a 2D, puzzle platformer that uses negative space to create problems to overcome. Played either co-op or as a solo experience.

Launching at the start of September and ending at the start of October – The Rabbit and the Owl is the embodiment of the September Kickstarter; a testimony to how small-scale projects can sometimes be big successes on Kickstarter. Asking for a more humble amount of money, The Rabbit and the Owl managed to be hugely successful with its campaign this month, accumulating well over double its initial ask.

The Rabbit and the Owl is a puzzle platformer, but it has an extra trick up its sleeve to keep it relevant and interesting. The game uses white and black, not just aesthetically but as a integral game mechanic. Both characters can only move within the opposing colour and they have to work together and assist each other to be able to reach the end. The game can be played cooperatively with a partner, controlling one character each. Alternatively, the game can be played solo, controlling one character at a time.

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There were some big games to emerge from Kickstarter this last month. Some very large projects that accumulated an incredible amount of funding and some games that far surpassed any initial goal. With a fascinating and eclectic mix of genres on offer, we most certainly have some interesting games to look forward to in the future. Games whose history all begun in September, 2016.