Crowd-funding has quickly solidified its position as a valid alternative to traditional funding arrangements within the gaming space. With multiple crowd-funding websites available and thousands of projects looking for success each month, it can be difficult to keep track of the big successes on the crowd-funding stage. With that in mind, I’ve pawed my way through the huge library of hopeful projects to compile a list of November’s biggest and most successful crowd-funded games.
Note: All funding and AUD conversion details are accurate as of 30/11/16
“Survival Horror game set in Hell. Take a trip into madness in the most terrifying vision of hell in the history of gaming!”
Agony – Kickstarter Campaign
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Genre(s): Survival Horror
Campaign Start: 01 / 11 / 2016
Campaign End: 11 / 12 / 2016
Funds Raised: $135,199 CAD = $134,484 AUD
Funds Needed: $66,666 CAD = $66,308 AUD
Agony is a survival horror game that locks the player within the deepest reaches of hell. As a tormented soul you have no recollection of your past life, you only know the nightmarish world which you currently inhabit. Your ability to control other beings allows you to survive and explore the game’s hostile environments. Whilst Agony may not be attempting anything revolutionary within the survival horror genre, what makes this game stand out is its raw and uncomfortably grotesque depiction of hell. The sights and sounds of the game appear genuinely unsettling which excites me as an unsettled person. With Agony far surpassing its funding goal, it has comfortably earned itself the honour of being one of November’s biggest and most successful gaming Kickstarters.
“Finally a sequel to the award-winning, genre breaking, asymmetric strategy cult classic. The most sentient AI in gaming.”
AI War II – Kickstarter Campaign
Developer: Arcen Games
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Genre(s): Real-Time Strategy
Campaign Start: 18 / 11 / 2016
Campaign End: 20 / 12 / 2016
Funds Raised: $73,576 USD = $98,248 AUD
Funds Needed: $50,000 USD = $66,709 AUD
AI War II is the second coming of the AI War series that initially launched back in 2009. AI War was a punishing, real-time strategy game that was fairly non-conventional in its approach. Going up against the game’s AI proved quite the challenge as you attempted to destroy your rival’s planets. AI War II can be played both solo or cooperatively with up to 8 players and features updated graphics and mechanics when compared to its predecessor. The game initially failed its Kickstarter campaign last month and has re-launched with a smaller asking amount and smaller scope. The re-evaluation of the game’s Kickstarter campaign clearly worked because this time around it reached its $50,000 goal in less than 24 hours.
“Follow the Wanderer on his journey to find memories of his past, and crack the secrets of Hypnos…”
Shattered – Kickstarter Campaign
Developer: Redlock Studios
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Genre(s): Action / Platformer
Campaign Start: 02 / 11 / 2016
Campaign End: 07 / 12 / 2016
Funds Raised: €66,413 = $94,493 AUD
Funds Needed: €80,000 = $113,847 AUD
Shattered: Tales of the Forgotten King is an action platformer that swaps between a 2D and 3D perspective. Playing as the wanderer you uncover secrets of the strange world around you and attempt to find forgotten memories of your past. The game has an interestingly creepy aesthetic and features 2D platforming segments with accompanying puzzle solving. Shattered then takes a unique turn when it flips your perspectives and throws you into a full 3D world for Darksouls style boss battles. With ~€14,000 left to raise for a successful campaign, Shattered: Tales of the Forgotten King is the only game on this list in risk of falling short of its funding goal. However the game has gained enough love and interest that I have high hopes of its pending success, whether that is through Kickstarter or not.
“Odyssey is a science puzzle adventure game focused on scientific reasoning and argumentation in astronomy and mechanics from the ancient Greeks to Newton.”
Odyssey – Kickstarter Campaign
Developer: The Young Socratics
Platforms: PC, Mac
Genre(s): Adventure / Puzzle
Campaign Start: 03 / 11 / 2016
Campaign End: 07 / 12 / 2016
Funds Raised: $39,289 USD = $52,482 AUD
Funds Needed: $15,000 USD = $20,037 AUD
Odyssey is a first-person adventure / puzzle game, akin to Myst. Taking place on a (mostly) uninhabited island within the Caribbean, you are drawn to a distress call by a 13 year old girl. The girl is in need of help but to reach her you’ll first have to navigate your way through obstacles and barricades set up by her parents. The game features exploration and puzzle-solving from a first-person perspective but what differentiates Odyssey is the way it educates the player in the field of science as they journey around the island. The game’s Kickstarter campaign ended up being a huge success after getting funded in less than 24 hours, achieving Greenlight success shortly thereafter and then doubling the initial ask in funding.
“A classic, dystopian visual novel which has stirred countless hearts. Help us bring the official English localization to life!”
Sharin no Kuni – Kickstarter Campaign
Developer: Tokyo Otaku Mode Inc.
Platforms: PC, PS Vita
Genre(s): Visual Novel
Campaign Start: 22 / 11 / 2016
Campaign End: 22 / 12 / 2016
Funds Raised: $76,697 USD = $102,452 AUD
Funds Needed: $80,000 USD = $106,864 AUD
With its campaign earning 50% of the $80,000 funding goal in just 4.5 hours, the Sharin no Kuni project was one of the most successful Kickstarters this month in gaming. Whilst the game isn’t technically new, it will be new to most of the English speaking world. That’s because the Kickstarter campaign is looking to localise the Japanese visual novel into English. Sharin no Kuni is a revered visual novel that follows the life of Kenichi Morita as he attempts to join the nation’s ‘Special Elite’. The ‘Special Elite’ are a group of individuals who impose specific and sometimes odd sanctions on people who break the law. Kenichi soon discovers some oddities with the ‘Special Elite’ that sets him on a path of discovery.
A survival horror game, a real-time strategy game, an action / platformer, an adventure / puzzle game and a visual novel; November’s biggest crowd-funding campaigns prove, if nothing else, that fans are willing to fund an eclectic mix of different genres. At such a busy time of year for gaming and life, one might be inclined to believe that gamers would have less disposable cash to spend on crowd-funding projects. However November has managed to once again prove that if you create something worthwhile, people will be willing to back you up.
For those looking for more crowd-funding goodness then feel free to peruse last months Kickstart Your Engines.