Kickstart your Engines – October 2016

Feature article

Crowd-funding has proven itself as a huge industry and 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 October’s biggest and most successful crowd-funded games.

Note: All funding and AUD conversion details are accurate as of 31/10/16

 

#1

“A party-based roleplaying game with an emphasis on deep reactivity, replayability, and strategic combat.”

Wasteland 3  |  Fig Campaign

Developer:                     inXile
Platforms:                     Xbox One, PS4, Windows (PC), Mac, Linux
Genre(s):                          Strategy / RPG

Campaign Start Date:                    06 / 10 / 2016
Funds Raised (so far):                   $3,070,338  =  $4,045,508 AUD
Total Funds Needed:                      $2,750,000   =  $3,621,995 AUD
Campaign End Date:                       04 / 11 / 2016

Every now and again there will be a crowd-funded game with such high demand and consumer interest that it blows everything else out of the water. One such project was Wasteland 2 back in March of 2012 when its Kickstarter campaign raised $2,933,252 USD. With big shoes to fill, Wasteland 3 aimed to compete with the popularity of its predecessor and it turned to crowd-funding website ‘Fig’ in order to do so. Fig works slightly differently to a website like Kickstarter because it allows for investments as well as donations to go towards the funding goal, and it invests money into the project itself. having said that, the project still reached its $2,750,000 USD funding goal in just 3 days with at least $800,000 USD of that coming straight from crowd donations, earning it the number 1 spot on this list.

Wasteland 3 is a top-down RPG set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It can be played both solo or cooperatively and features strategic turn-based combat as well a complex story and choice driven dialogue. Starting your journey in the icy wasteland of Colorado, the game borrows from and expands upon the mechanics found within the previous iteration.

 

#2

“Explore the remains of a fallen empire from a wolf’s perspective! Control every animal you encounter to uncover your destiny.”

Lost Ember  |  Kickstarter Campaign

Developer:                     Mooneye Studios
Platforms:                     Xbox One, PS4, Windows (PC)
Genre(s):                          Adventure / Exploration

Campaign Start Date:                    12 / 10 / 2016
Funds Raised (so far):                     €215,596  =  $311,954 AUD
Total Funds Needed:                       €100,000   =  $144,694 AUD
Campaign End Date:                       15 / 11 / 2016

Launching onto Kickstarter in mid October, Lost Ember surpassed all expectations when it achieved its €100,000 funding goal in just 2 days. As the month progressed the campaign more than double its initial ask, earning it the number 2 spot on this arbitrary list.

The game has a strong focus on experiencing and appreciating your surroundings from a multitude of differing perspectives. Set in a world where nature has reclaimed the Earth, you find yourself on a journey to uncover your place within the ecosystem. Whilst the main playable character is a wolf, you also possess the power to control other animals that you come across. Dive through tropical waters, soar over breath-taking vistas or dig deep underground – Lost Ember wants you to experience the beauty of its natural world.

 

#3

“The ultimate farming game— a detailed simulator, that is as close to reality as a simulation game can get”

Catttle and Crops  |  Kickstarter Campaign

Developer:                     Masterbrain-Bytes
Platforms:                     Windows (PC)
Genre(s):                          Simulation

Campaign Start Date:                    30 / 09 / 2016
Funds Raised (so far):                     €171,146  =  $247,703 AUD
Total Funds Needed:                       €100,000   =  $144,732 AUD
Campaign End Date:                       31 / 10 / 2016

If you ever doubted the demand for farming simulations, then Cattle and Crops should be proof of just how out of touch you are. Launching on Kickstarter on September 30th, Cattle and Crops isn’t technically an October title but I make the rules and I’ll be damned if I can’t break them. Achieving its funding goal of €75,000 in just 2 days and then more than doubling that initial ask, Cattle and Crops has earned itself the rightful place of 3rd on my silly little list.

The game is looking to bring depth to the simulation genre. It promises to bring attention to detail and realism to all things farming. From tending to crops, breeding and raising livestock, driving tractors or managing staff – Cattle and Crops has everything  you need to run your virtual, agricultural life.

 

#4

“A next generation adventure role playing video game connecting smart action figures, trading cards, & comics in ways never seen before.”

Lightseekers  |  Kickstarter Campaign

Developer:                     PlayFusion
Platforms:                     Mobile, Tablets
Genre(s):                          Action / Adventure / RPG

Campaign Start Date:                    06 / 10 / 2016
Funds Raised (so far):                    $206,097  =  $271,591 AUD
Total Funds Needed:                       $200,000   =  $263,557 AUD
Campaign End Date:                       05 / 11 / 2016

With a $200,000 USD asking price and a concept that is slightly left of field, Lightseekers had to really wow their audience to achieve funding, and so they did. The project kicked off in early October and steadily but assuredly achieved its funding goal later in the month, earning it the number 4 place on my list.

Lightseekers is a bit of an odd one. It isn’t trying to be your standard video game but rather employ and combine gaming over multiple mediums. The game will be available to play on mobile/tablets but there will also be trading cards and figurines that all link together and effect your game experience. The video game component will be an Action RPG but to get a better understanding of how everything works together I’d recommend watching the video and reading up on their Kickstarter page.

 

#5

“A cooperative explorathon about pugs, butt sniffin, and friendship! An accessible game for all ages that’s just about having fun.”

Butt Sniffin Pugs  |  Kickstarter Campaign

Developer:                     SpaceBeagles
Platforms:                     Windows (PC), Mac, PS4
Genre(s):                          Simulation / Exploration

Campaign Start Date:                    04 / 10 / 2016
Funds Raised (so far):                    $48,646  =  $64,104 AUD
Total Funds Needed:                       $60,000   =  $79,067 AUD
Campaign End Date:                       04 / 11 / 2016

Asking for $60,000 USD, Butt Sniffin Pugs has slowly been approaching its funding goal throughout October. Now in its final week, the game is on the home stretch and looking to make that final chunk of cash to turn the campaign into a success.

Butt Sniffin Pugs is a simulation game in the vein of Animal Crossing. Explore the virtual world of Central Bark, interact with your surroundings and complete quests and events. The game can also be played cooperatively with a friend.

 

#6

“A brilliant blend of classic adventure games, dating sims, and the world of Amazon Kindle Sensation and Hugo Award Nominee Dr. Chuck Tingle.”

Project Tingler  |  Kickstarter Campaign

Developer:                     Zoë Quinn
Platforms:                     Windows (PC), Mac
Genre(s):                          Adventure / Dating Sim

Campaign Start Date:                    27 / 10 / 2016
Funds Raised (so far):                    $37,244  =  $49,079 AUD
Total Funds Needed:                       $69,420   =  $91,480 AUD
Campaign End Date:                       17 / 11 / 2016

Yep, so it looks like this is a thing. Asking for $69,420 USD – Project Tingler made 40% of its funding goal in just 1 day. This is a project that apparently a lot of people want to see come to life. At the time of writing the campaign is over 50% funded and has a lot of time left to achieve its goal, earning it the 6th and final place in my list.

Project Tingler will be a FMV (Full Motion Video) game that plays like a classic adventure / gay dating sim. Explore the Tingleverse and uncover the absurd and the erotic.

—–

With a crazy mixed-bag of genre’s and ideas, October will go down as  a fairly memorable month for crowd-funded gaming projects. Some huge successes that included one of the most funded video game crowd-funding campaigns of all time. Remember the names of some of these projects because each and everyone of them could be your next favourite game.