Kickstarter

Areal Kickstarter suspended two days after hitting its goal

Andy Chalk at

The Areal Kickstarter was pushed over and then well past its goal a few days ago thanks to a very sudden spike in support, but the saga has now taken an unexpected (or perhaps not) twist, as funding for the project has been suspended.


Yogscast declines to comment on claim it received $150,000 of Yogventures Kickstarter money

Andy Chalk at

The failure of the Yogventures Kickstarter has taken what may well be the first step toward ugliness with an assertion by the developer, Winterkewl Games, that $150,000 of the money raised went to Yogscast, which was to use it to create physical rewards and hire a lead programmer for the project. But roughly two-thirds of that amount remains unaccounted for, according to figures released in a new, final Kickstarter update, and while Lewis Brindley of Yogscast insisted in a response that the update "omits much," he didn't explicitly deny the allegation either, saying only that "there's no value in going into detail."


Areal developers post "early prototype" footage, sceptics still not satisfied

Phil Savage at

Previously on the Areal saga, all this happened. To summarise: Areal turns up on Kickstarter, claiming to be a game "from the developers of the cult hit STALKER". People—including the ex-Stalker devs of Vostock Games—were unhappy that, in their pitch video, West Games used footage taken from Stalker and various off-the-shelf Unity assets, without clearly mentioning that neither are reflective of the product they're creating. The scepticism surrounding Areal hasn't dissipated—culminating most recently with a Reddit AMA in which many users accused West Games of avoiding their questions. Now, still short of their $50,000 goal, the team are instead trying the one thing that might help their PR problem: releasing game footage. It hasn't worked.


Enemy offers turn-based tactics with a squad of retro game heroes, is now on Greenlight

Phil Savage at

Enemy first came to my attention last year, when its Kickstarter campaign promised to deliver X-Com-a-like turn-based tactics with a retro game twist. Its items, abilities and, yes, enemies, are all drawn from gaming's 8-bit era, but the action takes place across fully destructible and randomly generated voxel environments. Enemy recently appeared on Steam Greenlight, and a new trailer shows how things have progressed.


Mighty No. 9 shows off in-game animations in new Kickstarter update

Andy Chalk at

The latest Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter update has the mighty Beck running, climbing and dashing through in-game environments as it explains some of his unique powers, including the ability to absorb the "Xel" of weakened enemies and turn it into power-ups. The second crowdfunding campaign, meanwhile, has been changed up a bit, and now promises both English and Japanese voice acting for another $200,000.


Pillars of Eternity beta for Kickstarter backers goes live in August

Andy Chalk at

Obsidian's old-school RPG Pillars of Eternity is slowly but surely coming into the home stretch, and in fact the initial round of beta testing isn't much more than a month away—but only for those who backed the game on Kickstarter.


Twin Souls: The Path of Shadows video shows new footage, level editor

Phil Savage at

It's the final week of Twin Souls: The Path of Shadows' Kickstarter campaign, and things aren't looking great for the Tenchu-inspired third-person stealth-'em-up. So far, the game has raised just $25,000 of their $70,000—less than that given to the potato salad guy. Undeterred, the development team have released the first in a series of video updates, showing new footage of both the game and its level editor.


Wasteland 2 Early Access sales helped double the game's Kickstarter budget

Andy Chalk at

Early Access releases on Steam can be a bit dicey, the state of pre-release games always being something of a crapshoot, but there are sometimes big upsides, too. Wasteland 2 is one example of a game that was particularly well-served by its Early Access release late last year: In the most recent Kickstarter update, project lead Chris Keenan wrote that "every penny" earned through pre-release sales was put back into the game, which has helped double its initial Kickstarter budget.


Former Stalker, Survarium lead designer joins Areal development team

Andy Chalk at

The Kickstarter for the Stalker "spiritual successor" Areal looked like a sure-fire train wreck after it launched, as serious questions about its legitimacy and the bona fides of the team behind it seemed almost certain to bring it down. Yet it continues to persevere, and today the former lead designer of Vostok Games' Survarium, who also worked as a designer on the original Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl, posted a video message confirming that he's joined the Areal development team.


Mighty No. 9 launches new crowdfunding campaign for English voice acting

Andy Chalk at

Keiji Inafune's Mega Man follow-up Mighty No. 9 was one of the most successful videogame Kickstarters ever, pulling in $3.85 million last year, more than four times its original goal. Combined with money earned through a separate PayPal campaign, the total funding amount broke $4 million, enough to nail every stretch goal the Comcept development team could cook up. But full English voice acting wasn't included among those goals, and so now a new crowdfunding campaign has been launched seeking another $100,000 to get it in there.


Dieselpunk RPG InSomnia returns to Kickstarter, and it's not an MMO

Andy Chalk at

InSomnia's first go-around with Kickstarter came to an unhappy end in November 2013 when the developer, Studio Mono, pulled the plug after raising a little over $5000 toward a $70,000 goal. Now it's back, with a tweaked campaign, a playable demo and a clear message that it is not an MMO.


Dreamfall Chapters trailer shows returning characters and upcoming choices

Phil Savage at

As previously announced, Dreamfall Chapters—the crowdfunded sequel to Dreamfall: The Longest Journey—is being split up into five parts. The newly episodic adventure's first episode, Reborn, will arrive this Autumn. In preparation, Red Thread have released a new teaser—one that offers a fresh look at returning characters Zoe and Kian. Of course, if you're a The Longest Journey fan, you'll probably be too busy searching for any hint as to the fate of April Ryan to notice.


Official Stalker Facebook page extends, then retracts, support for Areal Kickstarter

Andy Chalk at

The official Facebook page of GSC Game World, the now-defunct creator of the Stalker series, issued a statement over the weekend calling for an end to disparaging comments about Areal, the "definitive spiritual successor" to the Stalker games that's now on Kickstarter/a>. That led Misery Developments, one of the most prominent critics of Areal, to remove all such criticism from its Facebook page; yet now GSC has reversed course and removed all mention of Areal from its own Facebook page.


Dreamfall Chapters becomes episodic, will take place over five parts

Phil Savage at

Dreamfall Chapters news was heralded this morning by the arrival of a talking crow. As an homage to the series' most enduring sidekick, it landed on my monitor, announced that, "Dreamfall Chapters will now be an episodic adventure," and spent the next ten minutes flapping wildly, unable to find an open window. It was still less eventful than the time Ubisoft sent us Far Cry 3 press releases written on the side of a live tiger.


Areal studio claims Kickstarter complaints are "addressed," but Vostok Games says otherwise

Andy Chalk at

The team behind the Stalker-inspired Areal said in a recent Kickstarter update that it has worked things out with Vostok Games and cleared up all the complaints against it. But a Vostok representative says that's not really what happened at all, and that it's been forced to let the matter drop because it can't actually do anything about it.


Vostok Games claim Areal Kickstarter campaign's use of STALKER assets is "not right"

Phil Savage at

Areal is a post-apocalyptic, open-world shooter that claims to be the "definitive spiritual successor to the cult hit S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series". Another claim: that its creators, West Games, are a team mostly "composed of former senior GSC Game World staff members". It's currently on Kickstarter, and it's looking for $50,000.

That's the basic starting point, but things get a lot more complicated. Vostok Games—a band of former GSC Game World staff and creators of the STALKER-inspired MMO Survarium—have taken umbrage to these statements, saying that West Games are fraudulently promoting themselves as core STALKER developers.


Twin Souls: The Path of Shadows offers 'old school' third-person stealth, needs your help

Shaun Prescott at

Described as a mix of Tenchu, Mark of the Ninja and Dishonored, Twin Souls: The Path of Shadows is a third-person stealth action game in need of Kickstarter funding. You play as 'spirit of vengeance' Aragami, whose key pursuits in life are to “sneak past guards, teleport between shadows, create [--] areas of darkness and strategically assassinate targets.”


Luxuria Superbia studio Tale of Tales announces Sunset, a first-person war game without guns

Andy Chalk at

Tale of Tales is a two-person development team known for making some very unusual games—interactive screensavers about magical forest animals with human faces to peppy, or abstract arcade sex adventures. Calling the work "experimental" is putting it mildly, but it's also oddly compelling if you're into that sort of thing. I am, so I'm pretty excited about Sunset, a narrative-driven game set during a violent revolution in 1970s South America that hit Kickstarter today.


Frontiers celebrates one-year Kickstarter anniversary with big progress update

Phil Savage at

Ambitious exploration-based RPG Frontiers is celebrating its anniversary. A year has passed since it raised $150,000 on Kickstarter, and successfully became a game that will one day exist. Since then, the project has entered full scale development, and now, today, is... still a game that will one day exist. To mark the passing of this auspicious milestone, creator Lars Simkins has released a big update video, explaining where he's at with the game.


Catlateral Damage brings cheerful destruction to Kickstarter

Phil Savage at

Catlateral Damage is a game about interior decoration, but also about the irreconcilable differences that separate cohabiting species. On the one side are humans, who largely believe that objects should be placed neatly on surfaces. On the other, cats: furry agents of destruction and chaos, who reject concepts of ownership, property and TVs that aren't lying smashed on the floor.

It's a big topic for a game, and as such, requires a lot of exploration. The free browser version is an admirable attempt to capture this maelstrom of violence, but there's more that can be done. Step forward a Kickstarter campaign, and an attempt to transform the game into a more complete simulation of the household pet experience.