Back to back: indie RPGs to fund
It’s been a while since we last did a Back to Back! So let’s find out: what’s new in the world of indie RPG crowdfunding?
The casualty rate on campaigns from our last edition was incredibly high, with only Data Hacker: Corruption, Hyper Light Drifter, and Lords of Xulima meeting their funding goals. Ambrov X, Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan, Cedaria: Blackout, Fortis Rex: Rise of the King, Magic Meisters, MIDRAIN, Night Job, Tales of Terrene: Book One, The Rescue of Amberlina, and Tiny Kingdoms all failed. Ouch.
With that said, there were a few other Kickstarters I know of that both began and ended between then and now, all of them successfully: Cosmic Star Heroine, Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim and Comic ConQuest. So that’s good.
I’m sad I missed the boat on those, but luckily, there’s a fleet of even newer projects that we can talk about right now:
- Astral Terra — Morrowind meets Minecraft; that’s my first impression looking at this open-world 3D aRPG. The graphics are nicer than in either of these games, but it still manages to implement Minecraft’s world creation and destruction mechanics. That it does so in a truly alien-looking, open-ended fantasy world reminiscent of The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind is icing on the proverbial cake. This one has 38 days to raise another $50,000.
- Bloom: Memories — a 2D Zelda-alike with a lovely visual style (previously covered here), Bloom is back after its last attempt at funding came up short. Its funding goal is a bit lower this time around, and the game’s animations are looking a lot smoother. Word has it that they’ll have a Kickstarter demo up pretty soon.
- Confederate Express — a zombie apocalypse aRPG with some really nice pixel graphics and real-time lighting effects. Confederate Express is funded two-and-a-half times over with 14 days left to go. (The fact that the developers come across like twin brothers from Eastern Europe only adds to the game’s weird allure.)
- Deathfire: The Ruins of Nethermore — remember when I told you that Guido Henkel was working on a new Might and Magic-style wRPG called Deathfire? The time has evidently come for him to put it up on Kickstarter and get it funded. Deathfire is looking a whole lot nicer than it was when we first laid eyes on it–as of now, I’d say it goes toe-to-toe quite comfortably with Legend of Grimrock in the visuals department. That said, beauty isn’t cheap–Henkel is looking to raise a whopping $390,000 to complete the game. He has already raised the first $5,000 or so in the first hour and a half of the campaign, so hopefully he can hit this target.
- Elliot Quest — a 2D side-scrolling platformer / aRPG modeled on the Adventures of Link, we last covered this one back in June. I quite enjoyed the game’s demo back then, and I imagine that the game has only gotten better since then. Elliot Quest is a little more than 25% of the way toward its (quite modest) funding goal with 30 days left on the clock.
- King Voxel — a 3D Zelda-alike with procedurally generated worlds and (what else?) voxels. We last covered this one here. King Voxel had an Indiegogo campaign earlier this year did not succeed, so developer Philip Meyer is trying again–wisely, this time on Kickstarter. Things seem to have progressed a fair bit since we last looked at the game; I think it’s worth giving this one a second look, and quite possibly some of your hard-earned money to boot.
- Lords of Discord — a 3D fantasy strategy title that at first blush reminds me quite a lot of Strategy First’s Disciples series. (And hey, what do you know–they go on to name that very series in the pitch video. There ya go.) Unfortunately, it’s only 25% funded with less than two days to go. Given its rather high £60,000 goal (read: nearly $100,000), it’s going to take an enormous last-minute effort to get this one over the finish line.
- Lords of Xulima — a 2D wRPG announced earlier this year (previously covered here) with isometric exploration and turn-based, first person comba–wait. Wait wait wait. Didn’t Lords of Xulima just finish a successful crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo? (The answer to that question is “yes.”) The developers explain: “the objective is the campaign is to expand on content (quests, story lines, monsters), new character classes, music, artwork, translations, etc.” So basically, it’s a separate campaign for what would ordinarily be considered stretch goals. I guess that’s fair. They’re now less than $1,000 away from being funded with 22 days left to go.
- The Mandate — a 3D, party-based sci-fi RPG with ship-to-ship combat, a character creation process that ties in nicely to the game’s universe, and (from what I heard in the pitch video) a mind-blowingly good soundtrack. I’m legitimately excited for this one. The team working on The Mandate is currently a little bit more than a dozen people, but given the project’s incredibly ambitious scope, I have some doubts as to whether it’ll remain small enough that it’ll qualify as indie going forward. Hopefully it will. Either way, though, I’m counting it for now. The Mandate is now 43% funded with 25 days left to go.
- Project Swordsmith — an episodic dieselpunk aRPG; they have 9 days remaining and a little under $3,700 to go.
- You Are Not the Hero — an action RPG being made in RPG Maker. The conceit is that you’re a townsperson whose item was taken from her home by some stereotypical jRPG heroes, and you’re trying to get it back. This one has been hugely successful, reaching more than 5 times its funding goal on Kickstarter and getting Greenlit for Steam as well. I am really curious to know what developer Donn Manalili did to achieve so much success in the face of persistent prejudice about RPG Maker; I may have to interview him. Six days remain if you want to help You Are Not the Hero get even more funding.