Back to Back: indie RPGs to fund

I have a big backlog of new games to talk about, but it’s been nearly a month since I last ran Back to Back, so those will have to wait until next week as I peek in on the world of crowdfunding.

A number of games from our last line-up have completed their campaigns. Unrest ended its campaign with more than 10 times its asking amount; Combat Cats met its goal with plenty of breathing room, as did Rising Evil; and Our Darker Purpose barely squeaked over the line. Of this latest batch, only Old Legend did not make it (though there was one RPG I never found out about, Sidequest, which evidently failed to make its goal as well).

To my astonishment, the line-up moving into July has practically exploded in size. There are a lot of games here to check out, folks; I’ll give you the run-down:

  • Alacrity Mission — a 2D sci fi jRPG with an absolutely adorable pixel art style, 20 playable characters, character permadeath, and loads of alternative endings. I just found this one at random by searching around Kickstarter–I don’t understand how I didn’t hear about it before. Sadly, it may be too late to push this one to its $40,000 goal, as only 33 hours remain.
  • Dungeonmans — I’ve been meaning to post about this game all week, but it just kept getting pushed back. In advance of said announcement post, suffice it to say that Dungeonmans is a really ambitious graphical roguelike by an ex-Bioware dev. It has an overworld, multiple dungeons, and some degree of persistent progress between perma-dead characters made possible via such means as tomes and alchemy equipment being stored in the game’s Academy. Dungeonmans has a nice graphical style and a playable pre-alpha demo for Windows (you’ll need the XNA 4.0 runtime).
  • Final Quest — a rather basic-looking RPG Maker title. (I could be wrong, but I think the developer might actually be offering key rings and iPhone cases with Enterbrain’s character art on it as backer rewards? A bit brazen, if you ask me.)
  • Frontiers — this Elder Scrolls-style first person survival game / action RPG, modeled most closely after Daggerfall, has now almost doubled its funding goal with 11 days left on the clock. Graphically speaking, this is one of the nicest-looking 3D indie titles I’ve seen to date, particularly so considering it’s a one-man team.
  • Frozen State — a top-down, real-time survival horror RPG set in post-apocalyptic Siberia. I thought it looked a little shooter-y last time; it has a whopping £45,000 left to raise in the next 16 days.
  • The Great Gaias — a new 2D fantasy jRPG in the works with 100% custom tiles, portraits and sprites. I suspect that it might be made in RPG Maker, but the amount of work that’s been put into it means I can’t tell for sure; that’s a good sign. It has 7 days left to raise roughly $20,000.
  • King Voxel — the campaign for this 3D voxel-based Zelda-alike (previously covered here) is finally winding down. Developer Phillip Meyer writes in to tell me that work on the game is progressing nicely; he tells me that there have been some campaign updates as well, so feel free to check those out. King Voxel has 3 days remaining and $24,400 left to raise; it’s a flexible funding campaign, though, so the developer will receive any money you donate regardless.
  • Last Dream — a 2D fantasy jRPG made in RPG Maker. What makes this one interesting is that it’s purportedly very, very non-linear. I have this one on my to-post-about list; for now, though, you can try out the Windows demo. Last Dream has very nearly reached its funding goal with 20 days left on the clock.
  • LFG – The Fork of Truth — based on a webcomic I’ve never heard of (but involving the creator of at least one webcomic that I have), LFG is a top-down, 4-player cooperative action RPG. It’s raised quite a good chunk of dough so far, but it remains pretty far off from its whopping $600,000 funding goal. 14 days remain on this one.
  • Liege — a small-scale, Game of Thrones-y sRPG with lovely watercolor-style graphics (previously covered here), Liege hit its funding goal within its first week and is now sailing along on a steady stream of bonus pledges. Mounts, ships, and other stretch goals were just announced yesterday.
  • Rugged Kingdom — an RPG Maker jRPG. The game is promised to be non-linear, with loads of side quests and full voice acting. Perhaps more striking than any details about the game itself is the developer’s beard. Now that is a beard, people. Rugged Kingdom is close to halfway funded with 22 days remaining.
  • So I’m a Dark Lord — a parodic RPG Maker jRPG in which you play a dark lord on a quest to amass monsters and allies in order to strengthen “the power of Evil” (whatever that means). This is a first title for the game’s three developers; they’ve set a $150,000 base funding goal.
  • Soul Saga — it’s funny to think that this project, which I once presumed dead, has now raised close to $130,000 on Kickstarter. Developer Michael Gale tells me that his backer count started going up dramatically after he announced that he’d be releasing it on WiiU and PS4; one might presume that these markets are much hungrier for new jRPGs than the PC is.
  • Stone Wardens — a 3D action RPG / tower defense hybrid, though the footage on offer makes it look like it’s much more of the latter than the former. It’s 2% funded and has 26 days left in its campaign.

EDIT: Oops–I forgot about UnderTale! This one appears to be a surreal jRPG where you can opt to avoid harming any of the game’s monsters, and combat involves a bullet hell mini-game. UnderTale has already been funded many times over, hitting all of its stretch goals. If you still want to throw money at it anyway, you have 17 days in which to do so. There’s a free Windows demo and Mac demo.

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