Back to Back: Indie RPGs to fund

Welcome back to Back to Back, loyal reader! The time has come once more to survey the field and take note of indie RPG crowdfunding campaigns that litter it, clamoring for the life-giving essence of the almighty Wallet.

Since we looked last time, a number of campaigns have passed into the beyond. Battle Chef Brigade, Bedlam, Fortune’s Tavern, Legena: Union Tides, and That Which Sleeps all ended successfully funded (and in a few cases, much more than that). Unfortunately, Blossom Tales, Hartacon Tactics, Immortal Empire, and Weedopia did not succeed. But those are the ones that have ended–what of the indie RPG crowdfunding campaigns that soldier bravely on into the start of November?

  • Animal Gods — maybe I’m just being uncharitable here, but this really looks to me like part of what is apparently an emerging trend of games that are blatantly trying to ride Hyperlight Drifter’s coattails. Animal Gods bills itself as a stylized action RPG set in the Bronze Age, though somehow you have the same blink ability as the protagonist of Hyperlight Drifter, you traverse similar-looking environments, and you fight similar-looking enemies. The trailer even ends with the protagonist walking to a precipice only to gaze upon a creepy humanoid giant! I mean, really now. (And yet even with all that, Animal Gods still manages to be less obvious about its source material than Border: Remembrance.) Animal Gods is about $5,500 away from hitting its $26,000 funding goal with 8 days left on the clock.
  • Battlestation — a strategy roguelike-like inspired by Babylon 5. We mentioned this last time, and it’s struggled pretty mightily in the interim; Battlestation has 7 days to raise almost $30,000.
  • Border: Remembrance — the Hyperlight Drifter clone we mentioned last time. It has about £2,200 (read: $3,500) left to raise in the next 4 days.
  • Celestial Tear — this plucky little jRPG simply will not give up! It’s now angling for a $4,500 funding goal, and is very close (to the tune of a little over $600) to reaching it with 2 days left.
  • Dark Drive — the 2D side-scrolling sci-fi Metroidvania we mentioned last time. They don’t seem to have raised any money at all in the past few weeks, which is somewhat distressing. There are a little less than 3 days left for this campaign to pull off a miracle comeback.
  • Everstar — this 3D party-based co-op action RPG looks polished, but it’s burdened with a laughably high $850,000 funding goal. It has raised $11,000 so far with 16 days left on the clock.
  • Exile Saga — a 2D action RPG being made in RPG Maker. It has a $20,000 funding goal, of which it has raised about 11% with 6 days remaining.
  • Flamberge — a 2D strategy RPG with a We-Go turn-based combat system; which is to say, you and the AI both plan your turns independently, then execute them all at once. It’s a bit of an odd choice for a game about characters with melee weapons, but perhaps it’ll work. It has a downloadable demo for you to check out and see for yourself. It’s 67% funded with 27 days remaining.
  • Fragmented Fate — an RPG Maker jRPG. They have some genuinely nice custom assets in the works, but their campaign is saddled with a vastly overambitious $60,000 funding goal.
  • Golden Hour — a 2D side-scrolling Metroidvania with lots of environmental hazards, physics, and procedurally generated biomes and dungeons. It has raised only a few hundred dollars in the last few weeks, leaving it a little less than $28,000 shy of its $30,000 funding goal with 9 days remaining.
  • Gorge — described as a “food horror RPG,” Gorge is being created in RPG Maker with a lot of quality custom assets. It has lots of atmosphere and puzzles, but I haven’t seen any mention of combat in it, which makes me question its RPG credentials. It’s a little over 25% funded with 11 days remaining.
  • Graal Seeker — continuing what is apparently something of a trend, Graal Seeker has raised almost no money since we last posted about it. It needs a little over €8,000 ($10,240) in the next 2 days to hit its goal.
  • Graywalkers: Purgatory — it’s close, but it looks like this post-apocalyptic strategy RPG will actually make it; it has about $2,000 left to raise to hit its $40,000 funding goal in the next couple of days.
  • Laser Fury — an action RPG with 4-player co-op and some stunningly smooth pixel animations, this makes me think of a cross between Diablo and Gauntlet. This looks like a thing I would legitimately enjoy playing with a bunch of friends in my living room. It’s ostensibly set in a sci-fi universe, though the characters designs are very, very fantasy-ish. It has a pretty high $70,000 funding goal and 26 days left in which to reach it.
  • Rogue Wizards — an isometric roguelike with really nice stylized graphics, a cool “block-dropping” effect for revealing the game’s fog of war, and a town-building mechanic. (Sproggiwood’s beaten it to the punch on that last count, but Rogue Wizards seems like it’ll do the town-building thing in a little more depth.) Rogue Wizards has raised about $42,000 out of its $70,000 funding goal with 11 days remaining. If I were a betting man, I’d bet this one makes it.
  • Soul Knights — a grid-based jRPG (think something like Suikoden, not an sRPG), to be developed by a team led by former Nippon Ichi (read: Disgaea) developer Toshihiko Kojima. Despite those credentials, the campaign is struggling a bit, in no small part because they’re making the game exclusively for mobile (a PC port is a $250,000 stretch goal). They’ve raised a little over $7,000 out of their $60,000 funding goal, with 26 days left to make up the difference.
  • Voxel Quest — an isometric, voxel-based, turn-based roguelike with some truly lovely graphics. Voxel Quest has $8,700 or so left to raise of its $40,000 goal in the next 7 days; I have a feeling it’s going to make it.

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  • Phoon says:

    I like your Back-to-Back Indie funding articles. Keep up the good job.

  • Dave says:

    Graywalkers is funded as of this morning! I’m relieved. They might even end up hitting $50K or so. And they apparently have some investors and plan to put their beta up on Steam Early Access, so they’ll have additional funds coming in from that too.

    Soul Knights looks like something I might back if it was on anything other than mobile… It breaks your “have a digital copy tier” suggestion for a successful KS. Sounds like the game will be f2p with in app purchases. Yuck!

    Gorge alludes to possible combat under the puzzles “Flee, hide, fight, and do whatever you can to survive.” But I don’t think a game actually needs combat to be considered an RPG, as long as there’s some sort of character progression. If there’s some sort of skill or attribute you can improve, I’d call it an RPG.


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