Back to Back: Indie RPGs to fund

Welcome back to Back to Back, gentle readers! It’s been much too long, and–uh oh. I just realized: do you know what time it is? If you said “December, the month where Kickstarter campaigns go to die,” then I’m afraid you are correct.

Before we take a look at the current picture, though, let’s see what happened to all the games in our last edition. Animal Gods, Celestial Tear, Flamberge, Graywalkers: Purgatory, Rogue Wizards, Soul Knights, and Voxel Quest were each funded; Battlestation, Border: Remembrance, Dark Drive, Everstar, Exile Saga, Fragmented Fate, Golden Hour, Gorge, Graal Seeker, and Laser Fury were not. That means that well less than half of the games hit their goals, which doesn’t bode well for the current crop.

Speaking of which, let’s look at the games now seeking funding…

Americana Dawn – previously covered here, Americana Dawn is a 2D jRPG with absolutely lovely original pixel art that covers hundreds of years of early American history and folklore. It will feature both party-based combat and “macro” large-scale battles of the sort one might find in a Suikoden title. Americana Dawn has 11 days remaining, and just under $50,000 left to raise.

Cube and Me – a pet simulator / procedurally generated dungeon crawler with real-time combat, this one tried for Kickstarter funding quite recently and is doing marginally better this time around. It has 12 days left, with about $9,000 left to raise.

Hollow Knight – a macabre 2D Metroidvania with smooth cel-shaded animations and a washed out, not-quite-grayscale color scheme. 7 days remain for this to raise its last $8,000; this one seems like it should make it.

Infinite Legacy – a 2D RPG Maker jRPG that offers open-ended party creation and purports to offer nonlinear, morally ambiguous narrative choices that affect the course of the story. This one is funded roughly 9 times over with 22 days left on the clock, though that’s less impressive when you consider that the funding goal was only $250.

Lord of the Dark Castle – a 2D Swedish graphical roguelike; the title’s a bit generic, and the visuals could certainly benefit from an infusion of Kickstarter cash. Unfortunately, it’s only raised 900 Swedish krona (read: $119) out of its 25,000 SEK ($3,300) goal with 13 days remaining.

Sellswords – a 2D Metroidvania that lets you switch from among 4 distinct characters as you play. (Sort of like a more exploration-minded Trine, plus an extra character.) Sadly, this has raised a mere $426 out of $60,000 with 15 days left on the clock.

Story of the Eternity One – an open-world action RPG with some decent quality (if overly buxom) 3D cel-shaded character models. However, with zero gameplay footage to show for itself and one of those truly cringe-inducing pitch videos where the game’s fully voiced characters talk to you about how much they’d love to exist, I rather doubt this one would make it even if it weren’t trying in December. It has raised $437 out of its $50,000 funding goal with 37 days remaining.

Wayward Terran Frontier – an exploration-focused, sci-fi sandbox action RPG in which you command a space station, can customize and deploy starships, and can board and loot enemy ships and bases. Perhaps the one big financial bright spot in this month’s line-up, Wayward Terran Frontier is nearly 200% funded with two days left to go.

Yes, Your Grace – an RPG that reminds me a bit of The King of Dragon Pass, in which you play a monarch making decisions on matters brought before you by your subjects. What sets it apart, I think, is the presence of a dynamic map where you can look upon your procedurally generated kingdom, command your armies, and manage resources in the lands under your control. Yes, Your Grace is a little over halfway funded with 13 days left to go; it needs to raise about $5,000 to make it.


I should also mention that we missed out on a few campaigns in November, notably Epic Manager (successfully funded) and Late to the Party (not).

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