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This Month In Crowdfunding - January 2014 [Part 1]

It’s still too early to say if crowdfunding will be a major and lasting influence on the gaming industry. We have yet to see just how many of these games are actually going to be completed, and just what affect unfulfilled promises will have on backer confidence. For the moment however, crowdfunding is a pretty major force in the indie game scene.

Every month there are hundreds of campaigns launched on sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Some of these campaigns will grab a foothold right away and continue to build momentum, while others will go completely unnoticed. This isn’t always a reflection of the quality and promise that these campaigns present, but rather a result of marketing. Just because someone is talented as a game developer, that doesn’t mean they have the slightest clue when it comes to promoting themselves.

One thing I’d like to accomplish with this feature is to lend a small hand to some lesser known projects by bringing them a little more attention.  That isn’t to say that smaller projects will be the only focus of “This Month in Crowdfunding”. My primary goal each month will be to keep our readers informed of the most interesting happenings in the crowdfunding scene. I’ll be pointing out campaigns both big and small, keeping you up to date on the development of projects after their campaigns have ended, and letting you know how these games turn out once they’ve been completed.

I will be splitting this feature up into two parts. Part one will focus entirely on campaigns that are currently ongoing, while part two will focus on campaigns that have already ended.


Plenty of Time Left

Game:
The Mims: Beginning

Platforms:
PC/Mac/Linux

Summary:
“The Mims: Beginning” is a real-time strategy game that uses light humor, vibrant colours and outlandish creature design to create a world that feels both unique and inviting. After a group of beings called Mims crash land on a small island floating in space, it is your duty to act as their god.

Using your godly powers you will be able to help these little space colonists build a settlement that they can call home, while also trying to complete tasks such as reconstructing their damaged spaceship. Floating space islands aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be, and the Mims are not the only beings inhabiting these worlds. You will have to guide these poor Mims to build up their defences; lest they be devoured by predators are pummelled by meteor storms.



Who should back it?
Fans of games such as Black & White, or Populous should feel right at home with a game like The Mims: Beginning, so long as you don’t mind something a little lighter, both in complexity and tone. If you’ve never played games in either of those series, don’t feel discouraged from backing this project just yet. With a low contribution of $8 being enough to snag a copy of this game upon its release, it may be worth contributing solely to try out what looks to be a great entry point into an excellent genre.

Will it get made?
I feel fairly confident giving a solid answer of “yes”. The project is currently sitting around 90% completion after 18 months of the team working on it during their spare time. Assuming their campaign is successful, they now feel like they are ready to focus 100% on the Mims, and getting it finished. At the time of writing, their campaign is drawing close to being funded with plenty of time left.

The project campaign can be found here:
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-mims-beginning

You can also vote for The Mims: Beginning on Steam Greenlight here:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=136239549

 

Game:
The Truth Behind


Platforms:

PC

Summary:
Despite having graphics that would feel right at home on an SNES, The Truth Behind appears to do a wonderful job of creating a dark and gritty atmosphere. It seems to captures the feel of the film noir type story that it's trying to tell.
You will play as Detective Steven Campbell, who will be tasked with tracking down the killer of Salma Hart. It will be up to you to search each environment for clues, interrogate suspects, and piece together any evidence that might point you in the direction of the killer.

It will be up to the player to come up with the right answers. The answers you reach may not always be the right ones. It is stated that if you make a mistaken conclusion, the consequences may be irreversible. It’s currently unclear just what those consequences may be or just how they will affect your progression through the game.  I hope that it will be more than just a few dialog changes, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Who should back it?

If you’re a fan of film noir, there aren’t many games in that genre to scratch that itch, so you may want to check this one out. Unfortunately, as the trailer is entirely in Italian, it’s hard to say just how well-crafted the story actually is.

Will it get made?
Currently, the game is already feature complete, and dev team is only looking for funds so they can have it properly translated to English, as well as add a unique soundtrack. If this project gets its funding, I believe there shouldn’t be too much doubt that it will be completed. Getting the funding may be another matter though.

Dogghy's Look, the development team, is only seeking just over $1,000, but at the time of writing they currently have a grand total of $0 funded. However, there is still plenty of time left, and perhaps we can lend them a hand. There was one little thing that made me worry about the legitimacy of this project; I was unable to find any information on the developer from before the campaign was launched. That’s not necessarily a big deal considering that it’s a very small project from a foreign developer, but it’s something to keep in mind.

The project campaign can be found here:
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-truth-behind

 

On to the Stretch Goals

Game:
Project Nimbus


Platforms:

PC/Mac

Summary:
Looking like a cross between the Armored Core series, and Star Fox, Project Nimbus is a mech game that appears to focus entirely on airborn combat. The mechs, or “BattleFrames” as they are called here, appear to draw heavy inspiration from Gundam, and Armored Core, rather than the heavy slow moving mechs of the MechWarrior series. While watching clips of the “BattleFrames” streaking through the air, and dodging in all directions, while simultaneously firing off barrages of projectiles at a colossal enemy, I couldn’t help but get a little hyped for this one.

The visuals still look a little unpolished, with some noticeable technical hiccups, but even if those never get fully worked out, I feel confident in saying that there will be plenty of fun to be had in this game. Unfortunately there is one omission from this game’s feature list that will drive many people away; there is no multiplayer. Currently the team is focussing on creating single player experience that is both exciting the first time around, as well as being highly replayable. If the project is successful enough, they may include multiplayer down the line, but they are making no promises.

Who should back it?
If you’re a fan of fast paced combat, complete freedom of movement, and aren’t turned off by the lack of a multiplayer component, I highly recommend giving this one a closer look. Currently the game has already reached its initial goal, but there are a few stretch goals in particular the will be quite enticing for some. Oculus Rift support for one, has really piqued my interest. Since it’s starting to look unlikely that I’m actually going to get to pilot a mech in real life one day, I’ll have to settle for VR. Though, the fact that I can now say “I’ll have to settle for VR” is pretty exciting all on its own.

Enticing Stretch Goals:
(Converted from Euro – USD)
$12,847 – Basic Oculus Rift support, giving a first person perspective from the front of the BattleFrame.
$17,767 – Survival mode. Survive as long as possible against an endless hoard of aliens.
$27,334 – Additional oculus rift support, giving a full cockpit view, with each BattleFrame having its own unique cockpit.


Will it get made?
As the project has already reached its funding goal, and is quite far into development, it’s very likely that it will be completed. I do however feel like the chances of Project Nimbus releasing on its estimated release date of July 2014 are slim. This is a very ambitious project, and it’s clear from the videos they have released that there is still lots of work to be done. Add on top of that the additional content being promised in the stretch goals, and I think it’s far more likely that Project Nimbus will be released closer to the end of the year.

The project campaign can be found here:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kissltd/project-nimbus

 

The next couple weeks are sure to be compelling ones. With the early backer release of Double Fine’s Broken Age: Episode 1, one of crowdfunding’s first big breakouts, followed by the general public release on Jan 28, it will be interesting to see how well this game lives up to the hype it created.

Be sure to check back later this month for part 2 of This Month in Crowdfunding, when I’ll share my thoughts on Broken Age, as well as provide updates on the progress of other crowdfunded projects

 

 

About The Author: Craig Gamache (Staff Writer)

 

Bio: Craig Gamache is a life long resident of Vancouver, BC, who has felt the need to share his opinion on everything gaming related for the better part of the last two decades. Though he enjoys big budget blockbuster games as much as the next gamer, he has recently turned much of his attention to the indie game scene. [READ FULL BIO]

@CraigGamache  : craig@shogungamer.com