Kickstarter, the site of big dreams, big promises The crowd sourcing site that started an internet revolution!
I have a patchy and somewhat sketchy history with the wonder that is Kickstarter, and not just with video games, I’ve back too much and much has never seen the light of day. My history with gaming Kickstarters however is quite interesting; I’ve been luckier than most although I am fussy with my games.
Here’s a brief history of my gaming kickstarter relationship.
Shroud of the Avatar
My first interaction with Kickstarter was when I heard that Richard Garriott (king of the RPG & MMO) was turning to the crowdsourcing site to create the spirital successor to the Ultima Series! I will freely admit that I lost my cool, my shit and my mind. In that order. In about a minute.
I heard about it from MrJohnSherry and I instantly turned on my laptop, went to kickstarter, signed up for an account and gave Richard Gariott 30 of your American dollars; enough to get me a copy of the game, I was very excited! I checked on the page everyday and watched the money slowly climb towards the target $1,000,000. This proved to be a mistake; a massive, massive mistake.
On the night it ended I stayed up all night, drinking Captain Morgan’s Spiced Gold watching those $ roll in and Shroud of the Avatar fly past it’s target. I also did something else in my state of inebriation, I upped my pledge from $40 to $125 – this guarantees me not just SoTA, but the first 4 expansions too, plus a OST and the backstory novel written by Tracey Hickman!
I have installed SoTA onto my steam and I have dipped into it on a few occasions; and while I love what the game is, I don’t want to invest a ton of time into it as they are constantly wiping characters and stats. I don’t want to burn myself out on the game before it goes gold and it goes into release. I couldn’t cope with playing the same few hours of an RPG, I gotta go in fresh. My excitement has not really left me, I’m confident the final product will be great and still confident that we’ll see at least one expansion.
SoTA Verdict – Still happy and confident with my backing.
Heroquest 25th Anniversary Edition
Not a videogame, but a table-top one with incredibly fond memories for me. I grew up with two brothers and a dad who are all; well nerds, we are nerds. We also used to play Heroquest; which if you’re not familiar with, was a D&D type game but made very accessible. It was brilliant. We spent many evening playing through the pre-made scenarios and even more time creating our own and playing through them.
It was an amazing experience, and one that I was eager to reignite. As soon as I saw this Kickstarter I backed it for $50 + a further $10 for P&P, this game was going to be mine…
…until it got ripped down for copyright infringement. This was a sad time, especially as there were many “there will be no issues with rights” and other such promises made in the video and pitch.
To say I was disappointed is grossly underselling it, I was gutted; borderline devestated. I have wanted nothing more than to revisit Heroquest and relive a little section of my childhood. I wanted it so much I went on to eBay and purchased the original game, extra figurines and the quest books (for the base game and the expansions) I even made my own “create-a-dungeon” booklet and everything. Every now and again we’ll get together and play a scenario or two on it and it’s still great.
Heroquest Verdict – Absolutely gutted.
Toejam & Earl
After Heroquest, I stopped backing gaming Kickstarters, I was burnt once and didn’t want to be disappointed again. However in March of this year Toejam and Earl made a comeback and it needed my help! I had to help these two loveable aliens from Funkotron.
And help them I did, by pledging 15 of the Presidents best notes I was privy to a copy of the game and my name in the credits – this is an amazing feeling!
Like Heroquest I played this game with my brothers for far too long, it was a great rogue-like with a killer soundtrack and an amazing sense of humour. I’ve written about it far too often on these pages, and I am still very excited to see what they can do with the original formula!
Toejam and Earl Verdict – Too early to say, although I’m sure they’ll release the game.
I have supported games outside of kickstarter as well! Including H1Z1 (currently sitting at 70 hours played). I am an optimist; rightly or wrongly, and I have faith in a developers ability to see a game to completion.
It’s their job, it’s what they are trained to do dammit.
I wouldn’t go to work and do a shoddy job and I expect the same of other adults.
Would I back an unknown developer though…that’s the question…