Tereshinski resigned from ETeeski LLC, the developers of the Kickstarter-funded game Ant Simulator, after finding out that two of his business partners took proceeds from the crowdfunding and investments into the game and spent it on “liquor, restaurants, bars and even strippers.”
The last couple of years have been great for independent gaming. With the consoles opening themselves up to be more open to indie devs publishing on the platforms and the growth of Steam and Humble Bundle, there are more indie games now than ever before. Also helping that was the rise of crowdfunding of games through Kickstarter.
However, really only a couple of years into the crowdfunding revolution in indie games, it might already be dying. A study suggests that 20% fewer Kickstarter projects in gaming are getting funded this year compared to 2013 and the dollars invested year-on-year could drop as much as 50%.
After some inexplicably failed and abandoned projects since the crowdfunding’s site’s launch, Kickstarter is changing its terms of service which won’t allow project creators to just take the money and run. Now Kickstarter won’t work as a pledge with no legal obligation to complete the project as promised but now will open up project creators to the possibility of legal action.
It’s not often that a Kickstarter campaign is the subject of such controversy but controversial is about the only way to describe the campaign for the planned game Areal. The game, by a new company of experience developers called West Games, was to be a spiritual successor to the STALKER franchise by developers of the games. Sounds like the perfect project for a Kickstarter, right?
That’s when the wheels started coming off. The game’s campaign was criticized for not having any sort of gameplay to show for itself despite the devs saying they’ve poured every last cent into developing the game to this point. Spam comments flooded the campaign, allegedly to bury questions or criticisms about the campaign. And it ended with a couple of massive last-minute to push a campaign that had stalled out over the goal.
The suspicious circumstances surrounding the campaign resulted in Kickstarter suspending the campaign two days hitting the goal and told backers that their pledges wouldn’t go through.
On Saturday, popular crowdfunding website Kickstarter announced that they had been hacked and the hackers has made off with a whole host of user data including email addresses, usernames and encrypted passwords.
The old Building (Critical) Consensus posts were never exceptionally popular and I was getting tired of doing them so I’ve decided to reboot the concept. I like the sort of meta-review summary of BCC but I’d like to try something a bit different. Rather than overall conclusions or summary statements, we’re going to look at detailed critical assessments on the game with specific opinions about gameplay elements, story, graphics and so on. So welcome to the Critics Corner.
I don’t think that Double Fine Games were planning to revolutionize indie gaming when they launched their Kickstarter campaign for Broken Age but that’s exactly what happened. What was just a project to make a Tim Schafer point-and-click adventure game ended up turning the industry on its head by showing that crowdfunding was a viable means to fund game production and that small devs weren’t always beholden to the whims of big publishers.
Still, Double Fine showed some of the issues with crowdfunding. Almost two years after the campaign launched, Broken Age is finally here but is being released in two parts to help fund the completion of the second half of the game. Scope creep and delays weren’t really considered a major risk to crowdfunders at the time but people think about it now.
So what do the critics think of Tim Schafer and Double Fine’s return to point-and-click?
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UPDATE: Double Fine has announced on their Broken Age Kickstarter page that Broken Age would not be coming to Steam on January 14 as a Steam Early Access release. Plans changed just hours before launch and now Broken Age will be released in two acts as a Season Pass bundle. The release date will be announced later on January 28th.
In explaining the change, Double Fine said, “For various logistical reasons, and because we believe Act 1 is a polished and satisfying piece of content in its own right, Broken Age will be a standard Steam release that includes a ‘Season Pass’ granting access to Act 2 once it is complete.”
The original story follows and is included for information purposes only.
While the game may have failed in its first Kickstarter campaign over the course of this spring but Nine Dot hasn’t given up. They’re back with a second Kickstarter campaign to fund GoD Factory: Wingmen but they need your help to get it funded before the deadline in less than 48 hours.
I’ve mentioned the rookie effort of the newly founded Hinterland Studios before on the blog. The team of industry veterans formerly of Volition, BioWare, Ubisoft Montreal, Relic and Riot Games has come together to work on first-person survival game The Long Dark.
The game has now entered its final week of fundraising on Kickstarter and the team at Hinterland has finally released their first piece of gameplay footage to drum up support for their campaign.
Now that Kickstarter has opened up their crowdfunding platform to projects based in Canada, we’ve seen a massive influx of groups looking for money to make projects real. The one that has piqued my interest is a new game from a new indie studio based out in BC.
Hinterland Studio has brought together a core team that includes developers whose previous work experience includes time at BioWare, Volition, Relic, Riot and more triple-A games and studios to make a first-person survival sim called The Long Dark.