Jump to content


A Kickstarter Project Retrospective

kickstarter

  • Please log in to reply
37 replies to this topic

#1 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 04:17 AM

I thought it would be an interesting idea to share my experiences with all the Kickstarter projects I backed in the last few years, mostly games. I will take a look at the product I received, the physical goods (if applicable), whether it was delivered in the promised timeframe, and if I'm satisfied with what I got.

But I will also look at the projects that have not delivered yet and how the outlook for these is.

If anyone else wants to share their experiences, feel free to chime in.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#2 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 04:36 AM

Wasteland 2

Short Description:
A turn-based post-apocalyptic RPG by the creators of the original Wasteland from 1984.

Created by: InXile entertainment

Estimated Delivery: October 2013
Actual Delivery: September 2014

The Game:
Absolutely held what was promised: a well written, atmospheric cRPG where your decisions matter (to some extent) with tactical turn-based combat. To original version was technically somewhat rough around the edges, but the later (freely) delivered Director's Cut fixed many of these shortcomings.

The Physical Goods:
I got the "Collector's Edition Premium Boxed Version" which came in a ammunition box styled tin packaging. Contained where the game disc, a printed manual, a Desert Ranger badge, a small ranger plastic figure, and a cloth map of the Arizona wasteland.

Posted Image

Posted Image

The tin box and the map look good, but are actually very flimsy. The plastic figure is unpainted and not too detailed. Not very impressive, but about on par with what nowadays counts as "collector's edition".

However, in hindsight I would have preferred the standard box, which was closer in design and size to the packaging of the original Wasteland.

Verdict:
Game: great!
Physical Goods: okay.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#3 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 04:50 AM

Shadowrun Returns/SR Dragonfall

Short Description:
A turn-based RPG set in the cyberpunk and fantasy mixing Shadowrun universe.

Created by: Harebrained Schemes

Estimated Delivery: January 2013
Actual Delivery: July 2013

The Game:
The original SR Returns was good, but not mind-blowingly so. The story was short and a bit clichéd, and it was obvious that it was mainly meant to be an appetizer for user-created adventures, for which Harebrained thankfully offered a fleshed-out editor

However, Dragonfall, which was part of the same Kickstarter campaign as a stretch goal, was absolutely great. A fun, well written plot, fantastic companion characters, and interesting NPCs.

The Physical Goods:
"Deluxe Box Edition" with a simple but sturdy cardboard box, a game and a soundtrack disc in unappealing paper sleeves, a flimsy plastic Doc Wagon card, and an USB drive in shape of a dog tag.

Posted Image

Except for the USB drive that has a lot of production value and looks great, the physical goods are rather disappointing.

Verdict:
Game (SR Returns): good.
Game (Dragonfall): great!
Physical Goods: lackluster.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#4 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 05:00 AM

Star Command Galaxies

Short Description:
A space ship-simulation-adventure game with pixel graphics and heavy Star Trek influences.

Created by: Warballoon

Estimated Delivery: August 2012
Actual Delivery: not delivered yet

The Game:
The game sounded great on paper: a heavily Star Trek-inspired game with charming pixel art in which you can design your own ship, manage your crew, explore the unknown reaches of the galaxy and experience various adventures.

But then came the feature creep. The developers kept adding more and more stuff, rewrote major parts of the game (which originally was only meant to be an expanded port of their original mobile game), and obviously seem to have lost track of what they wanted to achieve.

Six years after the expected delivery date, there is only a very buggy beta version. Allegedly, the developers plan to release the game this year, but given the state of the project, I don't expect much.

Outlook:
Bleak.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#5 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 05:14 AM

Ouya

Short Description:
An Android based micro gaming console.

Created by: Ouya

Estimated Delivery: March 2013
Actual Delivery: June 2013

The Product:
Another project that sounded good on paper: a small-sized, open, Android based console with a heavy focus on indie gaming, and great potential as emulation station.

What I got was a borderline broken product, which the developers shipped to their backers despite knowing about the problems: wi-fi was only possible to set-up by digging around in the Android settings (which then allowed to download the patch for the Ouya software which fixed the network configuration issues), and the controllers started acting up after a few minutes, making them effectively usuable. The retail version of the Ouya, which was released at the same time as the backer version, already had redesigned controllers without this problem – but backers had to shelf out more money to get these working controllers.

In addition, the Ouya's hardware was underpowered and already outdated by the time it was released. Many of the games I tried suffered from performance issues, or other problems, including flixering sprites in a 2D game, which is something I haven't seen in any game since the NES era.

Verdict:
Meh.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#6 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 05:25 AM

Pillars of Eternity (aka "Project Eternity")

Short Description:
A "real-time with pause" RPG in the vein of the old Infinity engine games (Baldur's Gate, etc.).

Created by: Obsidian Entertainment

Estimated Delivery: April 2014
Actual Delivery: March 2015

The Game:
I have to admit that I haven't actually played PoE yet. It's on my massive backlog and somehow went under. But it got good reviews, many players seem to like it, and it was successful enough to get a sequel. So, it's good, I guess?

The Physical Goods:
Boxed version with printed manual.

Posted Image

Posted Image

A fairly standard cardboard box with a surprisingly thick manual (about 75 pages on high-quality paper) and the game disc in what appears to be the standard first-print DVD box of the game. Nothing special.

Verdict:
Game: apparently great?
Physical Goods: okay.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#7 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 05:48 AM

Elite Dangerous

Short Description:
A massive open-world space simulation game, third sequel to the original Elite from 1984.

Created by: Frontier Development

Estimated Delivery: March 2014
Actual Delivery: December 2014

The Game:
I wrote a lenghty de facto review of Elite Dangerous a few years ago and weirdly enough, my main point still holds true: a potentially great game, but still surprisingly bare bones. Which is of course an issue more than three years after the release.

I mean, I absolutely got my money's worth out of ED: it was almost the only game in played in 2015 and I put hundreds of hours into it. But after all this time, I couldn't really see past its shortcomings, especially since Frontier Development chose just to slap on more half-baked features without fleshing out the core gameplay elements first. Only in the most recent major patch (3.0, released in late February 2018) they went back and began improving on some of the core elements.

That Frontier apparently has lost all interest in the Mac version of the game and no longer even communicates with their Mac customers doesn't help either.

EDIT (April 26, 2018): The Mac version is now officially dead. :glare:

The Physical Goods:
Boxed version with printed manual.

Posted Image

Posted Image

A really nice fold-out box with the game disc (containing only an old version of the game's launcher) and a high-quality manual (which already was outdated by the time the box was shipped).

Verdict:
Game: good, with reservations.
Physical Goods: great.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#8 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 05:54 AM

Torment: Tides of Numenera

Short Description:
Spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, using the PoE engine (see above).

Created by: inXile entertainment

Estimated Delivery: December 2014
Actual Delivery: February 2017

The Game:
The game surely doesn't live up to its predecessor, Planescape: Torment. But if you look past that and leave these expectations behind you, it's actually a very good RPG with an original setting, interesting mechanics (that not all worked out very well), interesting characters, and good – but far too verbose – writing.

The Physical Goods:
Collector's Edition boxed copy.

Posted Image

Posted Image

An unexpectedly big cardboard box with a silky finish and magnetic latch. The interior of the box is unfortunately of lesser quality, consisting of a very thin and loose cardboard inlay. Inside are the game disc in a black sleeve, a soundtrack CD, an impressive artbook, a glossy printed manual, and a thick cloth map.

Verdict:
Game: good.
Physical Goods: great.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#9 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 06:06 AM

Mighty No. 9

Short Description:
A sidescrolling 2D platformer.

Created by: comcept USA, Inti Creates

Estimated Delivery: April 2015
Actual Delivery: June/August (Mac version) 2016

The Game:
A platformer by one of the creators of Mega Man? What could go wrong? In fact, a lot.

The game is actually not the total disaster that many reviewers claimed it was. There a quite a bunch of things it does right: the controls are tight, the levels are diverse and all have their special gimmick, the enemy design is great, and the game is hard (admittedly too hard for me), but never unfair. The music is decent, although forgettable.

However, there's also a lot that just doesn't work. The actually modelling of the scenery is primitive to say the least, textures are ugly, cutscenes are stiffly animated and the character models look as if made of cheap glossy plastic, the difficulty balancing uneven (some of the abilities you gain from vanquished bosses are badly overpowered), and the voice acting is just terrible. Whoever thought is was a good idea to have the third boss scream every two seconds with an ear-piercingly shrill voice was either deaf or a sadist.

The Physical Goods:
(Western style) boxed edition. (There also was a Japanese style box.)

Posted Image

A simple, glossy cardboard box, printed manual, and an NES-cartridge-styled USB drive. The flash drive is swell (seems to be from the same manufacturer as the dog tag USB drive that came with the Shadowrun Returns box), the rest is unspectacular, but on par with the usual game boxes of yore.

It's maybe worth pointing out that he physical goods came more than one year after the game, and some backer rewards were never delivered (like a digital artbook and a strategy guide).

Verdict:
Game: mediocre.
Physical Goods: acceptable.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#10 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 06:16 AM

Shadowrun: Hong Kong

Short Description:
Successor to Shadowrun Returns and Dragonfall (see above).

Created by: Harebrained Schemes

Estimated Delivery: October 2015
Actual Delivery: August (!) 2015

The Game:
A great successor to the already great Shadowrun Dragonfall. The UI improvements were very welcome.

The Physical Goods:
None.

Verdict:
Game: great.
Physical Goods: n/a.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#11 Cougar

Cougar

    Master Blaster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1540 posts
  • Steam Name:FuzzyPuffin

Posted 28 March 2018 - 08:58 AM

Damn, you’ve ponied up the big bucks! The only physical rewards I bought  were an Obduction T-shirt (kinda boring design) and a beautiful poster for The Banner Saga. Everything else has been pretty much the game-only tier.

I’ll also be getting the physical rewards for Lacuna Passage, in the unlikely event that game ever ships, because i won a contest to include a bit of writing (an email the main character receives) in the game. So I extra hope the game gets finished, but the team is down to one guy who just had a baby.

#12 nick68k

nick68k

    Heroic

  • IMG Writers
  • 328 posts
  • Location:Not here. But close.

Posted 28 March 2018 - 09:06 AM

This is an excellent idea Janichsan. Thank you for doing this.

I also backed Pillars of Eternity, and to be honest I've found the game hard work; I've started the game several times, only to put it aside again. The addictive magic of the Infinity Engine games seems to be missing in my experience (or maybe i'm just 20 years older now). It seems overwritten. It also doesn't help that the base install takes up a whopping 25 Gb of space on my MacBook Pro, and performance is strictly 'meh' (the fan gets a good workout). I'll come back to it again one day, no doubt.
You must gather your party before venturing forth.

#13 Cougar

Cougar

    Master Blaster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1540 posts
  • Steam Name:FuzzyPuffin

Posted 28 March 2018 - 09:23 AM

View Postnick68k, on 28 March 2018 - 09:06 AM, said:

It seems overwritten.

Are you reading the yellow “souls” text? Ignore it. It’s backer-written text that has nothing to do with the story.

I loved PoE’s world building. The backstory was compelling and I liked that it’s a fantasy setting but there’s science as well as magic, with some interesting discussions on the philosophy of science. But the actual quest line wasn’t nearly as interesting, and the last hub area wasn’t as fleshed out as the rest of the game. I still enjoyed it though. Probably on par with the original Baldur’s Gate. Thankfully the sequel looks even better and is just around the corner.

I found Wasteland 2 to be a lot harder. I got stuck at one point and abandoned it. Will return when I finally get through PoE’s expansion.

#14 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 12:47 PM

View PostCougar, on 28 March 2018 - 08:58 AM, said:

Damn, you've ponied up the big bucks! The only physical rewards I bought  were an Obduction T-shirt (kinda boring design) and a beautiful poster for The Banner Saga. Everything else has been pretty much the game-only tier.
Well, what can I say? I like my game boxes.

View PostCougar, on 28 March 2018 - 09:23 AM, said:

I found Wasteland 2 to be a lot harder. I got stuck at one point and abandoned it. Will return when I finally get through PoE's expansion.
Yeah, there are a bunch of difficult combats in WL2. However, more often than not, you can actually get around some combats completely or make them easier one way or the other. There are only a few that are completely unavoidable.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#15 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 01:55 PM

Underworld Ascendant

Short Description:
A direct successor to the Ultima Underworld RPGs from the 1990s in everything but the franchise from the original developers (including Warren Spector).

Created by: OtherSide Entertainment

Estimated Delivery: November 2016
Actual Delivery: not delivered yet, scheduled for September 30, 2018

The Game:
The guys that essentially created the immersive sim genre got together to create a modernised version of the game that started it all. If that doesn't sound promising? Well…

A few weeks ago (July 2018), the Backer Alpha was released – and it's not good. I mean, it's to be expected that an alpha version is very rough, but what is available now is in a very bad state, which is not a good sign for a game that is supposed to be released in two months. Problems range from a completely broken spatial sound system, muddled localisation (although I have set the game to English, I still get mostly German voice acting – at least this seems to be not bad), to problems with the interface, wonky physics, and uneven AI.

Then there are couple of issues where I can't say whether the problems are due to bugs or due to design (the game is far too dark, magically controlled items are barely controllable, melee combat sucks), and others are clearly problematic (or at least disagreeable) design. For instance, in contrast to the original proposal, you are not really free in how to approach enemies. The design as shown in the current version is heavily biased towards total stealth, similar to the games of the Thief series. I mean, it's not as if that would be completely uninteresting, but it's not in line with the spiritual predecessors of the Ultima Underworld series.

I still hope the developers can turn this around, but what I've seen makes me less optimistic for the game than I originally was.

Outlook:
Somewhat sceptical.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#16 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 02:11 PM

The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep

Short Description:
Direct sequel to the 1980's Bard's Tale trilogy from Interplay, produced by the original developers (including the series' inventor Michael Cranford as advisor).

Created by: inXile entertainment

Estimated Delivery: October 2017
Actual Delivery: September 18, 2018

The Game:
The Bard's Tale was my introduction to computer RPGs, so that was a no-brainer for me, especially since inXile has a proven track record of delivering. What has been shown so far looks georgeous, and seems to be an interesting modernised take on the old-school first-person RPGs.

Outlook:
Too early to tell for sure, but looking good.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#17 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 02:26 PM

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Short Description:
A spiritual successor to the beloved 2D Castlevania games of the late 1990s and early 2000s – by the producer of these games.

Created by: Koji Igarashi

Estimated Delivery: March 2017
Actual Delivery: not delivered yet, still no date given.

The Game:
A recent (June 2018) backer beta of the game, consisting of the pretty much completed first level, including all cut scenes and voice acting, confirmed what the earlier demo hinted at: Bloodstained will be a very faithful successor to the older 2D Castlevania games. The writing is cheesy and overly dramatic, but that was to be expected.

A bit less fortunate is the new graphics style. I guess it was supposed to make the graphics look reminiscent of certain CGI animes, but in fact, all characters now look like cheap shiny plastic dolls. And that's actually something you can blame the backers for, as about a year ago, the developers put up several different shaders up to vote, and this style won… :glare:

Aside from that, the game still looks promising, though.

By the way: part of the Kickstarter campaign as a stretch goal was a retro-style prequel, which by now has been released: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is a really well made and fun faux-retro game. There's no Mac version of it, though, but it runs perfectly with Wine/CrossOver.

Outlook:
Cautiously optimistic.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#18 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 02:36 PM

BATTLETECH

Short Description:
A turn-based strategy game based on the classic table-top franchise.

Created by: Harebrained Schemes

Estimated Delivery: May 2017
Actual Delivery: April 24, 2018.

The Game:
Mechs. Giant, lumbering mechs slugging it out.

The game is ultimately a very XCOM-esque squad based tactics game, with some parts in between where you are managing the business side of your mercenary outfit.

Overall a great, though very hardware demanding game, with some rough spots. Some of these are more on the technical side, i.e. bugs and occasional inexplicable performance issues, and are getting patched out by and by. Others are more related to the design, which in part have already been addressed (e.g. the fairly slow pacing, which does not sit well with everyone, or the sometimes uneven and harsh difficulty).

The biggest issue with the game I see is still its obtuseness: important gameplay elements are not or only very badly explained. It's possible to figure these out, but it still makes the game less approachable than it could be. Another issue is the in part not very gainly graphics. Especially the 3D character models look like bad plasticine dolls.

Still, I recommend it. Especially if you liked XCOM, you will like this.

The Physical Goods:
None.

Verdict:
Game:
great.
Physical Goods: n/a.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#19 Janichsan

Janichsan

    Jugger Bugger

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8273 posts
  • Steam Name:Janichsan
  • Location:over there

Posted 28 March 2018 - 02:42 PM

System Shock

Short Description:
A remake of System Shock 1 for modern sensibilities.

Created by: Nightdive Studios

Estimated Delivery: December 2017
Actual Delivery: not delivered yet, possibly not before 2020.

The Game:
The initial pitch was interesting, but unfortunately, this project also got hit badly by the feature creep. Luckily, the developers realised they were losing track of their original plan and reevaluated the project.

Outlook:
Unsure.

"We do what we must, because we can."
"Gaming on a Mac is like women on the internet." — "Highly common and totally awesome?"


#20 Cougar

Cougar

    Master Blaster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1540 posts
  • Steam Name:FuzzyPuffin

Posted 28 March 2018 - 03:04 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 28 March 2018 - 12:47 PM, said:

Yeah, there are a bunch of difficult combats in WL2. However, more often than not, you can actually get around some combats completely or make them easier one way or the other. There are only a few that are completely unavoidable.

I got stuck in Damonta, which is the place that's overrun by robots. And I'd done all other quests up to that point, so I couldn't go level up and then come back. If there's a way to sneak around the robots, that would be great.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: kickstarter