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Mac games on Kickstarter


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#1 clocknova

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 06:40 AM

I'd like everyone here to take a few minutes and check out these Kickstarter projects.  All are games with promised Mac versions; some from the get-go, some as overfunding goals.  Thanks to Kickstarter, we're already going to be getting some fantastic games in the coming months and years: Wasteland 2, Shadowrun Returns, The Banner Saga, and Nekro to name a few.  I'm not personally affiliated with any of these projects, by the way.  I just want to see them all succeed so we'll all have more games to play.

These are all games that I've decided to fund because I think they all represent interesting, original ideas in genres that should do well with Mac gamers.  Check them out.

Kinetic Void: a procedurally generated, 3D space adventure with a focus on customization and enjoyable simulation.

Legends of Eisenwald:  an original mix of RPG and strategy, with tactical turn based battles and a simple economic model.

Republique:  Hard to explain this one, but it looks fascinating.  Will also be an iOS game.

Kitaru: Science fiction RPG in a cyberpunk dystopia with a red-headed protagonist (their description.)

Dark Meridian: RTS/3rd-person shooter.
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#2 Wumpus

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 01:34 PM

Good stuff. I wanted to add two games to the list which aren't Mac out of the gate, but devs say they can/will port after.

Grim Dawn: A promising looking RPG from the developers of Titan Quest. Looks to break the mold by making an open world style RPG.

Valdis Story - Is a side scrolling action adventure with an emphasis on intricate and rewarding combat as well as deep play style customization.


I backed Wasteland 2 and The Banner Saga, and have my eye on a number of others, most of which you already mentioned above. I think Republique looks interesting, but its not going to get funded. They are asking for an enormous amount of cash for what is primarily an iOS game. I think that was a mistake, and if they targeted computers first (instead of adding it on) it would have made a difference. I mean how many people are surfing around kickstarter looking to fund a mobile game? I don't think that many. Personally I'm interested, but I don't want an iOS game, I want a Mac or PC game. They did say they would make a unique version for PC/Mac that "speaks to the strengths of the platform." But AAA game for iOS? I still think its asking too much at $500K. With only 50 hours left, there's no way they are getting $170k in that amount of time. Unlikely at any rate.

I do enjoy a few small iOS games, but overall I am biased towards them. I definitely admire their ambition, just maybe too ambitious?

Also: Carmageddon Kickstarter! Huge fan of games 1 & 2 so definitely going to back this.

*edit*

Oops, Valdis Story is already over for funding, but you can peek at the page for game info.
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#3 tcrown

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:51 PM

I wouldn't hold my breadth for grim dawn coming to Mac, they are using a very windows specific engine and the developers are very windows centric where as developers on other kickstarters are approaching them from a system agnostic view and the ability to release on multimple platforms with relative ease and generally Mac/PC day 1.

Republique, people lament poor gameplay and story and here the developers are building a Thief like game strictly using unique touch mechanics instead of shoehorning it in after the fact on a Mac/PC release. They are a very talented and dedicated team and despite probably not getting funded they will see it made and I imagine it will do quite well and get critical acclaim for pushing iOS gaming forward.

Deepworld deserves mention as they are going Mac only which is rare these days.
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#4 Kilvain

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:09 PM

Carmageddon Reincarnation does look interesting, as do several of the others.

Here are a few more:

SKYJACKER - A 1st person space battle flight simulator Available for Mac on release

Cross of the Dutchman - An interesting action adventure game based on folklore. Available for Mac on release

Rubicon - A retro space combat game said to combine  "the solid physics/gameplay of Asteroids, with the tinkering of Mechwarrior" Available for Mac on release

#5 doh123

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:51 PM

grim dawn looks like a good game... but a mac version?  I doubt it.. they want like triple their goal to do a mac version.

The only game I've pledged for recently on there is SpaceVenture, cuz I love the old Space Quest games.

#6 clocknova

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:23 PM

View PostWumpus, on 09 May 2012 - 01:34 PM, said:

I think Republique looks interesting, but its not going to get funded. They are asking for an enormous amount of cash for what is primarily an iOS game. I think that was a mistake, and if they targeted computers first (instead of adding it on) it would have made a difference. I mean how many people are surfing around kickstarter looking to fund a mobile game? I don't think that many. Personally I'm interested, but I don't want an iOS game, I want a Mac or PC game. They did say they would make a unique version for PC/Mac that "speaks to the strengths of the platform." But AAA game for iOS? I still think its asking too much at $500K. With only 50 hours left, there's no way they are getting $170k in that amount of time. Unlikely at any rate.

I think they have a decent chance of making their goal.  Their funding rate has been increasing rapidly.  But I really want this one to succeed.  I think even as an iOS only game it looks like a lot of fun to play, but I plan on getting both versions and have pledged at a level to get both.  I really want to encourage people here to support this title in particular.  There just isn't much out there like it and a game like this would be a real win for iOS and the Mac.
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#7 Wumpus

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 01:02 AM

View Postclocknova, on 09 May 2012 - 07:23 PM, said:

I think they have a decent chance of making their goal.  Their funding rate has been increasing rapidly.  But I really want this one to succeed.  I think even as an iOS only game it looks like a lot of fun to play, but I plan on getting both versions and have pledged at a level to get both.  I really want to encourage people here to support this title in particular.  There just isn't much out there like it and a game like this would be a real win for iOS and the Mac.
Well it did go up 20,000 since I posted. Pretty good. Maybe they will hit it.

Despite everything I said before, I do in fact like the look of the game, and I did pledge $20 for it. I'm still skeptical they'll reach the goal, but would certainly be happy if they did.
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#8 Cobra

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 01:07 AM

Really awesome. It's a real pity my job went to mush since I'd love to fund a few of these.

#9 Wumpus

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:36 AM

Sorry to hear about your job. May you find yourself with one soon so you can back awesome kick starters :)

Checked out Skyjacker and it looks pretty cool. I'm not sure i'll back it yet, (since I just backed Carmageddon and Republique) but its very interesting for sure.

Cross of the Dutchman seems...quaint..but more specific to people of that country, rather than having a wide appeal. Interesting, but not enough to get my funding.

Rubicon, I'm also not interested in game wise, but was very charmed by the presentation. It was so low key and casual, all shot from a computer camera, but you could see how passionate this kid is. And he's releasing the game for free, very interesting approach.

I don't know if this is coming to Mac (I asked) but its hilarious: http://www.kickstart...57/hast-du-eier . Project is already funded, but you have to watch the video. The guy is making a game about his wife going to the store to buy eggs, and the mishap that transpired.

30 hours to go on Republique and $132,000 left to fund the project. If only they asked for $400k I think they'd make it. Still really skeptical this is going to pull through. And I still stick to my original thought that iOS targeting was a mistake. Sure, people would love to see that kind of game on iOS. Except iOS gamers tend to pay $0-$1 for most games, and they want $500k. They only added PC/Mac support after everyone asked. The initial presentation was "only for iOS, no interest in computers." You have to be on a computer just to fund it. :P I do want to see this game come out, but I suspect the project is going to be restarted at a more realistic goal, like $350k-$400k. All the big backers have already given..so yeah.

I have to say its more than a little ridiculous that Double Fine got over 3 million for just "we're going to make an adventure game." They had no art, no concept, no..nothing. Just the fact that they were going to make one. These Republique guys have one of the most detailed kickstarter pages I've seen and they are struggling to make it. Its a shame really, and maybe they are just late to the game as many folks are tapped out having backed a number of other previous projects.

I wanted to write an article (or articles) on all this Kickstarter business. There's a lot of interesting angles and analysis that warrants discussion.
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#10 clocknova

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 03:08 PM

Republique is now at 82% with about 25 hours to go.  They still need about $89,000, but it's not impossible.
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#11 clocknova

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 08:59 AM

And Republique has made it's goal with 7 hours to spare.  That's a lot of money pledged in 24 hours.
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#12 Matt Diamond

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 09:14 AM

7 hours, $4000 to go. I think they've managed it. [Edit: they went over in the time it took me to type this post.}

Actually, I am VERY skeptical about Kickstarter game projects in general. I think this rush to fund them is a mistake. The majority of games don't get finished, or come out as inferior or very different from how they were first envisioned, and/or are delayed a year or more. (Look at what happens even to successful ones like Halo, let alone the DNF's, Trespassers, and Diakatanas.)

Heck, I don't even preorder games most of the time, and those are generally much further along than most kickstarter projects.

So the risks are high, risks that normally a publisher would take on. I'm kind of hoping for a high-profile failure early on so that this bubble bursts before its gotten too big.

HAVING SAID THAT: I made an exception and funded Republique just now. Why? Two sentences from their summary sold me on it:

Quote

• Create an intense action game without a focus on killing
• Feature a believable, non-sexualized female lead

I'm willing to risk $10 for someone who thinks these are good goals for a game. And not only are they achievable, these are precisely the kind of goals that a publisher-backed game might end up compromising on.
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#13 tcrown

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 09:53 AM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 11 May 2012 - 09:14 AM, said:

7 hours, $4000 to go. I think they've managed it. [Edit: they went over in the time it took me to type this post.}

Actually, I am VERY skeptical about Kickstarter game projects in general. I think this rush to fund them is a mistake. The majority of games don't get finished, or come out as inferior or very different from how they were first envisioned, and/or are delayed a year or more. (Look at what happens even to successful ones like Halo, let alone the DNF's, Trespassers, and Diakatanas.)

Heck, I don't even preorder games most of the time, and those are generally much further along than most kickstarter projects.

So the risks are high, risks that normally a publisher would take on. I'm kind of hoping for a high-profile failure early on so that this bubble bursts before its gotten too big.

HAVING SAID THAT: I made an exception and funded Republique just now. Why? Two sentences from their summary sold me on it:



I'm willing to risk $10 for someone who thinks these are good goals for a game. And not only are they achievable, these are precisely the kind of goals that a publisher-backed game might end up compromising on.

I'm curious which kickstarter games made by industry vets have not lived up to expectations? The bubble analogy is used with kickstarter without any knowledge of what bubble actually means. There are a lot of crap games asking for funding and those games are not getting funded period. The games that are getting funded are being put together, generally by industry veterans who are making games that they are passionate about not for the paycheck which makes a huge difference in quality.
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#14 Wumpus

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 10:49 AM

An interesting article on this: http://www.gamasutra...bble_bursts.php

Personally I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt. I've funded 4 projects, but not at any particularly great cost. ($80 I think.) And while I won't be happy if my money goes to waste, I'm not going to flip out either. I'm on the side of the fence that believes in this still, though as the above article says maybe that's just "the love stage" where you ignore risks or flaws.

I think Matt Diamond certainly has a valid point of view given he develops and/or helps make games. The way I see it is, games do get cancelled in the industry space, either by publishers, or devs, or indies and its too bad. Here the community and individual is the investor, so it would be their loss. But if one or two projects fail, does that make the rest of them bad? What if 8 or 9 out of 10 deliver? I don't think we'll really know till later this year, and next year, when a large portion of these games are supposed to be coming out.

Practically all of the kickstarter game projects ARE the kind of games publishers won't fund because they deem them too risky or would no doubt want to change some of the concepts. I think its a very symbiotic relationship between KS game projects and their backers. The developers are being very open and communicative with those who are funding. I know making a game is no trivial thing, and it can be a long and hard process, and of course some of them are bound to fail at some point or another. But the game industry keeps making games. If some KS games fail, I still think they'll keep going. Its true, there is no actual condition or promise that the final game will be everything they said, or that it will in fact, get finished at all. I don't think anyone should blindly fund projects, but a lot of them are made up of industry veterans who have delivered a number of games before. There's also the random 1 or 2 person teams who are asking for small amounts to make a game, but from what I've seen a lot of these are already in development before going on KS and have something to show in terms of actual gameplay, artwork etc. A few of them even have demos. My feeling is all of these guys are going to work their asses off to make their projects happen because we, the people, the gamers, have given our trust and money to them to make that happen. It seems to be a special kind of inspiration.

Disappointment happens, even in finished games. I felt very cheated about id's RAGE which I paid $60 for. I thought it was worth $20-$30 at the most, and I'm still bitter about it. But will it stop me from ever buying another game at that price? or another game from id ever? No. I agree KS games have the potential to completely fail, but they also have the potential to completely succeed.
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#15 Sargiel

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 12:15 PM

Exactly - a lot of these projects failed to secure funding/support from the larger publishers. So .. by securing the necessary funding from people who want exactly that game makes sense. At worst they'll cover their costs and then every additional sale is profit :)

And with the people that are involved in the projects I've funded I have confidence (Wasteland II for example).

#16 DaveyJJ

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:27 PM

Republique's also a Unity-made title. Nice.
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#17 Kilvain

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 08:31 PM

That's great news about Republique.

Here's another one for your consideration:

Haunts: The Manse Macabre is a turn-based game for PC/Mac/Linux that allows players to take control of either the haunting denizens that have earned this infamous home its dire reputation or as the intrepid intruders determined to pry loose the Tyree Manse’s dread secrets. It can be played versus another player or versus the AI, online or all alone. A lengthy single-player campaign tells the house’s horrifying history and unlocks new denizens and intruders to use in the game. Scores of maps combined with variable goals, customizable rosters, and a variety of opponents offer endlessly unique and re-playable games.

It sounds like an interesting concept. I wish them well.

#18 Matt Diamond

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:30 AM

[quote name='tcrown' timestamp='1336751583' post='410276']
I'm curious which kickstarter games made by industry vets have not lived up to expectations?
[/quote]

It's way too early to know. Kickstarter is recent; this rush to fund game development through Kickstarter is even newer.

I'm speaking as someone who has watched the Mac game industry and played the games for 20 years. Over and over again we see games come out that fall far short of the marketing hype and early enthusiasm of the developers. They also get cancelled, or come out years late, or simply cost more than expected. Sometimes significant parts of the game are cut near the end in order to ship it. I think many of the Kickstarter funders are not aware that this is the norm, not something that only happens occasionally.

[quote]The games that are getting funded are being put together, generally by industry veterans who are making games that they are passionate about not for the paycheck which makes a huge difference in quality.[quote]

Noone sets out to make a bad game, or even a mediocre one. Enthusiasm and experience definitely count for something, but it's not enough. Developers are notorious for underestimating expenses and schedules. And their early enthusiasm of what a game COULD be eventually meets up with hard realities. Things have to get cut or changed, because they were overly ambitious, or just ended up not being fun to play.

Certainly some Kickstarter games will have carefully controlled scope, the developer will also be good at managing schedule and budget, and will closely resemble what was promised. People just need to be realistic. Even the developers of these games aren't always realistic. Even a great game designer or developer can come up short. It's just that usually they don't get the player's money until after they have shipped, which protects the player.
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#19 andrewlennox

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:59 PM

From all the comments above I can see that best thing out of all of this Kickstarter campaigns is that the Mac is finally making its way back into the coverstation of platforms. For years we have had to rely on the big corporations deciding if it was worth their time to bring AAA titles to the mac, now these high budget games from kickstarter have a must for the Mac platform. And that is what really excites me. Even though the indie developers have stuck by our platform for so long, I think the dull flame of the mac is about to be reignited in a big way. Feral said 2012 was going to be a big year, I don't think they really saw all this coming. Keep those great games coming :)
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#20 doh123

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 08:43 PM

Luckily there are plenty of tools out there now that support cross-platform (Windows, OSX, iOS, Android, etc...) development.. so since most things on Kickstarter are starting with new development, they can choose to use things that will not restrict them to Windows only.  Makes much more sense to do this anyways...