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Kickstarters Update: Who Made It and… Who Didn’t – Part II

By on December 3rd, 2012 2:40 pm

It’s time for another Kickstarters update. In the first update we covered games that succeeded on their crowd funding campaigns, like FTL (already out there), Xenonauts, Kinetic Void, Drifter, among others. And, some others that were not so fortunate also.

Now, and in the case you miss them, here’s a new round of successful, and not so successful stories of space and sci-fi games that went crowd funding.

Divine Space: space action/adventure RPG  -> Didn’t make it.

Dodo Games proposed an “immersive, beautiful space adventure in a hard sci-fi genre” with real astronomical data. The game would be free to play and was to be released, at first, for mobile platforms (iOS and Android). And this could help explain a bit why they were not successful, but obviously it probably doesn’t tell all the story. Dodo Games went for $100,000 on Kickstarter but only managed to get around $28,000, before deciding to cancel the campaign. The project creator left the door open for future developments though – “we’ll try to give one more chance to the project”. Better luck next time Dodo Games. Here’s the official website in case you want to check for developments.

Strike Suit Zero: space combat -> Made it!

Born Ready Games went to Kickstarter for Strike Suit Zero, a space combat PC game where your ship transforms into “a hulking suit of space armour”, called Strike Suit. The transformers feel is evident. That, the great visuals and the very cool music (that reminds me of Homeworld’s music) have surely helped the devs achieve their KS goal of $100,000, and surpassing it for a total of $174,804 raised. A couple of weeks ago the devs announced to be preparing for closed beta (that shows how far they were) and going for a January 24th 2013 release. Wow! Now that was fast. What was the money for again? :)

Star Citizen: space trading and combat simulation -> Made it! (big time)

Ok, who didn’t know about this one? Maybe 6 people in the entire Internet (gaming) world? :) Star Citizen is Chris Robert’s new bet, the father of the Wing Commander series and Freelancer. And what a bet. Chris managed to raise a total of $6.23M between his website and Kickstarter, establishing a new crowd funding record. Star Citizen follows on the footsteps of Wing Commander and Freelancer and adds state of the art graphics and a massively multiplayer element in a persistent open universe, a bit like in EVE Online or World of Warcraft but not gameplay-wise, as Chris always likes to point out. An early Alpha of Star Citizen is expected to be ready for backers at the end of 2013 for the PC.

Starship Corporation: real-time sci-fi strategy -> Made it!

Who never dream on designing their own spaceships with plenty of detail with multiple decks, many different types of modules and rooms and then be able to see those ships in action? A bit like being a starship tycoon :) Well, that’s what Starship Corporation is all about. The Starship Corporation creator went to IndieGoGo for the extra cash to finish his game and see how far he could go. He raised a total of $20,550 from an initial goal of $6,000. The last word (from mid-October) was that the dev managed to reach his final stretch goal with additional funding raised. We’ll be following this one closely at SpaceSector, so, don’t worry about missing it. You will know when it is complete! :) This one is for Windows PC.

Planetary Annihilation: real-time sci-fi strategy -> Made it! (big time)

Total Annihilation inspired Planetary Annihilation by Uber Entertainment Inc also succeeded big time on Kickstarter, achieving a total of $2,229,344 raised from the initial proposed goal of $900,000. Some of the Uber guys are still the ones behind Total Annihilation, namely its engine. So, expect a truly “inspired by” new game. Planetary Annihilation is about destruction, massive scale, planet smashing, huge explosions and robots. So, expect lots of fireworks in this sci-fi RTS for the Win PC, Linux and Mac. Have a look at the official website in case you want to follow the game to its conclusion, that is expected to be around July 2013. Alternatively you can also know all about the important milestones here at good old SpaceSector.

M.O.R.E. : turn-based 4X space strategy -> Made it!

So, the idea with MORE was to expand on Master of Orion 2′s gameplay – the eternal space 4X gaming reference. IdeaLcenter, an international team of 12 people from Poland, United States and Germany proposed 3D star maps and combat, a new concept to reduce late-game micromanagement, animated cutscenes and 20 playable races. Many doubted that $50,000 would be enough to complete such an undertaking. IdealCenter managed to get that and $40,000 more for a total of around $90,000 raised, the maximum to date for space 4X games. There will be hot seat and PEBM support – they barely made it on these two on the stretch goals. The plan is to reach Alpha by July 2013, Beta in September 2013 and the full game on December 13. You can stop by MORE’s forums to leave feedback. We’ll be here to follow this one also. Very closely.

Nexus 2: The Gods Awaken: sci-fi real-time space tactics -> Didn’t make it.

Nexus: Jupiter Incident is an acclaimed sci-fi real-time tactics game released in 2004 by HD Interactive and Mithis Entertainment. Now, HD and Most Wanted Entertainment (composed of some former developers of Jupiter Incident) went after a chance to re-ignite the series with Nexus 2: The Gods Awaken. So, they went to Kickstarter, after failing at a first attempt at defunct games-plant.com, a former crowd funding platform. MWE seemed to have a good chance to succeed, since Jupiter Incident has a fairly large following, and there weren’t many space tactical games on the market at the moment. But, fate decided that the $600,000 that MWE asked for were too much for what they proposed, and so, they “only” managed to get $161,731. They didn’t shut the door for developments as it seems. In a closing comment, MWE stated that they have learned a lot with the Kickstarter experience and will “evaluate the situation and decide what could be the best way forward for Nexus2″. Third time’s the charm?

Blackspace: sci-fi real-time action-strategy game -> Didn’t make it.

Blackspace, a game about space mining. Well, the concept was fresh. A bit of RTS, a chunk of tower defense, elements of discovery, all that in a fully destructible space environment with an extensive use of physics. Sounds nice, and it indeed looked nice. However, PixelFoundry walked only half the road with a total of $134,959 raised from a total of $350,000. But, this one ain’t dead yet. On their website, PixelFoundry announced that although not making it on Kickstarter, they will “continue working hard on the game”. But, understandably, they will push the release date a bit. That’s the spirit! Don’t demoralize and get back to work. It may take them a little while longer, but they didn’t give up. And for that they have my respect and sympathy. Good luck guys!

Maia: space colony management simulation, god game -> Made it!

This one is still hot from the oven. After having worked full-time on a ‘AAA’ development studio (on Kinectimals, The Outsider) Simon Roth decided to go indie and went to Kickstarter after his dream to finish Maia, a Dungeon Keeper meets Dwarf Fortress kind of game. He asked for £100,042 (£42 for beer I suppose) and got £140,481. For who may not know, God games include titles such as Dungeon Keeper, Populous, Black & White, or Spore where players have supernatural powers to influence the population, which usually worship you in some way. Maia is about extra solar colonization in a dark sci-fi setting, with dark humour also. We’ll make sure you know when Maia releases, which should be somewhere in the summer of 2013.

Conclusion

Six Kickstarters made it and three didn’t. Now that’s still a good result. And two projects even got astounding results (Star Citizen and Planetary Annihilation). This means space and sci-fi are doing quite well on crowd funding these days. In the last update we got only six successes over sixteen proposals, which was a much poorer result. It seems that there are fewer games trying crowd funding as of recently, but they seem to come better prepared. Of course, I may be forgetting about some sci-fi and space games in this update. Feel free to reference them on the comments below – only completely finished ones please.

Till our next Kickstarters update, continue helping our indie sci-fi and space adventurers, but, don’t forget to back thoughtfully! :) Crowd funding is still on its infancy, and there’s always risk involved. Don’t forget to always have that in mind when backing.

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15 Comments


  1. Garmine says:

    It’s a pity for Nexus :((

    Btw, wasn’t this post online a few days ago?

    • Adam Solo says:

      No I didn’t. But, it’s referenced here now, thanks for that.

      No… by $28? This is ridiculous. And, this was their second attempt at kickstarter, raising $100,000 on the first and not making half on the second? Tough luck …

    • James Coote says:

      It does suck, but probably not as much as the first time. The devs did say it was threatening to drag on and drag down the company, so I can understand wanting to just clear the air, learn the lessons and move onto more profitable ventures

  2. vincku says:

    What will happen to the funds given for those who did not make it ?
    Will it be returned to the donators ?

    • Adam Solo says:

      The funds are only taken from the backers banking accounts when/if the projects succeed. In the case of fixed campaigns. These sort of campaigns work on an “all or nothing” basis. So, that’s why when even if you miss the goal for $1 the campaign will not be successful and nobody gets charged. So, the money is never taken from bank accounts, unless the project succeeds. But, there’s another type of campaign done by the crowd funding platform IndieGoGo, called flexible campaign, that does take all the funds collected. But, in the Kickstarter platform, it’s always an “all or nothing” thing.

  3. RandomBlue says:

    There was also Conquest 2, a sequel to Conquest: Frontier Wars which was a pretty good 4X/RTS combo. They didn’t make it very far before they decided to cancel it do to lack of interest: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1869102574/conquest-2-vyrium-uprising-rts-fans-unite

  4. Towerbooks3192 says:

    Will be keeping an eye on Maia and M.O.R.E.

    I think the reason why divine space didn’t make it was because of the in-app purchase option. I wish they made something directly for PC and minus in app purchases. Freemium games with forced IAPs are flooding the market to the point that its pretty hard to find a decent game on iOS/android.

  5. Mark says:

    Nice update Adam, very interesting.

    Boy I was disappointed that Nexus II didn’t make it, I loved the first game and still play it to this day. I hope they try again.

  6. Reynolds says:

    I feel sorry for the Nexus 2 devs, i realy liked the core of Nexus, the graphics were good, the gameplay was decent though unpolished. It had design flaws and issues, but man the battles kicked ass. The HD trailer for the next game looked so awesome back then – heck i still love the shield effects of that one^^

    all in all in hope they can get it running at some point.
    My money went to planetary annihilation and star citizen so i had no budget left for nexus :(

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