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The Kickstarter Compendium

Our regularly revised feature keeps you up to date on the Kickstarter games worth watching, and helps you track projects both before and after they’re funded.

Welcome to the Kickstarter Compendium, a gathering of games and game-related projects that we’ve come across that deserve your attention. The crowd-funding model for video games has resulted in some fascinating new game ideas, and new projects are going up on a weekly basis that deserve your attention. 

The only problem is keeping track of it all – what’s worth watching, and what are these different projects about? As an ongoing feature, our Kickstarter Compendium is your guide to games seeking funding through Kickstarter. After funding projects are complete, this feature will also track what games (and game-related projects) got funded and which ones didn’t – and, where possible, offer links to the projects as they are developed. 

[Editor's Note: This feature was co-written by Alissa McAloon, Jon Gregory, Elise Favis, Matthew Stolpe, Jason Dafnis, Wayne Stainrook, Cameron Koch, Isaac Federspiel, Katie Seville, Liz Lanier, Kayla Herrera, Ali Rapp, Mike Mahardy, and Matt Miller.]

Projects Seeking Funding

Faceted Flight
Developer: Matthew Scott
Fundraising Goal: $50,000
Funds Due By: July 3, 2015

A VR flight game that comes with the feature “not vomit-inducing” is a selling point within itself. Faceted Flight is a game developed exclusively for VR from its very inception by longtime industry veteran Matthew Scott. The game lets players take control of three different kinds of aircraft and pilot them through stylized airfields to either explore or compete in events like racing or ring attack. If you’ve ever looked at a game like Pilotwings and wondered what it’d be like in virtual reality, you’d best keep an eye on Faceted Flight. 

Developer: Frogames
Fundraising Goal: $16,425
Funds Due By: June 25, 2015

Farabel is a turn-based fantasy strategy game, developed by a guy who grew up playing that kind of game. As a result, Farabel takes a lot of influence from old-school games like Advanced Wars, but still emerges with its own unique look and feel. The adorable and stylistic world is divided into a hexagonal grid on which you move and arrange cute little orcish characters. In campaign mode, the ultimate goal is to protect the city of Farabel from invading forces, featuring new enemies and challenges at every turn. The game also features a challenge mode that lets players explore different locations and situations while building an army. Fans of turn-based strategy games will feel right at home in Farabel, a game the developer says is “easy to learn, but difficult to master.”

Galaxy Heist
Developer: Space Bear Development
Fundraising Goal: $99,391
Funds Due By: July 3, 2015

If being a space pirate has been a life goal of yours, you might want to consider backing Galaxy Heist. The game is an ambitious blend of a lot of cool ideas that all come together to create what looks to be a highly entertaining experience. Crews of 4-5 pilot flagships around a space environment populated with other players and other flagships. Players can either pilot the ship, control a turret, or take control of a small drone ship to engage in large-scale space battles. If you’re looking for a more personal brand of space piracy, players are also able to board enemy ships and take them over from the inside. Hopping inside an enemy ship pulls the gameplay from large-scale ship combat to close-quarters FPS. Run around and take down the enemy crew with brute force, or maybe just blast a hole in the wall and let the vacuum of space do the fighting for you. 

Neptune Flux
Developer: Zoxide Games
Fundraising Goal: $8,000
Funds Due By: July 1, 2015

Developer Zoxide Games has called Neptune Flux a classic point-and-click for the modern age, which means at first glance it may not seem like a point-and-click at all. Neptune Flux takes place entirely within the dark depths of the true final frontier: the bottom of the ocean. Players take control of a character named Sarah as she completes tasks deep underwater for a mysterious corporation called A.Q.U.A. Neptune Flux combines classical point-and-click style world interaction with dark, undersea exploration, and a sprawling narrative that continues to unwind as Sarah explores deeper and deeper. Set in a future where the surface of the Earth has become dry and almost unlivable, Neptune Flux delivers a curious dose of story-driven undersea exploration as Sarah tries to both cope with her own past decisions and do her job as an A.Q.U.A. employee. As you’d expect, the corporation’s true intentions are less than pure and Sarah must do her own exploration to uncover the company’s real motives. Neptune Flux seems like a project that sets out to create an amazing world without being unrealistically ambitious. It’s hard not to be interested in this project when it lists inspirations like Fallout, Myst, and LucasArts era point-and-clicks. 

Developer:  The Deep End Games
Fundraising Goal: $150,000
Funds Due By: June 25, 2015

Horror games are an art, not a science, and the guys at The Deep End Games are in the middle of painting one creepy portrait. Perception exists as a horror narrative adventure brought to you by some of the developers behind BioShock and Dead Space. The first -person game starts with a familiar premise: You play as Cassie, a young girl exploring an abandoned estate trying to discover why the house has been plaguing her dreams. The twist? Cassie is blind and uses sound to see. Everything in the house is hidden beneath a layer of darkness until the sound of Cassie’s footsteps, her walking stick, or sounds within the environment reveal the world to her. Players must balance the need to “see” with the urgent need to stay quiet and hide from the dark presence stalking Cassie within the walls of the estate at Echo Bluff. 

Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs
Developer: Pixelated Milk
Fundraising Goal: $40,000
Funds Due By: July 3, 2015

In Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs, players take control of a young ruler named Kay who, upon returning to his domain, finds the lands in ruin and a massive debt accrued in his name. Regalia prides itself on telling a story without falling back on larger-than-life scenarios or typical JRPG character tropes. Combat is handled on an isometric grid, featuring distinctly designed and hand-drawn characters and environments. Outside of battle, players are encouraged to build relationships with NPC characters throughout their party and hometown, which provides bonuses throughout gameplay. Regalia is directly inspired by games like Disgaea and Persona, but manages to take elements from both games while maintaining its own unique look and feel.

Shape of the World
Developer: Hollow Tree Games
Fundraising Goal: $60,222
Funds Due By: July 1, 2015

Imagine a game where getting lost is a good thing, then merge that concept with the relaxing atmosphere of a game like Flower and put it in a world full of beautiful visuals that grow and populate constantly around you. That fusion of ideas is roughly what Shape of the World is all about. The game forgoes the usual mechanics of combat, high scores, and health, and instead aims to create a world all about the thrill of exploration. Colorful environments within the game are all procedurally generated; each adventure in Shape of the World leads you through a unique landscape that changes and grows the more you interact with it.

TGL : ThanksGiving LIFE
Developer: DDT Games
Fundraising Goal: $50,000
Funds Due By: July 1, 2015

DDT Games knows that, at the end of the day, nothing is better than being able to play god. Their most recent game, ThanksGiving LIFE, lets you do just that. In TGL you select and take control of an A.I. and micromanage their life and help them to hopefully realize their dreams. Each of the selectable A.I. characters has their own goals, personalities, and story arc. Nearly every action your character performs affects their skills, mood, and environment in some way. Sitting on the sofa causes your avatar to gain weight, and probably curse you in the process. Hitting the gym helps get them in the best shape of their life, which might just be what they need to woo that special someone or fulfill their ultimate dream. 

Think Zombie
Developer: carboLab
Fundraising Goal: $21,900
Funds Due By: June 26, 2015

Think Zombie is an adorable iOS, Android, and Windows Phone game that uses an overdose of adorable characters to hide a mildly morbid plot. On the surface, players are in charge of managing a cute little theme park run by Zombies. Like any theme park-management game, your goal is to build the best park possible to attract more and more visitors. In Think Zombie, your goals are the same but slightly more sinister. After attracting thrill-seeking humans to your theme park, you must capture as many of them as possible and convert them into minions for your zombie army. Adorable, right? Some humans can be tossed on stationary bicycles and used to power your park or instructed to dig tunnels and expand the dungeon beneath your theme park. And when your army becomes big enough, you can wage war on the nearby human habitats. The final build of the game promises multiplayer, different human and zombie classes, and even more adorable little human sprites to enslave.

We Happy Few
Developer: Compulsion Games
Fundraising Goal: $201,353
Funds Due By: July 4, 2015

We Happy Few is a first-person, procedurally generated roguelike that takes place in pseudo-utopic city known as Wellington Wells. The citizens of Wellington Wells are all very happy and rule abiding people who frown upon those that don’t conform to their sometimes insane standards of life. You control a character that has rejected those very rules, yet must find a way to survive within the city.  The game follows an alternate take on the events of World War II, where England was all but destroyed and its citizens had to do some terrible things under German occupation. To make it past those horrible memories, the citizens of Wellington Wells developed a pill called Joy that keeps the entire town in a state of ignorant bliss. As a Downer, or someone off their Joy, you must sneak, fight, and steal your way through the streets of Wellington Wells and do whatever you can to keep from starving while you hunt for a way to escape the city. We Happy Few isn’t about stealth; it’s a game built around the idea of hiding in plain sight. Preforming tasks that a happy Wellie wouldn’t approve of draws suspicion and will most likely result in the death of your character. At that point, you’re dead; there is no respawning in We Happy Few. Instead the game drops you in an entirely new, procedurally generated Wellington Wells where you must once again either escape or die. 

World’s Dawn
Developer: David Grund
Fundraising Goal: $5,000
Funds Due By: July 3, 2015

World’s Dawn just might be the game Harvest Moon fans have been waiting for. The game, being developed by David Grund, is a top-down life simulator set in a quiet farming village. Most of the gameplay is focused on the day-to-day routine of your character, which includes helping them build up their farm, participating in village wide activities, engaging in activities like fishing or mining, and building relationships with the citizens the Sugar Blossom village. All of this may seem very familiar to games like Harvest Moon, but World’s Dawn prides itself on its diverse characters and story progression. As of writing, a free demo including the spring, summer, and fall segments of the game are up on the game’s website to let players experience a little of the flavor World’s Dawn hopes to bring to the life-simulator genre.  

[NEXT UP: Peruse the numerous games that have been successfully funded through Kickstarter, and track their progress after funding is complete]

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