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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 Joseph Knoop, Marcus Stewart, Parker Lemke, Hershall Cook, Christian Belland, 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
FailsafeDeveloper: Game OverFundraising Goal: $80,000Funds Due By: December 1, 2015
Merging the gameplay of Mirror’s Edge and narrative zen of Hayao Miyazaki, Failsafe plans to bring epic parkour exploration to the forefront of this fantasy adventure. On a desolate wasteland planet, a young girl named Isra has been raised to one day lead her people. Instead, she chooses to leave the confines of her village to explore the wider world, intent on discovering a mysterious location known as the Forgotten. The game stars Ashly Burch (“Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’”) and Dante Busco (Avatar: The Last Airbender), along with additional talent like writer Anthony Burch and Journey animator Seiji Tanaka.
Dad QuestDeveloper: Sundae MonthFundraising Goal: $8,000Funds Due By: November 30, 2015
Turns out child endangerment can be charming, as long as your kid is indestructible. Dad Quest is a student team-developed 2D action platformer that takes an unusual approach to parenting. Players control a Dad on a quest to reach the mythical Dad Island, running through colorful levels with a Child tucked under their arm. In this world, parents of either gender can use the title Dad and fling their Child to defeat wacky enemies. RPG elements include leveling up the Child to learn new skills. Players accomplish this by tossing the Child through the window of a gym, school, or other building. Though bizarre on many levels, Dad Quest looks like it offers a fun mix of unique gameplay concepts that could appeal to players with the right sense of humor.
Friday the 13th: The GameDeveloper: Gun MediaFundraising Goal: 700,000Funds Due By: November 13
Horror fans have begged for years for a proper Friday the 13th game, and Gun Media hopes to deliver just that. Designed as an asymmetrical, 7v1 multiplayer experience, six players control Crystal Lake counselors cooperating to survive against another player behind the mask of the machete-wielding juggernaut (played by original Jason actor, Kane Hodder). Each counselor possess unique skills and Jason boasts a variety of appropriately brutal executions like smashing heads into trees or eviscerating victims with his machete. For more on the game, check out our previous coverage.
Grey NightDeveloper: TherplayFundraising Goal: $15,000Funds Due By: November 27
With its monochromatic presentation and gloomy atmosphere, it’s no surprise to learn that Limbo is Grey Night’s primary inspiration. The story centers on a father who, after suffering a car accident, discovers his daughter has gone missing. To locate her, the player must solve environmental puzzles, avoid wild beasts, and combat opposing citizens, including malicious children and a freakishly large woman. The narrative unfolds through interactive cutscenes that contain no dialogue, which the developer hopes will create a stronger, more emotional bond between player and game.
LabyrinthDeveloper: Free Range GamesFundraising Goal: $150,000Funds Due By: November 25, 2015
We covered Free Range Games’ promising blend of RPG dungeon crawling and collectible card games in a more in-depth preview, but the developer still hasn’t quite met its goal. Taking a page from Hearthstone, Free Range Games is planning on a player-friendly free-to-play model that allows you to earn every card in the game without spending real money. Those cards contain new party members, the attacks, spells, and equipment that they use during the turn-based tactical combat, and even monsters you can use to design and defend your own dungeon – the asynchronous multiplayer allows you to create the perfect defense deck to protect your lair while you’re away from the game, giving the PVP a single-player feel.
Infinity: BattlescapeDeveloper: I-Novae StudiosFundraising Goal: $300,000Funds Due By: November 20
This ambitious sci-fi title promises to have over 100 players facing off in massive spaceship battles in the vein of Star Wars and Battlestar: Galactica. Teams are divided into three major corporations vying for control over the many moons and planets across a seamless, true-to-scale solar system. Players pilot a slew of customizable ship types, from smaller fighters to massive destroyers, all of which look great thanks to the game’s impressive graphical prowess. Designed by a team comprised of industry vets who worked on games such as Gears of War, Unreal Tournament, and Microsoft Flight Simulator, Infinity: Battlescape looks to have the development chops to match its grandiose vision.
Party GolfDeveloper: Giant MargaritaFundraising Goal: $10,173Funds Due By: November 17, 2015
Party Golf is a golf game. Okay, before you pass out from overexcitement, consider that the game takes inspiration from other competitive “sports” titles like Sports Friends and Nidhogg. Two to four players swing their ball in a procedurally generated course, completely customizable in all aspects. According to the developer, there’s over a trillion possible combinations, including changing your ball into a giant rectangle, your course being shrouded in darkness, and various ball power-ups. If that wasn’t good enough, the game also features local competitive multiplayer.
Pankapu: The DreamkeeperDeveloper: Too Kind StudiosFundraising Goal: $44,130Funds Due By: November 27
Blending action, platforming, and role-playing, Pankapu appears to be as imaginative as it is colorful. Inspired by Lakota culture, Final Fantasy, and scored by Secret of Mana composer Hiroki Kikuta, Pankapu puts players in the diminutive boots of Djaha’Rell, a knight out to protect his world from the invading Nightmares. Equipped with three uniquely-powered sets of armor that can be swapped on the fly, players leap and hack their way across an expansive, beautifully illustrated 2D world. Pankapu is planned to be an episodic adventure, and players can take it for a spin by downloading the game’s alpha.
Song Of HorrorDeveloper: Protocol GamesFundraising Goal: $55,167Funds Due By: December 10
Fans of Resident Evil and Until Dawn may want to give Song of Horror a look. The story centers on a washed-up advertiser, who is tasked with investigating the mansion of a missing client. However, the residence is infested by a malevolent entity and things quickly take a turn for the terrifying. Song of Horror channels classic survival horror with clue-finding and environmental puzzle-solving, but thankfully eschews static viewing angles in favor of automatic cameras. In addition to the main protagonist, players control 15 unique characters who, depending on how you play, either survive the ordeal or die within the mansion’s walls.
War of RightsDeveloper: Campfire GamesFundraising Goal: $106,917Funds Due By: November 14, 2015
War of Rights takes the first-person shooter genre back in time to the pastoral fields of the American Civil War. The authentic period piece shooter encourages group-based tactics on the battlefield. Players form lines and fire volleys with black powder rifles that make reloading part of the challenge. Bayonet charges, artillery barrages, and cavalry regiments add deadly realism to encounters. When playing the multiplayer game, players will follow a chain of command that includes privates, flag bearers, and officers. Danish developer Campfire Games also hopes to balance fun with education by providing accurate information about the distant conflict. Players will be able to see if the team meets the challenge of creating an engaging civil war game when it launches an Early Access version on Steam.
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Game Informer.