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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 Manon Hume, Blake Hester, Aj Moser, Haley MacLean, Joe Buchholz, Luke Walaszek, 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
Disturbing the VerseDeveloper: Gremlin_EntFunding Goal: $50,000Funds Due By: May 13, 2017
When asked to save the universe from a future catastrophic event, the characters of Disturbing the Verse respond in the only way they know how – with stylish violence. This 2D fighting game gives each character close- and long-range fighting options and has players face off in zero gravity, adding a vertical dimension to traditional brawler gameplay as they try to get above, below, and behind each other for the perfect combo. In addition to one-on-one battles, single-player arcade and training modes will be included, along with two-on-two team battles and four-player free-for-alls. Gremlin_Ent aims to have six playable characters for this PC game, though stretch goals would add more fighters and stages as well as console ports. A prototype of the game has also been released as part of the campaign.
Eagle IslandDeveloper: Nick GregoryFunding Goal: £20,000Funds Due By: May 15, 2017
With a colorful aesthetic inspired by the 16-bit era, developer Nick Gregory’s 2D platformer brings charm and challenge to the classic genre. Quill, a young falconry expert, journeys with his owl Koji to defeat the eagle deity Armaura, who has kidnapped Koji’s brother Ichiro. All the platforming and treasure chest opening is handled by Quill, who then leaves the fighting to Koji. Players must direct the owl to attack enemies by sending him swooping in one of eight directions, building combos and better loot with each successful attack. Throughout the game’s nine different areas, each procedurally generated, Quill finds power-ups, gems, and special elemental totems to boost Koji’s abilities in combat. These buffs will help the duo battle the boss of each stage and, eventually, Armaura. Eagle Island is planned to release on PC in mid-2018 if successful.
Forged of BloodDeveloper: Critical ForgeFunding Goal: $105,651Funds Due By: N/A
This tactical RPG sets itself apart from other fantasy titles through one very ambitious project: to create a “true” spellcrafting system. Beginning with a choice of three types of magic, followed by two directions for the spell, five effects, eighteen modifiers for each effect, and eighteen global modifiers for the spell as a whole, Critical Forge’s projected system would allow players to craft truly unique spells.
The enormous magic system is complemented by in-depth weapon modification, grid-based combat, and a morally gray storyline. Numbers and charts play a key role in Forged of Blood, whether it be battle, discourse, or simply upgrading your home base. Whatever challenges players face as brother to the heir of an unnamed kingdom, they are sure to always have ample options at their disposal in this PC title.
Fort TriumphDeveloper: Fort Triumph TeamFunding Goal: $75,000Funds Due By: May 23, 2017
Advertised as a fantasy XCOM, Fort Triumph is a grid-based tactical RPG where even the simplest objects can become deadly weapons. Crates can be kicked into oncoming foes, trees can be set on fire and toppled into the enemy ranks, and allies can be flung toward monsters to get them into the thick of battle faster. Procedurally generated levels and unique mission objectives make each playthrough different, even on the same stage. Adding to the strategic layer are the distinct traits that each hero is randomly assigned. Split into four classes, characters are further divided by these personality traits – for example, some paladins will be loud, making it impossible for them to sneak, while others are determined or impressionable. Fort Triumph Team currently has demos of the game for PC, Mac, and Linux, with plans for console release in the works.
HellpointDeveloper: Cradle GamesFunding Goal: CA$50,000Funds Due By: May 9, 2017
Far in the future, a sudden and catastrophic event causes all parallel universes to merge together, resulting in mass insanity and the awakening of horrible cosmic beings. So begins dark RPG Hellpoint by Cradle Games (which Andrew Reiner describes in more detail here), a studio founded by developers with experience working on series such as Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty. Set on the space station Irid Novo, players control a nameless character immune to this event. As players explore, Irid Novo orbits a black hole in real time, which affects everything from the appearance of secret areas to the ferocity of enemies. Players won’t have to face these threats alone, though: Hellpoint supports split-screen co-op, allowing two players to share loot and experience as they explore the space station together. A demo of the game is available for PC, and the game is planned to launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in early 2018 if funded.
Humans of the Internet AgeDeveloper: Island Bar GamesFunding Goal: $65,000Funds Due By: May 11, 2017
What would a museum of the Internet look like? Humans of the Internet Age doesn’t only seek to answer that question – it actually aims to build that very museum in game form. Joe Sansone, the one-man team of Island Bar Games, has started his Kickstarter campaign not only for funding the first-person adventure title, but to gather contributions for the exhibits in the virtual museum. Kidnapped by a being known as The Great Observer, players will navigate this museum, solving puzzles and evading security systems as they try to escape their mysterious captor. Backers will be able to send in original artwork, poetry, videos, and, of course, memes, which will be featured in the game’s design. Planned for PC release in late 2018 if successful, stretch goals for Humans of the Internet Age include console and VR ports.
MinotaurDeveloper: U7 CommitteeFunding Goal: €30,000Funds Due By: May 16, 2017
Torn to pieces by a strange monster. Drowning in a giant fish tank. These are at least two gruesome ends characters face in Minotaur, with plenty more lurking around every corner. Combining aspects of point-and-click gameplay and visual novel-style storytelling into a murder mystery adventure game, Minotaur throws players into an eerie futuristic world of life and death. Viewed through the eyes of five different playable characters, ranging from an android to a human to a talking penguin, players try to figure out why nine people have been trapped in a building and are slowly being killed off. The search only becomes more desperate as the murders continue, and it becomes more difficult to know who to trust. Set to launch in late 2017 if the campaign is successful, U7 Committee has released a fully voice-acted Minotaur demo, as well as a website explaining the game’s lore here.
The MisfitsDeveloper: PigDog GamesFunding Goal: $50,000Funds Due By: May 15, 2017
A third-person arena shooter with attitude, The Misfits allows up to 20 players to face off in stylish, fast-paced battles. PigDog Games, a studio of six industry veterans, mixes the usual run-and-gun action of shooters with destructible environments, day-night cycles, and fresh game modes. Along with the usual deathmatch and king of the hill modes, The Misfits offers Gang War, where four teams of five compete to destroy each other for domination; Cash Grab, where players accumulate money that must be taken back to their base, leaving a trail of cash for opponents to follow; and Smash and Grab, a search-and-destroy meets heist mode, where teams race to break safes and bring the loot safely to the getaway car before rivals take the goodies for themselves. If the campaign succeeds, the game is set to release on PC this winter, with console ports and additional game modes as stretch goals.
Rise of the KingDeveloper: Revelation GamesFunding Goal: $160,000Funds Due By: May 18, 2017
Formed by developers who worked on Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Furi, and Age of Chivalry, Revelation Games strives to give players a challenging and realistic experience combining survival, action, and mystery in Rise of the King. Cast as expert woodsman Greyson Wallace, players must set out into the wintery wilderness of Arnithon to rescue the kidnapped son of a powerful noble. With no power-ups, healing items, or mini-map to aid players, combat becomes a precise test of skill and learning to navigate is key to surviving the harsh environment. Information about the missing child can be found by questioning residents of villages discovered along Wallace’s journey. Wallace then records these clues in his journal, which players can use to make deductions to advance their investigation. If successful, Rise of the King is planned to release on PC in late 2018.
Safe HouseDeveloper: LABS GamesFunding Goal: CA$5,000Funds Due By: May 18, 2017
What’s cooler than being a spy? Being the one in charge of all the secret missions, of course. A PC game by one-man studio LABS Games, Safe House is a management sim where players build a base of operations for training spies, intercepting enemy communications, and other espionage-related activities. In addition to constructing the base, recruiting agents, and accumulating cash, players will have to juggle decoding messages, providing shelter to wounded spies, and sniffing out moles through password-laden interrogations. The game includes story missions that tie in to the overarching plot of political intrigue in the fictional country of Kazitaire, and each successful job brings new upgrades and improvements to your base. Plan each mission carefully, though – one wrong step, and the jig is up. If the Kickstarter succeeds, Safe House is planned to launch this fall.
Touchdown: Armor LeagueDeveloper: Ares GamesFunding Goal: $50,000Funds Due By: May 7, 2017
Football is a rough sport as it is, but what if mech suits, jetpacks, and rocket launchers joined the fray? That’s the rough-and-tumble concept behind Touchdown: Armor League. Pitting two teams of six against each other, Touchdown is a no-holds-barred take on traditional football. Featuring the core mechanics of passing the ball, running it to the end zone, and scoring, the addition of four mechanical athletes to choose from adds abundant explosions to the mix. Grenades can blow off rivals’ limbs; some power suits stun or destroy opponents completely, making them drop the ball; and passes can be shot down with bullets or intercepted mid-air. Developer Ares Games aims to have their title enter the eSports arena later this year on PC, with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports planned for early 2018.
The WatchmakerDeveloper: Micropsia GamesFunding Goal: $30,000Funds Due By: May 5, 2017
Alexander has always performed his job like clockwork – oiling gears, repairing springs, and whatever else was necessary to keep the clock tower running smoothly. One day, he wakes up to a disembodied voice warning him that his masterpiece has been sabotaged, and now time is spinning out of control. Time manipulation is a key component in this third-person puzzle-adventure game, but these powers come at a cost: Alexander ages at a rapid rate, putting a limit on how long players can take to advance through each level. Using his time control powers and magnetic gloves, Alexander must fight enemies, solve puzzles, and platform his way through the tower to find and stop the saboteur, whoever they may be. With a PC demo already launched supporting six different languages, developer Micropsia Games’ campaign has stretch goals for versions on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One that would also add a seventh language.
Zombie Society: Dead DetectiveDeveloper: Francesco Dell’Anna MuiaFunding Goal: €2,000Funds Due By: May 4, 2017
Are you tired of zombies always being the bad guys? Developer Francesco Dell’Anna Muia’s zany point-and-click PC game starring zombie detectives Margh and Ghvnn lets the undead be the heroes for once… kind of. Players control Ghvnn as he and Margh solve four different cases, from tracking down a stolen head to finding out the truth behind the sudden appearance of a living person on the edge of town. As they talk to NPCs (who will be based on backers’ names and appearances) and gather evidence, players will be able to combine information in their “deaduction” notebook. Be careful, though – arriving at incorrect conclusions affects which of the game’s endings you’ll receive. Muia has released the first chapter of the game on Newgrounds, Game Jolt, and Kongregate [Disclaimer: Kongregate is owned by GameStop, the parent company of Game Informer] as a demo for the campaign.
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