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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 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
The Adventure PalsDeveloper: Massive MonsterFundraising Goal: $28,190Funds Due By: August 27, 2016
Everybody needs a best friend. In Massive Monster’s adventure game, The Adventure Pals, evil Mr. B has kidnapped your dad in hopes of turning him into a hot dog. Taking on the role of a young adventurer, you set out with your two best friends, a pet rock and Sparkles the giraffe, you travel through a world “fueled by imagination” to stop him. Mixing together platforming, RPG elements, and combat arenas, The Adventure Pals gives players five areas to explore with twenty-five levels each. The cartoony game will also feature local co-op, towns full of quests, and open-world exploration. Massive Monster’s campaign ends August 27.
Bear Vs MethlabDeveloper: Whitebox Interactive Fundraising Goal: $22,843Funds Due By: August 30
Adolf Hitler has started an interdimensional meth cartel, and it’s up to four bears to stop him. Players can customize the look of their bear with a variety of costumes and color schemes, then enter a four-player arena to rack up the most destruction. There are enemies to defeat but players can trip each other up with bombs and traps to fight for the high score. Bear vs Methlab is focused on fast-paced mini-games full of destructible environments. The game is expected to launch on Steam this November, with a console release possible in 2017.
Close YourDeveloper: William HellwarthFundraising Goal: $20,000Funds Due By: September 2, 2016
There’s a cliché saying that life flies by in the blink of an eye. The game Close Your has taken that idea and made a game around it – kind of. Currently in development by William Hellwarth, Close Your lets you live a life from birth to death, but with a twist. Every moment in this life – no matter how big, small, happy, or tragic – lasts only as long as you can keep your actual real life eyes open. Using a webcam, Close Your tracks when the player blinks, moving scenes forward when they close their eyes. “Could be five seconds or five years. Life literally flashes before your eyes as you try desperately to hold onto each fleeting moment,” the game’s campaign page reads.
Opening with a meeting from Death himself, Close Your takes an involuntary bodily function and makes it a time machine of sorts – taking you through moments like your first steps, a kiss, and death of loved ones. Each moment lasts only as long as your eyes will let it. Hellwarth is asking for $20,000 and has currently raised over $11,000.
DiaboticalDeveloper: The GD StudioFundraising Goal: $145,517Funds Due By: Sept 1, 2016
Diabotical is an old-school arena FPS that’s aiming to be a successor to the old Quake games. Players control colorful, spherical robots and battle it out using seven different weapons in “lots and lots of maps.” Development team The GD Studio is behind the project, and has grown over the last two years from an esports media house to game studio while focusing on the competitive FPS experience. Diabotical aims to avoid a “pay-to-win” system by having in-game purchases only be available for cosmetic items. Players will also be able to create and share their own multiplayer maps, game modes, power-ups, weapons, mods, and more. Diabotical has reached its funding goal, but is accepting further donations until September, with perks ranging from custom skins to being able to design your own Eggbot fighter with The GD Studio’s art, design, and sound team.
Eliosi’s HuntDeveloper: TDZ GamesFundraising Goal: $18,000Funds Due By: Aug 27, 2016
Inspired by action games like Metal Slug, Eliosi’s Hunt is a top-down sci-fi shooter from development team TDZ Games. Players take control of Eliosi, a Zelicyan who is working towards being a bounty hunter by attempting to complete his very first contract. However, his target Sieverr will prove harder to kill than initially thought. Along for the journey is your own drone that grants the ability to dash away from enemies who produce an energy shield to block incoming damage.
FutureKat SuperParkDeveloper: Pierce International, UnlimitedFundraising Goal: $30,000Funds Due By: Aug 31, 2016
FutureKat SuperPark is a VR jogger available on iOS and Android played through the use of Google Cardboard, Google’s mobile virtual reality headset. Taking place in a cartoon multiverse, players meet a cast of anthropomorphic characters, collect Trinkets, and learn more about the evil FatKat Biggums. In order to explore the game’s three main exhibits, you jog in place while wearing Google Cardboard. Walking up to the game’s characters will allow you to have conversations with them, and perks for backing include being able to create your own character with the development team.
GlitchedDeveloper: En House Studios Fundraising Goal: $7,500Funds Due By: August 21, 2016
What if your video game knew you were playing it? That’s the crux of Glitched, a retro-inspired RPG by En House Studios reminiscent of the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy series. After a glitch appears in the town of Betwixt, Glitched’s protagonist slowly begins to learn of the player’s existence. Together, an unlikely duo, you, the player, and Gus begin exploring the world of Soren, from cities to ruins, to discover what’s going on with the mysterious glitch.
Glitched is well over its funding goal, having raised over $42,000 of its $7,500 goal. But it’s still worth checking out for its fourth wall-breaking story and “Essence System,” a mechanic that tracks the player’s choices to shape your own personality type.
Lightspeed Frontier Developer: Riveted GamesFundraising Goal: $2,500Funds Due By: Sept 5, 2016
This ship-building open world simulator allows players to use materials found in space to craft ships used for battling and exploring alike. Collecting modules for your ship allows a greater variety of ship classes, which in turn unlocks more missions and areas to explore. When battling other ships, knocking components off their build allows you to fly up and attach them to your own ship if you're quick enough. Mining is also a key aspect of ship-building, and material-rich asteroids can be extracted and then either sold or crafted into new pieces for your ship. You can currently try out a demo on IndieDB here.
The Lords Of RockDeveloper: Dave KillingsworthFunding Goal: $8,500Funds Due By: August 31, 2016
The Lords of Rock is redefining the phrase ‘Battle of the Bands.’ This tabletop game will let players form a band with prominent figures from a wide variety of mythologies and legends. Anubis, Athena, and Odin are just a few of the characters already confirmed in this crazy card-based game. Players will select their pantheon and band members, then do battle to capture the most souls by rocking each venue. Stretch goals for the project will add a Chinese pantheon, elder gods, and even more venues.
PigsodusDeveloper: Psilocybe GamesFundraising Goal: $30,000Funds Due By: August 16, 2016
You are what you eat. At least in the case of Psilocybe Games’ point-and-click RPG Pigsodus you are. Assuming the role of the titular pig, Horace Oinkstein, you must gather barnyard allies and supplies in preparation for a showdown with the butcher, Theodore Cleaver. With the aid of characters like an alcoholic squirrel and The Gadget Horse, Oinkstein will fight for his survival, either running free in the end or landing on a breakfast plate. Psilocybe is asking for $30,000.
That Day We LeftDeveloper: Inner Void InteractiveFundraising Goal: $22,353Funds Due By: Sept 1, 2016
Attempting to portray the hardships undergone by immigrants and refugees as they fled their homes, That Day We Left is a narrative game based on real stories surrounding the recent Syrian crisis. From a refugee’s point of view, the player controls Rashid as he tries to lead his family to safety in Europe. Utilizing a survival-style resource management system, the player can explore environments and interact with items that affect the storyline. Choices made in-game not only affect the physical well-being of members of your party, but their emotional personalities as well.
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.