I’ll forgive you if you’ve never heard of Son of Nor, because before I got my review copy, nor had I. It’s not a AAA title - it’s the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign that launched way back in April 2013. 2244 backers pledged $151 175 to bring the game to life. Now, two years down the line, Son of Nor has finally been released. It’s an interesting game, combining action and puzzling. Is it worth your time and money though?
We told you before about the prequel reboot of classic first-person…underground cave-shooter Descent that was looking for funding. It’s a prequel that looks to revive the classic gameplay, but give it a MOBA-inspired multiplayer twist. For a long while, it looked like the game was going to miss its funding target – but it’s managed to just sneak in to list of games being funded via Kickstarter. Descent: Underground’s just squeaked past its $600k goal, finishing with a total of $601,773.
So, here we have Pillars of Eternity: The hugely funded kickstarter game that promised a return to the RPG glory days of the Infinity Engine, bringing on many of the same creative developers from those glory days as well. Kickstarter is an interesting beast, as it both allows for otherwise impossible ideas to sprout while also filling supporters with the dread that these very dreams and hopes could be crushed by a promise broken. Which is exactly why it’s so damned refreshing to see that Pillars of Eternity turned out to be one project that actually fully delivered on what was promised.
I have two main indie topics for you today and they are rather related. Cadence's Kickstarter has failed to make target, which means that they don't get any cash and will have to resort to other means to finish the project. Meanwhile, Mike Bithell has released a bunch of comments about how to be a successful indie with funding and advice for dealing with the press.
Broken Age, the incredible adventure game that spawned from an equally incredible $3.3 million Kickstarter, has had fans waiting for a conclusion for months. The very first act for this Tim Schafer-led point-and-click adventure launched last year, and its concluding piece has been missing for ages now. But no more, because Act 2 finally has a release date – as well as some new launch platforms.
Remember Descent? Yes, that now 20-year-old shooter that had you piloting a little spacecraft in a cavernous network of underground tunnels. It offered "six degrees of freedom," took quite some time to get used to, and was pretty damned awesome – becoming quite a multiplayer favourite in the days of yore. There have been numerous attempts at a remake or reboot , but they’ve all ended up being stifled by rights holder Interplay. Not anymore. There’s a new one on the way, and it’s been given Interplay’s blessing.
When it comes to indies, there are just so many. It can be hard to find the signal in the noise. But here are some things that you shouldn't miss out on this week.
Indie games are getting a ton of attention these days. Last year, some of the best gaming experiences were indie, and it looks like this year is going to be the same. With international indies surpassing AAA titles, and a surging local market, why can't we get it right on Kickstarter?
It’s always sad when a video game developer has to close doors. We’ve seen various studios shuttered and my own video game development company, Tsek Games, was also shut down when I fraudulently hosted a Kickstarter event for a kickass game and embezzled all the money as I hightailed it for a country that had no extradition laws. Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that. One other studio that was on the brink of closing down? Veteran developer Obsidian. And if it wasn’t for Pillars Of Eternity, then they wouldn’t be around today.
When Kickstarter got into its stride many local developers saw it as the perfect way to get funding from all the way here in deepest darkest Africa and while it got off to a rocky start it did for a while look like their dreams would all come true.
GDC is currently underway, which means most of the rad indie and non-indie people have descended upon San Francisco to talk about all things gaming industry. Plenty of people have made big reveals, but there is also still plenty of local stuff going on, too.
Are you familiar with the name Pebble? Back in 2012 a small start-up company hit two birds with one stone. They introduced the world, technically, to smartwatches the ePaper Pebble, while simultaneously legitimising Kickstarter as a viable platform for interesting ideas. The first Pebble watch sold like crazy thanks to its $10 million strong backing – a goal which the new Pebble Time is taking aim at.
I have been in love with Cadence since I first played it. It combines some of my favorite gameplay elements - it is a unique and fun puzzler with a gorgeous soundtrack and design. Cadence feels crisp and beautiful, and it's finally accepting us throwing money at it.
The crowd-funded games industry is still in its infancy, and already there are major flaws with the entire model, notably games that over-promise to attract attention from potential backers, only to coincidentally back out at the very last minute. It’s all anyone can talk about after 22 Cans’ failure to deliver on their Godus promises, and in the wake of that, the creator of DayZ says developers should be held responsible.