Fads can be fun: flash crowds, hula-hoops, Rubik’s Cube, cocaine. Fads can be silly: The Macarena, pet rocks, telephone booth stuffing. Fads can be really stupid: pyramid power, macramé, leg warmers, pants that hang from the knee.
Fads can even have a positive effect on society! Low-carb eating is one of the healthiest (and longest-lasting) fads around. So is eating local.
2012 has given us gamers a deliriously delicious new fad: Crowdsource financing for new games. I’m talking, of course, about the astonishing rise of Kickstarter game financing.
The company, dedicated to crowd funding new projects, has been around since 2008, but 2012 is the year that several high-profile projects really popped. In December 2011, a Kickstarter project to finance a dock for the iPhone was launched, and became the most successful project in the company’s history.
Just days after the Elevation Dock hit its financing goal, Double Fine Studios made gaming history.
Helmed by legendary game maker Tim Schafer, Double Fine is the award-winning studio behind Psychonauts, Brütal Legend and Stacking. On February 8 Schafer launched his Kickstarter project for a fan-funded new adventure game from his team. His goal? $400,000.
This amount was reached in nine hours. To date over $3.45 million has been raised. For an adventure game. In 2012. BY FANS. Go adventure gamers!!
And in May, another legendary game designer, Jane Jensen, was so successful with her Kickstarter Project (hitting the financial mark two weeks ahead of schedule) that in addition to the already announced new game Mobeus, her new studio Pinkerton Road will begin work on a second (as yet untitled) new adventure.
Pretty heady times for gamers in general and adventure gamers in particular, right?
Which got me to thinking. I’m a greedy sort, and as thrilled as I am at the prospect of new games from Schafer and Jensen, I want MORE. So I’ve made a little list of ten game projects I’d most like to see Kickstartered:
1. The Neverhood. Come on, this one’s obvious, right? This beautiful and quirky game lost a fortune for Spielberg and Dreamworks, but it was much loved by those of us who played it.
2. The Journeyman Project. The Journey Project Trilogy is a high mark in the canon of adventure games, and I’d dearly love to help handsome chrononaut Gage through another exciting and colorful adventure, especially if our old AI friend Arthur came along!
3. Obsidian. Fiendishly difficult conceptual puzzles, gorgeous graphics, an enticingly weird vibe and excellent music by Thomas Dolby makes a return visit to this world a no-brainer.
4. The Quivering. One of the most resolutely weird and quirky adventure games ever richly rewarded anyone who was lucky enough to find it and play it.
5. The Feeble Files: Feeble’s first adventure was lengthy, gorgeous, funny, and complex. More, please!
6. Azrael’s Tear. This unusual, early 3D subterranean adventure cast a heady spell on me when I first played it, and I’d eagerly re-enter its dark world. Did you play it? It was so mysterious, and sad, and weirdly beautiful. It took place in a series of underground chambers inhabited by Templar who had gone mad during their endless vigil over the Holy Grail.
7. Temujin/Dark Side of the Moon/20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. While the first two games were deeply flawed, I really felt SouthPeak’s “VideoReality” Engine had promise. I remember how *crushed* I was when 20,000 Leagues was cancelled. I’d love to get that team together and have them create a new cinematic adventure.
8. Stupid Invaders. One of the locations in this deranged game was a turd museum. Need I say more? Developer Xilam is mostly an animation studio, but I’d love to throw money at them to see Stupid Invaders 2.
9. Dreamfall. Was there any doubt which would be #1 on my list? I still haven’t recovered from the cliffhanger ending. Maybe we could use Kickstarter to get Ragnar and his team of clever Vikings at FunCom to pause their incessant MMO development just long enough to toss us adventurers a bone and finish (or at least continue) this story!!
I’d like to hear what YOUR dream Kickstarter projects would be. Maybe we can initiate some new games right here at JustAdventure!