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Crowdfunding Corner – February 2015 (2)

Crowdfunding Corner - February 2015 (2)

Crowdfunding Corner – February 2015 (2)

Bob’s February update to the Crowdfunding Corner. See the latest campaigns and review the table of all "classic" adventure games that have used Kickstarter and Indiegogo along with their status.


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Greetings and welcome to the world of crowdfunding.

If you are new to crowdfunding and aren’t entirely sure of what I’m talking about, then scroll to the bottom of this page where you’ll find an explanation of this new and exciting phenomenon.

The table below lists all of the “classic” adventure games I have identified at Kickstarter and Indiegogo along with their status. If you should find any that I missed, or find an adventure game at another crowdfunding site, please send me the info so I can include it (bobw at justadventure dot com).

Note, this table only contains those campaigns that have succeeded or are still active. But just because the funding drive falls short doesn’t mean that the project is dead. Many times the project will either try again (HM Spiffing) or just go it alone with a smaller goal (making just Chapter 1 rather than the whole game, as 7th Guest III did).

Also note that while I believe that I have completed the table for Kickstarter games, there is still much history to backfill for Indiegogo.

If you would like to see us follow other types of games such as FPS or RPG, you are more than welcome to assemble additional tables for them. Just send the completed tables to me at bobw at justadventure dot com and I will make sure they are included. Oh, and thank you for volunteering :-).

New for February 2015

First, a moment of silence for those campaigns that did not make it. They’ve been removed from the table.

I was especially disappointed that Waking the Glares did not get funded. However, it did get Greenlit on Steam and so it is not dead yet.

And now, here are the latest campaigns, many of which are still active…

  • Goetia – Guide Abigail, a ghostly young girl, in her quest to discover why she’s back from the dead. As a ghost, you can walk through walls and fly through ceilings, you can explore everywhere as you see fit. But… to manipulate objects, you’ll have to possess them, just like a real poltergeist would. And once you possess an object, you can’t pass through walls anymore.
  • Déjà Vu – Déjà Vu is an adventure role-playing video game set in a medieval fantasy universe, and will be available for Windows and Mac. Déjà Vu follows one of the main characters that you choose, either Gaston or Justina. The story starts with you waking up from an apocalyptic nightmare, only to realize that it’s real and happening tonight! The choices that the player makes will determine whether or not that apocalyptic event happens. If you don’t make the correct choices to solve the mystery, everything is lost and you die. Evil has won the day.
  • Abyss – An old-school action adventure game for people who love games such as Soul Reaver, Beyond Good & Evil, Jak and Daxter and Ico.
  • Skullz 2 – A Retro Indie Adventure Game on LSD, the Sequel. 8-bit graphics. The original flash game is free and the link is on the Indiegogo page.
  • Investigator. – Appears to be a first-person horror adventure game, but it is hard to tell as the developer does not speak too good the English.  But the video is impressive.

Key to the Table

BP – Bob’s Picks. This indicates games which I think are especially noteworthy.
Game/Revew – Link to the game’s web site and to the JustAdventure+ reviews and articles.
Venue – Link to the game’s crowdfunding page.
Developer – Link to the developer’s home page
Started – Date the fundraiser started.
Ended – Date the fundraiser ended.
Completed – Date the project was completed or is expected to complete.
Available – Links to where to completed game can be acquired.
Feliks Balzer
Started: 12/28/14
Ended: 01/01/15
Completed: 2/15/16    
JA Store         

“Skullz is a single player adventure game, unfolding a strange story starring a cast of six characters over four chapters with about a dozen screens each. It’s made in flash, playable for free, right in your browser.

“Skullz 2 is gonna continue the story of the first game while providing a back story for many of the established characters. There will be a new world to discover, with all-new backgrounds, a new soundtrack, branching paths, new and old characters to meet and interact with and, of course, lots and lots of paradoxes. Basically, Skullz 2 will be like it’s predecessor, except bigger, better, cooler, sweeter, doper, sicker and just all-around mind-blowing.”

Developer: Audrey Puzanov
Started: 12/12/14
Ended: 02/10/15
JA Store         

“Investigator-is a firstperson horror adventure game. This world is available for investigation only!”

Developer: Oded Sharon
Started: 12/11/14
Ended: 02/16/14
Completed: 12/21/14    
JA Store         

“Let’s see if we can make a point and click adventure game in a week using only Unity store assets.”

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a relatively new resource which helps independent developers raise funds for their projects. Developers launch a funding drive, people who like the project pledge money towards it, and if enough money is pledged then the project takes off. The two sites which fund the most game development are Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Game development has become a very complex and expensive endeavor. To create a top-notch professional game requires programmers, artists, musicians, actors, engineers who understand the nuances of shader algorithms and particle physics, and so on. Where do independent developers get those kinds of resources?

Historically, they would go to a publisher who would give them an advance (a loan based upon expected sales). But there were several problems with this paradigm.

First, they would have to convince the publisher that their game would be popular. Then the publisher would impose a deadline for the developer to deliver within, whether they thought it was finished or not. And frequently the publisher would retain legal rights to the game.

Crowdfunding gets around these problems by eliminating the middleman and going directly to the players. If the players want the game, they will put up the money to develop it. Any deadline is self-imposed by the developer so they can release it only when they are satisfied with it.  And the developer retains all rights to the game.

The players also win. They get to decide which games get published, and not some faceless executive. Also, by pledging early they can get exclusive bonuses such as signed artwork, tee-shirts and even inclusion in the game itself. But mostly, they win by getting better quality games which are not released until they are truly finished.

There are difficulties as well. The publisher normally takes care of advertising and promotion. With crowdfunding it’s totally up to the developer to get the word out. They may have the greatest game idea since tic-tac-toe, but if nobody knows about it then nobody will pledge towards it.

There is also no guarantee that the developer will actually complete the game. There has been the occasional scam where the developer just took the money and ran, but fortunately these are rare. So you will want to decide just how trustworthy the developer is before pledging, and not just how honest they are, but do they have the ability to actually finish what they start.

What happens when a really cool looking game doesn’t make their goal? Find the game’s website or facebook page.  Many times a project will continue, just without the help of Kickstarter.

What happens when you find out about a great game, but missed the campaign? Find the game’s website. Most developers allow backers to come late to the game via PayPal, although the rewards may be limited (i.e., you can still get the tee-shirt, but the signed posters are no longer available).

What if the game is finished and already released?  Check to see if it’s available in the JustAdventure+ Store.  If not, go to the game’s website for details. You may be able to purchase it through Steam, Humble Bundle, GOG or however the developer decides to distribute it. You would just lose out on the exclusive backer goodies.

Getting involved in a crowdfunding campaign can be a lot of fun. Check it out. WARNING: Kickstarter campaigns can be even more addicting than eBay auctions!


Bob Washburne

Bob Washburne

I have been playing adventure games since 1979 when I played "Adventure" on the DEC PDP minicomputer at work. The first adventure game I ever purchased was "Zork 1" for CP/M. I can remember the introduction of the IBM PC. I remember the invention of the microcomputer (actually, it was discovered rather than invented). I remember the invention of the minicomputer. Yes, I am an old fart. I have written 80 reviews and articles for JustAdventure starting with my review of "Bioscopia" in February of 2004. I currently own more adventure games than I will ever be able to play, let alone review. And I want more!

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