By FLStyle 9 Comments
2014 begins, and I have yet to pledge a penny to any Kickstarter project, successfully funded or not. There's a certain... uncertainty to whether the funds will eventually lead to an actual release of a crowd-funded game. But there's a large list of Kickstarter projects I have tweeted about to help get the word out about.
A handful of those, Broken Age (formerly Double Fine Adventure), Divekick, Pillars of Eternity (formerly Project Eternity) and Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse, had they been minutes away from failing, and my money could've been the difference between success or failure, I honestly can't tell you if I'd have bitten the bullet or not. As the four projects went:
- Broken Age is the big success story of Kickstarter video games, its $3 million raised after an initial $400,000 asking amount. But development hit a snag when Tim Schafer openly admitted that he'd designed too big of a game and ran into problems regarding the game's size, budget and release date. It has yet to be released but there's nothing to suggest that it won't be eventually.
- Divekick's total was reached but the campaign was cancelled and no money was taken (but the varying pledge rewards were still honoured, much to the dev's credit) when Dave Lang and Iron Galaxy stepped in, becoming developer and publisher. The game as a result was a much superior product and released on several platforms (and indeed is planned for even more platforms) than the planned $30,000 Kickstarter funded PC release.
- Pillars of Eternity asked for $1.1 Million and received almost $4 Million, development is ongoing and to my knowledge there are no problems to report at this time that suggest it won't be released around the planned time and will be as good as it looks.
Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse - Episode 1 is the first game I've been invested in that has successfully released purely on its Kickstarter Campaign funds and development. Admittedly it has not released as a full game, but as 1 of 2 episodes (episode 2 is penned for Q1 2014 as free DLC). It cost me £15 (/$24), lasted 9 hours and I couldn't be pleased more with how it turned out.
Using 3D models on a 2D plane in the style of Broken Sword 1 and 2 has worked wonders for The Serpent's Curse. George Stobbart and Nico Collard have been brought forward a decade, meaning mobile phones and the internet, but for them the world and time-line is unchanged. The classic point and click detective work is as it should be, while maintaining an ease of use that players take for granted in this day and age.
The mystery surrounding a stolen painting, the new and old characters it uses and the questions that are asked and answered by the end of episode 1 are fitting of a studio without chains placed upon them by an action-hungry publisher. I will say that if you're not a fan of cliffhangers and expect to see this story through to the end in a few sessions within a week, you may want to consider waiting until episode 2's released and play it all as one product.
Personally, I have a back catalogue of 2013 games such as Batman: Arkham Origins, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Grand Theft Auto V that I need to play, so I have no issues with waiting for episode 2 of Broken Sword 5.