You see a great idea on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and immediately get excited. Maybe it’s a beloved studio trying to raise the cash to create a new game, or maybe you see a developer looking to reboot a childhood favorite. You click on the “Back this Project” button and hand the campaign your money. Then, you wait. And wait. And wait some more.
Video game development can be a very slow process. With that in mind, GamesBeat wanted to know what’s going on with some of gaming’s biggest Kickstarter projects, so we went right to the sources and asked the developers what they’re working on now. Here’s what they had to say.
Torment: Tides of Numenera
Developer: inXile Entertainment
Date Funded: April 5, 2013
Amount Funded: $4,188,927
What is it?: A role-playing game based on Monte Cook’s new tabletop RPG setting Numenera. Cook is best known for his work on tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons, particular the 2nd edition Advanced D&D setting Planescape
Update: Torment is still in heavy preproduction, inXile CEO Brian Fargo told GamesBeat. The team has generated about 800 pages of design documents and a prototype for one of the crisis areas. “We are working on some beautiful new screens, which we hope to show in the next 90 days or so,” he said. “We are thankful for the long design stage we were given thanks to crowdfunding.”
Original: inXile didn’t have any updates for us but said in its latest Kickstarter update that it’s been working on Torment’s aesthetics and environments. The studio has reached an agreement to license the same technology developer Obsidian is using to create Pillars of Eternity. This will give inXile a “stronger starting point for certain game systems and pipelines, including the creation of the 2D pre-rendered environments.”
“This means we will have more resources to invest on other aspects of the game, allowing us to achieve a higher quality overall,” said project lead Kevin Saunders.
Pillars of Eternity
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Date Funded: Oct. 16, 2012
Amount Funded: $3,986,929
What is it?: An isometric, party-based RPG in the same vein as Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment
Obsidian didn’t respond to our request for an update on Pillars of Eternity, but producer Rose Gomez Jr. said in a recent update that the game will be released sometime in Winter 2014. Gomez also added the following about stretch goals:
“After much discussion and consideration of the poll on our forums, we have decided not to pursue any additional stretch goals. Rest assured that the team is working hard on completing the game and including our current stretch goals.”
Mighty No. 9
Date Funded: Oct. 1, 2013
Amount Funded: $3,845,170
What is it?: A classic side-scrolling action game from Mega Man co-designer Keiji Inafune
Mighty No. 9’s director, Koji Imaeda, told GamesBeat he’s thinking of the backers while working on the game. “I’ve been continuously working on the scenario whilst keeping in mind the Backers’ requests and the feedback we’ve collected from them so far,” he said. “For example, I’m currently thinking about a way to integrate the appearance of the Mighty No. 9 Heroine Poll’s runner ups (such as Call D, renamed Miley) in the game’s story.”
The team is also thinking about turning the game into a multimedia franchise. “We’re already seeing a ton of interest from our fans in the storyline and characters of Mighty No. 9,” said producer Nick Yu. “Of course the game remains the primary and most critical platform for that, but we’re also getting interest from potential partners in helping explore and flesh out the world of Mighty No. 9 in other media. With enough fan interest and the right opportunities, this game could be just the start of Beck’s adventures….”
Developer: inXile Entertainment
Date Funded: April 17, 2012
Amount Funded: $2,933,252
What is it?: A sequel to the 1998 post-apocalyptic role-playing game Wasteland
Update: InXile just updated its beta/Early Access version of Wasteland 2 via Steam earlier this week, according to CEO Brian Fargo. This new version brings a host of changes, including a new inventory UI, destructible objects, improved combat animations, and new areas of the map to explore. Fargo said the response to the update has been positive. “The feedback on our changes has been strong and we are back in the top 10 for RPGs (top 20 overall) on Steam,” he said.
With Wasteland 2 slowly closing in on a release date, Fargo also commented on the time it’s spent in production. “Although sometimes people like to focus on us being late think it’s important to note that the initial Kickstarter date was an estimate, and once we raised 3x the money we increased the scope of the game at least 2x, which makes that initial estimate moot. The good news is that we are in the final stretch and it’s one of the most ambitious games I have ever worked on. I want to prove what a developer can do with crowdfunding.”
Developer: City State Entertainment
Date Funded: May 2, 2013
Amount Funded: $2,232,933
What is it?: A subscription-based, massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) from Mark Jacobs, founder of Mythic Entertainment and designer of Dark Age of Camelot
City State Entertainment didn’t respond to our request for an update. In its latest Kickstarter update on Feb. 14, however, the studio said recent stress tests have gone “fantastically” well.
“In the most recent tests, we maintained around 60 FPS even as the number of players/connections grew to 286,” wrote Mark Jacobs. “Our networking code got ever more efficient as Andrew cut our bandwidth use by around 75%. This resulted in even better performance (of course) and less rubber-banding even as the number of testers/connections/corpses continued to soar (we peaked at 300+).”
City State Entertainment also recently reached a stretch goal of $2.5M, and will now add a new area to the game called The Depths. If it reaches $2.6M, it will add a new playable race of giants to Camelot Unchained.