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Kickstart My Heart – 4/11/2012

It’s not remotely insightful to say that with their fabulously successful Kickstarter funding project, Double Fine has started a new trend in the gaming industry. How long that trend is destined to live is certainly a matter of debate, but with multiple, promising game projects out there seeking funding (or having been funded already), I think it’s time we at No High Scores start doing our part to keep you abreast of the progress among the prospects we find most interesting.

Welcome to the first in what I intend to be a series of weekly series posts intended to do just that. What you’ll find below is a breakdown of the six projects I’m currently tracking, divided into Kickstarting (ongoing) and Kickstarted (funded) projects. As other interesting projects come out of the woodwork, I expect the list will only continue to grow. And, of course, if you have a particular favorite you’d like to see me tracking here, feel free to let me know what it is in the comments section. If it looks like something I find promising, I’ll add it into future updates. Future versions of this post will use this space to focus on one project or another in a bit more detail before listing any updates to works in progress. (Also of note, the title for this series, contributed by one Mr. Cackowski-Schnell, is tentative. I’m open to ideas here.)

And with that, let’s get this ball rolling…


The Banner Saga

Developer: Stoic Studio
Goal: $100,000
Status: $4601,125
Deadline: 4/20/2012
About the Game: “The Banner Saga is a role-playing game merged with turn-based strategy, wrapped into an adventure mini-series about vikings.”
Latest Update (4/6): With funding now at 400% of their stated goal, the team is spending less time thinking about ways to incentivize further donations and is more focused on telling you, “what we’ve been hard at work to give you, based on your donations.” To that end they have teamed up with composer Austin Wintory (The Journey), Kpow Audio for game sound (L.A. Noire), Powerhouse Animation (Epic Mickey, DC Universe, and Starhawk), added a new $800 funding tier that lets you have a version of one of your own family heirlooms added to the game, added iPad and LINUX support, and continued preliminary design work.

Goal: $900,000
Status: $2,257,091
Deadline: 4/17/2012
About the Game: “Wasteland 2 is the direct sequel to the first ever post-apocalyptic computer RPG. The original Wasteland was the inspiration for the FALLOUT series of games, and the first RPG to allow players to split parties for tactical considerations, to face players with moral choices, and to make them deal with the consequences of their actions.”
Latest Update (4/7): More detail on where the money is going – specifically to pay for artists, sound people, engineers, designers, etc. Positions not being funded – “Marketing lady or PR Guy.” The team is hoping “all 43,000+” of you will take to social media to help get the word out. They’ve also released the first piece of concept art, which admittedly is pretty bad ass (pictured at the top of this post).
Goal: $400,000
Status: $781,478
Deadline: 4/29/2012
About the Game: “Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun, is back and Shadowrun Returns (for Apple & Android tablets and PCs) is the game that Shadowrun fans have been waiting for a long time. A graphically rich 2D turn-based single player game with deep story interaction, meaningful character development, and highly-contextual tactical combat, Shadowrun Returns is not only going to make some old geeks (like us) very happy but it will introduce new players to a dynamic gaming universe that is beloved around the world.”
Latest Update (4/6): New promo video from Jordan Weisman. With the project fully funded (yay!), the team has now added plans for a Mac version, mulitple languages (German, French, and Spanish), and “Riggers.” They’ve added new goals for if they reach the $1,000,000 mark that they say will include a second setting (a new “major city”), improved music, and a better editor tool. They’ve also indicated they don’t have any intention of exploring a LINUX version, or and sort of multiplayer. (Thank you, god.)

Leisure Suit Larry

DeveloperReplay Games
Goal: $500,000
Status: $257,284
Deadline: 5/2/2012
About the Game: “The team that created Leisure Suit Larry 1 has been reassembled to create a 2012 “Reloaded” version.  Al Lowe, Josh Mandel, Sabine Duvall, and Leslie Balfour have teamed up with Replay Games to form what we call “The Dream Team” of adventure games. “
Latest Update (4/10): They’ve added a forum at Replay Games, will be adding a “Backer” T-shirt to several of the reward tiers, and have updated the pricing structure for the reward tiers (not sure of specifics). They also added a new promo video from Al Lowe to the front page. Finally, you can read a recent RPS interview with Al Lowe here.


FTL: Faster Than Light

DeveloperFTL Team
Goal: $10,000
Funding: $200,542
About the Game: “FTL, Faster than Light, is a game coming to Windows, Mac & Linux made by Justin Ma and Matthew Davis.  It features a blend of exploration, discovery, ship management and real time strategic combat that creates an experience quite unlike other games in its genre.”
Latest Update (4/1): They hope to launch the beta in one or two months. You can subscribe to further updates from the bottom of their homepage.

“Double Fine Adventure”

Developer: Double Fine
Goal: $400,000
Funding: $3,336,371
About the Game: “Founded in 2000 by industry veteran Tim Schafer (Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango), the San Francisco-based company has established itself as a unique creative force with critically-acclaimed titles such as Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, Costume Quest, Stacking, Iron Brigade, Once Upon a Monster, and Double Fine Happy Action Theater.  This year, you’ll be given a front-row seat as they revisit Tim’s design roots and create a brand-new, downloadable “Point-and-Click” graphic adventure game for the modern age.”
Latest Update (4/5): All updates since the end of the Kickstarter are viewable only by project backers. The most recent is titled, “A Perfect Storm for Adventure.”

Todd Brakke

Todd was born in Ann Arbor with a Michigan helmet in one hand and a mouse in the other. (Never you mind the logistics of this.) He grew, vertically anyway, and proceeded to spend over 16 years as a development editor for Pearson Education, publishing books, videos, and digital learning products under the Que and Sams Publishing imprints. Because that wasn't enough of a challenge, Todd has also been a 20-year part-time snob about video games, writing reviews, features, and more for multiple outlets. Follow him on Twitter @ubrakto or check it out his website at

7 thoughts on “Kickstart My Heart – 4/11/2012

  1. I’d also subscribed to all of those except Leisure Suit Larry. Giving to Double Fine was more to support the idea, but afterwards people kept offering RPGs for me to throw money at. Although the interesting thing may be to see what the hell FTL does with all that money.

  2. I am supporting “Wasteland”, “Banner Saga” and “Shadowrun.” I love me some turn-based RPG action. I grew up playing Ultima (I-V) and then moved on to Bard’s Tale, Wasteland and the old D&D gold box games among others.

  3. The only game I’ve backed so far is Fist Puncher, which has been continually ignored by gaming websites for some reason.

  4. For me to back a project, the rewards need to be good. With Double Fine Adventure there is a whole 2 player productions documentary attached, which makes it totally worth it for me. I’m usually not interested in soundtracks and the like. Besides, these games will end up being a good deal on Steam anyway.

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