5 Kickstarter Projects from Your Favorite Video Game Creators
Kickstarter is widely known as a veritable breeding ground for top-notch indie games, but the crowdfunding site has attracted its fair share of triple-A veterans, too. World-renowned game designers like Peter Molyneux use the site as a way of independently securing funds for the development of their games, keeping their creative visions safe from the meddling fingers of larger publishers. Projects like Molyneux’s own Godus and the all-star developed Project Phoenix let designers make the games they want, while giving us the games we crave. Here are a few Kickstarter video games we’re eager to get our hands on, thanks in large part to the talents behind them:
Obduction (PC, Mac)
Cyan Worlds, the developers behind the best-selling Myst series, was able to raise a whopping $1.3 million for Obduction, the upcoming spiritual successor to Myst and its sequel, Riven. Original co-creator Rand Miller is on board for the game’s development, which will feature Oculus Rift support.
Why is this a big deal? Myst was a revolutionary first-person adventure games that broke numerous barriers for the gaming committee. Innovations such as exploration-centric game immersion, a lack of time pressure and player mortality, and heavy use of nonverbal storytelling made it one of the most accessible games of its time. Combining that with direction skewed heavily towards art, the series was a brilliantly crafted masterpiece, deserving of its place in video game history. It’s been 20 years since the original game’s release, and it’s downright exciting to see what the team can bring to its players this time around.
Mighty No. 9 (PC, PS3, PS4, PSVita, Wii U, 3DS, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
It looks like Mega Man and feels like Mega Man, but it isn’t Mega Man. That’s probably because Mighty No. 9 is the latest pet project from Keiji Inafune, one of the Blue Bomber’s original creators. Following the cancellation of numerous Mega Man projects, Inafune decided to take matters into his own hands by creating the franchise’s spiritual successor.
All the core elements of Mega Man’s gameplay will feature in Mighty No. 9, plus a few additions. The game’s star, Beck, can absorb abilities from all enemies instead of just the bosses, and he can transform his body to get new abilities. There’s a lot of passion on the creator’s part involved in this project, so it’s definitely something to look forward to.
H-Hour: World’s Elite (PC, PS4)
SOCOM creative director David Sears is bringing the franchise’s trademark tactical gameplay back in his latest project, H-Hour: World’s Elite. The hybrid third-person/first-person shooter will focus heavily on realism and team-based gameplay, aiming to provide a more authentic gaming experience compared to the nearly arcade-style first-person shooters that dominate today’s market.
Teaming up with Sears is Tom, the president of Special Operations Forces Studios and army veteran with 17 years of live-combat experience. With a staggering combination of real-world and virtual combat expertise leading the charge, H-Hour looks to be one of the more exciting shooters to come.
Massive Chalice (PC)
Tim Schafer (of The Secret of Monkey Island and Grim Fandango fame) made waves when his Double Fine Productions studio launched the Double Fine Adventure project on Kickstarter. The project was able to raise $3.3 million, and is scheduled for release in January 2014 as Broken Age. Massive Chalice is their second Kickstarter project, a turn-based tactics RPG with a campaign that spans generations.
Taking the lead for this project is Brad Muir, who created Iron Brigade and was the lead designer for the critically acclaimed Brutal Legend. It’s something different from anything Double Fine has previously offered, but this is a team that excels in its creativity. There’s no reason to assume that Massive Chalice will be anything but a massive success.
Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues (PC)
The Ultima series’ Lord British himself, Richard Garriot, is returning to the RPG genre with Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues. The game will bring together elements of the Ultima universe, Tolkien-esque high fantasy, and steampunk in a story written by Dragonlance’s Tracy Hickman. While aspects of numerous best-selling RPGs such as player housing, crafting, and skill progression, Shroud of the Avatar will also feature weighted player choices and discovery mechanics to address the usual issue with player grinding.
As a reminder of just how big a deal it is that Garriot is working on a new RPG, it should be mentioned that the Ultima series is considered one of the genre’s landmark titles, generating an enormous amount of success throughout its 22-year lifespan. Garriot is also credited with coining the term massively multiplayer online RPG (MMORPG), and his success in the gaming industry allowed him to become one of the first space tourists in history. If there’s anyone in the RPG genre whose reputation demands respect, it’s him.
Crowdfunding sites are quickly becoming a bustling marketplace for veteran and up-and-coming game developers alike, and it certainly looks like a lot of this generation’s most beloved games will be coming from your friendly neighborhood store. With all these heavyweights finding means to publish games outside of triple A companies, gamers are treated to a wealth of options and accessibility.
About the Author
Marco Sumayao spent his childhood reading comics, playing video games, and writing. These days, he still reads comics and plays video games, but also makes a living writing about them for sites like the Stiqblox Kickstarter Store.
MYST was one of my first computer games that I owned on my old Macintosh. Not growing up with a Nintendo, I actually only had a Gameboy, my gaming was mostly done on the computer and I loved that game. I may just have to check out Obduction!