Welcome to This Week in Crowdfunding: a roundup of promising and/or interesting Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects that are currently underway. Crowdfunding has exploded in recent years, drawing rookies and industry veterans alike. There are good games coming out of crowdfunding, like Wasteland 2 and Shovel Knight, and this feature aims to spotlight interesting upcoming projects. However, it should be noted that not every successful Kickstarter delivers on its promises. The game you financially support might be a hit like FTL, or it might end up like the recently canceled Clang! Caveat emptor, and all that.
In the interests of transparency, I would like to note that I have not and will not contribute financially to any of these crowdfunding projects before they are complete and available for purchase. That said, here are some interesting game projects that will hopefully lead to great games.
Battle Chef Brigade by Trinket Studios
A new project by a team of former Wideload Games/Disney Interactive employees, Battle Chef Brigade looks like a fantasy themed Iron Chef where the player character ventures into a world to gather and hunt ingredients. Then these ingredients are prepared before a panel of judges. The art shown is particularly striking, and the anime-influenced animation is incredibly fluid. It has reached its primary funding goal with the better part of a month to go.
CodeSpells: Express Yourself with Magic by ThoughtSTEM
Originating out of a UC San Diego research project, CodeSpells looks like a sandbox-style world that encourages learning how to code software. How? Literally magic. You're a wizard with a staff affecting the world around you with Java script. The game has reached its funding goal and aims to include different elemental effects.
Band Saga by Rekcahdam
Billing itself as a “musical Action Roguelike” Band Saga looks like a game about two friends on a quest to be rock stars and ending up fighting space aliens. The 16 bit throwback animation is fast and fluid, but what's going to be more interesting is the claim that levels and enemies will be generated by music being synthesized in real time. The game is funded and the campaign will be over by the time this article goes to press, but it looks interesting nonetheless.
Paradigm – Surreal Adventure Game by Jacob Janerka
Paradigm is a surreal, absurdist point-and-click adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic Eastern Europe with irradiated mutants. Apparently a passion project by the developer, the animation is colorful and fluid in an offbeat way, but I'm not quite sold on the dialogue. It too has reached it funding goal. Points for weirdness, though, and for offering floppy disks as part of one reward tier.
Reflex by Turbo Pixel
A high speed first person shooter that unabashedly takes inspiration from the Quake and Unreal Tournament days of the late 90's. The footage shown so far is very early, but the game promises a bunch of game modes, map editor, a variety of alternate ways to traverse around the stages (beyond the traditional rocket jump), and even LAN support.