In this week’s Crowdfunding Spotlight, we tune in to a particularly expressive and mystifying project: Radio the Universe (http://www NULL.kickstarter NULL.com/projects/1548272412/radio-the-universe-0). This dazzling indie title, made by a pretty much unknown developer known only as 6e6e6e, appeared from seemingly nowhere into the Kickstarter universe on the 21st of December last year. It took only about TWO days for the game to be funded. That’s right, a small indie game by a single unknown indie developer was funded in just around 48 hours. Incredible.
However, once you start taking a look at what it actually is he is creating, it’s really no surprise Radio the Universe has gained such an avid following.
The first thing that comes to mind when describing this game is art. Not only is the sprite work and art completely gorgeous, the game also sports a kind of surrealistic theme and dark science fiction story which is bound to be smock full of symbolism and philosophical motifs.
While this definitely sounds amazing on its own, the game’s potential doesn’t stop at artistic prowess. Radio the Universe also promises deep and challenging game play, with influences from games like 2D Zelda, Yume Nikki, Dark Souls and classic JRPGs. Strategizing and attentiveness will be key when navigating the carefully crafted levels filled with fast-moving environmental hazards and deadly enemies. Character progression is handled through “modules”, giving the player a grid in which to arrange upgrade bonuses and skills to suit their personal play style. There will also be plenty of hidden areas and optional content throughout the world for those of us who love to explore.
Worth mentioning is that, according to the Kickstarter, players who die in-game will themselves perish.
As previously mentioned, Radio the Universe has already met its $12,000 goal and gone way beyond that. Every single stretch goal laid out has been met, meaning the game will have double the amount of beautifully hand-dawn cutscenes originally planned, a secondary weapons system and a heavily extended game with 5 more areas. With all these goals met, it’s still worth donating though, as 6e6e6e promises that every cent will go to development. For example, while the game is originally intended for PC only, additional funding could see the game ported to other gaming platforms.
Radio the Universe probably has some of the most interesting rewards for those who chose to pledge their dosh. First reward starts at already $1, in which the developer will pray to a star on your behalf. How sweet of him.
At $10 you’ll receive a downloadable copy of the regular version of the game when it releases. Oh, and a random hydrogen atom will cease to exist somewhere in the universe. Add $15 to that and you’ll get the special Kickstarter version, which includes extra content, a digital soundtrack collection, a digital manual/artbook and your name in the contributor list.
Sadly, for those of you who prefer your games on disc, the $70 reward which would net you the game on such a device has been sold out. The developer has decided to focus the funds on development rather than spending them on production. Conversely, donating $350 which would have given you a piece of artwork printed on canvas has also been sold out. It’s a shame, but I’m certain the game’s content will more than make up for it.
Kickstarter Project. (http://www NULL.kickstarter NULL.com/projects/1461411552/elite-dangerous) Status: Funding Successful.
On the 4th of January Elite: Dangerous had successfully raised it’s funding goal of £1,250,000 with a leeway of over £250,000 – and that’s without counting the funds they’ve received from Paypal. This also means that Frontier Developments will be making the game available for Mac-users as they have met that particular stretch goal. The team has also been busy churning out plenty of new Dev Diaries, podcasts and teaser videos, so head on over to their Kickstarter page to check them out. Also, be on the lookout for the numerous Elite: Dangerous novels that will be coming out in conjunction with the game.
Meriwether: An American Epic
Kickstarter Project. (http://www NULL.kickstarter NULL.com/projects/meriwether/meriwether-an-american-epic) Status: Funding Successful.
The good news continues, as Meriwether: An American Epic, no more than two days after Elite: Dangerous, also managed to raise its funding goal. Like Elite, Meriwether also reached one of its stretch goals. Now you’ll be able to dress Lewis up in attire that will not only make him look fabulous but also boost his stats. The developers will also be putting The Girdoni Air Rifle into the game. “This rifle was a marvel for its time. It has an incredibly fast rate-of-fire, and because it was powered by air, there was no gun report and no muzzle flash. If we make this stretch goal, the air rifle will be your silent-killer alternative to your 1803 contract rifle.” says their Kickstarter page. Even the weapons in this game are educational!
Make sure to check out Sortasoft’s nine-hour “Merithon” on their YouTube channel (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=f_dzxXHAa0w&feature=plcp), containing interviews with the game’s developers and even with some Lewis and Clark experts.
Next week on Crowdfunding Spotlight we’ll take a look at American McGee’s current Kickstarter project, which looks heavily inspired by games like Okami and Torchlight. The game’s name is Akaneiro: Demon Hunters (http://www NULL.kickstarter NULL.com/projects/spicyhorse/akaneiro-demon-hunters), and although it may be too late once you read this to try the open beta here (http://spicyworld NULL.spicyhorse NULL.com/world/game-akaneiro NULL.html), you can look forward to the game on Steam (http://www NULL.kickstarter NULL.com/projects/spicyhorse/akaneiro-demon-hunters/posts/386610).