kickstarter

Kickstarter celebrates 10,000 funded games projects

Kickstarter announced last week that donors have officially backed 10,000 funded games projects.

That's almost 2.5 million people pledging $613 million; more than half of those donors backed multiple projects. The numbers encompass all games, not just video games, but it's still meaty, and it's come a long way since the 2013 $100 million pledged mark.

Kickstarter's own tracking page says there have been 121,758 successfully funded projects to date, with almost $3 billion in pledges. The success rate overall has fallen in the last five years, from 44% in 2012 to just under 36% as of today.

Statista shows the games category specifically in fifth place behind music, film and video, publishing, and art as of January. Journalism, we'd like to note, is down at the bottom in terms of success rates, making us eternally grateful to our backers who helped us beat the odds.

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen's subber promo, Planet Nomads' early access, Project Gorgon's bards (March 25, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen capped off a week of DirectX revelations and mega map explanations with a round of celebrations -- for its fifth year of subscriptions. Folks who join the game's dev subber program pick up a magazine, discounts, and extra test access; sub before April 17th while the promo is live, you get vending machine flair for your hangar. At least you'll have cold beverages while you wait for the game, right? (Thanks, Cotic!)

Elsewhere in space MMOs, congrats are due to Planet Nomads, which was Kickstarted last year and is now plotting an early access launch for April 18th.

And in epic news for fans of the best video game class of all time, Project Gorgon rolled out the bard support skills for testing this week. Don't think you're just going to pick up a lute and start strumming, either: "As you advance in Bard skill, you will also need to improve other skills, including performance, vocabulary, and poetry appreciation." Bring your thesaurus!

Meanwhile, ECO patched in some major upgrades to its economy, Starfighter is nearing half its goal with 20 days remaining (thanks Crow!), Ever, Jane's beta picked up horseback riding features, Camelot Unchained danced with its own bot army, City of Titans previewed its core archetypes, SOTA nabbed a new newsletter layout, and The Exiled's early access began its second season.

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on.

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Kickstarted survival sandbox Planet Nomads hits early access on April 18

Planet Nomads is one of those gorgeous sci-fi multiplayer survival sandboxes that's been kicking around on our Make My MMO list for so long that I'd almost forgotten about it. Not anymore!

"After the 2+ years of caring, cuddling and upbringing, Planet Nomads has finally grown up tall enough to get out there and fight for its future," studio Craneballs (best name ever) says, as the actual "survival" update has this week arrived in the game's alpha, and the early access is now slated for April 18th.

The game originally pulled in $140,000 in Kickstarter funding in early 2016 -- no mean feat the past few years. Another game for our new survival sandbox column, eh?

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Meet City of Titans' six heroic archetypes

Thanks to some website spring cleaning, City of Titans made a previously hidden article visible to the masses. This particular page outlines the upcoming superhero MMO's six archetypes, their mottos, and the general playstyle that each will offer.

City of Heroes veterans may be familiar with some of the archetypes here, although some offer slightly different twists. There is the Stalwart, a tank that can take large amounts of damage; the Enforcer, a melee DPS type; the Guardian, a tough paladin-like role; the Ranger, which deals out damage from a long way off; the Commander, which fiddles with crowd control and enemy manipulation; and the Operator, a pet-controlling mastermind.

Each archetype then branches out into three subtypes, such as the Centurion, the Warden, or the Ringleader. Simple math tells us that City of Titans is aiming for at least 18 different classes in its final product.

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Crowfall reflects on its 'unrelenting series of updates'

It's a little hard to believe, but we've now been watching Crowfall develop since late 2014, going from a teaser announcement through a successful Kickstarter and arriving at the current pre-alpha testing. For this week's founder's update, the dev team decided that it deserved a moment to reflect upon all of its accomplishments and progress to date.

The team pointed to an interactive timeline chart from German fan site Crowfall Community that marked all of the major (and minor) milestones of the project from 2014 through 2017. It's a pretty handy resource if you want to get a big-picture view of the game's progress.

ArtCraft provided a pep talk, free of charge: "Obviously, this chart shows how much we have accomplished, and that’s great to see! … but it also shows something MUCH more important: It shows a cadence, an unrelenting series of updates that make the game a little better every month [...] If that cadence proves anything, it’s that these challenges will also be tackled in due time. This game will emerge, and when it does, it’s going to be awesome."

Source: Crowfall

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The Survivalist: Massively OP's guide to multiplayer survival sandboxes

Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya'll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn't as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.

I'm not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller -- and oft times privately managed -- scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we're going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here's a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.
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Ship of Heroes touts Unreal Engine 4 progress ahead of Kickstarter bid

Since our community has City of Heroes on the brain of late, let's recall that there are no less than five games inspired by the late superhero MMORPG on the way, each in a different state of development. One of the newest entries on that list is Ship of Heroes, possibly the most similar to the classic game, except for that whole "oh yeah and the city's on a spaceship" twist.

This morning, Ship of Heroes' Heroic Games posted a press release talking up its Unreal Engine 4 progress.

"Epic Games is excited that Ship of Heroes is being built using Unreal Engine 4," an Epic rep is quoted as saying. "Ship of Heroes is developing quickly and we look forward to having another MMO in the market based on our technology, and the community of artists and coders that utilize it."

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Here's why everyone's pissed off about City of Heroes NPCs in NCsoft's MOBA

Yesterday, NCsoft took the lid off a secret it's clearly been working on for a while: The company means to introduce a notorious and well-known City of Heroes NPC as one of the characters in its upcoming MOBA, Master x Master.

Here's the thing. Master x Master is actually pretty well-liked around here. The writers we've sent to test it out the past few years came away thinking it was an excellent hybrid PvE MOBA with a lot of MMO elements, a genuinely good entry to the market and something we're happy to cover. So I don't think anyone wishes it, specifically, harm.

But NCsoft? I don't know who told you this was a good idea. It's really not a good idea.

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Make My MMO: Pathfinder is alive, Starfighter seeks crowdfunds (March 18, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online resurfaced this weekend with good and bad news. Paizo's Lisa Stevens tells fans that efforts and research into selling the game to a large MMO company to finish weren't fruitful. While consultants said the game might appeal to a more indie developer, ultimately they recommended Paizo finish the game itself, which the studio is doing, putting together a one-year timeline to polish the title for "open enrollment."

We've also got a new online multiplayer space sim cooking (thanks, Crow!). The game is Starfighter, Inc., and it describes itself as "Counter-Strike meets World of Warships in Space." It's about a third of the way to its $150,000 US goal with 27 days yet to go.

Meanwhile, we checked out the newly revived Repopulation, Chronicles of Elyria suffered controversy over its monarchy allotment, Grim Dawn got a new patch, Wild Terra began open testing, Dual Universe delayed its alpha, we spoke to Legends of Aria's team about its name and design changes, OrbusVR's Kickstarter funded for over 200% its original ask, Ship of Heroes announced it'll seek $400,00 in crowdfunds, and Star Citizen gave a clear view of its level development. It's been an incredibly big week for crowdfunded MMOs!

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on.

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Pantheon attempts to woo the Kickstarter community with its progress

It's no secret that Pantheon and Kickstarter haven't had the best of relationships, what with the game's crowdfunding campaign failing to fund back in the day. But Brad McQuaid is willing to let bygones be bygones and has extended an olive branch to the Kickstarter community this week with an update on Pantheon's progress.

McQuaid regaled readers with everything that has been done on the game so far, stating in no uncertain terms that something special is being made here. He said that his team of 15 developers has created a "true virtual world" that has been enjoyed by over 100,000 players so far. Finances were also touched upon, with reassurance that fan donations and seed investment have helped to fund the game's development.

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Ship of Heroes salutes City of Heroes in its network demo video

Ship of Heroes has a new video out today that is ostensibly a network demo showing off half a dozen remote developers spread across the country testing out 16 characters in the game. But what it's really signaling is a tribute to City of Heroes, the long-sunsetted inspiration MMO, as one by one the characters raise torches plainly in symbolic honor of those who protested in Atlas Park 33 back in 2012.

"We remember," reads the video caption.

"Each [dev] individually activated a power called 'Torch' which we coded for this test," says Heroic Games. "No server, login, connection or client problems occurred during the test. As far as we know, no other pre-Kickstarter MMORPG has published a network test of this kind before."

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Elite Dangerous disappoints players with paid ship decals and far-off 'Space Legs'

Holy crap sci-fi MMOers are grumpy. All we want is an absolutely perfect simulation of a space-going future for nearly nothing. How hard can it possibly be?

Apparently pretty hard, hence why Elite Dangerous players are grouchy over several new revelations from the weekend. For starters, Frontier admitted during the game's weekend livestream that "Space Legs" -- that is, the Elite equivalent of Walking in Stations, a fully realized avatar movement outside of ships -- is way off on the distant horizon. Players had their hopes up following the tease of the "Holo-Me" character creator, but since "Space Legs is effectively dovetailing a whole new game into Elite," it's "a long away off."

"Crushed my dreams," one Redditor wrote.

Meanwhile, monetization is another sore spot in the space game. Apparently, some players believe Frontier is going back on its original monetization Kickstarter FAQ promise ("Everything in the game will be purchasable with in-game Credits, earned from trading, bounty-hunting, etc.") regarding ship name decals, which will be in fact be buyable only with real cash with no free or in-game-money option. There's even an email campaign to try to get Frontier to change its mind.

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