Browsing Kickstarter is addicting.

It’s amazing that Kickstarter rejects 40% of the requests they get. Kicktraq is nice because you can see where a project will likely end up and lately a lot of kickstarters have had been pushing their luck with the stretch goals, so it’s good to know how likely they are to meet them. I like this robot kickstarter but nothing between 64K and 200K? On a side note, there’s some fun, although useless, Arduino-based ones like this one or this one. The animation section isn’t actually full of anime crap like expected (maybe that’s the 40%? Although a ton of steampunk stuff gets through) but is full of stop motion. And it’s depressing that LICD is the third most funded animation section after he left the last animation studio since they wanted him to make a black character. The fashion ones are still all terrible

Carmageddon is all funded but wants 600K for a linux/mac version and it looks like it’ll end up around 570K, unless it gets a huge push at the end from the linux horde. Interestingly, it’s probably going to end up around the same spot at the Tex Murphy one, despite ridiculously more PR. The Space Quest guys don’t look likely to meet their goal either. With the amount of money they’ve gotten, they’ll probably just start another one if this one fails, but with lower expectations and they didn’t overestimate their nostalgia value nearly as much as the Portal Reborn guys did. Also, procedural generation and ipad/phone games seem popular, maybe because they usually ask for less money.

What I really want to bitch talk about is Word Realms. It’s by the Kingdom of Loathing guys. KoL was a web MMORPG that was all the rage with the SA crowd years ago full of nerd humor and died down when the idea of role-playing a seal clubber killing ninja snowmen lost it’s novelty. Jumping on the kickstarter craze, They went 6x over their funding goals when they put up a kickstarter for a comic book they wanted to make about their MMO. This was without a video or any preview panels. Realizing that people would throw money at them for a fucking comic book, they made a kickstarter for their upcoming word game.

Word Realms wrote:

The time has come to wrap it up, and get started on the real goal — making an MMO. And this is where you come in! If we’re going to commit to making a Word Realms MMO, we need to know that people are as psyched about the idea as we are. Show your support by pledging at least $11, and you’ll be able to download the single-player Word Realms game before it goes on sale to the riff-raff known as the “general public”. Or, if you want to leave a personal mark on Word Realms, you can back us at a higher level, and get some cool shwag in the process!

So the entire thing is a fucking preorder PR campaign. Next, the gameplay mechanics are essentially Scrabble with avatars. This barely has merit as an MMO in the age of Words with Friends let alone as a single player campaign. It also suffers from the type of humor that’s not funny, except to other nerds trying to out-ironic each other. Making jokes about how many deadlines you’ve missed while being in charge of a game isn’t funny when you’re dealing with a product people pay money for. They also list stretch goals before the damn thing’s even funded.

Word Realms wrote:

If we reach 200% funding, we will add some awesome Easter eggs to the game. I don’t want to spoil too much, but maybe these mock-ups will give you an idea of what we’re thinking:

And this is the most obvious problem with the whole thing – it’s incredibly, almost aggressively, ugly. They look like old, misshapen dwarves with floating hands clenched in fists. It’s not that hard to find games that look much prettier asking for less money. And they’ll actually give you a finished product as opposed to a precursor to their real game. They’ll probably make their goal and they’ll probably ship a product so they don’t alienate the people left playing their MMO, but it’ll be mediocre to terrible. Unlikely shitty kickstarters which don’t get funded, these ones are almost guaranteed to. If unfulfilled projects are the dark side of kickstarter, this is the depressing Their products that just get by based on a type of internet celebrity, maybe even nostalgia. The Yogscast and PA games are basically brand extensions – the equivalent of Disney games but for nerds. The games are usually boring and I find it worse they can find so much funding for such average, unambitious outcomes. Since nothing screams “average, unambitious” like webcomics, I predict kickstarter will have loads of webcomic kickstarters. I found OoTS, LICD, Diesel Sweeties, SMBC, Schlock Mercenary is already on it. Dominic Deegan, QC, Dresden Codak, Achewood, CAD are all likely. PA is a toss-up since their fans already buy so much junk on their site.

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