Kickstarter Projects You Should Pay Attention To 9/4

Alrighty then! After a week off due to our recent tromp in Las Vegas for GameStop Expo 2013, we’re back for more crowdfunding goodness and….badness? That’s right, from now on we’ll be featuring the best AND worst from the world of crowdfunding. This week we have two acclaimed teams putting Kickstarter to use by updating a current product and re-imagining one of the most prolific little men with cannon arms ever to grace our television screens. As for the bad, well it’s really bad. Let’s get to work!

Awesomenauts: Starstorm – Ronimo Games – PC, Mac, Linux

Awesomenauts-Starstorm-Kickstarter

The team at Ronimo has seen plenty of success with it’s online multiplayer battle game Awesomenauts. It released on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and PC via Steam in 2012. The game will also release on the PlayStation 4 later this year once Abstraction Games (Hotline Miami PS Vita port) is finished with the port. The basic premise behind Awesomenauts is a 3v3 battle to destroy the opposing team’s solar collector while effectively protecting your own. The online community has held strong since launch, strong enough to motivate Romino to rely on that very audience to kickstart a massive update to the game. Awesomenauts: Starstorm has already been funded, so that means we’ll see new characters, features, and a new map heading to the popular online game. Three new characters and a host of new features like spectator mode, global chat, twin-stick controller support, and new music are all being added via the Kickstarter project. The Dutch studio has 14 days of funding time remaining and plenty of Kickstarter stretch goals left to fund, so if you’re a fan of the game, or think the concept sounds amazing, head over to Kickstarter to help Romino out!

Mighty No. 9 – comcept USA (Keiji Inafune) – PC (console stretch goals)

Mighty-No9-Kickstarter

Mighty No. 9 is a concept from the brain head of Keiji Inafune, the co-designer of Mega Man. He’s not alone, a dream team of veteran developers are at his side. Inafune left Capcom in 2010 to found his own studio called comcept. His high level Mega Man spiritual successor is ready to become a reality. In Mighty No. 9 you’ll play as Beck, the 9th in a line of powerful robots. Beck is the only robot in the entire world that hasn’t been infected with a strange virus that has caused all software supported mechanical creations to run amok. The modernized art direction for the game is fantastic and the gameplay looks to hold true to retro classics like Mega Man and Metroid. In this way we’ll have access to all the mechanics that make a great 2-D action game with an updated aesthetic. The Mighty No. 9 has already crushed it’s first three stretch goals, amassing over $1.5M in funding in less than four days time. Mac and Linux platforms have already been added via the second stretch goal the group put together. The console stretch goal that would bring the game to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U is set at $2.2M, so it’s a definite possibility we’ll see our blue blaster armed buddy heading to home consoles as well.  This is a team that you have no reason to doubt. I’m absolutely confident they’ll deliver a fantastic game with crowdfunded development assets in pocket. Head over to Kickstarter and toss some green at the guy in blue!

Hotline Miami: A Short Film – Saman Kesh – indiegogo

Hotline-Miami-Short-Indiegogo

Fan made films are always a great thing to see. Some works of fiction, like Hotline Miami paint a vivid world that many gamers have come to really appreciate. Dennaton Games‘ top down, 80’s themed, hyper violence laden Hotline Miami has created a loyal fan following, and Saman Kesh is looking to cash in on it. The director states that his short film will not be “fan made” yet the film isn’t connected with, or endorsed by Dennaton in any way. Making it much less appealing to fans of the game. Fan films are fine, and make no mistake, this is a fan film, but asking people to fund it is another thing entirely. Kesh is asking for $50K to fund the short film on a flexible funding plan. What’s the flexible funding plan all about? Well, in short, it means the campaign will receive all of the funds given whether it reaches it’s goal, or not. The flexible funding option is one of the reasons that indiegogo isn’t as successful as the far superior Kickstarter when it comes to crowdfunding. At this point, Kesh will be walking away with three grand that may, or may not be put towards the making of the short. Don’t get me wrong, the film’s expenses are nicely laid out, and it sounds like the project could possibly adapt the fiction in a new way, but I honestly dislike the motivations and the flexible funding option so much that I can’t help but scoff at the attempt. Not to mention the fact that we’ve seen poor video game adaptations by studios with enormous pockets and established directors. That and the fact that the word sexy is used far too many times in the project description and pitch video. We get it! Gotta make it sexy, otherwise you’re not eatin’. That’s why Hotline Miami: A Short Film drew my ire this week. How does he hear the voice on the phone through that motorcycle helmet, anyway?

Now that I’m all outta steam, Mighty No. 9 gets our big thumbs up this week, and Hotline Miami: A Short Film gets the Joaquin Phoenix thumbs down. Be sure to check out our recent hands on time with next generation titles like Forza 5 and Drive Club! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for your chance at awesome monthly prizes!

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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