Tag Archives: aaa games

According to Randy Pitchford – Borderlands 2 on Linux may not happen

Randy Pitchford says Borderlands 2 on Linux may not happen

If you remember, a few days ago Randy Pitchford, the head of Gearbox Studios tweeted showing interest in a Linux version of Borderlands 2. Then on #Twitter he was talking with people to see if it was indeed possible. Following that, he tweeted recently that he had discussion with the “concerned people” and has come to the #decision that a Linux version of Borderlands 2 is not going to happen anytime soon.

Kickstarter’s Cindy Au breaks down a successful game fundraiser

At the time of this writing, the Double Fine Kickstarter drive has raised an astonishing $2,830,877 for the development of an untitled and entirely unseen adventure game, with thirty hours to go before the fundraiser’s end. It reached the studio’s lofty $400,000 goal seven times over, and — if the promotion manages a last-minute push before its termination — could reach a cool three million (update: It just did!).

That number is quite an outlier, but Double Fine is not the only studio to seek and find funding from Kickstarter’s crowdsources. The list of successful video game funding drives propagates with surprising frequency, listing titles which will hopefully become realized thanks to their newfound fungible support. Some of the more recently backed titles include Code Hero, a game which teaches users to make games — which pulled in $170,954 during its pledge drive — and an online, Tecmo Bowl-inspired football title Gridiron Heroes, which made $7,613.

For every one of these successful game-funding projects, however, there are three that failed to meet their goal, according to Kickstarter community support staffer Cindy Au. She spoke at large about this phenomenon during a SXSW Interactive panel titled “Alternate Funding for Game Development,” which explored options like Sony’s Pub Fund and the IndieFund.

According to Au, the categories of “Board and Card games” and “General games” sport a 45 percent success ratio, which is the (shockingly high) average for all projects on the site. However, video game projects are only successfully funded 25 percent of the time. That may be because there are more video game projects on the site (653, to be exact, a bit more than the 400 board and card games and 221 general games). Regardless, Au pointed out some traits of successful Kickstarter pleas to help bring up that success rate.

The most important factor is the inclusion of an explanatory video on the user’s project page. Another is offering desirable rewards for the correct price ranges — the most popular donation levels are $10 and $15, Au explained, but the average donation to a successful video game project is $42. Setting the right goal is also important, as the stats gathered by Kickstarter indicate that a user should aim low, but hope high.

“The average goal for a successful video game project is $5,400,” Au explained, “but the average raise of a successful project is $11,200.”

Cashflow for game developers to tap into on the site is increasing, as the $60,000 donated to games in 2009 grew to $3.8 million in 2011. Just three and a half months into 2012, games have brought in $3.6 million.

“Now … there is one project,” Au said before being interrupted by a peal of laughter from the audience. “So, yeah, this graphic is a little skewed. But it’s safe to say that the games category in general is experiencing a really healthy growth.”

You Can Help Develop this Crowd Sourced Tactical Shooter

“KickStarting” is all the rage these days in game development. It’s the idea that you can connect directly to your potential customers while a product is in it’s earliest phases of design and conception. These users invest in your project, which in turn, you use the money to fund creation. As an incentive, you give these people perks, much like people who buy collector’s editions of games get, but on a whole new level.

The latest game to try this is being touted as a Hardcore Tactical Shooter created by new studio Serellan LLC. The studio is headed by industry veteran Christian Allen who worked on such titles as Ghost Recon and Halo Reach as well as working at Ubisoft, Red Storm Entertainment, Microsoft, Bungie, and Warner Bros. Games. With such an impressive resume and a small team of developers with equally impressive resumes this project has potential.

But what is it?

This game will get back to the core of what is loved about the tac-shooter, featuring realistic weapon modeling, outfitting and commanding your squad, objective-based, non-linear missions set in real-world locations around the world, single player, co-op, and multiplayer.

It’s a tactical shooter for tactical shooter fans. For folks who love and remember the ORIGINAL Rainbow Six on PC 15 years ago. It’s a game that eschews the cinematic flair of today’s games in favor of hardcore gameplay and realism. From a cooperative perspective, it sounds like it’s definitely on the table and could be an amazing addition. There’s no word on platforms, though it sounds ilke PC is an obvious choice.

So why should you invest? There’s lots of interesting looking perks up till the $1000 level, including the ability to actually submit user created content, vote on weapons, and special thank your’s in the credits. But the really interesting perks start at the $1000 level. At this level you’ll be able to participate in conference calls with the team to help decide the direction of the game. Quite a unique and open way to do game development.

The team is looking to raise around $200k with the current amount set around $30k. So hit up the KickStarter page and fund away if this sounds like your cup of tea.

BAFTA Game Awards ‘ghettoises indies’

Ste Pickford calls for end to ‘big-budget preferences’

A prominent indie developer has listed extensive criticisms of the BAFTA Game Awards and its organisers.

Ste Pickford said the glitzy annual event ‘ghettoises’ the triumphs of small-scale independent work, and is too preoccupied with big-budget triple-A titles.

He also claimed the Awards’ genre-based categories are pointless for celebrating the craft of game design, and slammed the policy to charge indies up to £700 to be considered for nomination.

“The awards appear to be set up to help market successful AAA games, rather than to highlight excellence per se,” Pickford said in an opinion piece published on Spong.

“Award categories are heavily weighted in favour of expensive, lavishly produced games rather than spotlighting great work and talented individuals across the broader spectrum of video game development,” he added.

Pickford said that if this approach was applied to film, then blockbusters like Transformers 3 would sweep the awards night.

“It’s not that we don’t have video game equivalents to The King’s Speech. Just like in movies some of the most interesting work is done in small, niche, low budget titles, but these rarely get a look in at the video game BAFTAs,” Pickford said.

“Increasingly these days the truly innovative and interesting work is happening in the indie scene and in lower budget titles, as the mainstream console industry focuses more and more on safe sequels and glossy updates, but the awards, as they stand, don’t recognise this.

“The last few years’ winners’ lists are completely dominated by games from the likes of EA, Sony, Microsoft, Activision and Nintendo; the console manufacturers and the big console publishers. These are people who make all the best-selling, biggest budget games, but are they really the only people who produce excellent and inspiring work?

Pickford opened his opinion piece with praise for the Scottish BAFTA Game Awards, which recently honoured Dundee studio Denki for its critically acclaimed indie title Quarrell.

“It’s precisely the sort of game that I think should be winning awards,” he said.

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