Two companies, two games, one common meeting ground. Crowdfunding has been something of a livesaver for projects that probably would never see the light of day through regular means, or save a project from near death. Since the boom of Tim Schafer’s Kickstarter campaign, many indie game companies have looked toward sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to get their projects off the ground. Skullgirls‘ DLC characters, Shovel Knight, Shadow of the Eternals (on hold as of this writing), and Yatagarasu has made a name for themselves on such crowdfunding sites. This month saw the addition of two more shining stars in the roster of crowdfunded games: Comcept’s Mighty No. 9 and Wayforward’s Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero. So how did they come about, and how did they do?
Kickstarter success story Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams looks to be having much success on Steam. So much so, it looks like they’ll be going beyond Steam in the foreseeable future. Black Forest Games stated on their Facebook page, “We managed to make a distribution deal for retail and XBLA. Planned release somewhat around late Q1 2013.” So far not much is known as to who this distribution partner is, nor which systems the game will release on for retail (though we can assume the 360 probably one of them).
So far it’s good news all around! Happy to see Black Forest still living and not crumbling after release like other Indies out there. I did review their previous game, Giana Sisters DS (when they were called Spellbound), so go check that out.
Last week I informed you that a new Giana Sisters game was being made by Black Forest Games and they needed a successful Kickstarter to release on time. Well, with 6 hours left to got, I’m pleased to announce that the Kickstarter is successful! As of this report, they’ve accumulated $175, 330. That’s over $25,000 beyond their initial goal of $150,000. Now that that hurdle is cleared, there’s extra incentives in place should they reach any milestones. If they get $200,000, they’ll add additional levels and a hardcore more. $250,000 adds more new enemies and a Ninja/Pirate Owl Boss. And finally $300,000 preps it for release on the Ouya. Regardless of how much they get, they game’s coming out on time. And it’s nice to see a bunch of Giana Sisters fans out there.
In the mean time, Black Forest Games has put Project Giana up on Valve’s new Steam Greenlight polling system. Really quickly, Steam Greenlight is a system where you vote for games you want to see released on Steam. Black Forest states on their Faceboook page that getting the game released on Steam will bring in the option for backers to get Steam Keys. So get on there and rate this baby up! Oh, and vote on a final name for the game too! They just put that up as well.
And no one told me about this when it was revealed. *sigh* Regardless. I saw some of the art and thought “hoo boy, Pikomi’s rolling in his future grave.” Then I saw the actual gameplay. Holy shit this game looks awesome! Before I explain here, let me educate you with some Giana Sisters history.
The Great Giana Sisters was an old game made by Time Warp. It was essentially a Mario clone for the ZX Spectrum, C64, Amiga, Amstrad, and other home computer platforms. And boy did it borrow a lot of Mario-like elements. It looked so much like Mario, Nintendo stepped in and ordered a cease and desist on the game’s production. This was back in 1987. Fast forward to a few years ago, and DTP Entertainment and Spellbound Interactive make a new Giana Sisters game for the DS. This time there’d only be one sister, and collecting a power up (aka mushroom) turned her into Punk Giana. The stages in this game were short, but very numerous. The artwork of the game was phenomenal, putting New Super Mario Bros. to shame.
For almost a decade fans have wanted to see a third entry in the Shenmue series. Time and again SEGA has failed to get the the project off the ground. And with SEGA suffering some pretty bad financial difficulties and playing it extra safe with their releases, the chances of a Shenmue game coming out is as good as dead. But one developer wants to see it come back. Steve Lycett, the executive producer currently working on Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed says that he wants to see Shenmue III on Kickstarter and wonders why “Yu Suzuki doesn’t put Shenmue 3 on Kickstarter. That would be a very interesting thing to watch.” He goes on to state that the idea of crowdfunding virtually takes the publisher out of the equation of what gets greenlighted. I mean, ultimately it’s still up to the publisher to give a project a go, but money talks louder than a well-put-together pitch.
Or, maybe a publisher may not be needed. Yu Suzuki mentioned earlier this year that he could possibly get a license from SEGA and make a new Shenmue game. As publishing goes, when you make a property under a publisher, it belongs to the publisher. If the creator (a person or a developer) leaves, it still belong to the publisher and they can still make games using the property. Currently Yu Suzuki doesn’t work with SEGA and is working for YsNet, so it’s out his hands to make a new Shenmue game unless he gets a license on his own work. Hey, maybe SEGA should give him one. Form the looks of it, SEGA doesn’t want to take anymore risks while Suzuki is more than willing to make them. Fans get what they want, and SEGA won’t be fully liable if the project backfires, all while still collecting licensing fees. It’s a win-win.