Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter have given independent game developers the means to not only produce their own games, but share the production experience with the fans who make it possible.
At its best, fans and supporters get the finished game that was promised, along with some cool incentives for pledging more of their hard-earned cash. However, at its worst, projects burn out from problems like mismanagement of funds or unfocused developers and, unlike being an actual legal investor, the financial supporters of Kickstarter campaigns aren't owed anything.
Luckily for the fans, this year we've seen our fair share of success stories. USgamer has showcased seven great games funded on Kickstarter that actually made it to completion. And, luckily for you, most of these games have been discounted for the annual Steam Summer Sale!
Mike Williams, senior writer for USgamer, kicked of the list with the following...
1). Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse ($14.99/$24.99)
The last game in the Broken Sword series, Angel of Death, came to PC in 2006, when the adventure game genre had been dead for quite a while. Telltale Games' Sam & Max: Season One had launched earlier in the year, but the series hadn't finished and had yet to show that there was still life in adventure games.
Broken Sword was completely dead until crowdfunding came along. When its Kickstarter drive ended, the game had pulled in $771,560, far above its $400,000 goal. Revolution Software turned that money around and delivered a great revival to the classic franchise with a new animated aesthetic. Pete reviewed the first part of Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse and called it "a solid return to form for a long-running series with a proud heritage."
2). Broken Age ($16.74/$24.99)
The second adventure game on our list began life as the indeterminately named Double Fine Adventure. No real name, no concrete ideas, just a massive amount of trust in former Lucasarts developer Tim Schafer and his team at Double Fine Productions. That trust must've been enough because it went on to be one of the biggest Kickstarter drives ever with a total of $3.3 million pledged, way over a goal of $400,000.
What we got for $3 million is an adventure game that reminds us why we loved the genre in the first place. The story of a girl named Vella and a boy named Shay as they begin to question their separate worlds. They each interact with a colorful cast of weird characters, just like the classic LucasArts SCUMM games. Like Pete with Broken Sword, I found Broken Age to be a fresh start for a genre I had given up for dead.
For USgamer's complete list, click here.