Crowdfunding Roundup Weeks of 8/29-9/12
Welcome to another edition of the Crowdfunding Roundup, where we bring you the best of horror videogames from all the various crowdfunding websites. If you have a campaign you’d like to see covered, feel free to give us a shout on Facebook, Twitter, or via email. As always, you can find contact information for your favorite writers on our staff page, and you can usually find us chirping at one another on Twitter.
The Crowdfunding Roundup is going to be presented on a bi-weekly schedule going forward. The weekly schedule has not left enough time between articles to get a good showing of new games, resulting in a lot of repeat coverage. In the interest of keeping our coverage fresh, we are spreading it out so that there are more new games to cover in every post.
Arrival in Hell
Arrival in Hell is campaigning to fund a remake of the original Arrival in Hell Flash-based point-and-click adventure. You begin the game as a prisoner in a fairly normal prison, which you quickly find is not so normal. There are bodies in the halls, no one has done a banned items check in a while, and the guards seem to be overdosing on Folgers. Little do any of them know, there is a monster among them- and not the kind that was convicted by a jury of his peers. The remake will bring the graphics of Arrival in Hell into 3D, modern territory, leaving behind the webcomic style art of the original. The revamp will contain new areas and have full voice acting, improving the game for the next generation of players. Developer Epic Industries is asking for $17,500 over the next 21 days, and they’ve already managed to drum up $2,000 in the last week. They’re running a Steam Greenlight campaign, as well, so interested backers can also log in and support them there.
Mastema Out of Hell
Mastema Out of Hell is a retro platformer with overt horror themes. The music and graphics are reminiscent of gaming classic Metroid and Castlevania, giving off great GenX vibes. Italian developer Oscar Celestini is asking backers for $3,370 to release the game in physical format. He does state that if the campaign fails, he will still complete the game, though on a longer timeline. If the campaign is successful, backers can expect to receive their copies in February 2017.
Smile is an art-horror offering from two-person HomeGames Studio in Russia. You play a young man whose sister was one of the victims of a mass killing at her school. The main suspect in the case was the school photographer, but he committed suicide before he could be brought to trial. As he visits the school to try and find answers, the brother sees an apparition of his sister and follows her through the school. Uncovering clues and studying the photo negatives is the only way to uncover the truth. Along the way, you will find ghosts who want to help, and some who want you to join them forever. HomeGame Studios is asking for $10,000 over the next 60 days to bring the game to terrifying life.
The Legend of Cantuña
The Legend of Cantuña is a solo indie game by Ecuadorian student Andrés Bahamonde, originally done as a thesis project for university. Andrés would like to extend the game and update the graphics now, and release it as a full-length game. He is asking for $5,000 over the next 20 days, though the only reward tier is at $100. While that may slow backer support, he benefits from the interesting local legend he has chosen as the basis for his game.
Cantuña is an interesting folktale from the city of Quito. According to the legend, Cantuña was a man contracted to create the atrium for the Cathedral San Francisco. He accepted the job, but soon realized he had promised too much and would not be able to finish in time. He prayed to God for help, but received no answer. In desperation, he then asked the Devil for help. The Devil agreed to have his minions help in exchange for Cantuña’s soul, to which the man replied that he would agree on the condition that every last brick must be laid before the bell rang for mass at 6:00 AM. Knowing his minions to be the best masons in the world, the Devil agreed to the caveat. His minions toiled away all night, carefully placing the bricks and creating a beautiful tribute to God in the Cathedral. At 6 AM, the Devil came to take Cantuña’s soul, but the man asked him to survey his minons’ work carefully. Among the walls, there was one missing brick that Cantuña had pulled from the wet mortar in the night, hiding it under his clothes. The Devil had to admit defeat and left, and Cantuña became known as the man who tricked the Devil.
Between 2 Worlds
Between 2 Worlds is a live-action game from indie studio GFX Hero in Belgium. The game will bring a multiple ending book to life- think R.L. Stein’s Give Yourself Goosebumps series. The campaign seems to have a mistake in the goal, since it says they need $11.277, but also says that the campaign will be funded if it reaches $10,000 before October 10th. I am assuming they mean $11,277.00, which isn’t unreasonable for an indie game. The live-action aspect is neat, and the choose your own adventure concept is intriguing. Hopefully the team can drum up some enthusiasm from backers over the next 25 days.
The Youth Drainers
The Youth Drainers is a super weird entry into the indie horror genre. You play a pregnant woman being held in a facility that is decorated like a simple living room. There is a recorder in the room left by the previous woman explaining that you are actually being held captive by a race of midgets. These angry little men cloaked in bright yellow robes need infants for their experiments, and they prefer the fresh ones. Your goal is to find items around the room that you can use to escape the room, then find a way to kill yourself to save the baby from becoming an experiment. The team at Evilized Productions are asking for $447, and plan to release the game this November.
Cruentis is an Italian game that is asking for $55,700 for completion. The trailer shows the talent of the writers at indie studio Anunnaki. Cruentis puts you in the role of a teenager heading into a haunted mansion on a dare. According to local legend, the mansion was abandoned following unthinkable crimes. If the team can drum up the remainder of their goal in the next 15 days, they plan to release in January of 2017 on Windows, PS4, and XBox One. There is a stretch goal for the HTC Vive, though it is positioned at double the original goal. If the campaign is unsuccessful, the team plan to release the game on a delayed schedule.
The Dancer With Six Legs
The Dancer With Six Legs is a campaign with a tiny goal of $500. It tells the story of a patient in a mental asylum who travels to a red apartment in a dream world to deal with personal conflict among his peers. Players will be able to use objects found in the asylum to trigger events, and explore the apartment to find clues regarding the strange goings-on around the ward. There will be a heavy philosophical slant, as the creators are both philosophy graduates. They blend music and visual effects to create an unsettling world where everyone is the enemy. The team would like to present the game as free-to-play, which would be possible with the $500 funding goal. If the goal is not reached, they will still release, and perhaps add a very small fee to the game.
Lovecraft Tales needs to raise another $15,500 to meet its goal, but the team still has a month to do so. The game is a different take on Lovecraft, avoiding his most-used stories in favor of The Whisperer in The Darkness. The campaign page boasts a free demo, two of the songs from the soundtrack, and a plethora of information about the development and assets being used in the game. Polish indie studio CVLT is very responsive to fan questions and feedback, which bodes well for creating a game that backers are ultimately happy with.
Mark’s Rooms is having a tough time finding backers. The escape puzzle game has 21 days left to raise the $5,000 needed to complete production. The funds would allow for improved cutscenes and music, as well as marketing once the game is released. Whether the campaign is successful or not, the team plans to release the game. Finding funding will allow for a more polished end product, which is what the developers hope to sign their name to in the end.
Splinters has a month left in its campaign to scare up $5,000. The pixelart detective story about a madman running the local asylum is having a bit of trouble finding its footing in the world of crowdfunding. The only donation tier is $5, which nets you a free copy of the game once it is released. The Malaysian team would be able to complete development of Splinters faster if they meet the funding goal, but will release eventually either way. Their story about a detective who must find answers about the gruesome experiments being run by the least-liked guy in town looks like a fun ride. The pixel graphics add a fun retro touch, and the voice acting is hammy in all the right ways. I’m glad this one has a path to release regardless of the outcome, but I do hope the team can get some much-needed PR going for their campaign.
1214 is having a very hard time picking up backers. The game still needs to raise $55,000 with only 13 days left in their campaign. I was really excited when I saw this campaign for the first time. 1214 uses a smartphone app and computer simultaneously, requiring players to interact with both to progress. The flashlight in the phone app is used as a flashlight to see when the lights go out in the game. Messages and calls are sent from the apparition in the apartment to the app on the phone. The developers for 1214 have gone the extra mile to create immersion, but potential backers seem to be having none of it. I suppose we will find out about developer Vyretrux’s backup plan in a couple of weeks.
3:00am Dead Time
3:00am Dead Time has 20 days left to raise another $7,500 towards its flexible goal. Developer Irreverent Software has a fun twist on a popular idea for horror games. Play a paranormal investigator researching several haunted locations. These ghouls aren’t too happy that you’re hanging around their favorite haunts, so you’ll need to deal with their attacks as well. One feature that sets this game apart from the sudden spate of paranormal investigation games is the ability to play with up to three of your friends, working together to find more clues and solve the mysteries in each location. You can play with friends from across enemy lines, with support for PC, Mac, and Linux players. Interested fans can check out the free demo for all three machines on the campaign page.
Hypnopompic wants you to face the core of your fears head-on. The game has seven levels that can be played in any order, with each tackling a different kind of fear. All levels are set in different houses, and each house has 2-4 monsters with unique abilities, just waiting for you to round the corner or make a wrong move. Hypnopompic is being created by a small team of students who have completed the base for the game out of their own pockets. They are asking for $20,000 to fund voice acting, a musical score, and upgraded graphics. The team is aiming for an October 2017 release, if all goes well.
By Sarah has three days to find another $7,800 in funding. This game is being developed in Unity 5, and tackling the evasion-only breed of survival horror with attention to rich graphics. The sub-genre is full to the gills with games trying to mimic Amnesia, so a game that handles evasion well while providing modern graphics would be refreshing. Part of the need for funding is to pay the fees to publish the game on Steam, so perhaps we will see a second campaign for this game with a lower goal so that it can gain presence on Steam Greenlight.
Never Look Back
Never Look Back has 17 hours left to raise around $4,000. It is highly unlikely that the campaign will end successfully, but it has been approved on Steam Greenlight. The pixel art game puts you in the shoes of a man who finds himself back in a recurring nightmare. This time, the nightmare is real. He must find a way to escape the demons chasing him, though those demons are as much a part of him as his own flesh. We may see this game released at a later date than planned as an Early Access title on Steam.
North to Hollow Grove
North to Hollow Grove cancelled their campaign shortly before it was set to end. The game had trouble picking up backers, despite an interesting storyline and what looked like a good amount of time already spent in development. The creator removed most of the information from the page, and their Twitter has been quiet since the cancellation. Their webpage is still up, and the free demo is still available there.
Fallen does not seem likely to meet its goal, despite only asking for $700. The retro platformer is a fun concept, but the game hasn’t gotten enough PR to reach backers on IndieGoGo. It seems that the development of Fallen is already complete, and the solo developer needed funds to pay the fee to publish on Steam and create some publicity for his game. Perhaps we will see this one on an indie site like itch.io in the future.
That wraps it up for this edition of the Crowdfunding Roundup. We will be back in two weeks to check on these campaigns and see what is new in horror game crowdfunding.