[dropcap size=small]M[/dropcap]arch was an interesting month in the world of crowdfunding. After the ridiculous successes of February, it seemed like 2015 was off to an absolute bang. This immense success led me to believe that there would be less campaigns in March. My opinion was that potential project leads would be worried by the incredible high quality showing of campaigns in a short time frame. Also, that chances were likely that less money would be flung around in March due to backers spending heavily last month. As it turns out, we still saw a great deal of large scale campaigns – although most did not see super excessive amounts of funding. It really does seem that this is the way of the future for Kickstarter wherein campaigns rarely make hundreds of thousands over a goal amount.
Below you’ll see some of our favorite campaigns of March. No, this doesn’t mean they are the most popular ones necessarily, or perhaps even the best example of running a Kickstarter! These selections are based purely on my personal opinion of which seem like stand out games and campaigns. If you disagree, feel free to share your own top successful campaigns for March in the comments! Big campaigns such as Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove and Underworld Ascendant received so much press that most people know of them already. My hope is that a few of these games listed here are ones which readers otherwise may have missed out on.
Each listed title includes the amount raised, amount asked, backers, and days to success. Days to success is an interesting metric as it shows that a surprising amount of projects are now funded in their final week – and sometimes even the final day! Those interested in seeing our previous monthly roundups can use this tag to see everything. We only have a few posts thus far but will continue providing this information throughout 2015.
Raised: $17,470 of $16,000 goal
Days to Success: 29
There are a boatload of point and click adventure games out there, and more recently, many have reverted to pixel art to help create a cool aesthetic. Yet, most focus on locations that aren’t too far removed from the present day. Detective Di: The Silk Rose Murders offers a tale with a distinctly Asian vibe and sets it far in the past. The combination of time period and place creates a very visually distinctive landscape to explore that is unlike anything else currently on the market. Of course, the detective aspects are poised to be exciting as well, especially for those who are fans of Di Renjie-focused media.
Raised: $14,161 of $13,666 goal
Days to Success: 30
Happy Hell (previously known as Spooky Poo’s Happy Hell) is inspired by an era of 3D platforming which has since gone by the wayside. Big developers aren’t working on titles of this nature and nor are indies. Instead, indies are still primarily focused on 2D ones. Happy Hell, and a few others, may be the start of a 90s-focused game creation trend and I’m all for it! This game takes the fun platforming and collectathon aspects of titles such as Super Mario 64 and gives them a hellish (but still cute) makeover. This campaign proves there’s a market for the genre, although it may not be massive just yet.
Raised: $97,801 of $90,000 goal
Days to Success: 29
Many of us have played some version of The Oregon Trail. Edutainment games such as these were such a part of growing up that we’ve since seen multiple parodies in the form of The Organ Trail and Super Amazing Wagon Adventure. Orion Trail tweaks the formula to turn it into an experience of survival in space. Keeping your crew alive aboard the ill-named Indestructible II is a challenge – but an amusing one. With random events ala FTL, a great sense of humor, and colorful graphics, it definitely overshadows its edutainment inspirations.
Raised: $7,341 of $6,000 goal
Days to Success: 29
I’ve been a fan of visual novels for over ten years now and I simply have to attribute my love for the genre to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney since it first exposed me to that world. As such, anything which is at all inspired by the franchise simply piques my interest immediately. Case in point, Regeria Hope seems to follow a lot of that same courtroom drama style, but with the twist of possibly being a crooked lawyer. It’s an awesome change to an established formula and I for one am excited to see how it plays out. Visual novels appear to still rake in funds, although not as highly as they once did…
Raised: $54,642 of $54,042 goal
Days to Success: 29
One thing that most games haven’t focused on over the years is a distinct visual presence. Instead, they chase realism which has only recently begun to yield dividends, so to speak. Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire caught my attention immediately thanks to its gorgeous landscapes and rotoscoped artwork. Then I realized the gameplay was inspired by tactical titles such as XCOM and Fire Emblem and knew this was something worth playing. It’s incredible that more folks didn’t discover this one as it barely made it to the goal.
Do you notice something in common between each of these campaigns? Basically every single one was funded in the second to last or very last day. No, I swear it wasn’t my intent to single out Kickstarters where this is the case! As it turns out, so many truly invigorating campaigns simply end up this way. They strive for weeks on end, gaining some amount of funding, but then have to have a really devoted final push to gain larger sums of money in the final few days. It’s no doubt an incredibly stressful process, but thankfully these awesome campaigns all made it through.
If you’d like to see more information about each of the successful Kickstarters this month then keep an eye out for our upcoming monthly analysis post. It will showcase and explain trends of interest to video game backers and project creators themselves. Those who can’t wait and simply want to read over (and get links to) every successful project in 2015 should head over to our forums which feature a regularly updated list of funded video game campaigns.