The Kickstarter page for space combat simulator CDF Starfighter shows off some impressive screenshots, some even more impressive gameplay videos and comes from a development studio that has already released two games on Steam. So why has it got off to such a comparatively slow start?
I can’t speak for the whole Kickstarter community but my biggest issue, and one that’s apparent straight away, is the number of spelling and grammar mistakes peppered throughout the project page. For a developer where English is a second language this is understandable but as MAG Studios and founder Shaun Williams are from the UK that’s no excuse and instantly gives the impression that this is an amateurish campaign – which is a shame as by digging deeper there is clearly a huge amount of talent here.
The two previous titles I alluded to, CDF Ghostship and Ghostship Aftermath, were released to mixed reviews but were notable for how much had been achieved by such a small development team with very little funding. This followed a very unsuccessful first Kickstarter campaign for CDF Ghostship with less than 5% of the £25,000 ($40,000) target reached and a similarly dismal Indiegogo campaign but despite these setbacks development continued and it seems almost sheer force of will and hard work got the two games released. The follow-up work and engagement with reviewers was admirable and something other indie developers could clearly learn from.
Whether MAG Studios learn from their earlier campaign remains to be seen. The Kickstarter project page could benefit from a few more hard details about the game although from what is available it’s clear the game has wisely focused on combat and promises to be accessible to new players, while the developer’s experience with VR could potentially produce one of the most immersive space combat experiences to date.
CDF Starfighter has a goal of £25,000 ($40,000) and in the opening few days has reached 2% of that amount. With just under a month to go it could certainly reach that target with enough of a push, and I remain intrigued to see what MAG Studios could achieve with a sizeable budget available to them.