The quality of crowdfunding demos on our YouTube channel is nothing if not inconsistent. Indivisible and Long Gone Days’s demos are practically finished products. Others like Deliver Us The Moon’s first demo just didn’t work. Unfortunately, for both myself and my colleague Joanna, we can add another demo to the latter category.
When Felix wrote about a wonderfully colorful and vibrant 2D platformer earlier this month, I knew I had to play it. That’s not actually true. I found the campaign last minute while browsing Kickstarter and noticed it was popular. But the first one makes for a better story. That game is The Adventure Pals, and the demo was a disaster.
The same glitch happened to both Joanna and I, though a quick YouTube search will show others didn’t have the same problem. The moment the demo begins, every character model becomes invisible. You can still move around and interact with NPC’s, but you can’t see anyone. As you could imagine, this made playing the game a bit difficult.
It sucks. The Kickstarter page looks great. There’s a lot of information, concept art, screenshots, and gifs showing gameplay. The developers seem to know what they’re talking about. The game itself sounds like fun, and the art is drop-dead gorgeous. I wanted to play the demo. I wanted to show you beautiful children what it looked like so we could make ad revenue help you to make a better informed decision. We can’t do that though, because the demo didn’t work.
This week in particular has been a great reminder of what crowdfunding is. We started our YouTube coverage off with Long Gone Days, one of the best demos for a crowdfunding campaign I’d ever played. Now its nothing but buggy misery with Joanna finding System Shock Remastered’s demo to be unrefined and not well optimized. The Adventure Pals didn’t work at all, and our video on Astro Boy: Edge of Tomorrow shows its own game breaking bug.
So let this be a reminder to everyone: crowdfunding isn’t a pre-order service. If you come across a campaign with a demo, which more times than not you won’t, don’t take that as representative of the final product. That applies to good demos just as much as bad or buggy ones. They’re meant to give you an idea of what can be done, or what can be improved with your funding.
As for The Adventure Pals, well, it still looks good. That’s something.