On November 15th 2016 Kickstarter announced that for the first time they would be officially welcoming Kickstarter projects from Mexico. (Previously creators and artists could still use the crowdfunding platform, but only by joining with partners in other countries). This news comes a week after Donald Trump secured a shock victory in the 2016 presidential election – although I’m sure the timing is purely coincidental.
The last time a new country was added to the Kickstarter community was the inclusion of Germany in April 2015. As with Germany, most of the early flagship projects from Mexico seem to in the fields of art, music, film and textiles but I’m hopeful we may find a great video game project too. It’s also worth noting that for all Mexican projects funded in the next 100 days, Kickstarter will be donating their usual 5% fee to a Mexico-based charitable organization. So, time to take a look at what’s on offer.
Twin Flames by Fat Panda Games
This 2D action-platformer features some nice pixel artwork and roguelike gameplay and is my favourite of the lineup on offer. The fact it’s already been Greenlit on Steam and earned a ‘Projects We Love’ badge from Kickstarter shows I’m not the only one who’s impressed. With an experienced development team and a professional looking Kickstarter page, it seems very likely it will reach its MX$ 200,000 ($9,700) goal.
Q-YO BLASTER by Team Robot Black Hat
With an extremely low target of only MX$ 13,900 ($673), you might expect horizontal shooter Q-Yo Blaster to be a joke project, but you’d be wrong. Well it does feature a flying guinea pig and a bizarre 90s theme, but the actual game doesn’t look too bad. Backers need only pledge $4.50 to be sure of receiving the game when it releases in June 2017. Given the low target it looks likely enough people might be tempted to see it successfully funded.
Memes Wars by Cereal GUY
Memes Wars is being developed for mobile devices, which should immediately warn you to lower your expectations. But even with that prior warning, it’s still distinctly underwhelming. It does at least have a demo and a very low MX$ 75,000 ($3,630) goal so might just be able to convince enough backers to pledge the equivalent of $4.85 with the promise of receiving the game in January 2017.
Ariel by Nuclear Fiction
The graphics in Ariel are the first thing that stand out. It may not look like a AAA release, but this first person shooter/survival game certainly looks a lot better than many Kickstarter games. Developer Nuclear Fiction have already been approved as a Steam partner and hope to release Ariel in Early Access as soon as early 2017 – assuming it reaches the MX$ 290,000 ($14,050) goal. The plans to support VR headsets (on PS4 as well as PC) are also noteworthy, with the only concern being the campaign’s slow start.
There’s a lot of enthusiasm and artwork on show for this cutesy platformer, but not much hard information. What little gameplay footage looks fairly primitive so far, and even with the best will in the world I can’t really recommend backing it. If you are tempted, the goal is a reasonable MX$ 200,000 ($9,700) and Paw Fury is due to be finished in December 2017.
And The Rest…
Legend of a Dwarf by developer DevCup has been cancelled after only a few days. That’s not too surprising considering the dungeon-crawler had no footage at all. Plus that completely unrealistic target of MX$ 1,500,000 goal ($72,000).
Idigiz by Alex Valdez and Odd Slayer by Pedro Rodriguez are both projects from solo developers. Unfortunately both are just half-baked ideas with no footage at all. Alex Valdez does at least earn points for Udigiz by having both English and Spanish translations available. I have no idea about Odd Slayer though, apart from the fact it seems to be a MMORPG.
So there we have it. A few potentially promising games, and a lot of mediocre offerings. Which is actually a good metaphor for Kickstarter itself. But not the worst start for Mexico, and if it can follow in the footsteps of German creators then there’s hope for the future.