Defense Grid 2

Defense Grid was a cheap throw in game I bought during a Steam sale for something like $2.50 but it ended up being one of my favorite games of that year. It is a really good tower defense game with personality. The company announced a Defense Grid 2 kickstarter which will be awesome if it is made. I kicked in some money of course.

One of the rewards is a copy of the original game and DLC. I already have them all so I am giving away the Steam codes for them if any tagged member doesn't have the game and would like to try it just send me a PM.

A million for the full sequel? Hell, I hope so, but that seems lofty.

I'll definitely be throwing some money at them, though.

Oh hey now, this sounds promising!

More raspberries for everyone! And butt pats, don't forget the butt pats.

What? You don't like raspberries?

Doh! Didn't see this. I am giving away my free copy as well seeing as I have the original on both Steam and XBL.

So I gave them a pledge, and they must be confident they will hit their totals because I already got a reward for my pledge. Considering the fact that if they dont hit the first level they dont get my cash I think that speaks a lot to how far they think they will get.

I loved Defense Grid and put over 100 hours on Steam. Totaly happy to give them some money but.......

More and more these kickstarters are starting to bug me, really no one would fund a DG2? That game sold like hot cakes and is still loved, if they cant get funding from a publisher then who the heck can. I wonder if it really would take a kickstarter to fund a DG game, or is it they are just taking free money. Granted its not as bad as Penny Arcade "selling out" which was cheap in my opinion.

Whats next EA asking for 82 million for Mass Effect 4..... You see our stock price is low and our CEO is about to be fired, so if you dont give us 82 million there wont be another Mass Effect. Oh and if we 100 million we will include day 1 DLC for only 19.99 instead of our new normal price of 39.99! If we hit 150 million we will remove the crapy ending that Casey Hudson came up with in 5 minutes while taking a dump and replace it with something that resembles good writing.

Hyetal wrote:

A million for the full sequel?

Man, guess I'll wait for a Steam sale.

mcdonis wrote:

More and more these kickstarters are starting to bug me, really no one would fund a DG2? That game sold like hot cakes and is still loved, if they cant get funding from a publisher then who the heck can. I wonder if it really would take a kickstarter to fund a DG game, or is it they are just taking free money.

I don't think the DG2 Kickstarter is any different than Double Fine asking for money for an adventure game. That said, I do think the $250,000 goal for the DLC seems a bit high but I'm assuming they're expecting to use the overall progress on the KS project to try and demonstrate there is some level of interest in a sequel. Which isn't much different than what Republique was doing.

My problem with it is what do I get out of yet another TD game, and what can DG2 do for me? Nothing against HPE or that they're funding it through kickstarter, but I guess I'm just burned out on TDs, and I didn't pick up on DG2 doing anything new except being more of the same, or very similar to DG1 and a mountain of other games and WC3/SC2 mods. So, I've no motivation to put my money up to say "This is what I want".

If it turns out to be good, then I can still buy it after release. If it doesn't happen, well, nothing of much value to me was lost.

$250,000 for an 8 level expansion? Seriously?

If they fund it through kickstarter, they are not beholden to a publisher for paying royalties or hitting milestones, release dates and feature creep.

fangblackbone wrote:

If they fund it through kickstarter, they are not beholden to a publisher for paying royalties or hitting milestones, release dates and feature creep.

Wasn't the original independently released, at least on PC? It might not have been on consoles but you can't release on XBLA without a publisher anyway, self-funded or not. Seems odd that they would need a Kickstarter given what a huge hit this supposedly was but hey, more power to them.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:
fangblackbone wrote:

If they fund it through kickstarter, they are not beholden to a publisher for paying royalties or hitting milestones, release dates and feature creep.

Wasn't the original independently released, at least on PC? It might not have been on consoles but you can't release on XBLA without a publisher anyway, self-funded or not. Seems odd that they would need a Kickstarter given what a huge hit this supposedly was but hey, more power to them.

As an indie studio they had to borrow the money up front to make the first game. So they're in a sort of frontloading business model. They have said that they made a profit on the first one, but not enough so to make a full second game. Just enough to get them started.

I'm signed up for the kickstarter and just had the pleasure of gifting my game code to a friend who will hopefully love the game too. Indeed DG has been one of the best game values for me in a long time. Plus it's great playing a game where you can tell the developers are having fun with it.

I also really enjoyed Defense Grid and wouldn't mind contributing toward a sequel.

Have any of the kickstarter funded games made it to release yet? I believe that that Double Fine Adventure is the first and estimated to be released this fall, so it might still be early. I'm just curious if there are any examples of this funding model resulting in a finished product. Are there any consequences for not delivering? Would we see follow-up campaigns if the project runs over budget?

sebulba wrote:

I also really enjoyed Defense Grid and wouldn't mind contributing toward a sequel.

Have any of the kickstarter funded games made it to release yet? I believe that that Double Fine Adventure is the first and estimated to be released this fall, so it might still be early. I'm just curious if there are any examples of this funding model resulting in a finished product. Are there any consequences for not delivering? Would we see follow-up campaigns if the project runs over budget?

There are plenty of Kickstarter-funded games that have been finished. It's been happening for quite a while (launched in 2008), it just didn't come into the mainstream's consciousness til this year. If you visit this part of the KS site you can see a list of all successfully funded video game projects, and as you get further down you start seeing ones that have been fully completed.

The thing is though, making games takes a while. Resonance, featured recently in a Giant Bomb quick look, was a Kickstarter project wayyy back in 2009. Granted, the game would have been finished anyway, but it illustrates my point.

All that said, I would avoid this one. The game may have been popular but it was popular as a $2.50 Steam sale game, not a fully priced one. The Kickstarter's slow beginning makes me think it will not get to the $1m mark and actually get a DG2 made.

Of the projects that were big names in the last 6-12 months.... I believe FTL is pretty close to launch (currently in closed beta) and Banner Saga is about to start sending out a combat preview/beta thing to backers not far from now. There's probably more than those two, and I know there were projects that were sending out playable alphas/betas as rewards for donating to them directly before they went Kickstarter.

They have a long way to go and not very long to make it

They still need almost $80,000 to hit the first goal and only 13 days to go

They could use some press coverage or something because I only just heard about this one and the first game was great.

Sounds like they need to do an AMA.

fangblackbone wrote:

Sounds like they need to do an AMA.

I thought they were planning on doing one? Or was that Star Command?

At this point I think they might be better off scrubbing the project and starting over with a more straightforward pitch, instead of the tiered milestones that weren't communicated effectively.

I just want Defense Grid 2. Don't want more levels for the first one. I want a full blown remake. Surely a publisher would back them to do that.

BlackSabre wrote:

I just want Defense Grid 2. Don't want more levels for the first one. I want a full blown remake. Surely a publisher would back them to do that.

Apparently not. From the Kickstarter page:

We came up with exciting plans on how to take Defense Grid to the next level and started talking with publishers about those plans. We've been disappointed with the number of publishers who love the game and sequel plan, but can't make the modest indie profit level work in their publishing financial structure. Everyone agrees that DG2 will be successful, but the profits publishers need in order to take a chance are higher than ever.

Like I said upthread, I don't think enough people bought this game at a reasonable price for it to be a sure thing for publishers.

Giving away the first game seems a bit odd. Chances are anyone willing to contribute to the Kickstarter already owns it so maybe they are hoping they will give the codes to friends so the friends can get hooked and then they will contribute as well.

I dont see this one ending well.... A lot of folks have given them money what will probably end up being just an 8 level expansion of the original game. No way in heck they hit that 1 mill mark

I would hate to be one of those persons who gave 100 bucks for that....

yikes

The thing is, while people are willing to pay for a competent tower defense game, there is a lot of cheap and free competition. Just look at Gratuitous Tank Battles. I can't imagine Defense Grid or its sequel having any more depth and yet that developer isn't doing a Kickstarter let alone asking for what sounds like a minimum of $80k.

edit: the goal is $250k? Wow! Isn't that roughly the amount the Grim Dawn developers were asking for?

I'm not interested in supporting another level pack for Defense Grid 1. And the goal to reach for a true sequel is ridiculously high IMO.

Anyone going to PAX Dev? I saw on the schedule Hidden Path is doing a kickoff session on Day 1 about their Kickstarter.

The recent update on Kickstarter states that even if they only hit the first level of funding that "eventually" when they make DG2 that all supporters will recieve a copy.

I am not sure how I should take this, on one hand I like it that they are saying to me I will recieve the game one day. One the other hand I am a little miffed that if they are sure they can still make a DG2 eventually then why do they need Kickstarter in the first place.

I think they made a huge blunder in how they structured their reward tiers. Hell they should not have used reward tiers at all! I mean look at what you get. First tier is an 8 map pack. 250k for DLC? Another 250k on top of that for JUST a new engine and not a game? Why the hell is CHEAT PROTECTION considered a reward?

It just comes off as really poorly thought out. 250-500k should have made the game. Everything past that should have been a stretch goal.

mcdonis wrote:

I am not sure how I should take this, on one hand I like it that they are saying to me I will recieve the game one day. One the other hand I am a little miffed that if they are sure they can still make a DG2 eventually then why do they need Kickstarter in the first place.

As I stated up thread, their contingency plan is to keep doing contract work like CS:S and CS:GO as their main focus while they work on DG2 when they can. Their original plan is to stop doing the contract work (or give it lower priority) and work on DG2 as their main focus, if they get the full million dollars. This is something they should've made clear from the start.

In a sense, it's not much different than what Penny Arcade is trying to do. They're just swapping one revenue stream (contract work in this case) with a different one (crowd-funding). The difference is that the crowd-funded stream allows them to work on their own creation.

EDIT: Another thing to keep in mind is that Kickstarter (or crowd-funding in general) is a relatively new thing for the gaming industry. There's going to be plenty of mistakes made and lessons learned as there's currently no established "right" way to do one. I'm looking forward to hearing about Hidden Path's experience with this campaign, assuming the presentation is ever posted outside of the PAX Dev conference.

shoptroll wrote:

As I stated up thread, their contingency plan is to keep doing contract work like CS:S and CS:GO as their main focus while they work on DG2 when they can. Their original plan is to stop doing the contract work (or give it lower priority) and work on DG2 as their main focus, if they get the full million dollars. This is something they should've made clear from the start.
EDIT: Another thing to keep in mind is that Kickstarter (or crowd-funding in general) is a relatively new thing for the gaming industry. There's going to be plenty of mistakes made and lessons learned as there's currently no established "right" way to do one. I'm looking forward to hearing about Hidden Path's experience with this campaign, assuming the presentation is ever posted outside of the PAX Dev conference.

I like they are being creative but I wonder if the lesson here is that if you want to succeed with a Kickstarter and if you reach your min goal you get the game period. If you want to do stretch goals to fill out the game (ala tex murphy, dead state) then thats ok. I wonder had they just set a reasonable goal and said you give us 500K and you get DG2 if they would have gotten their million anyway. The way they are doing it now just kinda turns folks off I bet.

Yet I have to also wonder if what others in this thread are right, if I only paid 2.50 for the game why would I give them 30 bucks for a sequal that I wont see for 2 years no matter how much I liked it.

mcdonis wrote:

I like they are being creative but I wonder if the lesson here is that if you want to succeed with a Kickstarter and if you reach your min goal you get the game period. If you want to do stretch goals to fill out the game (ala tex murphy, dead state) then thats ok. I wonder had they just set a reasonable goal and said you give us 500K and you get DG2 if they would have gotten their million anyway. The way they are doing it now just kinda turns folks off I bet.

I agree their structure is a bit upside-down compared to past projects. I think if they had more realistic milestones (breaking down the entire project into 250k segments is really arbitrary) such that say $350,000 was enough to greenlight DG2 with stretch goals for the prequel DLC, multiplayer, etc. they probably would've done better. I also think that Mac/Linux and DRM-free builds should've been much lower in the milestones.

EDIT: The other thing people are glossing over is that Hidden Path is building a new engine for DG2 instead of re-using Gamebryo. That's going to take a chunk of time and a couple of developers (which aren't cheap). So I think their request for 1 million dollars seems reasonable when you assume a team of 5-10 developers working for a year or so, which will chew up at least 1/3-1/2 of the funds alone. However, I really think they would be better served by picking up a license for Unreal Engine 3 as that would allow them to target PC, iOS, Android and I think Mac/Linux (?) instead of building one from scratch.

I agree that the new engine thing is a bit whack. A highly modified version of Gamebryo is what powers Skyrim so I doubt they really need to change engines. If they just want to switch for some reason then they should probably look at Unity. It would allow them to port to nearly every platform known to man and is way cheaper than Unreal.