We Will Get Some More Defense Grid…

But not as much as I had hoped for, and probably not as soon as I had hoped either.

I posted a while back about Hidden Path Entertainment attempting to fund further installments to their exceptional tower defense game, Defense Grid: The Awakening by taking their plans to Kickstarter.  They had a detailed plan with four tiers of funding that would mean specific deliverables.

Even at the base level $15 pledge, you got a code for the original game on Steam, which goes for $20 when Steam isn’t doing one of their sales, plus any content eventually funded.  So if they made it to a million dollars and you kicked in $15, you would get all of it.

They also teamed up with AMD and Razer to offer up special deals and incentives.  The team running the Kickstarted project put out plenty of updates.   And they ran in-game contests where, if you achieved a certain goal on a specific level, you were entered.

It was quite an event.

Still, a million dollars seemed like a pretty ambitious goal, even for a game this good.  It just isn’t that well known.  Still, I was pretty sure that the first tier would be achieved easily.  The initial surge of pledges got it half way there pretty quickly.

$250,000 tier

That would get an expansion to the original game.  I would be all for that.

The second tier was a new engine for Defense Grid 2, which would include putting the old game on it to test it out.  Infrastructure is never very sexy though.  Try telling marketing that the major feature for a release is a new version of Visual C++ and see how excited they get.

But multiplayer was going to be part of the whole thing.  That… that I could go for.  And the second tier seemed possible given the initial momentum.

$500,000 tier

The third tier was offering up cross-platform compatibility and a level editor so end users could create their own content.  A level editor, hopefully tied in with the Steam Works user content system, would be cool.  But that seemed a long way away, being priced roughly the same as my house. (In Silicon Valley that means a run down place in a decent school district.)

$750,000 tier

And then there was the magic million dollar goal.  All of the above plus a completely new game, Defense Grid 2, the full sequel.

one million dollars!

As unlikely as it seemed, a man can dream can’t he.

And, as I said, the early momentum in the campaign was quite brisk.

Then it slowed to a trickle.  When the time left was under a week, I didn’t think they would even make their first tier goal.  This in a world where Penny Arcade can bring in double that by offering too… um… take some stuff off of their web page?  Really?

Then there was a last minute rush, accompanied by some outstanding video card offers that were no doubt subsidized by AMD, and the threshold was crossed at last.

The whole thing ended with $271,727 in funding.

That meant the production of the Containment expansion to the original game, which all backers will get once it is available.  An update says they are working on that even now.

But we will also all get Defense Grid 2.  A note was posted to the Kickstarter page towards the end of the event saying:

You’ll Get DG2

We’re working to cross the minimum and fund Defense Grid: Containment.  But please also understand that by joining the team as a backer, you’ll also get a copy of DG2 when we release it.  We’ll need to do extra work on our end to earn or raise the remaining funds in order to complete DG2, but when we do, you’ll still be a part of the team.  Crossing $250,000 gets you DG:Containment this December, and DG2 when it is complete.

That seemed to me to be a pretty generous offer since the commitment, as originally stated, was that only items that were funded would be available.  I am just happy that they still have a Defense Grid 2 in their plans.

I am not sure what will becomes of the other items… cross platform, multi-player, level editor, and such… but at least there is a new game to look forward to and some new levels to play in the mean time.

Now I have to figure out what to do with my Steam codes for the original game.  I already own it.  Hrmm.

6 responses to “We Will Get Some More Defense Grid…

  1. Defense Grid is a cool game, just I never managed to finish it so not all that motivated for a sequel myself.

    “This in a world where Penny Arcade can bring in double that by offering too… um… take some stuff off of their web page? Really?”

    I did wonder about that too. Interesting for marketing people to ponder why some people would prefer to throw money at a website via a kickstarter rather than via tip jar or buying an ad free subscription or … any of the other ways Penny Arcade could no doubt make money.

  2. @spinks – Penny Arcade has legions of fan, certainly relative to Defense Grid, so I suppose the real surprise is that they didn’t bring in more money. I just found myself looking at the PA Kickstarter and asking myself “Why would I want to give you guys money?”

    I guess I don’t like them enough.

    As for Defense Grid, I ate that up. Finished it. Finished all the DLC. And have worked on achievements just to play it some more. It is just the sort of Tower Defense game I like.

  3. I like Defense Grid and am still slowly playing it when time allows. I didn’t hear about the Kickstarter for DG2 until there were only about 9 days left. But after trying to watch their video, I had zero interest in helping them fund it. i guess they were trying to be funny, but I couldn’t even watch the whole thing it was so annoying. If you want my money just put up a video showing pre-alpha game play, concept art, and features you intend to have. Seriously, I told a few others about it and they had the same reaction to the video as I did. None pledged money either; and I’ll hold off even buying DG2 until it is on 75% sale, unless they promise to never, ever, for the love of whatever god/gods they worship, NEVER make another video anything like that! Really, it was that bad. It was as bad as the amateur commercials local businesses make because they can’t afford to hire professionals. Those types of things drive away more business than they attract quite often.

  4. @Yarr – That reaction seems rather disproportionate, but different things set off different people.

    I did not think it was as bad as some of the Warhammer Online videos.

    Update: Heh, the video I linked was so bad it was taken down and the YouTube account was closed.

    Second update: I just went back and watched the video again and I cannot buy into your “so damn annoying” point of view. Once you get past the endorsements from other game designers (which is about a minute and half) it is pretty much talking about the game, where it came from, and where they want to go with it.

  5. DG2 was advertised as one of the benefits at $15.

    Castle Story has more than doubled DG2. That’s an interesting window on the defense game market.

  6. Well, I was exaggerating a bit, but I didn’t make it past the cheesy people asking for more DG, so there is that. Life is too short to sit through bad videos. :)

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