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Games and Kickstarter go together very nicely. Not only has the gaming industry been nurturing indie developers for a while now setting a great precedent; but the low entry costs, ease of distribution and array of tools designed to make games creation a doddle means that really anyone can get stuck in if they have a good idea.

And now with crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, those developers can find the funding they need to put all their time and resources into creating those games, and to increase the scale, exposure and ambition of their projects. Here we’ll look at a few of the very best gaming projects currently on Kickstarter, that illustrate just what a fertile environment it is for games development.

Wildman

Wildman is an action RPG with strategy elements, that sees you controlling a caveman through the evolution of mankind and development of early technology. The developers promise a dynamic and interactive landscape to explore, a deep and layered levelling up system and a great story and score.

Ouya

If you have any interest whatsoever in crowdfunding and indie games then you will have heard of the OUYA. Now successfully funded and looking forward to an imminent release, the Ouya is a games console that has been developed specifically to cater to indie gamers. It comes with a cheap price tag and operates on Android via a touch-pad controller, and if the Kickstarter project page is anything to go by it could be hugely successful.

Rusty the Rainbow Whale

Rusty the Rainbow Whale is a typically odd-looking indie game for mobile that sees you control a rusty (?) whale through side scrolling levels where you aim to ‘grow your rainbow’ by munching on treats and evading shark mines. The game video on the project page is light-hearted and suitable odd, while the graphics style is reminiscent of Southpark looking to be made of cut out sheets of paper. Whatever you make of it, it was recently successfully funded suggesting they’re at least doing something right…

The Occulus Rift

Another piece of gaming hardware rather than software, the Occulus Rift is a virtual reality helmet that could well change the way we play games. While attempts have been made to create a VR helmet in the past, this one appears to be much more along the right lines and early reports from the CES showing suggest that it feels almost as though you’re actually ‘there’ (a reporter from IGN describes trying to ‘reach out’ and touch the snow). This is all very exciting, and it’s incredible to think that if it succeeds, it will have been due to the efforts of indie developer rather than someone big like Microsoft (that said, I’m hoping Microsoft will see fit to combine the technology with Kinect to create something truly awesome).

Godus

Godus is potentially a controversial Kickstarter project as it’s not technically ‘indie’ at all having been launched by Peter Molyneux of Black and White and Fable fame. While some are unhappy that a big developer who could have found his own funding should turn to crowdfunding to get games made, and while others point to the overhyped nature of previous games by Molyneux, there’s still no denying that Godus looks like another interesting entry into the genre with stylish graphics and a nuanced looking gameplay that promises to ‘revive’ populous. And while you can be cynical about Molyneux using the service as a marketing strategy, it’s also brought attention to crowdfunding at large – which is no bad thing.

Freedom Planet

While RPGs and strategy games have never really been my thing, I find platform games much easier to get excited about. And that’s particularly true when they describe themselves as a cross between ‘Sonic, Megaman and Gunstar Heroes. You can download the demo from the website already, and at the early stages of development it’s already a lot of fun with charming graphics and characters and a great soundtrack to cap it all off.

Code Hero

Code Hero is a game that’s recently faced some controversy. After reaching its funding goal, the game developers went somewhat quiet and ended up on the receiving end of some nasty mail. It seems to be back on track now though, and if you ignore that last chapter it’s actually a great Kickstarter success story and a very original concept – a game that teaches you to program as you play.

Co-Author: Greg Fisher is the founder of Berkeley Sourcing Group. When he isn’t working, he likes spending time with his family and friends. You can read all about their silicone injection molding projects on their website.

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