Game legends turn to Kickstarter to bring back old faves, including Dizzy
Celebrity games developers from the Eighties and Nineties are flooding to Kickstarter to crowd-fund returns for some of their most fondly remembered games and characters.
The latest are the Oliver twins, creators of the Dizzy franchise, a platform adventure series that was massive for Codemasters in the 1980s and early '90s. There has been a smartphone and tablet refresh of the 1991 title starring the eponymous egg - Dizzy: Prince of the YolkFolk - but not a new Dizzy game for 20 years.
Dizzy Returns will be a modern take on the original gameplay, with graphics to suit. It will be available in summer 2013 for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and PC and the twins are looking for £350,000 to make it happen.
"We want to create the biggest and best Dizzy game ever, and deliver the best possible gaming experience for players. That vision does come at a cost though. We have an enormous amount of experience of making games so we're being realistic about the budget that we need to really do these ideas justice," they say, to justify the large budget.
"If we don't hit our target then it'll be disappointing certainly, but we feel it's much better to make sure that we're asking for the right amount of funding - this isn't just about creating a successful Kickstarter campaign, it's about creating a successful game. There'd be no point asking for half the money if we didn't think that that would be enough to deliver the experience that the fans, and we, are after."
Another gaming legend to take to Kickstarter of late is Peter Molyneux, he of Bullfrog (Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper) and Lionhead/Microsoft Studios (Black & White, Fable) fame. His new company, 22Cans, is behind the app phenomenon that is Curiosity - what's inside the cube? And now he's launched a campaign on Kickstarter to fund the next project, Godus.
Described as an innovative reinvention of Populous, one of Molyneux's original 1990s titles, Godus is a god game for PC and mobile devices. It promises to draw "on the cunning battle psychology of Dungeon Keeper, the living, changing world of Black & White and the instinctive, satisfying gameplay of Populous". It's so far been funded already to the tune of £96,467, almost a quarter of its £450,000 budget.
Preceding both of these in running a Kickstarter campaign is industry veteran David Braben, with his development company Frontier. Although Frontier has a successful recent history with titles such as Kinect Disneyland Adventures, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 and the newly released iOS hit Coaster Crazy, Braben wants to revisit Elite,the game that elevated him into games software stardom in the early Eighties.
He hopes to release Elite: Dangerous in March 2014 and it will be a completely modern take on the space trading genre that he helped create in the first place.
"Elite: Dangerous is the game I have wanted Frontier to make for a very long time," he explains, pointing at the re-imagined game's online multiplayer ambitions as the major new feature. "The next game in the Elite series - an amazing space epic with stunning visuals, incredible gameplay and breathtaking scope - but this time you can play with your friends too."
Of the three, Elite: Dangerous has by far the largest budget, a staggering £1.25 million. However, it has already had pledges to the tune of £549,344 to date, with 42 days left to go, so there's plenty of interest out there.
You can check the progress on these games and many other original titles are doing on Kickstarter.com. Maybe you'll even want to pledge a bit of cash yourself.
Are there any games you'd like to see re-imagined for today's devices? Let us know in the comments below...