As far as I can tell from its Kickstarter pitch video, Anti-Flare.x is a game in which you and your metal leech friend traverse thin, blocky, floating platforms, dodge laser pointers, jump across moving floating platforms, do varial kickflips over previously mentioned thin, blocky, floating platforms, catch rides through translucent worms, and outmaneuver miniature, wheeled scythes.
Shit, I almost just made it sound like it deserved $88,000. But now, it’s time for the truth.
“How Do You Feel When Playing the Game?”
I don’t know – how about you fucking finish it, let me play it, and then ask?
“Playing this game fills you with a feeling of curiosity and intrigue.”
Don’t tell me how I feel, you’re not my real dad!
Oh, sorry, did that get weird? I’m only two quotes in, and already this Kickstarter page is nearing Sententia levels of pretentiousness. It’s fine if you want to evoke an emotion with your game, but if you have to tell your players what that feeling is, then it’s not working. Of course, in this case, the reason they have to do this is that the game isn’t done, and can’t evoke anything. Quasi Meta Studios has put the proverbial cart light years ahead of the horse by telling you how you’re going to feel over a year from now, when they estimate you’ll actually be able to play the full game, while only having a prototype done.
“What’s So Special?”
This is the most poorly phrased question to ever grace Kickstarter. “What’s so special”? About what? Tacos? For me, I think it’s the meat. I could just have ground beef in a hard tortilla shell, and that would be a great taco for me. But we’re here because of your game, so let’s stay on topic. What is so special about Anti-Flare.x?
“Your hero is AI controlled. You manipulate the environment to cooperate with your hero’s movement and abilities.”
That’s special, eh? That’s funny, because I played that game, back when it was called Lucidity. Okay, that’s a lie – I never played Lucidity, because it looked boring.
“What’s the Gameplay Like?”
Well, you probably should have covered this before telling me how to feel about the game, but fine, let’s move on. Apparently, the gameplay is going to be like this:
Well, I don’t know about you, but all my questions about this game have been answered. There is, of course, a bunch of bland text to explain every detail of this nonsense. Then there’s a whole bunch of blabbering about every mechanic and character, but we all know by now that I don’t care – just tell me what you plan on doing with eighty-eight thousand fucking dollars.
“KickStarter funds allow us to work on the project full time!”
Why does everyone think this is an acceptable reason to make a Kickstarter for their video game? If you were going to make a Kickstarter project for a book, would you collect the cash to cover your expenses while you sit on your ass and write it? If you made a Kickstarter project for your band to release an album, would you raise money so you could write the songs full-time? If you were making a Kickstarter project for a clothing line, would the funds pay your salary for the hours you spent designing the clothes?
You’re supposed to be funding a part of the project you could not otherwise afford to do, not collecting your own salary by promising that your hopes and dreams will be a reality.
But I haven’t even covered the most entertaining part yet: the funding progression. This graph would have you believe that this project raised no money at all:
But we know better: it got $340. So how did that happen? Allow these two graphs to explain:
So we know that on day 1, 4 people donated a total of $100 between them. However, one of them came to their senses the next day, and removed their $10 pledge. Then nothing happens for 22 days, and the next day, another person removes their $10 pledge. I can’t even imagine why – it should have been pretty clear at that point that the project was not going to get funded, so they wouldn’t have even had to pay that money. I can only guess that they didn’t want their Kickstarter account to be tarnished with the backing of such drivel. Good move, mystery backer! But two days later, someone pledges $250. 14 days later, someone pledges $10 before crickets sound for the last 9 days of the campaign.
And then, the whimper of a dying Kickstarter:
I love the idea that two people removed $10 pledges that were never going to be paid out anyway. It’s like writing an IOU to a dead person, but immediately burning it, just in case.
To sum up, Quasi Meta Studios will now go without salary, they will not be able to buy the development tools they need, they will not be paying “a professional” to compose the soundtrack, they will not have a server to distribute their builds, and they will not be able to afford to market their game. Seeing as how we don’t know who the fuck these people are, what tools they need to buy, or what professional they plan on hiring for music, I call that justice. So long, faceless, nameless, voiceless mystery wannabe game developers. I hope you didn’t quit your day jobs already.