The Crowdsourced Hardcore Tactical Shooter is another videogame raising funds through Kickstarter, but it's having a little bit of a rough go with it.
The Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter raised over $3.3 million dollars and Wasteland 2 is doing pretty well for itself too, bringing in over $1 million in two days. But in spite of the "everything has changed" predictions inspired by those successes, things aren't going quite so easily for the Crowdsourced Hardcore Tactical Shooter. It's Kickstarter campaign has raised about $47,000 so far, nothing to sneeze at but still far short of the goal, with just 17 days to go.
What's the hangup? Hardcore tactical shooters are a relatively narrow market, for one thing, although retro-styled post-apocalyptic RPGs aren't exactly mainstream either. It also doesn't have a funny Kickstarter pitch video; Christian Allen, the main leading the project, lays out his plan pretty clearly but without the memorable zing of the Double Fine Adventure and Wasteland 2 pitches. And to be blunt about it, the title kind of sucks.
But the biggest stumbling block, unfair though it may be, is probably Allen himself. He's a long-time industry veteran with credits in games like Halo: Reach, the F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn DLC and just about every Tom Clancy shooter in existence, but he's not a "name" like Tim Schafer or Brian Fargo. Schafer and Fargo aren't exactly Mick and Keef to the world at large either but to the more hardcore segment of the gamer audience - which is to say, people who are likely to kick in to this sort of thing - they have a recognition factor that most other indie devs just can't match.
That's not to say that lesser-known developers and studios won't be able to get what they need from Kickstarter, just that they'll have to set their sights lower, which Allen has done, seeking a relative paltry $200,000 for his game.
"Obviously, in this day and age, games cost more than a few hundreds of thousands of dollars to make. Engineers don't work for Cheetos and free beer (although it helps)," he wrote on the CHTS project page. "But it is enough to prove to our investors that the viability of the market, and set up the infrastructure for one of the really cool parts of the project: crowdsourced development."
Like other Kickstarter projects, this one offers numerous pledge tiers, ranging from $15 to $10,000; unlike most others, however, people who donate at the top tier will receive a gun - a real, live gun, specifically a Beretta 92FS 9mm sporting laser-engraved aluminum grips with the game's logo on them, "if allowed by state and federal law." If that's problematic, a customized gas-blowback airsoft 92FS is optionally available. That's not the sort of preorder bonus you see every day.
So if you're anxious to get in on the Kickstarter action but point-and-click adventures and old-school RPGs don't turn your crank, the Crowdsourced Hardcore Tactical Shooter might be just the thing to make you feel like you're doing your bit. Check it out at kickstarter.com.