Tony Hawk: Ride developers Robomodo are kicking off a Kickstarter this week to help fund an Xbox Live Kinect game, a first they believe.
While crowd-sourcing funding for indie, PC and mobile phone games has become very popular on Kickstarter, it's unusual to see experienced developers looking for help to fund a game bound for a console. Robomodo president Josh Tsui is likening the effort to an NPR or PBS fundraiser, only for a game.
"We had a small game concept called Bodoink for the Xbox Kinect that was a side project," he writes. "Due to various commitments we shelved it until we can find some extra time. This past summer we hired an enthusiastic team of junior designers who brought an amazing amount of great energy to the studio. In seeing their exuberant nature, I felt that these guys would be great to break off and work on Bodoink."
"Think Plinko meets Pinball… and you're the pinball," he writes.
Your avatar falls into the world as the ball, players then tries to pop bubbles while gaming points and collecting power-ups.
The goal is to raise $US35,000 and as with most Kickstarters, donating has its rewards which include stickers, t-shirts, in-game credit, signed copies of past games created by Robomodo and even having Tsui cook you a steak dinner in the studio (though you need to get yourself to Chicago.)
He said the studio decided to go through Kickstarter to raise money for this side project for three reasons:
"Though various games have been funded, a console game has never been attempted," he writes. "If we succeed, it would show other developers that there are many ways to get a console game funded besides the obvious avenues.
"We also felt that Chicago's tech sector was booming with life and we felt that this was something that would catch local's attention. Most of all, this seemed like a 'fun' way to get a project off and running. Why can't the funding of a game be as fun as the game itself?"
I asked Tsui if he was worried that people might be hesitant to fund Robomodo's next game when the last two most notable ones they made were the poorly received Tony Hawk: Ride and Tony Hawk: Shred.
"To be honest, it's such a different game and we're always moving forward on things," Tsui replied via instant message. "We've been doing a lot of different types of games lately. We're making a game that hits upon different markets."
The game is being developed internally by a team of junior designers hired by the studio over the summer. They've been working on the game under the Robomodo's new kid's label "Robomite."
"With the combination of the rookies and the guidance of the senior staff, the game gained an incredible amount of ground," he said. "We saw that we could easily fund the first 80 per cent of the game, which is considered a 'first playable' prototype. At that point it's a playable game with minimal art, a completed game design document, and concept art. In cooking terms, we made a cake. What needed to be done was to get the last 20 per cent which MAKES the cake, i.e. the layers of flavour, decorations and overall presentation."
The money raised will cover that 20 per cent, he said.