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It takes a long time, large sums of money, and lots of skilled and dedicated people to produce a video game. The biggest titles released on multiple platforms have budgets of tens of millions of dollars, with developers and publishers investing the cash in the hope of recouping it all (and more) when the game is released.

The problem is many games over the years haven’t turned a profit, and this has made it hard for developers to get the cash injection they need to turn their ideas into a game that the public can play. Thankfully there is an alternative in the form of crowdfunding What Are Your Views on Crowdfunding Through Sites Like Kickstarter? [You Told Us] What Are Your Views on Crowdfunding Through Sites Like Kickstarter? [You Told Us] Crowdfunding is becoming a legitimate tool for inventors, merchants, and creative people to raise money for their wares. We asked for your views on the phenomenon. Crowdfunding seems set to keep on growing, so gaining... Read More , with Kickstarter and the like providing a new way for developers to pitch their wares.

Kickstarter has enabled a good number of games to be developed that otherwise wouldn’t have ever made it off the drawing board. And what follows are just five games from that list; all which look phenomenal, and all of which are due to be released in 2014. Roll on the new year…

Project Eternity

Raised: US$3.9 million
Release date: Mid-2014

Project Eternity is an isometric party-based RPG developed by the well-known and well-respected Obsidian Entertainment. Even if you don’t recognize the name of the developer you’ll recognise some of the games the company is responsible for; Neverwinter Nights 2, Fallout: New Vegas, and Dungeon Siege III to name just three.

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The game is destined to be reminiscent of some truly iconic RPGs of the past, with names such as Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment cited as the inspiration. The setting is a brand new fantasy realm, with the player controlling a highly customizable main character.

Star Citizen

Raised: US$2.1 million
Release date: Late-2014

Star Citizen is a massively ambitious project from Chris Roberts, a game developer of some repute most famous for the Wing Commander series. The game is a space trading and combat simulator with a rather hefty budget attached to it. Thankfully, a very successful crowdfunding effort (on Kickstarter and beyond) ensured the game’s release.

There will actually be two distinct elements to the game: Star Citizen being set in a persistent MMO universe, and Squadron 42 comprising a single-player campaign with co-op multiplayer being an option. This complex project is intended to prove there is a demand for more than just casual and mobile games.

Dreamfall Chapters

Raised: US$1.5 million
Release date: Late-2014

Dreamfall Chapters, or Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey, to give the game its full title, is a sequel to The Longest Journey and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey. As you may have noticed there is a common thread here, which suggests you will have to be invested in the series to get the most out of this game.

Chapters will feature large 3D environments that the player must traverse and explore. Rather than focus on combat or stealth, this title is all about the story and the solving of puzzles. Dreamfall Chapters has a linear storyline that should last the average gamer around 10 hours.

Elite: Dangerous

Raised: US$1.5 million
Release date: Early-2014

Elite: Dangerous is the sequel to pioneering space-trading epic Elite, a game that was a revelation upon release in 1984. The original Elite was made by David Braben and Ian Bell, and Braben has been attempting to get a modern version funded for some time. Crowdfunding via Kickstarter allowed him to finally realize that dream.

The game will continue the traditions of the franchise, being a space-trading simulation with a vast universe to explore. Some elements of the game have been decided by those who pledged their support (and money). Elite: Dangerous is set to be released 30 years after the original made its debut on the BBC Micro.

Broken Age

Raised: US$3.3 million
Release date: Early-2014

Broken Age started out life as Double Fine Adventure, with the game not even having a title at the point it appeared on Kickstarter. Despite this lack of detail more than 87,000 eager gamers pledged their support, mainly because a certain Tim Schafer, responsible for Grim Fandango, The Secret Of Monkey Island, and Psychonauts, was the man asking for the money.

The game has evolved during development into a point-and-click adventure (did you expect anything else?) starring a young boy and a young girl whose stories the player constantly switches between. The boy lives alone on a spacecraft, while the girl is trying to avoid being sacrificed to a monster. It all sounds very Tim Schafer.

Conclusions

Kickstarter and its crowdfunding brethren are a Godsend for both gamers and the developers creating the titles for them to play. The Ouya Learn All About Ouya, The $99 Games Console Learn All About Ouya, The $99 Games Console Read More demonstrated that even a new games console can be funded entirely from the money pledged by the public. Which is, despite the problems the Ouya has been beset by, phenomenal.

Which of these titles, if any, are you excited to play in 2014? Did you pledge money to help any of them get developed in the first place? Do you think Kickstarter is a good way for creators (of all kinds) to turn their ideas into reality? After all, some ideas have turned into highly successful Kickstarter campaigns 5 Of The Most Successful Kickstarter Projects Ever 5 Of The Most Successful Kickstarter Projects Ever Kickstarter has undoubtedly changed the world, enabling regular Joes to fund development and production for creative projects that interest them. while helping the creative types bypass the typical venture capitalists, costly bank loans, or soul-destroying... Read More . Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

  1. Martin
    October 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    The total raised quoted for Elite: Dangerous is wrong. The sum raised was in British pounds and comes to just over 2.5 million US$ (£1,578,166)

    Apart from that, thanks for the heads up.

  2. Dan
    August 31, 2013 at 11:47 pm
    • Dave P
      September 6, 2013 at 12:31 am

      Thanks for the suggestion! Hopefully some readers will take note and grab a copy :)

  3. Nick
    August 29, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Why isn't The Dead Linger on here?

    • Dave P
      August 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Isn't that already out? Also, I'd never heard of it previously, hence its lack of inclusion on the list :)

      • Nick
        August 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm

        Yes technically you can pre-order and play the alpha, but it will be a long time before it gets to being in the release stage. Also these are all good games, can't wait for 2014.

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