D20: The best-looking RPGs on Kickstarter right now


By on April 8, 2013 at 11:57 am

April is turning out to be quite the slow month for retail releases, RPG and otherwise. It’s not a total dead zone as it has often been in the past, with a few AAA titles being released during the month as well as a few smaller games. The lack of boxed copies isn’t really going to effect how much of an impact gaming has on my wallet, however, as once again a number of interesting projects have made their way to Kickstarter, all but demanding that I give them all of my available cash in anticipation of a finished product somewhere down the line when I will inevitably not have enough time to fully enjoy them.

Unlike the last number of projects I backed, such as Torment: Tides of Numenera or Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, the new batch of interesting games aren’t asking for huge amounts of money and aren’t set to break any records for the most funded game on Kickstarter. This doesn’t stop them from being every bit as interesting.


The idea behind Consortium fascinates me. It’s a locked box first-person RPG with NPCs that is fully reactive to the player’s actions and dialogue choices. Nothing too out of the ordinary for an ambitious modern RPG, aside from the limited world. What makes the game so interesting to me and forced my funding hand into action is the fact that Consortium is designed to break the fourth wall. Instead of taking the role of a character, players instead physically control a character in a parallel world, Consortium Agent Bishop Six.

The idea is that players play themselves controlling a person in another world, bringing their own knowledge, experience and personality to bear as you interact with the crew of the Consortium Command Vessel C-3800-D “Zenlil”. Making the project even more interesting is the fact that the developers say you can complete the game without firing a single shot if you play your cards right and learn what you can about the NPCs before talking to them.

Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/idgi/consortium-0

Planet Explorers

Planet Explorers isn’t the most innovative or awe-inspiring of names, but the game it’s attached to is shaping up to be massively ambitious and potentially amazing. Bizarrely enough it basically seems to be an amalgam of Monster Hunter and Minecraft, with a little bit of Skyrim, Meccano and tower defence thrown in for good measure.

Players will take the role of one of the first settlers on the planet “Maria” in the Epsilon Indi star system. During the landing sequence, the colony ship crashes, stranding the survivors on a potentially hostile world teeming with potentially deadly plant and animal life. Players are charged with helping to explore this new world, defend the survivors from the hostile native fauna, build habitation, vehicles and weapons, all the while discovering the truth about the planet and why you crashed.

Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1757963851/planet-explorers

Divinity: Original Sin

I’ve already banged on about Divinity: Original Sin in a previous column so I won’t bang on too much here. Here’s all you need to know in a nutshell – Divinity: Original Sins is the latest in the Divinity series, which includes Divine Divinity and Divinity II: Dragon Knight Saga and goes back to the series roots with an isometric viewpoint and turn based combat. Nearly everything in the world that looks like it should be interactive is actually interactive. Elemental effects react to other elements naturally – lightning will conduct through water, fire melts ice, ice freezes water and all that jazz, making for interesting combat synergy.

It features a massive single player campaign and supports drop in-drop out multiplayer and will ship with the editor used to design the game, allowing for extensive modding and user generated content.

Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/larianstudios/divinity-original-sin


OK, so I lied – this last one isn’t an RPG but it could definitely be a lifesaver. Reload is a save game manager that synchs saves between multiple PCs, backs up saved games, backs up checkpoint saves so you can go back in a game that normally doesn’t allow you to and generally saves you from the frustration of a corrupted save, HDD crash, poor Steam or Origin synching and the like. I’ve lost enough saves, some with hundreds of hours of gameplay in them, to never want to have to face that frustration again.

Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kratossoftware/reload-the-game-save-savior

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12 comments (Leave your own)

I’d really like to see some results from Kickstarters before pledging more money. All up there is a shitload of money tied up in promises and good faith, surely it won’t all pay off.


Sweet, already have all those games backed… and… Holy shit that Reload one let’s me save my game (among other things) wherever the hell I want to, regardless if the game has been consolized down into a checkpoint only system anyway? Is that even possible?
/Throws Money at Screen



Some of my experiences so far:

I’ve backed 28 projects since Double Fine’s went up in February last year
4 failed to reach funding goals so were cancelled before money changed hands
4 are complete and delivered as expected (tho only two have been bang on time)
1 (Clang!) is expected to drop this month
3 more have partially delivered on tier goodies prior to final completion

The remainder, while not all by known people, have been good with updates so I expect most will ship if not necessarily on time. (most are due by the end of this year)

One KS in particular, the Cerebus one: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/189735833/cerebus-high-society-special-audio-visual-digital has gone above and beyond to ensure the backers received absolutely everything they pledged for. They under-costed the freight and have been covering that out of their own pockets – the freight alone on mine was double what they asked for international freight.


That Reload looks really good. Popped some coin down.


Sees awesome concept art of plane in story

Clicks on link

Sees video a FPS with low poly textureless characters and levels



Sweet, already have all those games backed… and… Holy shit that Reload one let’s me save my game (among other things) wherever the hell I want to, regardless if the game has been consolized down into a checkpoint only system anyway? Is that even possible?
/Throws Money at Screen

It does look good.

I use Dropbox to synch some stuff like this, it’d be great to have a little app that focuses on doing this for game saves.


Ok so it’s been clarified in the comments section that it isn’t literally a “save anywhere you like” thing as I initially interpreted it from the main page bullet points.
“Save iteratively, whether the game allows it or not.”

Still, the ability to reload a previous timestamped autosaved state in something like Bioshock Infinite for example or any other “CHECKPOINT ONLY LOL” game is pretty handy. Will back this one.



That is quite interesting! I’ve pledged a little – not that much – but it is good to see some actual feedback from someone who’s pledged that much to the industry.

I’m pretty sure GoN is overdue for a rigorous, no-holds-barred, gloves-off analysis of the state of the KS industry. Perhaps taking submissions now why not?


Wow, did anyone else try the open alpha for that planet explorers game? I just spent that last couple of hours playing it. Even despite the bugs it is already really fun and better than some AAA games. That game has the potential to be absolutely incredible.

Consortium looks very interesting, though I did not expect the graphics to be so much less than the image of the aerial battle suggested. Glad it’s almost funded though, like I said before, the game seems to be very interesting.

Divinity: Original Sin looks good too, though that is to be expected from an established studio. Hope they make it to 800,000, because those stretch goals sound good.

Reload seems useful but I doubt it will reach it’s goal in time.


Cool RPGs!


The theme of this game is like the one we play at http://www.igamesforgirls.com/animal, this is one reason why I like the game.


oh forgot about this post – i should update my stats – so far Clang! is the only one that’s been a bust (despite my optimism that it was about to be released in my last comment) for me. I think I’ve backed like 3 more projects and 4 more have completed since.

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