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  1. If you love fighting games then you're likely aware of the Japanese indie title Yatagarasu. Those who aren't familiar with the fighter might want to check out our review. In any case, the game was a success with a niche of fans and apparently that fanbase has grown tremendously. Indie publisher Nyu Media helped run a Kickstarter campaign for Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm this past month on Inidegogo. The intent was to perfect Yatagarasu with more features, new characters, and better online and localization. They were asking $68,000. Three days before the campaign ends they have succeeded! Although the community for it may not be as large as, say, Skullgirls but they have still done quite well. Now the team is working toward stretch goals such as GGPO online support and additional characters.
  2. What are your favorite sites to visit to check out gaming news? Likely choices include Joystiq, Polygon, Siliconera, and a host of others. Although these sites all serve their purpose well it's safe to say that most do not offer many very interesting editorials. This is not their fault, as they require a great deal of "samey" news content posted daily to simply survive. Now, here's another question for you: Would you pay money to see a gaming site focused purely on editorial content that is outside the realm of what we're used to seeing? This is a question currently being tested by the re/Action Zine 2013 IndieGogo fundraiser which is seeking a $41,000 goal. Their mission statement is as follows: "re/Action evolved out of the need for change. Critical, experimental writing suffers in a media landscape based on traditional publishing models, and diverse readerships only find hostile environments without proper inclusivity policies. This publication aims to celebrate the amazing writing often turned away from the mainstream sites and left unpaid. We want to capture the conversations that need to happen and create a safe space for all to participate." It is certainly the case that minority writing is often shoved out of the limelight due to the commercial needs of sites (wherein "minority issues" are considered incompatible with financial stability). On the other hand, when such material is published on Kotaku, Destructoid, or elsewhere, it receives a great deal of backlash. Although some may not be ready to pay for a truly 'safe' online environment, it's likely many would enjoy one if such a place existed. Those who do find the cause of supporting critical game writing within a safe space worth investing in can simply head over to the IndieGogo page and make a contribution. The site is maintained by Mattie Brice, Andrea Shubert, and Stephen Wilson. Brice in particular has circulated herself around to many convention panels to speak on issues important to the industry that are otherwise rarely discussed. Curious readers can check out the re/Action website which already features a host of editorials.
  3. Ta-da! Lab Zero Games has announced the results for the third DLC character for Skullgirls on their Indiegogo page (which was decided by votes from fans). Who is it? It's the sexy Egyptian lady, Eliza! Squigly, the first DLC character, will be available sometime this July along with the PC version of Skullgirls. You'll most likely see the other DLC characters about 3-4 months apart from there. PC players will also be able to beta test the new characters as they're added to the game. There's still one more DLC character left to be decided through fan votes. Who do you think it will be?
  4. Talk about a successful crowdfunding project. Shortly after it launched, we analyzed what made the Skullgirls campaign so successful but even then couldn't have anticipated the degree of funding achieved. As Lab Zero Games' IndieGogo campaign ends, they have raised $829,829 of the $150,000 goal. The last news we had on the game was when the second DLC character, Big Band, was unlocked. This was considered significant since he is the first male playable character in the entire Skullgirls game. Since then, all the other big stretch goals have been reached. These include a bunch of new voice packs, but more importantly, even more DLC characters. These characters are Squigly, Big Band, Robo-Fortune and two mystery characters. Contributors will choose which character out of the many possible choices are going to make the roster. Overall, it has been a rousing success on a crowdfunding platform that had otherwise not seen many big surprises. Perhaps now we'll see more people flock to IndieGogo.
  5. We“re all familiar with how crowdsourcing projects work by now. An idea is put up with the amount of funding needed, and people can back it with however much money they wish to donate. Oftentimes, there are some pretty cool perks and prizes depending on how much you put towards the project. While many crowdsourcing projects on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other sites have been incredibly successful, it seems like some still need a bit of advice and example of what a really good crowdsourcing project looks like. A perfect model of this would be the ongoing Skullgirls Indiegogo project. The campaign, dubbed “Keep Skullgirls Growingâ€, is exactly what it sounds like. It“s an effort to have more content created and added to the almost 1-year-old fighting game; to keep players continually interested in the game and have new ones join in. By using a crowdsourcing site to fund their future downloadable content, Lab Zero Games claims that Skullgirls is “truly the only fighting game made by fighting game fans for fighting game fans.†Another great incentive to having this project done through crowdsourcing is that all the DLC will be available free for all platforms for a limited time. This basic idea behind the “Keep Skullgirls Growing†project isn“t all that makes it great, though. How things are formatted and explained on Indiegogo for the project; that“s the other half of this impeccable example of a crowdsourcing campaign. First off is why Lab Zero Games needs the amount of money that they“re requesting and a look behind the development process of this DLC. The initial goal for the “Keep Skullgirls Growing†project was $150,000. This was just for the cost of Squigly (a DLC character) alone. They also make it clear that this sum is actually cheap for a fighting game character, and that the reason for that is that she“s already been partially completed. So why do they need your help? Well, Lab Zero Games tells us that as well. Hit with layoffs and having their financial support cut off, continued support for Skullgirls was pretty much prevented. Even with a patch and PC version on the way, there“s just not enough pay to go around or money to go towards future DLC. Lab Zero Games tells you exactly how things have been in regards to Skullgirls and how everything will work out in the future in regards to this project. So what about the overflow amount of money that the “Keep Skullgirls Growing†project should get (and already certainly has)? Crowdsourcing projects often have stretch goals if they anticipate that it might shoot past the initial amount. This one is no exception, and Lab Zero Games make it extremely clear what they will do with the overflow amount should there be any. The amounts for each goal are as follows: $175,000 for a Squigly stage and story mode, $375,000 for another DLC character called Big Band, $400,000 for a Big Band stage and story mode, $600,000 for a mystery DLC character chosen by fan vote, and $625,000 for the mystery character“s stage and story. There are also bonus voice packs throughout and in-between these amounts for already existing Skullgirls characters. We are let in on who Squigly and Big Band are, and how Squigly will play. And even though Big Band is brand new and has only just started to be worked on (unlike Squigly), Lab Zero Games is already sharing his backstory and promises progress on his play-style soon. Now that“s some dedication to keep their funders informed! Another fantastic aspect of the “Keep Skullgirls Growing†project is that Lab Zero Games lets you know exactly how the money will be broken down. $48,000 for staff salaries, $30,000 for animation and clean-up contracting, $4,000 for voice recording, $2,000 for hit-box contracting, $5,000 for audio implementation contracting, $20,000 for QA testing, $10,000 for 1st party certification, $10,500 for Indiegogo and payment processing fees, and $20,500 for manufacturing and shipping physical rewards. They also mention extra money would be put towards game elements such as extra taunts or win/lose animations should any of those aforementioned fees be cheaper than expected. Rewards are probably the part of crowdsourcing projects that everyone looks forward to most. The “Keep Skullgirls Growing†campaign doesn“t slack in this aspect; the prizes are actually pretty nice and inventive. Posters, t-shirts, custom drawings, Skype with the team, and voice actress voicemails are just a few prizes of what is offered. While most of the early rewards are digital (which isn“t a bad thing), most fans contributing will feel like they“re getting their money“s worth with these rewards on top of having this fabulous DLC completed. Lastly, this crowdsourcing project is one done by an already established developer. Lab Zero Games has already released Skullgirls; the Indiegogo project is for DLC for the game. Backers can be rest assured and confident that the team will be able to complete the “Keep Skullgirls Going†project! It“s not a surprise that the $150,000 for Squigly was funded in less than 24 hours into the campaign. Lab Zero Games did a phenomenal job laying out everything for the “Keep Skullgirls Going†project: why they need the money, the development process, stretch goals, budget breakdown, and rewards. Lab Zero Games is also confident and approachable. The effort is a fine example of how a crowdsourcing project should be, and others should take note for future projects. If you haven't played played Skullgirls yet, be sure to check out our official review. Thanks for reading!
  6. Leah

    Skullgirls Indiegogo Rewards

    From the album: Leah's Editorial Images

    © Lab Zero Games

  7. Leah

    Skullgirls Indiegogo Stretch Goals

    From the album: Leah's Editorial Images

    © Lab Zero Games

  8. From the album: Leah's Editorial Images

    © Lab Zero Games

  9. Skullgirls is a fighting game with a neat visual flair that came out just last year. Although it doesn't have the massive audience of some other games, there is still a strong fan following. Just yesterday, developer Lab Zero Games set up an IndieGoGo (a Kickstarter-like site) campaign to try and fund a new character. They were asking a fairly substantial $150,000 and set their timer for 30 days. It only took one day for the goal to be met. As of right now, it is creeping toward $200,000. New goals have since been set and that means funding will probably continue to trickle in until the campaign concludes. So what was that $150K for? The new fighter Squigly who also happens to be the first DLC character for Skullgirls. The Keep Skullgirls Growing fundraiser is in fact the most successful game-related item to hit IndieGoGo so far. Squigly will be free DLC once she is ready for PSN, XBLA, and PC. Her own stage and story mode will also be included. If funding can reach $375,000 then Big Band, the game's first male character, is set to become DLC as well. Further stretch goals add in other mystery characters. Do you still play Skullgirls?