What was the Most Notable Kickstarter of the Year?

With fan enthusiasm still on the rise, these Dragon Slayer Award nominees are neck-deep in the development of their respective projects. Which one of them will win the crown for most Notable Kickstarter of the Year?

GameSkinny's sister site Guild Launch is a Player community and guild hosting platform designed by gamers for gamers. Guild Launch also hosts the Dragon Slayer Awards, the only awards show that is decided by the gaming community for gaming community. These awards are voted on by you, the gaming public, not the usual round of industry experts or corporate sponsorships.

Voting is open until September 2, since Guild Launch also sponsors the MMO track at DragonCon, they'll be allowing attendees to vote from the convention floor.

Most Notable Kickstarter

Among the nine Dragon Slayer categories, you have the most Notable Kickstarter of the Year. Ever since the 'Ouya explosion', crowdfunding has become almost the choice one of game developers looking to cash in on their creativity. While it has spawned a new era of internet panhandling for projects that simply will never fly and online scams as obvious as a chain letter, Kickstarter has also helped to broaden the gaming landscape in the same way that platforms such as Steam Greenlight have begun branching out into. 

There are plenty of success stories since Kickstarter came into its own, but only a few have managed to meet those goals. Fewer still have managed to exceed them, and hold onto the burgeoning fan support that pushed them above the Kickstarter limits and beyond. 

The Nominees

Camelot Unchained

Set in a post-apocalyptic Earth, Camelot Unchained  liberally mixes fantasy and horror elements into a nightmarish realization of the world we know that is more Giger and Lovecraft than Tolkien. Completely at odds to the usual run of MMO flavor, CU promises the purest form of Realm versus Realm focused gameplay you will ever see.

Not for this game, the empty promises of Guild Wars 2 where the much-hyped World versus World feels almost unfinished in its realization compared to all the rest. Epic RvR battles for CU are the be all and the end all. With the creation of the internal Unchained Engine, players will be able to fight those epic battles promised in so many other games within a dynamic world without slideshows or limitations.

When the funding period for CU's Kickstarter closed on May 2, $2,232,933 had been raised by 14,873 backers, some chipping in as high as $10,000 each. 


Massive Chalice

In Massive Chalice, your immortal King or Queen can pass one their abilities and powers to the next generation as you fight to repel a demonic invasion of your homeland. 

The project lead is Brad Muir, who was a designer on Jack Black's awesome rock epic Brutal Legend, and creator of Iron Brigade, Double Fine's tower defense shooter. This time, he and the Double Fine crew have created a replayable, turn-based strategy game in a fantasy setting but add a hereditary concept.

Do you choose to retire a hero so they can begin siring the next generation or fight to death and leave behind a relic for your descendants to add to their own powers?

The original goal for the MC Kickstarter was $725,000 but they blew past that and received $1.2 million in pledges. Curiously, there were no stretch goals; Double Fine was simply asking for what they felt they needed to make Massive Chalice a reality.

Shroud of the Avatar

Immersing the player in a lush world filled with regular MMORPG features, Shroud of the Avatar: Forsake Virtues by Portalarium also features a classless system where the player is free to build their persona the way they feel, not based on career or race restrictions. 

Richard Garriot a.k.a. Lord British the creator of the highly successful and ground-brekaing Ultima game series in the early 80s heads the project combined with a team whose members have worked in such titles as the Wing Commander series, City of Heroes, The Sims, Guitar Hero, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Wizard 101, and even Guild Wars

Portalarium's Kickstarter met its initial $1 million goal... and then nearly doubled it. Over 22,000 backers signed up with a majority pledging as high as $80. 

Dreamfall Chapters

Funcom's The Longest Journey and its sequel Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, released in 1991 and 2006 respectively, are hallmarks for the success of powerful storytelling in video games. Now, independent studio Red Thread Games, founded by original series creator Ragnar Tørnquist (who also created The Secret World and Anarchy Online universes), is picking up where Funcom left off, seeking out the rest of Zoë Castillo's story.

A 3-D adventure game for Mac, Linux, and PC, Dreamfall Chapters is the conclusion of a story that has taken nearly two decades in the telling. Sci-fi Stark and magical Arcadia are brought back to life in vibrant, deeply detailed teaser trailers, sketching out the balance between the parallel worlds, and the people that can pass between them, and Zoë, the girl who can Dream her way in both at the same time.

At the close of the funding period on March 10, the Kickstarter project had made $1,538,425 from 21,858 backers reaching nearly all the available stretch goals, expanding the world, the scope of game distribution, and the languages available. 

Pathfinder Online

Pathfinder Online is a fantasy sandbox MMO developed by Goblinworks based on the Pathfinder tabletop game and uses a unique process called "crowdforging" to determine what features are implemented in the game and in what order.

The game is an escape from the usual fantasy MMO tropes with a skill training system equivalent to EVE Online where skill training requires a time lapse that farming mobs or spamming abilities will not help you acquire any faster. It combines a player-built world, a customizable classless system, and a superstar development team including Ed Greenwood the creator of Forgotten Realms, Paizo Publishing the original publisher of Pathfinder, and Frank Mentzer who designed some of the most memorable adventures in Dungeons & Dragons.

By the closing date on January 14, the PO Kickstarter project had made $1,091,194 of its $1 million goal with 8,732 backers, several who contributed $5,000 and up.


Hex: Shards of Fate is a bold new idea; the first combination of digital trading card game and MMO, which means that you will undertake quests, and join social groups and guilds while gathering your cards and building your decks.

Like an MMO, the player can travel a large world as they gather their decks to locate new challenges and find unique items as well as new threats. It will include PvE and AI opponents as well as PvP deck battles.

Within thirty days, Hex raised over $2 million from its original $300,000 goal with nearly 18,000 backers. Some 4,000 of those backers pledged between $125 and $500.

Shadowrun Returns

With roots as a tabletop roleplaying game from FASA, Shadowrun was a combination of classic fantasy roleplaying in a world of magic and cyberpunk tech mixed with gritty action and epic storylines. 

It enjoyed a twelve-year run before FASA closed their doors in 2001. In 1993, Beam Software created the first Shadowrun game as an action RPG for the Super Nintendo. It received numerous awards and critical praise for its combination of tabletop style RPG, epic story and action combat. There were three other Shadowrun games during the franchise run.

Now, the team at Harebrained Schemes has resurrectedShadowrun. Led by former FASA developer and the creator of the original Shadowrun RPG, Jordan Weisman, their Kickstarter set a goal to develop a next-gen version for Windows, Linux and as an iOS mobile app.

The Kickstarter project had an initial goal of $400,000. Within thirty days, they not only reached their goal, but 36,276 backers pledged more than four times the initial amount.


Time to Weigh In!

With fan enthusiasm still on the rise, and with more than the original goal in their pockets to play with, these teams are neck-deep in the development of their respective projects.

Which one of them will win the crown for most Notable Kickstarter of the Year?

Click here to vote for them now!

Published Aug. 5th 2013
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