Former CoD dev's 2D platformer fails on Kickstarter

Robert Bowling's campaign for The Adventures of Dash raises just $33,000 of $400,000 target; soundtrack released as free download.

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What would a 2D platformer created by a former Call of Duty developer look like? The world won't find out anytime soon, as Robert Bowling's Kickstarter campaign for The Adventures of Dash has ended, coming up well short of its target.

Funding for The Adventures of Dash closed this week (via Eurogamer), with $33,121 raised of its $400,000 goal. A total of 496 people backed the project.

In an update to to the game's Kickstarter page, Bowling's Robotoki studio explained that it remains passionate about the project and is currently exploring opportunities to release the game.

"We know we're not alone now in wanting to see this game come to life, and while we're not entirely sure how we're going to make that happen right now, we are going to do everything we can to keep the game alive," the company wrote.

If The Adventures of Dash does one day see release, it won't be soon. Robotoki explained that the game is being put "on the back burner" for now, while the developer focuses on its main project, Human Element.

As a thank-you to supporters, Robotoki released the soundtrack for The Adventures of Dash as a free download. It includes the game's main theme, as well as the scores for three of its levels.

The Adventures of Dash was planned as a side-scrolling adventure game focusing on a narcoleptic boy named Dash. Unable to control when he falls asleep, the game was to have Dash slipping into slumber and exploring a new dream--with a different art style--every time he fell asleep.

Bowling served as creative strategist at Infinity Ward from 2006 through 2012 where he worked on high-profile Call of Duty games like Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2, and Modern Warfare 3.

Discussion

98 comments
Nightrain50
Nightrain50

Game sounds terrible but even if it was good I don't recall reading an article about this kickstarter as I have with the other bigger names. Guess they get the free advertising which is needed if you want to succeed, but when the guy fails, you're quick to write an article, shameless. I hope the people get their money back and not just a soundtrack cause that is outright fraud.

MaskRisen
MaskRisen

game doesn't look like he needs 400k to produce. 

CoUGHB
CoUGHB

The game sounds pretty interesting and I like the name Dash. 

edpeterson
edpeterson

The funny thing is that this game seemed so much more creative than the COD games lol

Saketume
Saketume

Checked the video and read the comments section on kickstarter. Found this:

"also adding DLC for higher backers half way through the kickstarter campaign was a bad idea"

Indeed there it is in the reward section at $45 "Free downloads of all future DLC and Expansions".

So $400000 and pre planned DLC for a simplistic 2D platformer that any sane person would have asked $4000 or so for. It's a wonder he got any backers at all.

I'm sure he could finish this game without any donors if he hasn't already.

This whole thing stinks of greed.

InnerSenses
InnerSenses

For a fairly good idea of how a modern 2D platformer should be done, play Rayman Origins.

wgerardi
wgerardi

I love that the creators of the most popular game ever don't have real fans. A testament to the type of empty losers who play CoD.

franzito
franzito

Talk about delusional...

CWZaft
CWZaft

400k for a 2D indie platformer? These people need a reality check.

minus88
minus88

He should have never said he worked on COD. I certainly don't want to generalize the people supporting games on kickstarter but I really don't think the people donating to classic style platformers are the same 12 - 15 year old kids playing COD.

ziproy
ziproy

It failed because it was an unoriginal idea from a developer synonymous with no originality. Working for CoD does have consequences

foxrock66
foxrock66

400k for a 2D platformer is a lot to ask

TheDarkSpot
TheDarkSpot

It probably failed because it's another fucking 2D platformer and not because "COD" was mentioned.

Sakuban
Sakuban

There are far more superior indie titles in the market.

And as for the "Dash" it looks mediocre. Even under the mediocre. Not to mention they need 400.000$ for that crap. Seriously?

Also this project is the proof what kind of mediocre talent is developed CoD!

cheetah_TM
cheetah_TM

That game looks pretty awesome. I'm surprised it failed.

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

Yeah actually if you make a solid game its okay if the art style is not unique or that the graphics are not that great. Why cant we see retro games with HD 2d graphics like rpg games like chrono trigger or final fantasy? 2D games can look better and be much larger then any snes game was.

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

Yeah this game actually looks like it could be good just never knew about it. Its a lot more creative then most of the other garbage they make now

keviac
keviac

I see some of these games as scams to give themselves a job for the time being. And others as works of art that are made by people who ask for sensible amounts because they want to have the opportunity to finish there creation.

bksonic123
bksonic123

This unsuccessful Kickstarter is a prime example of everything that is wrong with the current state of the industry. It looks incredibly charming! I wish I knew about it before.

advancedcaveman
advancedcaveman

Why is every other independent game is one of these multiple art styles things? All it means is that you have a handful of screen filters the game switches between for no real reason. It has no baring on anything.

And why is every indie platformer a "retro inspired" puzzle thing that's made to look like an 8 or 16 bit game, but actually plays like a shitty flash game? They're always hyper simplistic games with extremely limited/generic mechanics and repetitive bland level design. Half the time these games boil down to a bunch of crate pushing puzzles! Have any of these people actually ever played a really good old 2d platformer? 

If Robert Bowling's idea for a gameplay mechanic consists of "sometimes the game has a crappy notebook scribble screen filter and sometimes it has a crappy new grounds flash animation filter for no particularly good reason" then I guess that explains a lot about call of duty.

WingChopMasta
WingChopMasta

You have to remember Robert needs his award winning salary. $40,000 for the game is probably spot on but you are going to need to pay Rob's $360,000 salary on top of that.

In all seriousness though a huge chunk of that price goes to graphic artists. Did you see that Kickstarter for that 2D fighting game?? They asked for $160,000 for one character design but they broke it down as to why it costs so much and it made total sense. The graphic design alone was like half the cost.

This game has a bunch of different art styles from a bunch of different artists.

The game didn't look all that great and I think people are starting to get burnt out with these 'retro' side scroller games now.

blackothh
blackothh

modern warfare games suck, and 400,000 for a platform game is way out of the ballpark. 40.000 should be more reasonable and usually successful.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

I'm sorry, but 400k for a fucking platformer is ridiculous. Indie platformers are usually something that a dev makes in their spare time and THEN sells, not gets money for first.

MGBarotto
MGBarotto

Of course $400.000 looks like spare change when you work at the biggest cash machine in the history of gaming (Disclaimer: this may not be and probably isn't true, I don't care), but when you have indie developers pulling masterpieces off their arses with nothing but $5.000 worth of coffee, you can't just pretend to get $400.000 for funding a "meh, looks good" game...

PheasantSupreme
PheasantSupreme

Honestly, the game just seems "meh". I mean FTL asked for only 10.000 dollars if i recall corectly and it is 2D, but a very good one. And they ask 400.000? Way too much IMO.

DefinitivePlus
DefinitivePlus

@MaskRisen 

Take it from me, someone going into this industry, 400k isn't a big budget for a full studio developed game. 

kohle36
kohle36

@bksonic123 So, what you're saying is that everything that is wrong with the industry is that gamers spend more time complaining on gaming sites about what they don't want, than searching for and funding stuff they do on Kickstarter? Which, by you own admission, makes you part of that same problem, no?

MGBarotto
MGBarotto

I mean don't get me wrong, I love that they're trying to do something different and the concept looks nice, but again, with indie developers funding their games on sweat blood and caffeine, it's hard to imagine a half a million dollars 2D "indie-style" game...

Valacan
Valacan

@PheasantSupreme 

I agree. None of the various art styles really looked all that good. Nowhere near $400 000 good. They should have just stuck with one art style that looked good and asked for much less.

ss4gogeta0
ss4gogeta0

@DefinitivePlus @MaskRisen meh, Most of my games that I have done use less than $15 to dev... although I mostly do it by myself with little to no outside help...

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@Darmage @wilhelmalexis Cod is nice, but I want them to branch out into other fish.  I'm waiting to play Tilapia of Duty or Salmon of Duty or even Albacore of Duty.

You know, one of those other responsible fish.

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

Good point.  The debit never occurs so the credit never occurs either.

It's just an on-paper transaction until the total is hit.

I jumped ahead of myself.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

@Poodlejumper No, they don't. They can't get a refund for money that is never actually taken to begin with.

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

Yes, they do refund.  If the project doesn't make the initail amount the money is never charged.

If the project makes the initial amount the money is charged but the project doesn't get completed due to one issue or another THEN the money is gone daddy gone.

It's why you give money only to those projects that are funded by reputable individuals (Shaefer, Fargo, Roberts) or sparingly small amounts to people with a little experience, a genuinely good idea, a good presentation,  and some initial traction/groundwork completed to show they're serious.  (Blackhawk Interactive, Double Bear, Masstive Black etc...)