This Week on Kickstarter: Carmageddon, Drifter, Spate

We take a look at the week's best Kickstarter projects, including a reboot of Carmageddon, the space trading game Drifter, and the gorgeous 2.5D platformer Spate.

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This Week on Kickstarter is a weekly look at some of the most exciting, brilliant, and downright crazy games seeking crowd funding. This week, we get all nostalgic with a reboot of Carmageddon and Rob Swigart's Commodore 64-classic Portal, explore outer space in Drifter, and gawp over the beautiful 2D visuals of Spate.

Carmageddon: Reincarnation

If there's one thing missing from today's driving games, it's mindless, bloody violence. And cows. Cute, innocent, exploding cows. Fortunately, there's a Kickstarter campaign that's looking to bring the gore back into driving.

Stainless Games is looking for $400,000 to fund Carmageddon: Reincarnation, a PC reboot of the original sandbox driving game, complete with true 3D physics, dynamic car damage and repair, an action replay system, free-roaming environments, and of course the ability to mow down pedestrians at will.

There's more to the project than just bringing back the original features though, with Stainless Games promising true rag-doll pedestrians and new physics-based power-ups that let you mess with the limbs of innocent bystanders. Plus, the developer is also promising modern multiplayer modes that build on the LAN-based multiplayer of old--minus the lugging around of PCs to a mate's house and the resulting manly musk.

A $15 pledge will net you a copy of the game from Steam, $25 gets you early access to the beta, while further pledges promise exclusive digital content such as car models, multiple copies, and the chance to be featured in the game as a billboard or pedestrian. If you're flush with cash, then $7,500 dollars buys you a flight to the launch party and what will no doubt be an epic drinking session with the development team in a UK pub.

Drifter

In the good old days of PC gaming, space simulators were all the rage, with classics like Elite, Privateer II, and Descent Freespace giving gamers the chance to explore, trade, and indulge in some dogfighting in outer space. Developer Celsius Game Studios is hoping to bring the genre back to life with Drifter, an open-world sandbox space trading game for iOS, PC, and Mac.

What's unique about Drifter is its procedurally generated galaxy, which will mean that every player has a unique experience while living the life of a merchant, becoming a bounty hunter, or laying siege to the galaxy as a pirate. The game is already said to feature a procedurally generated galaxy 100,000 light years across with more than 10,000 star systems.

Backing up the free-roaming exploration will be a full narrative that tells the tale of different factions that populate the galaxy. A killer soundtrack is also in the works too, composed by Danny Baranowsky, who is known for his work on Super Meat Boy, The Binding of Isaac, Canabalt, and Cave Story 3D.

Backers pledging $15 will net themselves a DRM-free copy of the game for Mac or PC, while $25 gets you access to the beta and a digital download of the soundtrack. A cool $75 gets you the Drifter collector's box set, which will include a printed manual, a foldout galaxy map, an 18x24-inch limited-edition poster, and your name included in the game's random NPC list. $1,000 buys you a star system in the game bearing your name, but sadly no chance for a piss-up.

Spate

When a video game is being developed by an artist whose resume includes Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and the new Spider-Man film, chances are it's going to look very, very pretty. Such is the case with Eric Provan's Spate, a 2.5D platformer being developed for the PC that mixes moody scenes with a steampunk aesthetic for some delightfully dark visuals.

Spate promises to play like classic platformers of old, with games like Mario, Ico, and Limbo cited as influences. It tells the story of a private detective named Bluth who's hired to track down a businessman who has disappeared in a "forbidden zone." Throw in some rain, Unity engine visuals, and a noir-style narration, and you've got yourself the makings of a very interesting platformer.

While Eric Provan already has one additional person working on Spate in the form of programmer Temo Kokiashvili, he's asking for a modest $12,000 to hire additional staff and "scale up the production values" of the game.

If you fancy helping him out, a pledge of $10 buys you a DRM-free copy of the game on PC, while $30 gets you early access to the beta and a digital copy of the game's soundtrack. $300 gets your face made into an in-game statue, but if you crave a little more, for $1,500 the main villain will be made in your likeness and will bear your name, which is pretty much the most awesome thing ever. And you get to have design input into the game, which means you could potentially ensure your villain self wears a top hat and carries a cat named Buttons.

Rob Swigart's Portal Reborn v2.0

Before GladOS was even a twinkle in Gabe Newell's eye, Rob Swigart created the self-proclaimed world's first "computer novel" titled Portal for the Commodore 64. It was a science-fiction tale about an astronaut who returned home after a failed hundred-year voyage, only to find that all the inhabitants of Earth had suddenly disappeared.

Swigart is looking to re-create the original, largely text-based game and turn it into a PC third-person adventure game, based on an expanded version of the original story. It promises to feature scripted 3D in-game and 2D motion comic cutscenes, original music, sound effects, professionally voiced dialogue, and a somewhat vague "360 degrees of freedom."

The project has already attracted a host of video gaming legends, including Dawn of Fantasy artist, 3D modeller, and composer Joel Steindler; Matt Costello (The 7th Guest, The 11th Hour, Doom 3, Rage); Phil Rossi (Crescent, Harvey, Eden); and Stephen Russell and Terri Brosius (Thief, Thief II, Thief: Deadly Shadows, System Shock 2, Freedom Force, Freedom Force vs. The 3rd Reich).

A pledge of $15 scores you a copy of the game, while $30 also gets you a copy of the soundtrack, a novel, an art book, a world map, desktop wallpaper, a comic book, and an anthology book. The real fun comes with pledges of $10,000 dollars or more, where your likeness will be featured in the game during a "dramatic scene," an eight-inch bust of protagonist Homer, and limited-edition replicas of spacecraft featured in the game. And also a drunken evening at the launch party.

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