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Press Start: Double Fine kickstarter lacks cash, Japan to get Xbox One in 2014, and more
[July 04, 2013]

Press Start: Double Fine kickstarter lacks cash, Japan to get Xbox One in 2014, and more

(Guardian Web Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A selection of links, hand-picked by the Guardian games writers.

"Double Fine Adventure" Kickstarter over budget, delayed | Ars Technica Another day, another Kickstarter controversy – but this is the big one. Double Fine has admitted that its crowd-funded adventure game, Broken Age, is short on funds and will need to be released in two halves, so that the first section can pay for the second. Importantly, they're not asking backers for more money, but they are saying that despite raising many times more than the original $400,000 requested, it hasn't been enough.

In a lengthy message to backers that was posted on the game's Kickstarter page, Schafer basically admits that his eyes were bigger than his budget. The game is now shaping up to cost more money than Double Fine had raised through Kickstarter and from subsequent "tip jar" donations. What's more, the pace of development means that the first half of the game won't be ready until July 2014, with a final release looking likely in 2015. For a game that had an original asking budget of $400,000 and an original target date of October 2012, these are big problems.

"I think I just have an idea in my head about how big an adventure game should be, so it's hard for me to design one that's much smaller than Grim Fandango or Full Throttle," Schafer wrote, dropping the names of some of his best-known titles. "There's just a certain amount of scope needed to create a complex puzzle space and to develop a real story. At least with my brain, there is." There are huge question marks over the Kickstarter process and the fact that the site's poster boy has run into trouble tells us that, in the games industry, successful funding is only the start of a complex and expensive undertaking. But still, if the backers accept Schafer's explanation, should the rest of us be angry? Whatever the case, this is going to become more and more important as other Kickstarer games come to fruition – or ruin.

Japanese Xbox One launch will be 2014, Microsoft confirms | GamesIndustry Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox One will not release in Japan this year, but should be on the market in early 2014. Speaking in an interview with 4 Gamer, Microsoft Japan President Yasuyuki Higuchi described his home territory as "Tier 2 country." This news will no doubt go down well with Japanese developers wondering whether or not to support the new platform.

Runescape 3 enters the Sixth Age on July 22 | Joystiq Some Runescape news! Runescape 3 launches on July 22 as a browser-based title running on HTML 5, a feature that removes the need for Java or other plug-ins. Runescape 3 continues the free-to-play, MMO series, and will feature "improved graphics, longer draw distances, an upgraded camera system and superior audio," developer Jagex says. Runescape 3 will also post seasonal high scores that allow players to compete on weekly and monthly leaderboards.

Runescape 3 throws players into Gielinor's Sixth Age, where they will be able to directly influence the world's scenery, inhabitants and future for the first time. The game will kick off with the premiere of its worldwide community-focused event, The Battle for Lumbridge.

News: Lovefilm no longer offering game rentals to new customers | CVG UK LOVEFiLM has confirmed it will no longer be offering games rental packages to new customers, or those who wish to change from a non-games package.

It said: "In order to give the best possible service that we can, we are looking to focus on our strength, which is providing the best selection of film and TV content for our customers, and making it available whenever and wherever you want it." The Last of Us and Grading on the Gender Curve | GameSpot This interesting feature from Carolyn Petit covers some of the same ground as the piece I wrote on dystopian games, and that Leigh Alexander explored in her Gamasutra article on The Last of Us: If we grade its handling of women on a curve relative to other games, The Last of Us is a success. It's somewhat better than most of what's out there. But we've let our notions of what's possible become limited by what's available. Instead, we need to evaluate games and how they handle gender based on their actual merits, not in relation to other games. We need to smash that curve with a sledgehammer.

We're all talking about how Naughty Dog's game is wonderful and that because of this, it raises important questions about gender representation in games. Great to see this being discussed on a mainstream site, though there are some absolutely abhorrent and repulsive comments.

State of Decay will have "co-op multiplayer at the heart of any future games"- Undead Labs | VG247 State of Decay may not be getting multiplayer, but Undead Labs has said co-op multiplayer will be at "the heart of any future State of Decay games." Speaking on the game's forums, executive producer Jeff Strain the team wanted to add multiplayer to State of Decay, but it was "up to its eyeballs" trying to retrofit the game engine to support an open-world sandbox game.

I think open-world survival games are the only way forward for the zombie genre now. I love the idea of testing the archetypes – gangs of feral psychos wandering about the place slaughtering each other – in an arena with no NPCs and no scripting.

How Salesforce And Deloitte Tackle Employee Engagement With Gamification | Forbes Worried that gamification is dead? It's not! Well, not according to George Brandt the author of The New Leader's Playbook, who has small article on the subject in Forbes this week. In it, he talks about how the old badges and leaderboard tricks are being used on staff at big corps like Deloitte and Salesforce. The latter is my favourite example: Users of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems face a similar adoption and usage challenge. The harsh reality – 50 percent of all CRM implementations fail. Badgeville implemented a "Big Game Hunter" program for Salesforce to increase usage and engagement with the system. Sales people started out at "Chicken Hunters" and worked their way up to bigger and bigger game statuses, as they utilized more and more of the CRM system's features. For one customer, compliance increased over 40 percent.

Reminds me of Steve Coogan's computer sales character, Gareth Cheeseman. "You're a tiger! Grrrrrr!" You can follow Press Start at Pinboard.

(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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