The Friday Crowdfunder: Godus and Jaraph’s Table

I only play these games to be vengeful, Old Testament-style gods.

Does what it says on the tin, really. Godus.

Serial over-promiser Peter Molyneux has found the ultimate venue for his promises: Kickstarter. It makes perfect sense in hindsight. Since time immemorial the British national treasure has been making grandiose claims that his games never manage to live up to. Why not make the disappointment complete by shifting the consumer into the role of frustrated publisher? Of course, the man worked on bona fide classics like Populous and Syndicate – but he doesn’t really pass the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately? test.

But I’ll tell you a funny thing: I believe in him. Why is that? I remember buying Black & White on release day, back when I was young and spending fifty dollars meant eating peanut butter sandwiches for dinner. Even as that game disappointed, there was something special about it. Maybe I was justifying my purchase, as most of us do. I didn’t want five days of Skippy for dinner to be for naught.

I can tell a similar tale about The Movies and Fable, and the troubled launch of Curiosity (where Molyneux stuck his hand out to consumers for help) is just a few weeks old. And yet his Kickstarter for Project Godus, an attempt to reanimate the long-dormant god game genre, is decidedly alluring to me. Maybe when Molyneux cried when he talked about still believing in games, I decided that I still believe in games, too. Enough to give him my money up front? Maybe not that far.

Far more in need of your cash than the well-heeled Mr Molyneux are the gents behind Jaraph’s Table, an attractive-looking indie effort that “combines the immediacy of chess with the strategic elements of games like Civ“. If they exceed their target they intend to develop the game for mobile platforms. A note of caution to those inexperienced in the ways of crowdfunding: this is a flexible funding campaign, so these Yorkshiremen will get your money when the campaign is up whether they meet their goal of twenty large or not.

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