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Satellite Reign engine footage begs the question “Why isn’t this game funded yet?”

Futuristic, cyber-punk, Syndicate-alike Satellite Reign is one of the best game concepts to have come to Kickstarter. The concept of a living city, operating many levels of interlinked simulation to create a deep, emergent game tickles my fancy more than I’ll comfortably admit. Plus, it’s not being made by a set of complete unknowns: Mike Diskett, one of the creators of Syndicate, is behind Satellite Reign, along with a team who have worked in some of the biggest studios on the biggest games.

Still, if you need something to push you over the fence, then watch some footage of what the game may look like once developed.

As with all in-engine visualisations, the footage has to be taken with a inordinately large pinch of salt, it’s not actual footage of the game but simply a scripted set of animations and scenes that the developer claims the final game will resemble.

Unfortunately, as developer 5 Lives writes in their latest Kickstarter update, “To accurately portray the kind of immense, simulated and emergent world we want to create, we need to actually create it for reals! And that’s what this Kickstarter campaign is for, to create the game.

“We’d love to be able to demonstrate a mission played numerous different ways to sell the idea to you but that would require several months and a lot of money to produce. If we could do that we’d have the game half done and we wouldn't really need Kickstarter to get us off the ground.”

With seven days left till the end of the campaign, Satellite Reign still needs £75,000 to hits its £350,000 funding goal. Though, hopefully it will hit that and go on to reach some of its stretch goals. At £440,000 the developers will add environmental destruction, something that would profoundly change the sense of the city as a believable and alterable location.

Considering the ambition of the project and all the qualities which recommend it, it seems bizarre the project has yet to be funded. Though it could be down to a mixture of poor choices and bad timing. With £16 as a minimum buy in for a copy of the game on release, 5 Lives may simply have charged too much to convince potential pledgers to commit. Plus, their decision to sell only 1,000 early bird copies at £13 may have fudged them. Had it been 5,000 copies at that price they’d be past their target, plus the early support would likely have built momentum for other potential backers to pledge.

That Valve have launched their summer sale likely won’t have helped matters either. With so many cheap games on offer a lot of gamer’s disposable income will be mopped up in the sale.

Still, if you’re even only vaguely interested in the concept go check it out, it could really use your help.

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I'm a backer for this nice looking game and I hope they will reach the goal. I have so many great memories of playing the original Syndicate on my Amiga 500.

The problem for this game, and a few others in the same situation, is the fact that it's on the British version of KickStarter and that will prevent a lot of backing. While you still have your standard KickStarter account when you pledge, you need to re-register your credit card if you only used it on American projects before. 

This will confuse some and maybe make them uncomfortable. Is it a scam version of Kickstarter, why else would it ask for your CC info again?

For some, it's just that they don't have their CC near them when they are about to become a backer. "Ahh, it's in my wallet downstairs. I will bring it with me next time...." and then they forget about it.

Some might think that they can't back the game, as they want pounds, not dollars, and they only have dollars on their account (ok, they would be idiots, but there is no lack of them around).

Some don't know the exchange rate and therefor don't pledge as they don't know how much they are giving (even if it does say about how much it is in dollars, they might miss it).

And then we have the ones that wants to pledge money, but fear that the bank would take a large fee for currency exchange, and that prevents them from pushing the "Become a backer" button.

 

I hope KickStarter fixes this, so you only need to register your CC once for all projects and that they let you switch what currency you want displayed for you, let's say between Dollar, Pound and Euros.

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Julian Benson's picture

There do seem to be some pretty basic flaws with the UK skew of Kickstarter which are only harming the projects put up there.

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This game will be GOTY material in late 2014/early 2015. We need to come together to undo the damage to the IP done by that abomination FPS. Please folks, chip in just a couple of $ or if you already backed, consider upping the ante. I just doubled my contribution which I normally would never do on a game far from finish, but this one earns my trust.

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