A Kick for Kickstarters: Eden’s Last Sunrise

Here’s some surprising news: The “A Kick for Kickstarters” feature still exists, albeit on a more limited basis. I’ve mentioned in many recent crowdfunding-related posts that it’s become progressively more difficult to raise money for video gaming projects on crowdfunding websites, to the point that periods previously referred to as the “doldrums” seem like the halcyon days when compared to the present-day situation.

This is my first such post for a project since mid-November, one which included two games. While adventure game Trüberbrook was funded (its campaign was already successful when I posted about it), the same didn’t happen for Super Mighty Power Man. The developers of the latter saw the writing on the wall, but are hopeful they can strike a deal with a publisher. I’m hoping for one of those two outcomes for the project whose campaign I’m posting about today, recommended to me by fellow Damage Control writer Joseph Daniels.

This is Eden’s Last Sunrise, a title developer Elliot Mahan (who’s primarily working with three others) describes as “a classic tactical RPG with a twist.” This means it will have isometric grid-based battles where characters will take turns executing their actions. It will also have several jobs available for each character with abilities that can be mixed and matched, along with challenging battles and a purportedly intriguing storyline. The game will also have other features that most would expect from a strategy RPG, including an AP system and equipment upgrades. Basically, the intention is for this to be a refreshingly familiar experience for those who enjoy SRPGs, a good idea considering the low amount of titles made in the genre these days.

The game takes place in a world of swords and sorcery, with a society that makes fantastic technological leaps and eventually travels to space. But not all of them were fans of the venture, those who’d rather reject technology rely on magic to help them. The space travelers return after 200 years, and warn of an incoming calamity that threatens all life on the planet. The only way to fight it will be for both teams to join forces, though problems will arise when neither side knows whether they can trust the other. The player can choose for their main character to be commander of the outer space group, or an ambassador for those who dwell on land, and the story will have multiple twists and resolutions based on the decisions made when prompted.

Let’s be honest here: Upon clicking the link, the first thing anyone will notice at this point is how the project isn’t doing well. The developers are asking for $25,000 to fund the remainder of Eden’s Last Sunrise’s production, yet it’s only made a little over $7,000 as of this writing, with only four days in the campaign remaining. This was active for the traditional 30-day period for Kickstarter projects, so they didn’t have less time compared to other successful campaigns. And given the presence of stretch goals, it’s clear the developers were counting on raising far more than they did at a fast pace, though the only known goal is the $27,000 one for additional music.

It has to hurt for the team, because they did nearly everything right. They set a reasonable goal, and started the campaign with something to present to prove they were actually working on a game. In addition to the adequate amount of gameplay footage through the pitch video and animated GIFs, there’s also a demo. Mahan himself also has a good track record with I Miss the Sunrise, The Drop, and The Tenth Line, the last of which released in mid-2017 for Steam and PS4 and garnered a good reception among those who played it (which, sadly, was far from a high number). The campaign even started with an early bird special to get the game for $12, which is depressingly still available.

We’ve seen SRPGs like this funded through crowdfunding, so the biggest issue here was how it simply didn’t receive enough exposure. It wasn’t covered on many other gaming websites, since many of them no longer pay attention to crowdfunding campaigns. And while it wouldn’t have needed the help of bigger websites like IGN and Gamespot to rope in a sizable-enough audience, it also escaped the view of many niche sites. Note that I also wouldn’t have found this campaign if it wasn’t for Joseph informing me of it. The unfortunate combination of unluckiness and the difficulty of raising money through crowdfunding for developers whose names aren’t incredibly established in 2018 doomed the project.

The project likely won’t be funded, but I covered it here to raise a last little bit of awareness. The development team was unlucky here, but hopefully they’ll get luckier regarding finding a good publisher to fund the remainder of the project, and perhaps the content that would have been added had it reached the stretch goals.

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