It has been an interesting experience watching this particular Kickstarter development, while also being involved in at least some of that growth. I got to watch as NIGORO and Playism Games added their own unique animated sprites and adjusted their stretch goal tiers accordingly with input from their fans. Even as they took the time to give their page its own unique pixilated aesthetics, I’ve seen them re-organize their campaign page’s information and the order of their Updates. But I think what really struck me is the tremendous sense of community that I gleaned from, and to some extent even experienced, from being involved in this particular Kickstarter.
I mean, just look at both of these Fan Art Updates. This is one other very unique element of the La-Mulana 2 Kickstarter: the fact that the creators and their supporters actually encourage and utilize a Fan Art Update to promote their world and the game that they want to create. NIGORO and Playism have also encouraged fans to make their own memes and advertisements for the game. And when there were some concerns expressed by fans in the comments section of with regards to the appropriateness of some of Lumisa Kosugi’s unlockable and otherwise stunning costumes on the grounds of potential gender and cultural stereotyping, the creators responded and seemed more than willing to look into the matter. Basically, it seems to be the fans that get to determine many of the directions in which La-Mulana 2 will go: as is, and should be the case with crowdfunded projects. It also shouldn’t be too surprising.
After all, NIGORO itself began as GR3 Project which, in turn was and still is, an indie or independent video game development team. The very first La-Mulana, before its remake on Windows, WiiWare and Steam, was an 8-bit freeware game dedicated to the spirit of hard but rewarding vintage era games: especially those made for the MSX. The team has always wanted to see how far they can push the boundaries of the 2D game-scrolling medium. As such, it has always relied on a strong fan-base of even stronger-minded and enthusiastic fans to bring it to the point where it is now. In fact, one point that the Kickstarter itself has made in one of its updates is that while they could easily get sponsorship from other companies to meet their Kickstarter goals, gaining money directly from their fans will allow for NIGORO to maintain the degree of creative control over its work that it so desires.
One thing that has always struck me about La-Mulana is how rich its world truly is and how many stories can be told in it. So the good news is that they have met their baseline goal in what has proven to be their experiment and learning experience with Kickstarter and getting us fans involved. The bad news is that, with Kickstarter, they only have three days to fund the rest of their stretch goals. And what are some of these stretch goals?
If they receive $230,000, they will include a game mode called “Father’s Diary” in which further story is added to the game: to a point where the events between La-Mulana 1 and 2 are filled. And if they receive $350,000 they will add “Character Stories”: in which every time you complete the game you will get to start over again with a new character, interact with a whole new story and even switch between characters. And while these are definitely my favourite stretch goals, there are many more if you check out the Kickstarter.
Yet while the bad news is that it seems very unlikely that they will meet all of their stretch goals with Kickstarter, especially in three days, the good news is that they are already opening up a Pledge Through PayPal option in order to keep reaching for those heights of game development. So please, if you haven’t already, please check out this Kickstarter and follow the adventures of Lumisa Kosugi as she treks her own path through the ancient, terrifying and wondrous world of La-Mulana.
In fact, you can do more that simply look through a Kickstarter or even pass it along to others. As the following new Big Update has revealed, you can watch a video of the La-Mulana 2 game demo above and even download and play it for free. How cool is that?