Long read: What might the ultimate character creator look like?

Baldur's Gate 3, Street Fighter and Lost Ark developers discuss.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

What a year Kickstarter had in 2012

How many game ideas do you think were pitched?

What a year Kickstarter had in 2012. Tim Schafer's Double Fine kicked the crowd-funding website into orbit back in March, raising more than $3 million to make an old-school adventure game.

That set up a phenomenal year featuring the likes of Ouya ($8.6 million raised) and Project Eternity (nearly $4 million raised).

Kickstarter has summed up its 2012 in statistics and in an interesting calendar of events that show how Kickstarter affected the world we live in.

Last year, 2.24 million people pledged a total of nearly $320 million on Kickstarter, funding over 18,000 projects. Apparently 452 people backed 100 projects or more. Good grief.

The most money was spent on games (a section that includes board games but which video games dominate): $83 million. That's just a quarter of Kickstarter's annual pledge total.

There were 17 projects that raised $1 million or more. I've included David Braben's new Elite game in my list because it was funded on 4th January.

The most funded Kickstarter projects (all above $1 million):

  1. Pebble - a customisable watch that connects to Android and iPhone smartphones via Bluetooth ($10.27 million raised - 10,266 per cent funded)
  2. Ouya - an open Android games console ($8.6 million raised - 904 per cent funded)
  3. Project Eternity - an isometric turn-based RPG by Obsidian ($3.99 million raised - 362 per cent funded)
  4. Bones - production of paintable Bones fantasy miniatures ($3.43 million raised - 11,430 per cent funded)
  5. Double Fine Adventure - a new adventure game by Tim Schafer ($3.37 million raised - 834 per cent funded)
  6. Form 1 - an affordable stereolithography 3D model shaper printer thing ($2.95 million raised - 2945 per cent funded)
  7. Wasteland 2 - inXile's post-apocalyptic sequel to 1988 RPG Wasteland ($2.933 million raised - 352 per cent funded)
  8. Elite Dangerous - Braben's new Elite game, finally! (£1.58 million / $2.53 million raised - 126 per cent funded)
  9. Homestuck Adventure Game - spin-off adventure game of Homestuck online story project ($2.49 million raised - 355 per cent funded)
  10. Occulus Rift - VR headset for video games ($2.44 million raised - 947 per cent funded)
  11. Planetary Annihilation - lovely cartoony RTS inspired by Total Annihilation ($2.29 million raised - 247 per cent funded)
  12. Star Citizen - glitzy new PC space sim by Wing Commander man ($2.13 million raised - 426 per cent funded)
  13. Kingdom Death - a co-operative horror board game ($2.05 million raised - 5856 per cent funded)
  14. Shadowrun Returns - return of cyberpunk turn-based isometric PC and tablets RPG ($1.84 million raised - 459 per cent funded)
  15. Elevation Dock - a much nicer iPhone/iPod device than Apple makes ($1.46 million raised - 1952 per cent funded)
  16. LIFX - an LED lightbulb controlled by iPhones or Android phones ($1.31 million raised - 1314 per cent funded)
  17. SmartThings - a clever little box that controls connected devices and can sense when doors and windows are open, if things are moving and when pets come and go. It's hoping to do even more in the future. This thing sounds futuristic - go read about it! ($1.21 million raised - 483 per cent funded)
  18. Amanda Palmer - a new record, art book and tour by Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra ($1.19 million raised - 1192 per cent funded)

Elite Dangerous had set a record for highest funding target on Kickstarter, asking £1.25 million ($2 million). Games typically seek more funding than projects in any other category on Kickstarter.

Those games made plenty of headlines but thousands didn't. 2796 hopeful game projects launched on Kickstarter in 2012, but only 911 were funded. There are some brilliant nuggets to discover there; my personal pick is The Banner Saga, "a mature, story-driven, turn-based strategy game steeped in Viking culture" by a trio of gaming veterans who draw lovely things.

I wonder what headlines Kickstarter will bring us this year - what nostalgic itch is left to scratch? Or is that not the point - is the point to breathe life into small, unknown projects like FTL that otherwise wouldn't have a hope?

This article contained embedded media which can no longer be displayed.