Category Archives: Cliqist

From $100k MIA Kickstarter to Legal Drama, The Status of ROAM

ROAM logo

From $100k MIA Kickstarter to Legal Drama, The Status of ROAM.

Just when ROAM seemed to enter the ranks of MIA video game Kickstarters, it pops back up. With new details revealed, we at Cliqist ponder ROAM’s situation. Here’s an excerpt of the full story:


Back in February 2013, an online co-op post-apocalyptic zombie game by the name of ROAM was funded to the tune of $102,518 by 3,526 backers on Kickstarter. After the campaign’s end, updates were released every month up until March 2014. It’s a small hiccup that the devs quickly apologize for, and following that, the updates resume on a monthly basis up until December 2014. After that, nothing. For over five months, backers suffered through a worrying silence from the dev team, until May 22nd, when they released this post and an additional backer only update. So what happened? Why did ROAM seem to go MIA, and is the project still in good shape?

According to Ryan Sharr, one half of the original team behind ROAM, co-creator Zach Barson is suing him for $100k. In this Reddit post, a user shared the contents of the backer only update, presumably because Sharr gave his backers leave to do so. His attempt at keeping the information behind a backer-only wall was likely to avoid more negative attention. The information in the post is detailed and complicated, but it summarizes an alleged inability by Barson to relocate to a suitable working environment and a refusal to agree on certain financial and contractual terms. On top of that, Sharr also claims that Barson failed to produce much original content for the project, as per his position on the team. Thus, given these events and the lack of trust between them, Ryan Sharr released Zach Barson from the game project about six months after the completion of the Kickstarter.


Want more? Head to Cliqist.com for the full details!

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Keep On Swimming

Hello that one person who remembered to check my blog! It’s good to see you! What have I been doing since my last post from ages ago? Well, I’ve been following Dory’s advice. I’ve just kept swimming. (I have this sinking feeling I’ve used this reference on this blog before…)

To be more clear, I’ve been doing a lot of things. Chief among them is the more mundane stuff that would be too boring to go into detail. You know. That whole “stay at home mom” thing. Then, more interestingly, I’ve been doing a lot of work for this gaming news site called Cliqist. I’ve mentioned them before, and while I know I linked some articles I did for them on this blog, I don’t think I ever really talked about that in detail. And yes, that is my real name. Anyone who bought the Tributaries e-book would have learned it too, since I had to put my name for the copyright. Surprise! Or is it? I’ve had this blog so long, I forget what I’ve already covered, ha!

Anyway… Basically, I’m trying my hand at game journalism. I know, it seems odd after that whole Gamer Gate mess, but I sort of fell into it considering my interest in actually writing games. Currently I don’t get paid much at all, but I do get paid (small comfort), and I’m starting to generate some contacts in the indie game world, so that’s really cool! At first, working for Cliqist was very much a side thing, but I’ve been taking it more seriously the last few months. Right now there’s two kinds of writers for Cliqist: Contributors and Staff Writers. I signed up to be a Staff Writer, and let me tell you, the level of work between the two classifications is fairly significant. At least, significant enough for me that editing Eikasia’s second book has been much tougher…

But I just want to say that I HAVE been managing it! S’cuse me while I pat myself on the back.

I think the only real bad news is that I don’t see the book getting done in time for Christmas. I mean, it could happen, but I think I’d have to scale back the Cliqist work, and right now I’m unwilling to do that. Maybe in a month or so, I’ll make an editing push and ease up on Cliqist. Still iffy on that one.

Still though, I’ve been making some pretty important headway into editing my next book. I mentioned on Twitter how Eikasia Book 2 had once been edited to second draft, but all that work was lost when the site that was hosting it closed down without warning. That put me right back to square one–working with a scary rough draft. Yikes! But after publishing the newly edited first novel, Tributaries, I realized that I was going to have to radically change the sequel to maintain continuity. Basically, everything on the Eikasia site from Chapter 2 of Book 2 will be completely different. It’s going to be a complete overhaul of the plot and events, with some new characters that weren’t there before. I’m even considering changing the original title, “In Sight, In Mind” to something else (which is why I keep saying “Book 2” all the time!)

At the moment I’m writing completely new material, so the editing process has slowed down as I switch gears to reinvent a pivotal scene from the original draft. It’s scary, but kind of exciting at the same time! I might share something of the new stuff in the near future, so I hope you guys enjoy it. Meanwhile, I think I’d like to resume my book review series this week. I have two finished books that I need to do reviews for, plus one I’m nearly done with, so keep a lookout!

And that’s all I have really. I was thinking of sharing a flow chart I made for Book 2, but I’d have to redact some things to keep some surprises under wraps. Am I a tease? Maybe.

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Game Review: Elegy for a Dead World (Cliqist Preview)

http://cliqist.com/2014/12/19/elegy-dead-world-reviewed/

Elegy for a Dead World is… strange, to say the least. Developed in collaboration by Dejobaan Games (AaAaAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, The Wonderful End of the World) and Popcannibal (Girls Like Robots), the basic concept is to write. That’s it. There are no easter eggs, puzzles, or action. Just you and whatever ideas you can come up with. Ordinarily I’d think this is awesome, as I like to write novels, but usually what people consider to be a “game” contains some element of direct or in-direct reward for tasks completed. This is greatly lacking in Elegy, and it’s important potential buyers are aware of this. It’s all about self-fulfillment, not measurable achievement.

To read the rest of this review, please click the link above to Cliqist, a game news site that covers crowdfunded games!

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Game Review: The Banner Saga (Cliqist Preview)

http://cliqist.com/2014/12/19/banner-saga-reviewed/

With development for Banner Saga 2 officially announced, it’s the perfect time for a second look at the popular viking-themed tactical RPG game for the holidays. For those who have already beaten the game, there’s plenty of reasons to go back. Since its release there have been several patches that have fixed technical issues, improved performance, added new configurations (including profile saves and subtitles), a better balanced final boss fight on normal and easy mode. and modding capabilities, just to name a few. But if you haven’t played the game? You’re definitely missing out.

To read the rest of this review, please click the link above to Cliqist, a game news site that covers crowdfunding games!

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Dear Numantian Games: About Lords of Xulima on Mac, and Mac Gamer Treatment

http://cliqist.com/2014/12/04/letter-numantian-games-regarding-lords-xulima-mac/

In my review of Lords of Xulima, I left out a major part of my experience due to a lack of immediate relevance. Were the PC and Mac versions stable at the time of my review? Yes, and I stand by my positive verdict of the game. But at the game’s official release, I was horrified to discover that the Mac version was, in my opinion, borderline unplayable! Now I wouldn’t ordinarily think this an issue—many developers release Mac versions after their games’ PC release, but that wasn’t quite the case here. You presented Lords of Xulima as if it were a finished game to Mac players, only including a small note about persistent bugs in the update section of the game’s Steam store page. Personally? I don’t know anyone who makes a habit of expanding the update logs for a game that isn’t early access when they are considering buying it. The assumption is, of course, that if the game is finished, then it should just work.

Want to read the rest? Click the link above to read the article on Cliqist.com!

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Game Review: Lords of Xulima (Cliqist Preview)

So many games try to bank on nostalgia these days, and so many have failed or misrepresented themselves, that it’s understandable to be wary of any new title that promises you the pixelated moon and stars with a healthy helping of hype and some impressive coattail acrobatics. The question is: are Numantian Games, the Madrid based studio, doing just that? Their latest game, Lords of Xulima (don’t worry, the name threw me off too) is billed as a 2D isometric turn-based RPG that tips its plumed hat to such titles as Ultima, and Might & Magic. It also promises challenging gameplay, over a hundred hours of content, and a broad range of customization for your party of six. After over nine hours into the game, I felt I had pretty good idea of what the answer was to my question.

At character creation, the player can choose to jump into things with a pre-generated set of heroes, but being the control freak that I am, I chose to generate my own team of adventurers. I found myself disappointed by the level of choice I had. Character creation consists of three simple steps: pick one of the ten classes (of which all stats and starting spells are predetermined and unchangeable), pick a deity (who provides a small bonus without there being any explanation what some of the stats even do in the game), and pick a portrait (all of which varied in quality from photo-realistic, to ugly deviantART level anatomy). When a game boasts 100 skills to choose from, I want to…you know…choose from them!

Want to read the full review? Visit Cliqist.com and get the final verdict for this indie crowdfunded game!

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