News Article

Pledge to Cloudberry Kingdom, Get It Free on Wii U

Posted by James Newton

Sounds fair

Pwnee Studios' Cloudberry Kingdom wants to be Wii U's most difficult download game, but the developer has to finish work on the game first. For that it needs money and time, and you can help with the first one by pledging to its Kickstarter. In return, you'll get the game free on Wii U when it launches later this year.

There'll be two versions of the game available: a regular edition when you pledge $15 or more and the Coder's Special Edition at donations of $30 and upwards, the latter having more enemies, levels and game modes.

Cloudberry Kingdom's due out in the Wii U digital store this December but the Kickstarter ends on 26th May. At the time of writing it's reached $16,438 of its $20,000 goal — go throw them a few dollars if you want to help them get Wii U's most sadistic game off the ground.


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User Comments (86)



SkywardLink98 said:

Well, my brother's probably gonna do this since he REALLY want's to be the first guy to beat it on hardest difficulty.
One problem though, if it has "Infinite Levels" (like said in the trailer) than how can you get more levels?



cammy said:

@C-Olimar You should be able to back something on Kickstarter from the UK as far as I understand. There is no reason why you can't.



rjejr said:

I "third" that. And if the game is due out in Dec how much money not even now, but right right now, do they really need? Can't they take out a $20K credit card loan for 6 months? And besides, what if the WiU sells like the Wi and it's almost impossible to get for 2 years. Yes, it was that hard in the US, don't know about the rest of the world. More I think, worse it sounds. They should have made it $5, not $15.

OTOH is "Dec" the first official release date we've heard for a Wii U game?



ouroborous said:

$15, good God. I better get alot more than some crappy download game for 15$. And that doesn't even get you the "deluxe" version? So you are paying tons for the crap version...



Aviator said:

You're not paying for the game.

You're paying for:
"We'll hire a full time artist to make the game shine in all its glory.

We'll find an animator to help polish the game and make some awesome cinematics.

If the project gets over funded then we will go really crazy. The AI gets more powerful the more obstacles we design for the game. Every time we add a new obstacle the AI quickly learns how to use it and then can immediately start designing levels with it, combining it with any of the other obstacles already in the game. The same is true for heroes. We can design new heroes, with totally new physics and controls, and the AI will figure out how to design levels specifically for that hero. This leads to an awesome combinatorial explosion of insane potential, and the more funding we get the more material we can give to the AI to make really unique levels and a truly awesome experience."

This is what Kickstarter is for. If you want to buy the game, wait for it to be released. Otherwise, support Pwnee Studios (run by Leslie Knope) and if you contribute enough get a reward.



Wheels2050 said:

What Aviator said.

There's a misconception about Kickstarter. You don't pre-order anything, as there is no guarantee that you will receive any rewards for any project. Instead, you choose to donate to projects you think are worthwhile. In some cases, you may be rewarded with a gift if the project succeeds.

There's a (subtle) difference there, but it's important. Also, there are some projects where you don't get a 'thing', and instead just get to feel good about helping someone out with getting their project off the ground.



Mercury9 said:

I think projects like Mario and Zelda are worthwhile but you don't hear Nintendo asking for money to make them.

So any Tom, Dick and Harry can help to fund the making of anything if they like it? I'm branding this Coinware. As annoying as shovelware but with the option to effectively pay for it twice. (facepalm.gif)



ville10 said:

@Mercury9 The difference between Nintendo and these guys is that Nintendo has all the financial backing they need. In this case, the developers have already emptied their pockets, without support from us they won't get any further. That means worse graphics which in turn may turn off potential buyers, preventing them from gaining anything from their hard work.



Mercury9 said:

I believe I won't.

There is no risk to the reward here. You can't just have people donate money to make something. It's like a bratty child getting it's own way. But hey, if you win their challenge maybe you'll win some of your money back! Well, someone will



Hyperstar96 said:

So many cheapskates here... it saddens me.

For anyone who doesn't take the time to read the FAQ on their site, you'll get a full refund if the project doesn't make enought money to launch.



Mercury9 said:

It's not a case of being a "cheapskate"

If I am hungry, I earn the money myself to feed that hunger. I don't expect anyone else to help pay my way in life.



Wheels2050 said:

@Mercury9: What are you on about? I think you're completely missing the point of Kickstarter.

People sometimes have an idea for something that they think is pretty neat and want to share with people. Quite often, there is a prohibitive start up capital involved, and traditionally those things would never get made.

Enter Kickstarter. People can pitch their ideas to the public, and request donations to help them get started. Occasionally, those donations may come with a reward if the idea is successful. For the most part, though, people freely donate their money to ideas that they, too, would like to come to fruition.

That way, a project only gets funded if enough people think it is worthwhile and are willing to hand over their cash to make it happen. I don't see what's wrong with that process.

Bratty child? What the hell?



James said:

@Mercury9 But if you were making food for others, you might expect them to chip in, right? You wouldn't spend your money on making food for everyone else and give it away entirely free.

Anyway, in my eyes all this does is move the "customer pays money" part of the transaction a bit nearer the beginning instead of at the end of a game's development. S'all good.



Mercury9 said:

I paint and draw for people as a money making hobby. I have advertised myself in what I can offer. I don't ask for help because I don't need to.

I could paint a canvas using mucus but if I was asking people to donate if they liked it, a lot of rubbish would be getting released.

If they truly think a project is great, earn your way like everyone else has to.Yes, you get your money back. You get your money back if enough isn't raised.

Animators and Artists my foot.



Mercury9 said:


We all help war torn and famine ridden countries all around the world in one way or another. We don't ask them to "chip in" Nor would we expect them to.



Aviator said:

Kickstarter is based solely on the charity of others. And I'm sure many people (and I find it myself) quite rude the attitude you bring to the creation of a project.

Yes you can do it all yourself, but I must of missed it in the rulebook where it said you can get help from others.



James said:

@Mercury9 Comparing game making to famine? Stay classy.

Kickstarter might not be for you, but I imagine if you wanted to raise $20,000 to make a dream come true it might look a little more appetising!



Wheels2050 said:

@Mercury9: I don't see what your problem is with the model. People aren't forced to pay for projects - they pick ones they personally want to see happen, and help out. Making a game/movie/album can be very, very expensive, and it's not always easy to earn the thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to get that off the ground. Kickstarter provides an alternative way of raising that money.

Take board games for example. Board games are pretty niche, and aren't huge sellers by any stretch of the imagination (Monopoly and a few other exceptions aside). Normally, a bank would be crazy to loan a company tens of thousands of dollars to get a board game printed, pieces made etc. for a game that may end up sitting on dusty store shelves and never made known to its audience. However, through Kickstarter, board game makers can pitch an idea directly to their target demographic. If the audience thinks it's worthwhile, and they want to see the project succeed so they can see the game get to market and possibly play it themselves, they can help out.

It's not that the developers can't be bothered raising the money (in a lot of cases). It's the difference between a project happening or not.

I also don't even see what point you're trying to make with the famine thing. That's not on the same level - hell, it's not even on the same city block - as Kickstarter.

As for your painting example, that doesn't apply either. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that the materials required for you to paint a painting are probably within reach of you purchasing with your own money, and so you can paint a painting whether or not people contribute to it. That's a lot different to someone taking on $100,000 in debt to record a studio album, say.



Mercury9 said:


So if you wanted $20,000 to make your dream come true and members here would be willing to donate it to you. You would take it?



SKTTR said:

I would take it. But that's because I know how hard it is, and how much 20.000 is and that it can make a real difference. And also because I'm thinking about donating. Looks like a win situation for everyone who was willing to pay up to 15 bucks for it anyway.
30 bucks might be too much for this kind of game, but I haven't seen more than a minute trailer.



James said:

@Mercury9 Of course. If they were willing, what's the problem? People can do what they want with their own money.



James said:

@Mercury9 Not at all! You're entitled to your opinion, though thinking less of me for mine is a little disappointing. I get that you're not a fan of the Kickstarter concept, but it's a shame you look down on those who want to support projects they're interested in. Remember these people get something back in return — a game. It's not like Pwnee is taking their money and using it to buy a giant coffee machine or something. All Kickstarter does is take the "customer pays for product" part of the sales transaction and move it earlier in the process — nobody loses anything. Game gets made, people who backed the project get the game, people who didn't back it get to buy the game. Seems a square deal to me!



WesCash said:

I understand what Mercury9 is going on about and I do agree to an extent. I don't really care for the Kickstarter idea and would never pay to help developers make a game. There are enough quality games released that don't require me to help pay to develop them. I don't have money to throw around at every opportunity. I am not going to help a company make their game and I shouldn't have to; that's their job.

In this case, I like that people who contribute on Kickstarter will get a free copy upon release. However, for most Kickstarter projects, you WILL have to pay money again to purchase the game on release. Not my cup of tea.



ville10 said:

@Mercury9 I really don't see the problem here. It's just the same as investment, though instead of yield in the shape of money you get enjoyment from something that otherwise wouldn't have been made.

Do you oppose the concept of investment as well?



Mercury9 said:

Ok, I take that back James. I don't look down on peoples opinions, I just don't always agree with them. If you are willing to donate/ receive money that's great but I personally couldn't. Since I joined here I've been lambasted for having differing opinions -You know who you are! If it comes across that I'm looking down or having an attitude I don't mean it! I'm just not a lover of this whole concept. Some are, I'm not, let's hug!



Wheels2050 said:

@Mercury9: Don't take this the wrong way (consider it constructive criticism) as I enjoy debating things with you here, but...

Comparing international aid efforts to Kickstarter isn't exactly the fast lane to winning popularity contests.



Mercury9 said:


I don't believe I'm here to become popular! I'm not here to entertain people. I post my views, receive my hail of bullets and move on. Some people can get a bit enthusiastic when my posts differ to theirs. I don't like the concept of Kickstarter. It's my opinion. You may like it and that's great



Wheels2050 said:

@Mercury9: The popularity bit was just an expression. You seemed to be lamenting being lambasted, I was pointing out that occasionally you seem to write things that don't seem particularly well thought out



Kinioka said:

I agree with @Mercury9. But even worse, is when some developer leaves the company they were working for, having a great job, and then use his name and the games he was involved to ask for donations. That's not in any way comparable to those who are creating their first project or that can't find a job but actually want to produce something.



Mercury9 said:


You may just feel that because we have some disagreements. I don't like the idea of Kickstarter, you do. Leave it at that



Wheels2050 said:

@Kinioka: I'm interested to know why that's worse? If a developer wishes to make a game that their current employer won't let them make, why shouldn't they try to do it independently?

(That's not a rhetorical question by the way, I'm genuinely interested in finding out why you think that).

The thing one needs to keep in mind with Kickstarter is that it's a real litmus test for ideas. If your idea isn't up to scratch, people won't donate and you won't get any money (Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing deal). The majority of projects don't end up getting funded, either because the idea is crap or it isn't pitched well.



C-Olimar said:

If you look at video games as art (e.g. Bit Trip, Alt-Play) it's not that crazy to seek donations to try and make that art. For example, the British Film Council donate to small film companies to be make considered their art art. Also, if James had a dream of say, swimming with dolphins, I could be inclined to donate towards that. I would be more likely to donate if he were to release art, that everyone can enjoy. Although I'm pretty sure James doesn't have any artistic projects on the go atm....



edhe said:

It's either pay $15 (or even $30 for the premium edition) for the game direct, or wait for it to be released - no doubt in severely low numbers, and pay a further $20 when a publisher is involved.

I'd go with the former.

However, with it being on steam, I reckon it'd probably go on sale for $10, but there's no harm in donating and making the game happen.

I'm quite intrigued by the concept of the game.



Kinioka said:

@Wheels2050- We can't do everything we want. Independently? One guy may live alone in his house but if he has someone who pays everything for him i don't understand where Independency fits in.
Let's donate money to some secretary to see if she opens her own company. I have many dreams too, one of them is to pay my house. Can you donate some for me, please ?
Work and do things for yourself, at least, that's why I'm trying to do. If you want to donate money, it's your money, and you may have differente ideals, but that idea just doesn't work for me, and i don't agree with it. Using your name to take advantage of that is somewhat pretentious .



LittleKing said:

The problem here, Mercury, is that it takes money to make games. Programmers, artists and musicians have to work their butts off to make the games you enjoy. During that period, they need financial backing. This isn't about making a sandwhich. It costs a crap load more than that. You'll get some of your money back by getting the game when you donate, and help them make the final product better. Don't want to donate, you don't have to.

However, I do see your point; I especially feel bad when I see what I feel are wastes of exorbitant sums of cash. Do you feel people are wasting their money when they could use it towards a better cause? This is the kind of project I dislike. Instead of being angry at the devs of CBK for wanting $20,000, look at that. They wanted $400,000 and they got pledged over THREE MILLION DOLLARS. And all the money will go to "making the game better." How nice it'd be if they could use the $400,000 for the game they asked for and do something nice for with the rest, instead of using seven times the amount of money they wanted. I wish KS would cap pledges.



Mercury9 said:

AVGN is a great example of donating money to help someone's dream. James Rolfe differs in that he has provided a service for fans for years that is extremely popular. He asked for donations and he was incredibly nervous about asking for money. But he has shown what he can do. He shows his passion by getting his videos out there himself, granted with extremely small amounts of assistance.

Yes, in the case of CBK you would get your donation back but that may not always be the case in every situation. Various factors may change that. Lack of direction, creative input, staff leaving etc. Maybe it's the idea of not knowing what will be done with the money and having nothing to show in terms of anything substantial.

A small video is great but for they are requesting, people may need more to believe in than someone else's personal dream. You are ultimately funding someone's potential career and for me personally, I would need more to go on that just words to even touch it with a bargepole. But I wish them all the luck in the world. They clearly have a passion for it but it isn't something for me.



Wheels2050 said:

@Kinioka: I meant independent in terms of not operating under the guidance/oversight of a parent publisher or developer.

As for your second point, if I donate to you to pay for your house, do I get to enjoy the benefits of that? I think not.

The idea is generally for people to donate to a project because they want, or want other members of the public, to enjoy the results of that project. That's entirely different to just giving someone money for their personal enjoyment. If people want to do that, that's fine, but it's not what Kickstarter is about.

I'm OK with people not liking the funding model of Kickstarter. Honestly, I can understand their concerns with it. It's just that some people seem to be either misrepresenting or misunderstanding what the aim behind Kickstarter is.

@Metabble: I agree that that's a large sum of money, but it's up to the fans to hold Double Fine accountable for that (and that is one of the dangers of contributing to a project that is just a few ideas, as @Mercury9 pointed out). Ultimately, if people had decided that they didn't deserve the money, they wouldn't have donated.

I think the Double Fine case is an extremely interesting story. The major publishers have, for years, shied away from point and click adventures because they did not think there was a market for them. This proves them very, very wrong. That is where I think crowdfunding becomes great for fans, as they can help get the things they want to see/play/hear made.



mattatron said:

I'm with mercury9 this seems absurd to pay for someone elses unfinished work (I know you get your money back if it does'nt work out), especially when it is a product that will be released nonetheless such as this seems to be. I say that just from reading the posts here about "polishing" the game up i have not read their faq. another point i saw mercury bring up was a loan, if the company can't or isn't willing to take out a loan it shows some lack of a business plan or even worse poor management of previous funds. I don't agree with begging and i don't like paying for a product with no guarantee of ever getting it, because i do consider the original "donation" as paying even with a guarantee of money back. I can buy a game at gamestop with a moneyback guarantee and at least i know i will play it then get my money back. also this is a very loose definition of donating in my opinion. donating is to help the needy not the greedy this is more like an investment with no returns. why not offer dividends and make it a publicly traded company.



ScreamoPichu said:

I think I'll pitch in. I love this Kickstarter project and I can get their end result! [That actually looks quite fun.]



Mercury9 said:


Not sure I mentioned loans. Did I?

I do find it slightly odd for a developer to be developing for a Nintendo console but asking us to help fund it. Do Nintendo even know this game exists?



Kinioka said:

@Wheels2050- Well, you will be able to see my smile .... Did you ever gave money to some institution ? Do they need to eat the food in front of you for you to believe ? Cases like this, are a need. Someone that has a job and chooses to make his own path should be able to take the risks.
Also, do they show the bills, or how the money is divided, or how and where they wasted the money? Hm...20.000$ just to polish the game, or for that time,you are paying for his lifestyle and all of that? Do you know that? I would like to know.



Mercury9 said:

2D Boy is a good point of reference.

2 guys leave EA, go independent, make World of Goo and set up a company that helps other independent developers become financial dependant and get their big break. Good honest hard work. Good honest well earned rewards



Ryno said:

Is there a larger demographic of whiners and tightwads than video gamers?



mattatron said:

sorry it was rjejr that brought up the loan, but it was a good point. i thought it was you because it seemed like you were alone out here, but it seems a few people agree



mattatron said:

@Kinioka haha, and teachers cant get fired and a three month summer vacation. although the teachers in detroit should get hazard pay



Mercury9 said:

A loan would be a good idea for them. But maybe they have been refused. We just don't know.

If they have been refused, Kickstarter would be a great way to get the money. But with Nintendo being the company behind the console they are supposedly developing for and if they keep asking banks to support them if they could prove investment is worthwhile, It does leave me wondering why they are asking Joe Public for help.



LadyStarstorm said:

Wow this is painful, I actually had to stop reading partway down!! XD

A great example of Kickstarter for those who can't seem to wrap their heads around it - A fairly popular webcomic I read just put one up to get a book released! People who donated above a REASONABLE certain amount would get a free copy of the book! But even once the goal was reached to be able to print the book, people KEPT donating! Now the funds are going into making the product even better for the consumers - Glossy embossment on the covers, the artist taking time to hand-draw in each copy, etc.

It's not just to sell people a product before it's made - It's to help people release a better product thanks to people who want to be a part of it's creation.



SpaceKappa said:

I'm definitely going to toss in $15. I wanted this game from the moment I saw the last trailer, so since I'm buying it anyway I'll give them my money now so they can use it to polish the game and make it even better.

These guys have a really cool style and they seem to understand the art of the platformer with a strong desire to take it new places. I want to do my part to make this game a success so they can make more in the future.



SonyFACE said:

I doubt I'll chip in because I don't want the game. The point of Kickstarter in this case is not to get the game for a bargain, but to ensure that the game actually launches.



Wheels2050 said:

@Kinioka: Yes, I have donated to charity and no I didn't need to see the results - I pick charities carefully, and donate to ones that I trust will use the money to benefit people less fortunate than I.

What I'm trying to get at is that the projects people are pledging to on Kickstarter often promise to give something back to people who donate. You were arguing as though people were throwing money at someone just to give that person a leg up. Sure, that's part of it, but there's also some self-interest on the donator's part - if I donate, I'm not donating just to help someone get a job. I'm donating because I think they have the credentials and ability to produce something that will give me enjoyment.

I don't think I can say much else to get my point across. Sure, some people are rightfully wary of donating to any and all projects on Kickstarter, but it still seems that some people don't realise that people are donating with the expectation that the recipients will provide some service or product to either them or the public at large. That's a completely different scenario to me giving you money for your house.

You also mention accountability, and that admittedly is a potential problem with the crowdfunding model. There's always a risk that the money won't be used properly, the project will never be completed or a bunch of other things. That's a given with Kickstarter, and means people have to be prudent when choosing if they want to donate money to a particular project.



rjejr said:

Phew, I actually read all 63 comments (even my own previous one) and I'm putting all the blame for the acrimony squarely on James shoulders for the title: Pledge to Cloudberry Kingdom, Get It Free on Wii U.
OK, not all of it, apparently some of you have a thing going on w/ Mercury, but I think putting the word "Free" in the title turned things for the worse. Having read the linked page on Kickstarter - something I SHOULD have done this morning while commenting - it's all seems pretty harmless. It's actually better than the PBS pledges where $1,000 gets you a coffee mug (exaggeration added for effect). The only thing I didn't like was the warning of not funding the project if they didn't make their goal, sounded like a threat.
Closing thoughts - I think this kind of thing goes over much better in the "indie" PC game market than w/ the console crowd.



siavm said:

Since you have to pay, how is it free? More like pledge, get the the game.



CommanderAudio said:

Pwnee Studios will be kicking themselves if someone pledges to this game, then get the $1000 reward for completing the game.



SpaceKappa said:

@siavm That's exactly what the headline says, "Pledge to Cloudberry Kingdom, Get it Free on Wii U."

I know it's a technicality, but the way I'm looking at it is I'm giving them $15 to help hire an artist, and then they'll give me the game free when it's done.



TheDreamingHawk said:

It's a donation guys. You aren't really paying for the game. You are paying to help the game, which is more than the game itself. It will probably be about $6 or so on the Wii U. Give it a shot if you feel like it.

I can imagine this to happen to me when I play this game...

Me: Pokepark Wii 1 and 2 was TOO EASY! I need a ULTRA-HARD GAME!

(Sees a gigantic amount of hazards.)

Me: I'm going to play Sesame street now. Goodbye!

I love hard games, and this seems like a good one to watch on the wii U.



Buob said:

I'm just gonna say: give $15 now for the regular game (which, when posted, will probably be $10), or wait and pay maybe around $20 for the "special version." Hmmmm, tough choice...

Look, I'm all for helping people make good games, but when I can get it cheaper at when it's launched, I'll wait.



C7_ said:

This is not how you do kickstarter.

Kickstarter is supposed to be a way of ensuring a game's development completion, and in response to dropping an amount of money under the eventual sales price you help ensure the completion of a game you're genuinely want to see instead of one that caters to today's market to get support fro stockholder (or in a lot of cases so that indie's can see release at all)

It is by all means a preorder with the benefit of "I helped finished it and get a minor discount through this gamble" it is not a "HEY, 'DONATE' THIS MUCH MONEY TO US AND WE'LL GIVE YOU A DELUXE EDITION AT THE START"

Do I want to play a game like this? Yes, but not if I have to pay $30 for the full version and it looks like THAT. This is as bad as having important Day one DLC.



Drewroxsox said:

What's up with all of this nonsense ^ up there? Everybody is entitled to their own opinion and it should be left at that. No need to get your panties in a bunch



Ichiban said:

I'll donate to fund a real Waverace 64 sequel on Wii U!
Not for this pap though....



rjejr said:

Sorry for throwing you under the bus James, that's the third time in as many weeks I've picked on one of your titles (1 of which was later changed for the better). Did you used to work at the Mirror before NL?



James said:

Considering the amount I write, three titles in three weeks isn't so bad

Like everyone I'm human and sometimes I'll make mistakes. This isn't one of those times though



Hyperstar96 said:

@CJ_ If you had learned to read, then you would know that the already-released version is a beta and that the screenshots are not of the final version. The whole reason the Kickstarter was created was to hire better artists (along with other people, but mainly artists).



SlyGuy29 said:

Well, whether they you like the Kickstarter idea or not, they made their goal of $20,000.



Odnetnin said:

Glad they made it. Didn't back, but I'm still looking forward to seeing if the finished product will be worth my cash.

On a side-note, I backed Jason Rohrer's Diamond Trust of London Kickstarter because I'm a fan of his work and he seems like a trustworthy guys, and more importantly: he was already finished with the game, he just needed funds to help manufacture it. I know that DToL is a real thing, and that made me a lot more sure about funding it. (Not saying Cloudberry isn't real, of course.)

Also, to people complaining about the title being misleading: you realize pledging costs money, right?



Pahvi said:

I've been playing the Steam beta of the game for a while now and I like it as a score-attack game. I'm very surprised by how well the random-generation works.

That said, my thoughts on Kickstarter... there was this one PC/iPad Kickstarter project that was seriously running behind, until one person donated some $10k or so that made the kickstarter succeed. Someone in the comments section there mentioned that if it had been the project lead himself, it wouldn't have been OK (since he apparently was not putting all that he had on the line). That sounds like a reasonable thought.



sebman30 said:

got the $60 dollar one (was meant to get $50 but got wrong one)with two copies of special edition hells yeah!.

also i really like kickstarter i think its pretty awesome. i dont see why someone hasnt used it to their advantage such as the Megaman Legends 3 Campaign seeing as they have over 100,000 fans supporting it there is no way it could go wrong or try buy a old ip from a company (conkers bad fur day or banjo kazooie anyone?) that is pretty much dead...ahem...every good game rare made.

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