Bugbear, developer of the FlatOut series, the surprisingly enjoyable Ridge Racer Unbounded and its soulless free-to-play counterpart Ridge Racer Driftopia, has had a bit of a rough ride with its new project so far.
Still without an official title, "Next Car Game" began its crowdfunding drive with a preorder campaign on its own website. Here, prospective players could donate a specific amount of money in exchange for early access to the game and its pre-release tech demos, with additional rewards on offer for those who donated larger amounts. The project later moved to Kickstarter after jumping through some legal hoops in its native Finland, but with only a week left to go on the countdown, it was becoming painfully apparent that the $350,000 funding goal was too far off to be practical.
As such, Bugbear cancelled the Kickstarter and has chosen instead to concentrate on its original pre-order campaign over on its own website.
"We Finns are not used to giving up so easily," writes the team on its farewell-to-Kickstarter post. "We are hell-bent to keep on developing the game with our supporters, shaping it into something that no racing game fan can afford to pass. We have this thing called sisu in Finnish, meaning strength of will, and we're counting on that each of you have a bit of sisu in you!"
As a thank-you to those who have demonstrated their interest and belief in the project, the team has released a playable technology demo showing off the game's new car damage and environment destruction engines -- check it out in the video above, and play it for yourself if you're already a backer. When the project was first launched, Bugbear noted that it was allowing them to finally realize some of the things they had wanted to achieve when developing the original FlatOut, particularly with regard to smashing up cars and scenery in an entertainingly chaotic, dynamic manner. The demo features the playground environment that the team is using to test game features, and includes 24 cars to drive around and destroy.
The failed Kickstarter does not mean that Bugbear is short of cash for the project. They have the money -- about $150,000 -- from existing pre-order customers, and when the team started development it already had enough money in the bank to realize its vision for the basic alpha version of the game; any additional money is going towards polishing the game and adding additional content, much of which has been specifically requested by the community.
Check out the official website to find out more about the game, and if you like what you see, consider tossing a few bucks towards the project.