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mistermumbles: That ~$20k goal makes me wonder why they need to bother with KS at all at that point. It all seems a bit pointless to me then. Just saying.
From the campaign:

We’ve come to Kickstarter to put the game in your hands and make it the best it can be. We know how important feedback is and Jotun’s alpha and beta backers transformed the game into something special. We need you to tell us what we can do better. It's about polish, feedback and using Kickstarter funds to make Sundered the best it can be.

Here is a sampling of things we want to improve with your help:

Overall balancing and pacing
Special nodes for the Skill Tree
Different ideas for Perks
What exactly defines the core gameplay experience and how we can improve it

This also explains why anyone backing at the $15 or higher tier will get an automatic invite to Sundered's Beta. Yes, we want your feedback, but we also need the money for development time to implement that feedback. The July release date reflects this extended timeline.

One could argue of course that all this could be accomplished with a public beta as well. But I feel one probably gets better feedback from those who are more invested in the game. Not just financially, but by showing their interest by backing.

I'm providing feedback and content for three games I've backed at the moment, and will likely do the same with this game too.
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mistermumbles: Weeell, when I then look at what is stated towards the bottom of the KS page I get to wondering: "Sundered's total development budget is $700,000 CAD, coming from Jotun revenues and a loan from the Canadian Media Fund (the same entity who helped fund Jotun)."

That ~$20k goal makes me wonder why they need to bother with KS at all at that point. It all seems a bit pointless to me then. Just saying.
Marketing?

It's an inexpensive way of getting an interest free cash advance while also generating hype about the game.

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rgnrk: At the end of the day it's only about how much you think it's going to cost you to develop what you promised.
There's no point in asking for less money if you're going to run out of it before finishing. I normally trust more in projects that ask for a realistic amount of money. Only already established teams as Thunder Lotus Games can ask for so little money, as they are funding most of it themselves, or already have investors.
Yes and no. At the end of the day, it's more about how you manage you business. When I say "realistic" I don't mean a realistic number for developing the game, I mean a realistic number to get from Kickstarter. Someone managing their business well, doesn't rely on Kickstarter funding to finish their goals, or to stay in business. I'd say that Thunder Lotus displays that perfectly. You can pretty much bet that this game is coming out regardless of the outcome of the campaign.