One thing that always strikes me when I’m researching projects for this article is how passionate people are. In reality they all deserve to be funded; there’s a level of enthusiasm that’s lacking in AAA games. Not that the big developers don’t care about but you can see the raw energy in every indie project and it’s touching.
Before I need to pull out the tissues, I’ll introduce my next batch of deserving developers: this month’s selection ranges widely from a nine strong team with epic aspirations to a humble one-woman student project. They all have interesting stories and fascinating ideas. And my bonus project this week comes from Indiegogo rather than Kickstarter but who are we to split hairs?
End Date: 6th April
Creators: Cubical Drift
Top Reward: $5000 – help design a dungeon and its local quests
Every Little Helps Reward: $15 – one digital copy of game
What Is It?
A 3D open-world voxel-based RPG in first person. The intricate plot begins with rumours of human-like aliens that crashed onto the planet some time ago: what happened? Where are they from? Why did they crash? Are there survivors? To answer these questions, Planets³ players will have to solve a number of mysteries and build up their own little world before expanding into the universe. As they progress, they’ll be able to level up their character to achieve more freedom until they can roam the universe in their own star ship, which they will be able to build themselves.
The game has a very distinctive look, similar to Minecraft but much more polished and well, beautiful. (Sorry Minecraft fans!) The player also has the ability to construct anything out of the 100 different materials they can find. The universe is made entirely of voxels (25cm³ blocks) and Cubical Drift have developed specific multi-threading algorithms so they can display a massive number of blocks with a large viewing distance in real time. This basically means the player will be able to see other planets from the surface by night and without clouds.
Planets³ will be released in two parts due to the ambitiousness of the project. The first release, called Planets³: Race to Space should be ready for autumn 2015 and will take place in the first solar system. The second release, Planets³: Space Enemies will be the “full game” and will open onto the universe; it will be released in 2017.
So it’s a huge project and it looks amazing. They’re taking so long because they are perfectionists. You just need to read their project page to realise this. All the natural elements of their universe are being taken into account, such as planet alignment – all the planets are in motion. Not only is there a story to get into but there will be dungeons with bosses where you can find treasure, and smart enemies who will work together against you. They’ve taken everything from games they love and combined it into one massive project of awesomeness. I can’t wait to see the results for this one!
End Date: 30th April
Creators: Sir Force Games
Platforms: Initially PC and eventually Xbox Live and the Nintendo e-shop
Top Reward: $700 – in-game boss/sprite named/designed after you
Every Little Helps Reward: $1 – thank you email
What Is It?
A 2D platformer with a large over world and map exploration. The level design has been based around a unique movement system which revolves around weapons, e.g. using a whip to swing around or sticking a sword into ceilings/walls. Unusually there are no power-ups; the player must grow to overcome obstacles and challenges. This isn’t as Disney as it sounds. To show progression, the environment changes and the player must learn and adapt, rather than relying on better weapons and increased abilities.
The fragmented storytelling format is inspired by Dark Souls, where the player must discover the narrative themselves by searching through the information they are presented with. It sounds pretty hard core to say the least and will no doubt delight those who really enjoy a challenge.
End Date: 20th April
Creator: Roxana Hasonat
Top Reward: $100 – you’ll be put in the game
Every Little Helps Reward: $1 – your name/username will be mentioned somewhere in the game
What Is It?
A graphic novel style point and click game, inspired by Oscar Wilde’s book The Picture of Dorian Gray. Drawn in an anime/manga style, the story is set in the present day but in a more imperial aristocratic society. You play as Dorian-Gray and as you progress through the story you will be presented with options that will change the fate of the other characters.
It’s rare to see a project being undertaken by just one person without any outside help and that’s why this game stood out to me. Roxana is a student at Lawrence Technical University, MI, and she is studying Transport Design. It seems making games is her hobby, as this isn’t her first attempt but she is on a strict time limit; she needs to complete this before she gives her course materials back! How she is managing to make a game by herself and do her course is beyond me, when I could barely manage to wash myself when I was at uni. Seeing fledgling developers like Roxana is heartening because whether or not she does well with this game, she obviously has the drive to go far and that is worth supporting.
Power Mitt Oven Glove
End Date: 5th May
Creator: Pete Hottelet
Top Reward: $10,000 – gold-plated oven glove
Every Little Helps Reward: $39 – one oven glove
What Is It?
Really? You haven’t figured it out by now? Oh boy…
Pete Hottelet is a guy. He makes things. You may have heard of some of them, such as the soap from Fight Club, Sex Panther Cologne from Anchorman and Stay Puft Marshmallows from Ghostbusters. So he’s got some credentials.
This oven glove doesn’t just look cool, it’s actually functional. Moulded from heat-resistant silicon rubber, it’s a one size fits most glove. Not only will you look good in your kitchen, you also won’t get burnt. That sounds pretty good to me.