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Can You KickStarter It? – April 2014

May 5th, 2014 by

Kickstarter 200x200Spring has sprung (apparently) and what better way to celebrate, other than by stuffing yourself stupid with chocolate, than to fund needy game developers who can’t even afford Easter eggs (probably)?

As usual there’s a nice variety for you to peruse and don’t forget to visit Kickstarter for even more fantastic projects. This month we’ve got some sexy sci-fi noir, a bit of cops and robbers action and some wholesome button mashing for the family, as well as a naughty little extra something for the comic geeks among you. You know who you are!

Last Life 001

Last Life

Goal: $75,000

End Date: May 9th

Creator: Sam Farmer

Platforms: PC, Mac and Linux

Top Reward: $1000 – character based on you

Every Little Helps Reward: $15 – receive all episodes funded by Kickstarter

What is it?

A sci-fi noir point and click adventure game in which you investigate your own murder. It takes place in a transhumanist colony on Mars called Marstopia. Earth was destroyed 11 years ago and only a few million humans still exist, scattered throughout the remaining civilised colonies of the solar system. You play as Jack Parker, a hardboiled detective investigating a crime, when you are suddenly gunned down. Thankfully the next day is Marstopia’s annual Dead Man’s Party Day when all the recently deceased are 3D printed back into life to enjoy the gala for a few hours. Parker takes the opportunity to try and find out who killed him and why.

Told in three episodes, the story covers topics such as AI corruption, corporate espionage and a conspiracy that may have led to Earth’s doom. Farmer claims he was inspired by modern point and click adventure games like Kentucky Route Zero and The Walking Dead, as well as Twin Peaks and Blade Runner. These influences can certainly be seen in the trailer and gameplay footage on the project page, combining to create a unique polygonal style with a noir colour palette and moody music.

In fact the game looks so good it has received attention not just from many backers but from Double Fine Studio, who are supporting and mentoring the project. Tim Shafer has declared his love for Last Life and given his seal of approval.

Naturally, Farmer is humbled and slightly overwhelmed by this response, and it’s not surprising considering the project appears to be mainly a family affair. His mum is writing the story, his dad is providing the music and his brother is building the world and designing Marstopia’s distinctive architecture. They are all experts in their roles and the game already looks very polished.

Farmer wants to focus on atmosphere and storytelling, while challenging player’s detective skills of interrogation and deduction. It looks like it will be an engrossing game and I can’t wait to see it.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1717469366/last-life

Rats 001

Rats

Goal: $20,000

End Date: May 19th

Creators: Citeremis

Platforms: PC, Mac and Linux

Top Reward: $5000 – a special thank you or mention of your company in the introduction

Every Little Helps Reward: $1 – you’ll receive the special $1 level and a sincere thank you

What is it?

A top-down 2D bank robbery game in which the player progresses in a world where time is of the essence. You play as a rat and must retrieve money from the pigs, thwarting their evil plans for world domination, without being caught by the cats and roosters. There is only a limited amount of time for each level and you must collect all the other coins and collectables before you are caught. Each level requires speed and puzzle-solving.

The developers, a Canadian team of five, say it gives you the opportunity to live a bank robber’s life, from the strategic management of time to the excitement of a robbery. Basically, it’s action, survival, cheese and strategy all wrapped up in a small package. Their words, not mine, but if there’s cheese, I’m in.

It’s described as being a cross between Pac-Man and Gauntlet, with a hint of rogue-like elements. After playing it briefly (the first prototype is available from the project page), I can safely say it has “addiction” written all over it. It’s responsive, colourful and challenging. But it’s no wonder, as Citeremis’ first game Aztaka, which is available on Steam, received high praise.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/894345629/rats-time-is-running-out?ref=discovery

Buttonmasher

Goal: $2500

End Date: May 18th

Creator: Eric Chamberlain

Platform: iOS

Top Reward: $1000 – receive every reward tier as well as an honorary mention in the credits, not only in this game but in the next one as well. Also the guys will call you to thank you personally.

Every Little Helps Reward: $1 – thank you!

What is it?

A Simon clone in an arcade setting with awesome sound effects, sweet animations and online play. There will be three play modes – single player, hot-seat and online.

There’s not much to say about this; it looks pretty simple but I’ve included it because it’s not often I come across family friendly games (which actually look fun). It’ll have that “just one more game” appeal and allow you to try to beat other people’s high scores.

The game is actually 80% complete. The funding is really just to add dubstep tracks, animations, visual effects and few more features. All of the contributions are going directly to buying tools for these goals, which isn’t something a lot of projects can say!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1413666256/buttonmasher-a-game-to-play-with-friends-and-famil?ref=discovery

 

Outdoor/Indoor

Goal: $6000

End Date: May 18th

Creator: Bizhan Khodabandeh

Platform: Online

Top Reward: $300 – a commissioned 11”x17” drawing

Every Little Helps Reward: $1 – gratitude

What is it?

A new infinite canvas comic system, allowing for larger comics to be updated in blog-like posts. The intent is to provide a system for a horizontal or vertical infinite canvas comic to be presented in posted blog format as opposed to a completed comic. The comic creator will be able to share their imagery as an ongoing series.

Posting in segments allows for the system to queue up the information as the reader scrolls through the comic instead of loading an entire comic at once, similar to the way Google Image Search works now, otherwise known as “lazy loading.”

indoor outdoor 002

The comic creator can make larger infinite canvas comics without worrying about how long it takes to download the comic or the order of the loaded images. It will also benefit the reader because they will be able to comment on and share individual segments.

While this may not mean much to non-comic readers (what’s wrong with you people?), it should appeal to those who do read and make comics, especially as the system will be free to download and editable to the public. The funding is to pay for coding, UI, design, a DNS, server space and, of course, rewards.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/665245218/outdoor-indoor-a-new-system-for-infinite-canvas-co?ref=discovery

 

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