I’ve gone all arty on you this month. But don’t despair! You won’t find pretentiousness here, only original projects borne from genuine feelings. We have an innovative, inverted exploration game, a game that sets the weather against you and aims to improve your health, a bittersweet love story that will sweep you away, and something else entirely, that transcends the waking world and dares to tread the passages of our dreams.
Sounds a bit heavy going? Check them out and you’ll find there’s more imagination to each project than my descriptions can do justice. Whether we like it or not, we’re often drawn to things which we can relate to. Games which speak to us on a human level are always going to grab our intention and it says a lot about the game industry that indie gamers are putting out more mature, emotionally engaging games. I think that’s something we can all feel proud of.
End Date: 6th December
Creator: PolyKnight Games
Top Reward: $3000 – fly to Dallas, come up with a game idea and hang out while team makes it happen
Every Little Helps Reward: $1 – digital wallpapers
What Is It?
An exploration flying game set on an inverted planet. In a world where physics are reversed, explore a setting of interconnected spheres, where each is an interior world of once-inhabited islands surrounded by water. Here, gravity pulls outwards, away from the centre. You pilot an agile craft as an unnamed cartographer, accompanied by your trusty archaeologist, exploring various bubble-worlds, collecting relics and encountering each bubble’s unique deity, all in order to discover more about the universe, its history and its future.
Key inspirations for the game include Proteus, Shadow of the Colossus and Crimson Skies. There are also elements of Journey and Minecraft in that players are encouraged to explore by their own volition. Exploration really takes centre place and the intrigue of the story, that of uncovering the planets secrets, is interwoven with the thrill of finding and pursuing new expanses.
Everything is organically designed, with soothing synth music accompanied by acoustic sounds, elegant clean artwork and a gradual progression in experience. Levels aren’t distinct, separated areas but components of their larger environment.
Flying is designed to be fun and never frustrating. Since the world disregards our own physics, your plane (“a hybrid of mechanical interest and organic warmth”) flies free from the rules of gravity, allowing you to focus on the experience of exploring. The distinction between air and water is emphasised in Innerspace but you’re able to seamlessly transition between the two, effectively connecting them and allowing you to experience the world from an entirely different perspective.
Exploration games are becoming ever more daring and open world. The idea of following your nose and going where you feel, while still following a story path, is an appealing one to a lot of gamers.
End Date: 2nd December
Platform: iOS (tablet)
Top Reward: $5000 – join the team for a Kickstarter party and have your name included in the game as an Executive Producer
Every Little Helps Reward: $1 – thank you!
What Is It?
A beautifully crafted adventure game where you study the weather and plan your route to survive. Combining aspects of tower defence, action, puzzle and strategy, this mystical epic is set in a world (Aqun) where the balance between the four classical elements has been lost. Your survival and the planets are intricately tied together. You play as a young female monk in a male-dominated order; using antiquated maps and your spirit bird, you must face crippling geography and terrifying weather while you learn to use your Qi to plan, study, build and venture forth.
Weather Zen is the first in a series of increasingly complex games from Krellware, which will eventually lead up to an MMORPG within the same virtual space. Not only have they got big plans, they’ve also got a unique take on game development. Borne out of deep personal tragedy, Krellware is a company who believe games have serious health benefits and have witnessed the positive results on their own team. They genuinely have the players’ best interests at heart.
The spotlight for platform release is on the iPad but the game can be provided on other platforms for contributors and as public demand warrants. In fact if backing the project, choosing the “Get in Game” reward tier will give you the option to replace the standard iPad version with a DRM-free PC version on the platform of your choice.
When You’re Gone
Goal: kr180,000 SEK
End Date: 30th November
Top Reward: kr2000 SEK – invitation to release party where you will meet the team and get a surprise gift
Every Little Helps Reward: kr10 SEK – mentioned in end credits
What Is It?
A single-player platformer that explores the feelings of love, loss and loneliness through gameplay and motion comics. You play as Sam as he meets, falls in love with and loses Emma. The game aims to be relatable beyond the obvious romantic themes.
Another project borne from personal circumstances, When You’re Gone is being developed by nine students from BTH (Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden) who came together to create and explore the field of videogames. This is their first large collaborative project though they have previously worked on other smaller projects together. Their goal is to make games that are thought provoking and emotionally driven, games that aspire to achieve something new while still being fun to play.
The artwork is really special and I urge you to check out the song featured in the Kickstarter video – it really is beautiful. Scandinavian cinema and literature is finally getting the recognition it deserves in the contemporary world and there is a haunting beauty in the simplicity and melancholic state of this game that fans of this part of the world will recognise and love.
After Midnight Anthology
End Date: 11th December
Creator: Jennifer Wu
Top Reward: $300 – all previous rewards and a printed 9”x12” commission by an artist of your choice
Every Little Helps Reward: $1 – eternal thanks!
What Is It?
A collection of comics and illustrations by 22 unique artists telling stories of what happens after the stroke of midnight.
All 150 pages are full of art, created by professional enthusiastic artists. And the best part is that everything is finished. All the artwork has been completed, all the writing has been turned in. It just all needs to be put together. Needless to say it’s the printing that’s the costly part and if all goes well Wu hopes to have the books ready for delivery between late February and early March.
Enchanting is how I would describe this project. It’s a chance to own some wonderful artwork and a piece if originality.