Monday, September 23, 2013

Caught MY Eye 9-23-2013

Caught My Eye

As always I try to bring you various Kickstarters that catch my attention for various reasons.  They could be cool ideas, small projects I think deserve more attention, or just something really odd.  As always I list the projects in descending order from ending soonest and then give them a rating.  My ratings are on five point scales based on the quality of the campaign in how well it’s laid out and get the point across as well as a separate rating on the product itself.  

Her Whim by my wonderful Wife Sharyn

Nice Parking Job Business Cards!
by John Pozadzides

Have you ever seen a car parked so badly that you just want to smack the person who parked it and say, “Don’t you even look at how you park afterwards?”  Well how about telling them with a handy business card that you can just leave behind and share with them what you really think?  Well this Kickstarter is for you!  I’ve seen this idea tossed around before but I never wanted to print out my own so it’s good to see someone doing it for me.  My problem with the campaign though is there are lots of pictures of bad parking, but none of the designs!  I want to see what they’re selling without seeing the video and it makes it hard to share the cool idea in a quick blurb like this without a picture of the card.  Also BUDGET BREAKDOWN.  

Product: 5 out of 5   Campaign:  3 out of 5

Nice Parking Job Business Cards! -- Kicktraq Mini

As a sci-fi fan I always like seeing new stories and I think graphic novels/webcomics are some of the best ways to tell a sci-fi story since you can show as well as tell.   This is the fifth Kickstarter from Jimmy and the art is still great looking and the story concepts seem to be interesting enough to keep drawing in the backers.  My only complaint is that the campaign page itself seems to rely almost completely on the art with almost nothing else which seems to work well for those who know Jimmy, but to anyone else it is a bit bland, not quite “will draw for food” but definitely very brief.  Oh and again, BUDGET BREAKDOWN.

Product: 4 out of 5     Campaign:  3 out of 5

FORAGER: An all ages Sci-fi graphic novel. -- Kicktraq Mini

Another RPG? More Sci-fi?  Of course!  This one was sent to me through my social network and it started off with a good idea and ended up being a bit of a disappointment.  The concept of an RPG set at the rise of the machine, the cyborg, and what normal humans try to do in all the chaos is a great one, yet the concept alone doesn’t sell the project.  There’s no preview of the rules and only a recently updated video showing gameplay which seems like obvious things you need for a game Kickstarter.  I hope they can get their ground game together in time, or try again if they don’t hit their goal this time.  With work I think this could be a good project.  

Product:  3 out of 5    Campaign:  3 out of 5
The Robotic Age RPG -- Kicktraq Mini

~ Triumph & Disaster ~

This one caught my eye because of all the green screens and 3D work.  My wife does 3D art and I fiddle around with modeling now and again so seeing an entire film being done in a “virtual” environment always interests me.  The problem here is that the Kickstarter itself is a very jumbled mess that doesn’t really sell itself very well.  First off it’s a $24,000 Kickstarter for an eight minute film where is that money going?  Why isn’t there a budget breakdown?  Secondly the shooting is already done so all that the Kickstarter is funding is Compositing, Sound Design, and Music yet the discussion of what is actually being funded is like 3 sentences and two pictures.  It’s great that you’re talking about the whole film but if you’re asking for $24,000 to fund something it might be important to explain that a bit more than a passing mention.  Third, the backer rewards are very odd and confusing as each 4 minute film is in a separate reward level starting at $15 for a single film.  In fact there is no “complete” backer level until you hit the blue ray level at $125.  Not a very low-dollar backer friendly nor very engaging as there isn’t a single update.  Honestly I think it’s a great looking project but the campaign just falls flat.

Product:  4 out of 5    Campaign: 1 out of 5

~ Triumph & Disaster ~ -- Kicktraq Mini

Hacker Scouts Oakland Lab

A Kickstarter about Hacker (maker) Scouts?  Sign me up!  Seriously I cannot express just how important I think the Maker Revolution and any sort of maker scout program is to the future of the human race.  That said this particular Kickstarter is a very local program and hence has to overcome the usual problems of local Kickstarters which is the idea of a limited pool of interested backers.  Unfortunately the campaign doesn’t seem to be aimed at drawing well on the local pool or the wider maker pool.  I do hope it can reach its goals as I think Maker projects are very important.  

Product: 4 out of 5    Campaign:  3 out of 5  
Hacker Scouts Oakland Lab -- Kicktraq Mini

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