Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Explore, Build, Survive in Planet Explorers!

Note: This Kickstarter has ended but they have an extended Paypal friendly campaign continuing for the next 30 days.

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am very pleased to be joined by the fine folks of Pathea Games who are here to talk about their labor of love, Planet Explorers!  Thank you for joining us today!

Hi, nice to be here! We’ve been developing Planet Explorers for over a year now, and we’re finally at a point where we feel that players can see the direction of the game. We always felt that it’s better to show than tell.

Planet Explorers looks to be a fun title, could you give us an overview of the game?  

Planet Explorers is an open world voxel based sandbox adventure RPG game set on a distant planet. The game uses a new OpenCL system based on the Unity 3D engine to allow players to change the terrain in anyway, create new objects in any form, and do it anywhere.

A voxel based game?  What does that mean?  

Planet Explorers uses the marching cubes algorithm to calculate the voxels (which stands for volumetric pixels) into triangles to show in the GPU. What does means is that the voxels in PE are smooth, allowing for a more realistic world but still have the terrain modification that people relate to when it comes to voxel games.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Need some help with your crowdfunding?

Greetings, and welcome to our ongoing CrowdFunding conversations!  Today, I am joined by David Khorram of
CrowdFunding Planning who is here to talk about CrowdFunding, the services offered, and the future of the Capital Formation method!  Thank you for joining us today David!

When I first contacted you, I thought we’d only be talking about CrowdFunding Planning, but then you linked seven different CrowdFunding webpages!  I guess the question now is, what don’t you do?  From CrowdFunding News, CrowdFunding Seminars, Qualification Programs, and of course CrowdFunding Planning, you seem to cover all the bases.  

How did you get involved in CrowdFunding?  What makes you so passionate about it?  
CrowdFunding surfaced about 2 ½ years ago, when we were vigorously seeking new business opportunities as the traditional Information Technology marketplace began a major shift.
20 years ago, we began supporting Traditional Information Technology implementations, Data Center Build-outs, Building and Corporate Campus cabling, wiring, fiber & wireless infrastructure and many variations of IT systems, for Systems, Servers, Voice and telecommunications.  
These Local, Regional and National Projects have also included the emerging Cloud Technology Services, as we began a Google Apps for Business reseller relationship back in 2006.  Hence, a major shift and change in the Technology Marketplace.

The process of reaching out to potential clients ( the CROWD) thru the internet with a valuable message about who you are and what you do has been making more and more sense for the last 6-8 years.  We have found not only a great market opportunity, but a strong demand for knowledgeable and skilled services in the area of website development, Branding and market identification.  This has steadily grown our Information Technology  Business Services offering.

Then about 3 years ago, CrowdFunding, and the various technology elements of supporting it within the Internet began to become a viable business opportunity, that naturally leverages off the skills and services we already have been successfully bringing to market for the Small Business, StartUP and Entrepreneur.  

So what exactly counts as CrowdFunding?  How do you define it?  

CrowdFunding has been around in many forms for hundreds of years, when communities, bonded together, to help build a Barn, Home or Civic or Church Building and its amenities, clear a field to farm or build a small dam for water retention or irrigation,  for one or several members of a Common Community.

Today, CrowdFunding is much the same, yet light years of difference.  Modern CrowdFunding has a very high tech, CLOUD basis, relying on the Internet as the communications highway, rather than more traditional methods.   So, any form of promoting an Innovative Idea, Product & Solution, to a Common Community or CROWD, soliciting help and support, typically in monetary pledges, in order to produce this product or service, is today’s CrowdFunding.  
There are a number of sophisticated technologies employed in this process and some of these are third party Portals or Exchanges to handle the transactions and in some way keep them well documented and organized, others include targeted Brand Identity building, and marketing Messaging via Social Media Channels to reach the researched and targeted audience - the CROWD.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A magical girl with an "Errant Heart."

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am joined by Ron and Mike from Pseudomé Studio who are here to talk about their visual novel Kickstarter, “Errant Heart.”   Thank you both for joining us!

Ron: Our pleasure.
Mike: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us!

As an occasional player of visual novels I’m pretty interested in your project.  Would you care to give us an overview of your project?  

Ron: Errant Heart is a story that has the seed of its creation during our comic-making days. As you noted (in one of your later questions), we worked on a comic/manga title, Van Von Hunter. It was the sort of title that relied heavily on observational comedy—observations of idiotic logic flaws or other bone-headed concepts found in anime, manga, comics, TV shows, movies, etc. For some reason, we both tend to latch on to those sorts of foibles and exploit them.

As a result, we both enjoy deconstructing high-level concepts and reconfiguring them or otherwise subverting them. Errant Heart started out as a way to subvert some of the most obvious tropes found in the Magical Girl genre. You know—stuff like the cutsey talking animal side kicks, the evil baddies disappearing in a burst of sparkly stars, etc. But, as we were hip deep in Van Von Hunter, it was the sort of thing that had to be shelved.

Once we discovered the visual novel medium and wanted to undertake a project utilizing it, we searched through our archive of old ideas and dusted off Errant Heart. It's evolved quite a bit since the original concept. And it's definitely not a comedy, nor a direct subversion of the Magical Girl genre anymore. In fact, if anything, I'd say it's more of a combination of some of the traditional story-telling techniques one might find in TYPE-MOON visual novels, crossed with a Shonen Jump title, like Bleach.

In short, the story takes place in a fictional 1940's European city and follows the exploits of a young, uncertain painter named Lira Moretti. The people that she meets once she moves to the "big city" presents her with challenges to not only her career, but her personality and her fundamental way of life: Does she ignore the crazy, bizarre events that take place during her arrival in the city, or does she follow up on them and potentially find something she'll regret later?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Burning Suns

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am happy to be bringing Emil Larsen from Sun Tzu Games to talk about their sci-fi 4x Kickstarter:  Burning Suns - The Conquest of a Galaxy.  Thank you for joining us Emil!

Thank you for inviting me James, I’m thrilled to be able to share my experiences with you and your audience.

I understand you’ve brought us a 4x sci-fi board game but could you give us an overview of it all?  

Sure... Burning Suns is a strategy space game, that gives the player the opportunity of playing a wide variety of empires. The player has 4 main paths to victory (therefore the four x’es), but they are all part of a bigger tactical tree of options.
You need to understand your empires strengths and weaknesses in order to be victorious in this hostile environment.
Some of the key points are, You never have to play the same game ever. Initially you have 216 different empires to choose from, and with that come a variety of cards too. Furthermore the simple rules of how to set up a galaxy to play in - makes it possible to change map from game to game.
Another thing, is the cool “Dieships”, yea - one of my backers came up with that name :D Admitted, these minis are not part of the initial goal on Kickstarter but a stretch goal. But when you see them, I’m sure you’ll also fall in love with those minis carrying dice.
Furthermore, we have the tactical worker placement mechanic in the game, where the leaders are placed in order to take the actions - this is where the strategy is implemented by proactive or reactive tactics. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

There's some Mischief in the air

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am joined by Luke Peterschmidt, creator of the family friendly card game, “Fairy Mischief.”  Thank you for joining us today Luke!
Susie: Hi! Thanks for talking with us about Fairy Mischief! We are all really excited about this game!

Would you be so kind as to give us an overview of your game?

Susie: Fairy Mischief is a card game that is super fun, quick to play, easy to learn and helps transition young girls into more advanced analog games as they get older.

What was the inspiration for making a transitory game bridging the gap between the classic card game “War” to something more “gamey?”  

Susie: Our daughter. She is 9 and loves to game. We wanted to make a game that was simple enough that she could take it to a grandparents house or a friends house - and it would give them something fun and quick to play and also something that she could easily explain to other kids that may not be as gamer-y as her.  Fairy Mischief exposes them to elements more than just “who has the bigger card” - that is where the dice roles, charm collecting, multiple duels and the mischief chart comes in!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Be the Eye in the Sky!

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am pleased to be joined by Nick Braun who is here to talk to us about the wonderful LineCam System.  Thank you for joining us today Nick!

Thanks for having me James, I’m happy to be here talking about our innovative product.

When I first saw your project the first thing I thought of was, “FOOTBALL!”  Is your system anything like the overhead cameras they use in the NFL? Can you tell us exactly what your system is?

The only similarity about the two systems, is they are both in some way a cable actuated camera rig. The system at football games requires 4-8 anchor points, each containing a winch system that pulls the camera in different directions. This system can take multiple days to set up and needs a 4 to 6 man crew to operate, as well as having a significantly prohibitive cost for most production crews or hobbyists.

Our system is a “point-to-point” cable actuated camera rig. It requires only 2 anchor points using a simple rigging and tensioning system. The drive unit and other electronics are housed inside of the shuttle protected from the elements. Movement of the shuttle and camera gimbal are achieved with a radio transmitter. Our system can take less than 5 minutes to set up and have functioning, and only requires 1 person to operate.

This is a very professional looking rig!  What brings you to Kickstarter with it versus selling it to an equipment manufacturer?  

We are wanting to retain ownership of the company, patents, creative control, and the manufacturing process. We take great pride in manufacturing a high precision product that is built to last, is 100% made in the USA, and has a lifetime warranty. We are also big supporters of “keeping it local” and continuing to provide local jobs.
Kickstarter and the whole crowd funding buzz seemed like the best logical step for our first production run of systems.

Think you have enough LEGOs? How about 200,000!

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  I am pleased to be joined by Mike Doyle the creator of an ambitious art project consisting of over 200,000 LEGOs!  Thank you for joining us today Mike.  

Thanks so much for having me!

I think with a title like “Contact 1: A 200,000 Piece LEGO Masterwork” the Kickstarter does a good job of getting the basic point across, but could you go into some details as to what the project goal is?  

The Contact series is to promote the beauty of all intelligent life forms as extensions of our family – children under the same creative force. Through the worldwide “Disclosure” movement, enough evidence and credible, corroborated testimony has been compounded to demonstrate, that we have been visited by intelligent humanoids for many years now. These testimonies and government reports have shown the ETs concern over our nuclear capabilities and earth damaging habits. Those that have been in contact have reported incredible inner beauty of the beings they meet. Future pieces will go into expanded consciousness and its relationship to the ETs. It is an important message to counter the tabloid silliness, Hollywood demonization of ‘aliens’ and basic news media blackout.

The images with the campaign are just plain stunning.  Are these renderings of the proposed build or are they pictures of the actual build?  

Thank you! It’s all from the build. I’m afraid I don’t know how to render. The only section that has been ‘faked’ for now, is the very corner green water area where I ran out of pieces and money. I’m currently applying the pieces and am going to reshoot the corner. I think the power of the piece come from the knowledge that it is real.

The build sounds huge!  What is the plan for the build once it’s completed?  

I have already begun disassembling it to reuse pieces for other builds in future. My hope is for submission into museums.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Science Fiction? Fantasy? Kids? Adults? How about game for all of the above?

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am joined by Paul Lell who is here to talk to us about his intriguing RPG Kickstarter, “Kalijor.”  Thank you for joining us today Paul!

Hello, James. Thanks for “having me on the show,” as it were. I’d hate to be so cliche as to say I’m super excited to be here, but it’s true. *grins*

From your video Kalijor: the RPG sounds like an interesting change of pace for role playing games, can you give us a rundown of the project?  

Sure thing. The basic idea was initially just to translate the world of the Kalijor novels into a viable role playing game setting. Originally, I wrote the entire book around another game system’s engine and went through pretty extensive talks with the owner of that company about publishing either through them, or with their permission, and an IP license. In the end however, we both sort of mutually arrived at the same conclusion simultaneously: It would be better for both of our IP’s, long term, if Kalijor was its own game, with its own game engine.

So, I began rewriting it. And while I was neck deep in building my own game engine, I had a great conversation with a friend, and some fans of the novels, on the floor at GenCon 2012 about how tough it can be to find really good ways to help kids learn about and grow within the ‘geek culture’. So, I took a look at the rules engine I had created and it dawned on me that with a few tweaks here and there, I had something pretty special on my hands.

By peeling back a layer of the logistics that so many gamers like to have, the game engine was still completely functional, but vastly simplified. With a few more tweaks here and there it became something I’ve never seen before. A pen and paper game engine that could be played by kids as young as four or five, with the help of their parents. Then, by adding those layers of logistics back in, a little bit at a time, that same engine can scale up to a full blown pen and paper RPG that is both deep in character development, and story.

So, to get back around to the question again, this Kickstarter is to help bring the full blown Kalijor RPG, the Kalijor: Kids RPG, ~and~ the Grow With Me RPG games to print, and get them to GenCon 2013 to share with all those gamer parents out there that want to share their love of RPGs with their kids but are having trouble with systems that may be a bit too complex for younger minds. Then, as the kids grow up, they can transition through the rules and join their parents’ full games, or start their own, all using the same set of rules they learned to use as kids.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Futuristic racing at it's finest!

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am pleased to be joined by the team behind a great looking Kickstarter film: Momentum.   Thank you folks for joining us today!

Thank you! We are very honored to be able to be featured with your website.

I have to say from the images to the story the entire project sounds great!  Would you care to give us a round-down of the film?  

The story follows our main character Ethan Knight who works 2 dead end jobs to pay the bills and through the years keeping up with that, he loses touch with having a passion in life. All the while, he still has not found a common ground with his now 21 year old daughter, Charlie. The distance between the two of them and the passing of Charlie’s mother, his wife, was never truly resolved. What you will be seeing is Ethan finally getting closer to Charlie and he finding that fire again in life with maggy racing.

Searching a little bit of history that fell from the stars...

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am joined by the intriguing Marc Hermann to talk about his documentary The Lost Torah.  Thank you for joining us today Marc!

Glad to be here James. Thank you for inviting me to Kickstarter Conversation and allowing me to talk to you about the space shuttle and a little known story associated with it.

As a NASA man myself it is always interesting to run into those with interesting stories and different points of view of my daily job.  In this case you’ve brought up an interesting angle on the Columbia tragedy, would you tell us more about The Lost Torah and this Kickstarter project in particular?  

I am doing two things with my project. Primarily I am making a documentary film To inform the public about this little known subject. The first Israeli Astronaut, Ilan Ramon was aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Few people know that he had brought with him a Torah and other items to conduct Friday night religious services for the sabbath. This Torah was never recovered after the loss of Columbia. Only 40 percent of this Orbiter was ever recovered the rest is still out there spread across the country. Most think everything burned up on reentry but this is far from the case. The crew cabin was not breached and depressurised until after it was already in the atmosphere and did not actually burn. Many paper documents and astronauts notes were recovered in the following weeks after the tragedy. The Torah is inside a still missing crew locker. I am putting together a team to go and search for this lost crew locker containing the Torah.

One of my coworkers sent me a story of the history of this little Torah you’re looking for, it’s quite a story all on it’s own! Will you go through the history of the Torah as setup for the rest of the film?  

This particular Torah’s age is unknown. What we do know is that during WWII it had been miraculously smuggled in to the concentration camp, Bergen Belsen in Germany. It was at a time where the Nazi’s were destroying anything Jewish. The Rabbi who was protecting and hiding the Torah inside the camp knew that he was not going to survive. After the Rabbi Bar Mitzvahed a 13 year old boy. He entrusted the now young man to keep and protect this Little 6 inch tall Torah. This young man was able to survive the camp with the Torah. Later this man took the Torah with him to live in Israel.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Kickstarter Conversations: What is Kickstarter?

Here is the first Kickstarter Conversations video!  I hope you enjoy this brief description of what Kickstarter and Crowdfunding is.  

Music By: Biology Slides (Bleak House) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dial into your local BBS, Tradewars is back!

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am pleased to be joined by Sylvain Rochon co-founder and CEO of Sylien Games who is here to talk about Tradewars Rising.  Thank you for joining us today Sylvain.  

You’re welcome.  Glad to be here.

I have a feeling there are plenty of old gamers like me who remember Tradewars 2002 fondly, but for everyone else this is a pretty new thing.  Could you tell us a bit about Tradewars Rising?  

Tradewars Rising is a graphical remake of the old game really.  We tried as best we could to follow the old game’s feel and style where you, as a captain, are trying to win the game using up turns that regenerate daily, strategically vying for supremacy in a randomly generated galaxy.  You can corp up (team up in a corporate structure), make alliances etc....

For those who don’t remember the old game, the game is an mmo where you use ships of different types to trade resources for profits, establish colonies (even creating new planets), put colonists to work on your planets to build resources and fighters (who act like ammunition and defenses).  Games last typically between 1-2 months total until a captain or a Corporation is declared the winner.  There are currently 5 winning conditions for the games which focus on different aspects from colonization to piracy to strict moneymaking etc....  All in all though, its all about strategy and diplomacy to win.

Monday, April 1, 2013

When the fantasy world invades our world, what do you get? Orc Wars!

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am pleased to be talking to director Kohl Glass about his latest Arrowstorm Entertainment Kickstarter, Orc Wars.  Thank you for joining us today Kohl.  

Thanks! It’s a privilege to be able to talk with you.

With a title of “Orc Wars” it conjures up a certain film idea, yet looking at the trailer you get a completely different idea.  Can you tell us a bit about the film?  

Basically, “Orc Wars” is a twisted or inverted Narnia.  Instead of characters from our world being transported to a fantasy world, in Orc Wars the fantasy elements come to our world.

Where did you get the idea of a modern day guardian against essentially fantasy Orcs?  

The concept is all Arrowstorm founders Jason Faller’s and Kynan Griffin’s.   They made a movie titled Orcs! which I edited. Orcs! had basically the same concept (modern warfare vs fantasy orcs) but it evolved into a comedic horror film about two park rangers (played by Adam Johnson and Maclain Nelson - both of whom, incidentally, play major roles in Orc Wars . . . Adam actually plays two, a Redneck and an Orc General) taking on a horde of orcs that emerge in their national park. In the intervening years after the release of Orcs! Arrowstorm felt that they wanted to revisit the concept of orcs in our world, only this time have it be a straightforward action/fantasy film. It was February of last year when Jason called me, asking me if I’d be interested in writing and directing Arrowstorm’s new Orc movie, and I said yes.