Thursday, September 19, 2013

Caught MY Eye 9/19/2013

Another week, another collection of interesting looking Kickstarters!  As always lets go down the list from ending soonest!

3D Virtual Tabletop: Visually Stunning RPGs on iPad, Android
by Brendon Duncan

Now I had meant to get to this project earlier but luckily it didn't need any mention from me to blow the doors off it's goal!  Here in the home stretch the project has already earned 800% of it's goal!  He had an app that worked, he just wanted to add cross platform multiplayer, and thanks to the stretch goal web browser support, and it looks like he wasn't alone in that desire.  This campaign has done quite a bit right in my opinion: it's ground game was awesome as I found out about it before the campaign even launched from multiple sources!  They've continually put out messages both in their social media but as well as the Kickstarter page itself (27 updates in 45 days?  Well done!).  The campaign page itself is very, busy, but it seems to work for them as it does provide quite a bit of information.  There's even a budget breakdown of sorts, since the goal of the project was a Unity Pro licence which costs $5,000 I guess he could have just put a circle with a single item marked "Unity Pro Licence," but he got the point across and I guess 667 backers agreed.

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

3D Virtual Tabletop: Visually Stunning RPGs on iPad, Android -- Kicktraq Mini

Jadepunk: Tales From Kausao City Roleplaying Game
Wuxia + Steampunk + Fate Core = WIN!
Seriously that's a lot of niche markets to appeal to but the crossover sounds just so fun! Unfortunately for the campaign that seems to be all it's got going for it.  It's a very bare bones campaign page that may have launched a little early as there isn't any art, or preview builds, or budget breakdown, or pretty much anything beyond a wall of text and a short video.  Even the video is a bit "meh."  With a campaign setting that just sets my mind ablaze with ideas and stories how can there appear to be so little enthusiasm and excitement in the campaign?  On the bright side there have been ten updates during the campaign and they are very close to their goal but there isn't much time left!  Can the Wuxia masters of the Steampunk city of Kausao  pull off  a miracle and get them across the goal line in time?  Find out soon only on Kickstarter!   
Product:  4 out of 5        Campaign: 2 out of 5  
Jadepunk Roleplaying Game -- Kicktraq Mini

Data Hacker: Corruption - a massive Dual-plot RPG
by Ross Tunney

The game caught my eye for the .hack and Sword Art Online theme and feel yet while creating their own world and story.  Games like this are why I love Kickstarter, as every story can be told in new and interesting ways (listen up Hollywood!) and it's these small independent creators that are coming up with the new twists and such that can really shake things up.  That said this is most definitely a niche game, with a RPG Maker type aesthetic the game won't appeal to everyone.  That said it sounds like they are dedicated to the world they're creating and are planning on switching to Unity 3D for the next game which might open the game up to more people.  The campaign itself is quite well laid out, if it a bit busy with screen shots.  There is a budget breakdown though with no numbers attached just an outlay of where the money is going.  All in all I look forward to seeing what these guys do in the future as they seem to be doing a good job of building a niche for themselves.  They did get a write-up in PC Gamer I just wish projects like this would attract the attention of Rock Paper Shotgun and Giant Bomb as they seem to enjoy these smaller games, though not necessarily these genre of games.

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

Data Hacker: Corruption - a massive Dual-plot RPG -- Kicktraq Mini

hipjib - unchaining your camera
by Gert Wagner

I really like photography and film so when I see new camera gear I always give it a look.  Mostly to drool and dream over what I wish I could have, but also to see things and go, "Ah so that's how it's done."  This project make me go "ah" as well as "isn't this already a thing?"  Turns out what makes this project interesting isn't that there are hip camera mounting systems, it's that it lets you use an existing tripod in new and interesting ways!  This kind of interesting innovation and spin on an old concept really excites me and makes me glad I look at Kickstarter.  My only problem with the campaign is it doesn't really connect us with the creators nor provide a budget breakdown.  Then again the product itself seems to sell itself as the project is doing quite well and the videos pretty much speak volumes all on their own!

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

hipjib - unchaining your camera -- Kicktraq Mini

Burning Suns
by SunTzuGames

Seems I just keep running into the Burning Suns campaign, but then again it's such a cool sounding game that I just can't help but be attracted to it.  Two words sum it all up for me, "Dice Ships."  Luckily after some retooling and refocusing of their campaign they've really come back to create a successful campaign.  Creating replay ability in a strategy board game by making customizable races is a great idea and one that I hopes breaths new life into one of my favorite board game genres (even if I don't get to play it anywhere near enough!).  The campaign itself is also well done and the guys over at SunTzuGames took their lessons to heart and have really stepped it up this time around.  They've been hitting the social media networks, getting game previews and rules out to the players, and of course they have a wonderful budget breakdown.  This is a great campaign that I can't help but give high marks for, but I'm biased as I want this game but I can't buy it so it's gotta get out into the wild so I can play it!

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

Burning Suns -- Kicktraq Mini

Fantasy Frontier
by Gamelyn Games

Finally our last game comes to us not through my usual sources of me wandering around Kickstarter or being emailed/tweeted/Google+ about a project, but through a good old fashioned banner ad.  So I guess good ad money for you there Gamelyn Games on that Kicktraq ad buy.

Having said that, remember my complaint about Jadepunk having such a great setting but no seeming excitement?  Watch Fantasy Frontier's video and just see the difference adding some excitement and enthusiasm can make to a video! Seriously the game itself is a worker/tile placement eurogame which sounds fun, but that's not something that comes across as exciting in a video usually, but these guys did a great job of making it sound fun and exciting.  This is their fourth campaign so it shouldn't come as any surprise that their campaign is well laid out, though I am disappointed to not see a budget breakdown, but being a company more than an individual or small group tends to provide a bit more trust by backers.  All in all a game I'd love to play and I think will do well.

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

Fantasy Frontier -- Kicktraq Mini

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