Monday, September 9, 2013

Caught MY Eye 9/9/2013

As someone who regularly collects Kickstarter projects it saddens me that I haven't done a Caught MY Eye in a while.  My list was getting a bit out of hand with projects completing without me ever saying a word about them.  I need to figure out a better system, but there are just so many Kickstarters that catch my eye it's not even funny.

My wife's latest art for sale now! 
This weeks projects are mostly hitting their end dates this week so be sure to check them out now if they catch your fancy.  As always these projects are listed in descending order from ending soonest.  Also as before I'm attempting to rate projects based on the product, and the campaign on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest)

【Project Phoenix】 Japan's indie RPG feat. AAA talent!

by Creative Intelligence Arts, Inc.

What's to say about Project Phoenix that hasn't been said already? Veteran game designers coming together to create an old-school style JRPG with a tactical RTS combat system?  Sounds like a winner and the numbers below don't lie!  That said will this project become another "big name" gaming project that folks wait to see if it'll disappoint them or worse yet hope it fails?  We'll see.  Personally I'm not a fan of RTS systems in general so I gave this one a personal pass, but the project seems solid for those who enjoy old-school JRPGs and RTS systems.  

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

�Project Phoenix� Japan's indie RPG feat. AAA talent! -- Kicktraq Mini

Technically Magi: Adventure begins where Science ends

by Gary Turner

This is an interesting comic project that caught my eye due to the combination of science and magic.  I always like to see how folks bring this two elements together and whether they have they work together or against one another.  I think the project layout went well, the guy did a great budget breakdown (The only thing is I'd add more numbers but that's personal preference), the video is solid about the only thing I can think of that went wrong is the ground game.  Looking at the Kicktraq chart it looks like he just wasn't getting the eyes on the project that he needed.  Getting the word out is key but also extremely hard if you don't have a huge ad budget, or have already built up a following through a webcomic or other published works.  I hope this creator can continue and create the worlds he wants.

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

Technically Magi: Adventure begins where Science ends -- Kicktraq Mini

Snowsurfer the new shape on the slopes

by Gareth Lucas

As someone who can't ski or snowboard (I fell off the mountain last time I tried) this project caught my eye as possibly something so simple even my lame butt could do it.  Though personally I have a problem with any product that flexes like that rear board seems to, as I'm sure I'd break it. (I weigh A LOT)
That said this project seems to suffer from a number of problems.  First off it's in the UK part of Kickstarter and while those projects do succeed, we've recently seen that they just don't pull in big numbers and this project looks like it could use the big numbers.  Secondly £1,100 for this thing?! I know I'm not the target audience, and maybe that's what snow boards and such cost, but DAMN.  Any time you have a big ticket project like this you need lots of eyes on it and I'm not sure they were doing it.  Finally the tone of the project just doesn't seem to target the general Kickstarter audience.  It just doesn't seem to be a consumer facing campaign but more of what you'd present at a business conference or to investors.  While I'm all for treating backers like investors in a lot of ways, the tone and style of communication is different.  In the end I hope this project can get out onto the slopes I'm just not sure Kickstarter will be how it's done.  

Product: 4 out of 5    Campaign: 2 out of 5

Snowsurfer the new shape on the slopes -- Kicktraq Mini

NoFlo Development Environment
by The Grid

Congratulations go out to the NoFlo Dev team for reaching their goal in time.  Their project is an odd one for those who know nothing about code to understand, but I think will change software development significantly in the future.  Essentially what they're doing is removing all those lines of code all your programs use today and replacing them with a visual lattice of lines and boxes that reduce wasted code and make it easier to understand.  I sent an interview out to these guys but as I'm not a code monkey my questions are probably not as deep or as effective as they should be.

In the end though they've reached their goal and I hope they end up changing the coding world! 
Product: 5 out of 5      Campaign: 4 out of 5

NoFlo Development Environment -- Kicktraq Mini

GLIDEWARE - "Extending your Ware"

by David and Jenny Hall

When I first saw this one I thought, "infomercial" which honestly is probably a good thing considering the product.  It's one of those home improvement products that you actually want people to see in stores and on TV and I have to say I'm glad to see they reached their goal!  Being able to hang up your pots and pans in any cabinet is a handy thing that I'd love to be able to do, once I'm no longer renting.  So here's hoping that after the Kickstarter is complete David and Jenny can take their product and put it into the retail chain.  In a few years I hope to have my own home and I'd love to organize my pots and pans properly.

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

A Writers Guide to Fairies and Fairy tales

by Ty Hulse

This project caught my attention a few months back when he first attempted to complete it.  It had problems then mostly of scale and focus and Ty has since come back with a revamped and refocused project much to the betterment of the project.   So congratulations go out to Ty for a successful campaign so far and for trying to spread the word about some of the origins of Fairy tales, many of which have been obfuscated due to the "Disneyization" of the tales.

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

Strange Dreams -- Kicktraq Mini

Belle of the Ball: A Fancy Schmancy Card Game
by Dice Hate Me Games

I discovered Dice Hate Me through the Dice Tower and they keep creating fun and interesting games. They've built up a good community and following and really have their ground game down pat.  Their campaigns have evolved over time as well but they've always been extremely sharp.  They do a good job of getting the game out into the community to build the buzz and pretty much do everything you want a Kickstarter to do.  Well done Dice Hate Me Games, well done.  (Though I'd still want a budget breakdown.)

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

Belle of the Ball: A Fancy Schmancy Card Game -- Kicktraq Mini

NE-1 Rocket
by Jonathan McCabe

As always my day job draws me to all space projects, over a decade in an industry does that I suppose.  The concept of a low cost rocket to put things into low earth orbit definitely has it's place in the industry.  In fact the entire project sounds like a series of improvements in small rocketry which might be the biggest problem the project has.  It's not very flashy and many outside the industry probably don't understand why they should care.  Getting the word out and making it a word that more backers understand are keys to getting a project like this to succeed and unfortunately it doesn't look like that's happening.

Product:  4 out of 5.     Campaign:  2 out of 5.

NE-1 Rocket -- Kicktraq Mini

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