KSW New This Week

Loading Human – Funding Goal: $30,000Loading Human 01

Untold Games

The first part of a three chapter tale, Loading Human is a sci-fi Adventure game designed specifically with virtual reality devices like the Oculus Rift in mind. In many ways it’s a traditional point and click adventure game but the perspective and the way you interact with the world gives things an intriguing twist. The controls and motion are meant to be as fluid and intuitive as possible, the aim being to create an extremely immersive narrative experience.

The game’s story is equally as fascinating as its mechanics. It takes place in the mind of a man called Prometheus, who has travelled across the galaxy to find a mysterious energy source called quintessence and to save his father. The story is non-linear, with the perspective flipping through fragments of memories and reliving moments in a somewhat random fashion. Obviously, Untold Games is keeping rather tight-lipped about the key plot points, but there’s enough on show to be tantalizing.

The game is currently 76 percent of the way to its funding goal, and the project will continue until June 5. Pledging $25 snags you a copy of the game. It is being developed for Windows and Mac, and Untold Games is aiming to release it when a consumer version of the Oculus Rift is released – ideally in Quarter 1 of 2015.

Pann The Game – Funding Goal: 30,000Pann 01

Glass Cannon Entertainment

Pann is a gorgeous rhythm-action platformer set in a chaotic and dangerous realm. You play as Apollo, a young man looking to cure his sister’s strange disease. In his travels, he finds and plays a strange instrument, and winds up stranded in the eponymous world. Pann is where the deities who govern nature gather and watch over the Earth. Apollo has to seek out various deities to return home and save his sister.

The game itself is a mix of platforming and hand-to-hand combat. The combat system rewards players who can fight along with the beat instead of button mashing – each hit that is landed in time with the music builds up Apollo’s power and abilities. Apollo also has access to Miya, a spirit whose role is to guide him through the alien world. Miya can manipulate the environment to solve puzzles and open up new pathways, and can also summon new instruments to be used in combat.

Pann is currently 16 percent of the way to being funded, and funding will continue until May 29. A pledge of €11 will get you a copy of the game. It is currently being developed for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Shiness – Funding Goal: $100,000Shiness 07

Ynnis Interactive

A beautiful looking RPG featuring a colourful cast of characters, many of whom appear to be anthropomorphic animals on an epic journey; Shiness wouldn’t look out of place as a Studio Ghibli project. The setting is a land ravaged by long wars over a dwindling energy source called Shi, roughly akin to spiritual energy or life force. The world literally tore itself apart  into a series of Sky Islands, with each race eventually settling on their own corner of the world. You play as two young adventurers travelling on an airship who wind up lost on a dangerous island, and get caught up in a quest much larger than anticipated.

The game draws inspiration from a mixture of JRPGs and manga, and the combat falls somewhere between the two sources as well. Instead of being a traditional, turn-based system, the combat system in Shiness is similar to that of a fighting game. When you encounter an enemy on the world map, you are confined to an Arena and attack each other with kicks, punches and a whole array of devastating skills, combos and spells. Each arena is linked to an element, as are certain characters and enemies, which can influence how the battle plays out. Battles are one-on-one but extra enemies and companions stand outside the arena and can contribute in other ways – a spell to buff or heal can come from an ally, for instance.

Quests are designed to be more meaningful than the cliched farming or fetch quests, and are designed to facilitate multiple solutions as well. There are many ways to approach a given situation: you could charge headfirst into hostile territory, or you could take a more reasoned approach and try to negotiate with your foes. The way you solve quests will affect your reputation, which will, in turn, affect the world around you. Acting in a certain way on a quest might open up new dialog or shop items in a nearby town, for example.

Shiness is already at 67 percent of its goal, and funding goes until June 8. A pledge of $20 will get you a copy of the game upon release. Ynnis Interactive are developing the game for Windows, Mac and Linux, but hope to explore bringing it to other platforms if possible.

KSW Spotlight

Children of War: Blood and Snow – Funding Goal: $50,000Children of War 01

Shadowforge LLC

Children of War: Blood and Snow is an isometric RPG with real time combat that supports up to four players aiding each other. The game is set in a massive open world, currently 20-by-20 kilometers, and the emphasis is definitely on exploration and discovery. Shadowforge hopes to explore the grey areas in life, and force the player to make complex and difficult choices where there is no clear good or evil answer. The details revealed about the world is tantalizing, and offer a glimpse at something much deeper.

It’s set in a world where the gods were once exiled to a shadowy realm and worshipped from afar by humans. As humanity slowly gave into debauchery and greed, the barriers between worlds weakened and the gods returned, wiping out the majority of the civilizations built up across the world. You play as a champion of humanity, gifted with a dark, unknowable power that transforms you into a Demigod. You must defeat the gods and save your world.

KSW Children of War 02The gameplay itself promises an incredible degree of depth and customization. Blood and Snow doesn’t use classes, instead allowing you to invest in skills and abilities as you wish. Everything about your Demigod can be customized like this, from your appearance to your entire build and the way your character fights. Even details as minute as where your quiver sits or how you sheath your weapon are able to be customized. Your weapons can improve as well – Blood and Snow comes with an incredibly interesting lineage system for its items. You name your weapon, and the weapon records your various feats – dungeons cleared, beasts slain and quests completed. This system also allows the loot to tie in with its lore as well, and items you find can have backstories.

Multiplayer is currently limited to local and LAN only, and plays similarly to the single player content, but one of the stretch goals present would include online multiplayer. This particular stretch goal is at the $200,000 mark, and it isn’t the only interesting one. At $150,000 a map editor will be unlocked, and at $400,000 a new game mode, called Mettle Mode, will be added. Mettle Mode will be a slimmed down, competitive version of the game, where you start a new character and adventure through a series of dungeons until you die.

Blood and Snow  is 16 percent of the way to its goal, and funding continues until June 5. Pledging $20 will get you a copy of the game. The game is currently scheduled to be released for Windows, Mac and Linux.

KSW Update

KSW Armello UpdateArmello by League of Geeks

Armello was successfully funded, finishing up at 153 percent of its goal. All of the stretch goals were reached, and all the new characters involved in those are set to be released for free to backers.

Echoes of Eridu by Batterystaple Games

The game was funded, ending at 103 percent of its goal.

Last Life by Rocket Science Amusements

The project was successful, finishing at 137 percent of its initial goal. It reached one of its stretch goals – namely, a full voiceover for speaking characters.

Mark of the Old Ones by Hit The SticksKSW Mark of the Old Ones Update

Mark of the Old Ones was funded, finishing at 101 percent of its goal.

Storium by Protagonist Labs

Storium was received exceptionally well, ending at a staggering 1,005 percent of its initial goal. This amazing feat ensured that all the campaign’s stretch goals were met, and there’s an impressive number of things going into the system now. There are plans for 60 worlds, from celebrated authors like Chuck Wendig, Saladin Ahmed and N.K. Jesimin, and from big names in tabletop gaming like Evil Hat Productions, Green Ronin Publishing and Steve Jackson Games. Storium is also set to be translated into a number of languages and a version is being developed for educational purposes. You can find the full list of stretch goals on the project’s page.

KSW MalevolenceMalevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox by Visual Outbreak

Malevolence, once subtitled The Infinite RPG and now called The Sword of Ahkranox, has been released on Steam Early Access. The game is both a first person dungeon crawler, inspired by the likes of Eye of the Beholder and Legend of Grimrock, and a roguelike with a random, supposedly infinite world. You can find the game here.

Nekro by darkForge GamesWasteland 2

darkForge Games recently released Nekro on Steam Early Access in Beta form. The action-strategy hybrid casts you as a foul Nekromancer and tasks you with commanding a legion of fiends and cutting a bloody swathe across the kingdom in your quest for power and knowledge. You can find it here.

Wasteland 2 by inXile Entertainment

In their latest update, inXile Entertainment have said that an official release date for Wasteland 2 will be announced sometime this month.