Kickstarter Weekly vol. 31 Alison Fleming June 18, 2014 Features First off, before we get started with the main event, I should apologize for there not being a Kickstarter Weekly last week. We – both the site and I, personally – got too caught up in covering various conventions, and our plans were changed too much to really be able to nail down. With that said, we’re back in full force and everything should be smooth sailing from here on out, so here’s another bunch of awesome looking Kickstarter projects. Skara: The Blade Remains – Funding Goal: $35,000 Skara A hybrid of action games, fighters and RPGs focused solely on massive multiplayer battles, Skara is nothing if not ambitious… The combat looks fast, furious and decidedly brutal – attacking, defending and putting together combos all rely on your sense of timing. You’ll have to watch your foes’ movements as well and be ready to react and punish them for any missteps. You can use a variety of different weapons, both melee and ranged, and armour in the battle, all of which will have their own benefits and drawbacks. The battles and game modes vary a great deal as well – a short skirmish might take five minutes, for instance, while an epic battle between factions might take several hours to complete. The world that’s been built around the game is also rather impressive. It runs on the Unreal Engine 4, so it’s stunning graphically, and the art direction is excellent as well. There’s a lot of lore behind the world as well – there’s a large world to explore and learn about and various different races and factions to either play as or interact with. And, most importantly, the world is reactive to the actions of its players. Great victories or losses will be recorded in the in-game lore and will change the world’s landscape. As you play, the world around you should evolve. Skara is currently at 70 percent of its goal, and the campaign continues until July 4. It will be free to play on release, but a pledge of $10 or $19 will get you beta and alpha access respectively. It’s being developed for PC, Linux and the Xbox One. Hard Rain – Funding Goal: $5,555 Fuguelike Hard Rain is an odd game, and an even odder genre mashup. Fuguelike call it “a pachinko machine physics sim made into a tower defense-like strategy/puzzler hybrid” which is a… daunting combination of things to cover. It’s definitely a unique game, with an equally unique aesthetic, and one that fans of puzzles should keep an eye on. The core concept of the game is that the eponymous Hard Rain is coming – a flood of colourful spheres falling from above which threaten to clog up the drains. Your job is to use a variety of tools – including arrows which redirect the flow and rotating walls to flip the Rain about the field – which you can place throughout the level to redirect the flow. Each level has a time limit – if you can keep the Rain from flooding until then, you win. It’s a simple concept but one which looks to quickly descend into glorious chaos. Hard Rain is 16 percent of the way to its goal and funding will continue until July 7. Pledging $9 will get you a copy of the game, though there are still slots open in the $7 Early Bird tier. It’s currently being developed for PC and Mac. Solar Storm – Funding Goal: £30,000 Lucid Dreams Studios In the near future, humanity has begun to expand into the rest of the solar system. These efforts are hampered by solar storms – cosmic storms of terrifying proportions which tear apart both ships and people each time they strike. Humanity develops a ship which can quell these storms, but promptly loses it in the depths of space – Solar Storm casts you as the captain of a ship setting out to recover the lost vessel. The gameplay is described as “FTL meets LEGO” and, I’ll be honest, that’s maybe the most excited three words has ever made me for a game in recent memory. You build your ship from a number of parts, and you’re essentially free to do what you want. You can make a titanic vessel covered in guns and turrets, an agile little speeder which makes up for its lack of firepower with its ability to outpace foes, or anything in between. Your goal is to recover the lost ship from somewhere in the Asteroid Belt, and you can build anything that you think can get you there and back. Your ship will evolve and be rebuilt from things like the scraps of your enemies as the game goes on as well, allowing you to adapt to the situation. The game’s world is large, non-linear and somewhat random, with events and incidents being randomly generated, so there should be a good deal of replayability. Solar Storm is currently at 1 percent of its goal, and funding will continue until July 13th. Pledging £8 will get you access to the game on release. For those interested, there’s also a demo available on the project page. Midora – Funding Goal: $60,000 Epic Minds A 2D action-adventure game set in a world populated by a dozen dungeons and their fearsome inhabitants, Midora seeks to combine the likes of Secret of Mana and older Legend of Zelda games with modern sensibilities. It casts you as Snow, who must go on a quest to restore harmony to a world that’s slowly descending into chaos. She’ll have to venture across the large world and explore twelve different dungeons, using the items found within to help her on her quest. Combat starts off simply enough, with a sword and shield, but things will quickly become much more complicated. There’s a ton of different things that’ll change what you can do and how the game plays. There are a lot of items which can range from different weapons to things like a whip that can be used to navigate previously untraversable areas of the world. There are 200 of those planned – that alone would be enough to make the game incredibly deep and interesting. There’s also a magic system based on various runes and alchemy, item crafting and gathering systems which should make things even more complex and intricate. Interestingly, while Snow herself can’t level up, her equipment can, which should make for a different sort of progression than in a standard RPG. The project is 24 percent of the way to being funded, and will continue until July 14. Pledging $10 will get you a copy of the game upon release. Midora is currently being developed for PC, Mac and Linux. Sheltered – Funding Goal: £15,000 Unicube The nuclear apocalypse isn’t new ground for video games by any means – it’s well-trodden ground. Usually you’re cast as some badass, over-the-top action survivor type who can wade through hordes of enemies and pools of radiation with barely a scratch. Sheltered takes a very different, and decidedly more tense, approach to the issue. In a sense, it’s similar to Papers, Please – it looks to provide an intriguing experience that might not be as “fun” or as “gamey” as its contemporaries. You don’t control warriors on a warpath across the wasteland. Instead, Sheltered is a strategy game where you control a (fittingly enough) nuclear family who have absconded to their shelter after the apocalypse. You’ll have to keep the shelter in working condition – otherwise you’re doomed – as well as maintaining your families well-being directly. That means you’ll have to do things like perform routine maintenance and keep your family’s physical and mental health as intact as possible. There are dozens of things to keep in check, and you’ll need to keep on top of it all or things will begin to unravel. Sometimes that means you’ll have to venture outdoors, of course. And it’s where the shelter and the wasteland interact that things really start to get intriguing. To leave to gather supplies or perform maintenance, you’ll have to don a hazmat suit, go through various procedures when entering and leaving and be incredibly careful all the while. The wasteland isn’t necessarily as barren as it might initially seem as well – irradiated or starving animals stalk the horizon and the surviving dregs of humanity might well see fit to make your life a hell. Not everything is necessarily hostile, of course. There are survivors who might be looking for a place to stay, either permanently or to avoid some temporary danger. They might be a drain on your resources, or they might bolster it – nothing more handy than an extra worker to keep the shelter intact. Of course, they could also be lying, planning on killing you and stealing your supplies when you let them in. What you do with them can really change a lot about your family and the world around you – do you take them in despite the risks? Turn them away? Kill them for your own ends? These moral choices should be a common occurrence and there won’t be an easy answer. Sheltered looks to be a very dark game, but one with a ton of intriguing possibilities. Sheltered is currently 86 percent of the way to being funded, and funding ends on July 4. A pledge of £4 will get you access to the game, and it’s being developed for PC, Mac and Linux. Adventures of Pip by Tic Toc Games Adventures of Pip wasn’t successfully funded, but the developers have made plans to continue development and return to Kickstarter in the future. In addition, they’ve offered backers a free wallpaper to thank them for their support. Children of War: Blood and Snow by Shadowforge LLC The project was not successful. Shadowforge are planning to keep developing the game, and are looking to give all of their backers early access to the game. Diablowing by Axeforge Diablowing was unsuccessful. The developers want to find some financial stability before continuing development, so have put the game on a backburner for the time being. They plan to return to the project later in the year. Distant Origins by Exohive The project was unsuccessful. Exohive hope to continue to develop the game, and are going to shift their focus over to the iOS and Mac versions. How that plan goes will affect what they do with Distant Origins in the future. Kaiju-a-Gogo by Kerberos Productions Kaiju-a-Gogo wasn’t successful. Kerberos have said they will announce their plans for the project in the near future. Loading Human by Untold Games Loading Human was successfully funded, finishing up at 134 percent of its goal. Red Goddess by Yanim Studio The project was successful, ending at 134 percent. Two stretch goals were reached – an additional boss and an additional chapter. Shiness by Ynnis Interactive Shiness was successful, finishing at 140 percent. The project reached two stretch goals – additional language support and a local PVP mode. SUPERHOT by SUPERHOT Team SUPERHOT was successfully funded, ending at 250 percent of its initial goal. A number of stretch goals were met, including a Speedrun Mode, improved animations and a New Game+ mode. The Way by PlayWay The project was successful, finishing at 156 percent of its goal. One stretch goal, additional language support, was reached. Witchmarsh by Inglenook Witchmarsh was successful, finishing at 205 percent of its target. Two stretch goals were met – New investigators and one that encompassed both a Hardcore mode and alternative versions of current investigators.