Kickstarter Weekly vol. 32 Alison Fleming June 25, 2014 Features 1 TerraTech – Funding Goal: £35,000 Payload Studios TerraTech is basically the Robot Wars game you’ve always wanted – you construct massive, ludicrous vehicles and set them out to battle other vehicles. There’s a huge variety of materials to use for constructing your roving death machine, and you can build your vehicle in a variety of different styles. Maybe you want a quick scout to circle around your foes and pepper them with machine gun fire, a massive tank covered in armour and saws, or some sort of aerial bomber? Those, and more, are all possible. You can gather materials from both the environment and from the remains of your foes, and use them to bolster your current arsenal. The game is set in the future, when the Earth’s natural resources have run dry. Your job is to go to alien worlds, strip them of their riches and return home. Of course, that’s everyone else’s job as well, so you have plenty of competitors. And given that this is a new, lawless frontier, most of those competitors are quite happy to engage in open warfare. When you land on a planet you set up a base, which is basically your home for the mission. It’s where you store the resources you’ve gathered as well as the stuff you’re going to use to improve yourself. It’s also got a massive target painted on it, so you’ll need to defend it from bandits in between resource runs. The game also has multiplayer support, both cooperative and competitive. You can engage in challenges with friends to see who can build the best vehicle for a specific situation. Alternatively, you can aid your friends in the quest to get rich – this should allow for an incredible amount of different scenarios and interactions. For instance, one player could take on the role of a scout, outpacing enemies and guiding them into the path of another player’s steel behemoth while another player provides support fire from above. There’s a ton of potential for a lot of really cool situations. TerraTech is currently 19 percent of the way to being funded, and the project will continue until July 27. A pledge of £15 will get you a copy of the game, although there are still a few slots open in the £10 Early Bird tier. A demo for the game is available here, and, for those who are interested, Indie Haven has talked with the developers earlier. We Are The Dwarves! – Funding Goal: $120,000 Whale Rock Games We Are The Dwarves! is a strategy action game set in a universe that is intended to be precisely the opposite of our own. While the vast majority of our universe is emptiness, the game takes place in a universe made mostly of stone, with life only possible in small, isolated pockets of air – think the Plane of Earth or Pandemonium from Dungeons & Dragons but seen through a more futuristic lens and you’ll be somewhere on the right lines. The setting’s Stars – massive glowing crystals that provide the warmth and light necessary for light – have begun to go out, driving most of the native inhabitants to the brink of extinction. You control a party of three dwarves who have set out in a drilling spaceship to find a new Star for their civilization, and who have managed to wind up stranded in an unknown and exceedingly hostile region of the world. The gameplay is simple on the surface, but can quickly become something more deep. Your party members have their own personalities and skills, and can do different things. Combat and puzzle solving is done in real time, though you have the ability to pause and consider your next step or queue up actions. Levels can play out in multiple ways, from a measured and stealthy approach to all-out, guns blazing kill-em-all tactics. Maybe the most interesting feature about We Are The Dwarves is how it portrays a living, breathing world. The different creatures you encounter, from the lowliest goblin runt to the most ominous troll or abomination from the lower levels of the plane, all have their own personalities and agendas. Depending on the level and the creature they can interact in different ways – if a tribe of enemies spots you they might inform other monsters in the area and your mission will become more difficult, for instance. Of course, not all the creatures are allies – plenty are foes or, at the very least, envious of one another. They might steal supplies from one another, distract each other or otherwise antagonize each other, and intrepid players can use these relationships to their advantage while weaving cunning plans. The game is 2 percent of the way to its goal, with funding continuing until August 9. Pledging $20 will get you the game upon release, but there are still free slots in the $15 Early Bird tier. It’s being developed for PC and Mac. Sunset – Funding Goal: $25,000 Tale of Tales Sunset is, in a sense, a war game with a rather overdue twist. Rather than playing a soldier or a mercenary in the midst of a power fantasy, you’re cast as the often overlooked side of the conflict – the innocent bystander. The game takes place in the 1970s, with the action confined to a single apartment in a fictional South American city. You play as Angela Burnes, a housekeeper in the employ of the very wealthy Gabriel Ortega. As the story progresses, you’ll both develop a relationship with your absent employer and uncover a plot to rebel against the local dictator. Gameplay wise, it’s a first person adventure game focused on exploration and discovery. Comparisons to Gone Home or Dear Esther are inevitable, and for good reason, but there’s a key difference – unlike in those games, where you explore the aftermath of an event and uncover the secrets involved, Sunset takes place as the events build up and unfold. As a housekeeper, you visit Gabriel’s apartment for an hour a week, just before Sunset, while your employer is elsewhere. You have to perform a variety of tasks, which all have different possible outcomes – how you perform these tasks will affect the relationship between Angela and Gabriel. Beyond that, you can perform other activities with your limited time – you can explore your boss’ belongings and uncover secrets about him and the aforementioned plot. You’re most certainly not a standard gaming hero – your actions are small and you can’t change the story or outcome. But you can change your character and those around you, and the way the story affects Angela. It’s a fascinating idea for a game, a sort of deconstruction of the standard military action game. The project is already funded, and is sitting at 149 percent of its initial goal and will continue until July 17. Pledging $15 will get you a copy of the game on release. It’s currently planned for release on PC, Mac and Linux. For My Brother – Funding Goal: $150,000 Crooked Tree Studios For My Brother tells an interesting tale that’s usually ignored by video games – the consequences of power and your actions. You control a sister who is on a quest to aid her brother and who, on her journeys, fights monsters and gains new powers. The game explores the idea of what exactly makes a human, and how people with good intentions can hurt others – as you gain your powers, you can achieve more things in the game but you’ll also begin to become something distinctly inhuman and drive away those you were trying to help initially. The game itself is a Metroidvania platformer. The various powers and abilities you develop, as well as changing you physically, allow you to traverse the world in different ways and open up new paths for you. For instance, you can grow claws and scale a cliff, or dash and leap across the landscape to reach previously unattainable areas. Interestingly, while the game plays out on a 2D plane, the art is all 3D and done in the Unreal 4 engine. It certainly gives the game a striking and distinct look. The audio should be equally distinct, with members of the band Machinae Supremacy helping to compose it – the band’s done the same for other games in the past, most notably Jets’n’Guns. For My Brother is currently at 9 percent of its goal. Funding will continue until July 22. A pledge of $15 will get you access to the game upon release, and it’s currently being developed for PC, Mac and Linux. Insomnia – Funding Goal: $70,000 Studio MONO A dieselpunk RPG set in the far future, Insomnia is reminiscent of classic Western RPGs like Fallout. It takes place on a massive space ship known as “The Ark” several centuries in the future, which is slowly trundling through space to a location known only as the “Evacuation Point.” The Ark is half deserted, with the surviving inhabitants being descendants of a species called the Nomans who abandoned their homeworld long ago to escape the ravages of the SORG Regime. This same Regime now inhabits most of the Dumps, the otherwise uninhabited sections of the spaceship, while the Nomans have been relegated to small sections of the ship in constant fear for their lives. You awaken from a cryogenic sleep with nary a clue of what’s going on and, conveniently enough, some undescribed object which may just happen to be the way towards a brighter future. Insomnia takes inspiration from Fallout and its contemporaries in more than just its setting and story – it owes a large debt to them mechanically as well. The basic gameplay is very similar to the likes of an Infinity Engine RPG, or others that were around at the same time – you explore the world from a quasi-isometric perspective, interacting with various objects and characters and taking part in tactical combat when necessary. Everything, including the combat, occurs in real time. The combat itself is a tense affair, rewarding careful and considered actions over rash attacks. You need to be aware of time an action takes as well as its effects – while a strong attack is all well and good, if it can be intercepted by a quick stab from a knife it becomes a significantly riskier maneouver – as well as your character’s stamina and combat effectiveness. Character development is interesting – classless and organic. There are dozens of skills and abilities, and these develop as you play and use the actions associated with the skill. Things get a lot more in-depth beyond that, as well. Skills have different specializations which can change the skill works and what you can do, and you won’t be able to learn all the skills in the game so specialization is necessary. Beyond that, there are negative perks in the game which can be overcome or embraced depending on your actions. Insomnia’s scope is pretty ambitious. The main game is massive, with figures like 15-20 hours of main quests and 20-30 hours of side content being mentioned. The game is meant to be non-linear and open as well, allowing you to explore and change the world as you want to. There’s also multiplayer support – the campaign can be played with friends, which should allow for more specialized characters to interact in interesting ways. Beyond all of that, Studio MONO have also promised to support the game extensively after release, with plans to eventually add a number of extra chapters and quests for free. It’s a bold strategy for sure, but it could certainly pay off if handled correctly. The game is 18 percent of the way to being funded, and funding continues until July 24. Pledging $15 will get you access to the game on release, and the developers intend to release it on PC and Mac and Linux at a later date. Caffeine by Dylan Browne The project was unsuccessful. Browne has stated he will continue to work on the game, and may bring it back to Kickstarter in the future. He has also reached out to fans for ways to improve the project. A Song For Viggo by SaintandSimon Simon Karlsson has released a new video for A Song For Viggo, detailing what gameplay will be like. Heartbreakingly, the gameplay in question involves arranging your son’s funeral. Mahmoud And also maybe check out Homemake (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/franklincosgrove/homemake ) if you’re in the mood for something simultaneously artsy and futuristic.