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Kickstart My Heart: 5 Awesome Projects
Unless you’ve been living on a lost island in the unexplored reaches of the Pacific Ocean, I’m sure you’ve all heard of Kickstarter – the place where anyone with an idea can shamelessly beg for money in order to make their dream come true. In this article I’ll show you 5 recently funded projects that I am sincerely excited to play upon release. The majesty of Kickstarter lies in that it is quite literally a place where dreams are born. The whimsical ambitions of game creators can be presented to the roaring masses for gladiator-style approval or dismissal. In this way the community gets to decide what games they wish to fund.
The Banner Saga:
Developed by Stoic, Texas, this game blew well past their goal of a measly $100,000 to accumulate a jaw-dropping $723,886. So, what makes this proposed game so special to achieve such glory? Well, it looks and sounds amazing. The game is stated to be a role-playing game hybridized with turn-based strategy action all under the comfort of being primarily about barbaric Vikings. The pitch to sell the game heavily pushes how the decisions made outside of gameplay, through NPC conversations and your interactions, can completely change the direction your game takes. Story, strategy and stunning art work are to be combined to present a game well worth the investment time and money.
An entire host of unique, Norse-based characters will be available to the player with, the game itself spanning across a ‘gorgeous landscape’ which appears to be taken straight from the Myths of Old and Viking conquest. The Banner Saga boasts to implement online capabilities, but is focused more so on the single player aspect of the game. Due to generous over-funding, the developers hope to make the game available for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, KindleFire, XBLA, PSN, and possibly the PS Vita.
The Last Sleeper:
A game solely for the iPad, The Last Sleeper looks to be a visual adventure like no other. Planning to utilise the iPads touch-screen technology, the game promises to be an interactive story completely driven by the choices and input from the player. The players protagonist is Adam, alone on an alien world teeming with unsavoury creatures, until he meets a mysterious girl known as Fera. The two then depart on a journey to explore this unusual and intriguing world to uncover the secrets of not only the planets, but also of those that lurk within themselves. The artwork for The Last Sleeper is breathtaking to say the least. A combination of the 2D style of comics and adventure gameplay mixed with the iPads multi-touch capacity sets this game on a trajectory aiming straight for gaming legendary ascension.
Imagine if Borderlands and Fallout got a bit drunk one night, woke up next to each other drenched in regret and 9 months later along comes Ravaged; a little bundle of joy for the two estranged parents. Whilst Ravaged was pretty much complete, the Kickstarter was needed in order for the game to be able to apply those crucial finishing polishes and to promote marketing campaigns. Developed by the indie studio 2 Dawn Games (outsourced work includes Battlefield and Desert Combat), Ravaged is a post-apocalyptic FPS festooned with an ample supply of vehicular combat, weapons, maps and classes. The main focus of Ravaged is maniacal multiplayer action, pinpointing a key need for teamwork and community spirit. The landscapes shown on the Kickstarter are beautiful, if you can call the decapitated Statue of Liberty or a frozen-solid Eiffel Tower beautiful. A lot of work has gone into making Ravaged not only a fast-paced multiplayer shooter, but also a concept of what the world could look like after an apocalyptic event. The detail of the environment, down to the character models, all show a dishevelled society based on barbarism and violence.
I’ve been waiting for this game to get funded with bated breath, as the initial pre-alpha footage blew my little mind. Developed by darkForge, the game boasts to be a randomly generating overhead action game where you control and summon the evil forces of darkness to do your merciless tyrannical bidding. The game has strategic elements, such as whether or not to destroy a town lest it become a threat, or even which minions to use to devour the poor saps who live there. Nekro will be loosely tile-based with emphasis on exploration and minion exploitation. The game presents three factions, the Nekro, Humans and Neutrals, all of which have individual ‘world event’s which, at random, will buff that certain faction; for example a Full Moon world event allows the Neutrals to summon werewolves, or for the Humans to transcend their Crusaders of the King to fight your monsters and ghoulish armies. Nekro has a unique art style, with nice pointy edges and quaint little villagers and an environment very telling of its fantasy setting.
The Dead Linger:
Last but not least of my 5 favourite Kickstarter projects is The Dead Linger, a game about zombies. Yes, I know, more zombies? Are we not, as gamers, flooded with games about zombies? To this I say, yes we are, and I love it. Zombies are amazing, and this game takes an approach to the undead hordes that I’ve been wanting to happen for a very long time. Sandswept Studios in Park City, Utah have a vision of a vast, open-ended world comparable to the span of Minecraft worlds. It is in this world, where every corner is explorable, that you survive against zombies. There is no overarching story line about saving your lost puppy, or a vain attempt at a cure. No, you’re in for the long haul and you know it. Time to bunker down, build up the defences and nut-up or shut up. The Dead Linger is a first person sandbox of zombie survival fun, where you explore the vast world (reportedly the size of a ‘small planet’) in any way that you see fit. The game will also feature co-op support, as well as PvP elements, meaning that zombies are not the only worry at the forefront of your brain.