Kickstarter Projects You Should Pay Attention To 8/16
The brown paper bag of shame goes to me, and my ungodly full schedule this week. I pushed the Kickstarter goodness back two days this time, but don’t fret, I have a great assortment for you. You may, or may not have know n this, but iGR is based out of the Minneapolis, MN area. Over the years we’ve had some great acts come through our area, and one of them is an amazing music experience based on your favorite video games; awesome right!? This week is also chock full of games projects that even the biggest jerk can see him/herself funding, and one update on a project we covered a while back.
Monochroma – Nowhere Studios – PC, Mac, Linux
Monochroma‘s setting and visuals reeled me in even before I knew the key plot and gameplay details. The art is visually striking, but the concept is even more impressive. Nowhere Studios is an Indie development group out of Istanbul (or was it Constantinople?). In a nutshell they’ve described their project as Limbo meets ICO, and that’s a pretty good broad description of what I see. I love games that imply story rather than holding your hand and beating it into your head with lengthy cut scenes, and Monochroma will do just that. Puzzle platformers also tend to be my wheelhouse due to early childhood memories of NES, SNES, and Genesis. Realistic puzzles that utilize the environment are executed with insanely accurate physics – meaning your interactions with the objects in the environment feel smooth and unprompted. The monotone visuals are accentuated by splashes of red from time to time when it’s necessary to highlight an object or objective. The story is set in an alternate universe during the 1950′s. A mega corporation has seized control of the population, and two little boys who’ve witnessed a grave injustice committed by said corporation must fight back against insurmountable odds. The hook of the puzzle platforming is largely due to the fact that you need to carry your little brother everywhere you go. You’re only able to leave him for small periods of time, and only in a well lit spot. This fact directly affects the puzzle platforming in very interesting ways. Monochroma is a story of caring and overcoming obstacles in a beautifully haunting world. Head over to Kickstarter and help out a small studio that has little chance of finding a publisher willing to help them finish what’s sure to be a truly distinct project. Don’t forget to try the Demo while on Kickstarter!
Video Games Live: Level 3 – Tommy Tallarico – Symphonic/Rock
Over the last decade Video Games Live has been touring the world bringing gamers and symphony goers together. Creator, Tommy Tallarico aims to release a third album in the long-running game music series. Top orchestras and choirs from around the world perform along with exclusive synchronized video footage, music arrangements, synchronized lighting, electric percussion, and live action segments for a one-of-a-kind experience. The third installment (Level 3) is going to be a studio recording, so you don’t have to worry about the tour coming to a city near you. Tallarico took to PBS for VGL: Level 2 which ranked in the top 10 all-time PBS specials. The new album will include never before released Video Games Live music arrangements from potential franchises such as Skyrim, Journey, BioShock, DOTA, Uncharted, Red Dead Redemption, and more. There should be between 15-18 tracks on the finished album with a target release date of February 18th, 2014. You don’t even need to wait that long! Help Tommy create a new album full of the best music video games have to offer on Kickstarter!
Project Phoenix – Creative Intelligence Arts – PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android (Possible PS4)
CIA wants to strip away the constantly changing combat systems and diluted story lines of contemporary JRPGs, and reclaim the magic that made early Japanese RPGs special. The core development team houses talent that have worked on AAA games like The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Valkyria Chronicles, L.A. Noire, Diablo III, Halo 4, and Crysis 3. The lead programmer is currently a mystery, surely a large industry name that will help draw some additional press to the project down the line (not that it needs any). Project Phoenix will focus on squad-based, real-time strategy tactics combined with strong JRPG design influences. The story will center around the band of heroes under your command. Throughout their adventures, they’ll help you piece together the mysterious puzzle of an angel stricken with amnesia. Along the way, the team will find themselves involved with the defense of mankind from their most ancient enemies, Orcs. The scourge has begun migrating from their exile in the mountains, and their raids become more frequent and brazen as the days go by. But there’s another threat, the Free Men, a once vanquished foe, have returned to claim the empire of Azuregard as well. Amidst the chaos your party will discover their place in the world and quite possibly save the kingdom. Drop by Kickstarter and help this talented team bring us the JRPG experience we’ve all been waiting for.
Ghost Song – Matt White – PC, Mac, Linux
Here’s a quick update on Ghost Song by Matt White. He’s managed to destroy his initial goal and his first stretch goal of 20K with 19 days to go. If Ghost Song manages to hit 60K, we’ll see a Wii U version, so don’t forget to head over to Kickstarter and pledge
The games section of Kickstarter is starting to take on new life as fresh projects like Video Games Live are added to it’s repertoire. I’m a huge fan of all three of these projects. My love of the JRPG was recently revived thanks to Atlus and Persona 4 Golden, and my love of the puzzle platoformer is undying. It’s been a hard decision trying to snuff out a top pick this week, but I’ve always wanted to go back to Istanbul (Not Constantinople), so Monochroma gets the *nod* on this weeks spotlight. Don’t forget to come back weekly, umm, sometime between Wednesday and Friday? for our crowdfunding spotlight article! Stick around for some of the biggest news, previews, and reviews in the games industry, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook while you’re at it!