Real Geeks, Real Stories

Have you seen this Kickstarter? Mar. 2017

Have you seen this Kickstarter? Mar. 2017

Kickstarter and its generous community have brought the video gaming world some top-notch entertainment over the last few years.  Games like Divinity: Original Sin 2, Undertale, and Shovel Knight might never have seen the light of day without the support of gamers like you and me.  However, with the success of games like these, there are literally hundreds of people trying to make their game ideas a reality.  While high profile campaigns like Sundered, Banner Saga 3 and Sunless Skies need little or no introduction, there are some truly brilliant gems hiding among the sea of copyright-infringing remakes and people simply looking for handouts.  With this monthly series of articles, I hope to shed some light on a few of the diamonds-in-the-rough that need support from people like you.

Here are five such potential games-to-be with campaigns ending in the month of March 2017:


FictionSphere

The world was in the middle of a technological renaissance until a mysterious object crashed to the earth.  With the appearance of this mysterious orb, dubbed the FictionSphere, a vicious plague was loosed upon the world which has the potential to mutate those infected into monstrous mutations known as Phantasms.  In response to the outbreak, the idyllic city of Faeble sealed itself away and utilized the sphere to outfit a team of protectors called the Excell.  Alas, while the citizens of Faeble live peacefully, many on the outside are not as fortunate, being forced to fend off the Phantasms and the spread of the disease alone.  However, these two different worlds are about to collide in the search for answers to the origin of the FictionSphere.

It’s clear to see that the developers of this game were heavily inspired by the MegaMan X series.  In fact, this game also provides you the choice between two playable characters.  Ratio, an outsider seeking revenge, is a blaster-type character that controls a lot like X.  While Paradox, an Excell soldier looking for answers, is a sword-type character that handles similar to Zero.  Each character will have their own unique stories that intertwine at key points.  Combat in this game is more tactical than a typical action/platformer as different enemy types have specific ways you will need to dispatch them.  You will need to be smart how you traverse through each stage or you may find yourself having quite a hard time.  Upgrades will offer enhancements to your abilities or even unlock new powers.  And, of course, there are eight super-powered bosses to defeat.

There is about a week and a half left to support this game.  While they had a strong start, they need some serious help to reach their goal.  A digital copy of the game can be acquired for just $15 with higher tiers providing alternate colors and backer-exclusive skins for the two heroes as well as the game’s soundtrack, art book and early Beta access.  The developers are aiming for a December 2018 release window with the game being available through Steam or DRM-Free on Windows PCs only.  Mac and Linux versions to be released later on.


Daymare: 1998

In August of the year 1998, a mysterious accident occurs at a government research laboratory on an island off the coast of Washington State.  Chemical and viral material are recovered from the site to be transported to a bio-genetics lab in Idaho located in a small town called Keen Sight.  Unfortunately, the cargo plane loses its deadly cargo in airspace over the town.  Now, the corporation responsible for receipt of the contaminants has to do their best to salvage what they can while ensuring that news of the accident…and its repercussions…are kept hidden from the public.  Amidst the chaos, the events of this incident affect the lives of three unrelated individuals.  While they each have their own motives, their fates are secretly intertwined.

Daymare: 1998 is an indie game that is trying to show prove that the retro play style of late 90’s survival horror games will never die.  This game started life as a fan-made remake of Resident Evil 2 using Unreal Engine 4 which, eventually, caught the eye of staff at Capcom who worked on the RE franchise.  After converting their work into an original IP, key staffers at Capcom decided to join the project.  While primary development is handled by the indie team in Italy, prestigious figures such as Kazuhiro Aoyama (Director – RE3: Nemesis) and Satoshi Nakai (Enemy Designer – RE: Code Veronica) are overseeing the project.  If you are a fan of the early RE games, this is the spiritual successor you have been waiting for.

This game needs your support NOW.  They have just two weeks left and a LONG way to go to reach their goal.  Grab a digital PC version for just $16 or a digital console copy for $27.  Higher tiers will grant you exclusive weapons, weapon skins and character outfits as well as digital or physical soundtracks and art books.  The team is looking to release the full version in July of 2018.  At launch, it will be available through Steam for Windows as well as digitally on PS4 and Xbox One.  Mac and Linux versions will be released some time after.


Anew: The Distant Light

Our story centers on a child who awakens from cryogenic sleep to find himself 20 light years from Earth.  His resources are limited and he is all by himself on a distant alien world.  He would feel alone were it not for the wide array of creatures that call this planet their home.  Alas, his welcome is anything but friendly as critters small and large are trying their hardest to wipe him out of existence.  All he knows is that there are valuable resources that he must collect to bring back home.  Unfortunately, simply surviving long enough to complete his mission is going to be quite the challenge.  And where did his co-pilot end up?

Anew: The Distant Light is a side-scrolling action game that is out to kill you.  It is a Metroidvania with a vendetta.  You will need to be light on your feet and quick on your trigger if you plan on making it off this forsaken rock in one piece.  As you explore the environment, you will collect new equipment, vehicles and upgrades that will enable you to expand your search and take down stronger enemies.  You will also be able to acquire power cells to rebuild your ship.  Doing so will open new rooms in the vessel which each contain their own helpful rewards.  Each new piece of equipment will also help to further the story as they reveal secrets regarding the purpose of your mission and the fate of your co-pilot.  Only the brave will be able to uncover the whole truth.

With a little more than two weeks remaining, this campaign is just two-thirds of the way to its goal.  With just a little bit of help, this game will become a reality.  You can pick up a digital PC copy for $19 or a digital console copy for $24.  Larger contributions will reward you with extras such as exclusive in-game items, autographed posters or even a 1-on-1 Q&A session with the developers.  If all goes well, the game will be available in July of 2018 either through Steam or DRM-Free for Windows, PS4 and Xbox One.  Mac and Linux versions will be available in the future.


Ama’s Lullaby

It was clear at a young age that Ama had a knack with computers.  By the time she was a teenager, she was already developing an artificial intelligence alongside her father.  When she went through her rebellious phase, she used her programming prowess to become a hacker.  Then came the day when news broke of an impending impact with an asteroid.  She is suddenly elected, along with her AI, to embark on a mission as a good will ambassador to the Earth’s only off-world colony.  The inhabitants of the colony are quite strange compared to the people back home with just as many autonomous robots as real humans.  Of course, there is more to Ama’s trip than she is told and she is determined to find out the real reason that she was sent away.

At its core, Ama’s Lullaby is a point-and-click adventure game with a focus on character interaction and branching story paths.  In addition to exploring the colony and talking with its denizens, Ama will have the ability to hack into various networks to search for clues.  Of course, she could end up being traced or even back-hacked if she’s not careful.  If situations get too dangerous, she will have to resort to violence requiring fast reflexes and precise aim to avoid injury or death.  If the game’s setting and story draw you in, you may be glad to hear that the developers are already planning an even more ambitions follow-up in the future.

With three weeks remaining, the campaign has already raised 25% of their goal.  Still, they will need a steady stream of support to keep that momentum going.  Pick up a digital copy of the game for just $16 or contribute even more to receive extras such as digital or printed art books, soundtrack downloads, a set of pin-backed badges and even a postcard containing a secret code to use in the game.  The developer, currently comprised of just one person, is planning for an April 2019 release with the game being offered through Steam or DRM-Free for PC, Mac and Linux.


Valthirian Arc: Red Covenant

The great land of Valthiria is divided among five Queendoms but ruled over by Queen Hilda.  When the queen passes away and her only air, Princess Isabella, disappears, the five nations each begin their move to usurp the throne.  Little do they know, but a mysterious and powerful new nation is forming with plans to take all of Valthiria for itself.  As her last wish, the late queen entrusts you with overseeing the Academy of Might and Magic with the hope that you will raise a new generation of heroes and shape the future of Valthiria in her honor.  Will you side with one nation, attempt to unify them, or plot to take this world for yourself?

Red Covenant is the third game in the Valthirian Arc series.  While the first two games are Flash-based browser games, this new entry is something much more robust.  The game is divided into two parts; building and adventuring.  As the academy’s new Principal, you will need to build and upgrade the schools facilities in order to help your students grow and evolve as budding heroes-to-be.  When resources run low, gather an adventuring party to travel the land in search of treasure.  You will control the lead hero with three more tagging along to offer support.  The game will also offer a robust crafting system as well as a job-based character class system.  For a taste of what’s in store, be sure to check out the playable demo on the campaign page.

This project is already 25% funded and still has nearly four weeks left to go.  With your help, this campaign could be funded in no time.  As of this writing, Early Bird tiers are still available that could allow you to get a digital copy of the game for as low as $9!  Other rewards available for larger donations include exclusive costumes, the ability to create a side-mission, and even a boxed copy of the game complete with stickers, a poster and a key-chain.  The game is planned to enter Early Access by August of 2017 and will be available on Steam or DRM-Free for Windows PCs only.  Mac and Linux versions will be available at a later date.


Addendum:

Of the games I featured in February, The Pedestrian, Legrand Legacy, Beautiful Desolation and Southern Monsters all successfully met their funding goals!  Unfortunately, Breakfast Cult: The Visual Novel was not as lucky.  Fortunately, the developer is pushing forward with a possible campaign relaunch somewhere down the line.  As always, if this or other previously featured campaigns resurface, I will be sure to let you know.  Until next month, happy gaming!

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