INSERT COIN: This Week in Kickstarter – JUNE 2, 2012 Edition

Kickstarter has taken off, and crowd-sourced projects are popping up in a variety of disciplines. Each week, we’ll pick a few currently unfunded projects that seem interesting, innovative or just plain fun. Got a hot tip on a cool Kickstarter project? Email Michael[at]RipTen[dot] com with the subject line: Kickstarter Tip. you can also check out our past Kickstarter coverage right here.

We’ve also identified which projects are Kicking it Forward participants, so you know if the developers have committed to reinvesting in crowd-sourced projects after their own initiatives are completed. to learn more about the Kicking it forward pledge, visit the official website.

Please remember that when backing a Kickstarter project, you are taking a financial risk. There is no guarantee that funded projects will come to fruition.

Hiro Fodder: A Blue Hope by Divergent GamesFundraising Deadline: Sunday June 10, 2012 @ 5:08 PM EDTFundraising Goal: $12,500Project Type: RPGPlatform(s): PCEstimated Project Completion: January 2013

Project Description:

Hiro Fodder: A Blue Hope is both a love letter to classic RPGs and a comment on every cliché they abused. we examine the usual formula by flipping it around and looking through the monster’s eyes, where the human villages are frightening and dangerous and dark caves are a safe place to hide. The story begins where all these games begin: a Tutorial Town, a starting zone filled with overly helpful people who constantly repeat the same instructions and pathetic level 1 monsters that exist only to be slaughtered by heroes when they are still too weak to fight anything else. but everything changes when the tutorial monsters discover the mechanics of the game world and realize they can use them too. they form an “anti-hero party” and set off on their own quest to chase the human heroes around the world and get their revenge.

Why is it on our radar?

OK, so the idea of the “bad guys” getting their revenge on the heroes isn’t entirely new, but for some reason, the idea that this poor slime, Hiro, is fed up and ready to fight back grabbed my attention. his “hair” appears to be where some wayward sword split him, and his traveling fellows include a training dummy, penguin and baby dragon. Underneath the cute, though, seems to be a genuinely funny tale. The art is all original and hand-drawn, while the music (some of which has already been composed) evokes the 16-bit era games that I grew up with.

Find out more about Hiro Fodder: A Blue Hope on the Kickstarter page.

The Hostage Trials – A Real Time Adventure by Gnarly ToothFundraising Deadline: Sunday July 1, 2012 @ 1:00 AM EDTFundraising Goal: $90,000Project Type: Real Time Mobile AdventurePlatform(s): iOS and Android (cross-platform)Estimated Project Completion: December 2012

Project Description:

“The Hostage Trials” is a narrative game with a story. It’s also a social game that you play with a friend. It’s a real-time game that keeps you on your toes. It’s like an ARG (alternate reality game) but not quite. We’ve come up with our own term for it that just seems easier.

It’s called an RTMA. Real-Time Mobile Adventure.

We’ve developed this game from the ground up. Trust us. There is nothing quite like it! Because of the unique game play, it can only be played on mobile devices. Let us explain.

Most mobile games are pretty casual affairs allowing the player to pick up their phone and play a few rounds until they lose interest. and while these are fun for a while, we were looking for something that required a little more from the player, something that gave you a real sense of accomplishment. and last but not least, we wanted something that just felt…well…more real.

That’s what spawned the idea for “The Hostage Trials.”  Imagine that one day you’re minding your own business taking out those annoying green pigs when you get a strange call on your phone from an unknown number. The mysterious voice on the other end then informs you that one of your family members or friends (that you choose) has been kidnapped, and you need to follow very specific instructions in order to save them! That’s the basic premise of “The Hostage Trials.”

Why is it on our radar?

I’ll admit that David Hayter was a HUGE draw to get me to watch the pitch video. after spending the 12 minutes hearing what the team at Gnarly Tooth had to say, I’m in. Totally. The game reminds me a very little bit of Majestic, which also made my phone ring and sent me instant messages.

Essentially, you choose a friend to agree to be the hostage. You’ll receive calls every day during the trial (which can last up to 30 days depending how hardcore you are) from Hayter as the villainous captor. You’ll need to comply his demands (moving a certain distance within a specified time, changing elevation and more). The hostage will also have homework that involves taking pictures or providing information. It’s one part LARP, one part “needing to step out to take this call.”

Working to save one of my friends by doing little challenges sounds very cool. This is the kind of game you think about constantly, but only need to spend a few minutes playing each day. moreover, this is how social games become relevant to those of us who react to that term like a vampire at a garlic festival. we just need to make sure Zynga doesn’t try to steal the idea and turn it into HostageVille.

You want fresh experiences? You’ve got ‘em… if you fund ‘em. Head on over to The Hostage Trials Kickstarter page for more info.

From Bedrooms to Billions by Nicola and Anthony Caulfield (Indiegogo Project)Fundraising Deadline: Wednesday July 17, 2012 @ 2:59 AM EDTFundraising Goal: $35,000Project Type: Documentary FilmThis project is hosted on Indiegogo

Project Description:

Nearly three quarters of a century ago video games were created on million dollar mainframes simply to satisfy scientific curiosity, before advances in both technology and game development saw the first arcade machines, home consoles and then home computers start to emerge in the 1970’s.

In the UK of the late 70’s early 80’s these developments helped inspire a generation of individuals and small teamenthusiastshobbyistsschool kidsbedroom coders and entrepreneurs. The early UK games scene was largely fuelled by enthusiastic interest as opposed to commercial enterprise, but with advances happening all the time and the games industry constantly evolving that fact was soon to change.

UK developers were learning and inspiring each other, pioneering new programming techniques that stretched available hardware to its limits and allowed for the production of ground breaking games, giving fledgling UK developerspublishers and distributors the chance to cultivate and stimulate an entirely new and emerging fan base.

Why is it on our radar?

As an American, I’m not terribly familiar about the advances that were made in the UK that have become ingrained in the global video game culture. I’m always on the hunt for more information about the roots of the industry and the Caulfields have the credibility and passion to make this documentary a reality.

The two have extensive resumes in documentary filmmaking, in addition to the access and material to bring this project to fruition. Anyone playing games today should take a moment to learn about about how we got here. maybe, just maybe, you’ll appreciate games for an entirely different reason.

Find out more about Bedrooms to Billions on the Indiegogo page.

Michael Futter is the Managing Editor of @RipTen. you can follow him on Twitter (@mmmfutter). you can also send him crowd funding tips at Michael[at]RipTen[dot]com.

INSERT COIN: This Week in Kickstarter – JUNE 2, 2012 Edition


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