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Welcome back to This Week in Kickstarter! This week we’ve got pirates, self heating gloves, 3D photos for social media, and more!

Bell Ringer

Hack ‘n’ Slash platforming RPG side-scroller.

Bell Ringer features a randomly generated platforming world, giving players a new unexplored landscape every time they play. Players can seek out bosses for treasure while engaging foes in a versatile high paced combat system that relies on a back and forth of stamina and landing successful strikes. Battle axes, spell books, and more are available to your arsenal!

Players can customize and develop their character and play style through stats, looting, and crafting. Single player, PvP, cooperative, and hunt down modes are all in the game. The game offers an item crafting system, as well as a fighting game system “heavily inspired” by fighting games.

Bell Ringer can look like a bit of a snore when looking at its developer diary. The Kickstarter trailer really sucked me in with its old tome art style and devilish narration. These seem unrepresentative of what is seen in the developer diary, as the flat visuals and banal gameplay gives little excitement. While entertaining the audience is important—doubly so in a crowd funding campaign—I think having this open honesty about how the game looks during the production is refreshing, as too many developers are so excited to show the game they’ll finish a segment in the middle of the game well before the game’s release. This can result in the final product being drastically different than what was shown as the game evolved over time. The concept art has an intriguing look to it and the game they’ve pitched sounds promising. But we’ll need to see level design, moment to moment gameplay, and a little more story before we can properly size up the game being pitched. Video Gaming meets Drones!

The world´s first smartphone controlled gaming drone for single & multiplayer dogfights, air races, & stunts.

This interesting device combines the fun of computer games with app-controlled drones! Users get a real-time picture with sensors on the drone, the phone, along with the Internet. The drones are equipped with GPS, 4G/LTE, a 9-axis sensor, Bluetooth Smart technology, an HD camera, and more!

Based on the drone’s position and movement, users can play games like Dogfights, Air Races, and Stunts. These drones can also be used like a normal remote controlled plane. The free flight mode lets you control by tilting the phone or by using joysticks.

These seem like a really cool idea. I’m not very worried about the quality of the drones, but more worried about the quality of the games. I’m not expecting The Last of Us production values, but I’m not expecting drone makers to be the best game developer’s either. That said, drone flying is fun with or without gaming involved, and even if the games aren’t AAA quality, as long as they work, the idea of dogfighting with my drone is so badass I couldn’t care less about production values.

Blackwake [Reboot]

Fire the cannons, sink ships and kill pirates.

 Blackwake is a team-based multiplayer shooter centered around naval battles. Team-based tactics and overall team cooperation are the big focus of this game. Players can fill any number of roles: organizing a ship broadside, assisting the captain in navigating various weather conditions, or just being part of the gun crew.

What sparked the idea for Blackwake came when the team searched for a pirate game that made you feel as if you were actually part of the crew rather than just commanding AI or playing in an RTS perspective. The game takes inspiration from the Pirates of the Caribbean films, as well as the Pirate Ship Wars Garry’s Mod.

I never realized how much I wanted a game like this in my life until I saw their Twitch stream compilation. Sure, you can get a fun, high seas adventure game out of Assassin’s Creed 4, but the frantic combat seen here is a different beast. Action is traded for laughs and drama is traded for team work. An especially inviting prospect is commanding a crew rather than  a team of AI. When the game comes out for PC and Mac I’ll be dying to get my hands on it.

Bevel Turns Your Smartphone Into a 3D Camera

Photograph in 3D using your smartphone or tablet.

 The Bevel is the first accessory of its kind and turns your your smartphone or tablet into a 3D camera via the small device that attaches to the audio jack. Other 3D attachments create the illusion of 3D by enhancing the depth of an image, but Bevel captures a true 3D file. Bevel can eve be used for 3D printing.

Bevel uses an eye safe laser light and the camera on your Android or IOS device. Just plug it in, scan the subject of your photo, and Bevel will create a full 3D photograph. These photos can even be posted on social media.

I had been ignoring this device for a while on Kickstarter, and I wish I hadn’t. The ease of use, simple design, and being able to upload it to social media really made this product stand out among the crowd. Why 3D photos haven’t become more popular is a bit of a mystery to me; perhaps, like with better batteries, photo makers are more concerned with higher resolution screens and thinness to care. Perhaps Bevel can pave the way for phone makers to take notice.


Carolina Game Tables

Game Tables for Real Life

The folks behind the Savage Worlds Kickstarter pulled their experience in furniture to create the Carolina Game Table, a hard wood table made for roleplaying games, board games, and puzzle enthusiasts, while still being usable for the everyday, non-fantasy life.

Pulling off the top board reveals a table with a 32″ x 50″ play area that is 3 inches deep and covered with burgundy cloth. The table is 4 feet wide and 6 feet long overall and designed to seat six people comfortably. It is classically styled and can work like a regular dining table.

What I like most about this project is the craftsmanship and utility. Most tabletop games I’ve played were on kitchen tables because that was the biggest table we had. Here we have a table big enough to be a kitchen table, while also being built to suit the needs of what games you play. I don’t know how well the top table layover board stays in place, I could see a nightmare situation of someone accidentally moving it and wine spilling into your D&D game you were keeping on hold in there.

World`s First Natural Heat Generating Gloves and Insoles

Self heating gloves and insoles, self heating gloves and insoles.

 Astec Int and Zondo, after years of research, have developed a unique fabric which draws energy and reflects body heat. These gloves are the first “self heating gloves in the world” and are entirely battery free.

The heating fleece reflects body radiation in order to raise and maintain your natural body temperature. The polymer metal coated fibers create an excellent circulation of warmth. The gloves are also touch screen compatible, a must have these days.

As someone who can get cold hands and toes in the summer months, these gloves are a godsend. Having a reliable pair of gloves that generate heat, while looking like some future space gloves, is right up my alley. The gloves ability to regulate temperature to ensure they don’t become too hot is also well appreciated. All around a solid product well worth the money.

Disclaimer: The author (Bryan Heraghty) does not back any Kickstarter projects he writes about, nor are any of these inclusions sponsoring TechRaptor. These projects are included solely because the author thinks they are interesting.

What are your thoughts on some of the Kickstarters we saw this week? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below! If you have a game or technology Kickstarter you think deserves attention, you can either comment below, email TechRaptor, or tweet @techraptr or @greyhoodedbryan your suggestion!

Bryan Heraghty

Staff Writer

Avid shooter and platformer fan. Coffee is the only power up I need. In the spare time I have I will listen to more podcasts than has scientifically been deemed healthy. Hit me up on Twitter if you ever want to chat with me about games, tech, or whatever.