This Week In Kickstarter we’ve got a slew of projects sure to make you open your purses and throw your wallets. A horror game were your character slowly descends into madness, a one button remote, and an augmented reality children’s book.
Stairs is a psychological horror game that plays with real life events, twisting them into new ideas. You play as a journalist, down on his luck, trying to find that one breakthrough story. As you delve deeper and deeper into Stairs twisted horror, your character slowly plummets into madness.
Rather than follow a single story, Stairs features several as every level follows its own twisted tale, all of which are connected to each other. These stories take inspiration from real life happenings with the kind of monsters only found in real life.
Players will use a photo camera, video camera, and tape recorder to uncover clues about each levels “underlying theme.”
I love the survival horror renaissance video games have been experiencing. Of course, 90% of it is trash, but that’s all worth it for the 10% of quality horror, which, based purely off what I’ve seen and played, is where I’d place Stairs. The way it tells stories, relying mostly on Amnesia style voice over flashbacks which you weren’t present to hear, is a tad cliche. But the sense of claustrophobia, the eerie noises, and the awful sense that something is right behind you, is sorely lacking from the indie horror scene. Great respect is due to GreyLight Entertainment for making a wise choice to keep sound design in house, which really comes through in the demo. Sound is by and large the most important part of horror and can make or break the tale you tell. Understanding that is half the battle of successful horror.
Vidar is an RPG puzzler where everyone dies. Our own Don Parsons recently interviewed the developer of Vidar, and was also the focus of this week’s To the Green. Check it out if you would like a much more in depth, and probably better written, run-down of the game.
Vidar tells its story through random story elements, random puzzles, and constant loss. Every night, in a suffering town, a villager is killed at random. You’re tasked with investigating, finding the monstrous beast responsible, and killing it before everyone in town is dead.
With only 24 residents left alive at the start of the game, each has its own story and quest line. They also have their own relationships with each other, and each death affects the residents, and therefore, their quests. With random elements controlling the narrative, Vidar tells a unique story every time you play.
To kill the beast, you must traverse its puzzle filled lair, and like the story, the puzzles are randomized too.
Dean Razavi, the developer of Vidar, recognizes that a randomized story could have trouble keeping a coherent and interesting narrative which culminates in a climax. Razavi plans for, instead of using several NPCs, to use the same 24 characters to tell an ever evolving story, which unfolds at a careful pace so no story feels forced or incomplete.
SNES games are a dime a dozen for crowd sourcing websites, but Vidar separates itself with its interesting take on NPCs. Having a villager be a quest giver and could be killed at any point brings a ticking clock element to the formula, adding a bit of tension and forcing you to decide which quests are most important to you.
At the time of writing, Vidar has raised $11,312 of its $18,000 goal, over 60%. With funding not coming to an end until February 26, 2015, Vidar is sitting in a pretty good spot, and just needs that final push.
An Ultra-kawaii, fast paced 2D shooter.
DokiDoki! Ai Love You! 2! is a fast-paced action game that aims for a cross of bullet hell shooting and precision, with a coat of anime paint brushed over the whole thing. You’ll play as Kokoro Yuki and battle an army of Bishoujo through various environments on your mission to enact revenge on a former classmate.
The game uses the tried and true control scheme of mouse to aim, WASD keys to move. The game is set up as three episodes, each containing 10 levels. Players will encounter various power ups and items to aid you as you fight for your chance at revenge.
This Week in Kickstarter serves two purposes, showing off cool things that pull in more funds than the GDP of a small country, and giving less appreciated cool games some publicity. DokiDoki! Ai Love You! 2! squarely falls in the latter. A neat little idea that deserves at least a look. The game looks like a fun way to chill out between classes, or kill a little time while waiting for your friends to pick you up.
At the time of writing, DokiDoki! Ai Love You! 2! successfully raised $785 of its $5,000 goal. Funding closes February 26, 2015.
Qmote is a simple, one button remote, that can do just about anything with your phone.
Qmote is your one stop shop for interacting with your phone, without ever having to actually touch your phone. Qmote allows you to control your phone while driving, or laying in bed when your phone is out of reach, or even when you can’t find your phone. With your phone acting as a smart hub, Qmote brings your phones functionality with a single button press.
Qmote can be used on iOS and Android devices and can by used for a myriad of functions including:
- Music controls
- Finding your phone
- Taking pictures
- Recording video
- Recording audio
- Making a call
- Making a fake call
- Taking screenshots
- Turning on your phone’s flashlight
- Turning on your heating/air conditioning before you get home.
- Starting navigation
- Toggling silent mode
- Snoozing your alarm
And the list just goes on and on! The Qmote is the size of a coin and has a keychain so you can attach it to your keys or wallet.
For just over the price of an amiibo, Qmote brings fantastic functionality to a world thats becoming increasingly dependent on our phones for our day to day tasks. Having this little device hanging from my keychain could easily solve a number of annoyances and needless tasks, especially the almighty problem “Where did I leave my phone?” One potential problem I see arising however, is how to keep track of the Qmote itself. I would definitely not recommend using this without the keychain. Given its guitar pick shape, anyone who plays guitar knows all too well just how easy it is to misplace something like this and never see it again. With that said, if you did lose it, the low price means buying another one won’t be a heart breaking endeavor.
At the time of writing, Qmote has smashed its $20,000 goal, climbing up to $89,685! Funding will continue all the way to March 8, 2015, so Qmote still has plenty of time to create stretch goals if they choose.
A customizable WiFi display that tracks whatever information is important to you.
DISPLIO uses WiFI to display various information the users wants like:
- Weather – weather conditions, forecast and room temperature.
- Calendar – your daily agenda and notifications for upcoming events.
- Stocks – current stock prices.
- E-Mail – unread message count and notifications for new emails.
- Traffic – live traffic conditions.
- FitBit – your daily progress and leaderboard.
- Facebook – likes and messages.
- Twitter – mentions, followers and your feed.
- Basecamp – todos and milestones.
- Paypal balance
- Shipment tracking
DISPLIO can also display your things like new texts, emails, or reminders. With a built in speaker, you can set the attention needing stuff to alert you if you so choose. Instead of buttons, the device is gesture based, and its E-ink display means it can be viewed in most lighting conditions and won’t wear on the battery. Said battery is microUSB charged.
And of course, this just wouldn’t be a Kickstarter tech project without it being open source. Users are free to create their own widgets and a library for most programming languages is provided. Speaking of languages, the DISPLIO supports Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, and other languages. This brings utility for non-english speaking people, or if you’re a middle class white guy like me, just having Japanese symbols on your desk looks cool.
DISPLIO is a fantastic little gizmo that I eagerly hope to see on store shelves one day. It’s sleek, elegant, and simple. Users can choose from a multitude of colors and even a wood casing. The E-ink is a smart choice to keep that battery running constantly, as a LED display would either drain within an hour, or have to be turned off when not being used, which defeats the whole purpose of the device: to be an always-on display.
At the time of writing, DISPLIO has successfully funded itself, raising $74,448 of its $65,000 goal. Funding for DISPLIO ends February 25, 2015.
A charming augmented reality children’s book.
Goodnight Lad is a children’s book that features augmented reality objects and characters. By using the associated app, the book comes to life, and by tilting the camera and rotating the book, you can see objects from new angles. The books has hidden secrets that can be found by tapping the various augmented reality objects.
If your little one doesn’t have you there to read for them, the narrator can do that, and with 32 pages to read from, your child will be entertained for quite some time. The app is available for both android and iOS.
This is another one of those “woah, we actually live in the future now!” moments. Children are reading holographic books! But moving beyond that initial holy crap moment, devices like cell phones are becoming very important and integral in our lives. Teaching children how to interact with technology at an early age, while still being able to have those traditional parent/child moments that make raising a child so special, can only be a good thing.
At the time of writing, Goodnight Lad managed to fully fund itself, raising $9,313 of its $5,000 goal. Goodnight Lad’s funding will stay open till March 6, 2015.
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? Would you want a Qmote? If you’re a parent, does Goodnight Lad look interesting to you? Does Stairs look to be the next horror game to take over youtube gaming vlogs? (ala Slender, Amnesia, Five Nights at Freddy’s). 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!