Update: Gamester has since cancelled their Kickstarter. If you're still interested in the project, you can put in a pre-order at the service's website.
Gamester is a service by Giant Fox Studios that puts forth a simple proposition: how would you like to put yourself in a game?
Gamester allows you to create personalized games through a sort of paint-by-numbers system. To be clear, Gamester isn't strictly a game engine—you won't get the level of complexity that you'd expect out of something like the Unreal SDK. However, it will have all of the basic hallmarks of "Making your own game."
The process is quite simple. It begins by submitting your photo through an app. Your face will be inserted into the game in the style of the classic JibJab cartoons. Alternatively, you can elect to pay a $29 fee to have one of the company's artists draw you in a pixel style. A photo will be immediately usable, but getting a pixel art portrait of your face is expected to take 1-4 days for delivery.
After you've loaded a photo of yourself into the app, the next step is to select what type of game you'd like to have. The noted examples are Action Platformer, Runner, Match-3, and Flappy.
From here you can build the world of your game. You select the enemies, collectibles, and background setting for your title. The Gamester Kickstarter shows off a handful of selections for these respective categories. You can then select the sounds, write up a quick story, and even input some of your own voice acting work. Creating a custom game through the app is free unless you elect to use one of the additional services, such as having your face turned into pixel art.
The roots of Gamester lie in an anniversary gift. A friend of one of the app's creators by the name of Jackie asked for the developers over at Giant Fox Studios to put together a game about her boyfriend as an anniversary present. Princess in Peril was the result, and the gift supposedly went over well. This concept of a made-to-order game was the genesis of Gamester. They showed it off at several expos, and this video demonstrates it .
Contributing $5 to the Kickstarter will let you skip the line to the app's launch; you'll be among the first people to be able to use the app. A $15 contribution will get you custom pixel art of your face to use however you wish, such as for a social media avatar. The aforementioned $29 fee will get your pixel avatar placed into a game, and a $54 contribution will also get you a physical poster of the pixel art. Alternatively, you could elect to spend $54 getting a t-shirt of the avatar along with the customized pixel art in a game. $80 will get you both the poster and t-shirt.
As for the higher-tier contributions, $200 will get you a setting, collectible, enemy, or character put into the game. You design it and the Gamester devs make it happen. $500 will allow you to consult with the app's developers to pick out new types of games to be made available in the app. If you're feeling particularly generous, $1,000 will get you a wholly customized game similar to the Princess in Peril scenario that spawned the idea for Gamester.
There's not yet any stretch goals announced. Giant Fox Studios is waiting until they get closer to their funding goal before announcing any. They're just over half of their funding goal of $23,000 with a bit over 7 days remaining in their Kickstarter.
If Gamester sounds like the sort of thing you'd be interested in, you can check out their Kickstarter here. The Gamester Kickstarter ends on May 20, 2016 at 10:47 AM Eastern Time.
What do you think of Gamester? Does this sound like the kind of thing you think would make a good gift for gamers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!