Welcome back to TWIK, where we scour the kickstarter website for some of the most interesting prospects and pass them onto you. This week we have a mix of horror, platformers, and a device to make fighting games on PC a lot more natural feeling. There's more not mentioned but we won't spoil the surprise this early on, so let's get to it.
Sylvio is a game about recording ghostly hauntings through the use of EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) within a sealed off family park park. Sylvio is nearly finished, having been developed by Swedish games developer Niklas Swanberg. It is being developed fpr PC and Mac. The Sylvio website is here if anyone would like more information.
Sylvio is a story-driven first person horror title. You will play as Juliette Waters. She is an audio recordist, in search of a good recording of ghostly voices. In search of these voices through the use of EVP, she stumbles into an old family park called Saginaw. Unbeknownst to her, the place has been closed to the public since a catastrophic event back in 1971. She finds herself trapped in a nearby restaurant, wondering who it is that's whispering in her recordings, and what those strange people outside want with her. It's chilling just writing about it.
Boasting a female lead, and an eerie musical score Sylvio claims to have all the perfect elements of a horror culminating in a truly horrific experience. Juliette has a few tricks up her sleeve to help her survive. She has a stereo microphone with an oscillator to pickup frequencies she herself can't hear. It will spark up depending on what frequencies it picks up. Juliette also has a reel recorder, complete with seven recording reels. The recorder can be played forward or backward in a fast, slow or normal speed. Because spiritual entities don't follow our laws of physics, Juliette will occasionally be able to find hidden messages in her recordings if listened in a certain way. These will likely help her progress further on her quest.
To protect herself, Juliette also has a blunderbuss. The unusual thing about her weapon is it's powered by air pressure from regular spray cans. Anything small enough to fit the barrel can be used as a projectile, for example rocks, potatoes, shards of glass or nuts and bolts.
Currently the Sylvio kickstarter has managed to raise $1099.69USD of it's required goal of $1350.47 USD. At this rate it is extremely likely to reach it's goal by Thursday Nov 20. There is still time though for anyone wanting to pledge towards this marvelously in depth concept. For anyone wanting the game, the minimum pledge is 50 SEK, rouglhy about $6.75 USD. That will net you the game and the soundtrack. For any of our readers who can't support this campaign financially, don't fret as you can still show your support by upvoting Sylvio on Greenlight. We are only too happy to.
Sylvio looks like a rather unique title, and the idea of using reverse recordings as a puzzle element is intriguing. At the same time it looks like Juliette's weapon will have limited use as using random objects as projectiles probably isn't that effective against the supernatural. At the same time the method through which the shotgun is powered looks to have limited use too. There isn't usually all that much air pressure in a can to the degree that would be needed to power that unconditionally. No doubt aerosol cans will be the ammunition. This looks to be a creepy one and we can't wait.
High quality platformers have been in sharp decline lately. There have been a few standouts like Shovel Knight, Risk of Rain as well as the LEGO series but mostly they have been few and far between. Thankfully Nubarron: The Adventure of a lucky gnome looks set to add another one to the list of greats.
Nubarron is a 2-dimensional puzzle platformer set in a digital painted fairy tale world. It is being developed by Argentina based studio nastycloud for PC, Mac and Linux. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApN13JaKsSM?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360]
Nubarron seems to be a quaint little puzzle-platformer with an interesting mechanic. Gnome, one of the inhabitants of the forest has lost his lucky hat. Turns out the hat was the source of his luckiness and without it a series of unfortunate events occurred. Without his hat, a stormy Cloud has formed of him where his hat used to be. Cloud enjoys terrorising the poor Gnome as well as randomly throwing lightning bolts at anything that tickles her fancy.
Cloud accompanies Gnome on his travels, but she is both a blessing and curse. Cloud can take care of enemies, start fires, light up dark foreboding caves and even help power ancient machinery. There is unfortunately a downside. While cloud can be very helpful on Gnome's journey, she can also hinder him. Should he stay in one spot for two long without dodging her lightning well, let's just say Gnome will be no more. Cloud is indiscriminate in who or what she attacks, including poor old Gnome.
With aesthetics inspired by the likes of Limbo, Journey and Braid, the team has taken the best of all three and conbined them to make Nubarron. As is documented in the Nubarron Diaries on ISSUU, you will have to help Gnome fend of all manner of creatures. There is a Snail with feet, the dreaded Rootman, the Horned Beast, a Toad with large fingers and a plethora of creatures too unspeakable to mention.Currently Nubarron's kickstarter page has managed to rack up only $16,597 USD of it's required $50,000 USD goal. It only has until November 22 to reach that. For anyone wanting and able to pledge, the game tier will only cost you $15.00 USD. It's a small amount to pay and for those who can't support the game, you can still show support by rooting for them on Greenlight. We just did. Nubarron will be available on PC, Mac and Linux, just to reiterate.
Gnome looks like another high quality platformer with gorgeous art. The style will make you fall in love with it's quaint charm. The idea of Cloud is pretty nifty too, being somewhat of a double edge sword. It seems like there would be tonnes of application for mischief there. As well as powering ancient machinery, maybe that will include traps you can use to pick off the denizens of the forest or perhaps it can power gadgets later that Gnome may happen to find, turning Cloud from a detriment to a boon. We can only hope we will get the opportunity to see this come to fruition. Get pledging, readers.
From the creators of Unrest comes another narrative RPG called Late to the Party. A late cold war era espionage game, Late to the Party has you take on the role of a female KGB Agent in the Baltic States.
As the Soviet Union’s dying days are coming, all sorts of subterfuge is afoot (mostly because they can’t be bothered to learn metric). As a native of the area, trained by the KGB, you are in the middle of both sides and could be a major asset for either side depending on what you decide. A branching, evolving narrative inspired by games like Planescape Torment and Alpha Protocol, promises story telling of the highest order that reacts to everything you do.
In the game make use of character traits, the spy tools at your hand, and MacGyver up whatever you can solve the situations that happen to arise. Your state of the art equipment access includes things like wiretaps, untraceable poison, and truth serum among many other KGB tools you may be able to harness. There is danger all around and you have to use all the tools you can survive. Most importantly perhaps will be the skill to watch and decipher what is going on with the people around using the Disposition, State and Intent system. Disposition is how they seem to be feeling about you – are you a stranger, a friend, an ally, a rival or something else? State is more their general mood such as angry, frustrated or happy. Sometimes the Disposition and State may be at odds and that can provide key hints for you to pick at. That’s where intent comes in, as you have several different dialogue choices, some of which use skills, and the intent confirms what you are seeking with them.
Throughout the game you will have to choose how you do things and what you will prioritize. Will you sacrifice effectiveness perhaps, to make sure all your steps are covered? There are always people watching and how you act will determine what they do as you must juggle safety, goals, mysteries, current needs, and the needs of the future.
Late To The Party is at almost $9000 of its $50000 CAD (just under 45000 USD) goal and has over 20 days to go. It is very likely to make the goal and perhaps hit several stretch goals. This team has shown with Unrest that it can produce on a kickstarter budget and timeline with quality work so that mitigates the risk a lot.
Ever wished that you could play old emulated arcade games and retain the feel and thrill you used to get with those old joystick booth controls? GameThing is a portable arcade controller that manages to recapture that classic feeling. Able to interface with any PC you already own, GameThing is the first ever portable arcade game console. Developed by Florian studios, it looks like it will bring back the nostalgia missing from those ancient titles. Because traditional arcade cabinets are large and limit you to one game and because emulating classic can be a pain, often without giving you the same feeling from years ago, California based Florian designed the GameThing. Florian believes that arcade games were designed for joysticks, as well as newer games benefiting from the old arcade treatment.
Florian are raising funds, not only in the hopes of creating the GameThing but also an online community site with tonnes of information on how to install setup and play emulated games. Adding it to this will be tutorials and templates for any wishing to make their own arcade style games for the GameThing. Florian studios are aiming to show everyone how easy it can be to play videogames.
Each GameThing is laser cut and had assembled so Florian can iterate quickly to improve the product and meet their customer's demands, also offering a lot of customizability. From the colour to the frame, to the shape of the joystick, as well as the engravings. They want you to be happy with the look.
Currently the GameThing kickstarter has managed to raise only $289 USD of their $5,000 USD goal. The goal is quite small and considering the campaign has only just started, they have a long time until the deadline of December 8. For anyone interested in pledging and receiving the actual product itself, it will only cost a miniscue pledge of $234. Be warned though, this is a limited early bird pricing and once all limited 9 are gone the price goes back up to $260, so get in fast.
The GameThing looks like it could really bring back the old feelings of playing street fighter, or final fight in the arcade. All those hours spent in arcades, playing Double Dragon. We miss those days and we're sure our readers do too. This product is going to revolutionise and revitalise retro gaming. We can't wait to verse each other in the TechRaptor staff.
Mousr is a new take on Robotics that combines two things the internet loves: robots and cats. With Mousr, you can get your cat its first robotic toy – its own mouse!
Beyond its obvious parts, Mousr is built to be an interactive toy that’s programmed for how cats like to hunt. It can learn from patterns and uses its tail – of which a variety are promised – to entice the cat to hunt it. Ideally, Mousr would help the health of cats because the further keeping of them indoors stops them from doing what they are bred to do: hunt.
These behaviours typically come because your cat is not able to indulge its natural instincts as a hunter as you protect it by keeping it in your home. Mousr works by using a 360 degree sensor that detects what is around it and what is moving around (like a cat’s paw) and an artificial intelligence meant to entice the cat by acting like pray. Unlike other ‘randomized’ electronic toys, Mousr aims to react as your cats instincts expect pray to in the wild to make it feel more ‘real’ to the cat.
Mousr also comes with a specially made mobile app. Not only does Mousr have his own intelligence but if you want to match wits with your cat and create your own Tom and Jerry cartoon you can! The Mousr app lets you turn this into a toy for everyone as you control your cats prey. Additionally, the app will also be updated occasionally with new behaviour to make the Mousr an even more effective toy.
The Mousr team has travelled to China t help improve its knowledge of manufacturing processes and work on prototyping. Given that manufacturing is where many of the issues for these types of projects happens in fulfillment, that can only be a positive for them. Spending several months learning and working with manufacturing companies makes it much less likely that they won’t be able to reach a satisfactory agreement on that part.
The one concern is that the AI still has to be mostly done for the poor little Mousr. The project leads do sport some impressive credentials in that way, and make what seems like a valid point – there is a baseline minimum now for making a better toy with sensor and app control that they can continue to update. Thus they have already found and at least reassured people on some of the major concerns for this type of project, along with the outlines for time.
Mousr finishes up in just over 20 days on the 6th of December with a goal of 100 000. Given that It’s almost at 40 000 already, it seems extremely likely they will make it here and perhaps from this spawn a whole line of animal robotic toys. More practically it is one that comes into home and represents the miniaturization of robots and more usability on a daily basis.
Over on another topic Point is a different take on house security. Instead of cumbersome camera’s and low life span devices, Point aims for less precision but general knowledge of what is going on while leaving privacy, and space intact.
Point connects easily to your wall with magnets after you tape it there to let it sit. From its spot on the wall it has battery life of over one year to make life easy on how often you have to deal with it. All the information it gets, it sends out wirelessly to an application that you can check on your phone. It tracks things like sounds, air quality and the indoor environment of your home.
Point is also very programmable, allowing you to set conditions particular to your home. You can set it to put an alarm if there’s a loud noise in the middle of the night, to turn yellow when there is cigarette smoke, to go blue when the humidity has reached levels indicative of issues. The idea of it is that it can passively monitor the quality and state of things in your home and then give you alerts based on what you have chosen you need an alert on.
For those who want to combine it with existing technology, Point can work with Lockitron and send you notifications about whenever your door is opened. It’s easy to see other wireless devices getting set up to work in tandem with point – such as a carbon monoxide detector which is one of the few absent points of Point’s home monitoring.
Point has already doubled its goal and has over 20 days to go. At a relatively affordable $79 for a single Point it seems that one could get in. The fact that it has doubled its goal already helps provide some protection against manufacturing issues that might come up, though delays are still possible that might push it back from its July 2015 delivery date.
Previously on This Week in Kickstarter.
Empyrion: Galactic Survival is 23% funded with 18 days to go so it’s likely to make it’s goal.
Epic Manager is 60% funded with only 19 days to go so this will very likely make it’s goal.
Aerannis has reach 35% completion, with 20 days to go so it’s still very possible their campaign will succeed.
Impact Winter was not successfully funded and we still wait official word from Mojo Bones on what comes next.
Everykey: Wristband has been 51% funded with 20 days left to go so it’s very likely they will also reach their goal.
Keecker has been well and truly funded with a whopping 249% funded, with 8 days still to go.
Stove Lite is 41% funded, with 24 days to go so it too will likely reach it’s goal
Spot is almost certain to go nowhere, having moved up to a meager $204 with about a week to go.
DeB has inched along since making its goal, and has about a week left.
Dexmo has been surprisingly canceled and will likely relaunch at sometime in the future.
AMPY made 3 times its goal and was successfully funded.