Welcome back to This Week in Kickstarter! Today we are bringing you a great mix of new tech projects and awesome games, from kawaii turtles to portable audio stations. Grab your hats ladies and gents, because we’re going for a ride!
Let's Talk Games
Super Kawaii Turtle Fighter - Fast Paced Turtle FightersSuper Kawaii Turtle Fighter is a fast-paced turtle fighting game, where players fight in multiplayer matches with their long necks!
Super Kawaii Turtle Fighter is a local multiplayer fighting game for Windows that features turtles with stretchy necks! The game is made for Windows, however, it is optimized for controller play for the best experience. There are two modes in the game, turtle fight and fruit fight. In turtle fight, players battle their opponent in an arena filled with harmful and helpful objects. The victor being determined by a best 2 out of 3 system. Each round lasts 2 ½ minutes or until one player is completely drained of their health.
The other mode featured is fruit fight which builds upon the traditional turtle fight, with an added retrieval element. When a player successfully bites another player’s turtle, a blueberry will be released and they must try to collect that blueberry before their opponent can retrieve it. The player with the most blueberries at the end of the round wins.
I think that the idea behind this is great, however, I had to wonder how this game even became a thing. Luckily, the origin of Kawaii Interactive LLC and their game is explained on the Kickstarter. Kawaii Interactive's love of the kawaii art style, and fighting games, evolved into using the stretchy-necked turtles to fight each other in arenas. Currently two turtles are available, Boxy and Candy, and with successful funding two more will be added, Pushie and Woodie. Check out the Kickstarter to see the differences between the four.
With 12 days left to go in their campaign, Kawaii Turtle LLC has inched towards their goal of $750, having raised $577 so far. If you want this game to succeed, and think you'd enjoy it, go back this great little project!
Identity - A Truly Free Experience Identity is a modern day style open world MMORPG, with a focus on freedom and player interaction.
Featuring an enormous online world controlled in almost every aspect by player characters, Identity offers players a world to be whoever they want - be it a hunter, an investor, a criminal, or a cop. Dozens of jobs are available, and players can engage in more casual activities like paintball or karaoke. The game promises no subscription fees and to never have pay-to-win purchases. Players can make their own homes ranging from small studio apartments to massive penthouses, and even design furniture. The game has small jobs for people that like to travel the in-game world or in-depth careers like police officers, fire fighters, etc. Each career has its own character progression branches, and often ranking and specialities as well.
Identity seems… unnervingly ambitious. I’ve seen several projects offer less with bigger, more stable budgets and fall completely flat. Playstation Home, for example, promised many of these same things but was an unmitigated disaster. My worry is that the game might offer too many features, and as a result the development team might be stretched a bit too thin, resulting in gameplay features a mile wide and a puddle deep.
If they could pull it off however, and make it an engaging experience, this could really take off, resulting in some fun conversations about what your Identity job is, and how you make your money. Imagine logging on one day and you play as a Police Officer, when you get a call that a bank is being robbed. But when you arrive on the scene, you find your friend is playing the bank robber? Do you arrest your friend, or let him go?
Identity set its goal for $150,000, and has currently raised $25,920 at the time of writing. The project still has till February 4th, 2015, however, and we could still see a release if they are successful.
DrawAndRace3 - Draw Your Own Racing GameDrawAndRace lets you transform 2D artwork into your own 3D racing game. It’s a piece of software for Mac and Windows that allows you to create your own racetracks, make new vehicles and then race around your creation.
This game is playable in merely three steps. Your first step will be to create your own track. Draw a race track with pencil and paper, make it 3D with DrawAndRace, and start racing. The second step is to create your vehicle. Same steps as above: draw your vehicle, and make it 3D using the in game editor technology. The last step, not necessarily a requirement, is to make your own game. You can use DrawAndRace to make your own little racing game, or you can get a hold of the C++ source, and code for Mac and Windows, to shape the game into whatever you desire.
I think that this game targets a small demographic, in that you have to be mildly artistic to be able to play, but that being said, I think that it is awesome technology for that demographic. Imagine you're playing Mario Kart, and you think of a great idea for a racetrack. Draw it up, with some Mario characters in karts, make it 3D with the in-game editor, and watch your dream become a reality on the screen. What about some sort of space race track, riddled with asteroids and the like. Draw it up, create some cool spaceships, turn them 3D, and race to your heart's content. The possibilities for those artistic enough to create, are endless, and there is the potential for much fun to be had with DrawAndRace3.
When writing this article, DrawAndRace3 had garnered 35 backers, pledging a total of £567, five times the goal of £100.
Let's Talk Tech
KDJ-ONE - Portable Audio WorkstationA portable studio for the artist on the go, KDJ-ONE gives consumers basic tools to start making their own tracks whenever creativity strikes.
The KDJ-ONE comes included with a synthesizer, sequencer, and sampler. Artists can use 6 tracks for any combination of instruments and sounds. The device comes with ways to change and mic waveforms, toggle ADSR parameters, select effectors to use, and add LFOs. However for the beginners, there is still a selection of several hundred preset instruments. The little machine has an impressive 10 hour battery life.
At first glance, I wasn’t overly amazed by the KDJ-ONE; it was a cool little device but I just didn’t see the need for anybody but Sid Wilson himself. Most people don’t travel enough to warrant it, and if they are going to be creating music, they’d probably just go home rather than sit in abandoned parking lots, sitting on stools to make the music.
But then he mentioned its use for beginners, and my view did a complete 180. Almost every instrument has an unfortunate front loaded learning curve, where the basics are the hardest to get down, and DJing (despite many people's misconceptions that they are simply paid to press the “make music button”) might have the steepest learning curve, needing to know the ins and outs of different devices and ways to manipulate sound. The KDJ-ONE could be a great beginner's tool, giving someone a small, manageable slice of DJing to get the hang of it. Being able to make music, real, listenable music, that you could proudly put on your Soundcloud, is also a fantastic selling point.
Having surpassed the goal of $100,000, the KDJ-ONE now sits at $146,186 at the time of writing. The creators have decided to set a stretch goal at $150,000, incentivising with an X-Y pad mode. Donations close January 13th, 2015.
BLOCKS - Build Your Own Cat PlayhouseCreate structures by clicking various elements together, simply unlock to start-over. A clean & healthy toy for both you and your cat.
Do you have a cat? Do you love that cat? Does your cat have nowhere to play? Then Blocks is the project for you. Create virtually any structure coming to mind and let your cat chill, play, philosophize and sleep in your creation. Sounds like something from the future? Well, with your support it may be the very near future.
The BLOCKS package consists of two beams, two cubes, a tunnel, a bridge, a slide and two types of connectors. The home-delivered elements are easily folded and once they are pieced together, solid as "The Rock", they say. Tested multiple times by the creators, Poopy Cat, BLOCKS promises to be a good toy for all breeds, ages, and tempers. With the included connectors, you can attach the shapes together, both from the inside and the outside.
Why did Poopy Cat decide to embark on an endeavor such as this? Here's an explanation from the project;
"Cats play a lot, not only is this good fun, it is also imperative for their development. BLOCKS stimulates mental and physical exercise in a natural way for cats of all ages. Especially for indoor cats this helps against boredom and obesity. Enrichment also prevents unwanted behavior such as destructing objects (often the couch) or nighttime action games."
Having had cats my whole life myself, I see the great potential in BLOCKS. It provides an outlet for your cat to let out all of the energy that builds up during the day, especially if they are an indoor cat, that can't let that energy out outside. I also think that it's great, because with the ability to change it, comes new and exciting ways for your cat to play, so that it doesn't get bored playing with a single set-up. When it does get bored, simply remove the connectors, and create something different, giving your cat a new design to explore.
Not currently aiming to make a profit, Poopy Cat set the goal for BLOCKS at only €5,500. Since creating the project, they have amassed 193 backers, totaling €13,648 in pledges. The project still has 8 days to go, so there is plenty of time left if you want to hop on this awesome project.
FishBit - Your Aquarium Made SimpleBetween the hoverboards and futuristic remotes we see on Kickstarter, it’s nice every now and then to get something a little more low key, a little more slice of life if you will. CurrentLabs humbly presents Fishbit, a device that looks after your aquarium, and simplifies the process, putting you in control.
FishBit is like your own little assistant for your aquarium, sending you updates anytime something’s up that needs your attention. The device sends you easy to understand ways to fix any problems your fishies might have, simplifying the process so anybody can understand what to do. The FishBit measures Ph levels, salinity, temperature, and more.
Aquariums fall under the category of things I don’t realize I love until I actually see them, and then I get mesmerized. A problem I had with my old aquarium was, quite frankly, I didn’t know what I was doing. I just poured in water I felt was “a good temperature” didn’t clean it because i thought it “looked fine”, and figured “hey fish live in water so any old water will do right?” My fish ended up going to the, eh, “the farm.” I could see FishBit being a very handy tool for people like me that like fish takes but are also clueless how to manage them.
With only 46 backers at the time of writing, CurrentLabs has already raised an impressive $9,409. That’s an average of ~$204 per donation! Clearly this product speaks to some people! Having already broken their initial goal of $5,000, we’ll be seeing Fishbit for sale soon. Donations close February 5th, 2015.
Previously on This Week in Kickstarter
Alien Abduction Game - With 7 days remaining on the campaign, things aren't looking too promising for this little project. At only £441 of its £1,500 goal, its got a lot of funding needed left. Cops & Thugs... At Night - C&TAN hasn’t received too many more donations since last week, only managing to climb to $3,638 of its $10,000 goal. Subverses Covert - At a little over half its goal, with $11,023 of its $20,000, and with 16 days to go, things are looking good for this nice little language learning project. SPIN Remote - Nearing closer to its goal of €100,000, the SPIN remote will be cutting down to the last minute, having only till January 13th to complete its funding. WorldPenScan X - The lengthy-named pen now sits at $21,545 of its $30,000 goal. With donations still open till the 28th of January, the team at PenPower USA may have a success on their hands. iCamPRO FHD - Doubling its funding since last week, this project now sits at a whopping $155,619, crushing its measly $1,000 goal. It looks like 800+ people will be receiving this nice little camera in the future!