A 360º camera, a new game by Keiji Inafune, and secret potion societies! All that and more This Week in Kickstarter!
Swanky pirate playing cards! Arrg!
From Brain Vessel Creative comes the Seven Seas Master Collection, a nautical themed set of playing cards tinged in yo ho ho's and a bottle of rum. The cards are illustrated by Jason Kreiger and printed by Bicycle.
Two new themed playing cards styles have been produced: Pirates and Sea Creatures. Adding these to the original Seven Seas Deck gave birth to "the Master Deck." In the Master Deck, every card is illustrated, each illustration being unique. This adds up to 54 unique ocean swayed cards. Designs include famous pirate ships, sea creatures, monsters, and lore. The four decks align to create a snazzy sea battle.
The detail in these cards is exquisite, bordering on distraction. I'd love to get a poker game going, and when it's time to deal whip out my badass pirate deck. That being said, $40 ($10 per deck) for Bicycle cards is pretty steep considering you can often just stumble into getting a deck for considerably cheap. However a single deck purchase for $10 is really all I'd need and $10 is small enough that I'd be willing to splurge on these.
A handsfree wearable display, at a fraction of the cost.
Vufine is a handsfree wearable display, but unlike competitors, Vufine is an "add on" to your regular pair of glasses and has no internal computing, instead everything is handled through proprietary software.
Vufine can connect to anything capable of outputting a 720p HDMI signal, making use of a thin HDMI cable to remove problems with latency and battery drain. It attaches to serval types of glasses through a magnetic docking station. The Vufine attempts to facilitate activities without overreaching.
I'm liking the idea of simplifying the Google Glass and other such products, and I think Vufine makes a valid criticism that a lot of its functionality is rather unnecessary and can easily be handled by your phone or tablet. For just $149, Vufine doesn't seem like a half bad deal. However, pretending that lacking a camera is a positive feature is hilarious. No Vufine, a feature would be having a camera and being able to promise it couldn't be hacked into. Still, the device looks solid and at only 22 grams, I don't think it should be too hampering on your glasses for casual use.
A new game being developed behind the creators of Mighty No. 9.
Red Ash is the newest title in development by Keiji Inafune's Kickstarter studio Comcept. A near-future sci-fi adventure in search of the "Legendary Legacy." The game is built to pay homage to Japanese animation, and also for "immersing players in a freely explorable anime world." With this, the team hopes to build a side by side anime and game experience of "separate, yet parallel worlds" that gives creators on both sides full freedom to create whatever story or world they want. To learn more about the project, click the link above or check out TechRaptor's write up on the project.
While it's a shame not a speck of gameplay could be seen, the anime designs seemed well underway. At this point it's difficult to tell what to make of the series as we have so little to go off of (and at this early stage of development, likely isn't a good representation of either final product). Mighty No. 9 has yet to release, so we can't exactly use it as a judgement for this project, however current impressions of the game seem mostly pleasant. It's simply too early to make any kind of judgement, which might be my only critique. I'm not sure how comfortable I feel with games being sold on names and titles alone (see Shenmue 3). I can't judge the art style because it's just sketches, nor gameplay impressions as there is no gameplay, nor any kind of game mechanic.
A versatile bedside companion.
The C1Pro is a low key alarm clock with a healthy amount of options and usability. It features the standard set up for an alarm clock like switching between 12 hr/24 hr, as well as adjustable back lights, but also has nifty features like a built in temperature sensor (fahrenheit and celsius), and two simulations USB charging ports.
It also has a microSD card slot if you like to use certain music for an alarm. The device can connect via Bluetooth for you to use as a speaker as well. It comes in either black or white. The different ports have different charging potential with one being a 1A port for smartphones and a faster 2.1A port for tablets. It also has a convenient and easy rotary dial for changing time and alarms.
I can respect how humble this machine is. A lot of stuff on Kickstarter tries to change the way you live, but this is just a nice alarm clock that can charge your stuff and play your podcasts over Bluetooth. Unlike others that need to convince me why I need it, I can see use out of every feature on this device.
A tabletop card game of mastering potions and alchemy.
Across the land, an invitation has summoned the most clever apprentices: a chance to enter the Secret Potion Society. Now you compete in their black market game. By conjuring powerful magic and deception, as well as outwitting your opponents, you can join Apotheca.
Apotheca is a 30 minute potion crafting strategy game for 2-4 players. It is recommended ages 14 and up. By hiding ingredients in the marketplace, you devise your schemes and plans. You can recruit apothecaries to aid you, and the first apprentice to create three potions becomes a member of Apotheca. The game features asymmetric powers, as each of the 15 apothecaries brings unique abilities to manipulate the potions. Players will also need to keep track of "hidden information." Only you know the true identity of the potions you brought to the market.
I'm interested in Apotheca; it really seems to be doing something unique here and honestly doesn't look too hard to get the basic ideas down. As I've said more times than I can remember, the more time it takes to learn a board game, the less fun everyone has. Long learning times are the death of quality board games in my opinion, but Apotheca looks like a good mix of simple tasks with deep strategies.
A 4K, 360º, 60 FPS camera for Oculus Rift.
The Sphericam 2 is a spherical camera that records all 360º at 60 frames per second, allowing you to capture a moment completely in high definition. You can watch the video on a VR headset such as the Oculus rift or Google Cardboard—or just on your tablet, phone, or PC.
The Sphericam 2 aims to create stunning content for you to use on whoever you chose to win the VR space race going on between companies. It is made of anodised aluminium, letting you take in on all your adventures. It features a variety of mounting options to fit the task at hand.
This device aims to be the missing puzzle piece for VR, creating content where there really isn't much to be had outside of some indie games. However, we still don't know how many people are going to be buying this puzzle in the first place. Despite what companies keep trying to say, the mass market really hasn't shown all that much interest in VR tech—understandably because it is impossible to really advertise it properly without getting people to demo it. The Sphericam 2 is a solid device, and I think it, and others like it, could provide some truly stunning, futuristic content for YouTube and other sites if VR is adopted en masse the way TV has. (Imagine going on youtube and being able to watch a plethora of content recorded in 360º. The vlogs would be insane!)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!