A machine that prints pancakes, a jumprope that displays data as you whip it, and a modern dark fantasy TTRPG. All that and more This Week In Kickstarter!
The Smart Rope is futuristic exercise tool that can displays LED data as you use it. As the the user jumps, it will keep track of the number, displaying it before your eyes in mid-air.. With an upcoming software update, the rope will also be able to display emojis and icons. The Smart Rope also connects to your smart phone, and through the app, you'll be able to track your calories burned. Based on your BMI and "jump rope ability", the app will provide goals and training recommendations.
We're living in a technological renaissance and the Smart Rope is a pure example of it. Everyday items are being remade for the 21st century, and things that you could deem magic 100 years ago are part of the real world now. The Kickstarter page mentions that should this be a success, they will explore other possible wearables. I love this idea and I think a lot of people looking to get into shape could benefit from the device, if only because the novelty of seeing emojis and numbers in the translucent blur made by their jump rope would make them want to work out just to see it.
The Smart Rope is already fully funded, raising over $70,000 of their initial $60,000 goal. The project closes April 6, 2015.
Azmara is a top down 2D game Zelda-esque dungeon crawling game for Android and iOS. The game has a heavy focus on exploration of the environment. Players will jump between floors fluidly and with no loading, allowing for interesting, multi level puzzles without the frustration of waiting for the next floor to load. The game also looks to aim for using multiple weapons to take down the monsters, as opposed to choosing one weapon and hammering away at them, which could prove very interesting and exciting.
Azmara is free to play, and that might worry people for reasons I understand. It's not Azmara's fault, we don't even know what, if any, micro-transaction payments might be in it (hopefully none). Another possible worry for me is the on screen buttons, though the game doesn't look particular demanding of player input, so it may not be an issue.
Azmara has currently raised $879, and aims to raise $20,000. The project still has time, as donations stay open till April 1, 2015.
With the Instrument 1 you can play any instrument, style, or sound, and connect it to your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Tap it like a drum, strum it like a guitar, play it like a bass, use your phone as a violin bow! You can plug it in and play apps like GarageBand with the musical gestures. And it can even distinguish how hard you play a note, so you can hear the difference between a soft touch and a hard strike.
But what about non-musicians? This device is aimed at everyone. The practiced musicians get a fancy new way to play, and non-musicians get a gateway into several new instruments with little effort to get started busting out tunes. The Instrument 1 is designed to be effortless, and every aspect can be customized to you.
One fascinating feature that I think helps distinguish it from traditional instruments is that, because it doesn't need real strings to play notes, you can play two notes that come from the same string, which is technically impossible on a regular guitar. This device looks fantastic and, like the Smart Rope mentioned earlier, is another fascinating look into the technological renaissance of our everyday lives. I'm not sure how well this would work for those learning on the Instrument 1 and transitioning to a real instrument, but learning a new artistic skill is never a bad thing, and has many positive benefits for your brain.
The Artiphon Instrument 1 has well surpassed its $75,000 goal, raking in over $347,700 at the time of writing. Donations continue until April 12, 2015.
Burgle Bros, from the creators of Wok Star and Paperback, allows you and friends to try to pull off the perfect heist, adapting to problems along the way. Guards move in ways that are somewhat predictable, and somewhat unpredictable. The player will have to plan ahead, and react when the guard turns the corner at the wrong time...
Players can try for more daring options at the risk of getting caught, or can take a stealthy route. Players will also have to navigate all three floors and think in 3-dimensions to outwit the guards and the watch. Games escalate to exciting endings: once you steal the loot, guards will move faster, the players' stealth will run out, and they'll have to throw caution to the wind to make it to the exit. Even with perfect planning, a special event out of the players' hands can throw a wrench in the mix. It could be the miracle you needed or the curse that untangles your plan.
I think the biggest fun-killer for any type of game (mobile, video game, tabletop, sports, etc.) is having to adequately explain the rules. Despite what your grandparents probably say, we do have attention spans long enough to learn them. But if a game takes too much investment it becomes exhausting and by the time your 3/4 done explaining, people's attention has wandered to their phones or playing with the figurines. (I'm looking at you Game of Thrones: The Board Game, which takes nearly half an hour to explain.) There's nothing wrong with complex board games, they're just not as appealing as ones you can break out with people who haven't played them before. Burgle Bros looks like the latter example. A quick review of the rules shows that within a quick tutorial, players will get the basics down pretty quickly. The atmosphere of the game looks to be a great game to play with friends long into the night. The many options and tactics players can chose from means they can try something different every time, and find a play style that suits them.
Burgle Bros has fully funded itself, raising over $32,000 of its $10,000 goal at the time of writing. Donations continue until April, 4, 2015.
The PancakeBot is something as wondrous as a child's imagination brought to life. In a single sentence, you can sum up exactly what makes it interesting. In short, the PancakeBot is a 3D printer that shapes batter into any shape you like! Rocket ships, monuments, logos, whatever! You can even tell the printer in what order to trace the image, allowing for darker and lighter spots. Once you've finished, you can save the image and the PancakeBot can print it over and over again, so you'll never have to retrace.
The device would be amazing for those pancake breakfasts high schools have for their senior class, only now the schools mascots and logos could be gridded right in! And with pre-loaded pancake designs, you can show it off right out of the box! Although lets be real, we all know the first thing most of us are going to try printing, and it's not gonna be the Washington Monument.
The PancakeBot has fully funded its $50,000, currently sitting at over $53,000 at the time of writing. Funding remains open until April 10, 2015.
WITCH uses an original rule system focusing on story and role playing. Players wield magical abilities after their deal with a demon. Which "fate" players join depends on the demon that fates them. There are six in all:
Pagans - Versatile, negotiators. Easy to spot with the faithful familiar that follows them everywhere.
Druids - The lore keepers, the warriors. Quick to anger, yet easy to forgive.
Djinn - Enforcers and wish granters. A walking contradiction of vengeful and honorable, free yet bound.
Yokai - The changeling. Constantly warping between beasts and people. Loyal to fault, charismatic, and always on the move.
Bokor - Tricksters who control the dead.
Lich - The immortals, explorers, devoted to a life of study and perfection.
The game has several different goals: fighting the demon that fated you, running from hunters, or wrestling with the choices you've made. Magic ditches the traditional point system in favor of a risk/ reward set up. Players can cast magic as many times as they want, but each time furthers the risk of something going wrong.
WITCH looks like a fantastic game to play with friends who enjoy the role playing aspects of games. Customizing your character and telling their story are the greatest strengths of many tabletop games, and its interesting take on magic has me intrigued. Having deals with demons be shaky at best and never black and white is great and I'm sure will keep many players on their toes.
WITCH has almost doubled its goal in funding, raising €8,325 of its €4,500 goal. Donations remain open till March 31, 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? 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!