KickStart This: June 24, 2013 Edition

kickstarterA little less than a year ago, I wrote my first KickStart This article, but didn’t get around to writing anymore.  There are many amazing and little known gaming related KickStarter projects out there and I want to start doing my part to help promote them.  It’s not a lot – but as I can’t afford to support every KickStarter I’d like to see funded, I can do something – which is writing the articles and getting them at least a little publicity.

Each week I write these, I will be looking at four to five different gaming related KickStarter, or similar funding program, projects.

This week, we’re going to examine a Mario-themed lamp, two documentaries of which one has been successfully funded and the other has not, one videogame that is looking to get funded and one gaming related (just not video game) game that would interest many gamers.

1.  The Question Block Lamp by 8-Bit Lit

8-Bit Lit runs a great 8-bit themed Etsy store and they jokingly put the Question Block Lamp up for $10,000 to promote their Kickstarter for the lamp project.

8-bit-lit

This lamp is exactly what it looks like and sounds like – a pendant lamp shaped and designed to work just like Super Mario Bros.  Similar to Mario, you can jump up, tap the lamp with your head, your fist, whatever and it will turn on and make a coin like sound or an occasional 1-up sound.

Kinda cool huh?  I thought so.

There is a long story as to how they were making a previous version of the lamps and sold thousands of them, but now they need to upgrade the lamps and designs and more importantly get a factory to manufacture them, which is why they have the KickStarter going.  Their goal is to raise $100,000 within a month.

The project launched on June 18.  As of June 21, their current raised total is $40,903.  Definitely not bad for only being live 3 days.

Check out the project and their various incentives here: http://bit.ly/kickthelamp

2.  The NES Club:  One Man – 30 Days – Over 700 Games to Find by Rob McCallum

This project was successfully funded June 21.  Their goal was $15,000 and ended up with $16,814 to fund this documentary.

the-nes-clubAccording to the site, this documentary chronicles Nintendo’s glorious past and follows one guy for 30 days on the road as he tries to collect over 700 NES Games.

The catch?  No online purchases are allowed.  The games cannot be purchased with the money raised for the documentary – that money goes to production costs of the documentary.  Jay, the star of the show, has to at least acquire all the official recognized games by Nintendo with his own funds.

They have an impressive list of known gaming personalities that will be in the documentary as well, including but not limited to Walter Day, Ben Gold, Patrick Scott Patterson, Todd Rogers, and Jason Wilson.

The project had some pretty ambitious stretch goals, which included travel to additional cities to film the collection of the games.  Sadly, they only reached the $15,000 goal which will allow them to only do five cities: London, Toronto, Buffalo, Detroit and Windsor.

I was honestly hoping this one would raise a lot more, but sadly, it didn’t.  Check out the details and updates on the project here:  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pyreusa/the-nes-club-one-man-30-days-over-700-games-to-fin

3.  The Long Road – A Documentary About Following Your Passions by Dave Vogt

The funding for this Documentary is relatively short, lasting only from June 19 to July 5, which is why it’s being covered in this week’s KickStart This.  I will throw out a disclaimer as well.  Dave is a personal friend of mine and we have worked together on a couple projects in the past and will likely be working on projects in the future.  Being that he is a friend, I feel that because I am promoting it, I need to let it be known so that in the sake of Journalistic Integrity, that is known.

the-long-roadAll of that being said, Dave describes The Long Road as a personal documentary about going against the odds and competing in the biggest fighting game tournament in the world, EVO.

The documentary will be about video gaming but he wants to use it to inform and educate people in the field of competition and to encourage people to take a shot at what they love.

He has a goal to raise a minimum of $8,500 and the money raised will go towards equipment, hardware, software, studio and production costs for an original heavy metal soundtrack, production of the film and production of the perks.  He admits that the project is on the cheaper side, but if more money is donated, the better the end project will be.

He does have a stretch goal of $12,000 as well.

Take a look at his project and see about tossing a few dollars his way.  I think it could turn into quite an interesting, insightful documentary.

Learn more here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1914746059/the-long-road-a-documentary-about-following-your-p

4. Frontiers – Explore – Discover – Survive by Lars Simkins

frontiersFrontiers is promising to be an open world, first person RPG that emulates the tone of classic first person RPGs which will be playable on multiple operating systems.  The project owner describes the game as a game that emphasizes exploration above all else – something that other games have touched on, but haven’t come close to what he’s looking for.

He’s broken down how much money he thinks it will take to reach the base feature set of the game, and shows how it will be broken out according to what is needed – from programming to art to music to everything else.

Translation: he did his work, he knows what it will cost to get a minimum project out the door and has it budgeted out.

His goal to reach is $50,000.  The project launched June 17 and runs through July 17.  As of June 21, he has raised $38,236 of the goal.  Lars also has a number of Stretch Goals, broken down into multiple categories all the way up to $125,000.  Each stretch goal details what will be added at that level.  For example, if $80,000 is raised, they will provide Oculus Rift Support, do a 3D Interface Overhaul and provide game controller support.

This game project is probably one of the most detailed and thought out projects I have seen that hasn’t been put out by a full fledged game development company (like Portalarium or Double Fine).

Take a few minutes to check it out and if it suits you, toss some money their way to get the project KickStarted.  You can view the Kickstarter Campaign here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/railboy/frontiers-explore-discover-survive?ref=category

5.  Mind’s Eye Theatre: Vampire the Masquerade  by By Night Studios

minds-eye-theater-vtmAnd now for one of my personal favorites.  I have been a long time fan of Vampire the Masquerade (and let’s be honest, we know that CCP won’t be putting the MMO out for some time, so pen-and-paper will have to do) and anytime new books come out, I’m always interested in them – seeing what has changed, what hasn’t etc.  And then of course, getting to play.  Admittedly, it’s been years since I’ve played VtM, but one day I might find time to return to that fun game.

This project launched May 25 and runs through July 9.  While its initial goal was to raise a minimum of $60,000, it’s already doubled that goal as of June 21 with achieving more than $124,246.  They achieved their initial funding goal in four days – which is quite impressive.

This project has quite an extensive list of stretch goals, a large number which have been unlocked already, but with many more to unlock.  Stretch goals are listed up through $260,000.  With 17 days to go, they very well could achieve it.

According to the project’s creator, this book is drawing on more than two decades worth of material from World of Darkness game settings.  Rules are designed and adapted specifically for Live Action Roleplay environments while maintaining the integrity of the original game.

The book has some pretty ambitious goals.  It will contain all the clans, bloodlines and disciplines – proclaiming that it will be the complete game book you need to enjoy VtM.  It has also simplified the character creation system – which if you have played VtM in the past, you know it can be a chore.  Factor in more detailed settings for Camarilla, Sabbat and Anarch games as well as other improvements to the game system – it’s no surprise that they have achieved funding so fast.

This is one of the few Kickstarters that I actually wish I had a sizeable amount of money set aside to toss at – mainly because I want the pins and the books.  I will definitely be looking at my budget closer to the end date to see what I can put to the cause.

So if you like VtM, or haven’t played, but it sounds interesting, check out this Kickstarter:  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bynightstudios/minds-eye-theatre-vampire-the-masquerade?ref=category

And that concludes this edition of KickStart this.  Check out my first article here.  http://eogamer.com/content/kickstart-kickstarter-helping-games-get-made/

About Grace "Kayhynn" Snoke

Grace Snoke is a corporate journalist and author who enjoys gaming, reading, writing and jewelry making. Outside of her day job, she writes for a number of sites including: Video Game Scoreboard.com, Obsolete Gamer, SciTech Nerds and for a couple blogs and sites she owns. You can learn more about her adventures as an author here.

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