KickStart This: Week of Oct. 14, 2013

kickstarterWelcome to another edition of KickStart This. We ended up skipping a week between me being sick then being shipped off to Fort Worth for my day job. This means a number of the projects have completed during that time and I discovered a lot more to write about this week and next week.

Before I take a look at the projects to talk about this week, let’s take a quick look at the KickStarter Projects mentioned in our previous articles to see how they are doing funding wise.


Project Standings as of Oct. 14, 2013

castAR1. castAR: the most versatile AR & VR system by Technical Illusions

A project that was in development, but got cut by Valve, continues on with Jeri Ellsworth, Rick Johnson of Technical Illusions.

castAR is promoted as being a versatile AR/VR system that bridges the physical world with the virtual world with 3D graphics. It’s not a holodeck – but it’s close. With this technology, though, who needs one?

castAR is a set of glasses that have micro-projectors, tracking and other things built in to them. They then come with a set of clip-on AR/VR Lenses which can transform the experience into true AR or VR.

In addition to the glasses, there is a “magic Wand” which can be used to interact with objects in the VR and an RFID Tracking Grids and more.

The system is still, obviously, in development, but they have been demoing the prototype at a number of gaming events across the country and now they’re looking for funding. The project just launched this morning, Oct. 14., and has 31 days to go. It has already raised $99,395 of the $400,000 needed to be successfully funded. I strongly encourage folks to check the project out and consider funding it:

indie-van-game-jam2. Indie Van Game Jam by Binary Solo

This project is one of several that showed up in my email box in the past two weeks and I figured it deserved a bit of coverage.

This project is described by the creators as “we travel in a van, make games, and ask independent developers how they make theirs. Think Man Vs. Food meets Indie Game: The Movie.”

The team hopes to create an 8 episode series where they visit 8 Indie Dev studios in 8 cities where they answer a question specific to their game and then that team looks at the game the guys are making in the van and give feedback on it. After that, the team finishes the game and releases it along side the episode. So there would be, in edition to an 8 episode webseries, an 8 episode video game – or 8 indie video games – however you want to look at it.

Their goal is to raise $46,000 – of which they have raised $3,435 – and they have 23 days remaining to fund the project. Most of the money they are raising goes into costs of filming, editing and transportation for the film – which is understandable if they’re traveling to 8 cities to film each episode.

This webseries has potential and could be as interesting as Indie Game: The Movie. If you liked Indie Game: The Movie, I suggest takign a look at this project and perhaps considering donating:

artcade3. ARTCADE: The Coin-Op Art Book by Tim Nichols

A book dedicated to the art of arcade cabinets — that’s what this project is all about and promises to be a great addition to any arcade owner’s collection or even for anyone that has a love for retro gaming and the art that made it what it is.

The project has already exceeded its initial funding goal of £10,000, having raised £12,580 so far. With 7 days to go, it would be great to see it get further funding to help make the project even better.

Tim purchased the artwork for the book and owns the rights to publish them in this book and in the rewards associated with some of the graphics. What’s cooler – it’s a one man team working on the book. And you can tell by watching his video, it’s his passion. He’s really into what he’s doing – and he’s right. The artwork is underappreciated and perhaps this book will help with that.

So I strongly encourage you to check the project out and consider donating to it as it looks to be an amazing book:

star-realms4. Star Realms Deckbuilding Game by Robert Dougherty

This is another project that came my way via email in the past two weeks. I was given a chance to preview the project before it went live Oct. 4, but unfortunately due to being sick I didn’t even get to look at it till now.

If you’re a fan of Deckbuilding games like Dominion or Ascension, this game might be right up your alley. Ironically, Rob Dougherty is the co-founder of Ascension, so that might be why it falls into the same class of games.

Unlike Dominion or Ascension, this is a deckbuilding game based on outer space combat where you are trying to acquire cards you need to build your ship/station or engage in combat to beat your opponent. In order to win, your opponent(s) must have zero Authority. But don’t worry – they’re trying just as hard to take your Authority to zero too.

The game also looks to be portable, as described in the Kickstarter:

Star Realms will be released as both a physical card game and as a digital game for PCs, Macs and mobile devices. The entire physical card game will come in a single deck box that you can easily carry in your jacket pocket, backpack or purse.

The game consists of:

  • One 80 card Trade Deck
  • Two 10 card Personal Decks, consisting of two Vipers and eight Scouts each
  • 10 Explorer cards
  • 18 double-sided Authority cards for keeping score
  • One Rules Sheet

The project, which launched Oct. 4, has already reached it’s initial funding goal of $20,000 and is now working towards stretch goals. The first stretch goal at $25,000 has been unlocked as of today, so now they’re pushing towards the remaining goals. They currently have 6 stretch goals and have raised a total of $25,558.

For as little as $5 you can get in as a beta tester for the digital version of the game. If you’re into physical copies, $15 will get you a copy of the game without beta to the digital game. For $25 you get a copy of the game, entry to beta and promo cards for the game. The rewards to donations just get better from there. I’m seriously considering contributing to the project after I get my paycheck. With 19 days remaining, they’re likely to unlock their stretch goals. Check out the game and consider contributing here:

bot-colony5. Bot Colony, The First Game to Understand and Respond Intelligently in English by Eugene Joseph, North Side Inc.

This is the final Kickstarter project I learned about via email a little less than 2 weeks ago.

Bot Colony is an episodic sci-fi adventure PC title. It is being touted as the first game to comprehend English conversations and reply logically to the player. Instead of the traditional dialogue tree format, players will speak directly to the game AI to interact with the title. A public Beta is supposed to start in less than a month – sometime in Nov. 2013. Which brings us to the KickStarter Project.

The first line that caught my attention reading through the project was this promise: “Not only will your character be part of the game world, but you will be there interacting with the other characters using your own words. No other game does that.”

Now that would be kinda awesome, don’t you think? It brings back some of the elements that games have been missing for a while now. And the game looks good so far, so why do they need funding? They answered it best themselves:

“We need your pledges to continue development of the game until we do. Our Kickstarter project will be producing Riot, Episode 3 of Bot Colony, and getting it out before Christmas. We’ve defined stretch goals to fund additional episodes. By the end of the Kickstarter campaign, we hope to start selling the first 2 episodes, and we hope that sales will build up. But we need your help to carry on until sales build up, and are sufficient to fund the game. “

Makes a lot of sense. The project is hoping to raise $100,000 – with only 15 days remaining and only $2,348 CAD to go, it could definitely use some support and sharing. For as little as $18 you can get the first couple of episodes of the game. For $30, you get the episodes and any that are released in the first six months. There are many other funding options and rewards available as well. Check them out and if you like the game idea, consider contributing. And as always, if you can’t afford to contribute, you can always share the project.

This concludes this week’s KickStart This. Check out the previous editions below:

Do you want to have your KickStarter promoted/reviewed on this site? Or do you know of a KickStarter or similar crowd-funding platform based project that is gaming related that you want promoted? Submit it to

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, 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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