Kickstarter Picks - February Edition - Article

By Jared Katz, February 4, 2014
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M.A.V.

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Developer: Chad Mauldin

Total Amount/Goal:  $5,500/$20,000

Days Left: 28

Lowest Amount for Game:  $20

Release Date:  March 2014

Next Stretch Goal: None Until Funding

Launch Platforms: Windows

 

Man’s fascination with robots has been around since the early 1930’s. Since then it has expanded from the simple notion of humanoid robots. The biggest craze as of late has been man-controlled robots, or “Mechas”. These mechas have grown popular in Japan thanks to the Gundam franchise and in the US thanks to Chromehounds, Hawken, and others. M.A.V. (Modular Assault Vehicle) is being created by Chad Mauldin, a veteran of the gaming industry who has worked on Fear 3, Borderlands 2, and more. 

The game is set on Jupiter’s moon of Europa, after a comet crashes into it. The upside is that this results in a survivable environment for humans to live on. Nations begin to send volunteers to the moon to acquire precious materials from the land, and to do so they used new mining machines. Slowly, nations begin to demand more resources, and eventually send in the military to enforce quotas. Now a labor camp, the volunteers of the colony can do only one thing - revolt.

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M.A.V.’s combat, as one could guess, is based around fighting with your units to destroy the other side. Unlike most FPS’s, in M.A.V. making smart choices and teamwork is what will push you above the opposition. In the game your armor rating will protect your health until it is destroyed. Likewise, when your weapons are damaged they will smoke, and the eventual explosion will take out connected components when destroyed. One of the biggest differences from past Mecha games is the amount of customization you can perform. This includes visual customisation, weapons, and various performance parts, so that units look drastically different; some will be glorified tanks while others will have just a pair of legs.

As of right now there are the following four modes planned at launch: Story Mode (Single Player), Arena Mode (Single + Multiplayer), Siege Mode (Single + Multiplayer), and Campaign Mode (Single + Multiplayer).

 

 

Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians

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Developer:  Playdek

Total Amount/Goal:  $462,500/$600,000

Days Left: 10

Lowest Amount for Game: 20$

Release Date:  July 2015

Next Stretch Goal: Joseph Reeder and Alexander O. Smith Join the Team (750K)

Launch Platforms:  Windows, Mac, Linux and Window Tablets

 

The name Yasumi Matsuno will ring a bell for some. He is best known as the director of Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy 12. Mr. Matsuno has partnered up with Playdek to bring to life his new Tactical RPG, Unsung Story. In every war the victor gets their history passed on. Unsung Story plans to tell the story of those who were defeated; stories that remain hidden in the darkness.  The game’s story follows the war-entrenched fantasy land of Rasfalia, as heroes fight in the Seventy-Seven Years War. You will be in control of these unfortunate unsung men and will see events unfold from their point of view.

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The game is based on various chapters of the lands history that will have you controlling different characters. Chapters will have multiple stages in them, and the lengths covered will vary from a year to as long as multiple decades.  At one point you may be protecting your kingdom, the next leading simple peasants in a revolt.

Unsung Story is a “turn-based tactical war simulation RPG”. Battles will take place in 3D landscapes with a player controlled camera. The units you command in battle have various professions and in each of these professions there are multiple classes. For example, a Clergyman with a War Mage class can wield heavy weapons as well as use regular Clergy magic. This customization will become the key in winning your battles and controlling the battlefield.

 

 

Rain World

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Developer: Joar Jakobsson and James Primate

Total Amount/Goal:  $44,400/$25,000

Days Left: 9

Lowest Amount for Game: $10

Release Date:  December 2014

Next Stretch Goal: Improved Dev Tools and Linux Port (50K)

Launch Platforms:  Windows and Mac

 

What is a Slugcat? The best I can come up with is the head a cat, the body of a slug, the walking style of a ferret, and the adorableness of every baby animal combined. A Slugcat is what you will be playing as in the upcoming platforming/stealth game Rain World. The game is set in a soulless industrial land, and to make things worse the almost never-ending, bone-crushing rain is constant. The creatures who survive here hibernate for long stretches, only to come out during a rare dry spell to hunt for food. Your goal is thus simply to hunt food to survive, but other larger monsters are thinking the same way, the key difference being that for them you are the prey.

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Most of the gameplay is broken down into a mixture of platforming and stealth. You must navigate the metallic and lonely world, using stealth in both offensive and defensive situations when hunting and getting chased respectively. This is important for sneaking up on your prey undetected and for getting through areas full of creatures that are just waiting to take a bite out of your cute little body. While you might be a simple creature it doesn’t mean you aren’t smart; the Slugcat is able to use tools to help defend it from rocks, and even spears for harpooning enemies and prey alike.

The game will also feature co-op with up to four Slugcats in the game, to increase your odds of surviving this nightmarish rain world.

 

 

La-Mulana 2

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Developer: NIGORO

Total Amount/Goal:  $160,800/$200,000

Days Left: 18

Lowest Amount for Game: $15

Release Date:  December 2015

Next Stretch Goal: Curry Party ($200,256)

Launch Platforms: Windows

 

When talking about indie games where death is just a moment away the names that come up are usually The Binding of Isaac, Spelunky, Super Meat Boy and La-Mulana. That last title is best known for its evil traps and the fact that you activate hard mode by reading a sign twice (to be fair, it does warn you). Now the folks at NIGORO have gone to Kickstarter to try to bring us a sequel, La-Mulana 2. The game, like its predecessor, is a 2D love letter to hard 8-bit games of the past. This time it follows the daughter (Lumisa Kosugi) of La-Mulana’s main character, Lemeza Kosugi. Lumisa has been asked to search the ruins of Eg-Lana, which has been the source of monster appearances as of late. While the game is a sequel, NIGORO has promised that players don’t need to play the first game to understand the second.  

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Gameplay involves 2D Metroidvania-esque exploration and will place a strong emphasis on solving puzzles and deciphering riddles found throughout the ruins. The game is open, allowing the player to choose any path they want, but certain paths are much more dangerous than others. A variety of new enemies have been added, along with new weapons to combat them with. Right now, NIGORO predicts it will take players up to thirty hours to complete the game for the first time. They also believe that, because of the openness of the game and the different approaches available, it should have a great amount of replay value.

 

 

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

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Developer: Warhorse Studios

Total Amount/Goal:  £630,634/£300,000

Days Left: 15

Lowest Amount for Game: £15/$24

Release Date:  December 2015 (Computer Versions)

Next Stretch Goal: Motion Capture (£700K)

Launch Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, PS4 and Xbox One

 

In today’s market of Western RPGs it’s hard to avoid dragons, and gods, and half-man half-bear creatures. Fantasy has invaded our middle-age-inspired RPGs and the developers at Warhorse Studios feel enough is enough. No more half-naked elves (aww), no more magic, just a man, his steed, and his sword in Kingdom Come: Deliverance.

The game is set in Medieval Europe, 1403. The king is dead and his brother is hungry for the throne, meaning a civil war is brewing for the crown. After your family is murdered you find yourself thrown into this battle of heirs to the throne, throwing your lot behind the weak but rightful heir. This won’t be a happy adventure; it will be filled with blood, chaos and death. Only those who truly use their full potential in both mind and body have a shot at surviving this war.  

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Quests have multiple solutions, each of which will affect how people see you and your general reputation. Like in life, each choice you make has both it benefits and its downsides, whether they be obvious or not. There's no traditional class system but instead three general areas which you can advance depending on how you handle yourself in the game.  A Knight is someone who tends to cuts through those who are in his way, a Thief is someone who usually kills in the darkness and steals information that benefits him, and a Bard tends to use his tongue to manipulate those around him. One of the most impressive things about the game is the variety of clothing, with 8 different slots and hundreds of different items of clothing available, which means that each individual in a given army will look unique.

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