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Kickstarting.

A few months ago, I wrote an entry about a couple of project I’d supported on Kickstarter. All the projects were funded a long time ago when I finally wrote about them, making it impossible for you too to pledge and get all those high tier goodies you can usually get. This time I’ve decided to highlight four projects that are not yet fully funded or still have some time left of their campaign. I’m considering pledging money to these projects and you also have the time to get into the deal if you have some money to spare.

DUELYST

DUELYST is a squad-based, tactical combat with ranked competitive play, designed and developed by veterans from Diablo III and Rogue Legacy. “Diablo III” might not be a certificate of high quality for many seasoned players since the first release of Diablo III turned out to be a real mess. But the 2.0 patch of the game corrected most of the mistakes and the recently released expansion, Reaper of Souls, has received good review scores, both from “professional” reviewers and gamers.

The focus of DUELYST is on squad-based combat on a tactical map for intense, fast-paced 1v1 battles with the simple winning objective of defeating your opponent’s General. The game plays like the classic tactics games of our childhood while avoiding the standard tropes from the past. You’ll never need to spend hours on resource management or grind random encounters to get to the next fight.

For me, this sounds great – time is a luxury and with the little one coming in to play in not-so-long, it’ll get even more challenging to be able to pour hours and hours into a game. Also, DUELYST is not pay-to-win, something I can like – I’m am play-to-win guy.

DUELYST is already funded, and at the time of writing they’ve also reached their first stretch goal; additional battle units, spells and Linux support. They are not too far from the second stretch goal, either; a brand new faction and there are quite a few other stretch goals that might turn what currently looks like a good game, into an even better game.

Earthlock: Festival of Magic

Earthlock: Festival of Magic is a turn-based role-playing game set in a world of machines and magic. On Umbra, a planet that mysteriously stopped spinning ages ago, war is brewing. As desert scavenger Amon, you must stop the coming war by unlocking the mysteries of Umbra and prevent an ancient, magical cult seizing the power.

This is a typical Japanese role-playing game (JRPG). If you ever played Final Fantasy VII (or perhaps any of the Final Fantasy games, I can’t tell because I only ever played VII), you know exactly what this is about. I’m normally not into JRPGs, but FFVII on the original PlayStation was one of the few highlights that kept us entertained through the never-ending winter nights of Northern Norway during our one-year, mandatory military service back in 1997-1998. So I have some fond memories of that particular game.

The other reason why I’m considering pledging to Earthlock: Festival of Magic is that it’s being developed by Snowcastle Games, a Norwegian computer game developer. The Norwegian computer game developer scene is tiny, not like their counterparts in Sweden and Finland, which are basically pumping out AAA games. Apart from Funcom, there are hardly any Norwegian companies developing computer games.

Earthlock: Festival of Magic is still far from being funded, and at the current rate, I’m not sure if they’ll make it. So if you have the money to support a small, Norwegian developer with a lot of potential, now is your chance to make a real difference. They’ve got some very talented people on the team, both new blood and veterans with experience from much larger productions, but they need your help to finance their game.

There’s an early demo available that you can download and play to see if this is your cup of tea. Of course it is.

Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow comes Today

Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow comes Today is an old-school 2D, point-and-click graphic adventure game featuring space-time distortions, a dystopian atmosphere and a dark, bloodstained plot.

Point-and-click adventures used to be big business. With Sierra On-Line and LucasArts as the two leading publishers, we got to play amazing games in series like King’s Quest, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest, Sam & Max, Monkey Island and many, many more. But towards the end of the 20th century, we started to see the stream of adventure games shrivel. LucasArts 2000 release of Escape From Monkey Island was the final game to make a mark and everything stayed pretty quiet on the point-and-click front until the genre’s resurrection by developer Telltale Games and the release of Sam & Max Save the World in 2006.

After that, the adventure game stream has slowly begun to flow again, and there have been plenty of point-and-click titles trying to make it on Kickstarter. A few have done great, like Kentucky Route Zero (ready my review), and now Spanish developer Fictiorama Studios is trying the same with Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow comes Today.

For some weird reason, I tend to enjoy computer games, movies, books and other entertainment with a dystopian theme. Add in a little science-fiction, like this game does, and I’m sold. Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow comes Today has the same challenges as Earthlock: Festival of Magic: The game’s name is ridiculously long and they are far from being funded. But you can help by pledging a few dollars to support Fictiorama Studios and the struggling Spanish economy. I’m sure they won’t be using all the money on Sangria.

Chaos Reborn

Chaos Reborn is a game with nail-biting decisions and twists of fate. Every battle is different, every realm is unique, and there is always something new to discover. At the start of the game you are an apprentice wizard hoping to build your spells and equipment in order to become powerful enough to ascend the ranks through Wizard Lord, Wizard King, Demigod and ultimately God, where you can influence the fate of the cosmos.

Kickstarter has become a hot-bed for veteran computer game developers and designers and given many of them a chance to create the game they always wanted to create. Some of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns have been ran by big names in the business, like Tim Schafer (Double Fine), Brian Fargo (inXile entertainment) and Chris Roberts (Cloud Imperium Games Corporation). The latter managed to raise over 39 million dollars with the insanely successful campaign for the game Star Citizen.

Now Julian Gollop has decided to jump on the band wagon. Gollop has been in the business for over 30 years, and is perhaps best known for being the director of the first game in the X-COM series, UFO: Enemy Unknown. He was also the designer on the third game, X-COM: Apocalypse. But X-COM is not the focus of his Kickstarter campaign. The game he is trying to fund is part sequel, part re-imagining of the cult classic ZX Spectrum game Chaos, first published in 1985 by Games Workshop.

Feature of Chaos Reborn includes quick playing, turn-based combat, 80 unique spells, including 24 creatures – from dragons to goblins, classic spells from the original Chaos – including the Gooey Blob, Raise Dead, and Magic Wood, bluff and deception – summon creatures as illusions for 100% success, and use Disbelieve spell on suspected enemy illusions and all this in procedurally generated 3D battle arenas with various types of terrain, and different levels of elevation.

In many ways, Chaos Reborn feels a lot like DUELYST, perhaps these two should team up and create one really awesome game? Chaos Reborn isn’t funded yet, but my guess is that it will be, partly because it’s a Julian Gollop game and partly because the prototype they’ve got running looks awesome.

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