Welcome back for our 23rd Kickstarter Weekly. This time I’ve searched Kickstarter for games that have wonderful graphics or emanate a trippy vibe. Amplitude is getting a long-awaited upgrade, The Way has fluid sprite animation, and Loading Human is an adventure game that explores virtual reality. Do any of these projects appeal to you?
Project By: Harmonix Music Systems
Current Funds: $170,833
End: May 23, 2014
I’ve never had the chance to play the original Amplitude. Apparently the game has a strong following from fans and critics alike. Now Harmonix Music Systems is attempting to revive the revered franchise on Kickstarter, and even I can share the fans’ excitement.
I’m sure fans of Amplitude don’t need to read this entry, but I’ll attempt to explain the premise for newcomers. The original Amplitude, along with FreQuency, helped define rhythm games during the era of the PlayStation 2. The game takes place in a cybernetic world, and it involves pressing the correct buttons in sync with an addicting soundtrack. It was also extraordinarily difficult; this difficulty would eventually diminish throughout Harmonix’s future games.
Harmonix describes their vision for Amplitude similar to how a musician would with a remaster. The original Amplitude’s game mechanics would serve as the foundation for games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band; they intend to take what they’ve learned from the latter games and apply it to Amplitude’s core mechanics. For instance, the team said they had perfected “beatmatching” in Rock Band, and they want to incorporate these improvements. They also revealed a new soundtrack and beautiful, upgraded artwork. Some things will be preserved, such as the game’s legendary difficulty.
Amplitude sounds like one of the finest remasters. Harmonix seems to have found the correct balance between making a faithful remake while adding plenty of new content and improvements. However, they’ve only raised $170,833 of their $775,000 goal, and they have 15 days remaining on Kickstarter. Fans of Amplitude: now is the time to show your game the support it needs.
Project By: PlayWay
Goal: $15,000 (CAD)
Current Funds: $11,033 (CAD)
End: June 4, 2014
I consider myself a little weird for being more impressed by 2D sprite animation than I am of the animation of current-gen (next-gen, whatever) games—although inFamous: Second Son has some fantastic animation. When I wrote about Rain World, I felt genuine anguish when I saw Slugcat, the game’s protagonist, being mauled to death by canine-like monsters, and I credit the game’s excellent animation for that. What I’m saying is that The Way also features some equally wonderful 2D animation, and some if it is just as disturbing as Rain World’s.
The Way is a 2D puzzle platformer similar to games such as Another World. It follows the story of a space explorer who is mourning his lover. He is unable to accept her death, so he desperately looks for a way to bring her back to life. In order to do that, he must travel to an alien planet and interact with its artifacts while defending himself from its inhabitants.
PlayWay was serious when they listed the games that inspired them. Each of these games had advanced animation for its time. While The Way wouldn’t be considered ahead of its time by today’s standards, it most certainly stands out from other retro 2D games on Kickstarter. A particular noticeable instance for me was when the hero fell into a piranha-infested river and suffered the bloody consequences. The environments are equally impressive, and I could see somebody adapting them to a science fiction film. Not too much is revealed about the gameplay; however, I can only assume it’s as punishing as its animations suggest.
PlayWay has already raised $11,033 of its $15,000 goal with plenty of time remaining. Even though it’s clear that the team will meet its goal, I encourage you to at least check out the Kickstarter page to see some of the animations.
Project By: Untold Games
Current Funds: $9,932
End: June 5, 2014
I’m not sure how much of the point-and-click adventure genre needs to be changed. The most recent one I played is Broken Age, and I thought the game proved that the genre can still feel fresh. That said, there’s an argument that claims consumers don’t know what they want until they have it, and I suspect that may be the case with Loading Human, which is a point-and-click adventure game designed specifically for the Oculus Rift.
This means that the point-and-click adventure genre has undergone VR treatment. Loading Human follows the tale of Prometheus, a scientist who must search for the only mysterious substance capable of saving his father’s life: the quintessence. In order to do this, Prometheus must delve into his own memories, which is where the Oculus Rift comes into play.
Loading Human uses the Oculus Rift to essentially turn players into their own, sentient controllers. Like any point-and-click adventure game, Loading Human has plenty of objects on the ground, and players must pick them up and combine them to solve challenging puzzles. This means you’ll reach out your own arms to pick up objects, and the team has designed Loading Human so that every object can be interacted with. Loading Human will require a motion controller, however, and the team mentions Sixense STEM or Razer Hydra as their definitive choices (although they are looking into other options).
It would be easy to write Loading Human off as a gimmick, except I think the team has a tight grasp on what they’re doing. Untold Games has created a story that fits perfectly for the Oculus Rift, and I believe they have the potential to create a thoroughly immersive experience—true to the company name. The team is currently almost a third of a way to their goal, and they have 28 days left on Kickstarter. I think the backers will have spoken with this one.
Have you seen any interesting projects on Kickstarter that you think deserve mention? Are you a developer who is currently running a Kickstarter campaign? Let us know in the comments section, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.