Welcome back for another issue of The Koalition’s Kickstarter Weekly. This week, I’m once again setting aside the usual JRPG-heavy themes in favor of some variety.
The Black Glove is a first-person game that looks like BioShock but is more focused on creating works of art than shooting citizens of Rapture. Graywalkers: Purgatory is a strategy RPG that tasks you with protecting purgatory from the forces of Heaven and Hell. Finally, Impact Winter is a post-apocalyptic adventure that features tough choices similar to The Walking Dead.
By: Day For Night Games
Current Funds: $122,450
End: November 7, 2014
The closing of Irrational Games came as a shock, especially considering that their last game, BioShock Infinite, was a success–many of our editors even chose the game as their top pick for 2013. 15 of the original staff may have followed Levine to create digital games for Take Two; however, the rest of the staff, with their combined cumulative experience with such a highly regarded franchise, are free to pursue their own creative projects, starting with The Black Glove.
It’s not uncommon for developers with AAA experience to create scaled-down experiences and pitch them on Kickstarter; however, Day For Night Games’ The Black Glove ostensibly seems like extra BioShock content. It looks just as powerful as BioShock; its characters don similar masks and garments, and it takes place in first person perspective. Despite these similarities, The Black Glove is anything but another BioShock.
The player is transported The Equinox, a the transdimensional theater with 1920s flair and a Twin Peaks vibe. As a curator, it’s your job to spruce up the theater’s art collection, and the way you do that is to travel in time and create an impact on the establishment’s contributing creators. Think about if you could travel back in time and convince George Lucas to take a different direction with the Star Wars prequel films; that’s what you’re essentially doing here. The interesting thing is that you can introduce creators in the past ideas and cultural movements that won’t happen until past their time. The result is a play that could break ground far ahead of its time, or it could fail; however, even if it’s the latter, the creators could potentially–and this is my favorite detail about the game–create something “so bad it’s good.”
Ken Levine and his team of 15 game developers have gone on record to say that they are focusing on narrative driven games. I think its interesting that Day For Night Games, with its first game focusing on changing the direction of fictional art pieces, seems to be on the same wavelength as Levine. Not all of Irrational Games’ staff are working for Levine or Day For Night Games, so it will be interesting to see what these stragglers will come up with. If it’s anything as interesting as The Black Glove, then we can expect more games that will hopefully outlive BioShock.
By: Dreamlords Digital
Current Funds: $29,711
End: November 3, 2014
Zombies are hip in the post-apocalyptic scene, and that’s fine because people experience a cathartic response to eliminating the undead. Still, as a horror fan, I enjoy fighting against a variety of supernatural foes like vampires, werewolves and more. With its biblical setting, Dreamlords Digital’s Graywalkers: Purgatory not only satisfies that itch, but it also allows players to fight these creatures in tactical combat akin to Fallout and X-Com.
During the cataclysmic event known as the Rupture, Purgatory merged with Heaven, Hell, and even some of Earth, creating a new land mass near the Bermuda Triangle. Both of the forces from Heaven and Hell decide to invade Purgatory, hoping to claim the the precious souls within. Only a group of 36 Graywalkers and their prophetic leader stand between the apocalyptic forces and their not good but not bad (could be worse?) island that is Purgatory.
Graywalkers: Purgatory is admirably straight-forward in its approach to emulate the RPGs from which inspired it. Almost everything is customizable, including character models, races, and classes (known as “paths” in this game). Players will need to focus just as much time gathering resources and other aspects of micromanaging that will help each plan of attack come together. Speaking of which, combat is turn-based, allowing you to use six characters against monsters, cultists, gangmembers, monsters, demons and angels. If you’re a fan of Fallout, X-Com and Jagged Alliance, then Graywalkers: Purgatory’s combat might be for you.
As with any game with just a shred of strategy, Graywalkers: Purgatory is deep and requires more attention than these four paragraphs can give. Thankfully, Dreamlords Digital supplies plenty of information on its Kickstarter page along with a demo that’s focused on the combat mechanics. Graywalkers: Purgatory has also been approved on Steam Greenlight.
By: Mojo Bones
Current Funds: $12,747
End: November 11, 2014
In the last issue of the Kickstarter Weekly, I wrote about games with desolate settings, many of which doubled as post-apocalyptic. I wish Mojo Bones had released their campaign for Impact Winter around the same time. Not only would it have perfectly fit in with the last article’s theme, but it would have stood out thanks to its deceptively beautiful, surprisingly underused winter setting.
An asteroid collides into Earth, bringing about a wintery apocalypse known as Impact Winter. As a result, the inhabitants of Earth suffer neverending low temperatures that slightly diminish the appeal of snow. Like any apocalypse, the world has ostensibly reached its end, leaving Jacob Solomon and his band of survivors with only one simple goal: survive until help arrives in 30 days.
Impact Winter reminds me of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead in that both are post-apocalyptic games that emphasize choices. Instead of limiting players to choices of morality, players also have to decide who does what in order to maintain the church in which they’ve taken shelter. Each group member specializes in certain skills, such as survival and well-being, that make them crucial contributors; however, the winter affects each one differently. Death is permanent, and losing one group member will only stagger the odds against your favor as you struggle against the endless winter and all of its creatures.
I don’t make the comparison to The Walking Dead lightly. Impact Winter has a similar isolating atmosphere, except it’s an RPG with more choices beyond timed dialogue options. If it’s successfully funded, it could provide a never-ending sense of tension that The Walking Dead loses upon a second play-through.
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.