Welcome back for another issue of The Koalition’s Kickstarter Weekly. The past few weeks have been hectic for me, so I’ve had to limit myself to two entries per week, although I’m proud to say that I managed to find, for the most part, commonality between each entry. Such commonality is difficult to find with three or more entries, so this week, since I’m returning to the three entries per article standard, I’ve decided to fill this entry with a diverse set of gaming projects beyond just video games. I’m sure you’ll find something in this round-up that’s worth backing.
Project by: Gomiya
Current Funds: $2,252
End: May 9, 2014
I notice two trends regarding traditional turn-based JRPGs on Kickstarter. The first trend consists of developers who take the turn-based RPGs and apply it to another setting. The second trend consists developers who pay homage to the classics with a straight-forward approach. Regardless of which approach a developer follows, it’s clear by looking at titles like Braven Arts that the JRPGs of the SNES and PS1 eras meant so much to them.
Braven Arts is, for better or worse, everything a turn-based JRPG fan could ask for; however, it has an interesting socialization system that allows you to encourage camaraderie among your party members. Inspired by the castle from Suikoden, Gomiya created a guild hall that’s meant to be the hub for your recruits. From a logistical standpoint, recruiting players nets you opportunities such as new equipment, abilities, and anything else that’s advantageous in battle. However, if you’re looking for more than increased stat points, then you can learn more about your guild members’ motivations through Braven Arts’ banter system. Like in Namco’s Tales franchise, players will be able to activate key moments in which the characters speak with one another, leading to dramatic and humorous situations. It’s a great system in terms of customization regardless if you’re interested in only the story or stat points.
Despite paying homage to classic turn-based JRPGs, Braven Arts is not afraid to try out something new with its battle system, or at least it’s willing to take from the best and combine them into an interesting hybrid. Braven Arts’ battle system is similar to Final Fantasy X, although it carries over the grid system found in tactic-based games such as Mega Man: Battle Network. As with Final Fantasy X, players can see whose turn is next, regardless of whether the character is an ally of foe. From there, you can maneuver your units around a set of 4 x 4 tiles—your enemies are positioned on their own set of tiles—and you can use your terrain to set up summons, traps, and anything else to help you turn the tides in battle. You can also set up elemental properties among certain titles; for instance, if you turn the titles underneath your enemies into water, and then cast a lightning spell at their position, then you can create a devastating chain lightning attack. Honestly, this system looks like it could be addicting to experiment with because it adds the right amount of strategy, making it more appealing than systems where players can get away with just just spamming the strongest spells.
On surface level, Braven Arts will not stand out from its competition; however, the developers do seem to take care to create a world that feels alive. Gomiya is implementing a day and night schedule in which every character has plans, giving their NPCs more responsibility than most classic JRPGs. On top of that, the characters aren’t your typical mopey heroes, and they actually seem to be fun personalities for you to get know. Of course, we’ll see if Gomiya can deliver on the promises they make about their fascinating world so long as it reaches the full $20,000 funding goal.
Project by: Gomiya
Current Funds: $10,715
End: August 19, 2014
Sometimes, all I need to get behind a project is an unheard of concept; one that may be based on a beloved genre yet is willing to have fun with it. In the case of this card game, Tavern Brawl asks one question: what if all of your favorite warriors from various classes got into a bar fight? While I can’t speak for everybody, I can say that the thought of a drunken RPG brawl makes me smile.
Medieval Helms set up the game into two phases: the first is that players create their own fantasy-styled tavern, and the second is that the patrons do battle after having a few too many mana potions. The board is set up into modular tiles, which you can place typical bar furniture and fantasy objects—this sets up an environment that all players can use to (hopefully) their advantage. Each player has access to a party of five members, of which they can choose from warrior, wizard, ranger, cleric, sorceress and more. Each unit can use two abilities per turn, but each card has three abilities to choose from such as special (class-specific) powers, hand-to-hand combat and moving. From there, parties duke it out until one side loses all of its health; it’s just like a video game, but it requires the players to use their drunken imaginations.
Tavern Brawl seems like the kind of game that can bridge the gap between RPG players and board-game players, and the backers seem to agree. Medieval Helms has currently accumulated approximately $10,000 of its goal, and they had previously asked for $2,000. For this reason, Medieval Helms is focusing on stretch goals that will not only dictate the quality of the game’s board, but they’ll also be able introduce more units and environmental objects that will make an already drunken brawl even more chaotic.
Project By: Marc Morrison
Current Funds: $3,325
End: August 8, 2014
I somehow missed this when writing last week’s issue about games made by women, and I regret that because while there are projects on Kickstarter made by or starring girls, there aren’t many that celebrate the women who currently make strides in their career. These ladies have made a name for themselves in not only the fields of development and design but also as critics, journalists, personalities and even as professional gamers. If you’d like to know who these women are, then Marc Morrison hopes to introduce you to them via the Women of Gaming 2015 calendar.
The Women In Gaming 2015 Calendar will feature twelve girls as typical for a calendar, although the calendar will also be designed around major gaming events. Each of the twelve girls lives and breathes gaming—their paychecks depend on it—and they’ve all made major strides in their career. So far on the journalism and YouTube side of the game industry, we have Melanie Mac, who reviews and plays games on her channel, and Raychul Moore, an accomplished game journalist who has done on-camera work for websites such as Machinima and creates stunning cosplay on the side. Speaking of cosplay, the calendar would be amiss without some renowned cosplayers such as up-and-comer Luna Lanie and veteran cosplayer and business owner Candy Keane. Finally, at least regarding the girls who have currently been revealed to be a part of the calendar, there are some girls like Kelly “MrsViolence” Kelley, who play games at the professional level and has won first place 15 times in various FPS and TPS tournaments on a professional level. There are plenty more to talk about, but you can also see for yourself by checking out the Kickstarter page for the Women of Gaming 2015 Calendar.
Only a few of the women have been revealed because Marc is smart and decided to reveal another participant every two to three days while the Kickstarter campaign is in progress. Marc has also promised that we’ll see more women from different sides of the industry such as programming from the industry; in the meantime, backers can only speculate on who else will be a part of this calendar. As for right now, all we know is that these girls are all wildly successful and stunning beautiful.
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.