Welcome back for another issue of The Koalition’s Kickstarter Weekly. Last weekend, I took a trip up to Dallas to attend the ScrewAttack Gaming Convention (SGC), hoping to get away from my weekly crowdfunding obligations in favor of previewing some amazing indie games. Turns out I managed to find something at SGC that is currently on Kickstarter, and I even tested it out. The other project on this roundup wasn’t at SGC, but I’m going to pretend it was there in spirit. Regardless, here’s to the first Kickstarter Weekly in which I got hands-on experience.
Project By: KOR-FX (Immerz, Inc)
Current Funds: $140,214
End: July 24, 2014
One of my favorite games is Starfox 64. It came with the rumble pack, which, unlike modern controllers, needed to be inserted into a slot on the N64 controller. Ideally it was used to help immerse players as they blew up enemy ships or sustained damage. It’s something that I take for granted these days, and I’m reminded of it because I had the chance to try out the KOR-FX gaming vest. The device is not a rumble pack, however, as the device is meant to fine-tune a player’s sense of his or her virtual environment. That said, you will feel some powerful vibrations ringing throughout your chest.
First of all, I’ll discuss what it felt like to wear the vest. Simply put, it’s comfortable. I was standing as I wore it, but even then I never felt encumbered. It was light-weight, and my my arms were free to move around; granted, I needed little more than my hands to play a first person shooter, but I digress. You might look a little silly, but you’ll feel great while playing Counterstrike, which is the game Immerz used to demonstrate the device.
Counterstrike was a good choice for demonstrating this technology because it showed off all of the situations that would trigger the device. It didn’t take long for me to feel the bullets seep into my chest cavity, swiftly snuffing out my MLG career; but I could tell by the intensity of the vibrations where bullets or explosions were happening in proximity of my virtual body. The device works by using the audio from your games and transforming it into feedback. This hactic output rumbles through your chest, which you can thankfully adjust to suit your gaming and comfort needs. While I compared it to the rumble pack, it was only because it was the closest comparison I could think of; the technology works completely differently. The rumble pack uses spinning motors to produce the vibrations. Because KOR-FX is reliant on audio, is is compatible with most devices that come with a 3.55mm audio jack. This means you won’t need to worry about straining your gaming console, tablet or mobile phone.
In the video, KOR-FX claims that players can pair the vest with the Oculus Rift in order to completely immerse themselves in their games. I freaked out from just playing a mediocre Super Mario Bros. clone on the Oculus Rift alone. Combining the two would probably cause me to go into shock. Good thing the KOR-FX is adjustable.
Project By: Microids
Current Funds: $11,800
End: August 8, 2014
Kickstarter continues to perpetuate the prevalence of new age point-and-click adventure games. It’s always a relief to exercise the mind and think logically—rubber chickens and pulleys be damned—instead of relying on action. Still, how can a game like Subject 13 differentiate itself from the other adventure games on Kickstarter? Why, it can do so by allowing players to take the main protagonist’s place.
Before you decide whether or not this idea is for you, you should know that there is a main protagonist and a story. Former physics professor Franklin Fargo has been spending his days in mourning over the loss of his wife. Suddenly, a blinding light interrupts Franklin’s TV dinner, and he finds himself in small prison. He sees that he is in a place called Hexatech labs, and he must use his smarts to solve the problems necessary to ensure his escape.
As with other point-and-click adventure games, Subject 13 is frustrating to describe because the smallest detail could be a massive spoiler; so I’ll give a brief survey of the cool stuff Microids has willingly disclosed about its game. The main mechanic is that players can manipulate objects, which means you’ll have to rotate ever object and observe every detail to unlock their secrets. Microids uses its soundtrack and art style to depict an oppressive, science fiction prison, and it looks good despite it being early footage. There will be several locations with puzzles to solve; some of them will be a secret for the player to discover. Finally, Microids is giving the player the opportunity to replace Frank as the main protagonist; however, they haven’t fully disclosed the details.
So yeah, there’s a lot of information about Subject 13 at the moment; however, I do think that Microids could potentially have a successful Kickstarter. The team has worked on several point-and-click adventure games in the past, and they show off just enough footage to give players a hint of the puzzles that players will need to solve. If successfully funded, the game will be coming to PC, Mac, iOS and Android.
Have you seen any interesting projects on Kickstarter that you think deserve a 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.