June Kickstarter Round-Up: Virtual Reality Gaming is Finally Real
Once a month we'll be bringing you a look at some of the local Kickstarter campaigns in order to let you know what's getting ready to be unleashed through the help of small investors.
Ever since I was a young boy I played the silver ba... wait, sorry. Man, that song gets in your head. What I wanted to say was that when I was a kid they always told me that one day you'd be able to just walk into a virtual reality world almost completely indistinguishable from the real one. You saw it in movies, but right around the same time they also tried to sell us Power Gloves and U-Forces and other crap that was the technological equivalent of magic beans.
Now we live in a world where we've finally got motion sensing working, and we've achieved photo-realistic graphics to go with it. The question is, "Who is going to take that final step and make a VR peripheral to accompany those things?" The answer is Houston's own Virtuix. Watch that video and you will immediately see why they've raised almost $1 million in days.
The Omni has no moving parts, comes apart for semi-easy storage, is completely adjustable, and looks beyond simple to use. Best of all, it plugs right in with any game that uses a first person perspective and is compatible with Microsoft Kinect (No doubt if it takes off a Playstation Move and Wii-U compatible model or adaptor will come along). Now you can take a walk in Skyrim or Columbia or Aperture Science or any number of amazing worlds.
It's not cheap, though. You'll need a $429 buy in right now to snatch up the unit. Post Kickstarter they're likely to be $600.
Goal: $150,000 by July 22 (Met)
Fairytale Games: The Battle Royale http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/682539325/fairytale-games-the-battle-royale?ref=city
Though gritty fairytales long since jumped the jabberwocky, this battle card game seems like it might actually be worth something. In it, the Snow Queen, the Queen of Hearts, and the Dark Queen have combined forces to eradicate all fairytale realms and start over with a world free from sickness and poverty, but also under their complete control. To keep history from repeating they decided to select a champion by forcing the likes of Snow White and Captain Hook to battle to the death until only one remains.
It's a very versatile game. There's no collecting so after the initial investment you're ready to go, and it's one of those rare games you can actually play by yourself. You recruit or kill other characters you meet on the way to defeat the Trinity, and can even level up your character.
$10 will get you a pdf printable version of the game, which is a nice for testing it out. You'll have to go in at $65 for the real ell, which is pretty damned steep. If you're the kind of person who has $5,000 lying around they'll make you the star in a 32-page comic tie-in book.
Goal: $35,000 by July 3
You might remember Nick Ridgeway for that awesome 4-player Mega Man fan game video that was so kickass awhile back. Now he's returned with another retro outing in a genre that you just don't see much these days, a sidescolling RPG. Endica draws its inspiration from games like Symphony of the Night and Super Metroid, and adds his trademark co-op play style into the mix to create a vast old-school world for players to explore.
You get over 20 playable characters with up to four people able to play at one time, and he's promising over 50 hours of quests and story. That's a tall order for a game like this, but Ridgeway has proven capable in the past. The goal is to have the title ready for Windows, Ubuntu, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Ouya, and hopefully Steam and Gamestick in 2014.
$10 gets you the game and the chance to name a NPC in a town, which is fair by anyone's standpoint. $10 more and you can write their dialogue! My favorite is that starting at the $200 mark you get to design a secret playable character.
Goal: $1,400 by June 30.
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