April Kickstarter Round-Up: Geeks and a Rotten Film

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Once a month we'll be bringing you a look at some of the best local Kickstarter campaigns in order to let you know what's getting ready to be unleashed through the help of small investors.

Magic: The Gathering Documentary: Though I don't play much anymore I am a longtime fan of Magic: The Gathering. I still think it's the greatest battle card game ever made, and the mythology that it's developed is staggering in its depth. All it took was a couple of late-night commercials on MTV and suddenly I was giving Wizards of the Coast all my money.

Kyle Bryan wants to film a documentary following professional M:tG players (Yes, that's a thing) as they prepare and hone their skills for tournament play. It's not a history of the game or anything like that, but more of an exploration on the people it has hooked so deeply. $25 seems a little steep to be the lowest you can get a copy of the movie for (It is a DVD, not just a digital copy at least), but if you're looking to add a producer credit on an IMDB page then $50 is not a bad deal.

Goal: $10,000 by May 22

Game Gate Portable Prototype: If there is a niche that I feel is really not being filled at the moment it's for a dedicated portable gaming device that can appeal to both modern and retro gamers and allow for a good deal of independent game development. iOS and Android games and the PSVita and the 3DS all offer some of those things, and maybe even all of them in very small quantities, but what the gaming word needs is something like Steam in your pocket.

Brian Abel has a 3D printer, an idea, and wants to give it a shot. The customizable gaming tablet is designed with gaming and only gaming in mind, and while I think he might have bitten off more than he can chew with the project it looks to be a promising start. I look at his Game Gate and think of all the independent RPGs my wife would love to play on it, so it gets the One F seal of approval.

Goal: $24,250 by April 30

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Rotten, A Psycho Thriller: When Joe Grisaffi told me a friend of his was trying to get some funding for a short film on Kickstarter I paid attention because no one knows good local talent like Joe. Dallas Box is trying to make a fairly ambitious short in the form of Rotten, a story of a couple trapped in a bad relationship who turn to serial murder in order to inject meaning and sexual excitement into their lives. It's the sort of thing that you see coming out of the bad parts of East Texas, and for that reason alone it looks more than a little compelling.

Box is seeking extra funds to pull off location shoots, including places like the always creepy looking Washburn Tunnel and the Phantom Ballroom at Hotel Zaza. Box's vision is inspired by the dreamlike film-making styles of Lynch and Kubrick, and looks like it's going to be a great chance to see some iconic Houston locations shot in the hands of an exceptional up and coming talent. The Kickstarter has the coolest $1 buy-in I've ever seen: a haiku written personally by Box. Go the $25 route and you'll end up with a great goodie bag that includes the film and other perks.

Goal: $12,000 by May 22.

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