September Kickstarter Round-Up: Monster Card Battle Game and a MOTA for Noobs

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.

RARRR!! Monster-Building, City-Crushing Card Game: The folks at APE Game have a history of making really excellent tabletop gaming experiences such as Kill the Overlord, and they play Kickstarter like a freakin' violin. Their latest project is a game for those of us that used to spend our quarters playing Rampage and King of the Monsters.

RARRR!! Pits 2 - 8 players against each other as they use cards to build custom kaiju (Giant monster) each with their own powers in four categories (Fire, electricity, radiation, and toxic). You then battle your opponent for the right to destroy a city, which nets the necessary point for victory. It's a light-hearted looking game that offers a fun bit of destruction in a cutesy manner, and teaches a little bit about the Japanese language at the same time.

A $20 donation nets you a copy of the game, which is fair by any measure. You can also contribute to the project at $20 or $30 and receive previous games that were successfully Kickstarted like Kill the Overlord and Island Seige. APE is one of Houston's best game makers, and whatever your flavor of play RARRR!! offers a chance to sample its wares through this crowdsourcing effort.

Goal: $25,000 by October 14

.Decimal: I've never really gotten into real-time strategy games, and maybe .Decimal can change that. Orb Interactive is looking to create a sci-fi multiplayer online battle arena title that speaks to the noob who may have been avoiding the genre as too hard (Such games usually have brutal learning curves, and there's a reasons my game reviews are called "Reviews for the Lazy Gamer').

In .Decimal you control a squad through the offices of a chosen champion, and the team has made real strides to try and strip down the experience to its simplest form. Easy to learn, hard to master is their motto. The makers have a nice pedigree behind them, games like Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns, and Fear: Extraction Point, and the footage certainly looks impressive. You can sell a lot with the phrase, "giant spider tank."

The only thing I'm leery of is the $500,000 goal. Even for a pretty in-depth video game that seems a little unlikely. Still, just $10 will let you into access at Alpha, so it's not really much at all to at least try it out.

Goal: $500,000 by September 27.

Divided Within: An Andrew Banks Novel: And now for the month's look at folks that just don't get it. John Guillen just graduated from U of H with a criminal justice degree, and he wants to write crime novels like the Jesse Stone series. There's nothing wrong with that. The New York Times bestseller list is full of such books, even self-published ones.

What gets me with Guillen is the same thing that gets me with most "authors" on Kickstarter... they shouldn't be there. It doesn't cost anything to write a book, and it's $35 to sign it up on Amazon's CreateSpace program to make it available to just about everyone in the world. Guillen wants $4,000 to get it in the hands of professional copyeditors and reputable book reviewers. Translation, he wants people to pay for a book doctor and for some buzz from folks like GettingBookReviews.com. That, and he needs dough to have them printed and shipped to indie book stores on consignment because that is totally how things happen these day.

Look, people, I'm an author myself. I know it's hard, but for God's sake stop. Stop trying to get people to pay for you to jank the system through Kickstarter. He's not even offering an eBook for a $1 donation, and that's just insulting. Put the damned thing up for free on a blog and ask people for Paypal donations or something.

Goal: $4000 by September 16.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

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