I recently returned from the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in San Antonio, Texas and I can’t stop thinking about the games I saw. From the interactive love story Florence to Tunic, a story about a small fox in a big world–my mind is buzzing with the imaginative worlds these independent creators are helping to bring forth into the world. So I thought I’d sprinkle in some games with this week’s crowdfunding watch to mix-it-up a bit.
I’m a big fan of slice of life stories, so the fact that this collection of eight stories bills itself as ‘slice of cyberpunk life’ immediately caught my interest. The collection centers on what creator Magnus Aspli, calls an unending city. The expansive city of Metropo is filled with innumerable creatures trying to make a place for themselves in a sea of people, technology and artificial intelligence.
Metropo contains a mixture of prose and comics. The Kickstarter provides us with the titles of each of the stories contained within its 150-pages. You can also read the first two stories, “Raindrop Hatch” and “The Fierce Code”, for free over on the collection’s Tumblr.
- Raindrop Hatch (comic)
- The Fierce Code (prose)
- Temporal (prose)
- Automobile (comic)
- Walkways (comic)
- Drowning (prose)
- Every Moment is a Moment Forward (comic)
- Sunrise (prose)
The idea behind Metropo is to imagine a not-so-distant future and explore what it might mean for humanity as we grapple with the questions and ramifications of artificial intelligence and algorithms. What might the future look like for us, is it one of hope, depression, cynicism, despair? This collection takes us on a journey to find out.
Creators from the collection include Vivian Truong, Mary (Cryoclaire) Safro, John Jamtli, Emerson Dimaya, Rob Croonenborghs, Naomi Franquiz, and Dan Hill. The team is about half-way towards their funding goal of $8,848 with a week left to go. The funding deadline for this Kickstarter is January 22, 2018. If you are interested in exploring what the near future might look like, you may want to check this collection out.
Okay, I try to not include games or comics which have already been funded but this one was a little too hard for me to pass up. Everdell is an adorable board game published by Starling Games. It has has an exceptionally clever design from James A. Wilson, guided by the art direction and graphic design of Dann May and friends.
Here’s how the team describes the game play:
“Everdell was a five-year design process driven by the goal of combining two different genres (worker placement and tableau-building) into a streamlined experience that was easy to learn and teach, but also deep and rewarding.
Players have their own hand of cards that grows and changes as the game progresses, but there are also eight face-up cards available to choose from at all times as well. These face-up cards are open to every player, working as an open draft of sorts.
Timely placement of your workers, smart utilization of card abilities and combos, and achieving Events before your opponents will ensure that the sun shines brightest on your own unique corner of Everdell.”
The artist behind the game is Andrew Bosley whose work is absolutely enchanting. The critters people, the critters! The Kickstarter campaign has been so successful the team has already unlocked nearly all of their stretch goals but there are still a few remaining including: extra card packs and upgrades to board game materials in the standard and collector’s editions.
Everdell is a 1-4 player game and is ideal for those aged 13 and up. The game takes about 20 minutes per player. If you are a fan of board games or super cute critters, I’d recommend peeping this game over on Kickstarter. The game will continue funding through January 25, 2018.
Okay. I’m on a critter bend this morning. Apologies to those who aren’t as critter focused as I am. From Sungazer Software and creator Elliot Mahan comes a tactical role-playing game (RPG) that offers us a bit of a twist one the traditional 90s style RPG systems. Elliot Mahan, the game’s director and creative force behind the game, has been making RPGs for over a decade. So it’s probably fair to say he has a pretty good idea of what he’s doing.
Here’s a plot synopsis from the Kickstarter:
A world born in swords-and-sorcery begins to embrace science, and makes great technological leaps, soon finding itself in its own space age. A colony of volunteers blasts off to settle the stars, but those who were left behind choose to worship the gift of magic instead, rejecting technology and regressing to their traditional ways.
Two hundred years later, the spacefarers suddenly return, bringing dire news of a celestial calamity threatening the planet. The only way to survive is for the surface dwellers to join them and shed their mortal bodies, becoming part of a mechanical collective of minds. But, can the dwellers be saved, and can the spacefarers be trusted?
The developer has provided a bunch of details about how long the game’s development will (likely) take along with what elements of the game are planned or will be unlocked as funding increases. Eden’s Last Sunrise dedicates as much care to the narrative components of the game as it does to the isometric-turn based battles and weapons systems. That’s certainly a refreshing twist.
Indie games on Kickstarter have an uneven track-record but Mahan already has a playable demo available for those interested in checking it out over on itch.io. That’s great news because it means the game you know, actually exists.
There are numerous backer rewards at a bunch of different financial levels, everything from $5 to $1,000. Mahan is hoping to raise $25,000 for the game’s development and publishing. The deadline for this Kickstarter is February 8, 2018, with an anticipated release date of December 2019.
Andrea Ayres writes about comics, video games, and representation in pop-culture.