The king is mad and, as the hero of one of the Great Clans, you’ll explore and face off against the other clans to become the next king. The game offers dice-based combat as well as a card system that represents your followers, treasures and spells. Each player will have individual player powers and there is a quest system that will change each game that gives you something to focus on during the game. I’m guessing they’re similar to goals seen in other boardgames, like Suburbia. I was a bit skeptical when they claimed it was going to be a board game, but looking at what they’ve put together here, I’m definitely warming up to the boardgame-ness of it all.
As Kickstarters go (and we’ve seen some bad ones), this one might be one of the best. It’s obvious that League of Geeks did their homework here. Goals are clearly laid out, rewards at different tiers are clearly explained, with lots of descriptions and video to fill you in on the details. The Kickstarter is for a PC/Mac/Linux port of the game (with Android and Windows Phone as stretch goals), so I’m guessing that the iPad version is coming regardless and isn’t included simply due to the problems associated with getting apps to people in different App Stores around the globe. Even if you’re not interested in backing a PC port of the game, I would encourage you to check out the Kickstarter anyway, just for all the information there. It really looks like Armello could be something special. New trailer after the break.
I completely missed this last year somehow when it was successfully crowdfunded on Indiegogo, but RIOT is one of the most interesting projects I’ve seen in a while. Being developed for desktops, iOS, and Android, RIOT is a part-procedurally-generated violent protest simulator.
The game’s visionary is former Valve man Leonard Mechiari, who says he wants you to see a riot from both sides of the line as a protester and as a cop. The game relies partially on procedural generation but there’s also distinct settings with different campaigns: anti-austerity protests in Spain, Italy, and Greece, and the crescendo of the Arab Spring in Egypt’s Tahrir Square.
The devs say that each character on-screen will have its own psychology and react to changing conditions on an individual level, and a physics engine means that individuals in crowds will move realistically.
RIOT is timely and bold and is exactly the sort of experience that games should be better than other media at portraying. The most recent dev blog post says that RIOT might be out in the second half of this year.
You know how I keep spouting forth about first-person turn-based dungeon crawlers being the hot new thing? Here is yet another clue to throw onto the mounting pile of evidence for my assertions. Servants! [clap-clap] Come tend to the evidence pile! It grows precariously tall and I fear for our collective safety.
The currently-Kickstarting StarCrawlers takes the dungeon crawler and shoots it into space, where RPGs rarely dare to tread. You trawl for randomized loot in the corridors of abandoned spaceships, tangling with automated security drones and employing the unique strengths of your hand-picked party of ne’er-do-wells. It sounds delightful to me, and to Phil, too — he just wrote about it yesterday next door at RDBK.
Here’s the rub, at least for us here at Pocket Tactics: there’s no guarantees that StarCrawlers will come to mobile. The game is currently billed as desktop-bound, but if you watch the gameplay videos, you’ll notice a lot of “touch to continue” prompts. I asked the devs about those.
“The initial prototype [for StarCrawlers] was built on an iPad so the roots are there,” Juggernaut Games told me. “We would love to port StarCrawlers to iPad and other mobile platforms at some point in the future.”
“Love to” is very different from “will”, of course. I’d love to be the bass player for The Roots and speak Portuguese. So if you decide to kick some money in (the pitch needs twenty grand in as many days) know that you’re only getting promised a PC or Mac version. But it doesn’t sound like StarCrawlers for iPad is too far from reality.
I have spoken often of my love for the games of the Brothers Trese, makers of big-hearted, open-ended fantasy and sci-fi RPGs for Android and occasionally iOS, too. The line on Trese Brothers titles is that they’re rangy big sandboxy things that are beautiful on the inside – none of their games are liable to win any blue ribbons for graphics.
The Treses set out to buck that trend with Heroes of Steel, the turn-based fantasy RPG that they successfully Kickstarted back in February. The quit their day jobs to dive into the project full-time, and even brought in an outside artist for the first time. And today you can see the fruits of that labor: Heroes of Steel is out for Android and the iOS edition is wending its way through App Store approvals as you read this.
You’re still not likely to confuse Heroes of Steel with Far Cry 3, but it’s unequivocally a big leap forward for the Treses in terms of visual design and presentation. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it to see if it has some of the same magic that’s kept me enthralled to Star Traders for so long.
Have a gander at the Heroes of Steel launch trailer after the jump.
1979 Revolution is brave. This is an iOS game about the Islamic revolution that overthrew Iranian dictator Mohammed Reza Pahlavi 34 years ago, casting you as a Persian photo-journalist documenting the uprising. It’s being Kickstarted right now.
If you’re a check-signer at a big publisher, how long is the list of alarm bells for this game? Just for starters: it’s a serious, nuanced story about a real-life event that is still an open wound. There’s no “relatable” Western protagonist — it’s a game about Persians starring Persians. It’s a game being built for iOS first, and Apple has a track record of cowardly turning away games that treat with Middle East politics. This is exactly what Kickstarter is for: funding the creation of games that deserve to be made but that traditional publishers wouldn’t touch.
Here’s how 1979 Revolution’s Kickstarter explains the plot:
Told through the story of Reza, a young photojournalist in Tehran, during the electric and tumultuous days of the Iranian revolution in 1979. Without political or religious motivation, Reza is impassioned by the idea of change and embittered by the brutal loss of his cousin, he enlists and becomes a key player in the movement to overthrow the monarchy. Only months after the victorious revolt, Reza is betrayed by the new regime at the hand of his best friend.
The game has the general look and feel of a Grand Theft Auto game, as it should, given that producer Navid Khonsari worked at Rockstar starting with GTA 3, an experience that changed games forever. Khonsari has assembled a voice cast to match his ambition — he’s already nabbed Navid Negahban, who played Abu Nazir on Homeland. The game is due out in early 2014.
This image (like most Interstellaria screenshots) is an animated gif — click it to see.
A couple of months ago I spoke with Coldrice (born Jon King) about Interstellaria, a 2D space exploration game he’s building for iPad, Android and desktops. “I want the feeling of commanding a ship – or of exploring space,” Coldrice told me, a sensation he felt was lacking in mobile games. Now Coldrice is looking for a little help to make that happen — and I do mean little. His new Interstellaria Kickstarter is after a very achievable $15,000.
Interstellaria is a lot further along today. Coldrice plans to start a semi-public alpha in January, and much of the open-galaxy exploration (with planets you can visit), crew management, ship upgrading, and other key systems are already in place. He’s brought an accomplished chiptune composer and an additional artist on board to help share the load.
There’s something about this game concept that just clicks for me — I backed this one myself, the minute it went live. Watch the pitch video after the jump and if you are similarly moved, the Kickstarter’s right over here.
Eric Lee Smith considers the El Alamein prototype on my visit to Shenandoah’s office.
Eric Lee Smith is always prepared. A photographer by training, he hangs a professional-grade camera around his neck whenever he goes outdoors, just in case a suitable subject presents itself.
With his white beard and penchant for straw hats, Smith has the air of Richard Attenborough from Jurassic Park. His demeanour isn’t far off from that either — he emits the same genial enthusiasm about the mission of his company, combined with an iron-clad determination that he’s going about it the right way. I don’t think the dinosaurs are going to get loose in Shenandoah Studio anytime soon, though.
“The primary job of a game company is to stay in business,” Shenandoah’s co-founder tells me. “Great games are not enough to stay in business.”
Just because this is the internet doesn’t mean that we have to be seen-it-all-before hipsters all the time. Good job, Gilgenbach. I’m proud of you. There’s a teaser trailer after the jump — it’s scary, man.