The Obsolete Gamer Show: Steve London (Halcyon 6)


We talk a look at Halcyon 6 the game inspired by classics such as Star Control, Master of Orion, X-COM, Civilization and new classics like FTL and talk to its composer Steve London who loves classic Commodore 64 and Amiga games, cool pizza toppings and the Toronto Maple leafs.

Halcyon 6 began as a Kickstarter passion project with a goal of $40k and raised over $180k. We get into all that and of course Steve’s love of music in our interview.

About Halcyon:

In the midst of a disastrous war, you and your ragtag group of Terran officers discover an ancient, derelict space station, and attempt to harness its mysterious power to turn the war’s tides in a grand, desperate campaign to save the human race from extinction.

Halcyon is available now on Steam early access.

Bonus: Check out some Halcyon game music from SoundCloud.

Siege Breaker Sessions: Kicking Kickstarter

kickstarter

Kickstarter was like that sexy girl that actually gave you a shot at dating her, you were happy, oh so happy, until she took all your money and you never even got to second base. In this episode we talk about what happens when gaming related Kickstarters leave you high and dry.

Warning: The Siege Breakers Sessions Podcast is NSFW and and contains adult language, seriously if you get easily offended stay out.

You can find our podcasts at the following locations:

ITunes

Stitcher

iPodder

Player FM

Digital Podcast

Pod Directory

The Obsolete Gamer Show: The Omega Imperative

The Gamer Profile Show is back and we are talking The Omega Imperative. This retro inspired game is currently on Kickstarter and caught our attention not only because we love classic games but because of the uniqueness of combining the top down adventure of a Zelda type game with a space shoot-em up game.

We sat down with Mike Bonafede and Mike Lamark two guys who have been playing games since the Atari 2600 about their gaming background, their inspiration to get into game development as well as the challenges of getting their work out there.

Check it out and if you like what you see support their Kickstarter.

The Omega Imperative Kickstarter

The Omega Imperative on Steam Greenlight

Profiled: Brad Smith

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Name: Brad Smith

Favorite Classic Game: Metroid 2 (Gameboy) Prince of Persia 2 

lizard

Gamer Profiles heads to the great white north to talk with developer, Brad Smith on his latest project titled, Lizard. His Kickstarter brings us a cool platformer for the NES where you explore an 8-bit world while wearing a lizard for a true retro inspired adventure. Brad has been a fan of classic games all his life from Metroid 2 on the Gameboy to Prince of Persia on the PC. Brad is also a fan of video game music and began creating his own music own music for the Nintendo.

We had a great time talking with Brad so check out the gamer profile and you can check out the Lizard Kickstarter and Brad’s website at the links below.

Lizard Kickstarter – https://www.kickstarter.com…

Brad’s Website – http://rainwarrior.ca

Commodore 64: A Visual Compendium Kickstarter

Commodore 64: A Visual Compendium Kickstarter

The “Commodore 64: a visual Compendium” is a Kickstarter for a high-end, coffee table book that celebrates the visual beauty of the worst best-selling computer the Commodore 64.  This will be the first book by new publisher Bitmap Books who specialise in high-end books all about computer games. Created by lifelong Commodore 64 fan and Graphic Designer Sam “MrSID” Dyer to combine his passions for visual art and retro gaming.

The final book will be 200 pages and ready to be posted in September 2014. It will showcase loading screens, graphics, maps and cover art along with information such as facts, a small review or even a quote from one of the developers.

The book will start with a foreword by legendary Sensible Software Graphic Artist, Stoo Cambridge. Whilst at Sensible, Stoo created artwork for games such as Sensible Soccer, Cannon Fodder and Mega Lo Mania. The book will start with the very early games such as Juniper Lander and work its way through games being released now by companies such as RGCD and Psytronik Software. Featured throughout the book will be double page spreads full coloured illustrations by Oliver Frey, a selection of game maps, and loading screens.

A pledge of £25 will secure a copy of the book along with one of five ‘Loader’ postcards

Other rewards include

  • Personally signed books by Stoo Cambridge
  • The chance to own your OWN spread in the book. You choose the game to be featured and even write your own mini-review to accompany the image.
  • A full page advert placed in the book next to the campaign supporters.
  • One of 100 exclusively copies of the PAL only game Micro Hexagon on cartridge. 50 will even be signed by programmer Paul Koller and musician Mikkel Hastrup.

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The Kickstarter has already achieved over 75% of his target in just over 5 days. You can find out more about the book and the campaign here.

Profiled: Daryl Rodriguez & Jeanette Garcia

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Name: Daryl Rodriguez / Jeanette Garcia

Company: World 1-1

Profession: Independent Filmmakers

Favorite Classic Game: Metal Gear

Jeanette_Garcia_Daryl_Rodriguez_Word_1_1_FilmCourage_Kickstarter

Quote: It showed me that video games can achieve a cinematic experience.

Bio: Two filmmakers from Miami focused on creating a visual history of the video game industry.

Project: World 1-1

Kickstarter Page

Project Info: World 1-1 is the first in a documentary series on the history of video games. This chapter is about the early years including Atari and how they helped to create a new industry. It focuses on the business deals, the personalities of the pioneers, and the creations of the engineers. This documentary will be a combination of interviews, archival footage, and reflection that retells the story to a new generation that may not know the roots of their favorite hobby.

 

The Stinky Footboard Review

The Stinky Footboard

The days of video games that can be controlled with a joystick and two buttons are long past. Today’s hits seem to require more fingers than a human being has, especially on the PC.

Enter the Stinky Footboard from SteLuLu Technologies. This PC-based controller is plastic and metal pad that allows users to use their foot to control up to four different key functions. The keys can be custom mapped to any function.

Installation of the device is a snap and the customization software is easy to use. Users can be up and running, perhaps quite literally, in no time.

The controller itself takes a little getting used to, as reacting to on-screen action with a foot isn’t exactly typical on many games. A set of springs with different tensions were included along with a tool to quickly swap them, giving users of the product the ability to find a comfortable level of tension.

For first-person shooters, the Stinky Footboard proved to be a godsend. It was no longer required to remove fingers from important buttons to perform other on-screen actions, as those buttons could be replaced by functions on the Stinky.

To add a different element to the mix, a some old school titles were used for this review. The classic Pac-Manproved too challenging using the footboard, but it turned out to be quite fun to try the iconic Space Invaders with the unique controls.

The Stinky Footboard can also be used for non-gaming functions, including surfing websites.

The product itself is quite sturdy. A video shown at PAX East showed the Stinky Footboard being run over by a car and continuing to work with only minor case scratches. While that extreme was not used for this review, the product managed to survive hours of use by a 245-pound former pro wrestler without any loss of functionality. It continued to work like new, which is more than can be said about almost any other controller product.

In addition to gaming and work functions, the Stinky Footboard could be used as a solution for those with disabilities or injuries.

Overall, the Stinky Footboard is a sturdy solution to multi-tasking gameplay. Once a player gets used to it, they should find the extra functionality allows for a smoother experience while the product itself can truly take a beating.

More can be learned about the Stinky Footboard at www.StinkyBoard.com. They are also in the final days of a Kickstarter campaign with can be viewed here.

Nexus 2: The Gods Awaken announced on Kickstarter

Nexus 2 - The Gods Awaken

Nexus 2: The Gods Awaken announced on Kickstarter

HD Interactive and Most Wanted Entertainment have announced the next stage in their quest to develop a sequel to their highly-rated Space RTS game Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, with the company launching a campaign on high-profile crowdfunding site Kickstarter to supplement their own financing.

“Nexus 2 is a very special project for the company”, said company director Mike Horneman,  “Nexus was our first game, and we still have many of the original team-members on board, with full plans in place for what we’d do for a sequel”.

Nexus 2 - The Gods Awaken

Launched in 2004, the game was highly acclaimed as one of the best spaceship battle games ever made, and continues to attract fans even to this day.

“We re-launched the original Nexus on Steam a while ago, and even now we see a substantial amount of new players buying the game each month”, said Horneman. “We have a very vocal fan base, and know that there’s a large number of people out there who would love to see a sequel made”.

 

HD and MWE are looking to finance the project with a mixture of their own funds supported by crowdfunding.

“We’re happy to put a large chunk of our own resources into making Nexus 2”, said Horneman, “but realistically we cannot fund the whole project ourselves. So, with Kickstarter, we can offer all our fans out there a chance to be part of the Nexus 2 project.”

Nexus 2 - The Gods Awaken

“The more you pledge, the more you will benefit; from thanks in the credits, through special boxed editions, right up to designing spaceships that will appear in the game. The largest donor will also receive a completely unique version of the game, where he or she is the hero, complete with facial likeness and voice over. We’re all very excited!”

You can find more info on the game as well as the funding details here

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhZQEvg1V0Y[/youtube]

About the Developer

Most Wanted Entertainment was formed when a band of Hungary’s hottest games talent joined forces with Dutch games company HD Interactive to create one of Central Europe’s longest-lived and most prolific game developers. We have launched games across many platforms, including PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo DS, iPhone/iPad in all sorts of genres.

Strategy and tactical games are our greatest love, however, with products like Joint Task Force and Nexus: The Jupiter Incident being some of the titles we are most proud of.

With our ranks still numbering most of the original Nexus development team, no other developer can match the experience, insight or love we have for this classic game.

www.mwent.hu

 

David Crane speaks on the triumphs and pitfalls of his multi-decade career

David Crane

The first video game boom period of the late 1970s and early 1980s created many superstars that are still known today, from the hardworking Mario to the still-hungry Pac-Man. It also saw a handful of game designers reach the superstar level themselves, including David Crane.

Starting his career with Atari on titles including Canyon Bomber and Outlaw for the Atari Video Computer System, Crane was among the founding members of Activision in 1979. Since that time, Crane has been the driving force behind game titles that made an impact on several generations of gaming, from Pitfall! to NES cult-classic A Boy and His Blob to the controversial Night Trap.

The original Pitfall!, which just reached it’s 30th anniversary, was a literal game changer according to Crane.

“Even during development, we knew we had something special,” he said. “The platformer game genre opened up worlds of new games. In fact, there were hundreds of platform games developed after Pitfall! blazed the trail through the jungle. When the game held the number one spot on Billboard‘s chart for 64 consecutive weeks, a record that I don’t think has ever been broken, we knew the game had legs.”

Today, three decades after it’s release, Pitfall! is among the classic video game titles still found on t-shirts and modern console releases. Crane states that this was not something that he considered the future would hold.

“I would have never predicted the classic gaming movement where people continue to play their favorite games 30 years later and who bring in a new generation by exposing their kids to the classics,” he stated. “Sure, we tweaked the games to a fine point and we felt those games were the best games on the market at the time, but it still surprises me when classic gaming enthusiasts tell me that for pure game play, modern games fail to live up to the standards we set back in the day.”

A Boy and His Blob, Crane’s 1989 title for the Nintendo Entertainment System, began as a tool-using adventure game concept. After recalling a cartoon character creation from his childhood, Crane altered the game’s toolkit into that character.

“When I try to explain the concept and story of A Boy and His Blob people look at me like I have two heads,” Crane said. “As the explanation goes on they become sure of it, ‘So… after collecting all of the underground treasures, the Boy spends it all on vitamins? Then he turns his Blob into a rocket and flies to Blobonia where he vanquishes an evil king with a Vitablaster? Are you insane or just on drugs?’ I assure them that I am indeed sane, and that my drug of choice is peanut M&M’s”

In the decades since Crane’s early success, the video game industry has grown to include various publishing levels. The veteran game designer notes that modern publishers should take notes from the history of the industry.

“In the eighties games were published on ROM cartridges. That was a huge barrier to entry, requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars to publish a single game,” he said. “In the mid-eighties there was a crash, brought on by 30 companies trying to cash in on Activision’s success but without quality games. By 1985 there were 20 bad games on the market for every good game. Consumers were lost.”

“Today there is no barrier to entry,” he added. “Anyone with $99 can pay Apple to publish a game, which explains why there are 100,000 games in the App store. One on hand the optimist will say that this makes it possible for indie developers to make something fabulously new and original. The pessimist points out that there are 1,000 bad or derivative games for every one jewel. Games in the eighties sold for $40; that indie designer who makes the jewel is lucky to net 40 cents on every game he sells. That is not enough to sustain a game development business, so it becomes unlikely we will ever see a second jewel from that designer.”

“The industries of then and now couldn’t be more different,” he continued. “But today’s glut of bad, derivative, or just plain indifferent games has some similarities to the conditions in 1985. Back then that glut precipitated a major crash in the business and it took years for the video game to regain it’s popularity. Hard to say if that will happen again, but those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”

Crane recently turned to Kickstarter in an effort to create a new Jungle Adventure game as a follow-up to his 1982 classic. The project failed to catch on enough to reach it’s goal, however, despite Crane’s hope that supporters would like to be part of the game development process.

“Ask any game publisher if they would like the e-mail address of everybody that is going to buy a game before the game is published,” he said. “That could be a valuable resource for those times where the designer is struggling with game options. I suspect that my Kickstarter project didn’t get traction because the masses are not ready to commit to a game until they know what it is. Those that understood what I was hoping to achieve backed it enthusiastically, and went out as evangelists to try and recruit others.”

After 35 years in the video game industry, Crane states that he will continue to be part of it for some time to come.

“I design and program games every day,” he said. “I have been compared to Charles Schulz, who drew the Peanuts cartoons every day of his life for 50 years. By that analogy I have at least 15 good years left. I am comfortable in the fact that I know how to make games fun, and that is what keeps me going.”

Synthboy

synthboy

Obsolete Gamer is always looking for cool new projects that feature classic games and what could be more classic than the Gameboy handheld system. Check out this project on Kickstarter that brings new life to the retro gaming system.

Dust off that first gen Gameboy as we have a very cool interface dock that converts the handheld gaming system into a state of the art 8-bit sound machine. There is a growing community of musicians and audio artists that are using these old gaming system sounds.  We have used some of the achievements from the 8-bit community and created the SYNTHBOY+.  Easy to plug into your mixer or home stereo with all of the various outputs. Midi IN/OUT makes it easy to connect to almost any keyboard.  We have a limited number of units available on Kickstarter.com.

synthboy

Link Here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/763704741/synthboy

So please grab one and support the effort to save these older gaming systems and rock out to some old school Tetris sounds.  This is recycling at its best.  We really wanted everyone to be able to get one of these, so we went smaller and more affordable. You can even send in your working Gameboy and we will modify it for you.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxZ4J6cj8-A[/youtube]

Thank you for your time and I hope you love the old gaming system sounds as much as we do.

Dylan Barker: Cadenza Interactive

Cadenza Interactive logo

Name: Dylan Barker

Company: Cadenza Interactive

Profession: Game Designer

Star-craft-Brood_War_box_art

Favorite Classic Game: Starcraft: Brood War.  I’m a competitive gamer to my core, and Brood War is the game that set the standard.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npsS-TA0Bro[/youtube]

Quote: It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” – Ira Glass

Making games is hard, particularly for people who grew up immersed in gaming culture.  Your first forays into development never live up to your standards, because despite having ideas about what makes a good game, experience and understanding with actually making games is critical.  Our first game, Sol Survivor, ended up being a fun game, but in a way it has exposed for me just how little I knew at the time about making games.  I’m encouraged, though, by hearing other creatives (in this case Ira Glass) talk about that blow to the creative ego.  The only way to move past it is to never stop creating.  For every hundred things you create, you’re lucky to find one that’s great.  The thing that separates game design success from failure is the ability to iterate; there are no “silver bullets.”

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Bio: Cadenza Interactive is a company built around LAN gamers.  Though about half of the team grew up in different places, we all had a common experience; schlepping heavy CRT monitors in the back of our parents’ cars to make it to an 8 man all-night game marathon was our idea of fun.  As a company, we’re committed to making games that excel in multiplayer, both competitively and cooperatively.  Our last game Sol Survivor can be played either way, and we’re committed to the same for our current game, Retrovirus.

Our philosophy is to respect our players.  We want to challenge them, not hold their hand.  We want to respect them as customers by making our games playable regardless of whether they leave open the program of the storefront they bought the game from.  We are committed to LAN and WAN by IP multiplayer modes, and we release content for our games for free after release instead of trying to sell players insignificant DLC.

We started as three guys in a small, boiling hot house and we’ve grown to seven full-timers who have sacrificed a lot to live the dream of making games.  It’s a wild ride, and we’re always up for sharing our experiences with fans and other developers!

Retrovirus logo

Project: Retrovirus

Project Info: Retrovirus is a Descent-inspired six axis shooter that we’re working on for PC.  We’ve created a software world where the player takes the role of an antivirus program fighting against an invasive virus.  Retrovirus’ weapon system feels unique, relying on common weapon archetypes with an added strategic scanning ability that lets players deny space and control opponents who get stuck in their grasp.  We’ve included an “FPS MOBA” mode that mixes players and AIs in an objective-based multiplayer, as well as classic competitive multiplayer and campaign co-op to round out the experience.

A big part of our team is tools development, which is great for fans because we can generate a lot of content even after release.  Better still, we’re trying to release our tools for Retrovirus to the public.  To do so on-schedule, we’re raising funds via Kickstarter.  If we’re successful on Kickstarter, we’ll have a large-scale closed beta that includes our tools, to let the community start building their own experiences.

The Interview: Tortured Hearts

Obsolete Gamer is always on the lookout for great upcoming games. We recently had a chance to look at the Tortured Hearts project. Here is information from their official press release.

Tortured Hearts logo 2

 

Zoltan Gonda, and Csaba Foris, both well known for the legendary Commodore 64 RPG “Newcomer™,” have teamed up once again to bring PC gamers another RPG which brings back the story and gameplay that won’t let you sleep until dawn. Supported by Lenore Hoehl, the team has already produced the full story in a development environment, including a crafting system, character development sytem and many more. Currently the team is at the funding stage via Kickstarter to move the project further on with the graphics, music and sound effects, voice-overs, and combat system.

Tortured Hearts™: Or, How I Saved the Universe. Again. is an epicly epic, satirical RPG, dedicated to the proposition that most RPGs take themselves far too seriously. Since almost every imaginable plot scenario and character has already been used and overused to the point that cliches are unavoidable, Tortured Hearts™ instead revels in pointing out that the life of adventurers is one endless heroic cliche, some sort of existential trap created by the gods of RPG worlds.

Tortured Hearts - Screenshot

Tortured Hearts™ is set in the unique custom world of Eupherea, where things are different. For example, the gnome race hasn’t yet been written out of the Big Picture. Celestial bureaucracy, which functions much like ordinary mortal bureaucracy, has a hidden hand in the affairs of things and especially in the lives of adventurers.

The PC is one of many seasoned and stereotypical adventurers seeking their fortune. But it bothers the PC to be a stereotype; he doesn’t want to be identified as another loot jerk. He’s jaded by the same old dungeons and fetching quests. Yet, wherever he turns, there are still the inevitable rats to kill, puzzles to solve, errands to run. He seeks thrills, but the thrill is gone. His own quest is to get a thrill out of life again.

Some quick facts about the game:

–          About 100-150 hours of gameplay.

–          200 areas

–          Over 500 NPCs / Over 100 quests

–          Single player game, with 8 possible companions.

–          Six playable races: human, elf, half-orc, halfling, dwarf, and gnome.

–          Character skills and abilities can be developed freely. There are no predetermined classes with built-in limitations, only trends which you can follow or not. A similar system was used in Newcomer, now perfected.

–          Combat will be turn-based

–          Highly replayable: Because many NPC interactions involve choices, there are many possible ways to get through the world.

–          Graphics: 2D/3D style compareable to animated cartoons.

–          A crafting system which will create saleable items and buffs.

–          A variety of companions who contribute in an interactive way with the PC, the NPCs and each other

Obsolete Gamer reported Jorn Asche had a sit down with the team behind Tortured Hearts.

Tortured Hearts - GUI_Mockup3

Please introduce yourselves a bit to our readers, not everyone might be familiar with the projects you’ve been in so far:

Zoltan Gonda – Lead designer and writer—has been making games since 1990. An early project was Newcomer(TM) for Commodore 64, which is still around. He worked for Digital Reality and Stormregion, game developers in Hungary, on several strategy games. He made two of the top community mods for NWN 1, Tortured Hearts I and Tortured Hearts II.

Lenore Hoehl – Writer and producer – Worked with Intension Games of Hungary and later with Zoltan Gonda to make several casual games. Lenore also worked with Zoltan Gonda on the NWN modules.

So there are lots of RPG’s out there. What are the main aspects of Tortured Hearts that makes it different from all the other games out there?

It is more intricate in its choices and plot progression. You cannot do all the quests in one play through, for instance. You will not be able to see all the responses of any one group of henchmen. There are multiple outcomes to quests as well as to the game as a whole. The art and the world are unusual and detailed.

Tortured Hearts - 3D Concept

Which setting did you choose for your game? Will it be more a fantasy setting or can we even expect elements of the real world in the game?

The game starts in a fantasy world of Eupherea and progresses to more fantastic locales. But the behavior of people individually and socially is understandable and like behavior everywhere; for instance greed, and stupidity, and hope are the same and expressed as they are in the real world.

The subtitle of the game is “Or how I saved the universe. Again.” Which role does the main character and his companions play in the game and are there several different endings of the game?

The protagonist and his companions are all very experienced and professional adventurers. They have “saved the Universe” any number of times because that’s what heroes do. Yes, there are several endings.

Does the world of Tortured Hearts “live”? Do people have a special time frame when they go to work, sleep or anything of that sort?

No, we tried that in the 1st NWN mod and it was too hard for all but the most dedicated hardcore player. However, the NPCs are walking around, talking and interacting with each other and objects, so areas look alive. Sometimes the NPCs will be “out” for the PC until a condition is set.

Tortured Hearts - 3D

On the Kickstarter page a turn-based combat system has been announced. Can you give us some details? Will there be boss-fights as well?

Of course there will be boss fights. Initiative in fights depends mostly on stats with a small random factor. The party grouping can be controlled by the player and their inventory accessed during combat. There are personal traits called Tactical traits which are taken on creation, including the companions, and these are either offensive or defensive, so a different party group will have a different mix of these feat-like qualities and this will make combat a little different in every game. In combat, the player can let the companions fight through AI or control them individually.

What will the character system look like? Will it be depend upon experience points or will there be event trainers in the game who you’ll need to progress further?

Characters will have skills and abilities and one tactical trait. The skills and abilities are dependent on experience points, abilities costing more than skills. Crafting depends on skills. One craft, Junk Art, requires an NPC to complete.

Will there be also a possibility to automate the character development for all those who would like to focus more on the fights and the story of the game instead of character development?

It could be done, although it seems like it would crippling rather than helpful. We can do anything on popular demand though.

Tortured Hearts - Screenshot-2

How many main quests can be solved and how many sidequests are in the game? How long will it take to complete the game?

There’s really only one main quest. There are more than 100 side quests, most of them optional. It will probably take a minimum of 30 hours to do the essential side quests that advance the plot, and over 100 hours to do as many as possible (some will be mutually exclusive, see #2)

How far has the game been already developed? What needs to be done next?

The story has been worked out. The areas have been laid out and the connections between them mapped and transitions planned. Simple convo cut scenes have been programmed. The conversations between the PC and NPCs, between NPCs, between companions have all been done and programmed. The quests have been written and programmed. Characters and items have been created. We are now working on the GUI. Next we will model the areas and import them to the game engine, then put in the placeable items and NPCs.

How much time did you invest in the project?

At least 6000 man hours over four years.

How can the costs for such a project be calculated?

By taking the jobs to be done times the cost of man hours to do them. This project will take more than 10 people working full time for at least eighteen months.

Tortured Hearts - 3D Concept 2

Can you give us a example of a similar project so we can relate the costs? I think many people might be curious first when they read at Kickstarter that you’d like to have $300,000.

Games are like movies, the cost can be very high for a studio. I don’t know how to answer that except to say that it’s often in the millions for a big game, and this might be underfunded at $300,000. On Kickstarter, you should also remember that all the money will come in a lump sum which in the US would be subject to between 25% – 30% tax if not offset by the end of the year; if it weren’t offset the total would be cut by that much, so collecting from Kickstarter at the end of your fiscal year could be a big, even ruinous, problem.

Also Kickstarter and Amazon take a 5% cut of the pledged amount, each, so there’s another $30,000 gone. Also, Kickstarter requires rewards, and pledgers like tangible rewards, this is a big cost to the developer too. Even if we only gave away digital rewards, like a game, at a low price, it would cut into our future market by giving the greatest fans, the ones most likely to buy it, a special low rate.

What will you do if you don’t get the money in the time between?

We are going to very thriftily use what money we have from other work to make a playable demo, which we think will convince people to support the project.

Tortured Hearts - Enviornment

Which versions of the game will be available? Are there plans for a special edition with printed map etc. ?

At the moment we are only planning for a digital release, due to the cost of tangible boxes and maps. In a future Kickstarter we plan to have things like maps as digital rewards; unless we get overfunded, tangible maps and books would be a huge expense. We might sell them from our website.

Are there special races that can be played and can you tell us somehing about the way it changes the gameplay?

The races are very typical: human, elf, dwarf, gnome, halfling, half-orc. No half-elves. The different races start with different attribute stats as in D&D. After that they can develop by XP in whatever way the player desires.

You can few their website here.

Also check out their Facebook page.

Here is a link to their Kickstater page.

Veteran gaming author turns to Kickstarter to update video game history book

Veteran video game author Rusel DeMaria wants a third edition of High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games.  Fans of his previous work and gaming history have a chance to help.

High Score

Veteran gaming author turns to Kickstarter to update video game history book

The first and second editions of High Score were released last decade and were well-received by critics and gaming fans alike.  DeMaria now wants to do an updated third edition and has turned to a Kickstarter project to get it off the ground.

“I hate the fact that the book is out of print,” he said.  “I know there are a lot of video game history books out, and many of them are very good, but High Score is special, especially for its emphasis on graphics and showing the story in pictures as well as words.”

DeMaria is pledging to reward his Kickstarter backers with opportunities to meet some of the biggest industry names in gaming history.  Lunches with luminaries such as Trip Hawkins and Will Wright are up for grabs for reaching certain donation levels.

“There were people who were at first reluctant to participate in the book for personal reasons. In the case of Trip Hawkins, he wanted to save all the material for his own book,” DeMaria recalled.  “I was able somehow to convince him that he wasn’t done yet and it was too soon for him to write his memoires. And so there I was, in his beautiful house late at night. I mean I had the run of the house he and his family were sleeping upstairs. There were lots of rarities and treasures there, such as handwritten documents from John Madden and Julius Irving, but perhaps the greatest find (which I think he left out for me) was the original business plan for Electronic Arts. It was stunningly accurate. His five-year plan – amazingly bold and audacious for that time in history – was spot on. It doesn’t print all that well in the book, but it reads like a prophecy. I always respected Trip, but this made me see him as somewhat surreal in his vision.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCNH9qrIzgg[/youtube]

According to DeMaria, a third edition of High Score has been discussed before but was held back by a full-time job at The Art Institute in Seattle, WA.  Presently unemployed, the long-time gaming writer said he feels now is the right time but that he cannot do it alone.

“Right now I’m unemployed, so money is a serious issue for me, which is why I turned to Kickstarter,” he said. “With financial support for a few months, I think I can improve and expand High Score and put out a great new edition. I want it to be an even better book than the original versions, with all the main material, but better. I also want to find a way to publish or e-publish the extra content that I have, because there’s a lot of it, tons of graphical material and even much longer interviews that I could share. At any rate, this seems like a perfect moment to create the new edition, improve the book and expand it to cover the last decade or so, as well. Carpe diem.”

The Kickstarter project can be found by clicking here and needs to raise $25,000 by April 4 in order to fund the project.

You can also check out the second edition of High Score on Amazon.com here.