Tag Archives: Phantamos Studio LLC

TiX crowdfunding spotlight issue #5

crowdfunding-spotlight

Issue #5 is here, albeit 24 hours later than usual, and hopefully you’ve all become accustomed to how this works? Don’t forget to let me know about projects you see online (or those that you are involved with) that you feel could be feature here. Either comment below or reach out via email to kris[at]thisisxbox[dot]com and I’ll get back to you. So, let’s move on and get into the nitty-gritty of this week’s spotlight.

Catch-up:

Still yet to build any momentum is new RPG from Zenrock Studios LLC looking for $7,500 towards the development of their Sci-Fi title; Wormhole City. The project includes a stretch goal for an Xbox One release but with eight days to go and still less than $1,080 raised, it looks like this project is a washout. I hope for them things turn around quickly and even if they manage to fund the PC release of this title, there could still be hope for an Xbox One release much later down the line.

Last week we quickly looked at the progress of Albert & Otto and unfortunately I have to report that this project failed bringing in less than $2,500 towards the required $15,000. You can post messages of condolences or future support for them in the comments section here. I loved the look of Albert & Otto, and by the buzz from PAX East, so did those who played it. I hope that this doesn’t mean the project is completely abandoned, as that would be a shame.

Hot Armor: Brothers War failed. Better luck next time guys.

Another quick look at Gamer’s Edition tells us that things are slowing down for the Idea Planet and Gamers Network, the two parties behind this new project. Since last week less than 100 additional Hotline Miami bundles have been sold and the Papers, Please bundle is still struggling to gain any traction among gaming fans. With nine days left on both, it doesn’t look good for either title.

Once Bitten Twice Dead! is a new zombie first-person action game set in an open world from Dark Day Inc. We featured this last week and although not tipped for an Xbox 360/Xbox One release, the Kickstarter page shows a strange use of the Xbox 360 controllers in the rewards graphic. With 18 days of the campaign left, Once Bitten Twice Dead! has only managed to raise $827 of the required $20,000.

The 3D jump and run game RUMP! which caught my attention last week is doing much better than everyone above. So far the campaign on IndieGoGo, has raised $13,772 towards the initial base goal of $50,000. Before we start getting too excited, Dedication Labs are looking to hit the stretch goal of $200,000 before they get to work on an Xbox One release. There are still 32 days left for this campaign, so time is still on their side.

And finally last week we took a look at ICY the survival RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world witnessing a new Ice Age. The IndieGoGo campaign didn’t have any stretch goals for Xbox 360 or Xbox One development, however, it was featured as it seemed like a great title for potentially leveraging the ID@Xbox program. It’s now at 292% of its base goal and still attracting backers.

New this week!

Up first is something a little different, instead of recommending a game campaign that needs your backing we have found this little gem; The American Father’s Podcast, on Kickstarter from Near Future Fiction writer, Henry L. Sullivan III.

Henry L. Sullivan III and Director Adrianne Cury would like to tell you and I a story. It takes place in the year 2032. It involves four dynasties, a Lebanese-American Journalist, an impassioned college professor, a security contractor, a flamboyant hitman, a rebel hacker, a megalomaniac, and a smart, idiosyncratic heiress. Get ready to experience a movie in your ear. Audio storytelling. Every image, every action, conveyed entirely through voices. And they want to make this entire podcast available for free around the world.

So why have we picked up this campaign for the spotlight? Because of this man…

Steve Downes

Millions of Xbox fans know Steve Downes’ legendary sound as the voice of one of the world’s most beloved heroes: The super Spartan cyber-soldier; Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 from Bungie Studios’ top-selling HALO video game series. But countless many have also heard this epically talented VO extraordinaire as the exclusive voice for the Carnival Cruiselines national ad campaign and as narrator for The Discovery Channel’s hit show, The Shark Attack Files.

Likeliness of happening: Henry L. Sullivan III is looking for $30,000 through the Kickstarter campaign and with just 15 days left to run, has so far managed to raise just $2,131. I couldn’t call this so I’ll simply wish Henry all the best and should the project be funded, I look forward to listening to Master Chief… I mean Steve Downes bring the world of The American Fathers to life. Going to be 50/50 from me.

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Atom Universe is another of those projects with currently unannounced stretch goals and hidden hints of what could come. Atom Universe is a theme park featuring rides and mini-games, as well as advanced social interactions. It’s a virtual reality theme park where your avatar goes to meet friends and do all the same sort of things you would do at a normal Theme Park.

Atom Universe

Some of the ‘advanced social interactions’ include environmental interactions: sit on benches, lean on walls, lie on a bed (steady). Perform actions like dancing, take a pose, and express your emotions via gestures and effects. You can partake in avatar-to-avatar interactions like dancing with your buddy, shake hands, hug, kiss, hold hands, piggyback and a few more. Multiple avatars can also execute synchronized moves as a group: conga line, Mexican wave, line dancing, Macarena, walk like a horde of zombies etc. You will also be able to drive a vehicle, but not just on your own: in Atom Universe, you can hitch a ride too! Any avatar can pick you up in their vehicle and you can just enjoy the ride!

So what makes us confident this could be another campaign with a hidden Xbox One stretch goal? Two things actually. One is simply the fact it is being developed using Unreal Engine 4 and the second is the following statement;

Multi-platform, Atom Universe will not die with the PS4: we can port it to any high-end hardware, and it will out-live the current generation of consoles.

Atom Republic, the developers behind Atom Universe have 16 days left to get their campaign funded. With 101 backers to date they’ve raised just shy of £7,500 of their base goal, £20,000. Atom Republic are based in London and started life releasing content for PlayStation home so it comes as no surprise that Atom Universe is already approved for PlayStation 4.

Atom Universe 1

Likeliness of happening – Atom Republic are looking for KickStarter backers to set-up the initial PC launch with PS4 to follow on from that. It seems they already have financial backers watching them closely to fund further platform releases. This is very likely to hit its base goal of £20,000 and I believe we’ll see this for Xbox One either during the third Quarter of 2015 or early into 2016.

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The Live Escape Game Experience in London!

OK, so a little like the first project we looked at, this one isn’t actually looking for funds to develop a game. Instead the brains behind Enigma Escape are looking for £5,000 to complete the £60,000 they require to start their own business, an attraction in Central London where you can play immersive live escape games. Sam Wai and Hon Ban Lee, the two guys behind are Enigma Escape are cousins and have already poured £55,000 of their life savings into the business.

Enigma Escape

What’s a live escape game? It’s a fun-filled activity based on a video game that you can do with your friends and family. Sam and Hon will lock your team of two to five players in a room, and you must explore your surroundings to find clues and solve puzzles. Your objective is to figure a way out and escape the room – all within 60 minutes. It’s like playing a cooperative video game, but in a real interactive environment. Its great fun for teams of friends, family, colleagues, students – anyone really. It’s great as a “something to do” and even better as a team building exercise. (I am thinking a TiX field trip is in order!)

How does it work then? The two cousins have designed an experience so that everyone will enjoy their visit regardless of whether completing the game or not. Your experience will last up to 90 minutes and follows this structure:

  • Short briefing on the rules of the game.
  • Chapter 1: Watch an intro video for your chosen game.
  • Chapter 2: Play the live escape game.
  • Chapter 3: Watch an ending video for your game (there are at least 2 different endings).
  • Short debriefing on your experience. Take photos and take home your prizes.

London is just a short train ride away from me, I am sold and definitely want to go. There are a number of great Xbox titles over the years that would translate into fantastic live escape experiences. What games would you like to see converted?

https://youtu.be/wvmhNkoZtT8

Likeliness of happening – The business owners have already said this will happen, it will just be a case of when not if.

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TiX crowdfunding spotlight issue #4

crowdfunding-spotlight

Another week is over and with it potentially the dreams of some crowdfunding projects. Welcome to issue #4 of our crowdfunding spotlight. Without any preamble, let’s move on and get right into the news.

Catch-up:

Unfortunately for Albert & Otto, the 2D physics platform we highlighted in Issue #2, it looks like this project won’t be funded. We mentioned last week they were struggling to get off the mark and with 4 days left to go they’ve barely made it passed 10% of their base goal.

A complete none mover since Issue #2 is Hot Armor: Brothers War from ARGAMEDON Studios, the 3D arcade title based on the Ukraine war. Now with 48 hours and counting they are still at £42 of their £3,000 base goal. Unlike other projects that haven’t been funded of late, I’m not upset that this hasn’t met its target.

More upsetting to me though is the cute tale of Hera and Sooky that in Issue #3 I pointed out was struggling with 2 weeks left. Phantamos Studio LLC must have seen the writing on the wall as shortly after we updated you on their progress, the project was cancelled on Kickstarter.

During last week’s spotlight we featured the new RPG from Zenrock Studios LLC looking for $7,500 towards the development of their Sci-Fi title; Wormhole City. Although the initial goal was to ensure the game was funded for PC, it included both Xbox One and PS4 stretch goals. A week since our coverage and things are not looking great for Zenrok. There’s 17 days left on the project and they’ve managed just short of $1,000. Although the project has received 40 backs to date, it seems the average amount pledged is just shy of $25.

Last week we featured Gamer’s Edition; a joint venture between Gamers Network and Idea Planet. Momentum is building (including the number of Twitter followers) and as such the Hotline Miami bundle has reached 50% of its minimum pre-order quantity. They now need just (yes, just!) another 1,258 orders to be placed for production to start. It may seem like a lot but there are still just over 18 days left to get your order in. Unfortunately however, it seems the Papers, Please bundle is going to struggle having barely achieved 15% of the required pre-orders. I still think this concept is fantastic and would encourage each of you to head over to the official website and check out both bundles for yourself.

New this week!

We’ve had a number of press releases land on the TiX desk this week and I’ve sent out the scouting party to search through the various crowdfunding sites out there. Below are our recommendations on what’s worth watching.

Once Bitten, Twice Dead!

I don’t know if I read into things a little too much, but when PR Hound dropped us a line to tell us Dark Day Inc. have launched their Kickstarter campaign for Once Bitten, Twice Dead! I was left a little confused.

Once Bitten, Twice Dead! logo

Once Bitten Twice Dead is a new first-person action game set in an open world with a serious zombie problem! Players get to fight the undead along with and chat to a maximum of 100 other players simultaneously. The cartoon style of the game makes me think of LEGO and apparently accentuates the eyes of undead cannibals hoping to get a bite of your brains.

Features wise this zombierific game is planning to launch bursting with content including a detailed and deadly open world including day and night cycles. Various zombie types including Policemen, Army personnel, fire-fighters, Average Joe’s etc. 15 unique characters to pick from, each with their own skill set and a serious distrust of anything that shuffles around and/or eats human flesh. Over 50 weapons and well over 100+ craft-able items to be used in-game. Both offline and online modes where the later included simultaneous play with up to 100 other people across multiple platforms. Also included is an Infected Mode. The most exciting feature however is the Mod support the developers are building in to allow those who like to tinker to go crazy.

So why was I left feeling confused about this campaign? Dark Day Inc. are looking raise $20,000 AUD to release Once Bitten, Twice Dead! on Wii U, PC, Max and Linux. Yet when you look at the rewards image I clearly see Xbox 360 controllers. You do as well right?

Once Bitten, Twice Dead! rewards image

Likeliness of happening – I’m not convinced about this. Is it just a mistake on their part or could they be hinting at a potential Xbox 360 or even Xbox One release as a future stretch goal target? I guess we’ll need to wait and see.

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Dreaming big with RUMP!

Rump_Logo

I found this little gem over on IndieGoGo much later in the week and immediately I knew it had to be featured. RUMP! Is 3D jump and run game with a focus on speed-running, competition, sick moves and the ultimate multiplayer-mayhem. At least that’s what the developers, Dedication Labs, are telling me.

https://youtu.be/thK0NMmV5Os

You can either decide to seek competition in the international RUMP! leaderboards or punch up your friends and players from around the world in several multiplayer mayhem modes. You race over the dangerous rooftops of Rumptown with a large variety of gadgets and traps to keep the fun and rage off the roof.

In over 50 single-player and various multiplayer maps, RUMP! offers you and your friends a large amount of potential fail, fun moments, chasing action and big time competition! With lots of skins, achievements and different characters, there is a lot to the game to be explored.

The base goal for RUMP! is $50,000 and this will get the game released on PC via Steam. To see this released on Xbox One (and PS4) the developers are looking for a much larger (stretch) target of $200,000.

rump_family

Likeliness of happening – RUMP! has so far done exceedingly well having already been pushed through STEAM Greenlight in just 6 days thanks to thousands of supporters getting behind the campaign. Now on IndieGoGo the campaign has reached just over 30% of its base target with 40 days to go. Personally speaking, I believe with enough support we can and will see this on Xbox One. 80%

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ICY

ICY Logo

My third and final campaign is again from IndieGoGo and is more of a day-dream. Icy is a survival RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world witnessing a new Ice Age. It’s so refreshingly cool to see a new post-apocalyptic title in development that doesn’t include zombies, mutants or Mad Max-esqe gameplay elements.

Narrative driven, ICY puts the player in the role of a nomad family leader fighting for survival in a hostile world. As the leader you’ll be responsible for setting the course the family travel, managing supplies and making the all-important decisions that could be the difference between life and death for those that follow you.

https://youtu.be/-1ysx63X5Rc

The majority of the game will be played via a 2D map (similar to both Fallout and Arcanum) from which the player can hunt in the woods, scavenge old cities searching for something useful, and manage the inventory and the party. All the actions that aren’t really interesting from a narrative point of view will be managed through the map, but Icy is a narrative game and the developers; Inner Void Interactive, have created a proper system to let the player shape his/her own story in the game.

ICY Screenshot

The IndieGoGo campaign however doesn’t have any stretch goals for Xbox 360 or Xbox One development. I decided to include this on basis that we need more original titles like this on our platform. ICY would make, in my opinion, a great addition to the ID@Xbox program although obviously being developed with a mouse and keyboard in mind, we’ve seen more complex controls adapted to Xbox controllers in the past.

Likeliness of happening – The campaign itself has already reached its base funding goal and is now working its way through a variety of stretch goals. The likeliness of this appearing on our favourite console(s) however is pretty much zero. This makes me sad. 10%

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