Where has the time gone? Issue #8 of the TiX crowdfunding spotlight is here. This week’s edition (written while listening to this week’s ThisisXbox Podcast) focuses on two unique titles; IZLE an action-adventure RPG from Area Effect and HUSH a challenging action-adventure video game about our childhood fears from London-based Game Studio 78. First, it’s time to catch up on the projects we’ve been following.
It seems the momentum has almost come to a complete stop for Dedication Lab and their campaign; RUMP! The last time we checked in with these guys they had only managed to raise an extra $300, seven days later and they’ve only managed to raise another $200 or so taking them to a grand total of $14,752. At this rate we’ll be unlikely to see RUMP! make it to the $50,000 grand total they require.
Once Bitten Twice Dead! is the zombie first-person title from Dark Day Inc. I’m honestly gutted to report that funding was unsuccessful on Kickstarter. The campaign only managed to raise $734 AUD towards their goal of $20,000 AUD. Since the project failed, they haven’t posted any updates, but we wish Dark Day Inc. all the best and look forward to hearing what’s next from them.
Near Future Fiction writer, Henry L. Sullivan III wants to bring American Father’s Podcast to as many listeners as possible. Steve Downes (the voice of Master Chief) is one of the many high-profile voice actors involved in this Kickstarter project. Unluckily for Sullivan and Downes, the project has failed to attract the attention it deserved. The campaign failed to come close to the $30,000 it required barely making it to $3,000.
Outward from Nine Dots is the Adventure Life Sim as featured in last week’s issue. It seems there is just as much interest in this game as I had hoped for. With 21 days still to go, the campaign has attracted 543 backers pledging $34,083 CAD towards the $150,000 target. They’ve been attracting quite a bit of attention of online media outlets these last few days, so make sure you don’t miss out on backing this unique project. Visit the Kickstarter page here to learn more and pledge.
Finally, but by no means least is Frizzy, the indie title already approved for Xbox One and 70% complete. The team behind this classic platformer are looking to raise the last $3,000 required to cover all the final release fees. With 21 days to go Frizzy has found itself 14 backers with $226 towards the total. Please do check out this small, bizarre little title and support it with anything you have.
New this week!
Izle is a 3D procedural action-adventure RPG where your quest is to rebuild the last world of Light using Godlike terraforming powers. Izle will target Steam (PC, Mac and Linux) and consoles, but most importantly for us; Xbox One! The team behind Izle have already secured a pre-agreement with Microsoft including free developer kits to make Izle the best it can possibly be.
So what is Izle? Entire kingdoms and islands will be created or shattered based on your gameplay decisions. The landscape of Izle will reflect your actions in unprecedented ways. The freedom of terraforming allows us the player to acquire powers and use them to create procedurally-generated islands filled with rolling hills, daunting castles, treacherous volcanoes, underground ice caves, and sprawling dungeons. Real-time combat means fast paced melee and ranged action, interspersed with magical spells. A new item ability system allows players to create their own specialised character builds and capitalising on a truly destructible world, with every blade of grass, tree, hill and mountain being destructible, there are 100’s of hours of fun to be had. We’ll be presented with a vast, unique world to uncover, but will also have many exciting ways to go about exploring it; digging, climbing, swinging, swimming, flying and more to travel through the world we’ve created to discover all the wonder and mysteries that await.
Izle is the last world of Light. The remnant of a long ago war. A solitary island lost in the depth of space and protected merely by a luminous shell that seems only too fragile. Your world was consumed and for years you search for what could become your new home. As you take your first glimpse of Izle, your own unique story begins, as this lost paradise will become what you decide to make of it. But the Shadows that destroyed your world are trying to invade Izle and confrontation approaches, but is that really why you’re here? Izle’s mysteries, fragmented into a thousand islands, will draw your attention from the distant stars to your own very decisions.
The team behind Izle are extremely proud to be working and collaborating with Clément Péres (@mindthings), a French composer who’s created more than an hour of original music for the game. Between the low polys and the richness of a breathing world, between the synthetic and the symphonic, each of his tracks integrates perfectly with the game. You can listen to some of his music here:
Izle, as do all well thought out Kickstarter campaigns, has a great set of reward tiers for backers. The lowest tier at $14 will ensure you receive a copy of the game on your platform of choice (STEAM, PSN, Wii U eShop or Xbox One) but the reward that stands out the most is a hardback book with some truly stunning artwork included. The Izle Physical Artbook (Tier Izle Artbook) will be created at the end of development and will be a high-quality physical print. It will group all sorts of content: high quality illustrations, screenshots, early concepts, character designs, items, icons, glyphs, design sheets, music sheets, technical notes, and anything else the developers think would spark our interest. And, of course, it will be signed by the whole team.
At this moment in time there are no stretch goals as part of the project, it is a little too soon for that. The money raised will give the developers, Area Effect, the ability to hire artists (whom they’ve previously worked with) and enable them to do what they love: making 3D models, 2D art, music, sound effects, voice-overs etc. etc. So, how much are Area Effect looking for? The answer is a large $90,000. With 12 days to go and 529 backers already standing behind them they’ve managed to raise $17,666, quite a bit short from where they need to be.
Likeliness of happening: To make Izle a reality the team at Area Effect need to ramp up their campaign, and to help this along they’ve released a demo for PC and MAC. You can download it here. Time is against them, but the concept is one that’s unique and interesting. With a little support they could still raise what is required.
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Ready to face your fears?
London based Game Studio 78, or GS78 as they like to be referred as, is made up of just 13 team members. They’ve recently launched this particular campaign on Kickstarter which is really worth checking out, and could definitely do with your support.
Hush draws its inspiration from fears, particularly those we have all experienced in some way or another when we were children. Hush is the story of Ashlyn, as she finds herself in an orphanage that time forgot, surrounded by blood freezing phobias that will try to absorb her into oblivion. Your goal is to help Ashlyn face these fears, and then use them to your advantage in order to escape from this nightmarish place. During this journey you’ll find yourself roaming through all sorts of environments capable of bringing out your innermost phobias. You’ll also be getting help from the inhabitants of this establishment, simply called The Forgotten. These little figures will tell you all about the suffering they’ve been through as victims of The Fears, while giving you hints on what awaits you.
Hush is already approved for and will be released on Xbox One, PS4, Wii U as well as Steam for Linux, Mac and PC. Developed using the Unity 5 Engine the Xbox One version will be released a short time after the game launches on Steam. But already pre-approved and a good deal way through development, Game Studio 78 are looking for an October release, this year!
While playing Hush, the player will face several obstacles as they progress through the levels. These obstacles take the form of monsters, puzzles and spatial hazards. Each monster has different attacks and motion patterns, behaving accordingly to their profile and the specific chapter they belong to. Each chapter will end with a confrontation against a final boss –a representation of the fear said chapter is based on.
Ashlyn will rely on toys to help her overcome the fears and obstacles in her way. As you start with Hush, you’ll be reliant on GoGo, Ashlyn’s best friend. GoGo is suited to melee combat best, so you’ll soon need to explore and find new toys to help. For instance there is the Firefly Flask which emits a powerful light that stuns all the enemies around Ashlyn and damages dark creatures. Used with GoGo, enemies can be more easily defeated from stunned status.
The unique concept of Hush is that you’ll be experiencing a compelling story with an intricate plot that explores different kinds of fear: the “Fear of the Dark”, “Fear of Thunder” and “Fear of Ghosts”. In the Fear of Thunder chapter we’ll be pitted against the energetic automatons of the Power House. These are creatures that harvest energy and are highly volatile in nature. This chapter tells the story of Nikolai, the groundskeeper of the orphanage whose ambition was to create life. Nikolai built robots from all types of junk that he found in the orphanage and managed to give them life. Ashlyn will try to find the reason behind the strange things happening in this level, the robots who have been given life… and why thunders bring about such loud noises.
Game Studio 78 want to make these fears come alive when playing Hush. One of the key elements to ensuring this happens comes down to sound. We’ll be hearing indistinguishable whispers coming from all around you, or the thunder suddenly crumbling through the silence. On the soundtrack you can expect some spooky themes, which create suspense and raise your heartbeat. Hellish strings, bone-like marimbas and weeping synthesizers will play catchy melodies that will follow you along your path.
Because production is so far along and the team at GS78 have been at this quite a while, they’ve come up with a great selection of rewards and stretch goals. That said the initial target is quite a whopping £99,000 to finish production including staff costs, physical rewards and other production costs. However if the team manage to reach this they’ve already setup 3 stretch goals; £125,000 will see GS78 working on a DLC called ‘Spiders Den, £150,000 will be DLC called West-Wing with 2 new fears and £200,000 will see the team complete a third piece of DLC including 3 new fears and an exclusive ‘Hush Making off’.
Likeliness of happening: The Kickstarter campaign is unfortunately not doing well. With just 14 days left to run they’ve raised just £939 towards the initial goal of £99,000. That said, this is a team that have invested their own money into the development of Hush since day one. With so much thought put into the marketing, concept, design and the Kickstarter itself, I don’t see them rolling over and leaving this unfinished just because the Kickstarter doesn’t work. Will the Kickstarter be successful? It doesn’t look that way. I still believe we’ll see Hush on Xbox One, it’ll just take longer than planned.
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