The Gadgets And Games Of Kickstarter – 15th April 2013 Edition
Perhaps you haven’t heard, but there is this nifty website called Kickstarter where people can pledge to support projects that they’re interested in. Little things – like Android game consoles, eInk watches, and high-budget video games.
Each Kickstarter is its own drama representing the hopes and dreams of at least one person. Will it succeed? Will it fail ? Will it become a media sensation? It’s impossible to know before the money starts flooding in – or doesn’t So pop some popcorn and grab your mouse. We’ve got some Kickstarters to watch.
I’m sure that some jaws hit the floor when this project was announced. It’s a new MMO concept under development by City State Entertainment, a new studio co-founded by MMO legend Mark Jacobs. He was heavily involved with the popular PvP game Dark Age Of Camelot before moving on to the unsuccessful Warhammer Online. Now he’s ready to give the genre another go with an ambitious project that asks for a whopping two million dollars. And you know what? After a week, Camelot Unchained is over halfway there.
Flowstorm is a racing game with a unique twist. Instead of putting you in a car on a track, the game focuses on spaceships and tightly knit courses that aren’t linear. Your goal, as a player, is to navigate these courses as quickly as possible while also avoiding traps and hazards. The game aims to offer longevity through challenge (much like Super Meat Boy and VVVVVV) and will include multiple goals to spice up gameplay. For example, once you’re happy with your speed-run, you can go back and try to complete the level using as little fuel as possible. Flowstorm has a modest $50,000 goal and about three weeks left to meet it.
Over the last month and a half we’ve been following Guardian, a router project that is still on our contender’s list. The problem with that project is its $358,000 goal, so someone has come along with a similar project that asks only $75,000. Skydog, like Guardian, aims to craft a router that pairs with an intuitive mobile app that can change network status, block specific websites or track usage. The lower goal seems to have earned Skydog some love, as it’s already matched the funding received by Guardian despite the fact it’s been live for just a couple days.
This is a real nail-biter. Duo, a project which aims to craft a high-performance 3D camera which is affordable and accessible to do-it-yourself types, currently sits at just over $50,000 of its $110,000 goal. There’s just less than two weeks to go, so the project has just less than half of its funding now that it’s halfway through. If you’re interested in the idea, go pledge – your money could make or break the project!
The long, slow saga of Guardian is almost at an end. The project hopes to create a revolutionary Wi-Fi router which can be easily controlled from a smartphone app. But its creators stumbled by asking for an incredible $358,000 and giving the project a two-month timespan. Currently, funding sits at under $50,000 with less than 10 days to go.
Picsu is a power supply that inserts into a PC’s optical drive bay. It doesn’t supply power to the PC, but instead supplies power from it – which can then be used for low-power hobbyist and enthusiast electronics. Combined with custom software to manage the power supply, Picsu looks like a decent tool, but perhaps a niche one, as the project has managed only $1,200 of its absurdly small $5,200 goal.
This project was an attempt to create a portable scanner that takes advantage of your smartphone. Just set it up, place your phone into the stand, and scan away! The project died at less than $5,000 of its $50,000 goal, however, so it appears FOPYDO failed to inspire. MakeUseOf reader Garris Rugo pointed out that a similar project, Scandy, was successful late last year – which probably robbed FOPYDO of its thunder.
What was that noise? Ah, it was just the sound of Prizm landing well short of its $200,000 goal. This project hoped to create a convenient home automation hub that would work with multiple devices and could be controlled by touch, smartphone or tablet. This idea has been tried by several projects over Kickstarter’s history, and most have met a brick wall. Activity on the Kickstarter’s comment section indicates Prizm will go forward at a smaller scale.
I’m personally sad that this project didn’t make its goal because I pledged to it. The idea strikes a chord with the table-top gamer in me. Unfortunately, the project – which was launched to help Sandboxr afford a new industrial-grade 3D printer – reached only $23,082 of its $125,000 goal. The start-up plans to continue, but its full launch will be delayed in the search for more traditional funding.
Smush wins! This affordable SMS automation box for small businesses already had half of its goal when we first reported on it and now, with a week left, the project is $7,000 above its $20,000 target. Backers who pledge $225 or more will get early access to Smushbox. That’s great if you’re a small business – you’ll be able to send automated SMS notifications, such as receipts and confirmation messages, like those usually received only from a major corporation.