Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer

Kickstart Your Week: 07/11/12

After a lengthy hiatus, Kickstart Your Week has returned. I’m starting to think I should rename this feature Kickstart Your Month…

As always, I’ve selected a handful of gaming-related projects for your consideration. A surprising number of really interesting projects have sprouted up recently – a welcome reprieve from the dry spell that plagued last month’s installment. You’ve probably all begun eagerly reaching for your wallets, so let’s begin.

Defense Grid 2

Defense Grid: The Awakening was a tower defense game released through Steam in 2008. Although a budget title, the production value was exceptional, and the game managed to present a surprisingly competent plot in a genre generally bereft of narrative of any sort. The creators, Hidden Path Entertainment, are now fishing for a sequel.

The goal of $250 000 seems doable – it’s only been a few days and the pledges have already hit $50 000. A $15 pledge will score you a full copy of the game. Given how acclaimed the original was, I say go for it.

The Bestiary of the Curiously Odd

Here’s a curious one. RKDN Studios is developing a bestiary for pen-and-paper games with a twist: the monsters in the book will be designed by fans who have pledged money to the project. A donation of $75 will allow you to submit a single monster idea that will then be illustrated and published in the book.

If you’re an aspiring game designer you probably won’t mind footing the bill, but the rest of us can grab a paperback copy of the book for the much more reasonable price of $25. The project has already hit its modest $999 goal as well, so there’s no risk involved.

OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console

Thanks to Those Guys for bringing this one to my attention.

A company in Los Angeles is attempting to bring their concept for a new video game console to life. Historically this has never been a great idea unless your company’s name is Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo, and the claim that OUYA will be “a new kind of video game console” ominously echoes similar sentiments made by Phantom Entertainment years back.

The console scores points for having an operating system built on Android, but I honestly can’t recommend propping this thing up. Dance games and other gimmicky motion-control ordeals are the driving force behind console sales these days; anyone who wants a new video game experience is already getting it on their PC.

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By Mathew
Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer