Kickstart This! Soul Keepers, XO, The Wizards of Trinity Bellwoods

It’s been a hair over three years since we published the first edition of Kickstart This! here at Warp Zoned. In anticipation of the July 30th anniversary, we got in contact with many of the developers behind the campaigns we highlighted in these last three years. We figured now was a good time to find out what happened to the successful developers and if the failed campaigns were able evolve into something else (or were simply never meant to be). So look out for a wide array of features and articles coming in August.

But before that birthday bash, let us turn our attentions to three fantastic new games vying for your cash. This time we have haunting action RPG Soul Keepers, space RTS XO, and lastly, the quirky Toronto-based The Wizards of Trinity Bellwoods.

Let’s keep those hipsters at bay! Um, that will make more sense later

Project: Soul Keepers
Genre: Action RPG
Platforms: PC (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Funding Target: $15,000 CAD

What Is It?
Soul Keepers is a fast-paced 2D action RPG that has its feet buried firmly in the era of the Super NES. Players will explore the mystical land of Eastbourne (not to be confused with the English tourist town of the same name), battling deadly foes, exploring forgotten ruins, and unearthing powerful treasures that will aid you on your quest.

And death. Lots and lots of death. Like Dark Souls levels of death. But through every death comes insight into how to defeat your enemies.

Why Fund It?
Despite the project campaign being a little rough around the edges, the idea of playing an SNES-era RPG that essentially fuses the Zelda series with Dark Souls is too good an opportunity to pass up. Quebec-based outfit Blue Moth Studio is keeping tight-lipped about the storyline, but the fact that it involves time travel immediately conjures up memories of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The teaser music composed by Michael Anderson, especially the haunting melodies, really makes the game stand out.

Best Rewards?

  • Digital copy of the game (early bird limited to 100) – $10 CAD
  • Digital copy of the game, digital PDF manual, and digital wallpaper- $15 CAD
  • Previous rewards plus name in credits and beta access – $25 CAD
  • Previous rewards plus a digital soundtrack and art book (limited to 200) – $35 CAD
  • Previous rewards plus a t-shirt (limited to 250) – $60 CAD
  • Previous rewards plus a poster and the opportunity to design a monster for the game (limited to 20) – $200 CAD
  • Previous rewards plus all physical rewards, including soundtrack, art book, poster, t-shirt (limited to 20) – $500 CAD

Project: XO
Genre: Space RTS
Platforms: PC (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Funding Target: $40,000

What Is It?
Jumpdrive Studios’s game is inspired largely by Battlestar Galactica, specifically the first season. The parallels are uncanny; commanding a ragtag fleet of ships as they venture through space pursued by an unbeatable enemy. The game has not only used the premise, but also captured the show’s dramatic essence. Enemies come from within as well as through external forces, and players are forced to hunt down saboteurs and traitors while fleeing the real enemy at the same time. Players must also make decisions about how long to stay in one place, while trying to ration supplies and gather new resources.

Why Fund It?
In addition to the great premise, XO’s wireframe art style lends itself to the idea that players are watching the action on a screen in a command centre. The use of bright neon colours to highlight risks and objects gives it a real sci-fi feel, while the simple, yet intuitive, interface makes for fast, adrenaline pumping gameplay. If that is not enough, XO was also featured on the Square Enix Collective, where 76% of users said they would support a crowdfunding campaign for it.

Best Rewards?

  • Digital copy of the game – $10
  • Digital copy of the game, plus beta access and your name in the credits- $15
  • Previous rewards plus a digital soundtrack and XO Protocol Guide (limited to 1000) – $20 ($25 otherwise)
  • Previous rewards plus name a character, ship, or planet – $49
  • Previous rewards plus alpha access and an in-game ship variant – $75
  • Previous rewards plus an XO Battleship t-shirt – $149
  • Previous rewards plus a 3D printed Battleship model – $299
  • Previous rewards plus write an in-game story event – $700

Project: The Wizards of Trinity Bellwoods
Genre: 2.5D Side-Scrolling RPG
Platforms: Mobile (iOS, Android)
Funding Target: $15,000 CAD

What Is It?
Our second Canadian game of the week wears its roots on its sleeves. Trinity Bellwoods is a real park in Toronto, which game developer Chris de Castro would have us believe is being overrun by litterbug hipsters. That is where the Wizards come in, townsfolk who clean up the park, avoiding the disruptive hipsters and selling the dropped cans for cash.

Why Fund It?
The game is an intriguing experiment that mixes simple gameplay with a real-life historical narrative about the park itself and themes that are common in all cities – urbanization, gentrification, recycling, and the use of public space. Those who live in Toronto will find it incredibly interesting, while others who have only visited the city may also wish to learn more about the subculture scene of Trinity Bellwoods through the medium of video games. The game will be free-to-play, and players can try out a demo right now.

Best Rewards?

  • Credit in the game – $10 CAD
  • Digital soundtrack and ringtones from the game – $15 CAD
  • Your facial likeness as one of the wizards (limited to 250) – $25 CAD ($40 otherwise)
  • Full body likeness in the game (limited to 50) OR add your pet to the game (limited to 20) – $120 CAD
  • Add a custom activity to your in-game character (limited to 20) – $240 CAD
  • Add three friends to the game (limited to 10) – $300 CAD

Until Next Time…
That’s it for another week. As of yesterday, Kickstart This! turned three years old! We’ll be celebrating the crowdfunding movement with some articles and interviews with developers we have featured in the past, to see how their projects fared, and what they are planning for the future.

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In addition to being Warp Zoned's UK Correspondent, Andrew Rainnie is a screenwriter and filmmaker. You can email him at andrew AT warpzoned DOT com or you can, if you're inclined, visit his personal website.

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