Author: Andrew Rainnie - UK Correspondent

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.

Kickstart This! Consortium: The Tower, Dragon of Legends, Wandersong

Hello, readers, and welcome back! Let’s blast off in a big way with the first Kickstart This! of 2016. Although January is typically the month people are digging behind the sofa cushions for any spare change, now that payday has passed, a number of smart game developers and studios have recently launched campaigns. By sheer coincidence, all of our choices in this edition come from Canada. First up, we have what is deemed “an immersive sci-fi simulation” with Consortium: The Tower from Interdimensional Games Inc. Next, there’s the Celtic-and-Norse-themed action RPG Dragon of Legends by Thrive Games. Last but not least, there’s whimsical side-scrolling musical adventure Wandersong.

Oh, Canada… (more…)

Posted in Features, Mobile, PC, PS4, Top Story, Xbox One |

Kickstart This! Deserted, Wanda: A Beautiful Apocalypse, Night City Assault

Kickstarter recently released a long-awaited Fulfillment Report, an independent analysis of its crowdfunding activities by Professor Ethan Mollick of the University of Pennsylvania. While the report contains a lot of interesting data, the number many media outlets are focusing on is the 9% failure rate of fully-funded projects. The report has this to say about the numbers:

Is a 9% failure rate reasonable for a community of people trying to bring creative projects to life? We think so, but we also understand that the risk of failure may deter some people from participating. We respect that. We want everyone to understand exactly how Kickstarter works — that it’s not a store, and that amid creativity and innovation there is risk and failure.

Let’s look at this another way. 91% of projects across all categories succeed and deliver. What industry can say that? There is an old adage in the film industry that mentions that 7 out of 10 features lose money, two break even, and one film makes enough money to cover the loss. This is almost the opposite.

Personally I have yet to support a successful project, video game related or otherwise, that has not delivered after receiving my funds (or at least been on course to do so). Yes, I practise what I preach and donate on crowdfunding sites. I recently had an update from lead developer James Fletcher about his long-gestating project Knite and the Ghost Lights. In a nutshell, he had to put the project on hiatus to work for six months so he could support his family and then return to the game. Despite waiting longer than I thought I would for the game, James’ commitment to do six months of commercial work in order to realise his dream keeps my faith alive in the crowdfunding community. There are people out there who seek to con others, but that’s why we have columns like Kickstart This!

So what games are we urging you to back this time around? We start off with RPG action-adventure Deserted, before shining a light on not one but two games from Australia. The first is cutesy robot puzzler Wanda: A Beautiful Apocalypse, while the second is the Streets of Rage-inspired RPG beat ‘em up Night City Assault. (more…)

Posted in Features, Mobile, PC, PS4, Top Story, Vita, Wii U, Xbox One |

Kickstart This! The Nullpoint, Cold Blooded, Grey Night, Failsafe

Good day Warp Zoned readers young and old, and welcome to another re-launch of our Kickstart This! feature, where we direct your bedazzled eyes to our top picks currently duking it out on the crowdfunding platform for cash, credit, and respect.

“But didn’t you relaunch a short while ago?” I hear you cry. And yes, yes we did, but the weekly format felt forced and oversaturated by games picked simply because they had launched. Even though there are over 600 gaming projects currently live at the moment, we try and pick ones that we as gamers want to play. But we’re also journalists, so we want to highlight projects that have gone the extra mile. But there is no secret recipe that defines the term “extra” here. It could be a development team’s unbridled passion, a unique gaming experience, or something that just tickles our taste buds. Whatever it is, it gets us really excited, and, we won’t lie, there are simply not enough projects that do this to justify a weekly post.

So instead we’re switching to two posts a month, a happy medium between the old and new formats. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, PS4, Top Story, Xbox One |

Kickstart This! Anniversary Interview: Holden Boyles Talks About Qora

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Spirit, as it was known then, featured in in March 2014’s Guinness Aftermath Edition of Kickstart This! At the time, the project managed to earn $10,692, more than double its $4,000 initial goal. Since then, it underwent a title change to Qora, and was released soon after in October 2014, making it one of the quickest turnarounds for a Kickstarter campaign I’ve ever seen.

We caught up with creative mind behind Qora, Holden Boyles, to discuss his game, as well as other projects he has funded through the crowdfunding platform. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, Top Story | Tagged




Kickstart This! Anniversary Interview: Chewing the Fat With Bacon Man Director Neal Laurenza

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It is perhaps somewhat ironic that Bacon Man appeared in July 2014’s Common Creative Wealth Edition of Kickstart This! While athletes from around the world competed in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the developers at Skymap Games were hard at work campaigning for their project, which stars an anthropomorphized version of the fatty foodstuff in a surreal Earthworm Jim-style platformer. The game achieved its funding target of $20,000 (with an extra $1,280 to spare), and is expected to be released for the PC and Xbox One before the end of the year.

Neal Laurenza, Managing Director at Skymap, recently sat down with us to share a slab of bacon and to discuss Bacon Man. While we pondered if the breakfast staple proves the existence of God, we also talked about the game’s Kickstarter campaign, how bad emails can do good things, and other sizzling topics. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, Top Story, Xbox One | Tagged

Kickstart This! Anniversary Interview: Bendik Stang of Snowcastle Games Takes A Turn to Talk About Earthlock: Festival of Magic

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Earthlock: Festival of Magic was one of those rare Kickstarter projects that immediately grabbed our attention with its strong, colourful art direction, firm sense of genre, and polished gameplay. Its ambition was only matched by the passion of small Norwegian outfit Snowcastle Games, who, with only a couple of games under its belt, sought $150,000 to make a huge RPG for both PC gamers as well as the new generation of consoles. Originally featured in March 2014’s Guinness Aftermath Edition of Kickstart This!, Earthlock: Festival of Magic is expected to be released for the PC, PS4, Wii U, and Xbox One later this year.

We caught up with Bendik Stang, Snowcastle’s Game Director, earlier this year to talk about the team’s progress from campaign to nearly-finished product, as well as their experience at the 2015 Game Developers Conference. He even shared two brand new pieces of concept art with us… (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, PS4, Top Story, Wii U, Xbox One | Tagged

Kickstart This! Third Anniversary Celebration

Three years of Kickstart This! have come and gone, and I thought we would celebrate this milestone in Warp Zoned’s history by looking back at some of the games that have graced the series, from the lucky projects that found success with the help of contributors, to those who missed the mark. (more…)

Posted in Features, Top Story |

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 (more…)

Posted in Features, Mobile, PC, Top Story |