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GARPA – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #10

by Dan Pinkham and Lloyd Sabin, 18 January, 2013

It’s Friday right? It better be or the code monkey is going to get it even worse this time, I swear it.*

*Code Monkey would like to note that receiving the file in a format that doesn't involve manually locating, downloading, and inserting images would make the appearance of GARPA far more punctual on any day.

 

Welcome to GARPA’s new regularly scheduled time slot! We’ll be here until the network says the ratings have gone down and we aren’t making them any money. You know, the usual.

What’s that you say? We aren’t earning anyone any money? We aren’t getting paid for this?? Crap. Now would be the time to cancel that really expensive order we put in for … never mind.

… Live from GrogHeads’ forced labor camp, we would like to bring you this week’s top crowd funded projects! Hit it, Paul [Schaefer]!

 

Board Games

Hegemonic – 4X Space Board Game by Minion Games

$40,262 of a $30,000 goal funding ending February 4th

What’s not to love about 4X games, with all that exploring, expanding, exploiting and, of course, the exterminating! What’s the only thing that can make such a game better? Well, doing it all in space, that’s what!

While most of the 4X games we know are digital in nature, Minion Games brings us Hegemonic, a 4X space boardgame. The game, which can be scaled for 2-6 players, can be played in 30 to 45 minutes per player. Each player takes control of a Great House and works to gain, you guessed it, hegemony.

What makes Hegemonic different from other 4X games is while it contains the tried and true mechanics of industry, politics, and warfare, all of these factors contribute to the player’s economy and power which can then be used to purposely disadvantage your opponents. All of this is done over a modular board system representing the game’s galaxy.

Within each turn there is an exploration phase, three action phases, and an arbitration phase. During these phases players use cards in their hands and sector tiles to achieve dominance for their Great House. Heard enough? Then head over to the project page to see some game play videos and download a copy of the instructions.

garpa

 

 

garpaRivet Wars by CoolMiniOrNot

$226,272 of a $25,000 goal funding ending February 4th

As you can tell from the numbers above, Rivet Wars is already a huge success and the game isn’t even out yet. I have to let the project speak for itself when it is billed as “a new miniatures RTS inspired boardgame…walking tanks, crazy artillery and cool characters battle in the trenches!” Okay I’m sold, where do I sign up?

The comical steampunkishness (is that a word? If not the GH lawyers need to lock that one down) look belies the destructive nature of the game. With combat reminiscent of World War I, Rivet Wars uses an assortment of ahistorical technology that includes “walking tanks, diesel powered armor, unicycled vehicles and armor plated cavalry!”

While a strategy game at its core, Rivet Wars also includes the RTS element of resource gathering in the form of bunkers and capture points, in order to deploy more units onto the battle field. The game is played on modular tiles which are used to create different battlefields. Each player has secret missions which upon successful completion earn victory points.

The miniatures shipped with the game are very nicely detailed but come unpainted. However, that is nothing that can’t be remedied with some time and uh…paint. To see some of the miniatures painted or to support the game, check out the Rivet Wars Kickstarter page.

 

 

 

 

Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls by Richard Loomis

$60,468 of a $26,000 goal funding ending February 5th

garpaTunnels & Trolls (T&T) is not new to the RPG scene. In fact it was first published in 1975 near the beginning of the role-playing renaissance. Since that time T&T has produced eight editions with a plethora of adventures and supplements. T&T was seen back in the day as an alternative to D&D and gave role-players a new world of possibilities. Apparently, they did something right because after 37 years the game is alive and well and they are now releasing a deluxe addition via Kickstarter.

Keeping everything that works from previous editions, the original T&T team is back to produce the best one yet. The deluxe edition will include new rules for character creation, character development and new personas.

Also included will be the fully fleshed out original T&T setting, Trollworld. This edition will still support pervious adventures and supplements as well as long term campaigns. Even if you do not have a group to play with, T&T will still support the exciting solitaire play of previous editions. Feeling a bit nostalgic or want to see what all the fuss is about? Then head over to T&T’s project page.

 

Cactus Air Force by GMT Games

Orders to Date – 895 Made the Cut – In Art and Final Development

The Cactus Air Force is the nickname given to the Allied air power that operated out of Guadalcanal’s Henderson Field beginning in August of 1942. Cactus Air Force from GMT Games covers the early days of this unit and is based on the raid style air combat of games like Downtown and Elusive Victory.

What sets Cactus Air Force apart is that it is specifically designed for solitaire play. Two 45 day campaigns will ship with the game and the missions are driven by two 55 card decks. The player can test their skill in a historical game or use a random sequence of cards.

Not only will players have to execute air combat but will be faced with many role-playing elements such as resource management, pilot rosters, fatigue, combat ratings, aircraft maintenance and more.

If you think you have what it takes to lead the Cactus Air Force in the defense of Guadalcanal, then head over to GMT and pre-order your copy today.

garpa

 

 

Digital Games

Wildman by Gas Powered Games

$148,483 pledged of $1,100,000 goal, funding ends Friday February 15

garpaContrary to what the title may lead you to believe, this new RTS game is not centered around our very own Grogheads Editor-in-Chief Jim Zabek. Yet. Right now the game has some pretty simple lynchpins:

• Warfare – players will build armies and fight opposing forces in different varieties of war zones.

• Exploration – the RPG component of Wildman will offer dungeoneering and raids against hordes of monsters for players to discover and equip new weapons and armor combinations.

• Evolution – technology can be taken from defeated enemies for use in the future.

• Destruction – advanced physics coupled with destructible environments result in satisfying, brutal combat.

The game centers around one player-controlled hero: the “Wildman” himself. With the Wildman, the player supports his own army with combat skills and abilities, weapon upgrades, and territorial defenses. When your Wildman isn’t taking on the enemy, he is spelunking in caves, discovering tons of loot and items on his own, furthering his technological and defensive capabilities.

All of this in-game action will be done while Jeremy Soule’s new soundtrack pulsates in the background. Soule wrote the soundtracks for other Gas Powered Games like Total Annihilation, Dungeon Siege, and Supreme Commander, as well as Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights and Dawn of War…not a bad pedigree.

Besides Chris Taylor, who is synonymous with Gas Powered Games, there is a giant stable of gaming talent behind Wildman, including some of the best game designers, engineers, and artists in the industry. They are using Kickstarter to make Wildman a ‘game of the people’…leaving specific parts of the game architecture open for the crowd to request what they want from the game. It’s not too much of a pipe dream to request that our own Jim Zabek get at least a supporting role. So get on Kickstarter and get requestin’!

 

Akaneiro –Demon Hunters by American McGee

$86,872 pledged of $200,000 goal, funding ends Saturday February 2

Akaneiro is planned as a free to play action RPG with Japanese flavor based on the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Basically it’s freaky-deaky like the rest of American McGee’s game portfolio. The open beta is available here. Of course my opening statement may have you scratching your head and begging the question: “If the game’s set to be free-to-play why should I put my cash forward on Kickstarter right now?” That is a good question.

garpaAmerican McGee states that with the PC and Mac versions of Akaneiro ready for launch, the game still feels a bit unfinished. And to have the game truly ready, he wants to add more features…around $200K worth. Not enough to separate you from your money? Perhaps the below description will make you that much more willing to pay.

Akaneiro is set in a pre-modern, mythical Japan on an island called Yomi. It will sprinkle in the storyline of Little Red Riding Hood just to throw us all a curveball and McGee promises fast-paced but deep melee combat, character building, and a variety of gaming missions. Beyond that, he also promises to constantly update and expand Akaneiro with monthly updates available as DLC.

Obviously those are only core features. The Kickstarter campaign is being set up to develop an Android and iOS tablet version, co-op multiplayer, equipment crafting system, and improved community support. There is also a host of other features that McGee wants to see in the final version of Akaneiro to flesh it out.

McGee, through Spicy Horse Games, is fully backing Akaneiro as a long-term project with dozens of future missions planned as DLC. The Kickstarter campaign will also be used to maintain the independence of McGee and Spicy Horse Games. Simply put, if you are the type that enjoys Japanese myth, demon exorcising, swordplay, and a kooky combination of actual history and storytelling, Akaneiro may be right up your stone-paved, bamboo choked, creepy-in-a-non-descript-anime-sort-of-way alley.

 

 

Neocolonialism: Ruin Everything by Seth Alter, Subaltern Games

$5,581 pledged of $10,000 goal, funding ends Saturday, February 2

Some games can be way too serious. I like a good dose of sarcasm in games as well as in everything else. So does Seth Alter and he is making it clear that just because you are playing as The Man in Neocolonialism doesn’t mean that you can’t be bitingly sarcastic while you do it.

While playing as an anonymous leader of cogs, in between bouts of hilarious wit, you can also:

• Buy votesgarpa

• Buy elections

• Exploit working stiffs

• Set up free trade agreements

• Twist the arm of the International Monetary Fund to your advantage

• Establish off shore bank accounts to hide your laundered cash

The game is played on a world map that is upside-down, and the main goal is to negotiate your way to the top through skullduggery and finances instead of force.

Sound engaging? Hold that thought, because Alter states that players should feel uncomfortable playing as the bad guys and has designed the game to elicit that sense of discomfort. There’s a definite ideology and belief behind Neocolonialism to go along with the sarcasm, so consider yourself warned.

There is a free demo available here and the core game is already done: the Kickstarter funding is being used again here to flesh the game out and complete the set of features that Alter wants to see. Alter estimates he will have a final version of the game ready for release by August 2013 unless he suddenly disappears and is never heard from again.

 

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