So I found out about this game just a second ago, and of course had to take a peek at it. You see this game falls firmly into the category of Independently Developed, and here, at Altered Confusion, we want to help out as much as possible, especially if they actually have a demo to play (Click here to download). If you do download the game you will find that there's definitely some polish to it. Now of course there's also a very fast ramp up in difficulty as well, but I'm sure that through trial and error, and a little strategy you'll find your way through this game. Now of course the music being played doesn't hurt to have going, especially if you're like me and have to restart a lot.
As you might have guessed by the title of the article, this is a KickStarter Project, so here's the KickStarter Video for you to Enjoy:
So let's get right into it, shall we. First off as a once upon a time programmer, and somewhat of an OCD person, I'm going to say that there were a couple of things that bothered me about this demo. Now of course I can't speak on the game as a whole as they are still developing it, but I can talk about the demo portion of this project. Okay so you are going to have a reflective steel ball at your disposal to try to navigate through the paths, twists, and turns of the game. It's probably just me, but since the ball is a reflective surface it SHOULD take into effect all that is around it. The problem is that the ball only reflects what I'm assuming is the skybox back onto the ball. That means that no matter how you twist and turn in the game you are always going to have that 50 percent sky and 50 percent skyscraper/cityscape present on the ball. To me that takes me out of the game.
Now I do like the fact that there are checkpoints in the harder levels, they have saved me from having to constantly hope I can at least make it so far into a level without screwing up again. The controls (I just used a controller) felt solid as well. Sure the ball sometimes got away from me and flew down to the cityscape, but that was my own fault not paying attention to the velocity of the ball and not moving the level around fast enough. You see you are controlling the orientation of the board, and the ball reacts to that, you do not control the ball. This of course makes the game quite challenging, and definitely makes you want to play as close attention as possible.
Alright so at this point you are either on board and want to kickstart this or perhaps you need to know a little bit more about the rewards, and for that I give you the following:
$5: The Highest of Fives: Be immortalized as a backer in the credits$10: Early Bird: Digital Download of the Game, plus name in the credits$25: Audible Backer: High-quality digital copy of the soundtrack, plus all previous rewards$35: Very Audible Backer: High-quality digital copy of the collector's edition soundtrack (contains bonus material not in game), plus previous rewards$50: Special Mention: Your name in the magic 8 ball, plus all previous rewards$75: Fortunate Mention: Add a phrase of your choice (within reason) to a fortune cookie ball, plus all previous rewards$100: Baller: Create your own ball! Design and implement a ball working side by side with the team, plus all available previous rewards (Subject to restrictions)$250: Physical Backer: Exclusive physical Momentum level as a very special "thank you" gift, plus all available previous rewards.$5000: Well Ok Then: We'll personally fly to your home town and hang out with you for a whole day, plus all available previous rewards.
Now of course I should just give you the link to the KickStarter Project, and I just did, but I think it's important that we take it a little further with this one. This comes back to the talks that I give at conventions. I understand that these developers have put their blood/sweat/tears into this game, but some of these levels are not inviting at all. I'm just going to grab a couple of them and point out some things that just don't really get a person revved up to donate.
$50: Special Mention: Your name in the Magic 8 Ball, plus all previous rewards
No where on the KickStarter page does the Magic 8 Ball get mentioned. So this begs the questions how clearly will your name be shown, is this a ball that can be used throughout the game, or is it just for specific levels? I think that its safe to say that this also goes for the Fortune Cookie ball, how long of a phrase, when will it be seen, how well will it be seen, etc.
plus all available previous rewards
What the hell does that mean? Are they saying that there's a chance that they will run out of fortune phrase space, 8 ball room, digital music downloads, hell are they going to run out of copies of the game? I know that developers don't want to over-burden an individual with too much text, but being vague can be very costly as well, and I mean that both literally and figuratively. If someone doesn't absolutely understand what they are getting in return for their money, they are not going to give it.
$5000: Well Ok Then: We'll personally fly to your home town and hang out with you for a whole day, plus all available previous rewards.
I really don't want to be a dick, but chances are no one really knows these developers except for their friends, so the desire to hangout with them is going to be slim. Another thing is what constitutes a whole day? Do the developers decide when they are coming to town? What are they going to do when they hangout? Then of course there's also the "all available previous rewards" part again, does that mean that I pay their airfare to chill with them for 6 hours, and then I don't get anything else involving the game?
Alright so I think its clear that the developers are showing a bit of beginner's marketing, but if you look at the game, it definitely could really have meat on it, and that's what I think in the end we need to recognize. It's people outside the team that can help these developers out, and allow them to make this game. So if you think that this is something you are interested in, go for it, help these guys out, and of course check out the demo.