Harmonix Claims Rock Band 4’s PC Audience is Too Small

Earlier today, we reported on the news that Rock Band’s 4 Fig campaign had ended and only managed to amass 52 percent of the whopping $1.5 million target. Since then, Harmonix has released a final update explaining why they believe the crowdfunding campaign wasn’t a successful venture and said:

“How do we feel about the end of the campaign? Disappointed, obviously. There’s no shortage of people at Harmonix who love Rock Band, and some of us got extra excited at the prospect of bringing back RBN, and even more about getting the chance to expose RB to a brand new audience.”

“But at the same time we learned exactly what we needed to learn: there doesn’t seem to be enough of an audience to make Rock Band for PC a viable project for us right now. We’re committed to supporting and improving RB4 on consoles. To be clear, we raised nearly $800,000 via backers and investors; it’s an impressive showing of support from our community and for our brand. But as an independent developer we have to be careful about how much money and development time we risk on a project we’re not sure has a big enough audience, and crowdfunding allowed us to (among other things)* judge the market fit for Rock Band PC.”

According to Harmonix, the main reason for failing to reach the funding target was due to a lack of enthusiasm in the PC market. At first glance, this seems a little bit rash and trying to blame consumers for not investing. There’s a huge array of reasons why PC players were sceptical of backing the project. Firstly, the $1.5 million target is quite substantial and might have deterred people from backing smaller amounts. Even though Harmonix is now an independent company and no longer associated with Viacom/MTV, it’s difficult to shake off the past business arrangements. By this, I mean consumers don’t perceive Harmonix as a cash strapped company struggling to pay for development costs. On another note, why did the company decide to use Fig instead of Kickstarter?

To be fair, Harmonix has directly addressed the key questions about their funding campaign in the latest update and it’s well worth reading before making your own opinion.

Thank you to RobotBrush for providing us with this information:

Do you think Harmonix has a valid point, or are they blaming consumers for being wary of their crowdfunding project?

Rock Band 4 PC Crowdfunding Campaign Has Failed

The Rock Band franchise provides hours of entertainment for music lovers and proved to be a popular pastime with close friends. Learning an instrument is very challenging and requires a patient approach. Furthermore, to master any instrument takes years of experience and a huge commitment. As someone who plays the guitar, I’ve never been too keen on music games and would prefer people to learn the basics of a real instrument. However, this isn’t always a viable option due to time constraints and purchasing music equipment can be a very expensive proposition. Rock Band and Guitar Hero allow people to feel like rock stars without having to endure the hard learning curve.

Unfortunately, the Rock Band games have been resigned to the console market and PC players haven’t been able to enjoy the unique experiences. Perhaps, the publisher felt the series is best played in front of a large TV in the living room. However, this isn’t really reflective of modern PCs because you can easily hook up a HDMI cable from your PC to a television. This is especially the case with small form factor systems. Despite being backed by a major publisher for a number of years, the Rock Band team recently went independent and launched a crowdfunding campaign on fig.co to produce a PC version of Rock Band 4. Here’s a brief snippet from the page:

“Back in the Rock Band heyday, we were owned by media giant Viacom, and distributed by game publishing giant Electronic Arts. What you might not know is that a few years ago, we spun back out of Viacom and went completely independent. This past October, we released Rock Band 4 for the consoles—the first new Rock Band release in 5 years. This was a massive undertaking for us as an indie studio, but we somehow pulled it off.”

“We’ve been planning, scheduling, scoping and preparing this PC version since the day after we launched on console back in October, and we’re now ready to launch this Fig campaign to ask for your help to make this happen.”

Unfortunately, the crowdfunding attempt didn’t go as planned and only managed to reach 52% of the $1,500,000 goal. Overall, 1674 backers pledged $792,817 which fell well short of their target. As a result, it looks like Rock Band 4 on PC isn’t a project which will ever come to fruition.

Star Citizen is Splitting in Two

The Cloud Imperium Kickstarted space sim Star Citizen is splitting into two, with the single player and online multiplayer components becoming separate entities. While either of the two components can be bought for a fee of $45 – the existing price for the whole package – the other can be added for an extra $15. The single player campaign will now be known as Squadron 42.

“When we started Star Citizen’s crowdfunding campaign,” the press release reads, “the plan was that earlier backers would get a lower price on the Star Citizen starter package than those that backed later. The plan was to first gradually increase the price and then split up various modules for a la carte options. This gave backers who joined the project early on and helped get it off the ground an advantage.”

“The ‘package split’ is the first introduction of the anticipated a la carte option. You can pick which part of the game you’re interested in, for now the single player campaign or the persistent universe, and then can choose whether or not to purchase the other module as an add-on.”

Star Citizen became the most successful crowdfunded game when it raised $2,134,374 on Kickstarter nearly three years ago, later launching a series of stretch goals which raised $108,603,002 (at time of writing).

Check out the Amazing 17-Liter Project Nova Chassis

Some of the best ideas are born out of necessity because they are needed but don’t exist yet. The same goes for the 17-liter chassis currently known as Project NOVA. Aibohphobia wanted to add more RAM to his system built-in a Mini-ITX NCASE M1, but there wasn’t any room to add more. Disappointed with the available mATX cases, he set out to design his own and it looks amazing so far.

Project NOVA is designed to be as small as possible and still have a maximum of flexibility and space for high-end hardware. This easily goes beyond what has been seen before, at least when we don’t count specialized systems with specially designed hardware components. The Project NOVA can do all this with default hardware.

The NOVA is only 300 mm high, 170 mm wide, and 333 mm deep. It is built from 20 gauge steel panels and frame while the handle on the top is machined aluminium. It is however currently unknown if the handle will make it to the final version. In my opinion, it isn’t needed and the case would look better without it. It could also save some costs.

Speaking of costs and the actual reason for this post, the case that started out as a project for a single system will turn into a commercial product. We don’t have the final details yet as they won’t be revealed until the 11th February, so in three days. We do however already know that it will be launched as a crowdfunding campaign which I have no doubt will be successful. It looks amazing while the design has been finalized and the prototype stands, so all that is missing to get it off the ground is some funding.

So, how much can you actually fit into this tiny chassis? The answer is a lot. It comes with 5 expansion slots and room for an mATX motherboard. There is clearance for 113mm CPU cooler height when we assume it will use a 25mm thick fan and side bracket left in. The side bracket can hold a 120mm or 140mm AIO cooler support while the PSU area supports both normal SFX and the longer SFX-L PSUs.

The above specifications allow for the basic hardware parts such as motherboards and graphics cards, but there also needs to be space for all our files. The NOVA has a dual 2.5-inch drive tray and you can also place a 3.5-inch sized drive instead of using the 5th expansion slot. That coupled with the available M.2 storage these days should be more than enough for most users.

As previously mentioned, the NOVA allows for AIO cooling solutions to be mounted on the side bracket, but the rest of the system also needs some cooling. For this, you can mount a 92mm fan at the rear and a 120mm fan at the front. The bottom allows for either two 120mm fans or a 92mm fan when a 3.5-inch drive is mounted there. Every little bit of space has been used and optimized for the best possible hardware support.

The top mounted slim fan seen in the image below has since been removed as testing showed little to no difference whether it was mounted or not.

The finished product as seen here is built with an i7 5930K, two GTX 980 in SLI, Gigabyte X99M Gaming 5 motherboard, 32GB Crucial 2400MHz DDR4 memory, a Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD, an NZXT X41 CPU cooler, and the SilverStone SX600-G PSU.

A system that can kick some serious butt and when you take the size into consideration, it’s mind-blowing. Here’s a comparison that shows just how small it is.

I’ve attached a few more images below, but I can also highly recommend the official build log that takes you on a trip from the start of the project and into its final stage, that is if you got a couple hours spare as you’ll quickly loose yourself in it. There is a lot to view and read.

Mighty No. 9 Delayed Once Again

Mighty No. 9’s Kickstarter campaign was funded in a mere two days and went onto amass almost $4 million. Clearly, being the spiritual successor to the highly idolized Megaman franchise encouraged many fans of the genre to invest. As always the case with crowdfunding, it’s important to realize that any payment is an investment and certain risks are involved. Although, if something doesn’t live up to the initial promise, people are rightfully angry and want to regain their initial investment. Sadly, the game’s development has been plagued by numerous delays because of bugs, and inability to properly create a stable netcode. Back in October, the project’s lead pledged there would be no more delays and promised to keep the game on schedule.

Despite these assurances, the game is going to miss the February release target and been delayed once again. According to the Kickstarter update, this is due to issues with the online aspect and bound to cause anger from players only interested in the single player experience. Here is the latest update in full:

“To the fans eagerly awaiting the release of Mighty No. 9,  

Unfortunately, we have an announcement that will be very disappointing to all of you. In preparation for the February release of Mighty No. 9 we have been working hard with our partners to resolve any network issues and porting work necessary to publish Mighty No. 9 on the various platforms. However, the issues relating to the network modes were more critical than expected, and it has become apparent that we will need to delay the game from its February 9th release date. We have been working up until the very last moment to resolve these issues in order to make the February release, but it has become clear that we no longer have enough time to fix the issues and have everything prepared for release.

The reason for the delay is rooted in bugs inside the network modes, and specifically problems with matchmaking. There are two large reasons for this problem, one of them being the large number of platforms supported (the solution for each platform is slightly different) and the other stems from the fact that the engine we are using is no longer being updated which means adjustments for matchmaking and online code are being made manually (actually reprogramming parts of the engine by the dev team themselves). Unfortunately, this is all a result of miscalculations on the part of us, the development staff. As a result, our fans who have been looking forward to Mighty No. 9 have been forced to wait for over half a year longer than expected, and for that we are sincerely sorry. I want to take this chance to apologize personally, and on the behalf of the development staff.

Over the end of the year break and the beginning of 2016, the development staff has been working on these issues non-stop without break, and thanks to their hard work the end is in sight. We continue to make progress to resolve these last issues that have been holding up the release of the game on the different platforms.

Because we are constantly working on it in cooperation with all our partners, we want to wait and make sure that everything is confirmed to be ready before giving a new specific release date. But we expect it to realistically be in Spring 2016.

For this 3rd delay of the game, we have no excuses for disappointing our fans and especially our backers once more. We want to take this chance to express our sincerest apologies to everyone who has looked forward to the release.

Although we are far past our original release date, the release of Mighty No. 9 is still right around the corner. We are all working hard to make sure that we can finish and release the game to all of our fans as quickly as possible, and ask once more for your support of this project that we have created together over these last few years.”

With the huge amount of money at the development team’s disposal, it’s absolutely absurd to see the game being delayed time after time. Usually, I defend the notion of delaying games, because at least it releases in a proper state. However, Mighty No.9 is becoming a laughing-stock, and mocked online each time the release date is put back.

Retro VGS Console Rebranded as COLECO Chameleon

Retro gaming is becoming more popular every year as people try to recreate memories from their childhood and evoke a sense of nostalgia. As a result, many of the classic or rare titles, can fetch a huge amount of money and the industry is now quite lucrative. Unfortunately, older hardware can be a nightmare to configure on modern televisions due to the lack of an RF or Scart connection. Furthermore, the low-resolution image scales poorly on modern displays and requires an older CRT set to view optimally. Thankfully, there are products like the Retron 5 which support cartridges for numerous consoles including the SNES and N64. These also utilize an HDMI output which sharpens the image and makes the initial setup process much easier.

Some time ago, the Retro VGS embarked on an Indiegogo campaign and offered to bring back the glory days of cartridge gaming with new and exciting exclusives. However, the unit’s specification and eye-watering $300 price tag resulted in the project’s eventual demise. However, it seems the unit has now undergone a rebranding, and the team behind it believes they have cut costs and produced a more enticing proposition. The revised prototype is now called, COLECO Chameleon and opts for the same Atari Jaguar outer casing. It will be interesting to see the reaction and amount of money invested when the device eventually arrives on Kickstarter.

Star Citizen Alpha Version 2.0 is Now Available

Star Citizen recently surpassed $100 million in crowdfunding money and set a new Guinness World Record. This is an astonishing achievement and I cannot see any other project exceeding Star Citizen’s budget in the near future. Furthermore, the huge amount of funding allows the development team to create a graphically diverse environment. Star Citizen’s Alpha 2.0 was released to backers a few days ago and includes a huge array of updates. Here is the changelog in full:

Feature List

You can find the complete Star Citizen Alpha 2.0 patch notes here.

Open World Missions

  • 8 Comm Array missions involving dogfighting and EVA, 8 Research missions involving protecting civilians or recovering lost data and 1 Exploration mission of an abandoned station.
  • 20+ Random Encounters – Most are random dogfighting encounters, often with a mix of friendlies and hostiles. 4 are random exploration missions involving finding lost wrecks.

First Person Shooter

  • Recharging energy weapons.
  • In-game pick-ups including ballistic weapons, ammo and MediPens.
  • Player healing.
  • Due to the open-world architecture of the Crusader system, FPS combat can occur on space stations, on the decks of ships, or even while engaged in EVA.
  • A space station location specifically designed for and dedicated to FPS combat, including many stores and caches of personal weapons.

Spaceflight

  • Constant and ongoing skirmishes and space dogfights between Pirate factions and insystem security forces in the Yela asteroid belt.
  • Wreckage to scavenge in the Yela asteroid belt.
  • Ship Repair, Refuel and Restocking at Cry-Astro.
  • EVA – Extravehicular activity.
  • Multicrew Ships.
  • Multicrew ship gameplay! You’re not tied to your seat, you can walk around inside your ship with friends, and assume different responsibilities at different crew stations, such as ship’s pilot or copilot, engineer, or turret gunner.
  • Ship to space transitions.
  • Seamless first-person gameplay! Transit between the interior of your ship to outer space and back without any loading screen! Fly, fight, and spacewalk all in the same game.
  • Quantum Travel, complete with limited fuel mechanics.
  • All non-snub craft have a Quantum Drive that allows them to travel through local space at genuinely 0.2 speed of light.
  • Mobiglass Mission and Journal system.
  • EMP warfare in the Avenger Warlock.
  • Large World tech that allows for extremely large expanses of space to explore without loading screens.
  • New IFCS Flight models.
  • Ship repair refuel and restock.
  • Party system.
  • Multi-ship crew stations.
  • IFCS Flight Modes – Precision, SCM, and Cruise flight modes.
  • Afterburner.
  • Ship-to-ship EMP and disruption damage.

Locations

  • 1 planet: Crusader.

  • 3 moons: Yela with its asteroid belt, Cellin with a station and Daymar with a station.

  • 3 distinct stations: Port Olisar (The new local shipping hub, a space hotel players get their start in), Security Post Kareah (our FPS PvP location), Covelex Shipping Hub (Abandoned shipping hub, acting as an EVAexploration location for players).

  • 1 Cry-Astro repair and restock station.

  • 9 Comms Arrays with encounters, missions and EVA exploration.

Chris Roberts described the recent update and said:

“Alpha 2.0 is a major breakthrough for Stars Citizen. It represents the first true slice of gameplay that includes much of what Star Citizen will bring to our fans: thrilling space combat in a massive play area, first person battles and multi-crew ships where you and your friends can adventure together in a portion of the universe on the same ship. It’s all technology that has never been undertaken to this scale and depth before in our industry.”

We would love to know your thoughts on Star Citizen and if you think it can live up to people’s expectations.

Psychonauts 2 Fig Funding Surpasses $1 Million in Just 14 Hours

Double Fine Productions created some of the most inventive video games ever including Brutal Legend, Costume Quest and Psychonauts. The studio is headed by Tim Schafer, who originally worked for Lucasarts and crafted masterpieces like Grim Fandandgo and The Secret of Monkey Island. Back in February 2012, Double Fine launched a kickstarter with a goal of $400,000 to cover development costs and a documentary for their latest game, Broken Age. Unbelievably, the project ended up amassing $3.45 million within a month and showcased the viability of large kickstarters. However, the development process wasn’t entirely smooth as the studio required more money to complete the game and even launched the first Act via Steam’s Early Access programme.

Schafer clarified that the studio wasn’t asking for any more money from the public and decided make the game even more spectacular through their own funds. This was a fairly controversial move and some backers believed Double Fine didn’t need any public funding in the first place. On another note, various critics were bemused with how quickly the studio spent their entire kickstarter budget. This raised many questions about Double Fine’s management and the amount of money they were paying employees.

Another example, Spacebase DF-9 was pitched on the basis of receiving regular updates to improve the experience over time. Shockingly, Double Fine ceased production in late 2014, and released a final version. Apparently, this was due to the game’s poor sales and Double Fine believed it wasn’t in their best interest to keep funding the project. Evidently, this made many of the project’s backers angry and felt quite betrayed.

During The Game Awards 2015, Schafer made a huge announcement and unveiled the crowdfunding campaign for Psychonauts 2. Here is the pitch video in full:

In just 14 hours, the project exceeded over $1 million and already well on its way to meet the $3.3 million target. In all honesty, I’m pretty confident this figure is just a baseline and not enough to cover the game’s entire development. It’s definitely going to be partly funded by Double Fine’s own money in combination with the Fig campaign. I’m incredibly excited for Psychonauts 2, but before you rush to back this campaign, just remember the pitfalls of crowdfunding. This is especially important, when you factor in the troubled development of Broken Age which left some people disappointed and Spacebase DF-9.

French Startup Aims to Make Home Projectors Easy

Films viewed over a projector are a luxury most only get to enjoy at the local cinema. Whether it’s the price of the projector itself, the setup required and even the needed extras like space and a screen, having a home cinema with a projector isn’t easy. Luckily for cinema fans, AV Concept Products, a French startup, has begun a campaign to bring wireless smart projectors to the market.

The All in One (AiO) HC is more than just a projector, and it needs to be to set itself apart. In reality, it is a wireless, Android powered smart projector, able to make use of its Android OS in order to stream from services such as Netflix directly, as well as being compatible with AirHDMI, allowing for video to be captured wirelessly from any device with a HDMI port. Packing up to 1000 lumens from its lamp, the AiO should be able to function even in a lit room.

However, it’s not all positives, the most obvious being the price. AV Concept Products are targeting a $1499 price point for the projector once released, making it cost easily more than two or three times more than most consumer projectors. This is offset by the offering of a subscription service, allowing customers to get their hands on an AiO for as little as $19.99 per month through a subscription, but the terms of this are currently unannounced. The display output is also limited to 720p, which could also be a killer for film fans, with 1080p TVs and projectors easily available and 4k Blu-Ray in the near future; while a 1080p version is apparently in the works, it risks an even higher price point still.

Overall, the AiO seems like a good idea, but risks having no place on the market, being unaffordable to the market that it would appeal to and with specs below what big spenders may expect. The AiO definitely has a future if it can offer 1080p at a distinctly lower price point, but until then it definitely has some hurdles to cross. For those undaunted, the AiO can be snagged at as low as $999 for its supporters on Indiegogo.

$1m Crowdfunded Robot Dragonfly Crash-Lands

The company behind Robot Dragonfly, one of the earliest crowdfunding success stories, raising over $1 million via Indiegogo back in 2012, is in desperate financial trouble, leaving the project on the verge of collapse. TechJect, the team behind the Robot Dragonfly, which was available to backers for just $99, revealed that funds have dried up, blaming both Indiegogo and PayPal for not releasing money raised via the crowdfunding campaign in time.

“The Project has NOT stopped. We have held development forward until funds are replenished through sources (any source),” a post on TechJect’s Indiegogo page reads.

The Robot Dragonfly Indiegogo campaign was one of the most successful ever, raising 1,037% of its funding target, to the tune of $1,140,975, when it closed on 31st December, 2012. Constant delays to the development of the Dragonfly over the last three years, though, has made some backers irate, with TechJect revealing that there’s been “a lot of confusing statements and a lot of name calling,” asking backers “to realize these systems are at the end of the day people like everyone else [sic].”

In a message to disgruntled backers chasing a refund, TechJect directs them towards Indiegogo and PayPal, since it is them that is holding on to the funds. “There is no possibility of a refund through TechJect, first because our contracts are with PayPal and Indiegogo,” the team writes. “Your contract are with PayPal and Indiegogo, there is no direct contract between supporters and campaigns. All suits and cases have to be filed against either PayPal and Indiegogo and the rest of the information will flow through those channels.”

TechJect, however, insists that “The Project has NOT stopped.”

Apotact Labs Takes ‘Gest Controller’ to Kickstarter

Are you a huge fan of the Nintendo Power Glove and wish that you could use it with your Android or iOS device? Well, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon without some electronics hacking on your part but we did see something that may be almost as good. Apotact Labs has brought its new Gest hand gesture controller to Kickstarter in order to fund the production of the device. At the time of writing, it is currently 130% funded with a delivery date about a year out. The Gest uses 15 sensors in each hand to gather data and then send it over a Bluetooth connection to a connected device.

To gather data, the Gest uses accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers. These may sound very familiar and they should because they are the same type of sensors that you can find in your smartphone or wearables. The ability to interact with different apps by just using your hands is a great idea but far from original so time will tell how well Apotact Labs has done with its implementation. Photoshop integration will be there on day one, but it is yet to be seen if it will actually improve workflow or just be a novelty. From the demonstration seen I think I could breeze through it a lot faster with a mouse and some keyboard shortcuts.

If you are interested in getting one you can still get the $149 early bird special for one controller, be fast as when those are gone the price jumps up to $175.

Square Enix May Crowdfund Localization Projects

Ever since crowdfunding has come onto the scene, many indie devs and sometimes even major ones have used the power of the crowd to fund their game development. Square Enix is now taking this approach and applying it to the localization of Japanese games. This will address the many popular Japanese titles that western fans have long wanted a local version of but have never had the chance to get it.

While there are many vocal fans that always clamour for a localization, it can be hard for the developer and publisher to determine how many potential customers there really are. Even when fans say they want the game are willing to buy it, many of them might actually not purchase the localization title. Given the costs of translating and hiring voice acting talent, the risks have generally outweighed the potential return on investment.

With crowdfunding, the community is able to prove that they want a localization done by actually paying for it. Depending on how the rewards and crowdfunding are done, the developer is able get a guaranteed return on their investment and fans can get the game they want in their own language. It will be interesting to see if other developers take on this idea and if alternatives like a guaranteed buy-in get explored.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information

Successful $73,000 Kickstarter Campaign Plagued by Money Issues

Financially backing a Kickstarter for any amount always involves a certain degree of risk as the final project may never come to fruition or match your expectations. Ideally, backers should see themselves as financial investors which allows you to access certain equity perks in exchange for money. While there has been a great number of success stories including Broken Sword 5 and FTL, the majority of published articles revolve around failed or controversial Kickstarter campaigns.

It’s quite common for Kickstarter projects to fold due skepticism and fairly large monetary targets. Although, many developers can dramatically underestimate the required budget to cover coding, marketing and the business side of things. Sadly, this is the case with Midora, a 2D action-adventure in the style of many classic role-playing games. Initially, the game was a resounding success and attained $73,000 to fund the project. However, the developer has released a thorough statement regarding their financial woes which reads:

“On the subject of money, there are certain things that I will admit. I will admit that the amount needed to create this game was largely underestimated for the campaign. I knew that the game would need more than $60,000 to be made. However, like many others, I didn’t think for one second we could reach a goal higher than $60,000, especially after two failed campaigns and no prior advertising. With $60,000 in our hands, it would have been rather easy to create an Early Access and go from there. That part you probably knew already, and we aren’t the first to have made poor decisions. Now what most of you don’t know is how much was actually used in the development so far, and the answer is very simple: all of it. But how much exactly? Between $45,000 and $50,000. You wanted numbers, you got numbers. Not a single cent of that money was used to pay anything other than bills, food and development costs.”

“But wait, kickstarter only takes 5% of the total! How can that be?”. One word: taxes. We were heavily taxed from all places imaginable and everybody wanted a piece. We of course knew that would happen, but we never expected to be left with so little. After hiring another artist and paying existing debts, there was not much to work with… and yet we tried. We tried as hard as we could to bring you Early Access and we nearly succeeded. What we have done in 3 months last year was the most we had ever done on any project, and it was amazing. And yet we could not release anything due to lack of money, often doubts and poor timing. Running out of money quick has a way of pressuring you and transforming your life into a mess, simply because you need to secure more before it happens.”

This entire situation emphasizes how expensive video game development is even for smaller indie studios. It can be quite tempting to reduce the funding target to entice more prospective buyers and guarantee funding. Unfortunately, this can cause a myriad of problems and make the original backers feel quite angry.

Briton Starts Crowdfunding to Raise €1.6 Billion for Greece

As Greece makes history by missing their IMF payment, one man is setting out to fix it himself and with the help of others like him. While we all have our own ideas in how to best help Greece, one common man has gone out and done something. Taking matters into his own hands, Thom Feeney, a London shopkeeper, has started an IndieGoGo campaign to help raise €1.6 Billion for the beleaguered country.

With 6 days to go, the campaign has already raised €573,722 which is quite a lot of money for crowdfunding. However, that is still a long ways away from the stated, not yet reaching 1% of the target (that would be about €1.6 million). In his decision to start the fundraiser, Feeney noted that it was time for the people to solve the problem and all the governments dithering over it was boring. Rewards range from €3 for a poster of Greek PM Alex Tsipras, €5 for a Greek Salad and all the way up to an island for €1.6 billion though that reward has now been removed.

Right now the campaign is so popular that the IndieGoGo page that it has become inaccessible for most of the time. Given the current population of the EU, if every person is able to give around €3, the campaign will meet its goal. Counting generous donors outside the EU, it gets even easier. Even with an extra €1.6 billion though, Greece would still fall short of its debt obligations. It will be interesting to see what happens with the campaign and how the Greek government will respond in the run-up to the critical July 5th referendum.

X-Wing Designer Kickstarts New Space Dogfighting Game

The lead designer on the classic LucasArts Star Wars: X-Wing series has launched a Kickstarter for a new space dogfighting game, which looks very much like the spiritual successor to the X-Wing games. David Wessman, whose CV includes Crysis, Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries, Halo 3, and Homefront, on top of the X-Wing games, is launching Starflighter Inc., which Wessman pitches as “World of Tanks meets Counter Strike in space”.

“This is the next great space shooter,” Wessman extols in the project’s Kickstarter video. “This is the next X-Wing. We want to capture that intense, immersive feeling of being in the cockpit.”

Adding to Wessman’s experience is a team that boasts Jack Mamais (Far CryCrysisMechwarrior 2: Mercenaries) and Nate Walpole (Halo 2Halo 3Halo 4, and Elder Scrolls Online) under the banner of Impeller Studios. The studio has been trying to sell the game to publishers since 2013, but has now opted for the crowdfunding model.

“Our hope is that by bringing the game to the Kickstarter community, we can make this dream a reality,” the team wrote on their campaign page. “We spent a lot of time at GDC last year shopping the game around, so we had time to chat in between meetings. Even though we were tired from hours of pitching, one interesting realization emerged from our conversations. The most successful projects we’ve all worked on, both in terms of commercial success and in terms of how we felt about them, were projects that tapped directly into the community.”

Starfighter Inc. has so far raised $39,499 on Kickstarter at the time of writing (and rising every minute, it seems) of its $250,000 pledge goal with 31 days to go.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information.

Man Tries to Buy Kickstarter – by Raising Money on Kickstarter!

Kickstarter is no stranger to strange campaigns, but this one really sets the stupid bar pretty high, $1.2 billion high to be exact, that’s about £800m for those in the UK.

Aaron Schlecter doesn’t want to raise money to build an innovative new product, or to fund some world changing project, he’s thinking of something far more grand, he wants to buy Kickstarter!

Aaron was rejected by Kickstarter after the told him his campaign violated their guidelines. He wanted to raise $3700 (£2470) to name peoples dogs and also write a book on the art of dog naming, a frivolous project to say the least. The rejection gave Aaron the fuel for his fire, so he decided to up his game and seek the funds to buy Kickstarter, no doubt so that he would then be the boss and could easily approve his dog naming idea.

‘I looked at Kickstarter’s general “rules” page when I signed which was quite reasonable… I figured I was covered,’ said Aaron when speaking with Mashable. ‘I’d be creating a lot of dog names. I guess there was fine print somewhere?’ he added.

‘Kickstarter has informed me that I should focus on the “book aspect” of my project “rather than naming dogs, which – while a noble goal – does not fit within one of our 15 categories,” if I don’t want this Kickstarter taken down. reads Aarons campaign. ‘If I raise $1,200,000,000 (£800,500,000), however, I plan to buy Kickstarter and amend its rules so only projects related to the naming of dogs will be allowed on this site.’

This is the second time someone tried this stunt, after Eric Moneypenny tried to raise $19 million back in 2012, however, the site is worth a lot more money these days and it’s very unlikely that Aaron will meet his goal; that much is obvious.

Thank you Metro for providing us with this information.

Indiegogo Toy Aims to Help Teach Children How to Code

A lot of companies have been struggling to release something that will help children how to code. The use of apps and toys have been the most obvious choice for them in order to make coding a lot more fun.

The latest initiative comes from an Indiegogo startup and its Codie toy, which is a wheeled gadget that comes with an app to let the user control and program it at the same time.

Codie appears to be using a visual drag and drop blocks approach rather than having kids program by typing a bunch of lines of code. While the concept is not new, Codie’s developers state that it will stand out with the help of its programming language.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj5GKCavdeM

Codie’s programming language will not require any compiling time and will react in real-time, which means that any changes made by kids will make Codie react instantly, granting a more interactive experience.

The company looks like it is trying to raise $70,000 on Indiegogo, having it already raised half the sum. If you are interested about the project and want to learn more, or even contribute to its creation, you can visit its Indiegogo page here.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

Star Citizen Hits the $77 Million Mark in Crowdfunding

It seems that Star Citizen’s success will never stop, and the same can be said for its crowdfunding campaign. It looks like the campaign does not slow down with time, instead it seems to be speeding up.

The title looks to have hit the $77 million mark in crowdfunding, a staggering amount of money compared with other AAA title budgets, even the most expensive ones. One interesting aspect about the latter is that the last $1 million was made in just 5 days, indicating that the crowdfunding campaign might be speeding up.

Adding up the maths, it looks like the title might even hit $100 million soon, but even if it doesn’t hit that mark (by some miracle), it will still remain the most successful crowdfunded thing in history. How about that?

Star Citizen is said to be available for PC players very soon, but with the latter mentioned budget, it could be even sooner than expected.

Thank you Gamingbolt for providing us with this information

Sony Might Be Looking Into Testing as a Service, Early Access and Crowdfunding

Sony has revealed some of their possible future plans in a job posting for a new Director for the Worldwide Studios Quality Assurance Business operations. Of course the job possibilities mentioned here aren’t always a hundred percent indication of what to come, it does paint a picture of the companies plans.

PlayStation now appears to be looking into TaaS, GaaS, Crowdsourcing and early access test efforts. Crowdfunding and Early Access are both terms we already know, but you might not have heard of GaaS and TaaS before. The two terms stand for Gaming as a Service and Testing as a Service.

The TaaS basically involves outsourcing part of testing to external companies. This possibility could end up in one of two ways: either we’ll get more polished games while the company can adjust the hired workforce better than having them all in-house and it could also go the other way with a lot more leaks of early version and information before the games hit the retail market. Although one doesn’t exclude the other.

Sony doesn’t want to be left out in the dark when it comes the cloud trend either, so of course they’re also looking into Gaming as a Service, something that also could help to prevent piracy.

Description

The director of QA business Operations and Development is responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive internal and external operational programs, processes and services to determine how competitive and current we are within the gaming industry. This position is expected to uphold the mission and values established by the organization.

Strategic Duties:

The Business Operations and Development Director works to improve an organization’s value and improve financial optimization. These duties include: assisting to define mid and long-term operational plans, helping to track and refine global organizational goals, builds key customer relationships, identifies business opportunities/ services, negotiates, opens and closes new business services, maintains extensive knowledge of current market conditions and oversees trends and analysis of global business operations regarding Test Efforts.
The Business Operations and Development Directors will also help manage existing clients and ensure they stay satisfied and positive. They will work with clients, often being required to make presentations on solutions and services that meet or predict the efforts of services and work with the clients’ future needs.

Responsibilities:

  1. Monitors external and internal environment for development of new services: TaaS, GaaS, Crowdsourcing, early access test efforts, etc.
  2. Implements the recommendations of the strategic mid-year plan with WWS.
  3. Performs market research and analysis to stay competitive regarding the leading game industry testing technology and methodologies.
  4. Furnishes global best business practices, advice, counsel, service improvement and general staff support to all departments within the organization.
  5. Evaluates operational issues to determine how competitive and current it is with the latest trends in the industry.
  6. Assists in or produces feasibility studies/business plans for said new services: Service Catalog
  7. Manages specific Quality Initiative Programs: audits, CSI etc.
  8. Assists in capturing and developing ongoing customer relation evaluations.
  9. Demonstrates knowledge of and supports mission, vision, value statements, standards, policies and procedures, operating instructions, confidentiality standards, and the code of ethical behavior.
  10. Assists in planning of any event that highlights Test services: GTC, Post Mortems, etc
  11. Assists in developing and maintaining our evaluation process to continue gaining feedback from clients.
  12. Performs public speaking to organizations, committees and groups regarding new services, operations and testing practices.
  13. Develops and maintains Global Business Operations budget.

Thanks to PlayStation for providing us with this information

$114,000 Kickstarter Project The Stomping Land Goes Dark

After raising $114,000 on Kickstarter, dinosaur survival game The Stomping Land is in a worrying state after its lead artist left the project to take another job and its lead developer, Alex Fundora, is no longer responding to e-mails from the games backers.

The Stomping Land far surpassed its $20,000 Kickstarter goal, thanks to 44 backers committing $114,000 to the game, back in June 2013. The first build was published on Steam Early Access a year later, with Fundora assuring backers that “even though the game is available, development is still in full force.”

That was the final update on the Kickstarter page, dated 30th May, 2014. Since then, the lead artist on the game, Vlad Konstantino, has walked, saying last month that “More than a month has passed since the day when I received the last reply from [Fundora],” and that Fundora “owes me the money for the latest model, he’s put me in a very difficult situation because now I will have to pay our texture artist for his work from my own pocket.” Konstantino has since left the project entirely and taken another job.

Kickstarter has been informed of the issue, but it is not clear what action, if any, the crowdfunding site will take.

Source: GameSpot

‘Exploding Kittens’ Becomes Most Backed Kickstarter Ever

Crowdfunding campaigns have been getting weirder. Just last week we reported on the story that a guy from Norwich had started offering dates with himself on Indiegogo, but this week we have news of the most backed Kickstarter ever – ‘Exploding Kittens’.

Don’t worry, 100,000 people haven’t have backed a campaign to blow up every kitten on the planet, but rather they have backed a card game that is specifically “for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats”. Pretty much the whole internet rolled into one.

The card game is actually the brainchild of video game developers Elan Lee and Shane Small and illustrated by Matthew Inman, who were originally asking for just $10,000. It has since raised over $4 Million through the support of its record breaking 108,000 backers.

Back it here and learn more about it in the video bellow.

Source: CNN

Meet the MeArm – A Kickstarter that Promises Robotics for Everybody

Meet MeArm – the robotic arm designed to teach anyone and everyone about robotics. Benjamin Gray from Nottingham, UK, has so far raised £13,966 for his small robot arm project that’s meant to make the science of robots accessible to all.

The product is simple – it’s a plastic arm that can be easily programmed to do pretty much whatever you want it to do. The guys behind it had already developed a successful but more complex variant and wanted to make it more accessible with this new version.

At the most basic level, the MeArm can be controlled with two supplied joysticks, while at the more advanced end it can be programmed using a programming language. I say advanced, but the designers have tried to make even that accessible to all – the MeArm can be controlled using Scratch, a very user-friendly language that utilises drag and drop procedures for its operation.

The MeArm currently has 256 backers amounting to £13,966 of funding – miles past their £5000 goal. The product looks like a pretty nifty way of teaching robotics and could work well in schools. See the source link to read more about it.

Source: Kickstarter

$66,000 Dollars Raised on Kickstarter For… Keyboard Waffle Iron

There’s some crazy Kickstarter campaigns around these days. Take this one for instance, a waffle iron shaped like a keyboard that makes waffles shaped like keyboards.

Speaking to Re/code, its creator Chris Dimino was as surprised as we are.

“As soon as I noticed we were $1,500 away, I looked up again and suddenly we were just over [$50,000],” Dimino said in an email interview. “It was an immediate relief! The hundreds of additional people that pledged after reaching the goal were really validating, and encouraging.”

Source: Re/code

DimasTech Starts Indigogo Campaign for the Epic AMC Chassis

Have you ever found yourself in the situation that you had a great PC chassis, but there was just the one or two things off. The things you would have done differently if you had designed it? With DimasTech latest chassis, those thoughts might be a thing of the past.

The Advanced Modular Case or AMC for short, has the widest available customization that ends up in a total of 6400 basic combinations. Yes, you read that right, that wasn’t a typo. With 64 available dimensional options and 10 internal and 10 external colours to chose from, you can get just the right option for your next build.

DimasTech is far from a new player in the market and I’m in fact working on a system built on a DimasTech Easy V3 right now. So going the crowdsourcing way might seem a little odd at first. The reason is that DimasTech wants the users final feedback to create the best product possible as well as invest in new features such as offering Satin or Mirror Finish, anodized in several colours.

The 64 dimensions available consists of 4 height options ranging from 400 to 910mm, 4 depth options from 460mm to 750mm, and 4 width options ranging from 220 to 460mm. The availalble colour choices are white, black, grey, blue, green, pink, yellow, orange, red and bronze.

The AMC is built from 2mm aluminium, a good choice to keep the stability up and weight down while staying cost effective. And that is the material used and there won’t be any other options here, as they want to keep it consistent and equal to future additions.

The motherboard tray size is also a thing up for choice and they range from mini ITX to HPTX and Server boards. The installation is tool-free and there is plenty of room for water cooling abilities and modding options. And the customization doesn’t stop here, there will also be 6 different models of push buttons available to chose from and much more.

AMC Project Features

  • Total Aluminum Construction – Manufactured in the ITALY
  • 4 Different Motherboard Trays, from Mini-ITX to HPTX / Server Boards
  • Optimized for low Airflow and Silence Computing
  • 4 Width: 220 , 290 , 330, 460
  • 4 Height: 910, 720 , 530 , 400
  • 4 Depth: 750 , 650 , 550 , 460
  • Huge Space for Watercooling or Storage Devices
  • Simple and Effective Cable Management
  • lot of accessories in developing for improve your case usability
  • customizable side acrylic windows
  • fast removing sides
  • ThumbScrew and Thumbnuts for add or remove parts from the Case
  • Customizable Push Buttons ( 6 colors)
  • Customizable backlight color for the Front Laser Cut Logo
  • High Quality Paint Job ( powder coating)
  • USb3.0, e-sata and audio in/out

Thanks to DimasTech for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of DimasTech

Meet Omnipresenz: Your Human Avatar

Ever wanted to explore the world without actually having to go outdoors? Well soon you’ll be able to, according to the people behind a new crowdfunding campaign. Omnipresenz allows you to explore a place via an audio and video link from the head of another person – think of them as your human avatar.

The concept is simple – a guy walks around a city with a GoPro and an internet connection, you connect to them via your computer and tell them what to do and where to go. It may seem crazy, but that really is it.

With the system, a user pays their ‘avatar’ to do what they say and you get to experience it with them. The team behind it have built a special interface within which you issue your commands. It has been billed as “real-time crowdfunding” where people can build up cash by being asked to do things.

The concept has raised questions though about its practicality and of course about the ethics of paying to essentially control someone. But still, it’s an interesting concept. It will certainly be quite effective when they have a version to work with Oculus Rift, something the developers are planning. However, something like this may only be truly realised once the people can be replaced by telepresence robots.

What do you think – is it wrong to ‘control’ people like this, or is it a clever idea that is yet to be truly realised?

Source: Wired

New Traffic Lights Let You Play Pong

Meet the ActiWait, the new product behind an Indiegogo campaign that promises to let you play Pong while waiting to cross the road.

The concept is the result of work by 3 German design students that replaces the usual buttons and ‘WAIT’ sign with a touchscreen display that lets you play a unique version of Pong, allowing you to compete with your fellow pedestrian on the opposite side of the street.

The idea may just seem like a fun time waster, but the designers believe it could bring some real benefits. They say it could increase safety by reducing the phenomena of jaywalking – getting people off their phones and concentrated on the road (the ActiWait ends the game and flashes green when it’s safe to cross). They also say that the screens could be used for other applications like public surveys, speed dating, navigation and road safety education for kids.

While one setup has been installed in Hildesheim, Germany since 2012, the designers say they need €35,000 to get the ActiWait into more towns and cities. You can contribute here.

Source: Gizmodo

The Sony E-Paper Watch Revealed

Remember that Sony Watch we reported on a few days ago? The one that’s made with ‘e-paper’?  Well it has since been revealed. It turns out that it was in the public eye all along, as part of a crowdfunding campaign for a sort of secret part of Sony.

The FES Watch, as it’s known, has been designed by a company called Fashion Entertainments, now known as a subdivision of Sony. That company is part of Sony’s efforts to come up with crazy and innovative products, separate from their main product lines.

The watch itself, which will be available to supporters on the Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake after May next year, is completely covered in this ‘e-paper’ technology, that allows it to display simple differences in band styles, watch faces and more. It’s also said to last 60 days on a tiny button battery and reacts to the gestures of your wrist.

 

It’s not yet known when or if Sony will sell it widely, but it’s certainly an interesting concept.

Source: The Verge