Furry Crowdfunding Week in Review: 8-24-13
Tricksy Bastard, The Card Game: Kitsune, Of Foxes & Fools; Havok & Hijinks (and a nod to “Cairn”)
It’s required that all fantasy games alliterate and have an ampersand in their title. Blame E. Gary Gygax. A few card games around the general theme of ne’er-do-wells, con artists, and tricksters this week, all with big, inviting, and possibly insincere smiles and strong artwork.
And then a bunch of other stuff.
Kitsune: Of Foxes & Fools
The trick, with many kickstarters, is imagining what the final product will be. Kitsune: Of Foxes & Fools, is that sort of project: A card game which is distinguished by its art, but puts polishing up the art as one of its first stretch goals. It’s an awkward line, the black and white foxes in F&F are elegant, distinctive–but at the same time give the project a first-timer quality. There’s a few apples you can only grab with a Kickstarter pledge, and this indie card game might fall into that basket.
Kitsune is a game of tactics and luck, players pick one of a set of kitsune to be their avatar in the game world, each with their own characteristics and favorite targets. The foxes gain notoriety, power, and tails, by pulling tricks on foolish mortals, taking advantage of their sins of lust, gluttony, and so on to teach the humans a few lessons.
Overall play looks like a game of growing your resources, countering your opponent, and picking your battles, competitive more than interactive. Which is a pity, the characters are appealing and a little interactive play might be fun! But there’s plenty of color and humor in the card set, enough to infuse the game with the right level of impish fun. Plus, big stacks of kitsune art, which is appealing on its own.
Havok & Hijinks
The project’s full title (“Don’t slay a dragon…BE one!“) seems to imply majestic beasts soaring overhead, probably voiced by Sean Connery. These…these aren’t that sort of dragon. The fire-blasting majestic beast is mommy, and you tried to touch her hoard. So you’re out in the harsh world, trying to build your own nest of gold, preferably with as little effort as possible. And you are dangerously cute.
Game play is quick and easy, a 15-30 minute game. The developer claims to have invented the game standing in line at DragonCon to play while standing in line at DragonCon. It’s for 2-4 players, and family friendly, if a little too tricky for pre-teens (but geeks, as we all know, have super-intelligent mutant offspring, so your mileage may vary.) Game play involves turning over “havok” cards (treasures and events), stealing from and pranking the other hatchlings with tricks like “incinerate trousers”, and generally trying to grab coins, treasure, and easily-ransomable nobles before your “friendS” do.
It doesn’t look like there’s anything really new in the game play, but “well-made, streamlined, and insanely cute” counts for a lot. Events turn up, players respond and counter or steal from each other, with an assortment of fantasy trope cards to help round out the universe. One interesting wrinkle is that certain cards play better for certain dragons–fire-based tricks really work well for the Ruby hatching, for instance. The game does allow for a variety of play styles–wheeling and dealing, scorched earth, trickery. And it includes at least one cat girl.
The game is set in author “Ferrel” Trzonkowski’s D&D/Pathfinder world of Vallhyn, and since Havok & Hijinks is made by a small-press RPG publisher, there’s a good chance we’ll see more from Vallhyn in the future. The Kickstarter’s already chewing through its stretch goals with another month on the clock, so check it out!
Awakened Villagers of Cairn Bicycle Playing Cards
And one quick call-out for a beautiful product. Last year a game launched on Kickstarter called “Cairn.” It was an attractive tabletop RPG with some of the cutest anthro artwork I’d seen, mice and bunnies with lots of personality. A bit “Redwall,” but impish and appealing. Unfortunately the project crashed, partially as a victim of its own success with too many “Backers at the $100 level can add their own X, Y or Z” goals, partly a victim of the author, who has had a few other misfires. Caveat emptor and all that. Jeff Laubenstein’s furry art lives again in Villagers of Cairn, a product by SoulJar Games (which, I am assured, is a totally different company.) Personally I’m thrilled to see the world of Cairn open up again. Take a look at the project and embrace the cuteness.
Note: Images used above are included to promote the work of crowdfunding artists, and are owned by the original creator.
Fetch: An Illustrated Book (Books/Print. Ends: 9/21/2013)
Whimsical illustrated adventure book with a “special effects” feel about were dogs come from, and their carefree homeland.
Dog Breed T-shirts (Clothing/Costumes. Ends: 9/23/2013)
Huskies: represent. A series of miminalist silkscreened dog breed loyalty tees. (I’m not chipping in for this until they post a Mexican hairless design.)
Last Resort: Bound Edition and Reprint (Comics/Graphic Novels. Ends: 10/6/2013)
Volume 2 of the reality show travails of the world’s fluffiest vampire. (From an anthro-loaded webcomic, worth a tour on its own. Click around, the art style varies a lot.)
Forbidden and Unbreakable (Film/Animation/Theater. Ends: 9/23/2013)
Live-action feature film, a romance between a young woman and a science experiment (Science: creating a better anthro border collie for the future!) and the secrets that keep them apart. (The IGG page is a bit light on plot details, more information on Junto Box.)
Dogg Park: It’s a Ruff life (Film/Animation/Theater. Ends: 10/9/2013)
A “scripted reality show” about talking dogs at the dog park. (This may be intentionally bad? If you like pain and humiliation, watch the video. Just watch the video anyway. The jokes just write themselves, and clearly did.)
Bronies: The Movie (Film/Animation/Theater. Ends: 10/10/2013)
A short comedy film (and possibly a webseries) about a young man “coming out” to his co-workers and girlfriend as a brony. (The video’s not bad, this may be funnier than it initially sounds!)
Awakened Villagers of Cairn (Tabletop Games. Ends: 9/19/2013)
“Bicycle” cards featuring the quirky, detailed furry art of the “Cairn” RPG–rodent fans and Redwall enthusiasts, this is for you. (The Cairn RPG has its own tragedy/success story, SoulJar Games has picked up where the original KS project left off. )
Save Mr Egg (Video Games. Ends: 9/18/2013)
Fox chases egg in this odd little video game. (The visuals on the fox are interesting. I’m not sure who I’m supposed to be cheering for.)
The Hyena Sanctuary of North America (…Causes. Ends: 10/10/2013)
Help build a Texas home for the hyenas of the Berkeley hyena program!
Furrycc (…Meh. Offbeatr prelaunch voting)
Pitch, vague and unformed, for a new furry chat website. May be adult. Pledge $25 and you can be a mod!
Animal Parade (Ends: 9/1/2013)
A faintly creepy interactive art exhibit and collection of colorful, marching animals with huge, staring, dead eyes
All my life I have wanted to be a double-pig early bird. Share this opportunity with me now.
Hunter Clark’s Sublime Creatures (Ends: 9/1/2013)
(NSFW) An artsy collection of animal-headed women, artistic nudes of mothers, mothers-to-be, and madonnas.
More about the beauty of the pregnant female body combined with animal symbolism than hybrids and anthros, but an interesting take on hybrids and lots of African carnivores.
Flynn: A Frog’s Journey (Ends: 9/13/2013)
Children’s/YA book, featuring a very stylish tree frog’s quest to restore his wife to health.
Don’t bother watching the “stock footage marathon” video…cover illustration is really strong and vivid!
Jason and the Monster King (Ends: 9/13/2013)
Children’s graphic novel/ebook in the “kid hero visits dangerous magical otherworld” genre. Cute costumes and main character design!
Piki Charms (Ends: 9/21/2013)
Tiny charms for phones, etc, with an amazing range of designs, by DrawWithLaura
The goal is a little high for the nature of this product, but it’s to fund some business capital equipment. But it’s fixed-funding, so no accidental scams.
Owlgirls (Ends: 9/1/2013)
A “paranormal detective” genre comic, three shadowy sisters touched by the goddess of Death. Oh, they have owl heads.
Flashy the Overlord (Ends: 9/4/2013)
A graphic novel with simple watercolor illustrations about, possibly, coming of age and taking the throne in a fantasy kingdom.
There’s a strong interactive element in this project, community-building and writing yourself into the plot.
Danger Squad (Ends: 9/9/2013)
Sci-Fi Comedy featuring a crazy captain and maladjusted crew, and a nice range of anthro characters and villains.
Woof Yorkers (Ends: 9/12/2013)
Cartoons from the dog park, a “keep the site alive” campaign from Woofyorkers.com
I’m on the fence on this one. Occasionally clever, occasionally cute, but it’s no “Housepets.”
Anthro: Animating the Soul (Ends: 8/27/2013)
A documentary look at beloved anthro characters and their creators.
Stitchfan has broken this project up into a series of small-goal IGGs, interesting model and I hope to see it succeed!
Werewolves of Predatory Moon (Ends: 9/1/2013)
Indie low-budget “creature feature” with a pack of werewolves and a commitment to costumes rather than CGI.
I can’t imagine what their faux hair budget is. Check the Predatory Moon website for more images.
BiPolar Bears (Ends: 9/1/2013)
Animated series about manic and depressive polar bear twins Manny and Preston (orderlies in a psych institute), the Post-Traumatic Puffins, Randolf the Alcoholic Reindeer, and other friends.
Bleah. The promo vid is “join me in my philosophy” rather than “here’s this cool product idea.” That plus very high goal/60-day campaign is a bad sign.
The Ballad of Thundercluck, Chicken of Thor (Ends: 9/4/2013)
“Half mortal. Half god. All natural chicken.” Short animated film with a Celtic style, like a silly Secret of Kells. Ride with Thundercluck into glory!
Sanpomichi, A Little Oze (Ends: 9/9/2013)
Stop-motion film of a mouse’s daily life, her habits, her family challenges. Graceful slice-of-life.
I’d love to watch this back-to-back with Blood Tea and Red String. For contrast.
Samurai Chinchilla: The Animated Short (Ends: 9/12/2013)
Relaunch of the project, now with more stills, concept art, and of course an origami kitsune.
The Labyrinth (Ends: 9/12/2013)
Short film: a sympathetic and stop-motion look at the birth and life of Asterius, the Greek minotaur
Monster Derby (Ends: 9/11/2013)
A quick and silly board game of racing monsters.
The first 20 seconds of the KS video is particularly worth watching. Maybe not so furry but cute werewolf and minotaur.
Kitsune: Of Foxes and Fools (Ends: 9/11/2013)
A card game of tricky kitsune plotting against foolish mortals, and possibly a tanuki.
Wait for the line in the video, “These are the foxes we’re not using.” Kickstarter proceeds are going toward improving the artwork, so hard to get an idea of the final product.
Havok & Hijinks (Ends: 9/24/2013)
A disturbingly cute card game: you play a dragon hatchling that got kicked out of the parent’s den, and now it’s time to find your OWN hoard!
Attack to the Pantry (Ends: 10/13/2013)
Old School Warner Bros cartoon style card game: Scoundrel animals raiding Grandma’s pantry for whatever they can carry away!
Page is mostly in, or originally in, Italian, but the sketchy concept art is fun and universal!
Fable Kart (Ends: 9/1/2013)
Multiplayer kart game in which the hare, turtle, and lots of animal friends crash and zoom around as they try to rescue the pages from Aesop’s storybook.
Edo Superstar (Ends: 9/5/2013)
Monkey-on-monkey fighting game with an ancient Japanese flavor from the maker of Yukiyoe Heroes (favorite video game characters as ancient Japanese block woodcuts.)
Honestly, I really don’t care about the game. I want the SWAG.
Roundscape: Adorevia (Ends: 9/10/2013)
An ambitious and smutty narrative-driven free-to-play 2D sprite game, looking for some floating decimal point between the hentai fandom and “Lord of the Rings.”
I don’t think Lord of the Rings had quite as many money shots. Is this a furry project? Not really, but poster Kaliyo tells me that we can expect furry companions and transformations. We’ll see.
No Good Deed: A Macrophilic Choose-Your-Own-Adventure (Ends: 9/13/2013)
A multi-ending illustrated book-on-CD, with transformations, macro growth, and the occasional demigod. And lots of naked giant dragon critters.
Look for DNA‘s work on FA.
Dark Stalkers: The Movie (Ends: 9/12/2013): Talbain and Felicia are so cute, I want to love the KS of “Darkstalkers,” but…there is NOTHING in this page worth looking at…
Discord in Equestria (Offbeatr prelaunch voting): …Huh? I’m pretty sure there’s an adult novel/game concept. It involves ponies, and discord. But the concept is more cryptic and garbled than a collection of “Myst” outtakes. Remember: You have only yourself to blame if you let this slip by.
Save Virachey Park (Ends: 9/10/2013): Campaign to install motion-trigger cameras in Virachey park, Cambodia, to show it’s a worthwhile preserve of endangered species. Do it for the dholes!
…Just For Fun
La Divina Caricatura (Ends: 10/1/2013): An American Bunraku-style (Japanese puppet theater) production, a pop opera with a few beautifully done anthro puppets, worth a visit to the IGG for the characters.