Kickstarter has been the place for those that want to get ahead of the curb and get their idea out into the world. Fortunately, a lot of the time people's ideas reach a large number of people whether it's through promoting on Youtube or social media. If you're unaware of the Kickstarter system, in simple terms you have to set a reasonable goal in order to bring your product to life, and if that goal is met or exceeded, you can further your campaign with people investing their hard earned cash into a product that they deem worthy. If you were to tell me a few years ago that something like this would exist, I'd say you were full of it, however it's not only seen a lot of successful business ventures, but some of the coolest items have been created all because people express an interest in the product.
I think a lot of the convenience of Kickstarter comes from the fact that you don't have to support with a lot of money, you can literally back the idea with $1.00 and you'll be considered an "investor" in the product. I've done a lot of research through the main Kickstarter website and I've compiled a list of 15 items that either exceeded the required amount to bring the product to life, or it's an item that not only did that, but deserves light to be shined on it because of how unique and cool it is. So I'm sure there will be something here for everybody to enjoy.
15 Exploding Kittens
Exploding Kittens is a card game created by Elan Lee, and through Kickstarter, the necessary funding to bring this card game to life was set at $10,000. Through over 200,000 backers on this idea, the amount pledged came close to $9 million. Not only was the goal met, but it was met with generally favorable interest with people backing the project pledging hundreds of dollars just to see if the card game had a chance to live. So what is it? Exploding Kittens is described as a strategic kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette. You play cards until someone draws an exploding kitten card prompting them to lose the game. It's honestly no surprise that the goal of $10,000 was met with generally favorable interest as the game seems like a lot of fun to pick up and play with friends be it at a party or some form of get together.
14 Dark Souls - The Board Game
As if Dark Souls wasn't infuriating enough, you can now continue your frustration with the Dark Souls board game. Thanks to Steamforged Games Ltd., they put the idea on Kickstarter and estimated they'd need approximately £50,000 in order to make the board game a reality. Fortunately, the board game has reached the goal and more so with a total amount pledged reaching about £4,000,000. Based on its description alone, it can be assumed that this board game is meant to take the immersive combat and challenging aspects of the game and put them into a 1-4 player board game setting. I've never personally played Dark Souls but I know that the games are highly praised for their difficulty and story lines, so I imagine those that love the lore of the game should definitely look into the board game. It is based around the Dark Souls universe so it's surely to please those interested in the lore.
13 Pillars of Eternity
Everyone and their mothers should know who Obsidian Entertainment is. If you don't, you need to go ahead and crawl out from under the rock you're living under. Anyway, Obsidian Entertainment is no stranger to the Kickstarter trend. In fact, Pillars of Eternity was birthed because of support through Kickstarter. So, what is Pillars of Eternity? It is an isometric party based RPG game set in a fantasy world. Obsidian Entertainment put forward the idea of asking for a goal of $1,100,000, and fortunately for them the idea gained prominent success bringing in close to $4 million in funds strictly from supporters and backers. If you were part of the process of getting this game funded, you were gifted with a digital copy of the game once it met its completion. If you weren't fortunate enough to be part of the support crew, you can find the game on Steam for $24.99. I've never played the game myself, but it's got amazing reviews and people seem to love it.
12 Yooka - Laylee
If you thought the genius behind Banjo-Kazooie and the like was thrown into a vault for good, think again. Yooka-Laylee is the genius idea behind the creative talent known as Playtonic Games which consists of a small team of the same individuals that brought us the amazing 3D platformers we know and love today. The idea was brought to life and instantly caught the world by storm, with exceeding the necessary amount needed by a large sum. The campaign asked for £175,000 and was met with favorable support exceeding the required amount with over £2 million. Much like Pillars of Eternity, if you were part of the original support group, you will be gifted with a digital edition of Yooka-Laylee and even more rewards depending on how much you pledged. Fortunately, the game is expected to see a full release in the near future, so for those of us that have been waiting for a proper Banjo-Kazooie reboot, Yooka-Laylee will be the best bet to feed that hunger.
3Doodler is described as the world's first 3D printing pen, which to my surprise has been gaining a lot of support through Kickstarter. Apparently, what the 3Doodler consists of is what you'd find with a 3D printer, however you can use it to draw in the air. Not only is this revolutionary, but it's unbelievable that something like this has the potential to actually exist. Through Kickstarter, a company by the name of WobbleWorks LLC put forward the idea asking for $30,000 to start this project, and it was met with nearly $2.5 million worth of support. Apparently, your creativity will be met with no bounds and this could potentially allow people to express their artistic ability through 3D art. Of course, the item is described to come with some risks as is to be expected, one of which being the manufacturing of the item, however given how much this is being supported, I would hope that risk is quickly taken care of.
10 Star Citizen
If you guys follow Dan Gheesling (yes the guy from Big Brother) and his YouTube channel, you're probably fully aware of what Star Citizen is. For those that aren't too familiar with it, the best description I can give is that it is space exploration simulator, much like No Man's Sky, but far superior in every way imaginable. There is already an enormous fan base following this game as evident through the support through Kickstarter. The idea behind Star Citizen was created by Cloud Imperium Games Corporation and they were asking for a sum of $500,000 and was met with exceptionally favorable support with pledges exceeding $2 million. If you're a fan of both space, space simulation, or are looking for a game that really showcases the idea behind battling each other in space, Star Citizen is constantly being updated with new add ons and thanks to the continued support through Kickstarter, it's possible that the game will make its way out of alpha and will be released as a full fledged game, which the date of release is yet to be determined.
9 The Kinetic Art Table
Kickstarter is absolutely no stranger to art projects and creative endeavors displayed by those that take a serious interest in art, and Bruce Shapiro displays his love of art through a project of his own. Described as technology and design merged in stunning meditative beauty, Sisyphus (The Kinetic Art Table) follows the beauty and meditative nature of a ball rolling through sand creating and erasing beautiful patterns forever. The initial goal for this Kickstarter campaign asked for $50,000 and thankfully it reached close to $2 million in support and thus The Kinetic Art Table was brought to life with more than enough funds to support the project. Although the reward system did require people to break the bank just a little bit, those that were interested but didn't have the funds were still allowed to show support with as little as $1 and with that you were always kept up to date with their updates and improvements.
8 Floating Record Vertical Turntable
If you're like me and you have a pretty decently sized record collection, sometimes you wish you could showcase that in a different way than just putting the record flat on the turntable and listening to it. Especially with some records being printed as pieces of art, it's not too much to ask to be able to look at the piece of art while it plays. Well, fortunately with Kickstarter, we were gifted with a Floating Record Vertical Turntable. The idea behind this product is described as the name says, it allows your record to stand up vertically as it plays instead of laying it flat on its back. The turntable provided also comes with full-range stereo speakers, so don't worry about whether you're not getting the quality you desire. The original idea was put on Kickstarter and asked for $50,000, and was met with over half a million dollars in funds to support and fund the birth of the Floating Record Vertical Turntable.
7 Million Dollars, But...
Even in today's technology filled world, there are still ways to enjoy card games, and Kickstarter is no stranger to people bringing their ideas to life through this mean. Specifically speaking, a card game by the name of Million Dollars, But... focuses on the moral aspects and imagination if you were to hypothetically run into a million dollars. This is something a lot of people think about and it's often times coined the phrase, "Boy, what I would do with a million dollars!?" This idea was provided by Rooster Teeth whom you probably know from Red vs Blue or their YouTube presence, and they were originally asking for $10,000 to get this project started. However with their online presence being so huge, they managed to bring in close to $1.5 million which is not nothing. If you're looking for an interesting card game that could potentially lead to some good fun with friends and family, I imagine this is right up your alley.
6 Geo Orbital Wheel
Technology is constantly evolving, and companies are always looking for ways to take their out of date pieces of technology and bring them into the modern age. While it's pretty easy to say that bicycles or workout equipment for that matter don't really need to be altered, some good can come from change. GeoOrbital has done just that by offering a GeoOrbital Wheel which will allow you to turn your bike into an electric powered bike. This could have many benefits, specifically for those that can't drive, or don't really feel an immediate urge to buy a motorcycle. This bike can give you the speed you need without investing in the kind of heavy machinery that gets most people around. While I don't condone that you should stop getting exercise while riding your bike, there could be a balance of "using it to get from point A to point B" and "using it for exercise." Currently, this advancement has been brought to life with a total amount pledged of $1,261,222 when the company only asked for $75,000.
5 Coolest Cooler
Something I often find really cool with how technology works today is the fact that people can take the original idea of something that has existed for quite some time, and improve on it. This Kickstarter campaign was started by a man named Ryan Grepper, and he promised the people who backed him that he could provide a 21st century cooler that brings together the many things you need into one item like an ice crushing blender, to a waterproof bluetooth speaker. Like I've mentioned in this article before, there's definitely nothing wrong with improving an item that already exists, especially if it's built strictly for convenience. The Kickstarter campaign was asking for $50,000 and saw tremendous success bringing in close to $14 million. If you're considering going on a camping trip some time soon, and you want to have the most fun you can have, the Coolest Cooler is something you need to look into.
4 Reading Rainbow Reboot
As far as I'm concerned, if you've never heard of Reading Rainbow, you need to get educated on it right now. Now, those of us that already know about this wonderful show, you'll be happy to hear that there was a Kickstarter campaign that worked to get Reading Rainbow spread across classrooms in different ways. The campaign was started by LeVar Burton & Reading Rainbow and their cause was to bring Reading Rainbow into schools with interactive books & video field trips. The original campaign asked for $1 million, and of course with how popular Reading Rainbow is, the campaign succeeded bringing in close to $5.5 million. Reading Rainbow is a part of many people's childhood, and it should always be a part of people's childhoods. Much like the old cartoons we used to watch, or the old educational Nick Jr. shows, Reading Rainbow should never see itself fade away.
3 Veronica Mars Movie
I've never been hugely into Veronica Mars. In fact it wasn't until recently that I heard that it was getting a movie. I chose to look into it and of course the idea stemmed from Kickstarter. I know there are plenty of people (my friends especially) that would love the heck out of a movie adaptation of this style. The Kickstarter campaign for a Veronica Mars movie was created by Rob Thomas (writer, not the singer) and the necessary goal to meet was set at $2 million. Of course, with as much popularity as I imagine this type of deal would have, the campaign was met with generally favorable interest bringing the total amount pledged to hit nearly $6 million. This has not only allowed the movie to no longer be just a pipe dream, but it'll also allow the director involved to go pretty big and create a movie that will make fans and new fans alike happy.
2 Wireless Smart Headphones
Now although I'm totally in favor of advancing technology, some advances have left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Specifically I'm referring to The Dash - Wireless Smart Headphones. I get it, people really love convenience, and the ability to wear headphones without having the trouble of the wire hanging in front of you constantly getting tangled is a wonderful thing. But even if something like this could end up working really well, I'd still prefer the wired headphones as I don't ever have any problems with connection. However, speaking of the Kickstarter campaign, it was created by Bragi LLC, and they asked for $260,000 and unsurprisingly the goal was reached bringing in a total amount of $3,390,551. For those that are really looking forward to wireless headphones, I imagine these are your best bet for not only your buck, but for quality as well. Just don't forget to take them out when you're done.
1 Conan - The Board Game
Monolith Board Games LLC have turned to Kickstarter to bring us something that you never knew you needed in your life until right now. You read the title correctly, there is a Conan board game, and thankfully with the help of the Gods of Kickstarter, this beautiful idea has come to life. The pledge goal that was expected to be met was set at $80,000 and was reached with a whopping $3.3 million. The board game is described as a miniature based board game that puts the player in control of savage tribesmen, no-good lowlifes and undead minions against 1-4 players. Judging solely by the images displayed on the Kickstarter page, not only does this board game seem like something you should be getting your parents for Christmas, but it's also perfect for the people that love Robert E. Howard and are constantly working towards everything Conan related. Definitely worth checking out.
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