Kickstarter Project: ‘NstaCharge
Valid Gaming recently acquired contact with Igor Choromanski, the Director of IKARIA Animation Studios to discuss an upcoming indie game, “’NstaCharge”, a strategic racing game that is centered around a futuristic planet where robots race through the use of motorcycles that are attached to their bodies. The game (according to their Kickstarter page) was based on a short film created by the two members of IKARIA (Igor Choromanski and Min Kang) which gained a multitude of awards and nominations at film festivals. The short can be seen below at the end of the review. Spoiler alert for those who have not seen the short yet, it is explained in the below sentences, so watch the short before reading on if you do not want to have anything spoiled. The short is a very cute two minutes of two robots meeting up at a charging station and exchanging words. Rusty is an out of date robot with a battery that resembles a modern combustible engine battery while Lola is a sexy and polished robot with two individual batteries that are rechargeable. While the two converse words, Lola’s batteries charge up in seconds, but unfortunately, Rusty’s system requires a constant connection to his battery while it charges or he will shut down. As beautiful Lola departs, Rusty is eager to get his last words in but unfortunately comes unplugged while chasing her, leaving him sadly powered down.
The game is centered on Rusty and his ability to surpass Lola’s modernized bike in a race despite his mechanical inhibitions, and his battery’s energy use becomes a key element in game play. Energy is finite, ergo the player must be careful when they allow Rusty to use his energy to proceed. An example of energy conservation that must be used in order to proceed in the game would be to stop using energy on a slope downwards, so that physical laws could take control and move Rusty on its own. There is a chance for Rusty to charge his battery during the levels, but that eliminates multiplying points to the player’s score at the end. Rusty may also collect nuts, bolts, and tools during his races, which he can use to tune up his bike and add modifications. However the player must be selective about their modifications, because as stated in the Kickstarter page, “Adding a battery output booster to Rusty’s bike, for instance, will make it faster, but the added speed will require more energy.” The final product of the game will include three different difficulty settings, which incorporate puzzles and modifications into the game, which challenge a player’s wit and skill to adapt to the game play. At time of writing, there is not a demo of the game out yet, but there is a Kickstarter page, which will be provided below. Below are some questions that Valid Gaming had asked Igor Choromanski:
VG: “What is the current state of the game?”
IC: Current state of the game –> very much DESIGN. We’re pretty far along in terms of determining the functionality and the desired look and feel (Game Design Doc). We’re now translating these into a visual (unplayable) proof of concept. A playable proof of concept (3 levels) will be next.
VG: “This is an excerpt from my article. “‘’NstaCharge” is a perfect example of creativity that can come out a development team when games are not inhibited by the cons of the games publishing industry. The game incorporates a setting that is sophisticated in its simplicity, and the struggle of the outdated Rusty to prove that modifications aren’t everything could be a modern nod to the Tortoise and the Hare. The player is a character with personality, goals, and has the opportunity to choose whether Rusty is a modified version of his old self, or keeps to his ideals that you do not have to be modified to be useful. The italicized part is where I made an assumption based on the modern nods towards the game. Is this assumption more or less correct?”
“‘NstaCharge” is a perfect example of creativity that can come out a development team when games are not inhibited by the cons of the games publishing industry. The game incorporates a setting that is sophisticated in its simplicity, and the struggle of the outdated Rusty to prove that modifications aren’t everything could be a modern nod to the Tortoise and the Hare. The player is a character with personality, goals, and has the opportunity to choose whether Rusty is a modified version of his old self, or keeps to his ideals that you do not have to be modified to be useful. Do keep in mind that there are only two people working on this game, and these two have already formulated a rock solid framework for a game that I believe deserves to be created and spread within the indie games industry. IKARIA is currently working on an iOS release of the game, but with enough support, they will also aim to release their game on Steam, the X Box Live Arcade, and the Playstation Network. I provided a pledge towards this game and as a gamer at heart; I believe this game will satisfy any gamer, from casual to hardcore, who could use a witty and challenging puzzle game. While this may be a preview, I cannot wait for the review.
Fun Facts: IKARIA member Igor Choromanski has contributed to animation projects in all media, including major theatrical releases such as “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and “Cats and Dogs 2″.
IKARIA member Min Kang has worked on several major theatrical releases including “Green Lantern”, “Ice Age 3″, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”, “Cats and Dogs 2″ and “Mars Rovers” in addition to countless commercials and visualization projects!
Here is the short film ‘NstaCharge is based off of:
IKARIA Animation Studios Page
(Check out the team who worked on Green Lantern, Cloudy with a chance of meatballs, and even Ice Age 3!)