This week, you may have seen some familiar projects crop up on Kickstarter. It’s a new category called “Kickstarter Gold,” in which Kickstarter brought back the creators of some of their favorite projects to do something new. Some are updated versions of their creations, and some are new products inspired by the original projects. Kickstarter Gold projects will be launching between now and the end of July, so check back on that project page to see what else has been launched.
Here are a couple of projects that stood out to me—check out the videos below, and click on the links to visit the Kickstarter pages!
One of the craziest Kickstarter campaigns I backed was for To Be or Not To Be, a choose-your-own-adventure version of Hamlet. The campaign itself let backers make choices in an ongoing story, and by the time the dust settled it was Kickstarter’s top publishing project ever (at the time). Every ending in the book was illustrated, and there’s even a book-within-the-book (inspired by the play-within-the-play) where King Claudius reads a chooseable-path book himself. It’s brilliant and weird and funny, as is the follow-up, Romeo and/or Juliet.
This project will fund a smaller volume featuring three stories about Shakespeare, Yorick, and Samuel Ampson. The stories about Yorick and Sampson were previously only available to Kickstarter backers, and will (funding permitting) now have even more illustrations from a host of artists.
Cubetto is a small boxy robot that preschoolers can program to move around using a clever control box that does not require any screens. I wrote about the original Kickstarter last year. The new campaign offers more Adventure Packs, each consisting of a colorful map and a storybook. If you own Cubetto already, you can get new maps; if you don’t, there are options for getting a base set with or without the additional packs. I think Cubetto is best for preschool-age kids: they can experiment and learn how to string instructions together into a program, and figure out the paths to take according to the storybooks. For older kids, you may need to make your own missions or mazes to run through because the storybooks are pretty simple—my 10-year-old has enjoyed designing her own paths and making up stories about them for her little sister.
If you grew up watching Wile E. Coyote attempting to catch the Road Runner, then you’re familiar with the ACME Corporation, purveyor of bombs and giant weights and rockets and, of course, bird seed. Rob Loukotka watched every episode of the cartoon and then made a poster featuring all 126 items that came from ACME. This new version has been remixed and features metallic gold paint.
This book-and-podcast combo is a collection of bedtime stories about real women from around the world, with illustrated portraits of each woman. The original book has been translated into 50 different languages and is a bestseller. This campaign will fund a second volume of 100 more stories and portraits, as well as the first season of the podcast. Rewards include the Rebel Girls coloring book, as well as a slipcase version with both volumes.
Alf Seegert is the designer of Fantastiqa, an unconventional deck-building game about traveling around a fantastic world. Rival Realms is set in the same world, but instead it’s a 2-player competition. Summon and explore regions and complete quests. One interesting aspect is that cards you discard for certain purposes can be drawn by your opponent, so watch what you play.
Zach Weinersmith is the creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, a popular webcomic, and he’s also written a kids’ book (Augie and the Green Knight) and a super-abridged version of the Bible. Now, he’s written a super-abridged book about every major field of science, cutting out all of the boring parts (and most of the interesting parts, too). You can also order a copy of Weinersmith’s upcoming book Soonish, written with his wife Dr. Kelly Weinersmith, about emerging technologies.
What if all the people who started getting super powers were Black? That’s the premise of this comic book, which I backed myself last year. This new campaign will fund a remastered collected edition of this comic that puts a fascinating spin on both race relations and superpowers.
Well, that’s just a few of the Kickstarter Gold projects that are currently running. Visit Kickstarter to check out the rest!