Project: Bumpin’ Uglies
Deadline: Thursday, July 12
Why it’s good: The developers and designers behind this Angry Birds-style iPhone/iPad game (which will also be available for Android in the future) know what they’re doing, with resumes boasting work for clients like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. Bumpin’ Uglies is what they’ve staked their free time on: As creative director Bret Hummel says, “The team has been working so hard on this, including evenings and weekends and every single spare moment we have. We believe in it THAT much, and think that we’ve created something that is pretty freakin’ cool and has some quirky mass appeal.”
Bumpin’ Uglies’ name and basic priciple were sparked when Hummel saw an ad for the PayPal app, which allows users to bump their phones together to transfer funds. That concept evolved into a game centering on “Uglies,” cartoon blobs with customizable features and comical facial expressions that change as they ricochet around the world of the game. The creators hope to keep expanding and adding levels in the future, something Kickstarter money might help fund. Hummel’s team “initially looked at me like I was crazy,” he says of first proposing the idea, but now, “This project has every single one of our fingerprints on it.”
Rewards: Hummel says the team wanted every Kickstarter backer to be able to leave a mark on Bumpin’ Uglies. At the lower donation levels, that simply means your name and a thank-you in the game credits. Give $277 or more, though, and you can have your photo turned into an Ugly with your likeness; give $500, and that Ugly you will appear in the actual game.
Why Kickstarter: The team saw Kickstarter as a chance not just to raise money without losing creative control over their baby, but to start spreading the news about what they’re working on. “We’ve been so heads-down at work on Bumpin’ Uglies that we’ve been pretty quiet about what we’re up to, even though we all believe it has the potential to be really big when it launches,” Hummel says. ”We’d been watching the news and following other game developers and studios that were successfully raising much-needed funding on Kickstarter, and have been pretty amazed at how the Kickstarter projects also offer a great opportunity to build a big fanbase.”
Hummel has been surprised, he says, by “how much of an emotional roller coaster it is to have a Kickstarter project out there—we’re all continually hitting refresh on the browser to see whats happening. You’re really kind of ‘putting yourself out there’ with a Kickstarter project, and hoping people love your stuff!”