Magicians: an RPG Kickstarter

I don’t back a lot of Kickstarter RPG projects, there’s too many seemingly worthy projects out there and I just don’t have the time to play them or the money to back them since I’m recently unemployed.

Then I made the mistake of reading Ryan Macklin’s blog post about this one, Magicians.

Magicians has a very interesting twist: it is a contemporary-setting RPG, but the setting is Korea. There’s not a lot of English-language games about Korean mythology, so that immediately caught my eye. But the creator, Kyle Simmons, is coming at this from a unique perspective: he teaches English in South Korea and he has integrated smart phone voice recognition in to the game. You cast magic by speaking Korean.

Thus, by playing the game, you begin picking up Korean vocabulary. If the smart phone correctly parses what you said, then your spell worked. You start with a limited vocabulary and as your vocabulary grows, your spells become more powerful and diverse. And since there’s no ‘spell list’, no two players will be alike even though everyone is a spell-caster.

I think that is exceedingly cool. I don’t know about the Android phone platforms, but you can download Dragon Dictate for the iPhone for free. Kyle has a video on the Kickstarter page showing how it works. I’m not sure exactly how it would work for people who don’t have their phone set for Korean keyboards, but I’m sure that’s covered.

The Kickstarter has about two weeks to go, and has already exceeded the goal by a factor of six. It’s been getting a fair amount of buzz, and Kyle has been doing Skype interviews with various podcasts. I can’t imagine how tricky that would be to work people’s schedule around. You can get a multimedia PDF for only $10 and a physical copy plus the PDF for $25. It is being worked on by Ryan Macklin and Daniel Sollis, so that’s some pretty good talent behind the project, with them behind it I expect it to read and look great. If it hits the $20,000 level, the tenth stretch goal will be a hack to adapt it to learn Japanese, which should be very popular. I don’t think there will be any problem with it blowing past that point. At $30,000, a Chinese language hack/expansion will be unlocked. I would love to see that one released but I’m not holding my breath.

Magician’s Kickstarter page

Ryan Macklin’s Magician’s post

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