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The Funding Crowd 7 (Jun 18th - 25th)
Posted , 26 June 2013 at 3:42 am UTC / 3637 views
Welcome back to The Funding Crowd, your weekly digest about all the Linux games that are being crowdfunded out there. As usual we begin taking a look at the campaigns that ended, either for good or for bad, during the last seven days:




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Let's start with the bad news, that is the canceled campaigns and the unsuccessful ones:


· The Black Tower campaign was canceled, forever. There are various reasons behind this sad decision, and the developers explained them all here.


· Medal Wars: The First One was also canceled, after raising only £200 out of the £7k goal in three weeks. In contrast with the previous canceled campaign however, there hasn't been a single announcement about the future of the game. At least its Greenlight page is still up, so the game might end up being made after all -- a Linux version is another story altogether...


· PSYBLOCKS has been canceled as well as it became clear it wasn't going to make it. This game's creators have spoken, sadly only to announce that a free and lighter version of the game might eventually be released, but only on mobile platforms.


· Patchwork Battles has been another one of this week's cancelations, having raised less than 10% of its base goal. But there's hope for this innovative RPG, as its creator plans to continue working on it and to launch another campaign with more in-game art and some gameplay footage.


· Heavy Gear Assault was finally canceled, long after some viewed it as a doomed campaign. However the creators are not throwing in the towel yet and they've just moved the crowdfunding to their own webpage. Will they succeed this time around?


· FRONTIERS campaign was canceled on Indiegogo and a new one was inmediately launched on Kickstarter. Although the new goal is somewhat lower than the first one ($50k vs. $80k), the huge difference in popularity that exists between the two platforms was made clear when the project became funded in just a few days. There's three more weeks to go in which to achieve stretch goals.


· Decision: Medieval funding was unsuccessful, with a very low funding level. To make matters worse, there wasn't a single update throughout the campaign so we don't know if this game is ever to see the light of day.


· This Game! also failed to achieve its funding goal so, according to the creators, the game client will be downloadable for free and so will be the editor, but the server side software will cost money. Unfortunately there wasn't a link to the game's website on the Indiegogo page, so we cannot know if those are still the developers' intentions.


· Rhythos RPG Builder was equally unsuccessful, raising less than 15% of the primary goal. However, its creator plans to continue working on the game in his spare time and hopes to launch another campaign with a working demo next year.



After so many sad news, let's make it up with a couple of happy ones:


· Beast's Fury campaign can be considered a success, raising more than 4x the minimum $5k goal. The $21k final amount allows for a "PC" demo of the game. However, it remains unclear whether that demo will be released on Linux or not.

UPDATE: As Nyaa rightly points out this is a Unity game, so there should be no impediment for a cross-platform demo.


· Dungeon of Elements met a happy ending after slowly edging its way to success. They are still accepting PayPal pledges to try to achieve some stretch goals, even though the game is due to be released this July.


· Unrest, the highly successful Kickstarter campaign ended grossing more than $36k, that is twelvefold the $3k base goal! Consequently, a lot of stretch goals have been achieved (see here for a complete list, up to the $35k one), although the number could go up depending on the additional pledges they are able to raise until July 6. We'll have to wait since February next year to play the game in its final release, though.






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As she did last week, Speedster has taken a look at the ongoing campaigns to keep us in the know about their performances:


· Armikrog campaign is proving to be a nail-biter for thousands of dedicated Earthworm Jim and The Neverhood fans. This week was relatively slow (with a mere 1,400 new backers and $111k new funds), but the end rush has started to take effect with 3 days to go. The recently announced Wii U support has been responsible for part of the boost, but project leaders Pencil Test have promised that the desktop ports will not be impacted by any subsequent console ports. The funding for console development will come from a stretch goal, which will likely be funded via later Paypal pledges... assuming the current hurdle of $250k to the main Kickstarter goal can be overcome by a large end peak in pledges (editor's note: $130k at the time of publishing). This peak would need to be similar in magnitude to pledges of the initial few days, so it's still not out of the question.


· Nelly Cootalot has swaggered her way to success, with 3 days to go for this humorous piratical adventure. The only open question at this point is whether the support via wine will be upgraded to a native port by gaining 3,500 pounds above the base goal.


· Harvest has had very steady progress, with 78% funds and slightly less than a week to go for this sci-fi detective adventure. Addon rewards have just been announced, but stretch goals are still pending.


· Bag the Bully has made substantial progress towards the modest $2k goal, with 32% funding and still almost a month to attract more backers. The project creators have explicitly said Linux is possible if they find someone to test it, so feel free to be that tester if you are inspired to help in their anti-bullying project.


· Elliot Quest has a flexible funding campaign, but the game will get finished faster if more progress can be made towards the modest $6k goal over the next month. This Zelda-inspired action-adventure game already boasts a web demo (which does work on Linux).


· The Maker's Eden is another flexible funding campaign, but again the additional funds will help the project creator get it on the market sooner rather than later. Work is still underway for a demo of this sci-fi noir adventure.


· Tesla Breaks the World had some big ups and downs in funding this week, but is still on track to hit their goal near the end of the campaign. This zany platformer is at least worth a close look for fans of Nikola Tesla and zombies.


· Fire with Fire Online Tower Attack and Defense has quite the long title, but a modest $6k goal towards which steady progress is being made. In fact, the goal has now come inside the kicktraq cone so success is not unlikely. It offers backer participation at the unusually low $75 tier, and boasts impressive cross-platform support with Linux, OUYA and Android platforms being of most interest around these parts.


· Soul Saga is showing signs of being a big winner, with pledges at 77% and 19 more days to go. This cross-platform "love letter to J-RPG classics" seems like it would do well on Steam, so feel free to give it a vote if you agree.


· Frozen State zombie-less survival RPG is still in the running, but needs a shot in the arm soon in order to maintain that status. It has reached 21% funding with 26 days to go, but a mid-project funding rate of less than 500 pounds per day will leave them far away from the goal -- too far away to inspire a big pledging rush to make up the gap at the end.


· Storm has officially confirmed Linux support as the sole question in the FAQ. The charming pixel art boasts stick figures reminiscent of XKCD riding on various motorcycles and classic bicycles. Although progress so far has been spotty, the modest $3k goal still seems within reach.


· GhostControl Inc. may already be funded by the time you read this (editor's note: indeed it is ). With 11 days to go, there is plenty of time to work on the listed stretch goals. Ghostbuster wanna-bes who appreciate DRM-free Linux games are apparently in luck!


· Leadwerks is a game development tool rather than an editor, but still something of interest to many Linux users who would like to be able to make games on Linux as well as playing them. In the first week Leadwerks has collected almost $14k for their Linux port, so their base goal of $20k within 35 more days looks like a piece of cake. The $100 pledge earns a license to a copy of their game editor that runs ON Linux and builds games FOR Linux.




After this thorough recap of all the old friends of us, let's go for this week's new projects. And we begin with The Biggies, that are coming back after being absent last week:



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Instant 3D is an almost-miraculous 2D-3D video converter, which is allegedly able to "extract 3-D data from ALL of your games and lets you play them in 3-D on ANY 2-D or 3-D TV for a better gaming experience." But games are not its only field of application but in fact any kind of video input, be it RGB, VGA, HDMI... The output can be selected between the PAL and NTSC TV formats. The man behind this project is Gene Dolgoff, the alleged developer and inventor of holographic printing and the digital projector, which made 3-D movies practical. There's been a partial skeptical reaction to the capabilities of this device, especially since so far there's no video showing the system at work as many people has requested. Anyway its ambitious goal of $850k is likely to prove impossible to reach, as less than 3% has been raised in its first week of campaign.





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Imagine Minecraft with a hexagonal base instead of a squared one. Add robots to it and make it third-person. What you've got is Qbots, a single- or multi-player procedurally-generated sandbox/building/combat game. The worlds are procedurally generated and there will be three of them, distinct from each other: the land-based Pangaea, a water world called Oceana and the airless moon Avesta. These worlds, or sectors, will be able to intersect between them to form a supersector and interact with each other, with potentially disastrous consequences. However, as per now only the Pangaea environment is completed.
Judging it by its nature this game should be a Hidden Gem, but its high $175k base goal forces us to feature it as a Biggie. Unfortunately, the barely known studio that's behind it hasn't been able to rally any significant support and the campaign will need a dramatic improvement in contributions to have a chance of getting funded.





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Paradox A is another campaign that we had some doubts when putting a label to it. Its creators are asking for $145k, but that money will be used to create both a CG sci-fi series and a Massive Multiplayer Virtual World related to that series. Since there isn't a detailed breakdown of how much will be spent in each, we're considering it a Biggie.
The virtual world part of the campaign is called Paradox A Evolution and it's being developed entirely on Linux. In it the player is one of a group of people who wake up from cryo-sleep only to find their spaceship in bad condition and strange things happening. The goal is to explore the ship, find the rest of the crew, defend them and keep the ship's system functional in order to survive. The campaign is of the flexible type but there's a detailed list of intermediate milestones starting at $1k, useful to know what to expect in the likely scenario of not reaching the base goal.





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A Biggie in its own right, LFG & The Fork of Truth is a 3D 4-player co-op action RPG based on the award-winning Looking For Group webcomic. Players will get to play as Cale, Richard, Benny or Krunch running around 12 (or more, depending on the stretch goals) regions of Legarion, and will be able to choose their in-game goals: either be a friendly group and help the poor peasants, or be a bunch of evil badasses and burn their villages down.
This campaign base goal is $600k, a hard-enough-to-reach figure as it stands (barely inside the Kicktraq cone), but the bad news is that Linux support is conditioned on a $1.1M stretch goal. And that is totally out of the question right now, unless a big increase in support occurs.





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Much in a Double Fine fashion, American McGee and Spicy Horse Games have launched a brand new Kickstarter campaign shortly after finishing Akaneiro: Demon Hunters. This one is called OZombie and it's a reimagining of The Wizard of Oz in the form of a narrative-driven action-adventure game. In it, Dorothy's great-great-granddaughter bands with Tin Woodsman and Lion to defeat Scarecrow and his plans to conquest the land of Oz. The game's art style and narrative will be much in the line of Spicy Horse's previous titles, such as the aforementioned Akaneiro or Alice: Madness Returns. It will be primarily a single player experience, and a multiplayer mode will be unlocked upon finishing the single player part. It will be developed with Unity 3D -so it will be released on Linux- and will be totally DRM-free. It's got a base goal of $950k (almost five times that of Akaneiro) that should be achievable if the campaign can keep its current momentum. Stretch goals are planned in terms of backers rather than funds in what we think a clever attempt to attract as much pledges as possible, even the tiny ones.





And finally, here comes this week's Hidden Gems Top-10:




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Rat Realm is -not surprinsingly- the only virtual rat simulator in the market. It's browser-based and it's currently in closed alpha state (anyone can pay $5 to purchase an account and enter it). Its creators are running this campaign to re-code the site and to add in new features, such as custom artwork for each rat variety, realistic genetics when producing offspring or rat agility courses. It's got the fairly low goal of $1.5k, but so far not a single pledge has been made. Will you, the rat-loving reader of The Funding Crowd, be the first one?





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AfterEffect is a turn-based city manager set in a post-apocalyptic world. The player can choose the cause of the apocalypse and the gameplay will depend on that choice. Inevitably one of those causes is a zombie breakout, but the existence of alternatives prevents us from holding it against the developers.   Considerations about zombies apart, the game features randomly generated isometric cities with random events. The player starts as a member of a small group of survivors who'll have to fight their way to survive and rebuild the city as much as they can. There are different winning conditions, but the player can keep going after achieving them.
The campaign base goal amounts to $6.5k and it hasn't started all too well. However the creators have stated that if the project isn't successfully funded they will still finish the game, only at a slower pace. So go and back it if you'd like to play it as soon as possible!





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Are you into traditional card games? Then Lotus is the application for you! It's an open source fork of Cockatrice, a client for playing card games online that run into legal issues with Hasbro and was shut down. Lotus aims to remain legal, free and open source, and to feature every single card game that's ever existed. It supports Linux from the start -not surprisingly, being an open source project- and its $1.5k funding goal was achieved in just a couple of days. Right now it stands at almost $3k so it's going to achieve the highest stretch goal (an European server, set at $3.5k) very soon. With just under two weeks until the deadline, we wouldn't be surprised to see even more stretch goals set up for this project.





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Here comes another card game, although of a different nature than the previous one. Tridek: Creatures of Galena is a DTCG (Digital Trading Card Game) featuring true cross-platform multiplayer matches as well as an offline mode. Among the innovations it brings to the table are the resourcesand the victory points system. The former aims to add strategic depth to the game with its give-and-take method and to remove the "luck" factor, so typical in this kind of games. The latter intends to enlarge the tactical options available to the player by e.g. giving more victory points to the weakest creatures, which at the same time helps avoid "the biggest card wins" situations. The creators confirmed to us that the game will be on Steam for all its platforms, although they did not specify if it's going to be a simultaneous release or we must wait longer than others for it. Anyhow, we may never know: the campaign hasn't started very well and it's got the support of only 3 backers per day, so the $55k goal looks quite out of reach by now. We hope to be reporting a brighter prospect on future editions of our column, though.





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Even though we never talked about it, KR-17 is a Kickstarter veteran that strikes back after a failed first attempt. It's a retro-style, pixelated, sidescrolling action puzzle platformer about a military robot -KR-17- on a mission to eliminate a renegade agent. It's intended as the first of a multi-genered series of games about Terrius, KR-17's home planet. This first instalment of the series makes a show of its absence of unique features and instead it's built with a focus on captivating story-lines, large levels and an adorable little robot as the protagonist. But make no mistake, as adorable as it may be it will make use of its full arsenal of grenades, mines and guided missiles, without flinching.
Even though the current Kickstarter page doesn't state it, the developers confirmed to us they'll support Linux on day one although the only officially supported distribution will be Ubuntu. They've kept the original $3k goal but with a slightly longer campaign this time. So far is doing reasonably well, especially when compared to the previous attempt, but it could use some more support to achieve the funding goal without excessive hassle.





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Another open source project opens this week's Top-5. Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead is an open-world sandbox roguelike/survival game. You play as a survivor in a world infested with zombies, triffids, giant ants, etc -- in this case the killer plants more than compensate the ubiquous walking dead. The open-world sandbox nature of the game takes form in the variety of things you can do in it: either fight back the enemies and eventually clean the city from any evil threat, or steal a vehicle and head to the country, or maybe investigate the research labs suspected to have something to do with the cataclysm that gives name to the game.
Right now the game -which incidentally is being developed on Linux- is available in ASCII mode on the project's website and you can geet the source code on GitHub. Being an open source game, the $7k or more from the campaign will be employed on paying a member of its active community to work 24/7 on it. The main objectives being a) to add full graphics support for those not comfortable enough with an ASCII interface, b) to give vertical depth to the game in the form of skyscrapers, flying enemies attacking from the air, being able to shoot from a roof, etc. and c) a world and mod managing tool to share your creations or tweak those of other players.





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Meet another sandbox survival game: Space Nomads. In contrast with the previous Hidden Gem this one is a co-op FPS game with some tower defense elements. The plot is not very convoluted: you're stranded on an alien planet and you must explore it and collect resources to craft weapons and to build defenses and turrets to protect your base from incessant waves of hostile creatures. Its main focus however is cooperation, and the developers aim for a community-centered development where many improvements come from players feedback. The game will be DRM-free and available for Linux on day one. We could try to further explain the game to you in detail but it's way better if you see it and experience it by yourself, so go grab the alpha demo and give it a try! If you like it you can contribute to its campaign, which is a fixed funding one and aims to raise C$60k. In over a week it's only gathered around 8% of the total goal, so it'll need more support in the remaining month to have a chance of succeeding.





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The bronze medal goes to this week's undoubtfully sensation: Megatokyo the Visual Novel Game. As its name suggests, it's a visual novel based on the homonymous webcomic. The story revolves around Piro and Largo, two American friends who get stuck in Tokyo without enough money to afford the trip home, and their different experiences there. Given the huge amount of content to adapt the creators have decided to divide the story in three parts, each one offering between 4-6 hours of gameplay per playable character. The original $20k goal was intended to cover the first chapter with two playable characters -- Piro and Largo, of course. But the big Megatokyo fan base rallied to support it and raised the base goal in just a few hours. Since then many stretch goals have been met, including 11 additional playable characters and the second chapter, with the third one about to be achieved at the time of writing. All of this in only one week, and there are three more to go! If you're not into the hype yet and would like to get a taste of what the game will be like, you may want to get this playable short scene based on this strip and give it a go.





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The second place is for Project Sweat, a visually stunning 2D ARPG. It features highly detailed graphics with fluently animated one-piece sprites in a seamless multi-layered environment. To add to the graphical preciousness of the game the sprites are asymmetrically designed, that is they are different when facing left or right. There will be three quite different playable characters -one male and two females- but only the first one has been fully revealed, to give backers the chance to influence the design of the remaining two. Each one will have its own unique characteristics and the mage female will be fully customizable. The combat system uses only two attack buttons and it's highly reminiscent of that of Ninja Gaiden: Black, but flattened to 2D.
The game supports Linux from the start and it's got a base funding goal of £25k. That figure would seem easy enough to achieve for a project with the quality of this one, but it's actually had an unbelievably poor start with slightly over the 1% funded in four days. There's still a month to go, but things need to dramatically improve if we don't want to see this game end up in the Failed section of our crowdfunding wiki.





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And lastly, this week we give pride of place to Dark Matter, a 2D action platformer from the developers of Nuclear Dawn. It's a modern descendant of Metroid, a game driven by the same progressively unlockable level mechanics. Light plays a vital role in the gameplay and has a direct influence on the player's survival, as the enemies are disturbed by it. Much to the relief of every platformers non-lover, this game does not depend on what can be called "jumping puzzles". But on the other hand, good aiming and marksmanship abilities are of the utmost importance in order to have a chance of beating it. The graphics are good, but the strongest asset of the game has to be its dynamical lighting -- something to be expected given the importance of light in the game. The art style, the organic creep found everywhere and some of the creatures remind us a bit of Waking Mars, but here end the similarities since Dark Matter is certainly quite a different game.
The game will be simultaneously released for Windows, Mac and Linux and it will be DRM-free -- with Steam keys -when available- for all backers on the £8 level and above. The funding target is £50k, a highly unlikely goal judging by the way the campaign has started. After 6 days it stands at roughly %4 of the necessary amount, and only a massive onslaught of new backers could prevent its ultimate failure. We wouldn't want to see this project failing, so if you also wouldn't go and back it!





And that's all for today! We'll be back next week, ideally on Monday although we don't make promises anymore.   Until then you can keep yourself informed at our crowdfunding wiki, and you can even contribute to it if you like! (help is always welcome )

A Linux user for more than 10 years, I've just recently rediscovered the passion for gaming. Couldn't have chosen a better time than now: the second Golden Age of Linux gaming.

Comments on this article are now closed.
Orkultus commented on 26 June 2013 at 5:40 pm UTC

Sad to see all those cancellations. I was really hoping to see Heavy Gear Assault. I would fund more stuff, but money has been tight these days. I think it's the same for everyone now. The entire world is going broke.

Sad to see all those cancellations. :( I was really hoping to see Heavy Gear Assault. I would fund more stuff, but money has been tight these days. I think it's the same for everyone now. The entire world is going broke.

liamdawe commented on 26 June 2013 at 10:06 pm UTC

Excellent as always, lovely to see someone else help out too

Excellent as always, lovely to see someone else help out too :D

s_d commented on 27 June 2013 at 1:13 am UTC
  • GOL Supporter

Updates!  Armikrog is funded now, and Nelly Cootalot has acheived all stretch goals before the porting goal... standing at £16,695 out of the necessary £18,500 for native Mac/Linux ports.  

Also, in the descriptive paragraph for OZombie, the Kickstarter URL is broken (though the URL from the graphic is fine).

Updates!  Armikrog is funded now, and Nelly Cootalot has acheived all stretch goals before the porting goal... standing at £16,695 out of the necessary £18,500 for native Mac/Linux ports.  :D Also, in the descriptive paragraph for OZombie, the Kickstarter URL is broken (though the URL from the graphic is fine).

muntdefems commented on 27 June 2013 at 1:13 pm UTC
  • Editor

Broken link corrected, thanks for the tip!

Also congratulations for getting Armikrog. funded.

Broken link corrected, thanks for the tip! Also congratulations for getting Armikrog. funded. :)

Speedster commented on 27 June 2013 at 5:19 pm UTC
  • GOL Supporter

Oops I dropped a 'k' in the Leadwerks funding goal

Oops I dropped a 'k' in the Leadwerks funding goal

liamdawe commented on 27 June 2013 at 5:24 pm UTC

SpeedsterOops I dropped a 'k' in the Leadwerks funding goal
Oh noes! Fixed

[quote=Speedster]Oops I dropped a 'k' in the Leadwerks funding goal[/quote] Oh noes! Fixed :)

Nyaa commented on 27 June 2013 at 6:08 pm UTC

Beast's Fury is an Unity game, so there shouldn't be any obstacles in making the demo cross-platform.

Beast's Fury is an Unity game, so there shouldn't be any obstacles in making the demo cross-platform.

muntdefems commented on 27 June 2013 at 8:23 pm UTC
  • Editor

NyaaBeast's Fury is an Unity game, so there shouldn't be any obstacles in making the demo cross-platform.

Quite right! I've updated the article with your observation, thanks.

[quote=Nyaa]Beast's Fury is an Unity game, so there shouldn't be any obstacles in making the demo cross-platform.[/quote] Quite right! I've updated the article with your observation, thanks. ;)

Orkultus commented on 28 June 2013 at 4:48 am UTC

I bought Interstellar Marines, about 8 months ago, and since then i haven't been able to play any of the demo's on their page cause they require "Unity Webplayer Plugin". They just now gave us Steam keys, and it's available to play pre-release for the people who paid for "Spearhead" rank. Next week it will be available. Although they still dont have a Linux version, and it wont be on steam next week. They said there is alot of "Middleware" that doesn't work on Linux. So i dont even know when or if a Linux version is going to come out. I guess im out 50 dollars.

I bought Interstellar Marines, about 8 months ago, and since then i haven't been able to play any of the demo's on their page cause they require "Unity Webplayer Plugin". They just now gave us Steam keys, and it's available to play pre-release for the people who paid for "Spearhead" rank. Next week it will be available. Although they still dont have a Linux version, and it wont be on steam next week. They said there is alot of "Middleware" that doesn't work on Linux. So i dont even know when or if a Linux version is going to come out. I guess im out 50 dollars.

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