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The Funding Crowd Goes Fourth (May 27th - Jun 3rd)

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First and foremost, we'd like to apologize for the delay. The Funding Crowd crew (which is basically me, if you haven't noticed) had a rather busy weekend and couldn't deliver its weekly column in time. We'll try to avoid any further delays, but we really cannot make any promise. Unless of course some of you would like to sponsor us, in which case we'd gladly sign a legally binding contract! :P

Jokes aside and without further ado, let's see what happened during the last seven eight days:



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Firstly, we'd like to remember you that FrogDice announced unconditional Linux support for their upcoming RPG/Dr.Mario mashup called Dungeon of Elements, of which we talked last week. They're doing pretty well, but still need the final push to make it to their $20k goal.


Secondly, let's recap the relevant successfully funded projects:

AR-K: we never talked about this graphical adventure, mainly because we never thought it was going to get funded, but its supporters proved us wrong and reached its goal on the very last day. Linux support was announced sometime in the middle of the campaign, so go and check it out because it looks pretty interesting. The game is on Greenlight to try to make its way into Steam.


Son of Nor: another one to prove us wrong by finally making it thanks to an increase in pledges on its campaign's last two days. It barely exceeded its prime goal so no stretch goal was achieved. This one is also on Greenlight.


Stonehearth: this one was an easy prediction to make. In fact when we first talked about this project, it was already funded and had also reached the Linux support stretch goal. Since then, it's grossed up to 600% the original goal, achieving a number of stretch goals. They're still accepting pledges via PayPal and they are also on Greenlight.


SiSSYFiGHT 2000: one of our Hidden Gems from last week was also successfully funded. It even reached an stretch goal (new avatar customization). It's worth mentioning that this is an open source project, meaning that when the game is complete they are going to release all of the code, sound and artwork under open source licenses for everyone to tweak and enjoy. It's not surprising then that this one is not on Greenlight.


Pandora: Purge of Pride: this onetime Hidden Gem got funded, but the Linux support stretch goal was not reached. We enquired the developer about this and he replied that "unfortunately Linux is not going to be available for the initial release, but [they] may be able to work on a Linux version at some point in the future." However neither its Greenlight page nor its Desura one mention Linux whatsoever, so right now it looks quite doubtful that this game ever gets a Linux port.


TUG: this multiplayer open-world sandbox-RPG Biggie was never featured in The Funding Crowd because of the usual reason: uncertain Linux support. A Linux version was never announced for day one, with or without a stretch goal involved, but at least there's the firm promise of the developers that there will be one someday, so we'll have to go with that for the moment. If you're confident about it becoming a reality, you can pre-order the game on the game's website.


City Quest: after living on the edge for its campaign's entire duration this former Hidden Gem got happily funded in the end, thanks to a good final rush. Could it be due to their vow to adhere to the Kicking It Forward initiative? Or perhaps was their exposure on Greenlight that attracted the necessary funds? Who knows, but the important thing is that we're going to enjoy this pixelated adventure by next September.


The Kingsport Cases: here's another potential Hidden Gem that we didn't cover in the end. And why do we talk about it now? Well, firstly because it's been successfully funded, yet again thanks to a crazy last day of campaign, but mainly because the way in which that happened: $8k out of the total $20k goal were due to a single pledge made in the final hours... by the game developers. We've always been suspicious about campaigns resurrecting from their own ashes and getting unlikely last-hour income amounts, but this time there's proof since they announced it. Some regard it as proof of their commitment to their idea and their project but others may become skeptical of the developers' ability to deliver what they promised, considering they'll have to work with less than 75% of their intended budget.


The Great Zoo Escape: this Hidden Gem from last week wasn't doing very well on Kickstarter, but it just got successfully funded last night. Luckily more than half the total goal was raised in the last day, thanks to only 3 pledges! What? Wait a minute... :huh:


And we close this section with the bad news, that is the unsuccessful campaigns:

Rawbots: we were right in seeing this campaign as ill-fated. So did their creators as it seems, as they decided to abort it when less than 10% of the goal had been raised and only 5 days remained. Nonetheless, they will continue developing the game and will gather funds from its early access version orders. Here's the game's Greenlight page in case you didn't know it existed.


Westerado: this is hands down the worst news of the week. Out of the blue, both their Indiegogo campaign and their Facebook pages have disappeared, leaving no trace. We tried to ask the developers about it but the email address, which we had successfully communicated with a couple of days earlier, was also down. Does anyone know anything about this affair? Looks like there won't be an updated version for desktops and that we'll have to content ourselves with the current online Flash version, then.





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Now that we know what already happened, let's review what's happening right now. And we begin, as usual, with The Biggies:



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MASSIVE CHALICE: Double Fine has launched a new Kicsktarter when they still haven't finished the game they kickstarted last year. But that's OK, since this one will be developed by an entire group of people who were apparently laying idle on their chairs. By now we assume you know everything about it, in fact there was an article on GoL about it. This time around it's a tactical strategy game, set in a fantastic medieval age and built with Double Fine's own Buddha Engine, which of course supports Linux. At the time of writing this, they've almost reached their base goal of $725k so we expect the final game to be far bigger and greater than what its current features predict.

 

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Armikrog.: this week's second biggest Biggie cannot be other than this one. Its sufficient credentials are that it's being made by the creators of Earthworm Jim and The Neverhood. It aims for an ambitious $900k goal, more than a third of that amount having been already raised by now, but so high a budget makes perfect sense when you take into consideration that the game's art is made out of clay and animated in stop-motion. It's going to make use of the Unity3D engine and thus will be available for Linux from day one. You can get more details about this project on this article.



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Delta Six: "and now for something completely different!" This is not a game, but rather a fancy new game controller for all the fans of FPS games. Current prototypes include a submachinegun and an assault rifle, an they will be fully open source since they make use of the Arduino microcontroller. "Will they support Linux", you ask? We contacted the project leader about this issue and he replied that they "are still working on confirming Linux support", but that they are "extremely optimistic that [they] will get it set up." There you go then, there's only 3 days before the (already successful) campaign ends so hurry up and secure your controller if FPSs are your jam.



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TBT: The Black Tower: and we end the Biggies section with this beautiful retro RPG. But before you start having pixelated nightmares, let us clarify that it's only retro in that it tries to capture the style and gameplay of PS1-era JRPGs, with more up-to-date graphics and animations. It's a 328k€ fixed funding Indiegogo campaign, which is good, but Linux support is conditioned on a 400k€ stretch goal, which is bad. But its creator is the same who made ASA: A Space Adventure, so there's a pre-existing fanbase to rely on. Unfortunately it hasn't proven a very reliable asset, as the contributions amount to less than 0.5% of the total goal so far, but of course there's still a lot of time left.






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With all this delay affair we wanted to write a more succint account of the Hidden Gems, either in the amount of them or in the length of their descriptions. But in the end we've included 15 games as last week and descriptions haven't been significantly shortened. What we didn't do, however, is sorting them according to our preferences. This is mainly due to our inherent laziness, but also because we truly regard all these games as having similar merits to be featured here. So we present you, in alphabetical order, our 15 selected Hidden Gems of the week:





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Hybrid real-time empire-builder and turn-based tactical squad-combat strategy game. Didn't include Linux support at the start of its campaign but it was added later, the derived costs of which will be assumed by the developers. Although it still has got quite a long way to go before reaching its basic goal, we'd like to mention its first stretch goal, consisting on a lite tabletop version of Artifact: Red-X, available to those who pledge $50 or more.





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After a previous unsuccessful campaign here comes the second attempt to get funds for Beast's Fury, a 2D fighting game. It will feature anthropomorphic characters and promises engaging story lines, exotic arenas and a killer soundtrack. For this second go the creators have set up a granulated list of goals, the first 4 of them have already been reached. A successful outcome would be to reach the $20k goal which would suppose the release of a PC demo (we really hope 'PC' doesn't only mean 'Windows' here). An awesome one would suppose grossing the total $200k required to bring the product to a final release status, but we'd better keep realistic here.





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It's time for the first pixel-art game of the week: Call of the Wild, the 2D, low-res and slightly simplified son of Don't Starve, judging by its story and game mechanics. It's a very low budgeted campaign and as such it's planned to be very brief for Kickstarter standards: only 13 days (and half of them have already gone by). It doesn't include Linux support right from the start as it is planned as a stretch goal. Unfortunately, there's no fixed stretch goal scheme in this campaign as the developer preferred to just specify the amounts and let the backers decide which ones to implement first. The good news is that until now the campaign is being quite successful and it's only £400 short of raising enough money to cover all the stretch goals and thus ensuring a Linux (Ubuntu really) version of this game, as well as any future game by the same developer.





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Without any time to recover, we present you the second pixel-art game of this batch: this one is called Combat Cats, by the same guy who failed to fund Empire Eden a couple of months ago. This second venture of his has a significantly lower goal and scope than the first one as this is a casual game, almost finished for Android devices, which only needs a little polishing, a good soundtrack and to be ported to iOS and to desktop systems. The gameplay is of a Bejeweled-style nature where you have to break blocks, with the twist that you're facing waves of enemies at the same time. Plus it features cats, the internet's favourite creatures, and the reward tiers are very affordable indeed: for $1 you will get the game for Android/iOS and $6 will secure you a desktop version as well.





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FRONTIERS can look like a regular MMORPG, but it's really nothing like that. Instead is a single-player, first-person exploration and survival game, with a heavy emphasis in the exploration aspect. The developer's plan is to create a full world with a rich history and lore, an epic central mystery, varied accompanying music, possible Oculus Rift support and a long list of interesting features. About the campaign itself, it follows a fixed funding scheme which is always good and welcome here, but what we like the most is that the developer plans to make any generic asset (models, textures, scripts) he creates freely available for the community to use in future games and projects. It's got a daunting (for Indiegogo standards, at least) $80k goal, but it's already grossed more than $5k in the first three days, so we'd bet this one is on its way to success.





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Aaaaand back to pixelated games! Go Go Monkey Squad is an endless run & shoot game starring a squad of four interchangeable monkeys whose sole mission is to shoot any enemy in sight. The higher a killing combo you manage to get, the higher the score you'll obtain. It will be a free to play, HTML5-based game initially intended for mobile devices, with a possible Windows 8 port as a stretch goal. The good news is that, partly thanks to our pressure, the kind developers decided to do a web version and it thus will be playable within a Linux box. The bad news is that, possibly due to its free-to-play nature and maybe also its flexible funding campaign, it's only attracted the attention of 16 backers adding up to less than 10% of the $5k goal. But as it was the case with one of the Biggies, there's still a lot of time left in the campaign to get more attention and, more importantly, money.





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We knew we were going to talk about this one the moment we discovered it, as our love for retro-looking, silly games is only topped by our interest in anything related to The Great War. Medal Wars: The First One is a cartoonish isometric WWI shooter, with an interesting targetting system in which you can perform headshots as well as footshots. It's been in development for some time (there's a Windows-only demo available) and the author has launched this campaign to gather funds for further features, translations and ports to other systems. Unfortunately Linux support is tied to a £14k stretch goal (base goal being exactly the half: £7k), although the developer promises to do his best to get the final product for all platforms, regardless of funding. And that's a real relief because, barring any last-minute miracle, chances are this project won't reach its funding goal.





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Are you a twentysomething with fond memories about Pokémon? Do you enjoy 2D retro-style RPGs? Then Necromancer: The Fight For Life is the game for you! It's a monster-collecting RPG in which the player can capture more than 150 different minions and train them in 3 vs 3 battles. It's designed to appeal to all kind of audiences as the main character can be both male or female and the story contains several romantic options, including same-sex relationships. It also supports Linux from the start with no annoying stretch goal involved. But life's unfair, and this Linux-friendly project has still 90% of the way to go before claiming victory. And it only has two more weeks to achieve it.





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Without leaving Retro Kingdom, let's just move to Adventureshire to meet Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet. It's a hand-drawn, classic point-and-click adventure featuring an orchestral soundtrack, voice acting and a lot of characters and locations. The art style and the story (Nelly is a heroine pirate that must rescue a fleet of birds kidnapped by an evil baron) can seem a little childish at first site, but promises a witty and engaging story with challenging puzzles along its way. A native Linux port is part of an unannounced stretch goal, but even if it isn't achieved the game will be released with a wrapper in order to be played out of the box in Linux machines. By the way things have gone so far, looks like this campaign will get fully funded and may even achieve a stretch goal or two. Let's hope one of these is a Linux native build!





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Have you ever visited the hey look at my games website and played any of their free browser games? If not, go now and return when you're done, we'll wait... ... ... You're back yet? Did you enjoy the games? Great, because their author is kickstarting his latest project: Oooh way too scary game. As all his previous games, it will be HTML5-based and fully playable for free in Linux. This one's will be a horror game, but considering that the author's favourite scary piece of media is Ghostbusters it may end up being not so scary after all. But it sure will be a fun and above all weird experience. Despite being a free-to-play game this project has managed to escape «The FTP Curse» and it stands at almost 500% funding level. Of course the initial goal was quite low to begin with, but still. You've got until almost the end of this month to make your contribution to help enhance this game.





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Nowadays, a lot of games emphasize their sandbox qualities in order to give the players a high degree of customization. Patchwork Battles brings this idea almost to the full extent for battle RPGs. In it, you take on the role of an Animator who wants to become elite and win a competition. For that, you'll have to literally build your own unique squad of Mimics out of different body parts, and bring them to life infusing them with a spirit (which in turn will have a unique set of abilities that you'll be able to enhance). You'll control this creatures to battle and compete for you. But the game is much more than this, featuring some crafting features (even for creating new skills) and a battle system that lets you react inmediately to the enemy's actions. The developer was initially working with the Marmalade SDK but at the community's request he decided to switch to the Cocos2d-x game engine which fully supports Linux. Unfortunately this gesture hasn't translated in a massive surge of support and we're affraid this will be another campaign to add to the Failed section of our wiki.





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If we were to do like last week and sort the games according to our preferences, Rehearsals and Returns would likely be this week's #1, even if it was for its original concept and game mechanics alone. The first part of each level takes the form of a typical platformer (the art and animation of it strongly reminds us of And Yet It Moves, by the way) where you'll have to literally collect things to say. You'll need to use these quotes and pieces of conversation later at the end of the level where you'll encounter a famous personality, alive or dead, such as Kim Jong Un, Nikola Tesla, Whitney Houston or Leni Riefenstahl. The conversation with this odd kind of boss follows an Apples to Apples sort of mechanic, and you'll need to plan your strategy accordingly. The game is being built with Unity3D and thus it will totally support Linux. Despite its highly experimental nature it has been a success and it has achieved its $3.3k goal today, with still more than 3 weeks to go. Be a part of it and get the game for as little as $4, or pledge $40 or higher to contribute your favourite figure or quote you'd like to see included in the game.





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Co-op multiplayer is arguably the most requested feature for any new indie game, so it's no wonder that Siegebreakers has done so well during its first week on Kickstarter. It combines a Terraria look with King Arthur's Gold mechanics in what's essentially a hack-and-slash base-defense co-op game. It'll of course include online multiplayer, but it's been conceived mainly as a couch co-op game so it features an innovative dynamic splitscreen system. It also contains a wide variety of building options, a rune system à la Torchlight to enhance weapons and equipment, different playing modes and a level editor, the best tool to extend the playing experience and to create a devoted community around the game. It supported Linux from the start and at the time of writing it's on the verge of reaching its funding goal. Therefore, expect a number of stretch goals unlocked by the end of the campaign, which will happen more than three weeks from now.





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"Great, a Spectraball clone", we thought when we first saw Spheritis. But when we read a little about it, we quickly realized that this game brings up enough new gameplay aspects to dismiss the cloning accusations. Apart from the expected physics-based ability puzzles, it incorporates new aspects such as several interchangeable materials the ball can be made of, or a few equippable special enhancements (e.g., jump, boost) with which to progress within a level and eventually beat it. It also features a countdown to discourage the player from calmly explore the levels and figure out the best way to solve it. The game is being developed by Bluestrike, known for his work on the Insurgency mod or the singleplayer campaign Half-Life 2: Awakening, so a fair level of quality is assured (an in fact can be seen in the presentation video for this campaign). It uses the Unity3D engine and thus is expected to run in Linux. The game is quite near the end of production, with only the finishsing touches and the ports remaining. It's a flexible funding campaign so whatever the total contributions amount to, the creator will be able to use them to complete the game. The less it achieves, the longest it will take to him to do it, and the higher the risk of some features missing in the final release.





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Finally, the last Hidden Gem we present you today is The St. Christopher's School Lockdown, a point-and-click adventure reminiscent in style of the Sierra and LucasArts glory days, but with a somewhat adult focus in that it addresses social issues and recent events involving massive student demonstrations, rallies and riots. It tells the story of a British prestigious private school being taken over by its own students, and it's been designed to be told in seven progressive episodes. In each one of the first six chapters the player assumes the role of a different character and has to deal with his/her personal circumstances and motivations for being in the protest, and will have to make some difficult moral decisions, which will carry on from one episode to the next. The content of the seventh and last episode is being kept secret, though. This campaign, which includes Linux support from the start as well as adhering to the Kicking It Forward initiative, will cover the demo and the first chapter costs. Let's hope it does well and we get to discover the end of the story! £5 will get you the first episode, or you can grab the full season pass for only 30 quid.







And that was all we had to offer you today. We'll (hopefully :P) be coming back next weekend with a bunch of news and a whole new batch of not-to-be-missed crowdfunding campaigns with exciting Linux games in them. See you! Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
A Linux user for more than 15 years, I've just recently rediscovered the passion for gaming. Couldn't have chosen a better time than now: the [second](http://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/linux-techdemo-available-for-race-the-sun-.1752#4850) Golden Age of Linux gaming.
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10 comments

s_d 4 Jun, 2013
Great coverage, as usual!  VEEERY interesting, regarding the Kingsport Cases, indeed.

Also, broken URL w.r.t. Kicking It Forward, at the end.
s_d 4 Jun, 2013
Hmm... as an inveterate point-n-clicker, after taking a look at The St. Christopher's School Lockdown, this one is really looking like it ventures more into visual-novel territory than what I would consider a classic adventure game, for what it's worth.
muntdefems 4 Jun, 2013
Well spotted, typo fixed!

Regarding St. Chris I'm afraid you might be right, although they certainly stick to a point-and-click definition and neither the word "visual" nor "novel" is ever used in the entire page. After seeing some of the images I also feared it could include silly puzzles or even ($DEITY forbid) some hidden-object hunts, but I think we can safely rule out this possibility after this:

Quoting: St. Chris' developersNow, let's talk gaming. Right from the get-go, we want to promise you:
-- NO meaningless fetch quests!
-- NO pixel hunts!
-- NO juggling eight hundred inventory items and combining them until you hit upon that one perfect puzzle solution by sheer accident!
-- NO deadly boring "find the key for this locked door" puzzles!
-- NO mazes!

The downside is that these promises rule out some of the core elements of old-time adventure games as well, so I don't really know what to say... Well, I pledged the minimum amount so I'll be getting the game by December 2014 (what, really!?) and I'll be able to tell you by then. :P
Bumadar 4 Jun, 2013
TBT, would not say its a biggie but it sure if very very interesting, but it needs more exposure to reach its goal on indiegogo
fedso 4 Jun, 2013
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Thank you muntdefems, another great article! :)
About Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet, it's a 2D graphical adventure but character are modeled and rendered in 3D, the developer uses Blender. Updates are actually very interesting and explain the graphical design of the game.
entropy 4 Jun, 2013
There is a new adventure project by Bill Tiller on Kickstarter:

A Vampyre Story: Year One


http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/876324751/a-vampyre-story-year-one?ref=live

QuoteWill you make this game for Mac, or Linux as well as for PC?
Quote
QuoteYes, if we raise enough money. We estimate it will cost $40,000 to $50,000 to convert the PC version to Mac and Linux based on past experience. but we are upgrading our PC game engine and that may (hopefully) lower the cost of conversion substantially.

Bill Tiller previously worked on 'The Dig' and 'The Curse of Monkey Island' (both Lucas Arts).
I really love his art.
Liam Dawe 4 Jun, 2013
Some really good finds there, excellent article as always munt.
muntdefems 4 Jun, 2013
Thanks for the compliments, guys! ;)


Quoting: fedsoAbout Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet, it's a 2D graphical adventure but character are modeled and rendered in 3D, the developer uses Blender. Updates are actually very interesting and explain the graphical design of the game.

Wow, thanks for that! I literally have no time to check every project's updates, so I was still under the impression the game would feature cell-shaded 2D characters. This really makes it even more interesting to me. :)


Quoting: entropyThere is a new adventure project by Bill Tiller on Kickstarter:

A Vampyre Story: Year One

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/876324751/a-vampyre-story-year-one?ref=live

QuoteWill you make this game for Mac, or Linux as well as for PC?
Quote
QuoteYes, if we raise enough money. We estimate it will cost $40,000 to $50,000 to convert the PC version to Mac and Linux based on past experience. but we are upgrading our PC game engine and that may (hopefully) lower the cost of conversion substantially.

Bill Tiller previously worked on 'The Dig' and 'The Curse of Monkey Island' (both Lucas Arts).
I really love his art.

Thanks for the tip! I actually had spotted this one, contacted the developers and received their reply in which they said they were considering Linux support as a stretch goal, but never saw that FAQ entry where they sort of quantify the cost of doing it. It's going straight to the wiki then, and will most likely be one of next column's Biggies. ^_^
bob 8 Jun, 2013
thank you for doing this crowd funding summary for linux, this has really helped me find and fund more linux games, i donated because i really like these articles,  i am still hoping we get star citizen and elite dangerous ported to linux, i can't wait to see planetary annihilation on a linux super computer cluster
muntdefems 8 Jun, 2013
Hi bob, thanks for your contribution to the crowdfunding wiki. It's been the first one in a long time that wasn't submitted by me, I appreciated that! :D

Shame on me as I totally missed [Quintet](http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/carmine/quintet-for-android), although in my defense I must say that I wasn't systematically contacting campaign creators back then and that at the beginning they promoted it as an Android-only game.

I'm taking that your submission wasn't meant as an article but as a heads-up on the issue. But I'll be mentioning it for sure on the next Funding Crowd. ^_^
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