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The Funding Crowd 12 (July 23rd-30th)

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Here comes another delayed issue of The Funding Crowd. We'd like to capitulate and declare Tuesdays as the new official publication day for this column, but we're afraid that if doing so then we'll begin publishing them on Wednesdays so we'd better shut up and spend less time speculating and more time actually writing articles. Let's begin our customary review of the recently finished campaigns:


As usual, the bad news greatly outnumber the good ones, so let's reserve the latter for later and let's get over with the former first:

· Stone Wardens campaign was canceled a few days before it ended when it was clear enough that it wasn't going to reach its ambitious funding goal. The good news is that the developers will do anything they can to finish the game, so there's still hope. In the meantime, you can help the game get on Steam by voting it on its Greenlight page.

· McDROID was also canceled, this one only a couple of hours before the expiration time. Despite being a rather popular indie title, it couldn't really gather much attention and funds. All is not lost, as the creator is considering launching a new Kickstarter campaign. You can also vote it on Greenlight if you haven't done it already.

· SkyMercs funding campaign was utterly unsuccessful as it was unable to raise its funding goal, let alone the Linux support stretch goal. There's been no official statement about future crowdfunding plans for this game, but it's on Greenlight so you can vote it there if you like.

· Instant 3D, the almost magical device to convert any 2D video input to 3D fell very short of it's $850k goal. However its creator Gene Goldoff isn't giving up so easily and is already planning to launch a second campaign in short.

· Bag the Bully couldn't either reach its more modest goal, staying at nearly 50%. Sadly, there's been no official announcement regarding the future of this anti-bullying educational game.

· Dropsy the clown will have to wait before we can play his adventures, as its campaign ended with only 50% of the needed funds raised. However, its creator will attempt a new campaign in the future when he's got more game footage to show.

· Champions of Demah proved a project too ambitious for a small unknown studio: only £1k of the intended £100k was pledged. We don't know if it's going to get another opportunity as there's been no comment on the developers' part about their future plans, but it's active on Greenlight so that's a good sign.

· Factions of Ki has failed in its current form -an HTML5 web-based game- and the creator will be switching to a more traditional approach using a client built with the Unity engine. He'll be launching a new campaign in a few months, so stay tuned if you liked the idea behing this game.

· Race to Mars, a former #1 Hidden Gem of ours, couldn't capitalize on that fact and ended its campaign at around 40% of the required funds. In the face of the events the creators have decided to switch to an alpha funding model for the time being, and they may come back to Kickstarter once they reach a beta stage in development. In the meantime, you can help it to be released on Steam by voting it on Greenlight.

· Just like the two previous space-themed games, B.R.O.V.E.R. didn't succeed in getting funded either. But in contrast to those other two, its developers haven't made any public statement regarding their future plans for the game.

· And the latest failure of last week has been yet another space game: Space Nomads. This interesting sandbox survival game was only able to raise 10% of its goal, even though it sported a functional demo. And that might be all we ever get, as the developers haven't said anything with regards to the future of this game.

Having read all the bad news, let's sweeten the mood with a couple of happy ones:

· Liege's campaign ended triumphantly raising more than 5 times its base goal. That amount covers all the planned stretch goals, including -besides Linux support, of course- mounts, ships and ports, bigger battles and a significant improvement on the overall game art, among others. If you wanted to pledge and forgot, fear not as the developer is accepting PayPal pledges on his website. A vote on Greenlight wouldn't hurt, either.

· Satellite Reign backers suffered during most of the campaign duration, but they could breathe a sigh of relief when it got fully funded a few days before it ended. The final £461k amount allows for some stretch goals like the addition of the Syndicate series' composer Russell Show, translations into several languages and environmental destruction. The fourth stretch goal -writer Russell Zimmerman joining the team plus 2 new city districts and 2 new enemy factions- wasn't reached by very little, but they'll certainly be achieved with the PayPal pledges the creators are accepting on their website. Of course, this game is also on Greenlight and your vote will put it nearer its otherwise likely Steam release.


After the finished campaigns it's Speedster's turn to review the current status of some of the most promising ongoing projects for Linux games:

· 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. This classic-Zelda-inspired action-adventure game already boasts a web demo (which does work on Linux). This is the last week of the campaign, so don't delay too much longer in checking it out if you might be interested.

· Leadwerks 3D game development system offers a chance to build games FOR linux, FROM linux, instead of exporting Linux clients from a game editor running on Windows. Leadwerks for Linux has reached the first and second stretch goals, Android/Ouya support and better Blender integration. This is now the home stretch, with the deadline coming up on Wednesday, so let's see whether any more interesting stretch goals can be attained during the campaign-end pledging spike.

· KR-17 had just a trickle of new backers last week, so things are not looking good for this pixel-art platformer. The 50% funding milestone has been hit, but with only a few days remaining. However with a project this small, a few determined backers could make all the difference; perhaps some Linux and/or OUYA gamers will make a final push of publicizing this platformer about a robot who masters both jetpack and explosives.

· Fran Bow promises to be a worthy game for fans of creepy thrillers starring little children, who can check out the mood in the Linux-supporting demo. If the project manages to pick up momentum and reach the $20k goal, your pledge of only $10 gets a copy of Fran Bow for your favorite platform, while a pledge of $25 provides access to Fran Bow on all supported platforms (Android being one of the other targeted platforms). Success seems possible though not certain, with almost 33% of funding and about a month left in the campaign.

· Project Maiden puzzle platformer is now a definite winner, having just hit the funding goal yesterday! How nice that Linux support was integrated into the main goal, rather than relegated to an unlikely stretch goal. Luckily the Project Maiden campaign does not mirror the storyline, or else we would have started out with full funding and cross-platform support on day 1... and slowly be losing them both.

· Lacuna Passage is another winner, having already achieved the first stretch goal shortly before the last-48-hour pleding spike. The success of this Mars exploration and adventure game will be well deserved, with many touches of realism such as use of real Mars topography, a physics engine adjusted according to Mars attributes, and a UI inspired by an actual UI used in jet-fighter helmets. It would be great to see that stretch goal of full Oculus Rift support achieved during these last few hours, seems like a perfect fit for exploring Mars. Lacuna Passage also has a Greenlight page, so those who want to see it on Steam someday can go vote.

· Celestian Tales: Old North wants to follow in the footsteps of 90s JRPG classics, but using modern hi-res graphics instead of mimicking the old pixelated graphic style. The timespan of the story is one of its unusual points, as it focuses on growth of 6 characters over three decades, starting as youths and ending as experienced knights. Choices made during the game have consequences, with many possible endings for each of the 6 playable characters. This was an OK pledging week considering it counts as mid-project doldrums, but success requires a much stronger finish.

· Adventurezator: When Pigs Fly is a mix of game development tool and adventure game (developed with the tool of course) for one very low price of $15. If you ever had an idea for an adventure game but haven't implemented it due to not having time (or patience) to learn suitable game creation tools, you should really check out Adventurezator -- it promises a really low barrier-to-entry for designing games in your spare time. Or, if you merely aim to be a consumer of games who enjoys bizarre mashups of famous fantasy characters and historical figures, you still ought to check out Adventurezator for its included game, When Pigs Fly. On the other hand, if all you want is a quick way to amuse your friends by creating cutscenes such as this then the minimum pledge is only $5 -- assuming of course, there are enough higher pledges to get the whole project funded. Unfortunately pledging progress so far has been rather slow, with just a couple of strong days after news articles providing hope that the right publicity could turn things around.

· Monochroma is a rather serious and artistic puzzle-platformer set in the 1950s, starring two children standing up to an evil corporation. The story is told in a completely visual manner using black-and-white graphics accented by splashes of red, and the physics simulation leans emphasizes accuracy rather than super-hero-worthy jumping ability. If you are intrigued by this unusual sort of game, give the Linux demo of Monochroma a whirl. Monochroma is looking really good so far in the funding department, with much less dropoff than usual after the first week. The funding period is relatively long at 45 days total, so hopefully this momentum can be sustained for the remaining weeks. Monochroma is also on Greenlight, ready to be voted for by interested Steam members.

· 7 Days to Die bills itself as "The Survival Horde Crafting Game" which blends elements of open-world sandbox, FPS, survival horror, tower defense, and RPGs. Apparently this horde of zombies is interested in recruiting any zombie processes lurking on your Linux box, since they specifically reached out to GoL for support. It looks like this strategy may be working, with the project having reached 38% towards the ambitious $200k with 17 more days left in the campaign. The Kicktraq cone finds success plausible, assuming the usual strong finish of a popular project. 7 Days to Die also has a Greenlight page for those who think Steam does not yet offer enough zombie-apocalypse games with crafting, looting, mining, exploration, and character growth.

· Balrum is a single-player open-world RPG that emphasizes a balance of combat and non-combat skills such as building, farming, and crafting: for instance, building a home and choosing a guild play important roles in how the plot develops. Last week was a good week for Balrum funding progress thanks to a Kotaku article; continued publicity will be key to hitting the remaining 67% of the $50k goal.

· Plee the Bear open-source platformer game has earned 27% towards their modest initial goal. The starting point for this game is already available as free software.

· Tangiers is an innovative project mixing surrealism and stealth. It is still just as hard to do it justice in a single paragraph as it was last week, so we will leave you with a few quotes from the project as teasers and leave the rest as homework: "The world collapses and rebuilds itself the more you interact with it", "The spoken words of its inhabitants materialize physically", "Architecture adopts the mind-state of its inhabitants, who are in turn physically and violently changed in response." So far this bizarre vision has been well accepted, with a couple of favorable articles and plenty of pledging momentum to reach the £35k goal.

· Organic Panic is a physics-based action puzzler which pits fruit and vegetables against cheese and meats. Organic Panic also includes a fully-functional level editor which was used to build all the official levels, so players can design levels for their friends as well as playing co-op or competitive modes with them. This project appears to be on track to reach the base goal, after wisely moving Linux and Ouya support out of the realm of stretch goals, not to mention prominently displaying their placement as GoL's #1 Hidden Gem of the week.

It's time to discover new projects, be they fat big-budgeted giants or little diamonds in the rough. Let's see how many of the former type we have this week:



The first Biggie of the week is Conquer Mars and its $100k budget. It's going to be a multiplayer Flash browser-based RTS game. Forget about micro-management and concentrate on amassing lots of tanks to unleash massive attacks against your enemies. It's being developed by two guys who have created their own 3D engine from scratch and are committed to releasing the game no matter what -- that's why this is a flexible funding campaign. They're not sure about Linux compatibility and so they're asking for volunteers to test the game on Linux boxes with 3D graphics support and the Chromium web browser. We've tried and have succeeded to load their website using Chromium with the Pepper plugin (we needed to launch the web browser via the terminal with the --ignore-gpu-blacklist, though). Do you like frantic and massive RTS games? Then Conquer Mars is for you. You can get alpha and beta access -and permanent premium membership- for as little as $10, so this looks like a no-brainer to us.


Tom vs The Armies of Hell is another ambitious project with a $100k goal. It's a Unity3D-based isometric action/adventure game -although it looks more like a third-person shooter to us- about Tom, an antihero software engineer whose office building gets invaded by demonic forces. Despite being a Unity title, the developers aren't all that familiar with our OS and are somewhat reluctant to make any promises with regards of Linux support. However, we might be getting a Linux demo one of these days. Let's hope it works so we can back this highly interesting project with the certainty that it won't be wasted money.


Ravensdale is Black Forest Games' -creators of Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams- latest project. This new game will be a run&gun platformer/shooter thought for up to 4 players, locally or online. It's based on classic arcade shooters like Contra and Metal Slug, but with a strong focus on co-op interactivity between players. The visuals shown on the pitch video are really promising, and the German medieval metal band In Extremo will be in charge of the music. Unconditional Linux support was not announced until a few days ago, that's why we hadn't talked about this game before. Giana Sisters will also be ported to Linux, although it's not clear when it's going to happen. Anyway the first and most important thing is to get this campaign funded, and being nearly at its midpoint with less than 10% of the base goal achieved is hardly a good omen. Let's see if the Linux community can help change the tide.


Time now for the Hidden Gems. Though not as brilliant a line-up as last week's, these 10 selected projects are certainly still above the average:


First we've got The Electric Adventures of Watt and its campaign to fund a playable demo of the game. There's no in-game footage and barely a couple of game art assets to be seen, but we decided to include this project in The Funding Crowd. Why? For starters because it's got potential, but also because, on completion, the creators plan to release all the game assets and the custom-made Ymir game engine under the CC and GPL licenses respectively. And that's always good.
The game if and when fully funded will be a multiplayer 3D action platformer, set on a planet with a conflict between light and darkness. Choose to side with the Illuminarians or the Creep and crush your enemies, alone or alongside your friends. Linux support is included in the $14k, flexible funding goal. Don't let that last adjective intimidate you, as the creators are determined to finish the demo -and eventually, the game- whatever the outcome of this campaign.


Fans of sandbox space games, here comes Spacecraft: Galaxies for your delight. Using only a few basic blocks you'll be able to create anything you can imagine, from starships to huge space stations. The game is highly focused on multiplayer, with players being able to enter each other's own universes and to cooperate to build massive structures together. It will also include a blueprint system for sharing your creations, a good way to grow a community around the game. This Space Minecraft will only get funded if $75k are pledged at the end of the campaign. After almost a third of its duration only $5.5k have been raised, so the next 3 weeks need to be significantly better to have the slightest chance of success.


After many attemps we still haven't featured a successful collectible card game campaign. This will change with Orbs CCG, an online asynchronous trading card game made in HTML5 for web browsers. This is in fact the second campaign for this game, as the first one was canceled recently. While the first attempt tried to raise $40k, this second run has a much lower goal: only $2k, which has been nearly achieved at the time of writing. This is the bare minimum for releasing the game, with only 100 cards spread out into 4 colours. The more money is raised, the more card and colours the game will have.
About the game, it's been designed with asynchronous play in mind, meaning you'll be able to play against your opponent one turn at a time. You'll be able to play against a human player or the AI, either on a single match, a tournament or a single-player campaign. Even if the $80k stretch goal for creating iOS and Android apps is not reached, the game will be accessible on mobile devices via a web browser in order to keep playing your turns during the day.


Kingcraft is a mixture of real-time and tactical turn-based strategy. Quoting its creators, it's best described as a "real-time fantasy chess". Its voxel-based graphics and isometric perspective help keep the game as simple as it's intended to be. There are only 5 different unit classes and 2 fighting terrains, but more will come if the $8k base goal is overcome. Plus, pledging at the $80 level or higher enables the backer to design new units and/or stages. This game supports Linux from the start and even a playable demo has been released. We've tried but we haven't been able to finish a combat because our units disappeared after their initial move. Is it something on our end, or do you get the same graphical issues?


Hell IX, pronounced "Hell Nine", is mostly a nostalgic title. No, there are no big pixels involved here, as the only retro aspect of this game is its concept. Much in the tradition of classics like Desert Strike or Tiger Heli this is a combat & rescue game, where you'll be piloting a helicopter in order to rescue some captured marines while fighting against the enemy troops. Its creators intend to release it on 10 different platforms, including mobile devices, consoles and of course desktop computers running Linux. The game will be free to play, but the developers made the controversial decision to include the option to pay -up to a maximum of $12- to unlock bonus for your vehicle. The only feature we don't like is the automatic target lock system: while it's OK -or even maybe required- on mobile devices, other platforms have ways to deal effectively with aiming, like mice and analog sticks. In spite of this minor setback we think this can be a pretty decent game and we encourage you to back it -- specially if you ever played any of the games Hell IX is based on.

UPDATE: Looks like the consoles and desktop versions of the game won't be F2P after all. They will come with full upgrades and will cost around $10.


We enter this week's Top-5 with DwarfCorp, a fantasy RTS game in which you lead a colony of capitalist dwarves to explore new lands and make a profit out of them. The Dwarf King has chartered a number of companies to colonize the strange overseas lands, and your mission will be to manage one of these companies and lead it to success. The game combines 2D pixelated sprites -they won't be the last ones we encounter, mind you- with a 3D square-based minecraftesque world. But Minecraft is not the only influence/reference we can find in the game, as the colony building process is higly reminiscent of Dungeon Keeper or even the commerce-with-the-Motherland screen reminds us of another classic like Colonization.
The funding goal for this campaign is set at $20k but Linux support will not come until the $25k stretch goal is achieved, a rather reasonable amount as it's what will be needed to port everything to MonoGame or Unity. Anyway, reasonable or not, the $25k mark seems like an easy one to reach considering half that amount has already been raised in only a week. The rewards are very interesting too, as $10 will grant you beta access and free updates for life.


Time for the bizarre game of the week! The award goes to Insignificant, an open world RPG set in your backyard. The game tries to connect and resonate with the feeling everyone may have experienced when trying to do something, to feel insignificant and unable to have any meaningful impact in the world. And certainly it should be easier for us to identify ourselves with an insignificant character rather than with a supernatural hero that ends up saving the universe. So here you'll take the part of a very small being who's been thrown out into the real world and must face its dangers as best as he can. For this is a truly open-world game, with no pre-set story and lots of objects with which you'll be able to improvise weapons -- sticks, pens, forks, etc.
The humble $1,760 base goal was reached on the second day of campaign, so all that matters now is how many stretch goals can be achieved. The first ones, house interiors and a playable female character, will be unlocked in a matter of days, and some of the other stretch goals include a composed soundtrack, the addition of NPCs or Oculus Rift support. Surely Speedster is going to have many new things to tell us about this game during the next three weeks.


In third place we've got Will to Survive, a real-time survival RPG. Surprisingly enough, there are no zombies involved in this game whatsoever. Their part is played by alien invaders, who have attacked and occupied the Earth for no apparent reason. You play as Will -we love these zany puns- a lone survivor and your goal will be to stay alive for as long as you can. There will be three modes with different levels of player interaction involved. Why's that? Because the game takes the real-time aspect very seriously and the simulation goes on constantly, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, hence the need of several different game modes with more or less tasks being taken care automatically for you. To help things a little, the game will be fully crossplatform and will have all your saved games cloud-synced so you can continue playing from your mobile device when you're away from home.
Having talked about the game being truly crossplatform it goes without saying that Linux is supported, no stretch goals involved! But in order to be able to enjoy it, £20k must be raised first. The campaign was launched just today and, while it hasn't been an outstandingly fruitful day with regard to pledges, if today's average could be maintained throughout the campaign then success would be certain.


Second place goes to Chroma Squad, a turn-based management game based on a Super Sentai Japanese studio. The team responsible for Knights of Pen and Paper is Kickstarting this equally meta, geeky and humourous retro-looking managing game with a pinch of tactical turn-based combats. As the manager of your studio, you'll have to hire actors, buy lights, cameras and special effects, and use them all to record your episodes. There will also be co-op and competitive modes in which you'll have to fight for the audience against other channels.
The game will be released on Linux and it will be available DRM-free, although the developers will look into getting it on Steam using their previous experience with KoP&P. The $55k basic funding goal will be reached in just a few days as the current funding adds up to almost $49k at the time of writing. There are no planned stretch goals though, as the developers believe that everything worth being in the game it's already included in the base goal. However they won't refuse to add more variety of monsters, episodes or in-game items should the project be overfunded.


And lastly we have Candle, a game that announced its Linux support just when we were finishing last week's column and thus we couldn't include it. We're now righting this wrong by giving it the #1 Hidden Gem of the week award.
"So what's it all about?", you must be asking yourself. You may already know about it as it was featured in an article on GoL, but nonetheless we'll explain to you Candle is a dynamic graphic adventure, i.e. a mixture of a cinematic adventure and a platformer game. It tells the story of Teku, a shaman pupil with a candle as a hand, who embarks in a rescuing journey after his village is attacked by a rival tribe. All the art is created entirely by hand with watercolours and ink and subsequently scanned to obtain the backgrounds and sprites for the game. So are the characters' animations, all of them done manually without any digital aid.
The game is being developed by a 7-people team from the often forgotten Spanish province of Teruel. Their inhabitants use to remind the rest of the country, half-jokingly, half-seriously, that "Teruel exists!". We cannot envision a better way to defend that claim than producing top-notch games like this one. And we're not alone in this thought, as American McGee himself has fallen at its feet.
The creators aim to gather at least $40k, with Linux support guaranteed only if $43k are reached. Sadly even the base goal achievement is at a stake, according to Kicktraq's projections, so many more backers are needed to prevent Teku's candle from being extinguished.

And that's all for today! We'll meet next week, maybe on Monday, maybe on Tuesday. Whenever it finally is, in the meantime you can check our crowdfunding wiki to discover the latest developments about the crowdfunding of Linux games. See you! ;)

. Article taken from
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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]( Golden Age of Linux gaming.
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Speedster 31 Jul, 2013
Hey Munt, Monochroma Greenlight link needs fixin
Znurre 31 Jul, 2013
Another awesome article.
Had no idea Gianna Sisters was coming to Linux, I had intended to buy it for Wii U when it was released there.
Gonna wait for the Linux release instead.
Liam Dawe 31 Jul, 2013
Oh my good god I love this weeks home page picture :D haha
muntdefems 31 Jul, 2013
Quoting: SpeedsterHey Munt, Monochroma Greenlight link needs fixin

Fixed, along with another broken link. Thanks! ;)

Quoting: liamdaweOh my good god I love this weeks home page picture :D haha

I knew you'd like it. It only felt appropriate after the Duke Nukem article. :P

Linux 31 Jul, 2013
Quoting: ZnurreAnother awesome article.
Had no idea Gianna Sisters was coming to Linux, I had intended to buy it for Wii U when it was released there.
Gonna wait for the Linux release instead.

Wow that's really great news :) I had no idea either!
fscherrer 31 Jul, 2013
Hi there!
Just a comment about [Tom vs The Armies of Hell]( the demo build for Linux is out and I've just tried it. It's running pretty well :) (didn't play a lot though)
The build has a x86 binary only (I mean, no 64 bits) and it ran at first in my gentoo 64 bits.
I've already reported it inthe kickstarter and greenlight page.
fscherrer 1 Aug, 2013
Me again

What about [Tales of Terrene]( It was part of the The Funding Crowd 11 here
It seems really great, but with 7 days to the end it gets only $2,328 from $10,000 :/
Speedster 1 Aug, 2013
Quoting: fscherrerWhat about [Tales of Terrene]( It was part of the The Funding Crowd 11 here
It seems really great, but with 7 days to the end it gets only $2,328 from $10,000 :/

Sorry to disappoint, but I was working this weekend (and will be for a while now) and didn't have time for more entries -- a few that looked like major long-shots got cut (I have a soft spot for adventure games, but Precinct didn't make the cut either, especially since Linux is a stretch goal)
s_d 1 Aug, 2013
KR-17 just made it's goal, miraculously, earlier today!  I guess that what Speedster suggested must have actually happened.  So, that's a nice success for Linux and also for OUYA.
s_d 4 Aug, 2013
Crypt Run just lowered it's previous Linux stretch goal from $10,000 (out of a funding goal of $5k) to $6,500 due to Liam's prodding (I think?).  Apparently they chose to take a serious look at the technical requirements, and were able to hack together a tech demo on Ubuntu during the campaign.

They expect that it will require a week of effort to port thoroughly, and support the major distros (which is how they arrived at their $1.5k goal).  They're funded around $5,500 currently, with a bit less than $1k to reach the goal, and I'll go help them out :)

I think this is worth covering them in The Funding Crowd 13 (oooh!  what will the article picture be next time!)
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