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The Funding Crowd 8 (Jun 26th - Jul 1st)

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Welcome back to The Funding Crowd, a little late as usual! And this time made even worse by teasing you with an incomplete version of the column. It's all over now, that we've updated the article to include this weeks Hidden Gems, so you can read on with confidence. :)


We start, as always, reviewing the outcomes of the recently finished campaigns:



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There were no canceled campaigns this week, but still we've witnessed some unsuccessful ones:


· Little Sim Peeps ended its campaign with virtually no funding nor support. And what's worse, with no announcement about its future whatsoever.


· Cubeloid met the same fate, although it could be said to have attracted the attention of a small group of people from which a community may be grown someday. For the moment, they plan to launch a second campaign.


· Abducted also failed to achieve its full goal, but not by so much as the previous games. In spite of this fact, there won't be another Kickstarter campaign and instead they're accepting pre-orders for Episode 1 (due next September) or for the whole Season 1 on their website.


· A Vampyre Story: Year One has been the only unsuccessful adventure game this week, as we'll see in a minute. It can't be considered a failure either, with more than 1.3k backers who pledged $77k out of the $200k goal. The creators also see it this way as they'll continue developing the game and are considering launching a new Kickstarter.



Time for some good news, with a strong presence of adventure titles as we said before:


· Oooh way too scary game ended its highly successful journey having raised more than tenfold the initial goal. This allowed reaching all the stretch goals conceived by its creator: an animated title and an opening scene; a slightly better and longer game, up to several hours of gameplay, and a save system; a desktop version of the game besides the free-to-play web version and at least an iOS port.


· Combat Cats, the RPG puzzle adventure with 10,000,000 reminiscences, had a happy end of campaign in which it got fully funded although the first stretch goal -an extended soundtrack- couldn't be achieved. Looking on the bright side, this means the game will probably be ready for release by its estimated date of next August.


· Siegebreakers was another barely successful project to end this week. Here, the extra money only allowed for a well-deserved pizza party for the developers of this interesting co-op base defense game.


· Rehearsals and Returns, having been funded early on, ended its campaign placidly having grossed almost twice its $3.3k goal but it sadly fell $200 short of a stretch goal by which the creator would hire a database programmer to implement some secret and cool part of the game. Let's hope this new feature gets implemented nonetheless. Surely there'll be time enough as the game is scheduled for release exactly a year from now, on July 2014.


· MASSIVE CHALICE, the biggest Biggie of late, finished its Kickstarter fund-gathering with almost a million and a quarter raised in pledges. And the amount will certainly grow as they're still accepting PayPal and Bitcoin pledges at the game's website.


· The Armikrog. Army, composed largely of dedicated Earthworm Jim and The Neverhood fans, gave a shout of victory heard 'round the world when this campaign came to close. A flood of Russian backers and Wii U owners helped smash through the first stretch goal: the Wii U port, plus an animated short about the two main characters as a bonus for all backers. Both backers and project leaders must have done a terrific job at final-days promotion, demonstrated by an unusually symmetrical funding curve (end spike was just about as large as the beginning spike, not counting the last fractional day). Paypal backing for those who missed the Kickstarter is in "coming soon" status at the game's site.


· Nelly Cootalot climbed past the stretch goal for upgrading cross-platform versions from wine wrappers to native support, so hopefully any adventure game fans who were holding out for native Linux checked back near the end of the campaign. This important milestone was the third stretch goal achieved, with more goals lined up for "slacker backers" who wish to pledge this pirate-themed adventure via Paypal.


· Harvest the sci-fi detective adventure was a winner this week as well, which was certainly overall a good week for adventure game funding.


· TinyKeep ended its campaign a month ago, but it became news again this week when its creator decided to switch to Unity3D and thus fully support Linux. :)







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Now it's Speedster's turn to let us know the adventures and mishaps of the still ongoing campaigns:


· Bag the Bully has made substantial progress towards the modest $2k goal, with 37% 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 creators get it on the market sooner rather than later. A crossplatform demo/prototype of this sci-fi noir adventure has been released this week, so if you want you can get a glimpse of what the final game will offer.


· Fleish & Cherry in Crazy Hotel campaign is almost over and only a miracle could make it achieve the 29k€ funding goal. We really hope this project gets revamped -on Kickstarter if possible- and can get fully funded with a second attempt. Meanwhile a demo of the game (click here for a Spanish version) has been released, so at least we can get an idea of what we are losing. :(


· Inverto is another campaign doomed to fail, despite the efforts made by its creator. He's also released a playable alpha demo for us to try.


· Tesla Breaks the World had a somewhat slow week, but there are still several days left to hit their fairly modest $5500 goal. Fans of platformers, Nikola Tesla, and zombies may wish to charge in with pledges to save this unique project.


· Fire with Fire Online Tower Attack and Defense wins the award for longest title, but badly needs to gain momentum in order to defend their project from the ignominy of defeat. 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 just getting started in fulfilling last week's prediction of being a big winner, having crossed the base goal on day 13 out of 30. Having achieved a few stretch goals already, this cross-platform "love letter to J-RPG classics" might even smash through all 15 stretch goals according to the Kicktraq cone.


· Storm has had another very slow week, so the ending week needs a significant boost in order to sponsor this wild ride of XKCD-like stick figures through wind, hail, and various barnyard animals. Note that Linux has been added as a supported platform, as confirmed in the FAQ.


· GhostControl Inc. reached the base goal halfway through the campaign. There are still a good number of stretch goals to be reached, with the highest being suitably ambitious in case of a big end spike: a multiplayer mode to be added at over 4 times the base goal.


· Leadwerks 3D game development system has hit a significant milestone this week in having been Greenlit for distribution on Steam. Last week also saw OUYA support being confirmed as a $26k stretch goal, to be included in licenses offered at $100 tier and up.


· OZombie by American McGee (of Alice fame) appears to be descending into midproject doldrums disturbingly soon for an ambitious goal of $950k. OZombie runs unusually long for a high profile game project at 42 days; we shall see if momentum can be built during that time. In what seems like a risky move, Paypal alternative funding method has already been opened despite having a long way to go on the Kickstarter -- some backers who could have contributed towards the Kickstarter, with some personal inconvenience, may choose Paypal instead. A good number of meaty updates have already been posted, so at least the project is not at all neglected.


· KR-17 has had a very bumpy ride in terms of pledges during its first week of relaunch, but it was a promising week for PR: a gaming convention was attended AND a gameplay video was posted at IGN. Fans of pixelated puzzle platformers with robotic heroes may want to keep in mind that Ubuntu will be the only offically supported distro, though many of us are experienced enough to deal with library issues that may arise on other distros.


· Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead has the distinction of being an open source project that has a good chance of success, having broken 75% funding milestone in their first week! The developers are offering a nice array of in-game participation tiers, including opportunity to contribute a character story for only $60. We expect this sandbox survival game to be featured among the winners in another few weeks.


· Megatokyo game based on the popular web comic continues along its path of smashing success, with all 7 of the main stretch goals already funded. Of possible interest to fellow Linux users, the Megatokyo game engine is open source Ren'py and there has already been a short demo made available which is of course playable on Linux.


· Project Sweat continues to suffer a slow start, and again it may have been a mistake to open Paypal alternative backing method while the Kickstarter is still trying to gain traction. Some Paypal backers are people unable to pledge on Kickstarter due to credit card requirements, but it is easy to imagine other Paypal backers will choose that method for convenience and could have pledged via Kickstarter if they had known it was vital to project success. At this point, those who want to see this beautiful anime-styled 2-D ARPG get successfully funded should pledge via Kickstarter if at all possible (even teaming up with a friend possessing a suitable credit card if needed).

UPDATE: Project Sweat campaign has been canceled by its creators. They haven't issued any explanation about their decision as of yet.


· Dark Matter is an action platformer inspired by Metroid, offering plenty of atmosphere and a mix of aiming and strategy. Sadly the goal is still very far away, perhaps partly due to the disadvantage of projects funding in pounds vs dollars on Kickstarter. An influx of interested Linux backers who are willing to help spread the news could save the project at this point;otherwise prospects for next week look similarly dark.




Time now for the newly launched campaigns, with a bunch of highly interesting Biggies:




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AD2460 is a web-based MMO sci-fi strategy game, with a strong focus on the social aspect. In it, players can control every aspect of their civilizations anytime they want and from any platform that has a web browser. The developers aim at 80k users on the same server so the expected magnitude of this game is huge, with a lot of space for cooperation and interaction. It's in an advanced state of development, so they plan on launch the game nonetheless -probably later and with fewer features in such a case- even if they cannot hit the $150k flexible base goal. This is certainly a good thing because, although it can't be said to have started badly and still being a lot of time left, it hasn't raised a 2% of that amount. If you want to know more about this game, you can visit its webpage where you can find more info about all aspects of the game.





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Here's an interesting proposal: Stone Wardens is an ARPG/Tower Defense game, playable either solo or in co-op mode. In it, you act as a Stone Warden who must defend towns from waves of invaders with the help of your familiar -magical pet- and the ancestral guardians you're able to summon. While you and your pet can freely move around and attack the foes, the ancestral guardians must stay in the place where you summon them and thus they play the tower defense part of the game. After each battle you'll earn prestige -XP used to learn new enchantments- and gold to purchase enchanted gear to improve your performance. The ambitious $225k base goal includes 7 classes of wardens, 7 different familiars and 5 types of ancestral guardians, while the planned stretch goals would allow for more warden classes and familiars. But even if no stretch goal is achieved, the creators promise new challenges, gear, familiars and wardens during the years to come, a reward that you can get for $50 only. Alpha and beta access are granted to $35 and $25 backers, respectively.





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Taxi Journey is a beautifully-looking adventure/platformer inspired by titles such as LIMBO, Braid or Machinarium. Yeah, we know that many others have made claims along those lines in the recent past, but we've got a good vibe with this game. It tells the charming story about Gino, a broke taxi driver who has to carry his clients on his back and take them pedalling to their destinations, and Zoe, a mysterious little girl with powers. They embark on a journey to distant lands in which they'll meet a bunch of funny characters and they'll have to solve puzzles to carry on. But the strongest point of the game it's supposed to be its story and the friendship developing between the two main characters. It's being developed by Lexis Numérique, authors of other games like Missing: Since January or Red Johnson's Chronicles. None of them are available on Linux, so this will be their first incursion in our OS. It won't be an easy one though, because Linux support is tied to a $260k stretch goal, $30k over the equally hard-to-reach base goal. Only with a massive influx of new backers we'd be able to change our grim prediction and maybe even venture some further stretch goal, which would suppose more levels and characters for the game.





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Our last Biggie of the week is the one with the more ambitious goal (£350k) but yet the one that seems more likely to make it. Satellite Reign is a class-based RTS set in an open-world cyberpunk city. No wonder about its setting, coming from the creator of Syndicate Wars. :P  In it, much in a Syndicate manner, you control a squad of 4 agents, each one with distinct and unique abilities. You're free to play the way you prefer: brute-force, infiltration, propaganda... although some missions will be best approached in a particular way than others. Play it as you like it you are part of a secret organization, arisen to change the world as it is: the rich controlling the poor with the help of a repressive police force, while the middle classes do nothing in fear of losing their few remaining privileges -- hmmm, where might they've drawn the inspiration for that... Anyway, it's entirely up to you to decide what your ultimate goal will be: creating a better and more just society or simply taking control to yourself? While you decide what to do you'll be playing in a fully simulated living city with day-night cycles, factions reacting their own way to your actions, full communication networks and security systems for you to hack and circumvent, etc. It's a Unity game so Linux support is granted, and as we said it sports an impressive £350k but 10% of which was raised in less than 1 day nonetheless, and it currently stands almost at the 40% mark only three days after that. You can find more info about this game on this article.





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Our first Hidden Gem we've decided to treat it as hors catégorie because of its popularity and the time it's been in beta: McDROID, the action strategy game with a cool 60s soundtrack in which you guide a little robot in farming strawberries, building turrets and shooting everything that comes in its general direction. This campaign aims to raise $35k to help with completing the story, debuggin, balancing the game, adding a companion robot with a laser head and adding one McDROID model with different stats. In spite of the game's popularity, or maybe precisely because of it, the campaign hasn't started very well at all: less than 1% in three days is certainly not a good omen. If not for altruistic reasons, you can let the cheapskate in you take control and back this project as you can get the current beta for $10 only.





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Linux game developers -and players! :)- can celebrate, as another developing tool is on its way: Chipmunk2D for Unity is a project to create a Chipmunk2D (a low-level physics engine) plugin for the Unity3D engine. It will come really handy when doing 2D physics inside a 3D physics engine such as Unity. Games such as Waking Mars and NightSky -of which you can get a copy if pledging $15 or more- have been produced with the help of this tool. Licenses can be obtained starting at $75. It's a shorter-than-usual campaign lasting only 20 days, but at the time of writing is very near its base goal of $5k and there's still 12 more days to go.





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Here at The Funding Crowd we do dig games with educative content, and that's why we've chosen to showcase B.R.O.V.E.R.. In the developers words, it's a "is a physics-based space simulation puzzle game where you plan and execute a mission to accomplish the level requirements". First you must design and build the exploration rover, bearing in mind that its field of view and the actions it will be able to perform depend on how you assemble it. The next step is programming the rover to successfully accomplish the mission goal. You'll likely have to repeat this steps in a trial-and-error process until you get it right. :P
The game was originally developed during the Dark Side of the Jam and its creators decided to further develop it into a full game. They're designing the gameplay to convey the feeling of an engineering iterative process, while learning a bit of science in the process and most importantly, having fun doing so. All backers will get access to the demo upon pledging, and there certainly should be more of them in order to have a chance of reaching the funding goal. Go and have a look at it if you're even remotely interested in real space exploration.






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Void of Darkness is a 2D space combat, trading and exploration RPG, inspired by Starflight 1 & 2. It's a sandbox game with a non-linear storyline and dynamic events -- e.g. two alien races might start a war between them, and you are free to pick a side in it or ignore it altogether. At the beginning, you start with a basic starship and you must recruit a crew to man it. After that the sandbox element of the game appears as you are entirely free to pursue your own goals and interests, be them exploration, trade or ruthless conquest.
The campaign is of the fixed funding type and has a relatively modest $5k goal, which includes Linux support and almost 10% of which has already been pledged in its first week. It is then a perfectly feasible deed but it will need more support and funds to effectively reach a happy conclusion.
For more info about the game, please see this article.






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#6 goes to another space sandbox game, Centration, although this one is mainly focused on horror. But instead of many games in which horror comes from darkness or monsters, "the true horror of Centration is the fear of humanity, and of our capacity to forget all others in our fight for survival". This means that you'll never know when things will start going horribly wrong -the causes will vary from one game to the next- but you can take for granted that something will happen: a sabotage to the space station you live in, someone wanting to kill you, etc.
The game is multiplayer and round-based, with rounds from 5 min up to 5h long. It will feature fully interactive environment, where anything can be used as a weapon, and many different ways to die. It's yet another Unity title so there'll be Linux support on release and it must raise a minimum of £50k to get funded, with many planned stretch goals in case of success. But first things first, as it needs to improve a hardly spectacular debut and get more pledges if we want to start thinking about hypothetical stretch goals.






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Here comes the first -but not only- retro-looking pixelated game of the week: SkyMercs, a side-view jet plane dog-fighting game. It enables the players to customize their own planes and fly them to fight other jets in fast-paced action-full battles. With it, the developers tried to achieve a balance between a humourous game yet with a realistic story, and were focused on replayability value thanks to its multiplayer modes and scenarios with unlockable content.
The campaign has got a humble base goal of £1,250, with Linux support depending on a £1,750 stretch goal and full multiplayer unlocked at £2,500. But again, it's not clear at this point if the game's going to be successfully funded as in its first week of campaign only 5 people have shown interest in it. You can read more about the game's storyline on its website and back it on Kickstarter if you like it.






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The second retro-style game comes next in #4: Zombie Kill of the Week, a free-to-play 16-bit sidescrolling survival platformer/shooter set in the middle of a -yes, you guessed it- zombie apocalypse. And that's all the plot you get -who needs more, anyway?- in this mindless action-packed game where you need to kill zombies in order to earn cash to upgrade weapons or to unlock doors to gain access to new areas. It's being made by a group of indie developers who put up this campaign to fund the development of the multiplayer part of the game, as well as releasing it to many platforms. The Linux -Ubuntu- version was confirmed as per our request, how cool is that? :)  Right now is single-player only as we said, but the co-op multiplayer is estimated for next September. You can get a taste of the single-player experience by playing the available beta version, and of course if you enjoy it go and back it on Indiegogo to help it reach its 8k€ goal. It really needs it and the developers will appreciate it for sure.






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In the third place we find MechIES, a mech-themed MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), a genre severely lacking in titles on Linux. It's a Unity game being developed for mobile devices as well as for Windows, Mac and Linux, but with more more functionality expected on the desktop platforms than on their mobile counterparts. You'll be able to battle your friends or enemies with a mech customized to your taste and playing style, in lots of different arena types: deathmatches all vs all or in teams, king of the hill arenas, capture the flag... You'll even have the ability to switch between your different mechs during a game to better adjust to the way a battle is going. All in a cartoony cel shaded art style for your viewing pleasure.
We do seem to have a tendence to like games that are not faring well, and this one is no exception. Almost a week has passed since its campaign was launched and it's hardly raised 9% of the $30k base goal, and all thanks to a single $2.5k pledge! We don't really understand it, being a promising game in a genre so underrepresented in our OS. So you either can sit and wait for DOTA 2 to come to Linux or back this project. You'll get a copy of the game for as little as $5, or take part in the beta for $30. Oh, and the developers have promised to participate in the Kicking It Forward initiative.
For further information about the game, please refer to this article.






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The silver medal goes to Dropsy, a surreal exploration-based open-world adventure game, starring a goofy clown. It's the third and last pixel art style game of the week, and it's about Dropsy the clown and his rare ability to understand animals and being understood by them, while sounding like babble to other human beings. This quirk of his was exploited by his parents in their family circus until his fame quickly dwindled after a fire destroyed everything they had. This is where the player enters the story and must guide Dropsy and his faithful dog Eughh throughout a bizarre and humourous adventure in both the real and the dream world. This dream world will be entirely optional and only accessible for 5-minute periods when the main character is dreaming, and thus we can expect it to achieve bizarreness levels over 9,000. To complete the retro picture the soundtrack has a Soundblaster/FM synthesizer flavour, mixed up with all kinds of other instruments.
To follow our grim tradition, the campaign is not on the path to success as it's currently trending to a final 60% funding level and not even the Kicktraq cone contains the $25k funding goal. But there's still time, and it can perfectly make it with a daily average slightly under the $1,000 mark until the end of the campaign. Will you help achieve the goal?






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We reach the end of this week's Hidden Gems with Race To Mars, a turn-based space company simulator, a game that could have equally been called Space Tycoon. In it, you must found a space company and make it progress against competitors in order to be the first to establish a colony in Mars, the ultimate goal of the game. To be able to suceed you'll have to earn money through private, public and military contracts, and invest this revenue in developing new and better technology to remain on the cutting edge of space exploration. Although it's been designed to please both casual gamers and space exploration enthusiasts, its developers aim to achieve as much realism as possible by working in close collaboration with scientists from a space industry company. This collaboration can be seen in the more than 200 technologies to be discovered in the game, or the fact that you'll have to fight for a larger budget by making good use of the media and fans.
This promising Unity game has a basic goal of £30k and, in contrast to the previous entries, it's on a promising path to get fully funded, although not by much and only after the extraordinary day it had yesterday. Fans of space exploration and business games are welcome to back this project and grab a digital copy of the game for 12 quid only. The only black spot we can find on this otherwise very promising game is the fact that apparently only Windows users will be able to take part in the alpha and beta stages. :(
Find more info about this project in this article and in this interview with the developers.





And this is truly all for now! See you next week in our next crowdfunding column where we'll review the -hopefully successful- outcome of many campaigns and we'll present you the most interesting new projects for Linux games. Until then, be good! ;)



. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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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

Bumadar 2 Jul, 2013
The UK kickstarters, the fact it does not use amazon pay, I got a feeling that they doing worse then if they would have been on the US kickstarter.   For myself I rather not enter my CC info again somewhere, what I read in forum posts on other places about for example Satellite Reign confirms my feelings, buuut I could be wrong :)
Liam Dawe 2 Jul, 2013
Your pictures for the home page make me constantly "lol" good work munt. Great job both of you :)
muntdefems 2 Jul, 2013
Article completed with the Hidden Gems, sorry for the inconvenience. :S:


Quoting: liamdaweYour pictures for the home page make me constantly "lol" good work munt. Great job both of you :)

Thanks. :) As a matter of fact, with this one I've run out of images for the articles. I'd better find new ones before I have to resort to draw them myself... :P
Mike Frett 2 Jul, 2013
Double plus good muntdefems, I enjoy these Grab-bags of news items.
Ratman 2 Jul, 2013
Project Sweat has canceled its funding.
SteamPenguin 3 Jul, 2013
Very very suprised there was no mention of Frontiers, in the in the running section, especially as its doing so well.
s_d 4 Jul, 2013
Great article, Munt!  Just noticed that the "Race To Mars" text URL in the descriptive paragraph is very broken :-)
s_d 4 Jul, 2013
Quoting: SteamPenguinVery very suprised there was no mention of Frontiers, in the in the running section, especially as its doing so well.

Send a PM to Speedster to get it included :)
muntdefems 4 Jul, 2013
Quoting: s_dGreat article, Munt!  Just noticed that the "Race To Mars" text URL in the descriptive paragraph is very broken :-)

Ooops, fixed! :S:

Speedster 7 Jul, 2013
Quoting: SteamPenguinVery very suprised there was no mention of Frontiers, in the in the running section, especially as its doing so well.

Forgot this was a kickstarter relaunch after the sluggish Indiegogo attempt; it will be in this week's roundup (and personally starred it for future consideration, for that matter...)
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