Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures all of our main content remains free for everyone with no article paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal, Liberapay or Buy us a Coffee. You can also buy games using our partner links for GOG and Humble Store.

The Funding Crowd 15 (Aug 15th-21st)

By - | Views: 33,438
The Funding Crowd is back for its fifteenth edition, and we are celebrating the occasion with GOL's mascot taking Fry's place in the article image (many thanks to Alex V.Sharp for producing it! ;)). We'll begin with our customary recap of finished campaigns:




image



Back to a majority -albeit simple- of good news! Last week saw more successful outcomes than failures for noteworthy Linux games projects. Let's review them all, beginning as usual with the latter:


· Glory of Decadence, the collectible card game, failed and didn't earn any support whatsoever. Unfortunately, there hasn't been any news from the developers about its future either.


· Paradox A Evolution followed quite a similar path and ended its 60-day campaign with virtually no funds and support. The creators have drawn the probably correct conclusion that before attempting such an ambitious funding campaign they'd better grow a community for the game and the seriers, and that's precisely what they're going to do in the following months.


· The Electric Adventures of Watt also failed to attain its basic funding goal, but at least it almost reached 10% of that figure. Being an Indiegogo flexible funding campaign the creators will receive most of that money and will be able to put it to good use, because as they say in their recently published Post-Mortem they are committed to complete the game.


· Ravensdale didn't technically fail, because it was canceled the day before the end of the campaign. But it was certainly going to fail, proving that past performance is no guarantee of future results even on Kickstarter. According to the team behind it, they are looking for alternate ways to fund the game although they don't completely dismiss an eventual comeback to Kickstarter.


· AD2460 was the latest failed project last week. It raised almost $4k, but that's near to nothing compared with its high-flying $150k goal. However, the creators affirm the game will be launched nonetheless: maybe at a later date and maybe with fewer features, but they're determined to finish it.


· 7 Days to Die gave us the first good news of the week. It more than doubled the $200k funding mark and unlocked all the stretch goals in the process. Said stretch goals include more locations, items, weapons and enemies, an expanded skill tree, seasonal weather, Oculus Rift support, animal zombies, NPCs, professional voice acting, or drivable vehicles among others. If you happened to miss the campaign you still can get alpha access to the game on its website, although it seems the Linux version is still not available.


· Balrum managed to get funded thanks to an amazing end spike. Being such a close call no stretch goals were achieved, and the first one -a female playable character- will have to wait until enough funds are gathered through pre-orders on its website. The game release is scheduled for September 2014, so pledging $25 to obtain beta access -expected by January- might be a good idea if you're not willing to wait that much.


· Candle was also successful in the end, after many days of doubts about it being able to reach the necessary $43k to guarantee a Linux version of the game. But at the end not only this first stretch goal was met, but the second one as well: localization into English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish. As in many other successful projects, the developers will soon enable PayPal pledges on their website. In the meantime, you can visit their Greenlight page and toss them a vote if you're interested in seeing this game on Steam.


· Gods Will Be Watching was already a winner much before its campaign ended, so the only thrill was knowing how far would the funds go in terms of stretch goals. The interest was doubled when a wild Devolver Digital appeared and decided to match all funds raised throughout the campaign. This unexpected support allowed for every stretch goal bar voice acting: New Game+, unlockable cinematics, online scoreboards, multilanguage and a free DLC. While you wait for the announced release on February 2014, you may get acquainted with some of the characters in the game by playing the original prototype.


· Crazy World of Action Cat ultimately succeeded after a long struggle. The turning point of the campaign occurred on 12 August when someone raised his/her pledge by $600. Was it a highly confident backer or the creators themselves, we may never know. We only hope the game gets completed and released on time next June. Meanwhile, any Steam user who'd like to see this game featured on that platform can vote it on Greenlight.


· Chroma Squad is the recent addition to the Happy Ending Club. Not that it came as a surprise really, since the project was successful very early in the campaign. The key ending 48-hour period didn't provide a good enough spike to hit that last stretch goal of an episode editor, though. But hopefully it can still be achieved if enough pre-orders are received through the Humble Store on the game's website. A Greenlight page has also been launched.









image




Time now for Speedster to recap all the noteworthy ongoing campaigns with even the slightest chance of succeeding:



· 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 which was updated a couple weeks ago with both bug fixes and new content. Assuming this project manages to 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). At this point, success looks likely. The previous couple weeks brought in a steady $4k each and Fran Bow has just been funded, so the remaining days will go towards the stated goals of broader testing on mobile devices and more language translations (base goal includes English, German, and Spanish).


· 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 a whirl. Monochroma is heading into the homestretch of a relatively long funding period (45 days total) and has picked up the momentum needed to finally reach victory: last week brought in substantial pledges from other people in the game industry who want to see this unusual game get made. Monochroma reached #8 in the Kicktraq Hot List during the weekend, which helped insure the momentum continues for these final few days. Now is a good time to pledge if you have allowed yourself to procrastinate because of the long funding period. Monochroma is also on Greenlight, ready to be voted for by interested Steam members.


· Orbs CCG is an online version of collectible card games such as Magic: the Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh. The base goal explicitly includes support for Linux, so there will be no ActiveX or other IE-specific hacks in the implementation; mobile versions of the client are rather more trouble to develop, so the Android version (along with iOS) is at the highest stretch goal and likely out of reach. The base goal has already been achieved, so those who have been waiting for a Linux-compatible online CCG can go jump on this opportunity to help such a game exist. Only a few more days left in this campaign, so don't delay too much longer if you intend to back.


· DwarfCorp fantasy RTS casts players in the role of leader of a colony of capitalist dwarves ready to explore new lands and make a profit out of them. The graphics for this game are a combination of old-fashioned 2D pixelated sprites with their more modern cousins of 3D voxels, and the colony-building UI is reminiscent of classic turn-based management games such as Colonization. Apparently there are a lot of dwarves out there eager to turn a profit, as our prediction about hitting the Linux stretch goal finally came true last week! Apparently the amount of true pledges is currently in question, as there is a $10k Mysterious Benefactor who has remained all too mysterious to the project leads so they are not counting on having that pledge come through. Even taking that uncertainty into account, the hard-working dwarves have achieved 4 stretch goals past the Linux one. Like the previous 2 projects (and the following 2 as well), the Dwarfcorp campaign will be ending before the end of this week, so we won't have to stay in suspense about the extra $10k too long.


· Insignificant open-world RPG started out with a rather modest goal of $1,760 which seems appropriate to its smale-scale theme: playing as a tiny person reminiscent of The Borrowers from classic literature. Not only has the base goal been conquered, but the first seven stretch goals as well: indoor settings, underwarder settings, a second playable character, soundtrack by professional composer, Oculus Rift support, character appearance customization, and NPCs have all become features of this game. Never fear, there are still intriguing stretch goals left for the current final push: 2 more for additional skills (alchemy and enchantment), 2 more for console platforms (Playstation and Wii U), and a few ambitious ones (such as voice acting and multiplayer support) just in case the campaign end goes really well.


· Laika Believes: The Sun at Midnight is one of those creative platformers with a strong focus on story, in this case an alternate-reality story in which Soviet Russia's plans of world domination became reality, at least until the dog astronaut Laika returns to earth after having mysterious adventures in space. The original $100k campaign was overly ambitious for a not-yet-famous development team without an enticing playable demo to promote the project, but some additional funding was acquired by other means, so the remaining $20k for the re-launched campaign should be doable. The project stands at over 1/3 funding with another really slow week, despite a steady stream of updates from the Laika team. Hopefully there will soon be more publicity for this re-launched campaign so that gamers who dismissed the first campaign for $100k as unrealistic will know to take a second look. Steam members fond of games with heroic astronaut dogs are welcome to vote for Laika on Greenlight.


· Constant C is a crazy 2D puzzle platformer set in a world where normal physics do not apply, so skills such as gravitational shift and time flow control are used to solve challenging levels. The game engine has been finished for Windows, so the base $5k goal of the campaign goes into Mac and Linux ports of their engine. Given that there has already been positive buzz about the Windows port, it is a little surprising to see the campaign suffer a pathetically slow first two weeks; perhaps the lack of pledging can be attributed to the general handicap that IndieGoGo projects have a smaller pool of indie game enthusiasts to draw from than Kickstarter projects. Constant C also is on Greenlight, with a nice gameplay video based on their Windows port.


· Paranautical Activity mixes old-time FPS action (think Doom or Quake) with the randomness of roguelikes for replayability. The modest $10k goal for the campaign will go towards adding lots of content (levels, weapons, enemies, items) when moving from the currently-existing public beta to the actual release. The second week of the campaign was rather slow, so although the base goal could still be achieved this week, the interesting stretch goals such as Oculus Rift support and multiplayer support may need to wait for momentum to build again near the campaign end. You may have previously run across Paranautical Activity in the news, when an established publisher offered to get it on Steam... but Valve vetoed that opportunity because the game was already on Greenlight. Apparently the only way to get out of Greenlight is to become Greenlit, so those who want to see Paranautical Activity on Steam should go vote.


· "Help improve OpenGL support for the Linux Graphics Drivers" is not a game project per se, but an experiment that may end up helping a lot of Linux gamers. Timothy Arceri created this campaign to fund implementing a specific OpenGL extension as a Mesa 3D as a starting point for getting Linux OpenGL support up to the latest levels of the standard. It is encouraging to see this project has already reached base funding, so there is definitely some interest in crowdfunding free OpenGL development. If you have any questions not answered by the project info, feel free to post your questions on the GoL thread where Timothy has been personally replying.


· Sword 'N' Board is a puzzle adventure with an obvious Zelda-esque inpiration but with some twists. In it you play as Sidd, a kid with an active imagination who battles imaginary enemies throughout cardboard forests and dark pillow fort dungeons. It's a kind of mixture of childhood nostalgia with a little adult humour, that above all tries not to take the player by the hand like modern games use to do: it rewards exploration and trying things out for oneself without being explicitly instructed by the game itself. The project creator/sole developer has been very responsive to backer suggestions, which has already resulted in a Linux build of the early demo and a bargain-priced in-game participation tier at $30. No Greenlight entry for Sword 'N' Board yet -- this in part due to observing the Steam-sponsorship opportunity lost by Paranautical Activity. UPDATE: Sword 'N' Board dev finally decided to put up a Greenlight page despite some qualms about what happened to Paranautical Activity.


· Ghost Song: A Journey of Hope is a metroidvania game with deep themes of love, hope, and redemption. The setting is rather unusual, mixing sci-fi with ghosts who are doomed to wander a cursed moon until they can be freed. Exploring will gradually reveal artifacts that tell a story of the past of this troubled place and those who haunt it. The 2D graphics are both suitably moody and beautiful. This game has already garned more than 200% of the base goal, which includes the first two stretch goals of a "hardcore" mode and a pet who evolves over time based on what you feed it. With over half of the campaign time still remaining, expect to see more Ghost Song stretch goals vanquished by the mighty pledging power of backers.


· Project Phoenix is already a smash hit after the first week, sitting at over half a million in funding! This squad-based RTS will be set in a beautiful JRPG fantasy world created by a star-studded cast of artists and composers, such as Kiyoshi Arai and Nobuo Uematsu. Project Phoenix is the first major Kickstarter project to be produced from Japan, and has ambitious non-monetary goals about leading the way to more innovation in the Japanese game industry, with key team members willing to forgo salary if it had been needed.


· Dungeonforge is another relaunch where the team has some great ideas but is lacking the huge reputation of say, a Project Phoenix team, which is also generally required to inspire enough confidence to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from backers. The team has thus dropped their initial scope in order to get the goal down to $50k, and has relaunched with flexible funding at IndieGoGo. The base idea of a cross-platform free-to-play RPG with content developed by the community seems worth exploring, but there does need to be some interesting initial content to attract enough community to become self-sustaining. Hopefully this new campaign will be successful in funding that bootstrapping process!


· Enspira Online is a rather unusual MMO, designed to be non-violent and suitable for young children. Enspira Online seems like an appealing project, but it has had trouble picking up momentum so far. The project creator is the seasoned MMO developer known as Runesabre in his Ultima Online days, so there is no lack of credibility due to inexperience; perhaps the usual crowd of Indie game backers are mostly interested in games for themselves, rather than games for kids. Probably most of us don't have kids (though we know of some notable exceptions) but perhaps we can at least help spread the word to those who do.


· Shiden is a retro arcade-style shoot-em-up for those who like to "get into the zone" and pit their reflexes against amazing odds. The download copy of Shiden is offered for only $5, while the physical box edition is similarly low-priced (for a Kickstarter reward) at only $40.


· Caribbean Island: A Pirate Adventure is a point-and-click adventure inspired by (need we say it?) the old classic Monkey Island games. The flexible funding model was chosen because the entire campaign is basically for stretch goals, "making the game more awesome" rather than essential to make the game exist at all. The DRM-free Linux download is going for $15, so it is not a big monetary risk for other devoted fans of Monkey Island.


· Proton Pulse Rift and BouncerVR were the first pair of games to share a spot in the Hidden Gems list, since they are based on a common core mechanic: Oculus Rift control of a paddle to bounce a ball. They have different bells and whistles, but both are worth taking a look at, especially for VR enthusiasts. So far Proton Pulse has had more success, the Kickstarter campaign having achieved funding within the first week, but the BouncerVR IndieGoGo campaign still has a couple weeks in which to gain $2.5k -- so success is not yet out of the question. BouncerVR even has alpha-level demos available, both with and without Oculus Rift control (for those who are waiting for the consumer version of the Rift).


· College: the Game is an action/satire game about college life in which you'll literally have to battle your way to get your diploma. There are 17 different majors to choose from, which are the equivalent of classes in a more typical game, because your major determines what weapons and items can be used. Will you pick the English major for proficiency with The Pen, or Pre-Law for proficiency with The Gavel? Note that per Kickstarter policy the side-bar tier descriptions could not be updated, but the $25 rewards are now a really good deal. In addition to a DRM-free copy of the game itself and the soundtrack, there is actually an in-game appearance: "A student is based after you!"


· Waking Amy is a 2.5D platformer with features aimed at both action and puzzle fans, with a good dose of story and atmosphere to boot. The playable character is a young girl stuck in a coma, who must solve puzzles and battle enemies in order to escape multiple levels of different "Dream Worlds" and return to the real world. One of the main points of focus by the developers is to provide multiple ways to overcome challenges, allowing a wide variety of playing styles ranging from hack-and-slash to carefully strategic. The developers also emphasize cross-platform support, with Linux and Mac both guaranteed at launch. Waking Amy already has an alpha-level demo available for Indie game reviewers, resulting in some interesting gameplay footage (linked from the Kicktarter front page). So far funding progress has been on schedule; the 50% milestone was achieved right about the halfway point in time, and the Kicktraq projection cone indicates success is likely.







Let's now take a look at the latest projects to be launched to look for our financial support. We'll begin with the big ones, as usual:




image







image



U55 - End of the Line is a first-person survival horror adventure, inspired by classic horror games such as Amnesia, Silent Hill and Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. The last mention is not coincidental, as this game is deeply embedded in H.P. Lovecraft's mythology. Set in modern-day Berlin's subway system you'll play as David, an American student on his way to meet his girlfriend, who suffers a subway train crash. In order to find a way out, you'll have to navigate through the dark with the only help and light source of your smartphone's display. The game will allegedly be very deep, both in the storylines and in the complex characters, and every decision you make will be susceptible to affect posterior events and even the final outcome of your adventure. True to the classic Lovecraftian RPGs, your character will always be vulnerable. In that regard, there won't be any character progression from experience; instead, you'll be able to upgrade your phone by downloading new apps or by collecting enhancements for it. In this type of games, sound plays a central role when it comes to creating the atmosphere. Here the acoustic background is focused on subliminal messages and especially binaural beats, a phenomenon caused by slightly different low-frequency tones applied to each ear. In this way, brainwaves are allegedly influenced by soundwaves running on the same frequencies, and a particular emotional state can be induced. The icing on the cake would come with a still unannounced stretch goal entailing Oculus Rift support, with which the overall product would arguably provide the ultimate horror experience to date.
However first things first, and the ambitious $115k base goal still looks a long way away. Plus it doesn't include Linux support; for that we'll have to wait until the $145k stretch goal is reached, so we'd better hold our horses for now.








image



Awesomenauts: Starstorm DLC, on the other hand, is on the right track to hit its funding mark soon and will support Linux from day one -- not surprisingly, as this is mainly a campaign to fund a DLC for a game already available on our favourite OS. Much to the dismay of many, this DLC will be released only on Steam but again this was to be somehow expected since the DRM-free version of the game has no online multiplayer capabilities. Anyway, what will this DLC add to the game? The base $125k funding goal will allow for three new characters -a brawler, a tank, and an assassin-, the new Spectator Mode, a global chat, new music, and twin-stick controller support. If funds go beyond that figure -and everything points in that direction- there are many planned stretch goals: from an additional map and a new song right up to level, character, and AI editors, among others.
As we said this campaign is full steam ahead to fulfill not only the base mark but also many stretch goals, if not all of them. The rewards are pretty interesting: for only $15 you'll get Steam keys for both the base game and the new DLC, as well as a copy of the OST and a couple of wallpapers. Beta access is offered at a rather low $30 pledge. With those prices we think it's a real no-brainer for any fan of the game!









image




And we'll end our weekly review with this week's Hidden Gems Top-10:





image



Elementary, My Dear Holmes is a point & click adventure in the purest LucasArts tradition of carrying around hundreds of objects in the inventory, but nonetheless in the end every single one of them having a specific and plausible -if the player has paid enough attention to details- use. Its main premise is turning the classical Sherlock Holmes adventures upside down by putting Dr. Watson in the spotlight instead. Even though there's only a little concept art to be seen and no in-game content whatsoever is shown, the game emanates a sort of credibility that has certainly been caught by the audience: more than 60% of the $50k base goal has been raised during the first week of campaign. Unfortunately an additional 40% won't be enough for us, as Linux support depends on whether a 150% funding mark can be achieved -- incidentally, this is why this project is only mentioned at #10. Luckily even the current most pessimistic predictions exceed by far the necessary $75k figure, so it's only a matter of time before we can safely pledge in the certainty that the game will be released on Linux.








image



Next in the list is OBSUDO, an online multiplayer hacking game that, according to its developers, will be "easy enough to be played by anyone, but real enough to train IT professionals". Well, maybe that's hoping too much, but the concept behind this game is certainly an ambitious one: to fully simulate a metropolis, with full network structure, and a huge number of players and NPCs, in what aims to be a perfect mix between Uplink, The Sims and a MMORPG game structure. The AI is supposed to be so advanced that every internal aspect of the game will continue to grow and to evolve regardless of player activity -- i.e. the game will still play itself even when no players are online.
The C$45k funding goal is a rather low one, especially for such an aspiring project like this one. In spite of the low goal, and the campaign being 45 days long, success seems far from likely. Luckily this is a flexible funding campaign so all pledged funds will go to the developers to work on the game full-time for as long as they can, before they have to resort to other jobs to be able to pay their bills.








image



Red Echelon TD is, as its name suggests, a tower defense game. To try to stand out in so swamped a genre like this one, the game will include aspects like upgrades, spells, and the ability to take control of towers, as well as a level editor in all of its versions. We think level editors are a feature to be encouraged on many games, as they help grow a community around them and to greatly enhance and extend the gaming experience. We mentioned different versions of the game, as it will be released in many flavours: a simple Unity/Flash-based web version, a slightly more complex Android/iOS mobile version, and a full Windows/Mac/Linux desktop version. All of them will feature the campaign, raid and survival game modes, as well as the level editor. The full version will also come with free-play and multiplayer modes, as well as a more advanced map editor.
The amount they're asking is as low as £250, and the more is raised the more content -and faster- will be added to the game. Linux support is guaranteed in any case, although the worst possible scenario could imply a delayed release for our OS.








image



We enter the domains of retro-pixel games for the first time today with Magí in the Land of Mor. It's a platformer with obvious visual influences from Super Mario World and the early Sonic the Hedgehog games, but also with references to games like Megaman or the Zelda series. It tells the story of Magí, a magician apprentice who must find the evil Flyx and recover the stolen Statue of the Sun. During its journey he'll break bricks, collect coins, face dangerous enemies, and meet unexpected friends who'll help him accomplish his mission.
The game is principally targeted to mobile devices but it will also be playable on desktop computers as a HTML-based browser game, and that of course includes Linux systems. Its basic, flexible goal is set at $9.5k and unbelievably nobody has decided to back it yet. Even when the lowest $8 pledge doesn't only give access to the finished game, but also to the planned sequel Magí 2. If those weren't powerful enough arguments, you can even get a taste of the game with this playable prototype before deciding whether to back it or not.








image



At #6 is Urban War Defense, another tower defense game although this one is fully 3D and set in the Cold War era. It features an compelling story about the invasion of your homeland by enemy forces and you, the appointed commander-in-chief, must do everything at hand to protect your country and to fend off the invaders. As such you'll have a large selection of abilities and weapons at your disposal, including high tech top secret ones. As GOL duly informed, the game is available at Desura since a couple of weeks ago. However we haven't been able to give it a try so we can only assess its merits and faults after viewing the pitch video. From it we can conclude the game has got potential but it still needs some polishing, particularly in the audio department. Technical aspects aside, we think this campaign's main flaw lies in the perks pricing: for one, the inmediate alpha access one -set at £10- is more expensive than the alpha on Desura -- which costs £8. If that wasn't bad enough, to celebrate the Kickstarter launch the creators have put the Desura version on sale at 50% off, effectively rendering it cheaper than the Kickstarter £5 perk which only gives the backer a copy of the finished game. Under these circumstances, it's no wonder the campaign has only been able to attract 2 backers. However, as we said before, we believe in this game's potential and hope it can be fully funded in the end. The first step would be a more adequate pricing of rewards, of course.








image




And back again to Pixel Land to open this week's Top-5 with Eyes Open, a top-down horror stealth game. This is a campaign that's been around for almost 2/3 of its length, but we're talking about it now for the usual reason: its creators have talked about Linux support only recently. Right now the game is being developed on XNA but the developers are looking into Mono to make the game cross-platform, so a Linux version is possible although they don't make any promises regarding the release date. However if both the $8k funding mark and the $10k first stretch goal are surpassed, then the game will be ported to Unity3D and a simultaneous release will be guaranteed.
Technicalities aside, the game is about exploring an abandoned asylum full of monsters while trying to remain sane at the same time. This can only be achieved by as simple a mechanism as closing the eyes. But it's one thing to feel safe and it's another one altogether to be actually safe, as the enemies will keep on moving and trying to catch you in the meantime. In this regard the game tries to convey a sense of disempowerment similar to that of Amnesia, as opposed to most modern stealth games which generally make the player feel confident and powerful. The absence of an inventory system or any RPG elements also goes in that direction. All in all the game is designed to provide a short experience, but every game will have randomly-generated levels in order to encourage replayability. Community-building and sharing is also encouraged with the Spectator View, that is the ability to record gameplay footage and replay it using a more detailed visualization with no blanks when the character decides to close his eyes.
As we said this campaign will end in little over 10 days but it still needs more than half the funding goal -- or almost $7k to ensure a simultaneous release. It's admittedly a difficult feat to pull off against all odds but it's nothing that hasn't been done before, and the worst everybody could do now is close their eyes and wait for the end.








image



Dead Sky is a fast-paced top-down shooter and tower defense hybrid. It's being developed by the creators of Spectraball, who decided to take on a drastically different genre and came up with this sort of third-person Killing Floor with turrets, as some put it. It features cel-shaded visuals, a wide variety of enemies, weapons and power-ups, and action-packed solo and co-op modes.
In spite of its low funding goal and its comparatively cheap pledge rewards ($7 to grab a copy of the game), this is yet another awesome game that has so far totally failed to get any attention. One possible explanation could be the skimpy campaign description on Indiegogo. Although the pitch video should be enough to convince any dubious prospector, the lack of details is certainly working against its interests: i.e. there's no word about Linux support, and the confirmation must be sought elsewhere like on Greenlight.








image



This week's bronze medal goes to BiT: Evolution, a game that takes over part of the essence from the former Hidden Gem and unsuccessful Kickstarter project Life of Pixel. Indeed, this is a retro 2D platformer that pays homage to the videogame systems from the 1970's and 80's. Like in good ol' times the game is single-player only and tells the story of BiT, who starts as a simple puck from a hockey videogame and evolves and learns new techniques as it travels to other worlds through the mysterious Realm of Code. The basic version of the game includes 4 worlds: the Atari 2600, the Commodore 64, the NES, and the SuperNES, each one of these worlds being composed of several different levels and sporting its own aesthetics. To complement a pure platforming experience, the Realm of Code acts as a dual-world mechanic which introduces puzzle elements.
The planned stretch goals include two extra worlds with their exclusive visual style, and unlockable characters and costumes. But before thinking about them the £9k base goal must be conquered, and we're afraid this will be BiT's hardest quest of all. After more than one week has passed, less than 10% has been raised so the end spike will need to be really, really sharp in order to achieve success.








image



Dungeons: The Eye of Draconus is a 2.5D parody brawler heavily influenced by Golden Axe which features up to 3-player co-op (both local and online), hand-painted backgrounds, and comedic voice acting. The unlikely cast of heroes comprises a mead-addicted, diabetic barbarian, a witty and gorgeous thief, and a nerdy cleric who will together face a larger cast of equally unlikely foes. Its pixel-art style, colourful scenarios, and the overall comedic mood and silliness strongly resonates with our inner 90's teenager so we can't help but recommending this game and giving it this week's #2.
In fact, this is a re-run of a successful old Kickstarter. Apart from its age, it's likely you wouldn't know about it because it didn't include Linux support the first time around. Even though the creators got successfully funded two years ago, they've come back to gather more funds in order to cope with some unexpected woes as well as to port the game to Mac, Linux and Ouya. Speaking of which, they are taking part on OUYA's FreeTheGames Fund. This means that if $50k or more are raised, the Fund will match all pledges and will thus effectively double the total amount. The only catch is they get OUYA exclusivity for the game during the first 6 months after release. It's a win-win situation, really: either we get a good game early, or an awesome one later on. Anyhow the $50k mark lays far away for now, and we'd better keep an eye on the $10k funding goal which will determine whether or not the game is completed (and ported to Linux!). Although it's too early to tell, we feel rather optimistic about its chances to succeed. If you want to raise those chances you only need $5 to grab a copy of the game for either Linux or the OUYA.








image



And finally the best of the best, the #1 Hidden Gem of the week is AdventurOS, an ingenious and innovative game. It's a pixelated 2.5D RPG/Metroidvania adventure -- so far so good, nothing spectacularly innovative here. The most distinctive trait of the game is that's entirely auto-generated by the content of your filesystem. Under this scheme directories act as rooms, and the files contained within them are represented as different types of characters, enemies, or objects inside those rooms. For instance, files with the extension .txt turn into pacific NPCs, while .xls spreadsheets are represented by snakes, and .zip archives are treasure chests. We understand that using the extension of a file to determine its type is a consequence of guaranteeing compatibility throughout all the supported platforms, but we expect that not only Microsoft-specific file extensions are used -- i.e. that .ods will equally be interpreted as a snake or at least as a similar enemy. Some players may also be concerned about the gaming accessing their own files, but the developers quickly dismiss such fears stating that the game will only index a directory when entered, and it's not going to change any file except the game ones.
The game tells the story of a courageous captain who has volunteered to free the Architect's castle from an evil intruder, as well as everyone trapped inside it. The castle is divided into as many levels as the deepest directory tree in your filesystem. Like any Metroidvania worthy of its name, in order to access the upper levels and to progress within the game you'll have to learn and master new abilities such as double jumps, wall breaking or speed boosts, among others. These skills and abilities will be acquired by earning experience from previous rooms and levels, and items dropped by enemies will increase your stats and characteristics. Its creators are the same people responsible for games like Pixelry or Tower Rush, so that constitutes a guarantee they'll know how to put the $10k funding goal to good use.

UPDATE: We expressed some of our concerns to the devs and these are their answers:
QuoteTFC: Are filetypes determined by the extensions alone, or do you take advantage of file signatures/magic numbers?

Devs: Most of the time the game will read just the extension of the file, but for example, on linux when you have txt files with no extension, the game will read the file signature.


TFC: Will only Microsoft/Windows-related extensions be taken into account? I.e. will only Microsoft Excel .xls files be considered as snakes, or will other spreadsheet documents (such as LibreOffice’s .ods) produce the same results?

Devs: We are designing the game for all three systems Windows, Mac and Linux, so we are taking that into account.






And that was all, folks! See you again sometime next week with more news regarding Linux games being crowdfunded. Remember that you can always check our crowdfunding wiki in order to be kept up to date with the latest developments. Bye! ;)



. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
0 Likes
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
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.
See more from me
The comments on this article are closed.
10 comments

Stephan 22 Aug, 2013
Here's a thought I had while reading this article (particularly about playing a female character being a stretch goal):

Why are there next to no female characters to play in certain types of video games? Said differently: Why is it always the man that goes on an adventurous trip and uses his smarts to solve puzzles? This seems to be especially true for horror games. When was the last time we had one in which we played a female character? And with that... a female character that wasn't just reduced to her boobs. What I mean is: It isn't enough to just swap the characters and replace Indiana Jones with Lara Croft. I think at best this swap of characters should be reflected in gameplay and reactions of the character in certain situations as well, to some degree.


I guess, in essence, my complaint is about diversity. That game characters should have different viewpoints and not necessarily go the same old route over and over again.
Linas 22 Aug, 2013
Because the majority of gamers are guys. While many guys like playing female characters for "her boobs", in horror games the character if often intended to be you. Then it is much easier to identify yourself with the character of the same sex.

Another reason you state yourself. You cannot just swap characters. You have to adjust the game accordingly for it to be realistic. That takes time and money, both of which are often scarce.
Speedster 22 Aug, 2013
I liked the surprise appearance by the GOL mascot
Speedster 22 Aug, 2013
Late-breaking news, Sword 'N' Board dev finally decided to put up a Greenlight page despite some qualms about what happened to Paranautical Activity

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=171660295
scaine 22 Aug, 2013
View PC info
  • Contributing Editor
  • Supporter Plus
I'd prefer that you didn't include games into the Biggies section unless they're definitely heading to linux! I spent 15 minutes looking into U55, nearly pledged, came back and read your whole bit on it and discovered that linux isn't happening unless they hit a fairly hefty stretch goal! Close one - nearly wasted my money there... because I can't see them hitting anywhere near the linux stretch, and even if they do, I tend not to pledge to linux stretches any more, unless it's something I'm super-excited by, or the stretch has already been met.

But I'm also not a fan of their cop-out at the end. Basically, they say "even if this Kickstarter works, we might just go to a publisher anyway". So... I'm not sure how to take that. It sounds like they have no idea how much money they actually need to make their game and makes a farce of their "more content" stretch goals.
Speedster 22 Aug, 2013
In Munt's defense, he does always mention whether Linux is a stretch goal, and the U55 section even has the wrap-up recommendation "we'd better hold our horses for now"

"In the running" section does take a more conservative approach of not mentioning games until they are at least getting close to the Linux stretch goal, so U55 will probably not be appearing here again in future weeks (achieving even the base goal is a long shot).


muntdefems 22 Aug, 2013
Wow, so many issues I want to address... Let's go one by one:



Quoting: SpeedsterI liked the surprise appearance by the GOL mascot

It also came as a surprise to me. Alex V.Sharp sent the SVG file to me just as I was writing the column yesterday night. I didn't even remember he had offered to draw a SUATMM version of the mascot... :P




Quoting: SpeedsterLate-breaking news, Sword 'N' Board dev finally decided to put up a Greenlight page despite some qualms about what happened to Paranautical Activity

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=171660295

True, I should update the article to include it. I'll do it in a minute: I'm waiting for some answers from a couple of developers I contacted earlier this afternoon so I'll give them a little more time to reply.




Quoting: scaineI'd prefer that you didn't include games into the Biggies section unless they're definitely heading to linux! I spent 15 minutes looking into U55, nearly pledged, came back and read your whole bit on it and discovered that linux isn't happening unless they hit a fairly hefty stretch goal! Close one - nearly wasted my money there... because I can't see them hitting anywhere near the linux stretch, and even if they do, I tend not to pledge to linux stretches any more, unless it's something I'm super-excited by, or the stretch has already been met.

But ah, you should always read the entire piece before prancing over your prey. ;)  And anyway, on Kickstarter you can always cancel your pledge and no money will ever leave your bank account.




Quoting: StephanWhy are there next to no female characters to play in certain types of video games? Said differently: Why is it always the man that goes on an adventurous trip and uses his smarts to solve puzzles? This seems to be especially true for horror games. When was the last time we had one in which we played a female character? And with that... a female character that wasn't just reduced to her boobs. What I mean is: It isn't enough to just swap the characters and replace Indiana Jones with Lara Croft. I think at best this swap of characters should be reflected in gameplay and reactions of the character in certain situations as well, to some degree.

I guess, in essence, my complaint is about diversity. That game characters should have different viewpoints and not necessarily go the same old route over and over again.

Whoa... I think this topic is a big can of worms I'm not willing to fully open. While I totally agree with your last paragraph (an Extra Credits episode on this topic quickly springs to mind here) I think the stereotype you describe in the first one is slowly -but steadily- disappearing, at least in the indie market. Out of the top of my head I can come up with many different games that do not adscribe to the male-character-who-does-all-the-job cliché: Fran Bow, Waking Amy, Legend of Iya, Pandora: Purge of Pride, Project Maiden, Laika Believes (she's a female dog, after all :P)...



PS: And cheating by looking at the crowdfunding wiki I realize I missed many more: Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, AR-K, Cryamore, DreadOut, J.U.L.I.A., Lilly Looking Through, Nelly Cootalot, Whispering Willows, etc.
Speedster 22 Aug, 2013
A fine demonstration of the new multi-quote system there, Munt ;)
scaine 22 Aug, 2013
View PC info
  • Contributing Editor
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: Quote from muntdefems
Quoting: Quote from scaineI'd prefer that you didn't include games into the Biggies section unless they're definitely heading to linux! I spent 15 minutes looking into U55, nearly pledged, came back and read your whole bit on it and discovered that linux isn't happening unless they hit a fairly hefty stretch goal! Close one - nearly wasted my money there... because I can't see them hitting anywhere near the linux stretch, and even if they do, I tend not to pledge to linux stretches any more, unless it's something I'm super-excited by, or the stretch has already been met.

But ah, you should always read the entire piece before prancing over your prey. ;)  And anyway, on Kickstarter you can always cancel your pledge and no money will ever leave your bank account.

Finish... reading... the article?? Where's the fun in that! :-) I see a link, it's getting clicked, there and then!

But yeah, true. I'd forgotten you can retract pledges. I was nitpicking, of course. Another fine round up, Munt.
Anonymous 4 Sep, 2013
Quoting: muntdefemsWhoa... I think this topic is a big can of worms I'm not willing to fully open. While I totally agree with your last paragraph (an Extra Credits episode on this topic quickly springs to mind here) I think the stereotype you describe in the first one is slowly -but steadily- disappearing, at least in the indie market. Out of the top of my head I can come up with many different games that do not adscribe to the male-character-who-does-all-the-job cliché: Fran Bow, Waking Amy, Legend of Iya, Pandora: Purge of Pride, Project Maiden, Laika Believes (she's a female dog, after all :P)...



PS: And cheating by looking at the crowdfunding wiki I realize I missed many more: Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, AR-K, Cryamore, DreadOut, J.U.L.I.A., Lilly Looking Through, Nelly Cootalot, Whispering Willows, etc.

Thank you very much, there really seem to be some games in that regard. I need to check the ones I haven't heard of yet.

Part of why I had written these comments is that I had the feeling as if quite a few of games with a different approach have failed on crowsfunding sites, particularly these with not-so-common game ideas, involving female characters and a different approach of tackling issues/adventures/puzzles.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
The comments on this article are closed.