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The Funding Crowd 27 (Jan 11th - Feb 11th)

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Welcome to the second Funding Crowd of 2014! Considering we're already well into the second month of the year it may seem we've settled for a monthly schedule, but nothing could be further from the truth! What happened is that many members of this team have lately been affected by personal affairs, which robbed them of precious time to devote to the confection of this issue. So now that we've been able to compound a minimum of content to fill a new column we're bringing it to you for your enjoyment. As usual, let's begin with the Hidden Gems:



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We begin our Hidden Gems recap with Tower of Elements 2, which has been re-launched on Indiegogo after a recent successful Kickstarter campaign in order to collect more funds for stretch goals. This new campaign has already raised enough funds to implement the next stretch goal, an additional board layout designed with backer input, and it offers a second chance at backing a rather unusual game to those who missed the earlier campaign due to a packed holiday schedule. It's not very often you will have an opportunity to back a fantasy-RPG-flavored tower-defense/match-3/city-building mashup...



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Our first new Gem ran the risk of being hastily dismissed as yet another Metroid clone. Fortunately for both the gaming community in general and its creators Varia Games in particular, so far more than a thousand backers have avoided jumping to any hurried conclusions and have been able to see this project's full potential. Indeed, ReVeN is a 2D shooter/platformer clearly influenced by classics like Metroid or Megaman, but featuring at the same time a bunch of elements and game mechanics which set it apart from most of the other games in the sub-genre. These would include the unlocking of abilities by digging minerals, as well as what they call the Energy Divergence Module. The EDM allows the main character to distribute its energy the way it sees fit among its four systems: weapons, shield, mobility, and sensors. Mastering this mechanic will be essential to overcome many of the obstacles in the game as well as to defeat certain enemies -- particularly the bosses, some of which promise to be truly gigantic. Another selling point is the mission creator: it will be released along with the game and it will enable players to create and share both custom levels and missions.

Story-wise, there's not so much place for innovation: the game is set in the 28th century on XR-Keres, a human colony that has recently ceased all communications with Earth. The player will assume the role of SyRek, a highly intelligent war veteran android, who steals a space transport to travel to XR-Keres in search of something or someone.

Having been already funded, the goal of the campaign for its second half must be to secure as many stretch goals as possible. Some of the most interesting ones include two different local co-op modes (4-player survival mode, and a new 2-player co-op campaign), but they are unlikely to be achieved. Instead, other goals like getting the game at 1080p resolution or some new areas to explore look much more doable, even more so if you decide to join in. The regular get-a-copy entry level is set at $15, but there are still some early bird rewards at $10 for the CheapskatesTM out there.



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Long-time Linux gamers will likely remember the original Neverwinter Nights from Bioware (no, not the MMORPG) as one of the highest-profile early Linux ports. Those veteran gamers who are additionally RPG enthusiasts probably remember NWN with fondess, possibly as one of the greatest multi-player RPGs, perhaps even still playing it nowadays. It was not the official campaigns that made NWN truly great, but rather the extent to which the developers were able to pursue their vision of NWN as a role-playing platform, investing heavily in tools for the player community -- mod tools for campaign creation, a special client for gamemaster role, and even a server for persistent player-run worlds. It is this vision of providing tools to enable the growth of a creative player community which drives the Dungeonforge team forwards in their quest for funding. It is good to see the developers persisting and making progress in their quest; they seem to be increasing in publicity points, progressing from an early Indiegogo campaign with only 12 backers, to the current campaign with 560 backers at the midpoint... and having gotten Greenlit (allowing backers to get Steam Early Access codes) and an RPS article along the way.



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The talented team at Paleozoic brings us a game with double the retro appeal we're accustomed to, in a way that would make the Gemini twins jealous. Olympia Rising is their lovely homage to classic 2D adventure platforming, set in the time of ancient Greek mythology. That's about as retro as it gets!

Heroes of myth and legend pass from the Earth, and in return, earn a place of eternal resting in the Asphodel Fields, a place of the afterlife apart from Hades' Underworld. Our young hero, Iola, awakens mysteriously from her slumber in the Fields, and must leave the sanctuary of Asphodel to fight, climb, and explore her way out of the Underworld itself to scale Mt. Olympus to seek answers from non other than Zeus! A feast for the eyes and ears, Olympia Rising offers a luscious pixel-perfect experience and equally catchy chiptunes, with fast, fluid controls and all of the expected platforming mechanics, including double-jumps, air dashes, and variation in attacks. You don't have to take our word for it, however, as an excellent HTML5 demo is available (http://or.paleozoic.com/), and performs among the best action games we've played in a browser environment in terms of tight, comfortable controls.

Funding is about halfway there, and we'd dearly like to see this one succeed. DRM-free digital downloads start at the rock-bottom $5 tier, with additional Steam keys available if the devs can pay the Greenlight gods their toll!




Let's now review the recently finished campaigns and their outcomes:



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The Optimistic Losers

· New Orbit fell just over 50% short of the $40k goal. According to the last update on the Kickstarter project front page, the game development is continuing on a self-funded basis, with Espisode 1 available for all the platforms mentioned in the Kickstarter except for Linux. There is still a possibility that space-loving Linux users interested in New Orbit might be able to convince the devs to release a Linux build, since it is being developed in Unity (see the $10k Kickstarter tier for proof of that!)


· Astro Lords: Oort Cloud raised a respectable £20k in pledges before the campaign was cancelled... but the game itself was not cancelled! The pledges, though not enough to provide the budget needed by Astro Lords, demonstrated enough proof of interest among gamers that the developer succeeded in obtaining traditional funding and a publisher. There is a bit of an open question, however, regarding whether the desktop Linux client will continue to be supported in the long run, since the publisher specializes in mobile game platforms (only iOS and Android were specifically mentioned in the update); hopefully Linux builds will continue to be cranked out, since Unity engine makes it so easy.


The Winners

· Long Night developers have been given the go-ahead to horrify their backers by working long nights to complete this survival horror game -- final count was $12kCAD, exceeding the base goal by $2kCAD.


· Default Dan, the intriguing project that wants to turn your gaming experience upside-down by inverting all the platformer tropes, managed to successfully race backwards past the finish line with a big final push: well over half the backers arrived in the last few days!


· Diplopia virtual reality game turned out to be a huge success! Typically flexible-funding projects have a harder time building momentum than similar fixed-funding projects and end up settling for some fraction of the goal, but Diplopia blew its goal out of the water -- the final pledge total was over $20k, an order of magnitude larger than the goal! We wish Diplopia equal luck in achieving the core goal of being a FUN way for those who suffer from double vision to improve their 3D perception.


· Contradiction live-action mystery adventure game is a winning loser. Well OK, it's a former loser turned winner (if you want to ruin the word-play by being technical about it): the initial Kickstarter during the holiday season failed, but it came out a winner with the second attempt. We encourage live-action adventure connoisseurs who missed the brief 2-week relaunch to take a look at the promising sample footage in the pitch video and, if they like what they see, become Paypal backers. Flash is the main format for the game, but there can likely be an HTML5 version as well if there is demand for it (there is already a prototype running in HTML5).




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· The Mims: Beginning has secured a spot in the Winners list of a future Funding Crowd issue, having already exceeded the fixed-funding goal of $5.5k. Penguins around the world have a few days in which to back this quirky RTS. For denizens of The Cheapskate's Corner, we have the entry level Egg tier at $8 for a download of the game, whose release should be a few months out from campaign completion.


· The 7th Guest 3 has been in a slow period for the last couple weeks. The Trilobyte team and current backers need to get busy in order to regain enough momentum to raise the remaining 65% of the current goal -- it is a big mistake to assume momentum will continue throughout the longer campaign period (1 month remaining) without concentrated focus on digging up more 7th Guest fans, since the "low-hanging fruit" of Kickstarter backers willing to follow the project over to the new Crowdhoster service has already been harvested.




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We only bring you a single Biggie, but this one promises to be a really huge one indeed: please meet Kingdom Come: Deliverance (if you haven't already). This medieval RPG's most noteworthy feature, apart from its realistic game mechanics and its gorgeous graphic style, it's the fact that it will most probably be the first game developed with the CryEngine to ever come to Linux. The announcement of Linux support was somewhat vague at the beginning, so speculations ran wild on whether it was for real or not. However, after the campaign has already doubled its initial goal, the commitment seems solid enough.

Leaving technicalities aside, and centering on the game itself, we can expect a first-person, non-linear, open-world (although some fear it might not be big enough), and above all realistic RPG: indeed, one of its slogans is Dungeons & no Dragons. Speaking about realism, it is supposed to particularly shine in the combat system, based on actual medieval melee fighting techniques. Apart from that, the player will be able to choose between different play styles, ranging from the most straightforward manner of dealing with adversity as a warrior to the more elaborate one of using his charisma to talk his way out of conflicts and gain some allies in the process. Whichever the approach, 30+ hours of gameplay full of non-linear quests await you should you decide to pledge the £15 required to receive a digital copy of the game. As we said, the funding goal was reached long ago, so the remaining week of campaign will dictate how many extra goals are achieved. After that, it will be a long wait until December 2015, when this Czech studio (new but staffed up with seasoned veterans of the industry) is expected to... deliver.




And so concludes this new issue of The Funding Crowd, brought to you by s_d, scaine, Speedster, and muntedefems. We're still the same small team that's been responsible for the latest crowdsourced editions, so we would highly appreciate new blood. If you love indie games and crowdfunding as a way of getting involved in their development, and you've got an hour or two a week to spare, don't hesitate to contact any of us. We can't offer you any material reward, but rest assured you'll earn our eternal gratitude!

See you next time! ;) Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
A Linux user for more than 15 years, I've just recently rediscovered the passion for gaming. Couldn't have chosen a better time than now: the [second](http://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/linux-techdemo-available-for-race-the-sun-.1752#4850) Golden Age of Linux gaming.
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6 comments

Liam Dawe 11 Feb, 2014
Great article guys as usual, I have cleaned up the formatting since for some reason there where half pages gaps between section images?
HadBabits 11 Feb, 2014
Glad to see this segment back again :)
q4a 11 Feb, 2014
Looks like there is interesting sci-fi crpg with Linux support on kickstarter: StarCrawlers
Speedster 11 Feb, 2014
Quoting: q4aLooks like there is interesting sci-fi crpg with Linux support on kickstarter: StarCrawlers

Well done! You've found a new Gem before Muntdefems, our local wiki jedi :)
muntdefems 12 Feb, 2014
Quoting: Speedster
Quoting: q4aLooks like there is interesting sci-fi crpg with Linux support on kickstarter: StarCrawlers
Well done! You've found a new Gem before Muntdefems, our local wiki jedi :)

That's intolerable! I shall go Gem-hunting at once! :P
Disharmonic 13 Feb, 2014
Great article as always. Olympia Rising's setting made it an insta-back for me :D Although having a Heroine in story taking place in Ancient Greece? Homer's bones must be shaking. :P
Quoting: q4aLooks like there is interesting sci-fi crpg with Linux support on kickstarter StarCrawlers
Cool stuff, thanks.
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