Tune in for another issue of The Funding Crowd, where we once again take a look at what's shaking in the Linux crowdfunding space.
The Intergalactic Trashman is an intriguing mix of space exploration and 2D platforming. The game will be set in a huge space sandbox, where you fly around fighting enemies, dodging obstacles and collecting trash. There will also be a large number of planets to explore, and on some of them you'll enter 2D platforming stages that seemlessly transform the game into a 2D action platformer.
The story follows the protagonist Kepler and his partner Xana, who both work for the Intergalactic Trashmen – a company specializing in collecting space debris for recycling. When their friend and mentor, Goyold, is fatally injured after investigating the appearence of a mysterious factory, it's up to them to continue his task. And they soon find themselves tangled up in a web of conspiracies of epic proportions.
As you progress through the game, you'll unlock a bunch of tools to upgrade both your spaceship and Kepler. Among other things, the ship will get an upgrade that gives it a limited-time speed boost. Other upgrades might increase the duration of the boost, and reduce the cooldown time. Kepler will have a propelling device on his back that gives him a jump boost, that it will also be possible to upgrade. This device and other unlockable gadgets give the platforming aspects of this game a strong flavour of metroidvania, which is something I almost always appreciate in a platformer. Coupled with puzzles and the space exploration elements, I have very high hopes for this game.
The developers, GloveCat Studio are aiming for $35k to realize their dream of making this game. At the moment, they've only barely broken $6k, but with almost three weeks to go, it still has a fair chance. You can help by pledging $15 for a DRM free copy of the game. At the time of writing, there are also some $10 early bird rewards left. There is also a Steam Greenlight project for the game, where you can vote if you want to see the game on Steam.
The Zelda inspired Songbringer is an action RPG with detailed pixel graphics, epic battles and tons of secrets. Each time you start a new game, the world is generated from a 6-letter world seed of your choosing. This means you can either start fresh with a new world on each playthrough or familiarize yourself with a single world to uncover all its secrets. You also have the option of playing co-op or competitive meta multiplayer with a friend.
When Roq Epimetheos comes across the nanosword on Ekzerra on his voyage through space, he unwittingly awakens an ancient evil army. Be it from a guilty conscience or a lust for adventure – either way, he takes it upon himself to expel the world of demons, virus androids and other creatures.
The game will be chock full of secrets to discover. Some of them are items that can be crafted into new and powerful artifacts. Others are useful NPCs, like the droidsmith, who, among other things, can craft a fire teleport orb. There are lots of other interesting items already planned, and the developer, Wizard Fu Games are open to creative suggestions from backers.
A pledge of at least $16 will secure you both a DRM free copy of the game and a Steam key, once the game is complete, since Songbringer has already been greenlit on Steam.
You will also get a digital map that will help you find all secrets, dungeons, items and bosses in one world.
Brilliant Shadows is an adventure/romance visual novel, the tale of two mages fated to be together. But life doesn't always run as smoothly as planned...
The story revolves around the necromancer Veronica Ashmar and the paladin Prudence Celeste, who are just about to get paired in a bonding ritual. Each year, this ritual bonds together mages of the two schools, Necromancy and Light, bringing balance and greater understanding. Ash and Prude have been best friends forever, swore to be together forever, and have been waiting for this moment forever. But now, on the day of the ritual, things have taken a turn for the unexpected.
Being developed with Ren'Py, Brilliant Shadows will have no problems with portability, and will follows familiar visual novel gameplay. If you're not sure what exactly that entails, they have a demo ready for you, teasing the story a bit. There's also the customary post on the Lemma Soft forums, if you're interested in that.
With a base goal of a mere $400, funding was a sure thing quickly. Several stretch goals, like an extra evil route, and partial voice acting, are funded now as well, and at the time of writing, they're a single dollar away from full voice acting.
You can have the game for a only $3 (yes, only $3). $9 will add a post card mailed to you, $15 adds a digital art book and $25 the digital soundtrack.
Another adventure-y game, this time a more classical point-and-click one, is Elsinore. A classic point-and-clicker with Shakespeare and time loops and a dynamic story. Wait, what?
You play as Ophelia, a young noblewoman of Denmark who awakes from a terrible vision: in four days, everyone in Elsinore Castle will be dead. And for some reason you're in a Groundhog-Day-like time loop, reliving those four days again and again and again. Find a way to change the future and survive!
Elsinore is using a dynamic story engine, that simulates the lives and schedules of the characters in the world. As you learn more about the world, its characters and their motivations from your laps around the time loop, you gain evidence and hearsay you can use to influence the people around you. Present a rumour to a character, and that character will change their course of action. Of course, give the wrong piece information to the wrong character at an extremely inopportune time, and you've got a disaster brewing.
Portability-wise, the game is being built with Unity, and they do admit that they're mainly trusting on Unity's native support. Hopefully that'll work well enough.
As with Brilliant Shadows, Elsinore is already funded as well, and on its way to crack more stretch goals. On the slate are more locales, characters and animations, extending the story.
The price of entry for the game itself is $15, $25 for a digital artbook and $35 for the digital soundtrack.
Surprising absolutely no one, 2D action RPG Roguelands had no problem reaching their modest $1,000 goal. With well over $20k reached by the time the campaign ended, Magicite developer Sean Young also managed to bank stretch-goals for additional character slots, recruitable NPCs, weapon combining and randomly generated planet objectives.
Infamous Quests did not reach their first and only stretch goal of $35k, but with $30k pledged, it's still abundantly clear that there is demand for Order of the Thorne and Roehm To Ruin. After the initial $11,225 goal was reached over the first weekend, it looked like the stretch goal for the third game would be a walk in the park. Eventually that stretch goal did end up being met (counting paypal pledges), and this campaign has demonstrated that there are many fans of the series.
With an astonishing push towards the end of its two month funding period, action RPG CrossCode not only reached their €80k goal, but surpassed it and ended up just above the €90k stretch goal for a New Game+ mode. This also places Radical Fish Games's game just shy of the top 10 most funded gaming campaigns on IndieGoGo.
Unfortunately, the surreal adventure Ira didn't make it, only getting about 12% of the $68,200 goal. A big contributor to that failure is probably the creator's lack of community engagement; they admit as much in the final update: "we are not [the] best at marketing". Understandable, but sad nonetheless. They do plan to relaunch the Ira funding campaign, but split into three acts. They also promise that "the community will [...] become part of the lore itself", whatever that means. For now, we'll just have to wait and see.
The gorgeous looking 3D action-adventure RPG Izle also failed to reach its goal. Almost $19k in pledges is by no means bad for an unknown developer, but with a lofty $90k goal, that just didn't cut it. The developer isn't ready to throw in the towel just yet though, and if you want to keep tabs on the game, you can do so by signing up for their newsletter.
In theory Outward is still in the running, with some days yet left on the clock, but it requires quite a big jump in momentum to make up for the slow start. If that big jump doesn't happen, it is set to become another project with plenty of promise that didn't get the media attention needed to pull off a biggie-sized goal. At least Outward managed to get Greenlit quite quickly, so it's too soon to give up on this project even if this particular funding attempt fails.
Vincent the Vampire is in a similar boat (though the boat is perhaps a bit ''more'' leaky). Media attention is very hard to come by for adventure games, and the addition of a game demo without a new PR plan to complement it does not seem to have done the trick for Vincent.
As demonstrated by Yooka-Laylee's current run on Kickstarter, reports of the deaths of crowd-funding and 3D platformers have both been greatly exaggerated. The campaign reached its £175k goal in less than 40 minutes, and has continued to break every stretch goal so far. At the moment it's at £1,300k and pushing against the £1,500k goal for an orchestral score.
Playtonic Games is a group of veterans from legendary Rare Ltd., and the game is a spiritual successor to the 3D collect-a-thon platformer Banjo-Kazooie. Similar to the classic's duo Banjo and Kazooie, this upcoming game will feature two protagonists played as one. The chameleon Yooka can use his tongue to attack enemies and grapple ledges, and the bat Laylee can carry Yooka for short bursts of flight and unleash a sonar blast.
The developers plan to release the game on all platforms at once; which is welcome for Linux users, since we need more high-profile day-one releases to increase the profitability of our platform. The tentative release date is October next year, but even with a team of developers with experience making this kind of game, that can easily slip with the increased scope of the game. To shorten the wait, they will create a Toybox, which is a demo of sorts created from in-game assets for a separate experience. This will be available for pledges of £20 or above, while just the game on Steam comes at the £10 tier.
This was all for this round, and with a slightly reduced Funding Crowd there were unfortunately several campaigns we wanted to cover, but just couldn't fit in. We'll squeeze in a brief summary of a few of them here at the end though.
Outward is an open world RPG with co-op and survival elements that looks very ambitious, but is running out of time with only $57kCAD pledged of their $150kCAD goal and just a few days left.
If you enjoy Gone Home, you might be interested in the narrative-driven Apartment, which explores the events leading up to a break-up in form of short explorable vignettes. There's a demo available for a taste of what to expect.
The developers of Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse launched a new campaign on the heels of their last, and reached their $65 goal without breaking a sweat. There's still over a week left to pledge to this action adventure game with survival elements, and there's also a demo available for this one.
And that's really all we had time for.
Usual plea for help:
Please PM one of the team: (scaine, Speedster, muntdefems, flesk, and DrMcCoy) if you think you can help or just want to chat about crowdfunding. And of course, remember that you can use the comments, Wiki, or forums to keep us updated on any suggestions that you'd like to see covered.