Open source is something we, as Linux users, care about greatly. So gather round while we shine the spotlight on Shattered Time. Here's an isometric RPG inspired by the Infinity Engine games of yore (e.g. Baldur's Gate or Planescape Torment) which aims to be completely open source on release! The author, Daniel J. Swiger, is a new developer who is boldly trying to make his living from an open source project. Which begs the question, how do you do so? How do you make money on something you intend will be completely free when it's finished?
Well, there's a number of ways. First, he's offering digital content to download as companions to the game itself - sound tracks, companion novels in PDF form, badges on profiles. Second, he's offering the chance to download the game as a playable game 6 months before its "official" release date - which is also worth noting, as January 2016 is a fair way out. Third, he's offering pledges which will give you input into the final content, as the game is produced. Finally, there's a plethora of options for the usual hard mechandise that often accompanies a crowd-funding campaign -- mugs, t-shirts and posters.
Needless to say, this is a risky project for two reasons. Of course, as Swiger's first project, will it be good? But beyond that, isn't it tempting just to wait it out and get the game free anyway? And true, you can do that. However, Swiger's vision deserves better. He's not just open sourcing the game's scripts (which use Unity free). He's open sourcing every asset in the game. The modding potential is absolutely huge, but you can go even beyond that. You can take any of the art he creates in this game and put them into your own, unrelated project.
So this is a Biggie, in every sense. A bold project which is floundering at the moment with only a couple of thousands of dollars in pledges, but also an almost completely unheard of direction in game development. Open Source... making money. That "almost" is important, of course. Wildfire's 0 AD is built on a similar premise, but using a different model. While both games are offering their game and game assets free of charge, Wildfire don't appear to be interested in making money from 0 AD. Their recent crowd-funding campaign was to speed up development, not pay the bills. Swiger meanwhile intends to make everything available free of charge, but hopes that the convenience of a packaged download later in the day might convince players to cough up some cash.
But that's the future. In the here and now, Swiger needs your pledges to make that future possible.
Our second Biggie, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, comes straight out of left field taking everyone by surprise. KING Art games, the developers behind the original Book of Unwritten Tales announced their Kickstarter campaign on February 11th and woke up the next morning to discover that it had been fully funded!
Already at 200% of pledges, they're now mapping out some bold stretch goals to keep the money pouring in. With Kicktraq estimating nearly a half million by the project's end, they'll need to get creative!
At $25 to secure the game on release, this time next year, it's clear that KING Art aren't under-estimating the costs of bringing a high-quality game to market. But their track record has already convinced nearly three thousand backers to pledge for this one and if the momentum keeps up, this is going to be another huge victory for Kickstarter and for traditional point and click adventure games.
And that's all for The Funding Crowd #28! We hope you enjoyed the summaries as much as we did researching and writing them!
This one was again brought to you through the combined efforts of s_d, scaine, Speedster, and muntedefems. We're a small team and would highly appreciate new blood. If you love indie games and crowdfunding, there's few better ways of getting involved in their development! You'll only need and hour or two a week to spare, so don't hesitate to contact any of us. No, there's no material rewards for your contribution apart from the rosy glow of a job well done! And that's reward enough, right? Right? Well, we think so, and we'd love you to join us.
See you next time! ;)