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The Funding Crowd 34 (June 3rd - July 1st)

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The Funding Crowd welcomes you to a shorter, sharper and much anticipated TFC#34! It's shorter, because less stuff happened over the quieter June period. It's sharper, because we're not pulling any punches with this edition - we're calling it as we see it. And we're assuming it's much anticipated because the last edition was a whopping 29 days ago. At least! Nearly a month!

No one should be made to wait so long for their Crowd Funding fix. Enough chit chat! To the article!





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The Optimistic Losers


· Triggered flexible-funding campaign had the decks stacked against it for reaching full funding, given that less than 6% of the flexible funding projects we've tracked have managed to reach that level of success. We hope that the raised amount of $1,667 (minus the Indiegogo cut) will still be of use in getting a prototype going, which might make possible a more successful fixed-funding campaign. However, the author also sent his 52 backers a fairly grim message revealing his depression at the low turnout and promised to fight his hardest against already-present suicidal thoughts. This kind of honest transparency can be pretty hard to take, but this author, at least, applauds the tone of the message which was simply stating facts and certainly wasn't an attempt at any kind of emotional blackmail. Best of luck, Shane, and we hope that Triggered eventually has the impact you hope for.


· Though the Kickstarter for Kaiju-a-Gogo failed with $27,766 out of the $40k goal, all is not lost for would-be mad scientists. Kerberos Productions also ran the Ground Pounders Kickstarter last year, which had similar luck with $21k pledges out of a $42k goal, but they persisted through an IndieGoGo campaign and Steam Early Access to the point where Ground Pounders is now close to official release. The Kauiju-a-Gogo comment thread hints that the team is thinking along the same lines.


· Kaptain Brawe 2: A Space Travesty topped out at a respectable $90k, which unfortunately was short of the $150k funds needed to complete the game with the current plans. Again, would-be backers itching for another taste of the writing talents of Steve Ince or artwork of Bill Tiller should not give up hope quite yet, since the team has promised to relaunch, planned to overlap with GamesCon to get more publicity for this promising adventure.




The Winners


· Anima Gate of Memories: Extended Campaign managed to bring in enough funds to add significant features such as full voice acting, a new story branch, and more skill trees. That is not to say the developers don't have a few more yet-to-be-achieved features on their wish list, so they are keeping Paypal pledging open for a while longer, though the alpha is already available to backers at high-level tiers.


· Red Goddess raised $40k, which encompasses the first two stretch goals of a new boss and an additional chapter for this side-scroller.


· Fellow platformer The Way managed the first stretch goal of additional translations with a total of $23kCAD.


· Superhot campaign really was deemed hot by gaming crowdfunders, closing out with over $250k, more than double the already respectable $100k goal! Those who missed out on backing Superhot due to summer vacations still have the opportunity to back this unique time-stopping FPS via Humble widgets.









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No Biggies this issue! But you know what means, right? It means that our Gems will get 100% of your laser-like focus.









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Areal

Areal was suggested to us by Deformal in the forums. It's an interesting find for various and controversial reasons. Ostensibly, it's the "spiritual" successor to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games and follows much of the same mechanic - open world, post-apocalyptic, first person shooter. It is being developed by some of the same creative talent behind the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, including a concept artist, animator, and even the same lead designer. So far so good. However, we say "ostensibly" because not only is the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series owned by Vostok Games, not West Games who are running this Kickstarter, but the in-game footage video is actually a series of cleverly edited sequences from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games!

Incredibly, it gets worse. They're only asking for $50k, which seems incredibly low for an open world FPS in pre-alpha. And then the icing on the cake - Vostok Games are making their own "spiritual successor" to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. called Survarium.

However, it's not the job of The Funding Crowd to choose Beta over VHS, Walkman over iPod or Ubuntu over Fedora! No! We're here to give you choices and they don't come much juicier than this. That said, you might want to consider this one carefully, as Vostok are currently consulting their lawyers to decide whether enough infringement has occurred for legal action to take place.

If you decide to take the plunge, a pledge of $25 is required to secure a digital copy of the game.







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Catlateral Damage

From the sublime to the ridiculous. If, by the title alone, you guessed that Catlateral Damage is about playing a cat, knocking things over... you'd be spot on. Originally launched as a Greenlight prototype back in January, this Kickstarter project aims to make a full game out of its adorable but short-lived demo. It must be doing something right with those cel-shaded graphics and addictive "just knock one more thing over" gameplay, as it was Greenlit in a fairly snappy 8 days.

In fact, it's clearly not a one-hit wonder either, as it's already raised 10% over its $40k target and is on track with its 12 remaining days to snaffle some stretch goals, the first of which is a supermarket bonus level. Which admittedly, does sound awesome.

The game itself will add a number of new features not present in the demo, such as multiple cat types with varying abilities (jump height, speed, strength and so on) or mice and hidden toys that can be chased/destroyed/played with as you see fit. The room layouts will also add variety and there will no doubt be a certain amount of satisfaction from knocking a 50" TV onto a marble floor! There is also a "plot", but the less said about that, the better. You're a cat. You destroy stuff. Not so much a plot as a job description, frankly.

A mere $12 will secure you a copy of the game, which is due out at the end of this year. That will also get you a DRM-free copy too, although the platform for that hasn't been announced yet.







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Twin Souls


Contemplating how this was going to be written, it was incredibly tempting to simply write "3D Mark of the Ninja" and then walk away from the keyboard. Of course, while that might pique your interest in this lovely third-person stealth-em-up, it would be doing Twin Souls an incredible disservice. Of course, Mark of the Ninja was superb - fluid graphics, wonderful controls, tight plot and a nice mix between stealth and fighting. See? There's a lot of similarity here and if Spanish development crew Linceworks can maintain this level of delivery through to completion, they'll have a classic on their hands.

The plot revolves around a mysterious girl under lock and key who summons and binds her soul to a Spirit of Vengeance (you), tying your destinies together. As Aragami, you wield one power, the ability to control shadows and teleport between them. This engages a stealth mechanic reminiscent of Dishonored's "blink" ability. Unlike Corvo in Dishonored, however, or indeed Mark of the Ninja, Aragami is absolutely useless in a fight. This is an out and out stealth game and its rewards revolve around silent assassination, or even ghosting an entire level unseen.

Describing itself a mix of Tenchu and Portal, and inspired by Mark of the Ninja, the game is obviously setting a fairly high standard for itself! The combination of third person views, dark environments, stealth and take-down assassination actually brings Batman's Arkham games to mind. The Steam community seemed to like their prospects too, with a rapid Greenlight campaign already successful. You'll need to commit $20 to secure the game, due in March next year, which includes a DRM-free copy.







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Timespinner

Well this one looks a little bit special. All too often, we use the term "Metroidvania" to describe a side-scrolling non-linear power-up hack-a-thon. But why is it called that, remember? Because before the Gamecube came along and made it all 3D and shiny, the original Metroid games were 2D side-scrolling non-linear power-up hack-a-thons. And they were absolutely sublime. Superb. And then there's Castlevania, a game by Konami, which rivals the wonderful Metroid game in basically every single way possible. Two incredible games, both released for the same platform (NES), both in 1986. What are the chances? But together, they spawned a generation of such games and defined a genre which still sees releases today, 2014, 28 years later.

But crucially, Timespinner is a "Metroidvania" in the truest sense of the word. Beautiful graphics. Slick animations. Gripping plot. Wonderful mechanics. Challenging and satisfying boss fights. Secrets. Non linear, interconnected worlds. Multiple weapons and weapon dynamics.

Rather than have me spell each of these features out with mere words, you should already be clicking on that link, dropping your jaw to the floor in eager anticipation and pledging your $15 to secure a digital copy of the game, due out at the end of next year. If you have money to burn, it's also worth mentioning the $250 reward as it allows you to send the developers a picture of your face and have them pixelise (is that a word?) you for use in various in-game scenarios - haunted painting, or wanted posters, perhaps. Is that worth $250? Only you can decide.









And there we have it. We promised you short. Bosh. We promised you sharp. Done. We promised you much anticipated. Well, only you can tick that box, but we hope you enjoyed the latest edition, at least. It's likely that we're going to aim for a fortnightly schedule again, despite the fact that the holiday period might disrupt things a little.

As always, use the comments, WIKI, forums, or direct messages to keep us up updated on any suggestions that you'd like to see covered. And again, as always, if you want to try your hand at writing a paragraph (such as any of those you've just read) for future issues, all you need to do is direct message one of the team that brought you this issue - scaine, Speedster, and muntdefems.

See you next time!


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Faugn 1 July 2014 at 5:46 pm UTC
Thanks for the round-up. 3 suggestions:

DrMcCoy 1 July 2014 at 5:59 pm UTC
Not really Linux- (or electronical gaming in general) related, but this movie project also still needs money: Spinward Traveller, based on the setting of the science-fiction pen & paper roleplaying game.

And moving further along that tangent, there's a great Heavy Metal concept album based on the RPG too: The Lord Weird Slough Feg - Traveller.

Yeah, I know, off-topic, but I just can't resist; I'm a roleplayer and metalhead at heart as well.
stan 1 July 2014 at 6:46 pm UTC
I’m not surprised Triggered failed, they didn’t bother listing the target platforms even after it was mentionned to them they were missing.
oldrocker99 1 July 2014 at 7:00 pm UTC
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Very interesting news about Spinward Traveller. I might even pony up a few bucks; I never found people willing to play the P&P version, but I certainly admired the ruleset and universe.
Kels 1 July 2014 at 8:40 pm UTC
Any love for Midora, which is struggling a bit so far? It's got Linux listed right up front.
scaine 1 July 2014 at 10:29 pm UTC
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KelsAny love for Midora, which is struggling a bit so far? It's got Linux listed right up front.

Very zelda-like, or zenonia-like if you want to be a bit more modern. Sadly, with only 12 days to run, this will have completed by our next issue, projected for Monday July 14th...
scaine 1 July 2014 at 10:36 pm UTC
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DrMcCoyNot really Linux- (or electronical gaming in general) related, but this movie project also still needs money: Spinward Traveller, based on the setting of the science-fiction pen & paper roleplaying game.

And moving further along that tangent, there's a great Heavy Metal concept album based on the RPG too: The Lord Weird Slough Feg - Traveller.

Yeah, I know, off-topic, but I just can't resist; I'm a roleplayer and metalhead at heart as well.

That's a pretty sweet sounding band. The guitars remind me of Megadeth, but the style of music has hints of Maiden, or perhaps Rhapsody in some of their ballady riffs. Loving the old school vibe. The production is a bit Man-o-war, but I'm enjoying it so far. Raw.

Never figured you for a metalhead, McCoy.

[Edit: just hit track 5 - this is... excellent! Real earthy, old school metal. Superb!]

[Edit 2: The Lord Weird Slough Feg have three albums available on Rdio - magic news. That's my next month's listening sorted! Big up, McCoy. Brilliant find, mate!]
DrMcCoy 1 July 2014 at 11:00 pm UTC
scaine[Edit: just hit track 5 - this is... excellent! Real earthy, old school metal. Superb!]

Yes, 5 and 6 are my favourite. But really, the whole album is awesome. Since it's a concept album, there's some reprises of earlier themes in the songs at the end as well; I love that.

You should check out their earlier albums as well; I can recommend them. Their later albums aren't that..crunchy in my opinion, but YMMV. They changed their name to just "Slough Feg" (dropping the "The Lord Weird" ) after Traveller too.

scaineNever figured you for a metalhead, McCoy.

http://www.last.fm/user/DrMcCoy

The two tag clouds at the right kinda say most of it. A lot of sludge/doom/stoner/psychedelic, but also (atmospheric) black and folk/viking/medieval, with a smattering of heavy/power-ish and progressive. Occassionally I also listen to chiptunes, or go back to the classic rock roots of metal, or throw in some weird jazz (doomish/noirish and/or minimalistic) or other experimental stuff.

And my listening history shows that I don't do shuffle. I prefer to listen to the whole catalog of an artist sequentially. What I listen to depends on my mood, and shuffle doesn't help there.
scaine 2 July 2014 at 7:12 am UTC
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FaugnThanks for the round-up. 3 suggestions:


Thanks for the suggestions, but only "We Are Dwarves" is likely to make the cut there - the first one, Sheltered, finishes in a few days, while Sunset is right on the edge, at 15. Might be able to cover it. I'll stick the last one in the WIKI when I get a moment, if you haven't already done so.

I'll also take this opportunity to point out further controversy regarding Areal. The Verge ran this article yesterday regarding Vostok vs West. Apparently GSC is in on it now and none of these studios are backing down. Interesting times ahead for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fans, but probably not in a good way, sadly.
Kels 2 July 2014 at 8:03 pm UTC
scaine
KelsAny love for Midora, which is struggling a bit so far? It's got Linux listed right up front.
Very zelda-like, or zenonia-like if you want to be a bit more modern. Sadly, with only 12 days to run, this will have completed by our next issue, projected for Monday July 14th...

Yeah, they're up front about the Zelda-ness, claiming that Majora's Mask is a favourite game of most of the dev team and it's definitely a strong influence. I appreciate that they don't try to cover that up, and of course the fact that Linux is treated as a given.
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