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The Funding Crowd 51

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Welcome to issue 51 of The Funding Crowd, where we have as many as three biggies and a bunch of exciting hidden gems to cover.

But first some bad news, as editor, long-time contributor and prime mover behind The Funding Crowd, muntdefems, has decided to leave the team because of other obligations that demand increasingly more of his time, leaving him less time and energy for our triweekly crowdfunding feature. It's with a heavy heart he's made his decision, as muntdefems was the one who started The Funding Crowd and initially was its sole contributor. He also wrote a series of articles on game deals called The Cheapskate's Corner, that preceded the current sales tracker. Muntdefems has been a massive contributor to GOL that can't be easily replaced, and we thank him for his dedication over the years.

We announced scaine's departure from TFC in the last issue (although scaine has since joined the Contributing Editor team on GOL to work on other articles), but even though there's few of us left, we're still determined to keep you up to date on crowdfunding campaigns for Linux. You might have noticed that each write-up has become shorter over these last few issues, and we will likely experiment a bit more with these articles to make them more manageable for a small team of contributors. If you have an opinion on these changes or want to help out with the articles, we'd love to hear from you in the comments or a PM. But for now, here's this issue's pick of interesting crowdfunding campaigns.


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We recently wrote about The Journey Down on GOL, but that won't stop us from mentioning the Kickstarter campaign again, since the first two chapters are some of the most popular point-and-clicks of recent years (and the first chapter was available for Linux even before Steam for Linux was announced). The game was inspired by LucasArts classics like the Monkey Island series and Grim Fandango, and it has often been compared to the latter because their shared noir influence.

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The campaign was launched just a little over a week ago, but is already getting close to its kr 300k SEK (~$36k) goal. And with less than a fifth of the target now missing, they've started pulling out the stretch goals, beginning with German subtitles at $320k. For now, if you want to take part in this crowdfunding journey, you can pledge kr 90 SEK (~$11) for a copy of the final chapter DRM free or on Steam on release or kr 200 SEK for all three chapters. There are also some nifty rewards in the higher tiers, like a digital artbook, printed booklet, your name in the game or a canvas printed map.


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Sol Trader is a space trade and exploration game where you build social networks to help you accomplish your goals. Each new game starts with you building your character by choosing your parents and major life choices, which all contribute to shape the character you will play as. Every trade, mission and upgrade is handled through interactions with other in-game characters, and the choices you make affect their relationships to you. These social networks determine which options are available to you further down the road, and which missions you can take in the spaceflight part of the game.

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A simultaneous Linux, Windows and Mac release is planned, and £10 (~$15) backers will get a DRM free copy and a Steam key on release. With almost £7k raised so far of a £10k (~$15k) goal and a little over a week left, the campaign is well on its way to reach the goal. If you want to help the creator give it that little extra push, you can donate above the minimum pledge for rewards like your name in the credits or an in-game ancestor database.


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Haque is a roguelike fantasy RPG about a lone champion who must fight legions of foes to prevent an apocalypse. The game has a distinct ASCII inspired style, but with influences from classic JRPGs. This is developer Kevin B. Cole's second Kickstarter campaign, after he successfully funded Project Maiden two years ago. Project Maiden first featured in TFC #9 and is now available as pay-what-you-want from Itch.io.

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In spite his previous success and a modest $6,400 goal, the creator hasn't gotten off to the best of starts, with only $2,000 pledged a week and a half into the project. That's still almost a third of the goal, and if he can manage to keep up the pace throughout the campaign, this project can still get funded. You can help by pledging at least $15 for a copy of the game on release, or for one of the higher rewards, like your name or a design idea in the game. Haque was covered on GOL earlier this week, and hopefully that will help drum up some much needed attention.


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There's no lack of point-and-click adventures this time, and Demetrios is another one that looks interesting. The game is made in a comic book style and is about an antique seller who gets tangled up in a mysterious affair when he gets knocked out and robbed after stumbling home drunk one night. There's a Linux demo available, and it offers a ton of interactivity, since you can click on pretty much anything for a description or to pick up an item.

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Demetrios has leapt onto Kickstarter with half of the 2,500 € (~$2800) goal reached after just a couple of days on the funding platform. It seems destined to reach its target well ahead of schedule, and you can secure a DRM free copy on release by pledging 10 € (~$11). The creator is also seeking votes on Steam Greenlight, so make sure to vote if you prefer a copy on Steam. If the Linux demo wasn't enough to convince you, developer Breton Fabrice also has several years of experience using Linux, and is dedicated to making sure the full game works well for Linux users.


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The striking Memoranda popped out of nowhere earlier this week, and even though we already had a bunch of point-and-clicks for this issue, we couldn't help but include it. There's more to this game than the unmistakable art style though, as it is based on short stories by the renowned author Haruki Murakami and is about a protagonist who little by little is starting to forget her own name.

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We weren't the only ones to be caught by surprise by Memoranda's arrival on Kickstarter as it appears to have had little to no self-marketing in advance. As a result, the campaign got off to a bit of a slow start, but has slowly been picking up speed and is now well past $3k CAD of the $18k CAD goal. You can spur the campaign on by pledging $16 CAD (~$12 USD) for a digital copy on release, or a bit more for the usual rewards like your name in the credits, a digital art book or a poster.


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Top Secret is a fictional detective story based on the real events of the Snowden surveillance leaks. The game will be played with real encryption methods and uses email, but there will also be a DRM free version that can be played offline. There's a demo available for you to try, and if it piques your interest, you can pledge £5 (~$8) for a copy of the game. With almost two weeks to go, the campaign looks well on its way to the £8k (~$12k) target.


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Vortex: Tears of the Abyss is a Zelda-esque action RPG that hasn't received much attention on Kickstarter, in spite of already being greenlit on Steam. There's still almost four weeks left of the campaign though, and hopefully it can gather some much needed momentum to get closer to that $25k goal. A $12 pledge will get you a DRM free copy and a Steam key on release, and there are still some $10 early bird rewards left.


If you're interested in life-sim RPG Rite of Life, inspired by games like Harvest Moon, Pokémon and Monster Hunter, you're not alone as it has gone well past its £3,025 goal with almost two weeks to go. We also wanted to cover point-and-click adventure with boss fights Magic Lost and Chrono Trigger and Legend of Zelda inspired action RPG A Credible Tale of Yokai, Robots, and the Lunar Tour, but unfortunately we ran out of time, and it's not looking promising for either of them.


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The Losers

Our only point-and-click last time, tiny & Tall: Gleipnir, was unfortunately a bit early to benefit from the renewed interest in adventure games we've seen on Kickstarter this last week, and fell a little short of its target. In the last update, the creator shared a survey to see if there's interest in a physical release of the comic.

Action RPG platformer Tiny Little Bastards only managed to reach a little under half of their goal, but because the campaign used flexible funding, the creator will still get the money and intend to use it to continue development of the game.

The Winners

Isometric shooter 12 is Better than 6 saw a big surge of interest over the last week of the campaign, and managed to reach their target with a few hours left on the clock.

Still in the Running

Turn-based co-op roguelike For the King smashed through its $40k CAD goal and several stretch goals. With a few days left to go, it can still triple that and perhaps even unlock the exciting air balloon goal for air-borne travel in the game.

The developers of the creative Nihilumbra still haven't reached their modest $20k goal for their 80s style RTS/RPG crossover Megamagic: Wizards of the Neon Age and now only have a couple of days to scrape together $5k.

Exploration game ESSENCE is much worse off, and have barely broken the 10% mark of their 60k € goal with less than two days to go. It seems like they've given up, because we haven't had an update from them in two weeks.


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Skullgirls developer Lab Zero Games have partnered with Defense Grid 2 (and Payday 2) publisher 505 Games to bring us a new game: Indivisible is a side-scrolling action RPG, inspired by classics like Valkyrie Profile and Super Metroid, but with the same distinct flavor that made Skullgirls a hit. It's a good thing Skullgirls was finally released for Linux last month, since Lab Zero Games promised a Linux version as a reward for their last campaign two years ago, but didn't have a clear plan in place for porting the game, and in fact didn't deliver a Linux version until last month, when it was released as part of the Humble Indie Bundle 15.

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According to the developers, a Linux build of the playable prototype is in the works, so if you're wary of backing considering their history and lack of updates for Linux backers, you might want to wait for that. For this campaign they're aiming for an impressive $1.5m, and though they've cleared over $200k in pledges, the bulk of the goal remains, and the campaign has yet to be covered by most of the bigger gaming news sites. 505 Games will match funds up to the goal, but the campaign needs to reach the target first, and you can help by pledging $30 for a digital copy of the game on release. This is a fixed funding campaign, something that is unfortunately getting rare on IndieGoGo, so if the campaign fails you will get your money back. If you're interested, you can read more about the partnership on 505 Games' website.


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Allison Road is a first-person survival horror game with optional VR support, developed in Unreal Engine 4. The team making the game consists of a group of veterans in the movie and game industry, with experience from movie blockbusters like The Avengers, The Hobbit and Prometheus and Sierra point-and-click classic Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. The game is a homage to the playable teaser for the cancelled Silent Hills game and features an unnamed protagonist who wakes up and finds his family gone, but has no recollection of prior events. There are dark entities lurking in the house, and the player must survive and explore to unravel the mysteries of the house and to piece together what happened to him and his family.

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The developer aims to ship Allison Road on Windows by the end of next year, and then tackle Linux and Mac ports. Creative endeavors are tricky to estimate though, so be prepared to wait for a while longer. To fund the game, the developers are asking for £250k (~$380k) and are well over halfway to their target with a little over a week to go of the campaign. A £15 (~$24) pledge will get you a digital copy on Steam once the game is released. A playable preview that will ship before the game is planned, but it appears to only be planned for Windows. There are other nice rewards in the higher tiers though, like t-shirts and a blueprint of the house much of the game is set in.


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As previously covered on GOL, Shadowrun Returns and Shadowrun: Hong Kong developer Harebrained Schemes are back on Kickstarter to fund their turn-based tactical Mech combat game BATTLETECH. Their previous campaigns were extremely popular, and each saw over 30,000 backers drum together well over $1 million to get them funded. Their $250k goal was reached within the first day, and they're currently smashing through stretch goals like a Mech on a rampage.

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The first big stretch goal to be reached was the single-player story campaign at $1 million. Next up is the expanded mercenary campaign at $1.85m, with sub stretch goals to be announced, before the big PvP multiplayer target at $2.5m. If you're a fan of their previous games, chances are you have already backed this one, but if not, you have to put down at least $25 for a digital copy on GOG, Humble or Steam on release. There are no genuine Mech reward tiers, but the higher tiers offer rewards like apparel and digital goodies, so be sure to check those out.



It's not fun to see good and deserving projects struggle, and there are two such deserving projects that we didn't include in the main picks this time because Linux support is still up in the air for different reasons.

First Wonder, the spiritual sequel to MDK and Giants: Citizen Kabuto that we mentioned as an upcoming campaign in the conclusion last time, looks like it will be getting a Linux version, since the developers are eager to support Linux. However, they want to make sure they can get the alpha build to run well on their Linux rigs before making a firm committment. The game is a third-person shooter adventure with asymmetric multiplayer, where you play as either the jetpack-wielding Cargonauts or the huge creature Monstro. Because of the aforementioned reasons we can't exactly recommend you back this one, but it's worth keeping an eye on in case there's a turn of events during the two weeks left of the campaign.

Similarly, the developers of the African action RPG Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan haven't officially included Linux as part of their base goal, but has stated that they will do their best to provide Linux and Mac versions regardless of the outcome of the campaign. With their lower goal of 40k € (~$45k) they look in much better shape to reach their goal, but rely on more backers to collect the remaining half of their target in less than two weeks. The African style graphics and the legends the game is based on make this one stand out, but remember that with a limited budget, Windows is certain to be their number one priority if they manage to get funded.

Like last time, we'll end this issue with a few teasers for upcoming crowdfunding campaigns. Wanderer is a sci-fi adventure RPG about a band of fugitives, and it will be arriving on Kickstarter tomorrow. Exploration adventure game Starfallen will also be seeking funds on Kickstarter, but it's not yet clear when. Both of these games have previously been confirmed for Linux. Finally, Scribblenauts developer 5th Cell has been announced as the next developer to launch their campaign on the curated crowdfunding platform Fig, but given that they have yet to release anything for Linux, a Linux version of their upcoming game is perhaps just wishful thinking.

That's all the crowdfunding news we had for you this time, and now for our...

Usual plea for help:

Please PM one of the team: (Speedster, 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.
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Segata Sanshiro 11 October 2015 at 9:44 pm UTC
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TJD is awesome! Backed that one without even thinking about it. The first two chapters were just excellent and if anything the second was probably better than the first. Money well invested.
wolfyrion 12 October 2015 at 5:47 am UTC
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if only BATTLETECH was an FPS....
it kinda brought back memories when I was a young padawadan playing MechWarrior
Swiftpaw 12 October 2015 at 7:03 am UTC
wolfyrionif only BATTLETECH was an FPS....
it kinda brought back memories when I was a young padawadan playing MechWarrior

I too would love a proper Mechwarrior 1/2/3/etc remake/sequel/whatever. Were such great games, especially MW2, and such good music!
ricki42 12 October 2015 at 11:52 am UTC
The Indivisible prototype is up now (and before the Mac version! ). I've only had time to play for ~10min, but it runs well so far.
flesk 12 October 2015 at 12:00 pm UTC
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ricki42The Indivisible prototype is up now (and before the Mac version! ). I've only had time to play for ~10min, but it runs well so far.

Yeah, I've played it too and I'm loving it. I really hope they manage to get it funded. Here's the download link for anyone interested: http://labzerogames.com/indivisible-prototype_linux.tar.gz
Keyrock 12 October 2015 at 5:11 pm UTC
Allison Road kickstarter has been cancelled. They've found a publisher (Team17) and the game will be funded that way.
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