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The Funding Crowd: Another Year In Review

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Dear readers of The Funding Crowd, time seems to be flying as another 12 months have passed since we reviewed the first year of existence of this column. But here we are again, ready to take a look back at what happened in the crowdfunding world this last year. Regarding TFC itself, during this time we've seen our own continuity hanging by a thread, but thanks to flesk and DrMcCoy who joined our ranks we could ultimately save that curved ball. However we couldn't help decreasing the column's periodicity, and we have settled on a more sustainable tri-weekly schedule. So far it seems to be working, so we hope to be around every three weeks for at least two more years!

Just like we did last year we'll begin by reviewing what exactly has happened, in other words, we'll celebrate the successes of our favourite Gems and Biggies! (If you're more interested in the hard numbers and the stats that can be extracted from 2 years of crowdfunding, please turn to page two where we discuss them in detail.)




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During the past twelve months exactly 34 projects featured in The Funding Crowd have been released:


May 2014
The very month we published our first yearly review, four of our picks were officially released: the Biggie Among the Sleep and the Gems Monochroma, The Fall, and Ascendant.

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· Among the Sleep: Kickstarter - TFC#01 - Game site - GOG.com - Humble Store - Steam
· Monochroma: Kickstarter - TFC#10 - Game site - GamersGate - Steam
· The Fall: Kickstarter - TFC#18 - Game site - GOG.com - Humble Store - IndieGameStand - Steam
· Ascendant: Kickstarter - TFC#24 - Game site - GOG.com - Humble Store - IndieGameStand - itch.io - Steam



June 2014
The following month saw the release of the Awesomenauts' DLC Starstorm as well as the multiplayer RPG Magicite.

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· Awesomenauts: Starstorm: Kickstarter - TFC#15 - Game site - GamersGate - Humble Store - Steam
· Magicite: Kickstarter - TFC#22 - Humble Store - Steam



July 2014
That month two games that hadn't been successfully funded, with the efforts of their determined developers did manage to get released nonetheless. We're talking about the first-person point-n-click adventure The Maker's Eden and Light, a minimalistic 2D stealth game. On top of that, two really successful projects were also released last July: the conversational RPG Unrest and the fiendishly difficult Gods Will Be Watching.

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· The Maker's Eden: Indiegogo - TFC#05 - Game site - Steam
· Light: Kickstarter - TFC#19 - Game site - GamesRepublic - Humble Store - Steam
· Unrest: Kickstarter - TFC#03 - Game site - FireFlower Games - GamersGate - GamesRepublic - GOG.com - Humble Store - Steam
· Gods Will Be Watching: Indiegogo - TFC#11 - Game site - GamersGate - GamesRepublic - GOG.com - Humble Store - Steam



September 2014
After a well deserved August vacation, crowdfunded games made a comeback in September last year with the release of the stylish puzzle platformer Tesla Breaks the World!, the frantic co-op action-tower defense McDROID, the horror adventure Neverending Nightmares, and the audio-only adventure Grail to the Thief.

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· Tesla Breaks the World!: Kickstarter - TFC#05 - Game site - IndieGameStand - Steam
· McDROID: Kickstarter - TFC#08 - Game site - Steam
· Neverending Nightmares: Kickstarter - TFC#17 - Game site - GOG.com - Humble Store - Steam
· Grail to the Thief: Kickstarter - TFC#31 - Game site - IndieGameStand - Steam



October 2014
Moving on, last October we embraced the return of an old saga with Jagged Alliance: Flashback. Also two more modest and pixelated projects, who hadn't been able to raise enough funds with their respective crowdfunding campaigns, were finally launched: Life of Pixel and Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror.

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· Jagged Alliance: Flashback: Kickstarter - TFC#01 - Game site - GamersGate - Humble Store - Steam
· Life of Pixel: Kickstarter - TFC#02 - Game site - Steam
· Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror: Indiegogo - TFC#13 - Game site - GamersGate - IndieGameStand - Steam



November 2014
Nearing the end of last year, three more Gems were released: the physics based action-puzzle Magnetic By Nature, the Zelda II-inspired action adventure Elliot Quest, and the shooter/platformer KR-17.

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· Magnetic By Nature: Kickstarter - TFC#02 - Game site - Humble Store - Steam
· Elliot Quest: Indiegogo - Kickstarter - TFC#05 - TFC#23.1 - Game site - FireFlower Games - GamersGate - Humble Store - IndieGameStand - ShinyLoot - Steam
· KR-17: Kickstarter - TFC#07 - Game site - GamersGate - Steam



December 2014
December is usually a month not suited for new releases, and this was no exception for crowdfunded games. The last month of 2014 only saw the release of a TFC pick: Fight the Dragon. It wasn't successfully funded on Kickstarter, but the devs kept developing it until completion.

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· Fight the Dragon: Kickstarter - TFC#26 - Game site - Humble Store - Steam



February 2015
After another seasonal break in January, February graced us with 4 more releases big and small. To begin with, Paranautical Activity overcome all the obstacles in its way (though some of them were self-inflicted, to be honest) and was finally released. Then, successful Gems like the noir action adventure Hot Tin Roof, the old-school RPG Lords of Xulima, and the beautiful adventure platformer The Deer God were also launched. Finally, the anticipated latest instalment of The Book of Unwritten Tales series also saw the light of day in this month.

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· Paranautical Activity: Kickstarter - TFC#13 - Game site - GamersGate - GOG.com - Humble Store - IndieGameStand - itch.io - Steam
· Hot Tin Roof: Kickstarter - TFC#16 - Game site - GOG.com - Humble Store - Steam
· Lords of Xulima: Indiegogo - Kickstarter - TFC#19 - TFC#23.1 - Game site - GOG.com - Humble Store - Steam
· The Book of Unwritten Tales 2: Kickstarter - TFC#28 - Game site - GamersGate - GamesRepublic - GOG.com - Humble Store - ShinyLoot - Steam



March 2015
The following month was only slightly less rich in releases, with Gems like Rex Rocket or Dyscourse, but also with the Biggie Son of Nor.

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· Rex Rocket: Kickstarter - TFC#01 - Game site - Steam
· Dyscourse: Kickstarter - TFC#23 - Game site - Humble Store - Steam
· Son of Nor: Kickstarter - TFC#02 - Game site - GamersGate - Humble Store - Steam



April 2015
Crowdfunded releases must have fallen victim to spring asthenia in April as only the Sentai-based (i.e. Power Rangers-like) turn-based strategy/business sim Chroma Squad was launched.

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· Chroma Squad: Kickstarter - TFC#12 - Game site - GOG.com - Humble Store - IndieGameStand - Steam



May 2015
Three more games featured in TFC were officially released last month: the 2D cyberpunk RPG Dex, the isometric party-based RPG Serpent in the Staglands, and Catlateral Damage, which technically can also be considered an RPG as you play the role of a mischievous cat in it.

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· Dex: Kickstarter - TFC#24 - Game site - Humble Store - Steam
· Serpent in the Staglands: Kickstarter - TFC#31 - Game site - GOG.com - Humble Store - Steam
· Catlateral Damage: Kickstarter - TFC#34 - Game site - Humble Store - Steam



June 2015
Finally, the current month has also brought us its share of released games that were made possible by a crowdfunding campaign. From humble projects which didn't actually succeed in getting funded like Spheritis, or the certainly successful Zelda-like in reverse Project Maiden, to more massive endeavours like Double Fine's MASSIVE CHALICE.

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· Spheritis: Indiegogo - TFC#04 - Game site - Steam
· Project Maiden: Kickstarter - TFC#09 - itch.io
· MASSIVE CHALICE: Kickstarter - TFC#04 - Game site - GOG.com - Humble Store - Steam



There you have it, quite a nice lineup indeed. The games in this list alone would make for an exceptional yield (and some quality additions to your libraries, in case you haven't already purchased them), but bear in mind that between May'14 and June'15 some of the most successful games on Kickstarter were also released (we just didn't cover them in TFC because their campaigns took place before we started this column). We're talking about absolute hits like Planetary Annihilation1, Pillars of Eternity2, Wasteland 23, Broken Age4, or War for the Overworld5, and to a lesser extent, Shovel Knight6, Quest For Infamy7, or Sir, You Are Being Hunted8.

1 Kickstarter - Game site - GamersGate - Humble Store - Steam
2 Kickstarter - Game site - GamersGate - GamesRepublic - GOG.com - Humble Store - ShinyLoot - Steam
3 Kickstarter - Game site - GamersGate - GOG.com - Humble Store - Steam
4 Kickstarter - Game site - GamersGate - GamesRepublic - GOG.com - Humble Store - ShinyLoot - Steam
5 Kickstarter - Game site - Humble Store - Steam
6 Kickstarter - Game site - GOG.com - Humble Store - Steam
7 Kickstarter - Game site - GamersGate - GOG.com - Humble Store - Steam
8 Kickstarter - Game site - GamersGate - GOG.com - Humble Store - Steam


Now, with the complete picture in mind, we think we can agree that this has been a truly excellent season with regard to releases. To try to get a glimpse of how the next season will fare, please follow us to page 2 where we review and analyze all the data and stats produced during this second year of The Funding Crowd.
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Segata Sanshiro 23 June 2015 at 1:02 am UTC
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I have a lot of these games, and half I didn't realise were Kickstarted.

BOUT2 steals the show on this list in my humble opinion, easily the best point-and-click of the last few years (though closely tied with a few of its German counterparts). I knew that one was Kickstarted though
Shmerl 23 June 2015 at 1:28 am UTC
Still waiting for Dex to be released on GOG.
muntdefems 23 June 2015 at 5:52 am UTC
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Segata SanshiroBOUT2 steals the show on this list in my humble opinion, easily the best point-and-click of the last few years (though closely tied with a few of its German counterparts). I knew that one was Kickstarted though
Among the ones that I own and I've played more than 5 minutes to see if they work, I'd put The Fall, Ascendant and Hot Tin Roof on the podium, in no particular order. Although I assume The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 will oust one of them as soon as I get it and play it.


ShmerlStill waiting for Dex to be released on GOG.
True, they said they'd try to release on GOG but they haven't followed up on that since launch day. However, if a DRM-free version is what you're after, you can get it at the Humble Store. But then again, you surely already knew that.
Shmerl 23 June 2015 at 5:55 am UTC
Yeah, I don't mind getting it on HB, if they'll say that for some reason GOG won't be an option in the end. But otherwise I'd wait since I use GOG for most of my games.

I should probably contact the authors about it.
Speedster 23 June 2015 at 7:36 am UTC
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muntdefemsAlthough I assume The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 will oust one of them as soon as I get it and play it.

BOUT 2 was SOOOOOO good right up to the end, when they stopped it with a cliffhanger. I will be quite frustrated if they don't get around to making the sequel in the near future -- it would be annoying if more dev teams start picking up that terrible habit from Ragnar Tørnquist.
Speedster 23 June 2015 at 7:40 am UTC
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Segata SanshiroI have a lot of these games, and half I didn't realise were Kickstarted.

Crowdfunding really is good for Linux gaming, even if it's not for everybody. The tighter one's budget, the harder it is to justify taking the risk of trying to be a patron of the arts, rather than just a consumer of already-funded creative works...
flesk 23 June 2015 at 8:13 am UTC
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Yes, BoUT2 was excellent! I also love Monochroma, but it does have some performance issues at times. I haven't played Elliot Quest again after they patched the dead end that cut my first run short, but I've put several hours into it, and what I played was awesome.

Dyscourse is a lot of fun too; especially the main game. I also really enjoyed The Fall and The Maker's Eden, but they both only have the first chapter available so far. And I've only put a couple of hours into Hot Tin Roof and Massive Chalice, but they both seem very good.

I didn't realize (or forgot) that Life of Pixel and Poltergeist was crowdfunded, but I enjoyed those too. Life of Pixel gets really frustrating (and not in a good way) in the later levels, and I benched that, but Poltergeist has a nice difficulty curve throughout.

So that's... 10 crowdfunded games I've played that was released in the past 12 months. I have to agree that crowdfunding seems to have had a pretty significant impact on Linux gaming.
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