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The Funding Crowd (May 9th - May 19th)

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Welcome to a new edition of The Funding Crowd. We decided to move it from Wednesdays to the weekend because there's much less activity in the crowdfunding platforms than on weekdays and it's a perfect time to do a recap of what happened during the week. So let's start precisely with that: campaigns that ended, stretch goals achieved and so on.



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Among the Sleep: campaign just finished yesterday. Despite the uncertain pace it was taking, not only has it been able to get fully funded but it's also managed to achieve two stretch goals. They are Oculus Rift support (yay!) and a commentary track (meh...).

Road Redemption: project successfully funded, although it did on the last 48 hours. However, they are still accepting pledges through Paypal and they still count towards the stretch goals. So far an Xbox port has been achieved and Oculus Rift support is on the verge of becoming a reality. They've also created a Steam Greenlight page for anyone interested in getting the game on Steam.

Chasm: one of our last week's Hidden Gems, it was already funded when we talked about it and since then it reached a couple of stretch goals: extended soundtrack and achievements. You can pre-order it on the game's webpage through the Humble Store and vote for it on Steam Greenlight.

C-Wars: another successful Hidden Gem, it's gathered almost 300% of its original goal. That means ALL of the stretch goals have been achieved, including 3DS, PS Vita and WiiU ports. Oh, and here's the Greenlight page if you want to show your support.

Errant Heart: we hadn't talked about this visual novel set in the 1940's, but it's worth mentioning that it reached its funding goal. This one didn't achieve any stretch goal and it doesn't have a Greenlight page, but there are two versions of the demo available in case you want to check them out.

DreadOut: we didn't talk about this Slenderman-ish horror game either, but you probably knew about it since it's been around for some time on Greenlight. Last night was the end of its campaign, which successfully achieved its goal. It won't be released until November, but meanwhile you can try the demo to whet your appetite.

Love+: the last successfully finished campaign of this week is this rather odd one. The campaign itself was launched to fund The Bancast's Portable Flipping Table, but the $7,500 stretch goal consisted on porting Love+ to Linux. The campaign got funded, but failed to reach the $7,500 mark... No problem! The nice creators really wanted it to happen and they lowered the stretch goal to only $7,000 so it will be coming to Linux after all. Knowing this, you can go to Greenlight and show them your love by casting your vote.

Keepers of Grimoire: last week we talked about this trading card game and how difficult it was that it could reach its goal. Unfortunately we were right and last night its funding ended unsuccessfully. It was the end of the campaign but by no means the end of the game, as its creators will continue developing it and plan to launch a second Kickstarter later this year, so fans of the trading cards stay alert!

Race the Sun: and the last mention goes to this game, which was successfully funded a couple of months ago. And why do we talk about it, then? Because its creators committed the error of sending it prematurely to Greenlight and it was consequently bashed by the community. Now that the game is vastly improved they'd like to unbury it and give it a second chance, so they're asking for help in spreading the word. And this we are doing.




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Let's now talk about the Biggies, these games with high budgets, high aspirations and sometimes with an existing and rather big fanbase, which is often the key to achieve higher goals. Will all of them make it? Let's see.


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Guns of Icarus Online (Adventure Mode): there's really not much to say about this one... Who doesn't know Guns of Icarus Online? The Skirmish Mode was released back on October 2012 and now they're crowdfunding the new Adventure Mode, which in their own words will bring the world of the game to life. The campaign has been around for almost two months and it's drawing to a close in about two days. It reached its goal long ago and as per today it has only achieved one minor stretch goal (more boss ships) so it's highly unlikely to reach any of the two big ones: econo-political system and world building tools. It's worth mentioning that it included Linux support right from the start of the campaign.


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Son of Nor: single-player and co-op action adventure in which the players will be able to shape the terrain using terraforming and telekinetic powers, create spells and choose their preferred play style to beat the game: brute force, sneaking, magic... They will also be able to control their powers using only their own brains with the help of the amazing EPOC mind-reader. And it also supported Linux all the way. Unfortunately the outcome of this campaign doesn't bode very well as it has almost reached 2/3 of its duration and still hasn't gathered even half of its goal. There's still 11 days to change the tendency though.
(More details in this article)


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Rawbots: another seemingly ill-fated campaign, although a very interesting one indeed. Rawbots is a sandbox game in which the player can design, build and program all kind of robots out of simple building blocks in order to undertake any action: gathering resources, defending a base or attacking the enemy, for instance. It also supported Linux from the start and there's even an early build (64-bit only) available for the duration of the campaign. Being sandbox games so popular nowadays it's hard to understand why this project isn't being a huge success. More than halfway the campaign's duration, it's raised a mere 5% of its goal and only a miracle could prevent it from ending in failure.


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Energy Hook: with a total goal of $1 it would seem hard to look at it as a Biggie, but when a project creator is someone who made a successful AAA game like Spider-Man 2 and it has supporters like Tim Schafer, there's no other option than being called as such. Besides, the $1 goal thing is nothing more than a clever way to circumvent Kickstarter's fixed funding policy. About the game, there's not much story behind it: what matters most it's the gameplay and the grapple-and-swing-and-run-on-walls-for-style mechanic. Linux support was included as a stretch goal (already achieved), but then again, everything in this campaign is a stretch goal so we'll not hold it against them. :P
(More details in this article)


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Ray's the Dead: our last Biggie of the week wouldn't either fit into the category by its budget alone (neither by the pun in its title :|). But considering it has received a rather good acceptance on Greenlight and that The Cynical Brit himself played and promoted the game, one could say it already got half the work done. Unfortunately, turns out it didn't: one third of the campaign has gone by and its pledges don't quite add up to the same percentage. Let's hope the tide turns in the remaining days.
(More details in this article, particularly regarding Linux support)





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And finally, our favourite part of the column: the Hidden Gems, these often overlooked games that deserve more exposure and, above all, our love.



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This is one of the games we left out of last week's article, mainly because Linux support was relegated to a stretch goal. Luckily it was only $10,000 over the original $70,000 goal and it was achieved last Friday, with only 5 days to go. This means there's only 3 more days left to pledge for it and get at least a DRM-free copy for $10.
What about the game itself? Well, A.N.N.E is a pixel art, metroidvania-platformer/space-shooter hybrid with a focus on open exploration and a RPG touch. It's the story of No.25, a worker robot looking for his girlfriend A.N.N.E who's been taken away to be dismantled. Despite being an 8-16bit era game, the art is gourgeously detailed and the music combines modern instruments with classic chiptune melodies. Definitely one to check out!
Before moving to the next Gem, it's worth mentioning some of the higher-end tiers which include SNES-like boxes, booklets, decorative cartridges and a USB controller.



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Another game that didn't make it into last week's column, in this case because back then Linux support wasn't certain. Fortunately, shortly after that the developers decided to transfer the game from XNA to Unity and thus a Linux version became a reality with no stretch goals involved.
Magnetic By Nature started as a student project and was later on improved and polished to become what it is today. It mixes the physics-based gameplay of Portal with the simple aesthetics of LIMBO and an Art Deco scenery. It tells the story of a robot coming back on line only to find itself lost deep underground, and its journey finding a way back to the surface. To reach it, the robot needs to make use of its magnetic powers to propel itself and to manipulate the environment. On the player's side, it demands a good deal of clever thinking combined with quick reflexes.
This is another soon-to-end campaign with only 4 days left, so be quick to pledge if you want to get ahold of a copy for only $8! If you are of the lavish type, the higher tiers offer you the possibility to get a T-shirt, a beanie, a 3D printed model of the protagonist and even design a level for the game.



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Here comes the weird game of the week. How weird?, you may think. Well, for starters Boon Hill is described as a graveyard simulator. But not as in Graveyard Tycoon, instead it's about simulating a visit to a graveyard. The gameplay mostly involves walking through the cemetery, reading tombstones and thinking about those departed people. You can also interact with some NPCs and there are some specific event triggers, but there's no ultimate goal or win scenario. The game ends when the player decides to leave the graveyard.
Although we're aware this is not a game for everyone, here at The Funding Crowd we find it interesting enough to recommend it (plus it's a pixel art game, and the careful reader may have inferred by now that we have a soft spot for them ;)). The main downside is that Linux support is tied to a yet unreached stretch goal, which lies about $2,000 ahead of the current takings. There's one week remaining, so it doesn't seem an impossible task.



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Pandora: Purge of Pride is another game without Linux support included in its main goal of $5,000. However, the relevant stretch goal was recently lowered from an almost insulting $20,000 to a more reasonable $7,500. Nice gesture to the Linux gaming community, or desperate attempt to reach the funding goal? We may never know, but anyway it convinced us to feature the game here (don't get us wrong, we totally agree with Cheeseness' views about this topic, but this is a column about crowdfunding of Linux games and we'll talk about any interesting game that may be available for Linux. We let you decide if you want to fund it or not). In any case, even with the lowered stretch goal it seems quite an ordeal to get a Linux port of the game: the campaign ends in 12 days and the current raised amount would need to almost triple itself in order to reach it.
Focusing on the game, it's a first-person puzzle game set in the Victorian era. The player takes on the role of Pandora, a woman who accidentally unleashed the Seven Deadly Sins on her mansion, and will have to solve puzzles to recapture them. As a side effect, with every captured sin she'll acquire a correponding power which will help her fulfill her task. With a gameplay and an art style slightly reminiscent of Amnesia, it'd surely please the fans of the genre.



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Another pixel art game, and this time with a little lower resolution than usual. Nonetheless, City Quest has enough merits to be fervently recommend by us. It has been compared to McPixel but only for the graphic style, because the story and gameplay are way more complex and deep than in Sos' awesome game. It's a point & click adventure with a look and feel right back from the early 90's Sierra Online games, and it tells the story of a peasant boy with a troubled past who goes to the city and meets a motley crew formed by a hobo, a lady of the night, a gangster and a corrupt politician. Not much of the story is known, but we would know a little more about it if the demo didn't require the Unity web plugin to play it. Despite this minor setback, we're really looking forward for the happy outcome of this campaign: it's exactly at its middle point and so far has raised exactly half the funding goal. Help it achieve it for as little as $5 and get a DRM-free copy of the game plus a key for any digital distribution platform it gets featured in. If you're willing to pay more you can also get the soundtrack, a poster, an exclusive shirt, a boxed copy of the game or even become an NPC!



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Without a doubt, our favourite game from this batch. Life of Pixel is the perfect game for all the pixel art, chiptune, 8-bit, retro platformers lovers. It's all about an unnamed green pixel who wants to know more about its heritage and sneaks into a videogame museum. There it finds different gaming machines back from the 8-bit era which will be pretty familiar to anyone who's 30 or older, including the Atari 2600, Commodore 64, Nintendo GameBoy, NES, Sega Master System, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC464, BBC Model B and Sinclair ZX81. There's an ongoing poll to select two more systems to be put into the game if the campaign is successful. The game is currently comprised of 72 levels spread over the 9 machines, each one of them with its particular graphic style and many nods to its most famous games. Paraphrasing one of the comments in the article about this game, «Life of Pixel looks and feels like a playable piece of videogame history.» We've got nothing more to add. :)
Despite our enthusiasm, the campaign isn't working very well. Up until now the campaign has only attracted the attention of 45 funders who have raised 10% of the total goal, and it's almost already reached the middle point. It would be a true pity if a gem like this one didn't get funded.



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This is the last pixel art platformer we'll talk about today, we promise! But we couldn't just ignore Moon Rift, an RPG plaform shooter with random level (and weapon!) generation. There's been some sort of cataclysm that's shattered the Moon to pieces. Some of them have fallen to the Earth causing widespread chaos and destruction. Your mission is to go and find them all to somehow restore the balance to the world. You'll need to do it through highly detailed, procedurally generated 2.5D levels, shooting everything in sight with the help of the nearly infinite range of randomly generated guns. There's also an RPG aspect to it, as the guns are upgradeable to acquire more powers and the main character can also level up through experience or thanks to the power of the moon stones he collects.
This game supported Linux from almost the beginning of the campaign, but the desktop versions will come out after the release of the mobile ones. Anyway it's on its way to success, although not by a very wide margin, so you can help it accomplish its goal by contributing to it. For $10 you can secure a DRM-free copy of the game, and for quite a few more bucks you can even name a gun or design an enemy.




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Darkwood is a top-down, sandbox survival horror game set in a procedurally generated open world. The story puts you inside a forest in an alternate reality at the end of the 20th century, with no memory of getting there and a strange feeling about the situation and the surroundings. The gameplay intends to be a mix of survival and horror without relying on jump scares, and shares elements with other games like Project Zomboid, Don't Starve or Teleglitch. As such, it features permadeath, perks and abilities, a flexible crafting system and above all an oldschool-high difficulty. The top-down perspective also contributes to it, as some things are more difficult to identify and the fear aspect of the game gets reinforced in this way.It is an Indiegogo campaign but with a fixed funding, which is always good to infuse confidence to the backers. It supported Linux right from the start and it's doing quite well but, as many other projects, its progression is dangerously close to the line that separates success from failure. It certainly could do with your pledges: $10 for a copy of the game.



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And lastly we'll talk about This Game!, whose creators were kind enough to post an article about it on this website and thus spared us the effort. :D
Seriously, This Game! (you get to rename it into something more creative if you pledge at the $300 level) is a 3D, online, multiplayer RPG, but not a MMORPG! This is mainly due to the fact that, if all goes well and the game gets fully funded, all the game creation tools and the server-side software will be made available for free so everybody can set up their own server with the mods of their choosing. If it doesn't reach the funding goal then only the client and the game tools will be freely distributed, while the server software will cost money. So if you're into multiplayer RPGs we strongly recommend you to take a look at this game, download the demo and back it if you like it.




And that's all for this week. See you next weekend with more news and crowdfunded games for Linux in another instalment of The Funding Crowd. :) Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
A Linux user for more than 15 years, I've just recently rediscovered the passion for gaming. Couldn't have chosen a better time than now: the [second](http://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/linux-techdemo-available-for-race-the-sun-.1752#4850) Golden Age of Linux gaming.
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4 comments

Bumadar 20 May 2013 at 2:45 pm UTC
its a bit sad that Son of Nor will not make it, but alas you cant predict the funding crowds
MaximB 20 May 2013 at 7:29 pm UTC
Bumadarits a bit sad that Son of Nor will not make it, but alas you cant predict the funding crowds
It's hard to fund free to play games.
s_d 21 May 2013 at 4:58 am UTC
MaximBIt's hard to fund free to play games.

Very much this.
Bumadar 31 May 2013 at 5:05 pm UTC
they did make it....... amazing !
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