3rd October 2013
- 1 Draft targeted for 2013-10-03
- 2 Volunteers
- 3 Working space
- 4 Article content
- 4.1 Intro paragraph
- 4.2 What Happened
- 4.3 Still in the Running
- 4.4 Biggies
- 4.5 New-pick paragraphs
- 4.6 Conclusion
- 4.7 New-pick banners
Draft targeted for 2013-10-03
Nominate projects: Muntdefems, S.D. (others are welcome to chip in a suggestion or two)
Order nominated projects: Muntdefems, S.D.
- Intro: Scaine
- What Happened: Scaine, Mike
- Still in the Running: Speedster, Mike Frett, Scaine
- New picks: S.D., Scaine, Muntdefems
This one got 2 votes as best from the current candidates:
Edge Of Eternity
Oct 3 Hidden Gems workspace (not-currently-selected candidates and additional notes)
NOWHERE - POSTPONED, get more info from devs?
From last to first:
10 Castle Breakers - done by S.D.
9 GoD Factory: Wingmen - done by S.D.
8 SUNNA- done by Scaine
7 Wing Zero - done by Scaine
6 Super Dwarf Madness - done by Scaine
5 Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim - done by S.D.
4 Europa 2022 - done by Muntdefems
3 Beyond Eyes - done by Scaine
2 Knite & the Ghost Lights - done by S.D.
1 Emerald - writeup done by S.D.
Welcome to The Funding Crowd! And not just any Funding Crowd, this is the first ever crowd sourced Funding Crowd as we aim to fill some very big boots indeed by stepping in for the soon-to-be-retiring Muntedefems with issue #20. Munts has set some seriously high standards over the past 19 articles: will we be as punchy, as enthusiastic, as compelling as the marvellous Munts?
We'll have to wait till next issue to find out. For now you just need to sit back, relax, get your wallets at the ready, and read on!
Caribbean Island: A Pirate Adventure
The campaign to fund this Monkey Island-esque point-and-click adventure ended with a meager %1 mark. According to the FAQ on their campaign page however, the game will be finished no matter what, although with a smaller scope.
Even though it was able to raise a comparatively higher amount of funds, this Kickstarter campaign wasn't successful and so its creators will not see a single cent. They haven't made any public statement regarding the future of the game, so we don't really know if it will eventually be finished and released at all.
Second time hasn't been the charm for the developers of this game, as their fixed funding campaign didn't even get near to have a chance of success and they actually raised less funds that in their first attempt. They haven't officially said anything about the project's continuation either, but they've repeatedly stated in their pitches that the game will be finished no matter what so there's still hope. In fact they reached out to GOL looking for Linux gamers to take part in a private demo of the game.
Out last loser is one of the Biggies from the previous column. Actually the campaign was canceled after it couldn't reach the 20% mark at half its duration. They are not throwing the towel though and they plan on launching a new and smaller campaign in the near future, so fans of TBS games with a touch of RPG, a sports setting, and anime looks, don't despair!
Matt Gilgenbach, the creator of the critically acclaimed, but financially disastrous "Retro/Grade", is back in business! Neverending Nightmares, a game based on Matt's personal battle with depression and OCD, trickled past its $99K goal by a few thousand dollars and is now set for a simultaneous Linux, Windows, Mac and OUYA release. This dark, interactive tale will hopefully be with us in August next year.
Mighty No. 9
A much more convincing win from the "Comcept USA" team, they smashed their $900K target many times over, and including PayPal contributions, finished with a frankly incredible $4.0M! The team behind Mega Man, but who don't own the rights to Mega Man, will now make their Mega Man, er, "tribute" available on just about every format conceivable - Linux, Windows, Mac, Wii U, PS3, Xbox360, PS4, XBOne, PS Vita and 3DS! It's the team's hope to release their spiritual successor in the Spring of 2015, so put a date in the calendar for this one, it's a way off yet.
Death Road to Canada
The pixel zombie survival game from Rocketcat Games has survived its funding campaign and then some! It finished with nearly $43K raised, well over its initial ask of $25K. You can look forward to killing pixel zombies with a wide variety of weapons at some point in the autumn of this year! Don't forget to Greenlight using this link if you'd like to see this arrive on Steam.
Penguemic: Word Domination
Words will have penguin-power, in two different ways, as a result of LearnDistrict Inc.'s successful bid for Word Domination. Barely meeting their $50k funding goal, the team has the fuel they need to take a shot at revitalizing the oft-maligned EduGames genre. Curiously, the project page claims that the game reward tiers will be delivered this month, with releases planned for Linux, along with Windows, Mac, and iOS devices.
Our latest #2 Hidden Gem was already a winner when we talked about it last week, and since then it's been gathering more funds until setting at a five-digit figure. The more than £100k raised will allow for the first stretch goal: the addition of a literal new dimension to the game by allowing the use of submarines and diving suits to explore and exploit the depths of the Unterzee. All this new content will be delivered as an expansion to the main game by the third quarter of 2014 -- while the initial game is expected by next May.
Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore A Fedora
Our final winner is Glass Bottom Games' second release which broke its $20K target by a decent margin, ending with $25K. Megan Fox, founder and lead tech of Glass Bottom Games, hopes to release on Linux, Windows, Mac, Android and iOS platforms with an estimated release of August next year.
Still in the Running
Epic Space Online
Epic Space Online is a cross-platform space MMO which is already in beta, and is running a campaign for adding huge ships to the game: carriers and destroyers. Both will be manned by teams of players working together. The base goal has already been met, probably with a lot of help by current players of the beta who consider this top-down 2D shooter/sandbox MMO/space trading game to be worthy of getting some cool expansions. The second stretch goal has already been reached, which will provide specialties for players crewing a ship (an engineer can boost hull repair, a weapons specialist improves hit rate) and these specialties can be leveled up. A healthy spike in pledges during the final few days might check off the $20k stretch as well, funding upgrades to the server infrastructure.
Epic Space Online would appreciate Greenlight votes from interested spacers and if you are a backer and wear their Kickstarter Avatar, they will give you an extra 5 Million credits if you're wearing it by October 7th. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=93765546
0 A.D. is a free and open-source RTS game of ancient warfare. It's already present in many distros repositories and GOL has covered its development ever since its inception. http://gamingonlinux.com/index.php?module=search&q=0+A.D. 0 A.D. has been available for everyone to play for many years but there's still a lot of work to be done before calling it 'finished', which this fund-gathering campaign is intended to remedy. The full goal of $150k seems far out of reach, but flexible funding allows any level of pledges to further development of this open-source gem, and we're confident the $21k collected so far will be put to good use. The team has provided a list of subgoals, as opposed to stretch goals, to give donators an idea of what features can be implemented at different levels of campaign success.
Future of Past
Future of Past is an action adventure mixed in with a bit of logic and RPG elements. It is set in a fantasy world, with choice of goblin, human child, or elf as the main character who must defeat a future evil by changing the past. The alpha footage video shows off some really nice scenes and decent animation, quite impressive for the first project for this new game developer. The campaign has flexible funding, and we're sure they could use some Linux alpha testers if anybody is impressed enough to donate $10 for the privilege.
The Fall is a mix of action platforming and adventure gaming all put together in a story-driven exploration of an alien world. The main character for this game is ARID, the AI embedded in an astronaut's suit, who must help rescue its currently unconscious human. This campaign has finally managed to graduate out of cliffhanger status for Linux fans -- the Wii U/Linux Goal has been highlighted as complete, and Tux has been added to the platform lineup on the main image.
The Solar Games
Solar Games creator, Bradley Bulifant, has been attending The Social Good Summit in New York this week, raising awareness for this interesting social game. The game, which aims to raise money to provide solar power in poorly accomodated areas like Haiti, is a Mad-max style Kart Racing game. Playing the game in various locations will trigger Haita engineers to geotag your in game progress with actual solar roll outs as they are installed. Intriguing stuff and still plenty of time to pledge if you feel that this is a worthy cause!
Citizens of Earth
With a decent influx of new backers, this "President of the World" simulator/RPG still has plenty of time to succeed, but will need a sustained boost in support if it does -- 80% of the sizable $100k goal still remains. It was recently mentioned by the Comcept USA team during one of their "Mighty No. 9" updates which probably explains the burst of interest. Still, with over two weeks to run, it has a shot if the momentum spreads rather than dying out.
The Long Dark
The Long Dark is a first-person survival game set in a Northern wilderness after a mysterious disaster takes out all advanced technology. The emphasis is on cunning use of knowledge gained through careful exploration -- those looking for a combat-heavy survival experience should look elsewhere. The Long Dark is being developed by a new Indie game studio, but the individuals comprising the team have solid industry experience, apparently sufficient to inspire backer confidence... The Long Dark racked up C$100k in pledges soon after the halfway point in the campaign. This bodes well for achieving the C$200k goal.
Having already run a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising $11K back in June, Kevin Gondek of GondeFire Games is (perhaps controversially) turning to Indiegogo to raise more money. He hopes to use Indiegogo's flexible funding to his advantage, as he already has the funds to create the game, so this campaign is really just about hitting stretch goals.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/765409434/ghost-time-games-presents-soul-power Soul Power is a physics-based 2D platformer starring a ghost in its afterlife. When you're already dead you've got nothing to fear, but that doesn't mean the game is going to be a walk in the park. For starters you don't know how did you get there, so you'll have to find out by meeting other ghosts and physically entering their respective subconsciousness, à la Psychonauts. The minimum pledge to get the game is amazingly low, only C$1, so reaching the goal of C$1500 will require up to 256 more backers during this final week.
Destiny Fails Us
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/destinyfailsus/destiny-fails-us-otome-game Destiny Fails Us is a visual novel/otome game, based on the homonymous web-based manga. It's the story of a teenage girl who should game less and study more, but we're sure that failing doesn't apply to backers of the game, who managed to surpass the $3k goal in the first half of the campaign.
The Ballads of Reemus 2
The Ballads of Reemus 2 is an adventure game starring Reemus, a medieval exterminator and his loyal sidekick Liam the purple bear. This is not exactly a sequel, in that the earlier adventures of Reemus and Liam will be included and expanded upon, in addition to new chapters that finish off the story. Surely a game with such good taste in naming must find success, and behold, the first half of the campaign collected a respectable 45% of the needed C$15k, so success is still within reach.
Contagion is a co-op survival horror FPS game, built upon Valve's Source engine and opportunely scheduled for release this Halloween. This is a very mature project, already playable and in closed beta, so this campaign serves the dual purpose of covering the remaining pre-release costs and boosting the community of players prior to official release. With the appeal of an already-playable game offered as reward, this project has already crossed the $50k funding goal with over a week left to go.
Terminus is a traditional city-building game set in an inhospitable alien world that nonetheless could be humankind's last hope of survival. So far that hope seems a bit dim, since the first 60% of campaign time brought only 30% of needed funds, but there are still 2 weeks for the project to get back on track for the C$28k goal.
Lords of Xulima
Lords of Xulima is an isometric and turn-based RPG whose announcement was duly covered by GOL earlier this year, so this is a fairly mature project which has turned to crowdfunding to fund additional features and polish. If this were a kickstarter campaign it would have a good chance of coming out successful during the final 48-hour pledging rush, but as an Indiegogo campaign the result is less obvious despite the promising start (over $6k collected with 2 weeks left to acquire the remaining 4k).
Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad
Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad is an adventure RPG revolving around Battle Dice, some ancient and powerful weapons that the students of the John Brummel University will have to employ, train, upgrade and even combine with each other in order to efficiently battle hordes of invading monsters. This peculiar combat mechanic is designed to please both the casual gamer and the hardcore RPG enthusiast alike, with its apparent simplicity yet actually deep and wide range of tactical variations it allows. Activity for this interesting project definitely picked up in the last week, but 40% of the $7.5k goal is a rather significant chunk of pledges to be acquired in the final 2 days.
Steam Squad is a turn-based strategy wargame set in an alternate-history World War I. In every mission you'll get to command a small squad of unseasoned soldiers (as opposed to stereotypical elite soldiers of most games) in the very frontlines where the fiercest combats take place. Just as in real life, a great loss of lives is to be expected. Steam Squad has found favor among wargamers, having reached the 80% funding mark with 2 weeks remaining in the campaign.
Hyper Light Drifter
Hyper Light Drifter is a 2D action RPG that has so far captivated more than 16,000 people with its colourful and immersive pixel art visuals. This is a rare kickstarter success story in which pledges have poured in based solely on the appealing pitch concepts and art, without any world-famous game developer to start the momentum with a pre-existing fanbase. Over $400k has been pledged thus far, with about a week left to go in this over-achieving campaign.
This promising Source Engine title is best described as "a fast paced FPS game that looks to satiate the ever growing zombie survival communities' endless appetite", in the words of the project creators. Unlike in many other games in the genre the zombies you'll face here are collaborative and social creatures, so expect to find them operating in packs and to deal with many of them at a time. Another big feature seldom seen in other titles is dismemberment: take off your foes' limbs with a powerful enough gun, or with a sharp blade, and use them to your advantage. The developers, enthusiast gamers themselves, are committed to never let the players run out of objectives and goals by periodically adding new world events, like plane crashes or other disasters. To further guarantee their customers' satisfaction they are closely working with members of the zombie survival game communities and we will continue to do so during all the development process. Supporters pledging $25 are promised a download key, along with beta access, a forum badge and their name in the credits. Unfortunately having raised less than $2K of its $180k target, it will take an enormous effort to resurrect The Living.
Edge Of Eternity
Aside from bringing J-RPG fans a lovely steampunk-inspired medieval fantasy world, developer Midgar Studio has chosen to make Edge of Eternity one of the most ported titles at its funding level, with support at its base goal for iOS and Android smartphones & tablets, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Mac, Linux, OUYA, Wii U, Windows Phone 8, and even Blackberry 10, and a stretch goal target for next-generation consoles PlayStation 4 and XBox One. Echoing modern world history, the lore presented to us by the team tells of a fragile peace built on mutual understanding and dissuasion met by the threat of invasion and enslavement by an extraterrestrial invasion from within the world itself, via extradimensional portals, and ultimately, the world's nations themselves returning to their previously insular and warlike state. In the midst of this turmoil, our pair of protagonists meet after being cast from their villages for plot-related reasons, and begin their journey of discovery through the dangerous and beautiful landscape of Heryon. We assume that some form of the Monomyth is employed to bring the story to a satisfying, or tragic, conclusion. Gameplay-wise the game will feature some old-school mechanics, like a turn-based combat system or the world map, along with some innovative gimmicks like the ability of mixing spells to obtain more powerful attacks. One of the developers' main concerns is player immersion, so they've worked very hard on the dynamic camera to achieve the most atmospheric views possible. $15 is sufficient to receive a DRM free download of the game although, as with The Living, a significant level of interest will be required to reach the $200k goal.
This endearing 2D action adventure puzzler promises a story-driven experience exploring themes of solitude in space. We guide our protagonist, whose memories are fragmented, through a derelict spacecraft from choice to choice, memory to memory. We choose which terminals we access, and in which order. In doing so, we may choose to repair subsystems of the vessel or alternately unlock our own memory, all via plot choices presented in a format comfortably similar to adventure game dialogue mechanics. The gameplay footage portrays a minimalistic graphical experience with a retro TRON-like aesthetic, coupled with an ethereal soundscape evocative of the recent FTL: Faster Than Light (Ben Prunty) game or the eagerly-anticipated Drifter (Danny Baranowsky). The developer, krangGAMES, describes Emerald thusly: "Thomas Was Alone, Analogue: A Hate Story and System Shock had a baby, and the baby doesn't have gravity." ... a quizzical description, but it certainly piques our interest. The terrifying cold solitude and paranoia pervading System Shock is nowhere to be seen in the pitch, nor on the site, thankfully; we'll have to take their word for it. In any case, the $5,800CAD goal should be easily reached, and if the game offers a fraction of charm we were treated to in Thomas Was Alone, then it will be well worth it. Plus, the developer, Nick, is a nice Canadian dude with sweet hair and a cool beard.
Knite & the Ghost Lights
Knite & The Ghost Lights promises backers a hand-crafted, stop-motion animated world, turned into a Metroidvania side-scrolling adventure platformer. The imagery is sumptuous and production values shine through on the project's shoe-string $35K budget. The basic premise has Knite, the main character, exploring the marshes of the aptly named Knitemire and interacting with the Ghost Lights in an intriguing take on spritual reincarnation. While plot details are sparse beyond that, Mobot Studio (the creative minds behind the project) have built an astonishingly detailed lore wiki with in-depth descriptions of the denizens of the Mistlands, from the main and supporting characters to the races and mythology of the land. It's really quite astounding, and lends credibility to the team's commitment to the game. At present, the project is suffering from a chronic lack of exposure, and may benefit from involved and experienced crowd-funder in their backer pool. It would be a shame for such a beautiful labor-of-love to fail for that reason.
A story driven exploration game made by one-woman studio Tiger & Squid. It tells the story of a young blind girl, Rae, who loses her best friend, Nani, a huge fat cat, and decides to leave her house to go looking for him. Worth checking out the video for the way the world slowly and beautifully hands draws itself into life around Rae as she feels her way. It's reminiscent of the excellent animé film "Ponyo". Another flexible funding campaign, indie developer Sherida Halatoe is hoping to raise €10K and is currently just over one tenth of the way there with nearly a month left.
Europa 2022 is going to be a 3D horror/mystery game that will combine the soul of the old point-and-click adventure with the fast-paced action of modern titles. By playing it you'll have the honour of being on the first manned mission to Jupiter's moon Europa, the most likely place on the Solar System on which to find extraterrestrial life. Unfortunately this is not going to be a pleasant journey as the dramatic imperative requires that there be some sort of trouble, and here it will present itself in the form of sabotage. Someone on the crew of four has cut off the ship's communication lines with Earth so you'll have to carry on your mission without external help, while at the same time trying to uncover the traitor and, most importantly, to survive. The main gameplay mechanisms will be puzzles to be solved point-and-click style, all through a third-person perspective with some highly detailed 3D models. Besides the game in itself, you'll be also able to -voluntarily- play an [i]Alternate Reality Game[/i] involving websites, social media, and detective work, which will pay for your efforts with in-game rewards. Cool enough, don't you think? You'll be able to travel to Europa only if $10k can be raised before the campaign expires. So far it remains somewhat underfunded as it ended the first fourth of the campaign significantly below the 25% mark, so your early-bird $10 contribution will be surely appreciated.
Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim
Cornerstone is an open world action-adventure, with an emphasis on exploration and combat mixed with physics and player choice. Campaign creators claim it is inspired by The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Dark Souls. Graphically, it is a third-person, action-adventure in a stylized cartoon-like Viking world, as though the colorful Nintendo 64 era games in the genre were gifted a modern makeover, without losing their all-ages charm. From the project page: "Stylized geometry with simple textures but with realistic rendering, and of course much inspiration will derives from the Viking culture." The plot points are spread out across an archipelago, with a player-controlled ship featured as the method of transportation between the many island areas available to explore. The campaign creators first launched this project with a slightly lower goal and fewer gameplay details back in February, and although that campaign ended unsuccessfully at around 40% of their original $24k goal, the team was met with a strong enough response to continue working. Undoubtedly, the time spent building the assets necessary to show the fun slice of the game we see in their project videos (available on their YouTube channel) is what prompted the team to re-evaluate their funding goal. Their relaunch has already surpassed that of the first attempt, reaching a respectable $11k out of the new $30k goal.
Super Dwarf Madness
Don't be put off by the vague use of the term "PC" when indie studio proclaim that their sequel will be "Available for PC/Mac". Buried in the main blurb, they clarify that "PC" means "Windows and Linux". Indeed, since these former XBLA developers are now using Unity to create their "Dwarf Madness" sequel, they're largely covered in the cross platform department! As for the game, it's surprisingly difficult to tell what it's about from their cringe-worthy video: it looks like a bizarre cross between Gauntlet and PacMan. With dwarves of course. Right now, $7 secures an early bird copy of the game which is hoped to be available in about 6 months time (April 2014). If you miss the early bird, the standard tier is only $10.
This bullet hell top-scrolling schmup is looking very slick already and one-man outfit Adrian Zingg claims that the basic game itself is largely finished. He's looking for €49K to finish the game by adding polish, content and an overhaul of the RPG/powerup system that he hopes will differentiate his game. Sadly, two things are preventing his dream from becoming a reality. First, the campaign is based on Flexible Funding. Second, the minimum pledge level is an unusually high €19. After a week of fundraising, Wing Zero has yet to garner a single pledge.
This interesting looking RPG is possibly let down by some dubious writing on its funding page, which tells the sob-story of how this small studio was fleeced by one of the co-founders! A dubiously low $10K target is undermined by the flexible funding model and has resulted in no pledges so far. But it's early days in a long campaign, so perhaps some more positive updates from the team can turn this campaign around. A $10 pledge will secure the game on its release later this year.
GoD Factory: Wingmen
This gorgeous space combat sim and MOBA has been featured here on GOL before, during it's first attempt at crowd-funding. Unfortunately, at that time, Linux support was added with only a few days remaining on the clock, and over half of the ground to cover. Two weeks ago, the campaign relaunched with style, and included our community from day 1. Wingmen promises fast-paced player-vs-player dogfighting in defense of each other's capital ship, in true four-versus-four MOBA fashion. This particular mix of features is quite unique, and may be the only one of its kind to date. Features include heavy customization of player ships, cross-platform servers, and Oculus Rift support. Space combat buffs should take notice of a particularly cool "elemental damage" feature that developer Nine Dots Studio has planned, whereby players combined team strategy can trigger local black holes and novae to crippling effect. $15 CAD picks up a discounted early-bird game download, with standard pricing set at a reasonable $20 CAD. Wingmen are scheduled to fly next month, by the campaign tier dates.
Castle Breakers is one of those mad concepts that seem to be made for crowd-funding; in this case, a voxel-based Breakout style block breaker mashed up with classic action-adventure elements, such as Legend of Zelda. The physics-based destructible terrain of voxel-ey blocks appears to be the dominant mechanic, rooting the game firmly in the arcade tradition. Adventure elements include area discovery, unlocking territories with new found powers and equipment including "glittering palaces, decrepit ruins, magic towers and more." Perhaps "more" is in reference to promised game secrets, such as hidden areas, shortcuts, traps, and the like. Rounding out this curious mix are action elements, including challenging boss fights and a familiar grouping of elemental spells to unleash on the enemy. A $10 pledge is sufficient to receive a DRM-free download of the game, upon completion early next year.
That was all for today from us, folks! This column was brought to you by Mike Frett, s_d, scaine, Speedster, and yours truly, muntdefems. This has been the last Funding Crowd I've been actively involved into (I honestly haven't done that much in this one actually ), although I'll try to sporadically give these awesome people a hand whenever they need and I can. For one, they've done a magnificent job with this column, so I quit knowing I leave The Funding Crowd in good hands.
However, there will be never such thing as too many contributors, so let me appeal to any regular reader who thinks he/she could help improve this column, or at least keep it going. Think no more! All you need is a little time and your enthusiasm about crowdfunded games. You decide your level of commitment, from small contributions now and then, up to taking on a whole section for yourself! Feel free to offer your services on the comments section of this article, or by contacting any of the aforementioned people by private message.
From now on this column will aim for a fortnightly schedule, so until the next issue arrives don't forget to check our crowdfunding wiki for the latest status on the Linux games crowdfunding world. Bye!
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