Posts Tagged ‘games funded via crowdsourcing’

KickStart This: July 8, 2013 Edition

kickstarterSome of us are probably still recovering from the holiday weekend – at least if you’re in the United States you may still be recovering.  And even though we’re recovering, what better way to recover than to take a look at some new crowdsourced projects – some of which need our attention, others of which are way past successfully funded but could be made better with more funding.

Just like last week, we’ll take a quick look at the KickStarter Projects mentioned in our previous articles to see how they are doing funding wise before we look at this week’s projects.

Project Standings as of July 8, 2013

  • The Question Block Lamp by 8-Bit Lit is at $89,169 of a $100,000 goal.  This Kickstarter has 10 days to go to reach their goal.  It looks like this project could use a little extra push to help them achieve their goal.  Check out their project here:
  • The Long Road – A Documentary About Following Your Passions failed to achieve funding.  🙁
  • Frontiers has 8 days to go, but has already reached it’s initial goal of $50,000.  Current amount funded is $99,437 with the next stretch goal unlocking at $100,000.
  • Mind’s Eye Theatre: Vampire the Masquerade is now at $206,335 of $60,000 needed – with less than a day to go.  I’ll be honest, I ended up backing this project to get a hard copy of the book.  It will be a $35 well invested.
  • LFG and The Fork of Truth is at $154,466 of $600,000 to reach their initial goal.  With only 11 days to go, they too could use a push for funding.  Check out the project here:
  • Cthulu Wars was very successfully funded, achieving a crowdsourced final of $1,403,981, achieving 3,509% of the goal.  The funding goal was only $40,000.  There are a ton of Cthulu fans out there apparently!

Now to look at other gaming related projects needing funding.  This week we look at four projects:  a computer game that will have all card games on it, a documentary on a classic game studio, a program that will let you design games on Linux for Linux, and a comic that pits gamers against zombies.

1.  The Lotus Project on IndieGoGo

lotus-projectThis project has a relatively short time to go, but is also already fully funded.  With less than 14 hours remaining, Lotus Project has already achieved $4,903 of $1500 needed.

The project is defined as providing “every card game you’ve played in a single client.”  It goes on to define that it’s for any game from poker to Go Fish in what is touted as a free client for people to play games with others online.

Funding for this project goes towards design, hosting and server costs.

This project has also reached all of its stretch goals, including the final stretch goal of $3,500 which will allow for European Servers as well as tournament and draft support.

Even though this project is fully funded, like many crowdsourced projects, the more money they receive, the better the end product will be.  Check it out here:

2.  The History of Sierra On-Line Through a Documentary by Molotov Angel Productions

If you were a child of the 80s, or even just an early gamer with access to a computer and some games, these titles might mean something to you.

  • King’s Quest
  • Space Quest
  • Police Quest
  • Quest for Glory
  • Leisure Suit Larry
  • Gabriel Knight
  • Phantasmagoria

heroes-the-history-of-Sierra-on-line-300x225If not, you are missing out on some great, classic games.  And this documentary, “Heroes, The History of Sierra On-Line,”  is going to explore the people and the stories behind the company responsible for bringing countless hours of entertainment to millions around the world and laying the foundation for video games as we know them today.

This KickStarter needs $125,000 to be successful.  Currently it only has $10,427 raised and 28 days to go.

The producer behind the project explains that the funding goes to the following post-production elements:

  • Editing of film and creation of official theatrical trailer
  • Creation of original artwork and graphics for the film
  • Licensing fees for copyright music that comprise the film soundtrack
  • Development of the original score for the film
  • Marketing of the film to generate awareness
  • Costs associated with submission to film festivals

All reasonable expenses for a documentary.  If you fondly remember your Sierra On-Line Games and want to support this documentary project, check it out here:

3. Leadwerks: Build Linux Games on Linux by Josh Klint

leadwerksLinux is becoming more and more popular, not just for servers, but for regular people using it as an alternative operating system to Windows and Mac.  With Valve announce that it’s popular game platform, Steam, will be coming to Linux, it only makes sense for more developers to want to be able to program games for Linux.

That is exactly what Leadwerks promises to do – to allow you to create Linux games while on a Linux system.

With only 22 days to go, this project is bound to be a success as it is already at $18,651 of $20,000 needed to crowdsource this project.  If the project reaches a stretch goal of $26,000, they will improve the project to allow for games for the OUYA to developed through the program as well.

The team has a lot of perks for the project, including for $100 getting a copy of the software for Linux so you can start programming your own games in C++ and Lua.  Donate higher amounts and you could get versions of Leadwerks for your PC or Mac.

This is definitely an innovation in development of games for Linux.  Check it out and see if you want to contribute to its crowdfunding here:

4.  Gamers vs. Zombies issue 0 by Eureka! Comic Labs

gamers-vs-zombies-300x225Imagine you are a teenager in today’s world, trying to survive the Zombie Apocalypse with your friends with only the skills you’ve learned as a gamer.  That’s exactly the path this proposed comic book, created by Jason Mattingly, is going.

I would say that the comic interests me for the sake of it, but no, I’ll be honest, it interests me because one of the characters is named after me and the personality fits me too.  See description:

Grace is the self-appointed leader of the group. She represents Action. She doesn’t go looking for a fight, but she won’t back down either. One of her best talents is thinking under pressure, though the challenge is making her understand that her way is not always the best one.

In all honesty though, the premise of the comic really does interest me, the characters defined as they are helps add interest to it.

Sadly, this project started June 28 and has only raised $343 of the $7,200 goal they hope to achieve.  With 19 days remaining, they have a chance but could definitely use a boost in funding.

And of course, they also have stretch goals, starting at $17,000.

The downside of this project is that the text alone doesn’t tell you what the money raised will be going towards nor does the video, which makes me question why they need funding – and it may be the reason why they haven’t received much funding as of yet.

That being said, the artwork is amazing and the storyline sounds interesting, so if you have an interest in it, I encourage you to check it out and possibly support it.

Check out the project here:

This concludes this week’s KickStart This.  Check out the previous editions below:


KickStart This: July 1, 2013 Edition

kickstarterAnother week means it is time for another KickStart This. We’ll take a quick look at the KickStarter Projects mentioned in our previous article that still have funding time remaining to see how they are doing funding wise before we look at this week’s projects.  Eight days have passed from the time we wrote the articles, and many of the projects have seen significant increases in their funding.

Project Standings as of June 30, 2013

  • The Question Block Lamp by 8-Bit Lit is at $77,034 of a $100,000 goal. This Kickstarter has 17 days to go to reach their goal.
  • The Long Road – A Documentary About Following Your Passions is at $820 of $8500 needed with only four days remaining.
  • Frontiers also has 16 days to go, but has already reached it’s initial goal of $50,000. Current amount funded is $79,852 with the next stretch goal unlocking at $82,500.
  • Mind’s Eye Theatre: Vampire the Masquerade is now at $149,219 of $60,000 needed – so they are at more than double the minimum goal with 8 days remaining and many stretch goals left to unlock.

Now to look at other gaming related projects needing funding. This week we look at a new Kickstarter, this one for a game, by a webcomic author who’s had several projects funded; a HP Lovecraft based board game, and a look at a completed Kickstarter that is continuing crowdfunding to improve their game through their own site now that they’re funded. This KickStart This is a little short because at time of writing the article, the other funding site I was going to pull two games from to write about is down. So those will be covered, hopefully, next week.

1. LFG – The Fork of Truth by Ryan Sohmer

lfg-the-fork-of-truthI’ve followed, and for a while moderated and admined forums, for Looking For Group, a webcomic by Ryan Sohmer and Lars deSouza. They’ve successfully funded other projects, including a short animated cartoon for Looking for Group, and two other projects for Sohmer’s other comic, called The Bear. But this project has a bit more of a monetary need as they are designing a 4-player co-op based on the comic.

They hope to raise $600,000. Their funding started on June 19. As of June 30, 2013, they have raised a little more than 1/6th of the goal with $106,797 raised and 18 days to go.

The Looking for Group team has teamed up with Paladin Studios to create this game, which will be a sidestory from the main storyline. You will be able to play one of four characters that are known from the comic: Richard, Cale, Bennie or Crunch. What’s even better, the game will be available for Windows, Mac and Linux systems. If stretch goals are met, they will port it to other platforms as well – including consoles and tablets.

For as little as $25 contribution, you can get the deluxe edition of the game. Other perks are available as more money is donated, including at $80 donation you get 4 copies of the deluxe edition. Pretty sweet perks there.

While $600,000 is the minimum, the group does have stretch goals as well, all the way up to $1.1m raised.

Much like the game Frontiers, they have a pie chart that breaks down exactly where the money is going, the majority of which is for Game Code and Design. Of course art and voice talent plays a part too as does everything else. It looks like some of their planned voice talent are folks who have voiced for the animated shorts and have done voice work for their other projects as well – so they have experience.

The other thing I find impressive about this KickStarter is that the writer and the artist of the webcomic are both on hand with the game development. Sohmer is behind the writing and Lars is behind the art direction – obviously he can’t do all the art work for the game himself as that would be near impossible and a team of artists is needed for the game.

The LFG crew puts out a good product each time they do a KickStarter. I think that the game will add some interesting dimension and interaction to the webcomic that we, the readers, haven’t seen before. Check out this current one and if you like what they’re doing or planning to do, donate some funds to them.

KickStarter is here:

2. Cthulu Wars by Sandy Petersen

cthulu-warsThis game is being touted as a “strategy/horror board game from Lovecraft’s classic Cthulu Mythos” played with highly detailed miniatures. And let me just say, looking at the images provided, they aren’t joking about the highly detailed part. These miniatures look amazing.

This KickStarter only required $40,000 to be funded. As of June 30, 2013, the funding sits at $818,309 with six days remaining. Quite impressive for a board game. It also has a large number of stretch goals based on money raised and number of backers they get. They have monetary stretch goals of up to $900,000 and backer stretch goals of up to 4700 backers. Currently they have 3,231 backers.

Sandy Petersen, the creator of this Kickstarter, is the designer of the original Call of Cthulu role playing game. In the RPG, you were striving to avert impending catastrophe, but in this game, you are one of The Great Old Ones and are a part of the catastrophe.

This is a game for 3-5 people played with a board and miniatures – and it looks to be a lot of fun.

Check out their gameplay videos and various perks provided, then if you want to help them reach some of their stretch goals, consider contributing.

The Kickstarter can be found here:

3. Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues by Portalarium

shroud-of-the-avatarI have always been an Ultima fan, then an Ultima Online fan, all of which were games spearheaded by Richard Garriott de Cayeux . It would come as no surprise that this game was another one that I wanted to see get funded, even though I couldn’t afford the pledge level I really wanted while the KickStarter was in session.

The game was defined as “the “spiritual successor” to Richard’s previous work in the FRP genre. Our primary objectives are to tell a story even more compelling than Ultimas IV-VII, create a virtual world more interactive than Ultima VII, develop deep rich multi-player capabilities beyond combat akin to Ultima Online, and offer a bold new approach to integrate them with “Selective Multi-Player”.

As you read on about the game, you learn it is a buy-to-play game without any required subscription to play – which is where the Kickstarter perks come into play.

For as little as $45, you would get a DRM-free downloadable version of the game. For a $500 donation, you got housing in the game that would be “rent free” as well as other in-game perks such as a special title, copy of the game, etc. And of course, with the more you donated, the better your perks got.

I saw a number of interesting and unique things happen with this KickStarter, that I’m now starting to see other KickStarters adopt – and that was a way to accept donations outside of the KickStarter via PayPal or other means for people who didn’t want to use Amazon for their donation purposes.

Garriott and his team set up a way to donate to the project via their site and PayPal. If you donated through PayPal prior to the funding period ending on KickStarter you could get the same perks as everyone else.

Then they did something else – continued the crowdfunding after they successfully funded the project, getting $1,919,275 when they wanted to raise 1 million through KickStarter plus another $200,000 via PayPal. Once the project was done, they wanted people who still wanted to contribute to do so, getting different perks than those that funded through KickStarter. They also offered another option for folks – a layaway plan where they could pay off larger donations over time. While they players would pay slightly more to do it this way, they still get the perks they want without having to shell out a significant amount all at once.

I think other successfully funded and popular KickStarter projects could benefit from doing something similar, especially if they are still wanting to reach stretch goals they didn’t reach during their funding period.

In addition to this, they also did several Google Hangouts throughout the funding period where they could answer player/contributor questions. And they didn’t just stop doing those when they got funded – no they continued doing the Google Hangouts and chats since then. It’s always great to see Kickstarter project founders interacting with their fans and funders after the funding period is over. It also helps to keep the followers informed on what’s going on with the game – which is awesome.

I look forward to seeing the project, which is slated to be released, if I recall correctly, sometime in 2014. Alpha testing is slated to start in December 2013.

The completed Kickstarter can be found here:

The continuation of the crowd funding can be found here:

This concludes this week’s KickStart This. Check out the previous editions below:

KickStart This: June 24, 2013 Edition

kickstarterA little less than a year ago, I wrote my first KickStart This article, but didn’t get around to writing anymore.  There are many amazing and little known gaming related KickStarter projects out there and I want to start doing my part to help promote them.  It’s not a lot – but as I can’t afford to support every KickStarter I’d like to see funded, I can do something – which is writing the articles and getting them at least a little publicity.

Each week I write these, I will be looking at four to five different gaming related KickStarter, or similar funding program, projects.

This week, we’re going to examine a Mario-themed lamp, two documentaries of which one has been successfully funded and the other has not, one videogame that is looking to get funded and one gaming related (just not video game) game that would interest many gamers.

1.  The Question Block Lamp by 8-Bit Lit

8-Bit Lit runs a great 8-bit themed Etsy store and they jokingly put the Question Block Lamp up for $10,000 to promote their Kickstarter for the lamp project.


This lamp is exactly what it looks like and sounds like – a pendant lamp shaped and designed to work just like Super Mario Bros.  Similar to Mario, you can jump up, tap the lamp with your head, your fist, whatever and it will turn on and make a coin like sound or an occasional 1-up sound.

Kinda cool huh?  I thought so.

There is a long story as to how they were making a previous version of the lamps and sold thousands of them, but now they need to upgrade the lamps and designs and more importantly get a factory to manufacture them, which is why they have the KickStarter going.  Their goal is to raise $100,000 within a month.

The project launched on June 18.  As of June 21, their current raised total is $40,903.  Definitely not bad for only being live 3 days.

Check out the project and their various incentives here:

2.  The NES Club:  One Man – 30 Days – Over 700 Games to Find by Rob McCallum

This project was successfully funded June 21.  Their goal was $15,000 and ended up with $16,814 to fund this documentary.

the-nes-clubAccording to the site, this documentary chronicles Nintendo’s glorious past and follows one guy for 30 days on the road as he tries to collect over 700 NES Games.

The catch?  No online purchases are allowed.  The games cannot be purchased with the money raised for the documentary – that money goes to production costs of the documentary.  Jay, the star of the show, has to at least acquire all the official recognized games by Nintendo with his own funds.

They have an impressive list of known gaming personalities that will be in the documentary as well, including but not limited to Walter Day, Ben Gold, Patrick Scott Patterson, Todd Rogers, and Jason Wilson.

The project had some pretty ambitious stretch goals, which included travel to additional cities to film the collection of the games.  Sadly, they only reached the $15,000 goal which will allow them to only do five cities: London, Toronto, Buffalo, Detroit and Windsor.

I was honestly hoping this one would raise a lot more, but sadly, it didn’t.  Check out the details and updates on the project here:

3.  The Long Road – A Documentary About Following Your Passions by Dave Vogt

The funding for this Documentary is relatively short, lasting only from June 19 to July 5, which is why it’s being covered in this week’s KickStart This.  I will throw out a disclaimer as well.  Dave is a personal friend of mine and we have worked together on a couple projects in the past and will likely be working on projects in the future.  Being that he is a friend, I feel that because I am promoting it, I need to let it be known so that in the sake of Journalistic Integrity, that is known.

the-long-roadAll of that being said, Dave describes The Long Road as a personal documentary about going against the odds and competing in the biggest fighting game tournament in the world, EVO.

The documentary will be about video gaming but he wants to use it to inform and educate people in the field of competition and to encourage people to take a shot at what they love.

He has a goal to raise a minimum of $8,500 and the money raised will go towards equipment, hardware, software, studio and production costs for an original heavy metal soundtrack, production of the film and production of the perks.  He admits that the project is on the cheaper side, but if more money is donated, the better the end project will be.

He does have a stretch goal of $12,000 as well.

Take a look at his project and see about tossing a few dollars his way.  I think it could turn into quite an interesting, insightful documentary.

Learn more here:

4. Frontiers – Explore – Discover – Survive by Lars Simkins

frontiersFrontiers is promising to be an open world, first person RPG that emulates the tone of classic first person RPGs which will be playable on multiple operating systems.  The project owner describes the game as a game that emphasizes exploration above all else – something that other games have touched on, but haven’t come close to what he’s looking for.

He’s broken down how much money he thinks it will take to reach the base feature set of the game, and shows how it will be broken out according to what is needed – from programming to art to music to everything else.

Translation: he did his work, he knows what it will cost to get a minimum project out the door and has it budgeted out.

His goal to reach is $50,000.  The project launched June 17 and runs through July 17.  As of June 21, he has raised $38,236 of the goal.  Lars also has a number of Stretch Goals, broken down into multiple categories all the way up to $125,000.  Each stretch goal details what will be added at that level.  For example, if $80,000 is raised, they will provide Oculus Rift Support, do a 3D Interface Overhaul and provide game controller support.

This game project is probably one of the most detailed and thought out projects I have seen that hasn’t been put out by a full fledged game development company (like Portalarium or Double Fine).

Take a few minutes to check it out and if it suits you, toss some money their way to get the project KickStarted.  You can view the Kickstarter Campaign here:

5.  Mind’s Eye Theatre: Vampire the Masquerade  by By Night Studios

minds-eye-theater-vtmAnd now for one of my personal favorites.  I have been a long time fan of Vampire the Masquerade (and let’s be honest, we know that CCP won’t be putting the MMO out for some time, so pen-and-paper will have to do) and anytime new books come out, I’m always interested in them – seeing what has changed, what hasn’t etc.  And then of course, getting to play.  Admittedly, it’s been years since I’ve played VtM, but one day I might find time to return to that fun game.

This project launched May 25 and runs through July 9.  While its initial goal was to raise a minimum of $60,000, it’s already doubled that goal as of June 21 with achieving more than $124,246.  They achieved their initial funding goal in four days – which is quite impressive.

This project has quite an extensive list of stretch goals, a large number which have been unlocked already, but with many more to unlock.  Stretch goals are listed up through $260,000.  With 17 days to go, they very well could achieve it.

According to the project’s creator, this book is drawing on more than two decades worth of material from World of Darkness game settings.  Rules are designed and adapted specifically for Live Action Roleplay environments while maintaining the integrity of the original game.

The book has some pretty ambitious goals.  It will contain all the clans, bloodlines and disciplines – proclaiming that it will be the complete game book you need to enjoy VtM.  It has also simplified the character creation system – which if you have played VtM in the past, you know it can be a chore.  Factor in more detailed settings for Camarilla, Sabbat and Anarch games as well as other improvements to the game system – it’s no surprise that they have achieved funding so fast.

This is one of the few Kickstarters that I actually wish I had a sizeable amount of money set aside to toss at – mainly because I want the pins and the books.  I will definitely be looking at my budget closer to the end date to see what I can put to the cause.

So if you like VtM, or haven’t played, but it sounds interesting, check out this Kickstarter:

And that concludes this edition of KickStart this.  Check out my first article here.

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