SF/F/H Crowd Funding Roundup For 09/28/2012

[Crowdfunding is the in thing for obtaining money to fund a variety of projects, with Kickstarter being the most prominent of these sites. With new projects going live daily, it’s a chore to keep up with, let alone find, interesting genre projects. The Crowd Funding Roundup will be our effort to bring projects we think are interesting to your attention so you can, if you so choose, decide to help out. These posts will be a collaborative effort between James Aquilone and JP Frantz.]

Sea Breeze Lane Hardcover Graphic Novel

What’s it about?

It is several hundred years in the future and humanity lives on the moon, in domed Earth-like cities. David Bell is a Skyborn, one of his society’s elite and their next leader. David grew up on fairy tales, like any other child. Except, his bedtime stories about strange and distant lands may actually be much more than simple fantasy. Outside of the domes, on the Moon’s harsh atmosphere, nothing like the one we know today, reside the antagonistic Dusters; this group believes they are descended from the original lunar settlers. David has started to question the secrecy of his society and doubts the dogma preached by its past leaders. He is determined to know the truth and is willing to risk his life to find it. David’s journey to uncover meaning could lead his world to a brighter future or completely destroy it…

Why it’s interesting: A secretive, dogmatic society based on the Moon where Earth is taboo sounds like an interesting story and from what I’ve seen I also like the art direction. $5 gets you a PDF of Issue 1 while $30 gets you all 5 chapters in PDF and the hardcover itself.

Arakion

What’s it about?

Arakion is a modern take on a classic RPG formula. You’re put in control of three heroes trying to survive a world devastated by war. Adventuring in Arakion will take you across open land, into deep dungeons and even put you in control of rebuilding a desolated town.

A great evil, nearly destroying Arakion in ages past, has returned. It is up to you to create a band of heroes to fight this darkness. The game takes place on two continents floating in the sky, as well as hundreds of minor islands. Arakion has been marred by war and strife for thousands of years and the landscape is a reflection of that.

Why it’s interesting: One of the quotes calls Arakion a cross between Bastion and Legend of Grimrock. I can totally see that from the video, and that’s a very good thing. While the graphics aren’t going to knock anyone’s socks off, they are certainly more than capable but what I’m really interested in is how Arakion will treat character development in a non-leveling manner. Taylor’s ideas for advancement intrigue me and I’m very interested in how the crafting (Forged Items) system works. $15 seems like a small price to pay for something that could break the mold for traditional RPGs.

Damage Report

What’s it about?

Damage Report is a modular, 2-6 player, simultaneous, real-time, co-operative game where the players take on the role of a starship crew faced with making split-second decisions to survive while in the midst of various catastrophes. Unlike many co-operative games, the simultaneous, real-time nature of the game helps prevent groupthink. This forces players to make decisions with minimal feedback and prevents one player from simply running the show. You never have to wait for other players to take their turn, and your turn is only limited to what you can accomplish in 15-, 30-, 45- or 60-second intervals.

Why it’s interesting: Wow! A real-time, simultaneous move co-op game featuring the crew of a space ship just sounds awesome! It looks fun and I’d love to play it. $45 gets you a copy of the game.

Cobweb Bride

What’s it about?

The premise—what if death suddenly stopped all around the world, and people and all living things continued being conscious and “alive,” in pain and in denial, suspended in a strange undead state, even if they were mortally wounded?

What if you killed someone and then fell in love with them?

COBWEB BRIDE (Death’s Cobwebs, Book One) is a history-flavored fantasy novel with romantic elements of the Persephone myth, about Death’s ultimatum to the world.

In an alternate Renaissance world, somewhere in an imaginary “pocket” of Europe called the Kingdom of Lethe, Death comes, in the form of a grim Spaniard, to claim his Bride. Until she is found, in a single time-stopping moment all dying stops. There is no relief for the mortally wounded and the terminally ill…

Why it’s interesting: Vera Nazarian has several books, and Nebula Award nominations, to her credit and now she’s asking for you help to bring a new series into being. This project is your way to help her publish the first book in this series, which has a very interesting premise. $5 gets you an ebook copy of the book, while $10 gets you an ebook copy and another ebook copy of one of her other books. Those are pretty good prices for ebooks…

Mr. Card Game

What’s it about?

Mr. Card Game is half deck-building, half tableau management and 100% Kingdom of Loathing character builder. No pasted on themes here, this game reeks of ripe Kingdome-y goodness (sorry about the smell). For those tabletop afficionados out there, Mr. Card Game is an evolution in the deck-building genre. Mixing a combination of stat gain with item and skill acquisition, what you can do in Mr. Card Game depends on the tableau you build, and how effectively you do it depends on the cards you draw from the deck you’ve drafted.

Why it’s interesting: A deck building game built around Kingdom of Loathing? Oh yeah! Wait, any game at all build around Kingdom of Loathing? Super oh yeah! You don’t what Kingdom of Loathing is? For shame! All you really need to know is it’s hilarious. Seriously, go to their web site, maybe play around some. Then go order the card game.

The Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy

What’s it about?

A collection of essays and interviews with some of most influential names in the industry; each article covering a specific element of the craft of writing science fiction and fantasy.

Why it’s interesting: Who couldn’t use some writing advice? The Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy features some of the biggest names in SF talking shop — Neil Gaiman (on where he gets ideas), Orson Scott Card (on rhetoric and style), Jay Lake (on endings), Elizabeth Bear (on world building) and such short fiction editors as Ellen Datlow, Stanley Schmidt, Gordon Van Gelder and John Joseph Adams (on what they’re looking for when reading submissions). Seems like a must-have for any beginning writer. For $10, you get the e-book. For $30, you get the softcover, too.

The Time of Reflection

What’s it about?

A 12-page booklet containing the award-winning short comic The Time of Reflection.

Why it’s interesting: Alex Wilson and Silvio dB won the Eagle Award at the London Comic-Con with their dark fantasy comic The Time of Reflection. Now they’re looking to make the short story available as a standalone booklet. They’ve already reached their initial goal, but they still have plenty of stretch goals. For just $3, you get a physical copy of the booklet and a digital copy, plus you favorite local comic shop will get a copy. For $52, you get cookies, each topped with a panel from the comic in edible icing.

Cthulhu Playing Cards

What’s it about?

The Cthulhu playing card deck is printed by the famous United States Playing Card Company, featuring 56 poker-sized cards with custom faces that bring the Cthulhu mythos to life.

Why it’s interesting: Feel that your Go Fish sessions aren’t horrific enough? Then inject some cosmic terror with Cthulhu playing cards. The cards look amazing, and the price is right. For $9, you get a deck, but hurry up, because they’re selling out fast.

Puppets… in Space!

What’s it about?

Melonpool: The Motion Picture is a comedic homage to all things science fiction — with puppets. Based on a web-comic series, this film follows the misadventures of a hapless crew of aliens on a space mission to rescue their missing crew member — as well as save the universe as we know it.

Why it’s interesting: The filmmakers are “going old-school” with no green screens or CGI. They’re building real-world models and sets, to give the movie a “hand-made feel.” Plus, it’s puppets in space. What’s not to love?

The Wrylon Robotical Illustrated Catalog of Botanical ‘Bots

What’s it about?

The last catalog from the world’s first, and only, robotic flower delivery company. Fully illustrated and stocked with ‘bot love.

Why it’s interesting: The catalog is the brainchild of Barry McWilliams, who says he liked the “absurdity” of the idea of robots who delivers flowers. The catalog contains illustrations, schematics, letters and newspaper clippings and offers a few clues to the mysterious disappearance of the ‘bots. McWilliams says the catalog doesn’t offer they whole the full story; “It’s just a tease.” If this Kickstarter campaign is successful, he plans to continue telling the story. Let’s hope he does; the artwork looks killer and now I want to know what did happen to those poor ‘bots. For $20, you get a signed copy of the book.

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