The newest tool in the arsenal of big thinkers and big dreamers is crowdfunding, wherein creators take their ideas directly to the people in the hopes that a lot of small donations will add up into capital to make their ideas reality.
Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have literally made dreams come true, and that’s as true for puzzle entrepreneurs as anyone else. Many top-tier constructors are going straight to the fanbase with their puzzles, and with marvelous results. Constructors like Trip Payne, Eric Berlin, and Matt Gaffney have all had success on Kickstarter and Indiegogo with previous campaigns.
And I wanted to spread the world about some other puzzly endeavors that might interest the PuzzleNation readership.
There’s only a few hours left in the kickstarter campaign for musical duo the Doubleclicks.
This marvelous musical duo has not only written songs about numerous nerdy subjects — board games, Dungeons & Dragons, and dinosaurs among them — but they’re also champions of self-expression and self-confidence, especially among the geek girl community. (Their song “Nothing to Prove” served as the buoyant soundtrack of a video decrying “fake geek girl” nonsense.)
Pairs, a card game for two to eight players, was just launched yesterday by the folks at Cheapass Games. A 5-minute card game where the goal is to NOT gain points, Pairs is designed to be easy to learn and easy to play.
[Click here to check out our session of 5 Questions with Cheapass Games president and game designer James Ernest.]
Apps and online games have also gotten into crowdfunding. There’s Colorino, a color-matching strategy app that would appeal to the Candy Crush crowd, as well as Puzzle Nuts 2. A sequel to the physics-based puzzle game Puzzle Nuts, Puzzle Nuts 2 challenges players to negotiate different contraptions and figure out how to transport all of their acorns from one end of the screen to the other. Fans of Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, and other mechanical-style puzzles could find plenty to enjoy here.
A master maze designer with several successful Kickstarter campaigns under his belt has already reached his primary goal, and is now striving to reach a major stretch goal. (Stretch goals are additional finish lines that creators can make available if their initial goal is met. Stretch goals often include more puzzles, finer artwork, additional game pieces, and other details that allow for a richer play experience.)
And then there’s Steam-Donkey, a card game where you try to attract visitors to your steampunk beachside resort. With ne’er-do-wells all around, it’s a game with emphasis on art and characters with a curiously distinct flair all its own.
High Heavens is a combination board game/card game/miniatures game that places the player in a battle between the gods. Right now, creator Ryan Lesser is on his second Kickstarter campaign, an expansion that will offer new gameplay options, miniatures, and characters to the original High Heavens set. (The original High Heavens was also funded through Kickstarter contributions.)
Sweet Escape is a platformer strategy app where you try to lead walking bits of candy to safety while dealing with all sorts of obstacles and threats inside a bizarre factory.
Finally, over on indiegogo, we have PuzzleFix, a photo jigsaw puzzle game actually encourages people to submit their own photographs to become new puzzles.
The amazing thing about all of these projects is that the audience, the potential fans, have an enormous role to play in not only sharing their thoughts with game and puzzle creators, but they can show their support for designers and projects they believe in, and do so in a meaningful way.
I’ve contributed to several of these campaigns with high hopes, and I can’t wait to see how they turn out.
Thanks for visiting the PuzzleNation blog today! You can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, cruise our boards on Pinterest, check out our Tumblr, download our puzzle iBooks and apps, play our games at PuzzleNation.com, or contact us here at the blog!