Tag Archives: video games

Crowdfunding projects I’m backing

As the end of the month, thus payday, approaches, it occurs to me that I’m backing an unusually large number of crowdfunding projects this month. I love crowdfunding: it’s a way that I as a consumer (I can be a consumer when I want to be!) can get a little influence over the products I buy: I spend money, perhaps a bit more than I would at a store, and in return I get the ability to communicate directly with the creators whose products I’m going to receive. Sure I am but one voice among many, but before crowdfunding it was hard to even have a voice. Plus I get the satisfaction of finding and funding products that either never existed before, or were previously too niche to be sold anywhere.

Most of these this month are on Kickstarter. Here they are, in no particular order:

System Shock

System Shock -- Kicktraq Mini

I have fond memories of playing the original System Shock even though I only bought it last year. It stands the test of time thanks to an incredibly well written story, a dark and foreboding atmosphere┬á (not easy to achieve given the graphical limitations of computers in 1994!) and a truly terrifying villain. I refused to buy System Shock Enhanced Edition because it’s Windows only. With this Kickstarter-funded reimagining of the game, Linux support is the first stretch goal and I have no doubt it will be reached.

Link to project


ZED -- Kicktraq Mini

Another game I’m buying due to nostalgia. I love the look of Myst. I love first-person adventure puzzle games. This is made by one of the same people who worked on Myst. Plus the downloadable demo supports Linux (but no promise that the full game will).

Link to project

Legendary Showdown: Gamer’s Quest

Legendary Showdown: Gamer's Quest -- Kicktraq Mini

I’m not that into card games, but I am into the comic Ctrl+Alt+Del. I’m really buying this for my brother since this looks like exactly the kind of game he’d enjoy playing. I’ll make it a birthday or Christmas present, depending on when it arrives. I know the estimated delivery date is October, but my experience with crowdfunded projects is that those date estimates are totally unreliable.

Link to project


SilentKeys: A Keyboard that Protects your Privacy & Security -- Kicktraq Mini

Any hardware that attempts to protect your privacy and security gets two thumbs up from me. This is the only project that I’m funding with no expectation of reward.

Link to project

Earth-friendly EOMA68 Computing Devices

Sorry, no graph for this one!

I have to admit, I’ve never heard of Crowd Supply before. I’m a little teeny bit worried about leaving my debit card data with them, but it’s worth the risk to support these earth-friendly computers. Plus they say they expect their Libre Tea Computer Card to earn the Free Software Foundation’s Respects Your Freedom certification. It hasn’t been earned yet, but the fact these guys are even trying speaks volumes.

Link to project

The fates myst be conspiring to rive my money from me.

The fates myst be conspiring to rive my money from me. How else could there suddenly be so may exciting Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, and I have so little money to give?

I got my first own computer in 1998. Not the first computer I ever had, but the first that was officially my own. It ran Windows 98, had a 14.8 GB hard disk, and had a DVD drive and decoder card (remember those?) so I could watch movies on its gigantic 21-inch CRT monitor. That monitor weighed so much it left a permanent dent in my desk.

I loved playing computer games. At first I played old DOS games, things like QBasic Nibbles and Pharaoh’s Tomb. That was what I had, since my previous computer had been a DOS machine. Then my mom bought something new: “Ages of Myst”. It was a small box containing the games Myst and Riven. We played the games together, she and I. I fell in love with them immediately. Continue reading The fates myst be conspiring to rive my money from me.

Announcing Cybrinth

I’ve been working on this project for several months now, off and on (mostly off). It’s a low-priority side project that I pick up whenever I feel like programming, which is not often.

The project is a game called Cybrinth. It’s a simple maze game which draws stylistic inspiration from early video games, particularly EGA/CGA games for the IBM PC. I even decided to limit myself to using only CGA colors, though I can use all 16 of them at once rather than being limited to four like on a real CGA system. In terms of screen resolution, I opted for as much flexibility as possible: this would probably work on a screen as tiny as 320×200 (the resolution of CGA’s standard graphics mode) or on a modern 1920×1080 display. For music, I wanted something which reminds me of retro video games but still takes advantage of modern technological abilities. Something with sort of an electropop or chiptune style. The tune that has inspired me most in this regard, and which the game currently plays as background music, is “Beavis II” by Maf, found on Jamendo. Continue reading Announcing Cybrinth