A brief look at currently running game projects on kickstarter: five projects that have promised Linux support, and a couple more that might still be persuaded to add Linux support
Posted by Wormo on Nov 11th, 2012
If any fellow Linux gamer finds a game here intriguing enough to pledge for it, please take a moment to use the kickstarter comment system and/or private messaging system to thank the project lead for supporting Linux. This helps remind them that while we may still be a small minority, we are dedicated and polite!
Role-playing adventure in the "Quest for Glory" spirit
Hero U started out classifying Linux support under the first stretch-goal based on recommendations of the lead programmer, but then one of the project co-leads decided to handle Linux personally after it became apparent that the base funding goal of $400k is going to be down to the wire.
For those who are not familiar with the classic Quest for Glory series, this RPG/adventure hybrid was famous for providing well-developed fantasy stories while allowing player choices to make a deep impact on the storyline, plus they incorporated an appealing sense of humor. Hero U is intended to kick off a new series with these same strengths, but replacing the earlier real-time combat with a turn-based system so that the combat emphasises strategy and thoughtful choices more like the rest of the game. The co-leads bring many years of tabletop RPG experience to their design, and that is a large source of their inspiration for making these hybrid games. I don't know of anything else with this sort of flavor among modern games (feel free to correct me in the comments, especially if playable on Linux) so personally I have big hopes for Hero U if the typical project-end burst of pledges is large enough to make the goal. There are currently 8 days left to pledge and help make this game happen.
Fast-paced futuristic racing game with stunts including jumping and flight
Distance started out on Mac and PC, and added Linux support after seeing a demand among potential backers. The $85k currently raised is quite respectable for a new indie studio, probably because the project leads previously released the popular free racing game Nitronic Rush while they were still students. Perhaps appropriate for a racing game, this is looking to be a tight finish -- kicktraq projection cone currently shows the project missing the $125k target by only about $8k. A strong showing from Linux fans during these last 5 days of the project could certainly help turn this one around.
Single-player or multi-player sci-fi FPS with advanced co-op features and character skill trees
Interstellar Marines is currently being developed on Unity 4 and promised to support Linux from the start of the kickstarter. This project has had a long history with some bad luck, but the leads are very determined to find some way to make this game. The previous engine did not support Linux so I have not actually played the demos, but the videos look rather spectacular. There are still over 2 weeks to go for the kickstarter campaign, but at a bit under 1/6 of the needed funds it appears to need some good luck in publicity in order to come out funded.
Artistic adventure game with hand-drawn art and a very unique story featuring a magical circus
Again, Circus of Light started out on Mac and PC, and added Linux support in response to queries from the Linux crowd lurking at Kickstarter. This is one of the early projects to take advantage of Kickstarter's new European support, and according to current conversion rates their goal is in the ballpark of $25k, modest for a game project. Despite this, the going looks rather slow so far -- a decent number of Linux backers signing up could help build the needed momentum and make a significant impression on the sponsoring company.
Co-op arena combat game with classes and skill customization
FORCED is another Unity 4 game that has confirmed Linux support right out of the gate. The game does provide a single-player mode, but it looks like it will really shine in co-op mode with some unusual teamwork mechanics. With about half the campaign time spent, FORCED is at 47% of the minimum goal, so it has a good shot at reaching its goal.
Space sim with both single-player campaign and online co-op/pvp play
CryENGINE 3 is the game engine upon which Star Citizen is based, and it currently supports Android but not desktop Linux (or Mac for that matter). The porting investment should not be too huge given existing OpenGLES support (don't assume it's "trivial" because desktop performance would likely be pathetic unless they take advantage of a lot of the features added by full OpenGL) so the Star Citizen team is currently doing a poll to see if there is enough interest among Linux and Mac fans to bother investing in ports.
If you haven't already done so, consider voting for Linux support at this poll. No account is required. This will have the most impact if you avoid picking any of the other choices currently ranked above Linux (for instance, voting for a Mac port or a language translation as 2nd and 3rd choices would be fine).
Extensive remake of classic fantasy-themed adventure
The original Shadowgate has seen many ports to various platforms, but for this latest remake with extensive graphics upgrades and modernization, the team has chosen to license an existing game engine rather than rolling their own. The problem is that this choice has not been finalized, and at least one game engine lacking Linux support is in contention for being selected. Private messages to the project lead have found him friendly to Linux users but still non-commital on the engine selection, so if you are interested in Shadowgate and already registered at kickstarter, consider dropping him a polite message to indicate additional Shadowgate interest among Linux users. To send such a message, go to Shadowgate project home linked above, then click on "Contact me".