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A sandbox strategy game with town building, crafting, and epic battles! Read more

San Jose, CA Video Games
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This project was successfully funded on May 30, 2013.

A sandbox strategy game with town building, crafting, and epic battles!

San Jose, CA Video Games
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About this project

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Stonehearth is a game about exploration and survival in an epic fantasy setting. Your job is to help a small group of settlers survive and carve out a place for themselves in a hostile land. You’ll need to establish a food supply, build shelter, defend your people, and find a way to grow and expand, facing challenges at every step. 

Starting from procedurally generated terrain with dynamic AI encounters, Stonehearth combines city sim and good old combat with infinite building possibilities. It’s built to be moddable at every level, from your city, to the people and creatures inhabiting the world, and will ship with the tools and documentation for you to add your own customizations to the game, and share them with friends.

  • The game is equal parts Sandbox, Real Time Strategy, and RPG.  
  • We will support PC, Mac, and Linux!
  • This kickstarter is to fund the single player version of the game.  We would love to add cooperative multiplayer and PvP modes as well, and these will appear as future stretch goals

Explanation of the Buddy Tier Rewards

There have been a lot of questions about how the buddy tiers work. The intent behind those tiers is to let you get another copy of the game at a discounted price so you can play with a friend. Here's a chart explaining exactly what you get for each pledge amount.

So basically, once you get to the Settler tier, you gain entry to the early-access beta. To get both copies into the beta you'll need to upgrade to the Settler Buddy Backer tier at $45, which is a discount over double backing at the $30 Settler tier.

Any beta copy is entitled to the kitten or puppy rewards for that tier. For $45 pledges both game copies get their choice of puppy or kitten, and for $50+ pledges both game copies get both the puppy and the kitten.

At release, the beta copy will turn into a release copy. 

Stretch Goals

Paypal pledges to as of 5/29/2013 (these count towards our stretch goals): $44,000.

Our stretch goals have been incredibly popular. So popular in fact that our plates are pretty full right now. We don't want to bite off more than we can chew and risk sacrificing the overall quality of the game, but at the same time we want to reward you guys for achieving higher pledge levels.

So what we've decided to do is add two more big, beefy "moon shot" stretch goals, but time them as post release. If we achieve these goals, you are guaranteed to see these features in the game, but they will come in through a free update that ships sometime after our initial release in September 2014. 

Mammoth Bonanza: All backers at the $15 level and higher will receive a cuddly baby Mammoth pet!

Friendly Faction: Rabbit Clan: An ancient race of honorable, subterranean lagomorphs. Your potential allies.

Glacier Biome: Snowy, icy lands with unique building mechanics for igloos and frost forts!

Mac and Linux Port: Retail release of the game for both Mac & Linux.

Pirates, Ninjas and Politicians: Your wealthy, thriving communities will draw the attention of the dread Order of Applied Equivocation. Unlike the straightforward aggression of goblins and trolls, these new enemies will cheat, kidnap, and blackmail their way into your citizen’s homes... and coffers.  

A secret panel in the dead merchant’s desk reveals a cheerful crest chased with the following motto: The OAE: Backstabbing You for Our Better Tomorrow.

New Class: Animal Trainer : Tame wild animals and train up their young to work and fight by your side. Optimize food, building, and resource production through careful breeding and rigorous conditioning.

“Extra fine, I get. Extra fluffy? Sure, keeps the kids warm in the winter. Even the natural saffron yellow, I managed, though it took three generations and the weavers complained it came out more chartreuse than goldenrod. But steel wool? Who’s ever heard of a sheep growing metal outta’ its skin?” Devin Baaspeak stared dolefully at his herd. They stared dolefully back. “Crafters,” he sighed. “Time to get to work, guys.”

New Class: Magma Smith: Harness the earth’s most destructive material to incinerate invaders and raise towering walls of black glass.

“Lad, I once saw a man bend fire and earth into a new continent for his people. The least you can do is dig your ma her new flowerbed.”

Dragon Whelp Bonanza: All backers at the $15 level and higher will receive a hyperactive baby dragon. Warning: may take centuries to mature.  

“What, the egg? The kid found it in the stream bed yesterday. It’s small enough. What’s the harm?”  

Player vs. Player City Raids: Select a party of adventurers to storm a copy of another player’s city and bring home their treasures. Leaderboards will rank and track the deadliest fighters and most impenetrable fortresses.

“Stormloft47 has demolished 208 raiding parties.”  

New Class - Geomancer: Manipulate rock and stone to bolster your city's builders, flattening or raising earth as the cause demands. Craft tireless golem workers so everyone else can take a much needed break.

She put green lights in their empty eyesockets--a fanciful touch, but she felt it gave them character. Now, she checked each rune for dust, noted every crack for the touchups she'd handle tomorrow. Powered them off, one by one. Slowly, lights dimmed to black. "Good job, guys! Finished the whole square in just two days!" She dusted her hands, patted each fondly on the head, and shut the warehouse door.

In the dark, one pair of eyes swirled back to life.

Enemy Faction - Elementals: When conditions are just right, unstoppable giants of fire, rock, ice, and air rampage across the land, destroying everything in their path. Appease them or prepare your defenses...  

Verne Earthwalk fought to control his voice. "My Lords," he managed, "when I said that your incessant digging made the earth angry, I meant it. Literally."

New Class - Engineer: Fiendishly complex traps. Steam pumps. Black powder. In his moments of genius, this Master Craftsman boosts your town's productivity with miraculously advanced tools and weaponry. In his other moments....

"With steam, human ingenuity, and enough pipes, anything is possible!"

Seasons!: Horde food for the winter and farm up a storm in the summer as the four seasons cycle over your town. Building, farming and fighting all gain new depth as rising temperatures parch the land and falling snows drive your settlers indoors.

"SNOW DAY!!!!"

Co-op Multiplayer: Share a living world with your friends and family! Build sprawling empires of towns, cities and castles, and unite in mutual defense against the towering threat of ancient titans.

“When the shadow fell over the valley the ground trembled, but our hearts did not. For no matter what happened between this breath and the next, we knew we stood with our brothers and sisters, together in this world... and the next, and next, and next.” 

Festivals: Join your townsfolk as they celebrate popular holidays like Solstice, Harvest, and The Monday of The Twelve Golden Fruit. Properly provisioned festivals produce happy, energetic workers. Forgotten events invite the wrath of greater powers...

“Though color variations make it clear at which point in its cycle the banana ought to be eaten, the proper way to hold the fruit is still debated. Though all scholars agree that the curved, nearly hexagonal shape fits the human fist, accounts vary as to whether the golden peel should be pulled back from the stem (as is traditional) or up from the black nub at the bottom. Either way, so please the gods.”

--Celebrant Jordan, Treatises on the Rituals of The Monday of the Twelve Golden Fruit

Alternate Planes: Many dimensions lurk beneath the fabric of reality. Lured by the promise of untold riches and arcane secrets, your bravest townsfolk open portals to previously unknown realms. What could possibly go wrong?

Through the door I saw... the sky. The sky at night, when the stars fill one end of the horizon to the other. Except... the stars were ordered in perfect rows, like corn in the field. And little round plates studded with rubies dashed around between them, jabbing lances of light at each other. One of the plates... flew apart as I watched. In a ball of fire!

...No more mushrooms for me.

-- From the diary of Archmage Twellot

Upgraded Musical Score: The Japanese RPGs from which Stonehearth draws its artistic inspiration were as much defined by their soundtrack as their visual style. Help us draw on the talent of a variety of professional musicians to create an enticing score that will stand up to a decade’s worth of play.

Three Playable Kingdoms: Hardy explorers and canny traders join our hardworking settlers in their quest to build, farm, and fight their way across the land. At the start of each game, choose one of the three kingdoms, each with its own unique perks.

Healing Crosswinds Caravan, Transcript, Early Summer, Immediately before The Incident

New Playable Race: Dwarves: While the Three Kingdoms of humans spread across the world's surface, the dwarves build their own empire deep in the mountains and bedrock below.

This dwarven race will come complete with new art, entirely new play mechanics more suited to a dwarven disposition, and new classes and crafting recipes.

Help! All driven underground by fire and trapped by rocks. The ground shakes; Dwarven drums in the deep. We cannot get out... they are coming!

--Jiruk Firestarter, Goblin Shaman

Persistent, Connected World: We'll offer the option to host your game on our own servers (this may require a fee). All hosted games can choose to participate in entirely new gameplay modes with other hosted cities!

Here are some of the things we're thinking about:

  • Your cooperative games will be available all the time, not just when the computer serving the game is on.
  • Establish alliances and supply-routes between friendly, player controlled cities.
  • Trade in the global economy that spans all hosted games.
  • Band several cities together to create your own Empires

Build and Grow Your City

The heart of the game is city building and management.  When you're just starting out, you'll need to juggle tasks like obtaining a sustainable food supply, building shelter, and defending your fledgling settlement from raiders.

Once you've achieved a foothold in the world, it will be up to you to write the destiny for your people. You’re going to have the flexibility to choose your own path in this game. Do you want to build a great conquering empire? A vibrant trade city? A spiritual monastery? We really want you to feel like this is your settlement, and give you the tools that make it look and operate exactly as you wish.

Level Up Your Settlers

All the settlers in your towns have jobs. A job is like a class in a role playing game. Each job has a specific role like hauling materials, building, crafting, and fighting. As your little guys work at a job they will gain experience and levels. Some jobs, when they meet certain pre-requisites, can upgrade into entirely new jobs with new capabilities

This tech tree shows just a portion of the jobs related to basic crafting and food production. We'll have all kinds of jobs related to combat, trading , exotic crafting, and more!

Usually to assign someone a new job you'll also need to craft a tool for them. The Mason can craft blocks, statues, and tools from stone, but to do it he'll need a mallet and chisel crafted by the carpenter. Our goal is to have a tech tree that's both very wide and very deep, so there will be plenty of different kinds of things to do in the game, but also a lot of depth to explore if you want to concentrate on any one area.

Epic Boss Fights!

As your town becomes more wealthy and prosperous, you risk attracting the attention of one of the world's Titans, epic boss monsters looking to protect their turf, or just to plunder your riches.

Each boss will have a unique lore and set of abilities used to lay waste to your city.

Player Driven Legacy Through Modding

We LOVE mods and want to make it as easy as possible to author and share mods.

Want to see a new kind of sword in the game? You can model it, define it’s stats, and then craft it in game. You can also share the design with other players so they can enjoy it too, or bring their authored content into your game.

As a modder you’ll be able to do basically anything that we as developers can do: introduce new items and monsters, write new scripted adventures, influence the AI, you name it. It goes back to that original pen and paper RPG experience, where “the game” is a collaboration between the core ruleset and the stories crafted by the gamemaster.

We’re lifelong gamers who until recently have been leading dual lives. By day, working as software engineers in Silicon Valley, by night competing as hardcore fighting game players.

In our spare time, we founded the biggest fighting game tournament in the world (the EVO Championship Series, which we've run for over a decade) and wrote GGPO, the network middleware that powers Skullgirls and games by companies like Capcom and Bandai-Namco. 

In late 2011, we finally decided to follow our dream to make games full time. We quit our day jobs, set up shop in Tom's house, and have never looked back.

The Shirt!

Here's the T-Shirt we're offering for Adventure Tier backers and above. These are 100% cotton, 6.1 oz shirts, and the Stonehearth logo is printed in a special metallic ink!

And yes, we offer ladies sizes.

The Tiers

Risks and challenges

Video games are complex and shipping high quality software on time is often challenging even for experienced teams. This is especially true of simulation games with a lot of AI like Stonehearth.

But with a combined 30+ years of experience building sophisticated, modular software, we are up to this task. We have already built most of the big, risky gameplay systems like AI, construction, combat, and crafting. There's still a ton of work to do, but because we've tackled the hardest technical problems already, we are confident that we can deliver the full game on schedule.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


  • Yes! When you start a game you will be able to choose whether you want to include monsters on the world. So if you just want to zen out and focus on the town-building aspects without having to worry about some giant red monster stomping on your sand-castles, you can totally do that.

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  • Yes! For the $30 we will offer your choice of puppy or kitten. If we are funded, after the Kickstarter closes we will send out a questionnaire where you can specify your choice.

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  • Yes, you can make a new item as a mod. We're working very hard to make everything as moddable as possible. Basically we're writing all of the game systems and content using the same tools that we will make available to you guys as modders. Here are some of the things you can do in a mod:

    * Make new items

    * Add new monsters

    * Add new classes and abilities

    * Add new RPG-like scripted adventures

    * Reskin or add to the UI

    * Tweak the AI of your settlers or the monsters

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  • We'll ship the beta by the end of 2013.

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  • Yes! Check out the giant PayPal button at the top of the page. Or this link here ( A few notes about PayPal pledges:

    1. Please pledge through Kickstarter if you can. We get better tracking information that way, and it's easier for us to communicate with you. If that's not an option, then by all means use the PayPal page!

    2. PayPal pledges will count towards all our stretch goals! We'll track this money manually and keep you updated on the sum total.

    3. We don't have the ability to make changes to your PayPal pledge level once you pay us, so please choose carefully before deciding on a pledge level.

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  • Eventually, yes! But we want to make sure that we have a great above-ground building experience first.

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  • We fundamentally believe in cross platform support, and we are avoiding Windows only tech so that we can support Mac and Linux. Unfortunately, since we are writing our own engine, we don't get cross-platform support for free. Thanks to making the $200k stretch goal, we will have Mac and Linux versions available at release. If you pledge at the $15 level or higher, you can select whether you'd like any given copy of the game to be for Mac, Linux, or Windows.

    Unfortunately, we can't guarantee that we will support Mac and Linux by the start of the beta. So if you pledge at a tier that gets you beta access, and you want to run the beta on a mac, you may have to wait an undetermined (as yet) time to get this access.

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  • No DRM. Your kickstarter rewards like the baby mammoth will require a one time activation to redeem, but the game will ship DRM free. No DRM.

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  • It's Stonehearth, with an H on the end. A "hearth" is a fireplace, and a symbol of warmth, comfort, and home. We want the name Stonehearth to evoke a sense of home (as in the home you're making for your settlers), but also have an ancient, fantasy feel.

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  • You have two choices. You can layout floor plans and choose different types of walls, roofs, etc. Check out our prototype video (…) to see this in action. If you'd rather not do that, you can just slap down a pre-fab. Eventually we will support designing your own prefabs, which is basically like building on a blank piece of paper and saving it instead of building directly in the world.

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  • In general there is no micro in Stonehearth. Combat will have some micro, but that's pretty much it. When it comes to food and water supply, you will manage the systems that generate food and water, and your settlers will figure out how to implement your plans. For instance, for farming, you will decide where to place the farms and what crops to plant, then design things like irrigation systems, etc. Your farmers will hoe the fields, harvest the crops, and store them all by themselves.

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  • OMG Dwarf Fortress is awesome, right? We want a Dwarf Fortress feel, in that we want to build complex, inter-related simulations that you can manage, and just watch your settlers live their lives in an ant-farmish kind of way...until disaster happens, then maybe some of them stop living their lives all together. We won't have the incredible depth of Dwarf Fortress at the start, but as long as there's support for the game, we'll keep adding more and more things to do.

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  • At the $30 tier, you get one beta copy and one release copy. At release, you can then update the beta copy so that it becomes a release copy. At the $45 tier, it's the same: you get 2 beta copies and can update both to become release copies.

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  • We can't commit to having Mac/Linux support by the very start of the Beta, but we are sure we will have it at release.

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  • Yes. You absolutely do not have to participate in PvP if you don't want to. Also, even if you do participate, only a copy of your city gets uploaded for other people to play in. Life in your local city goes on as normal.

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  • Ideally, yes, BUT FIRST we have to be on Steam, so if you haven't voted for us on Greelight yet, please do so! Second, once we're on Steam, we still have to look at all their terms and conditions, so we can't say yes for sure at this time. But we will definitely update the community if/when we learn more.

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  • We want the game to run on as many systems as possible, including older ones, but it's just too early to give solid numbers at this time. It really depends on how the game functions when we're done building it and optimizing the heck out of it.

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  • Paypal and Kickstarter are actually independent of each other, so KS is not notified when you back via Paypal. But don't worry! We're keeping track of all the Paypal donations separately and will mail the surveys and goods, pets, etc to the e-mail address associated with the Paypal account you used to back us.

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  • Yes! But first you have to invent a time machine. The game isn't done yet. If you want to participate in the beta, set your dial for December of 2013. If you want to play the full version of the game, aim for Sept 2014.

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  • We've heard this comment so many times that we've decided to keep our Kickstarter-Tier PayPal store up for another 2 weeks (until June 12th). You can find it by clicking the Paypal link at the top of the page, or at this link: Though we still prefer you pledge through KS before the campaign ends (KS takes care of much more of the backer reward organizing) you will still get all the KS-related rewards for your tier if you back on Paypal before June 12th. Yes, this money will count towards the stretch goal total.

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    90 backers

    COMMUNITY TIER - Thanks for believing in our game. You will receive exclusive development updates through our Kickstarter page and can participate in backer-only polls related to new gameplay and content ideas.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    6,499 backers

    BACKER - Digital download of the full game when it is ready for release. Stonehearth will ship on PC initially. We would like to make the game available for Mac and Linux, but can't commit to those platforms yet.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    735 backers

    BUDDY BACKER TIER - 2x the benefits of the BACKER tier, for just $10 more. TWO Digital downloads of the full game when it is ready for release.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    9,942 backers

    SETTLER TIER, BETA BACKER - All rewards from the lower tiers, plus early access to the game through a digital download of the beta, with free updates all the way through the game's final release! Plus you'llget access to our beta-backer forum to give early feedback on the game, and a special thanks in the game's credits. We'll also throw in a CUDDLY KITTEN who will accompany your settlers each time you start a new game. He no good in a fight, but gosh he's cute!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    1,440 backers

    SETTLER TIER, BETA BUDDY BACKER - All the benefits of the SETTLER TIER, plus you'll get an extra copy of the early-access beta!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    3,316 backers

    INTREPID SETTLER, DIGITAL PACK - All rewards from the lower tiers: beta access, beta forum access, special thanks, and the kitten. You'll also receive a download of our DIGITAL ARTBOOK with behind-the-scenes concept art, a DIGITAL POSTER, and a REALLY CUTE PUPPY companion to keep your kitten company each time you start a game.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    214 backers

    THE MINSTREL, All the rewards from the INTREPID SETTLER TIER, plus a digital download for the full Stonehearth soundtrack!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    342 backers

    ADVENTURER TIER, PHYSICAL PACK - All the benefits of the lower tiers: beta access, beta forum access, special thanks, the kitten, and his puppy friend. Plus your very own Stonehearth T-SHIRT. We'll also give you a PROMINENT THANKS in the game's credits.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    65 backers

    BOLD ADVENTURER, PHYSICAL PACK UPGRADE - All the benefits of the lower tiers: beta access, beta forum access, prominent special thanks, the kitten, the puppy, and the T-Shirt. We'll also mail you an exclusive POSTER, offered only during this Kickstarter.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    24 backers

    SEASONED ADVENTURER, ULTIMATE PHYSICAL PACK - All the benefits of the lower tiers, plus another T-Shirt for a total of TWO T-SHIRTS and a POSTER SIGNED by the development team.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    9 backers Limited (241 left of 250)

    EXPLORER TIER - All previous tier rewards, plus we'll let you add your name or the name of your choice (subject to our approval) to the pool of randomly generated settler names. Or if you want your name to appear on a monster we can swing that too. You'll also receive a PROMINENT thanks in the game's credits.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $525 or more

    20 backers All gone!

    NAME A TITAN! - As a special benefit for our early backers, you will get a chance to name a one of the boss Titans in the game! You'll get all the benefits of the previous tiers, plus pick any name (within reason please) for one of the gianormous, town-stomping, end game monsters!

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    3 backers Limited (247 left of 250)

    WORLD SHAPER TIER - All previous reward tiers, plus we'll let you name a world zone in Stonehearth! The name of your choice (subject to our approval) will be added to the pool of random names for world zones like forests, mountains, and subterranean caves.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    LEGEND TIER - Become part of the world of Stonehearth! We'll design a NPC and scripted encounter with your input. You can be the leader of a travelling caravan, a local warlord, or whatever you want (within reason)! Of course, you also get all rewards from the previous tiers.

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  • You selected
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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    ADVISOR TIER - Become one of our special advisors. All previous tier rewards, plus you'll get the chance to meet the team for lunch (if you're local or can travel to meet us) or by Skype. Sorry, we cannot cover your travel expenses.

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    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)