Rock Hunter - Slice, dice, and blast apart rocks dynamically in 3D to clear asteroid fields. Your game: GNU AGPL code, CC-BY-SA assets.
In Rock Hunter, the player controls a small spaceship called Mjöllnir, floating in space surrounded by rocks. The game is played from the first person, like a space combat simulator, and the asteroid field is entirely 3D. The player destroys rocks with the ship's guns, scoring points. Lasers, blasters, and other weapons are planned, and rocks will be dynamically simulated so that they can be cut apart, fragmented, and otherwise destroyed in unique ways every time.
Rock Hunter is focused on polish and minimalism. I'm aiming for an artistic game; a game that doesn't try to overwhelm players with flash and special effects but aspires to a more understated visual effect. Most noticeably, while it utilizes 3D rendering techniques, the game is in monochrome. (However, the game's engine will still support color.)
Rock Hunter utilizes a new form of development that doesn't fit neatly into existing categories: Obviously it's not a big-budget corporate game, nor is it exactly an indie game, as its source code will be released under the GNU AGPL v3 and its assets under a CC-BY-SA license. However, it's not a traditional free software game.
Its Kickstarter funding is nothing new for games, but this was chosen not because it was necessarily the most efficient way to make the game profitable, but because it allows a new paradigm for entertainment software: games developed full-time that give their users freedom. Freedom from DRM. Freedom to modify, remix, and adapt, and even sell what they make. Software in which you're never seen as a thief, or even as a “consumer,” but as a participant and partner.
Rock Hunter Kickstarter funders will be considered purchasers of the game. After it's released, the game as a whole will be offered for a fee: users who play it will be asked to pay money for it if they enjoy it. Those who want to modify and adapt it will be free to do so under the terms of its GNU AGPL and CC-BY-SA licenses. This will be better than modding; users will have access to all of the game's source code and art to do whatever they'd like with.
I'll post a monthly development update on the Kickstarter page for all funders. However, if you sign up at Boxed Copy level or above, you'll get access to the private development weblog, where I will provide weekly updates.
At Special Edition and above, you'll get the right to vote on certain game decisions and get Beta Test access. This right to vote means that I might create more than one ship model and holding a vote on which one to use, for example. Note that source code and assets won't be released under the CC and GNU licenses until the project is complete, even for Beta Testers.
Finally, if you sign up for the Developer Edition or above, you'll get access to additional game decision polls.
If you're an international backer, please add $5 more for shipping for all rewards with physical items.
Rock Hunter itself is built on the Avion engine. Avion is my dream game – a long-term goal that I hope to approach in steps by releasing a series of games that improve various aspects of the engine and implement all features needed by Avion. If I was focusing on just releasing Rock Hunter, I would be able to release it in perhaps as little as three months, but in light of the long-term goal of Avion and since the engine and assets are considered part of the deal here, I want to release something more polished on the code side, something more useful to users who want to develop their own games on this codebase. In that light, I need more time. The long-term Avion development schedule I made called for six months of pure cleanup work on the engine. I'm setting the Rock Hunter goal at nine months of development time, with the possibility of a three month extension if I end up needing more time. I promise to work hard, though, and do my best to minimize the wait while maintaining quality. At the end of development, I'll release Rock Hunter, its source, and its assets. At that point, I will decide whether to continue the cleanup phase or propose another project, depending primarily on the amount of surplus raised and the status of the cleanup phase.
Thanks for reading, and please pledge today if you're interested in the game and/or in supporting this experiment in game development! Remember, you're not charged anything unless the project succeeds.
Where Does the Money Go?
Mainly for my food, clothing, and shelter. The total donation amount is about enough for me to live on for nine months; the projected project time. Even so, it won't cover everything, because I have to pay for the physical rewards and my monthly budget is a bit larger.
Anything above the pledge amount will be used for me to continue development on the engine with more projects like this one, leaving eventually to Avion if all goes well.
Track Updates on Twitter and Facebook:
I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that OnLive or another comparable games-as-service provider could bypass the GPL since playing a game over the network like that isn't technically a distribution of the object code.
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