Welcome to a new(ish) feature! Crowdfunding Weekly will act as the spiritual successor to our older Kickstarter Weekly column. The general focus will remain the same – we hope to highlight interesting and cool crowdfunding projects, both to introduce new people to exciting games and to hopefully help out the games in question. And the way we do that will remain largely the same as well.

There are going to be two main changes to the format, however. Firstly we’ll be able to include projects hosted on sites other than Kickstarter, which wouldn’t really have worked with a column called “Kickstarter Weekly.” Secondly, this won’t be written entirely by one author – other Indie Haven writers will be able to write about games that have caught their attention. Hopefully both of these changes will create a better system for all parties, and open up the doors to more interesting projects.

These are still early days, so expect the format to change as time goes on until we find what works best for everyone. Feel free to suggest changes we can make to improve the column as well.

Caffeine – Funding Goal: $5,000Caffeine 02

Developer: Dylan Browne

By Andre Miller

*Note: This is the third crowdfunding attempt from Dylan Browne for Caffeine. He is adamant in getting the game made however he can.

Caffeine is Sci-fi horror inspired by the likes of the Ridley Scott classic Alien. It’s a gorgeous first person title running on Unreal Engine 4. I was blown away by the demo footage, with the ultra-detailed interiors seeming like the work of AAA budget and not a lone man. But what’s even more compelling is what is hiding in the shadows of those beautifully rendered corridors. You are not alone and the tension in solving puzzles and exploring the ship makes that all the more evident.

CaffeineIt promises support for a variety of platforms (PS4, Mac, PC, and Linux) as well as features that the more tech savvy can appreciate like 4K resolution and Oculus Rift. There is a demo out now if you are interested in dipping your toe into this fascinating universe. A contribution of $25 gets you a digital copy of the game upon release, anyone backing $100 or more gets goodies like alpha access and a t-shirt. Caffeine is sitting at 14% funding and has until August 31 to meet its goal.

Jotun – Funding Goal: $50,000CADJotun 04

Developer: William Dubé

By Alison Fleming

Jotun casts you as Thora, a Norse warrior who has been denied entry to Valhalla following her distinctly un-heroic death. The game centres around her journey through purgatory as she seeks to prove herself to the Gods. She does this by exploring the farthest reaches of purgatory and finding Runes, then using those Runes to fight and defeat the eponymous Jotun. Along the way, she can find Shrines to the various Gods, and each God can grant her their own buffs or abilities.

Jotun 03

Jotun takes a lot of its cues from Shadow of the Colossus. The world is large (and randomly generated), and filled with little secrets. The main gameplay is split into two halves – exploring the world and solving the environmental puzzles to find the aforementioned Runes, and fighting the Jotun themselves. The combat is intended to be fast-paced and extremely challenging – each Jotun is huge and can take off most of your health in a single swipe, whereas you and your axe can only do tiny slivers of damage per swing. You have to win through cunning and ingenuity, by outmaneuvering your foes and striking when they leave themselves open.

The project is 63 percent of the way to being funded, with funding continuing until August 21. Pledging $15CAD will get you a copy on release, and it’s currently being developed for PC and Mac.

Northward – Funding Goal: €32,000Northward 01

Developer:  Nemoria Entertainment

By Alison Fleming

Nemoria’s Northward is a curious little game. It’s a management game in the vein of Banished or The Settlers which focuses on building and maintaining a town, but it comes with the very nice addition of cooperative multiplayer. While it might not be the first game of its type to attempt this, it’s certainly a solid idea that could be fun if handled well.

The game centres around both building and maintaining your town, and making your way northward to find the cause of the omnipresent, malevolent fog. You can control various villagers, each of whom will have their own skills and their own tasks to handle. You’ll also have to make various industrial centres spread across the map to take advantage of the different areas and their resources, and connect those together to the main town. Juggling all of this will be an ordeal in and of itself.

miningAnd, inevitably, your town isn’t going to be left alone. The fog has been stealing innocent inhabitants of villages, wiping out whole settlements in its wake, and it conceals both twisted monsters and wild humans. These will eagerly try to destroy your town if (and when) you draw their ire. The world is also dotted with altars to a number of deities, who may be willing to help you for the right sacrifice. There’s something very grim lurking underneath the town-management game, and keeping track of your settlement as well as the supernatural nightmares lurking in the wilderness is sure to be where the game really shines.

Northward is currently only at 4 percent of its goal, and has until August 23 to get funded. A pledge of €9 will get you both a copy of the game and a copy of Nemoria’s previous game, Oknytt (which we reviewed here.) The game is also being developed for PC, with the developers hoping to bring it out on Mac and Linux as well. A demo is available on the project page.

Vanguard V – Funding Goal: $198,000Vanguard V

Developer: Zero Transform

By Andre Miller

Vanguard V is an intense on-rails 3rd person shooter built for virtual reality. The biggest implication of the technology is the ability to maneuver your character and aim by simply looking where you wish to go. The fluid and organic movement of the human body is something the developer wants to establish as a standard for more precise and accessible play. You will use these motions to aid your effort to destroy an alien parasite that seeks to consume your civilization. Zero Transform promises the game will be “a celebration of control, design, and amazing music.”

For a contribution of $16, backers get a copy of the game and their name in the credits. For backers willing to shell out $150, you get a custom designed USB device with the game and soundtrack on it, as well as a wealth of smaller extras. Vanguard V is currently sitting at about $13,000 on Kickstarter, and it needs to be funded by August 23. It’s being developed for PC, Mac and Linux as well as the PS4 and mobile VR devices.