I had the pleasure of becoming friends with Kat Gordon a few years ago, when I used to be a beta tester for Astraware Games, and she was one of the developers. Since then, Kat has moved on to join Chris Newman at Lightwood Games, a small independent developer of games for iOS devices, and the company’s turning out some fun stuff! The majority of their games feature a social aspect to them, making good use of the Internet, and occasionally Bluetooth, to link multiple devices together. And what’s more, a number of Lightwood’s games have been featured by Apple as New & Noteworthy – and Word Search Party is consistently in the top 20 word-game titles in the US app charts!
Lightwood also scooped a couple of awards at GameHack 2012, for Plasma Party – imagine the classic game Lights Out, scaled up to be both multiplayer and playable over several iOS devices at once… even a combination of iPhones and iPads, in almost any configuration! For their efforts, Lightwood won “Best Use of Mobile” and “Most Innovative Idea” – and in the video below, you can see why…
Now, Chris and Kat are working on a new title, Splat the Difference, a multiplayer version of the classic Spot the Difference pen-and-paper game – but they need your help. You see, they’ve gone way over the graphics budget in creating the game, and need a dollar-shaped leg-up (actually, they need 2,500 leg-ups) to continue. So, they’ve put up a campaign for funding, over at indiegogo – sort of like Kickstarter, but at the end of the campaign period, they’ll get all the money pledged, even if they don’t reach the $2,500 target. And, also like Kickstarter, they’re offering a range of rewards at the various donation levels: in-game currency, custom magnets, and even having a photo of yourself added into the game.
OK, I don’t know how much weight my word carries, but the reason I’ve made this blog post is because I’d really like to see Chris and Kat succeed with this, because they deserve to succeed. I’ve had the pleasure of playing the games that Kat created while at Astraware, and they’re exceptional; I remember that her first commercially-released program, Astraware Solitaire, received a heck of a lot of great reviews when it came out. On a personal level, I’m proud to call Kat a friend, and although I’ve not had the honour of getting to know Chris, I do know that Kat’s been at Lightwood Games for quite some time, so he must be doing something right!
The campaign runs until Pacific time signals the start of Tuesday, June 19 (so that’s 3am Eastern, 8am UK, 9am Europe). And although it’s already mentioned on the campaign page itself, I’d like to say it here: The money is only going to fund the costs of handling the graphics. I’ll quote the campaign page to be utterly specific:
We calculated that each puzzle costs about $25 to create, including licensing fees for stock photos and a freelance artist’s time to do the image manipulation and generate the files we need to load it into the game.
They already have all the hardware stuff that they need, so $2,500 means 100 puzzles for owners of Splat the Difference to play. Oh, and Lightwood Games’ apps are ad-supported free-to-play, and it’s only a couple of dollars to upgrade to the ad-free version.
I really hope that Chris and Kat make their target – but they can’t do it without you… So head on over to their indiegogo page, and throw some money in the hat!