Kickstarting a steampunk survival/adventure game: 39 Days to Mars

Philip writes, "I'm developing a co-operative steampunk survival-adventure game called 39 Days to Mars, and it's just launched on Kickstarter!"

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New Disruptors 61: Attention to Convention with Matt Conn

Matt Conn wanted to organize a safe event for gaymers — that's people who game and are part of the LGBTQ continuum. The GaymerX event is meant to be inclusive of all people, but especially those harassed, marginalized, or ridiculed in mainstream gaming. The first GaymerX took place August 2013; the next happens in July. We talk about what it's like to help a community be part of birthing a new convention.

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Kickstarting art installations in former Soviet prisons

Marina sez, "Our names are Marina Andrijčić-Ojeda and Catarina Ferreira and we are the artists and co-founders of The Penitentiary, a collaborative site-specific art exhibition to take place in abandoned war-era prisons throughout Eastern Europe."

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Kickstarting Danger! Awesome, a hackerspace in Cambridge, Mass

Amanda writes, "Danger!awesome is an open-access laser cutting, laser engraving, and 3D printing workshop in the heart of Cambridge, tucked right between MIT and Harvard. Our mission is to democratize access and training to rapid prototyping resources, long reserved for academic institutions and multi-million dollar R&D labs. We want to teach anyone and everyone how to make, customize, and invent.

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Kickstarting a fun time-travel RPG

Laura sez, "For fans of investigative gaming, there's a new time-travel RPG burning up the Kickstarter charts. TimeWatch by Kevin Kulp adapts the GUMSHOE System for a fast-paced romp through alternate timelines. Someone is rewriting history, and it's your mission to get things back on track and bring the culprits to justice. You may even get a helping hand from your future self, Bill-and-Ted-style. The TimeWatch Kickstarter campaign is less than a week old, and has already brought in more than seven times its goal - two campaign extensions and three mission hooks have been unlocked so far. If you've ever wanted to match wits with a psychic time-traveling velociraptor, this is your dream come true."

$10 gets you a PDF, $40 gets you the printed edition.

TimeWatch: GUMSHOE Investigative Time Travel RPG

Kickstarting a backlit steampunk Nixie clock

Kyle writes, "I just launched my first Kickstarter for this Steampunk flavoured Nixie clock in black walnut or (optionally) purpleheart. Comes with a proper adaptor for whichever country you should happen to live, and has a customizable triple LED backlight (over 700 colour choices!)."

Kyle's bio shows a long career in prop production and other makerish pursuits, suggesting that he's capable of fulfilling commissions on deadlines. Clocks start at CAD$549.

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Rugged drone airframe

Drone designer Marque Cornblatt and Eli DElia have designed a sturdy multicopter airframe that stands up to the typical kinds of abusive inflicted on drones by clumsy newbie pilots. He's launched a kickstarter for these nearly indestructible frames.

World's Toughest Action-Sports Airframe by Game of Drones

Kickstarting a chiptunes album on a Game Boy Advance cartridge

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/docpop/destroy-all-presets-a-re-mixabe-chiptune-album

Doctor Popular writes, "My new album, Destroy All Presets, was created using the Nanoloop cartidge on a GameBoy Advance. I decided to do it that way partially because I love working with limitations and partially because I love the sounds you can get off of these old devices. To help promote it's release, I'm producing a small run of Nanoloop cartridges that come preloaded with my instrumental tracks on them."

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Crowdfunding phraseology: which descriptive words correlate with success?

In “The Language that Gets People to Give: Phrases that Predict Success on Kickstarter" (PDF), a paper for the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, Georgia Tech researchers from the School of Interactive Technology present the results of their statistical analysis of every single Kickstarter since June 2, 2012. The study attempted to determine which words and phrases correlated with success or failure in a Kickstarter campaign, after controlling for funding goals, video, social media connections, categories and pledge levels.

They came up with a list of successful and unsuccessful phrases, and unpacked those lists, hypothesizing about why the given phrases produced their correlated outcomes. This analysis is much more useful than the phrases themselves -- after all, we don't know that people opted to fund a project because of the phrases "good karma and," "pledged will," and "also receive two," but we do know that all those phrases appeared in Kickstarters that offered some kind of reciprocity.

The paper's authors are Tanushree Mitra and Eric Gilbert.

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Crowdfunding a new Geek-a-Week deck

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lenperalta/geek-a-week-year-five-two

Len sez, "Back in 2010, I spent one year interviewing and drawing 52 geeks. I called the project Geek A Week. During that first year, I was able to interview some of the brightest luminaries in the geek world including Stan Lee, Neil Gaiman, Kevin Smith, Guillermo Del Toro even Boing Boing's own Cory Doctorow. Earlier today, I launched a new Kickstarter campaign to do it all over again."

$25 gets you a PDF and $42 gets you a printed deck.

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Help restore the Doggie Diner Heads!

Boingboingheads

The Doggie Diner heads, icons of San Francisco's underground culture, are in desperate need of restoration. For twenty years, John Law -- pictured above with the Boing Boing crew and Adam Savage -- has cared for these lovely puppies that are now pushing 50. He and his co-conspirators have tirelessly driven them around the region to the overwhelming delight of young and old. For free. John is now seeking donations to restore them to their former glory. Please support the Doggie Diner Makeover at Kickstarter if you can! Here's what John has to say:

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Kickstarting Operator: a censorship-resistant, shape-shifting newsreader

Brandon Wiley -- a P2P developer I've known and respected for more than a decade -- writes, "The Operator news reader project was started in order to protect the most censored content on the Internet: news. Internet news has become a primary means of obtaining information in areas where broadcast media is censored. However, the increase prevalence of Internet filtering technology and its use for blocking access to news means that the people that are most dependent on Internet access for news are also the least likely to have it.

Operator News is an RSS news reader application which uses an adaptive cryptographic communication engine to circumvent Internet filtering which blocks access to news sources. Using covert communication channels, news content can be disguised as other sorts of traffic such as email, Skype, or chat. This is done automatically and requires no configuration from the user. The user simply sees their news appear in the application just as you'd expect.

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Kickstarting a cardboard CNC mill for mixing drinks, drawing circuit boards and frosting cookies

Ryan Wistort is an MIT roboticist (we covered his dancing bird robot while back) with a new project up on Kickstarter. He sez, "I am a MIT nerd/robot maker and just released a CNC Robot for Makers on Kickstarter. It's like a Shopbot or other CNC mill, but made for doing things like drawing, painting, frosting cookies, and mix drinks."

This is one of my favorite kinds of Kickstarter projects. It embodies the greatest of Eno's oblique strategies: "Be the first person to not do something that no one else has ever thought of not doing before." In this case: build a super-cheap CNC mill by constructing it out of flimsy materials that won't manage any of the usual milling projects, and then find other use cases for it: frosting cookies and painting pictures, mixing cocktails and drawing circuit boards with conductive ink.

Wistort's had some successful business experience before, suggesting that he has at least a fighting chance of shipping something here. Kits start at $250.

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Kickstarting an album of music made from junk hardware - and plans for recycled electronics instruments

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chironbramberger/trash-secret-a-musical-journey-inside-technology

Chiron sez, "I'm making an album and music video on Kickstarter, creating music and art from the most powerful tools human kind has ever discarded. Using recycled electronics, you journey into a secret world, with dollhouse-sized scenes filmed inside technology itself, and sounds made almost entirely out of retro computers & video games. E-waste is a huge environmental problem, and so my mission is to inspire artists and musicians around the world to turn the problem into creative artistic solutions. I've got 13 years professional experience in technology as a senior project manager, and this adventure represents the peak of a 5-year labor of love."

Backers pledging to this project can choose rewards, for both people who love listening to music, as well as making it. You can get download and CD versions of the music, and various hardware and software used to make the sounds on the album. This includes software and MIDI hardware for vintage systems, as well as guitar pedals made out of modems and PDP-11 electronics, and art prints featuring scenes from the final music video. Right now there is also a free song and free instruments you can download directly from the Kickstarter page. Everything is designed, built and hand-tested by me and once the project has launched, and after backers get a 6-month head start, I will release everything under an open-source license.

Trash Secret - A Musical Journey Inside Technology (Thanks, Chiron!)

Kickstarting an anthology of diverse steampunk stories

Publisher Steven Saus sends us a Kickstarter for "a diverse steampunk anthology from your favorite award-winning authors, including Jay Lake, Nisi Shawl, Ken Liu, and Lucy A. Snyder."

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