It's not easy living in the big city, especially when you're a lost dog.
In Home Free, an open-world game currently being crowdfunded by Kevin Cancienne, it won't be. The stray dog simulator, which is slated for fall 2016, asks you to choose from over a dozen breeds, step into the four-legged shoes of your own doggie avatar, and experience the daily doggie struggle to find enough food to eat and a warm place to sleep.
But you'll have a few choices about how you want to survive. You can perform tricks for treats, scavenge for scraps, or become a thief and pluck food from the hands of unsuspecting humans. Every person (and dog) you meet could be friendly—or hostile, but you might even be able to make friends along the way.
The city where your lost dog wanders will be procedurally generated, so it'll be different in every game play. ("You are truly lost," Cancienne promises.) In order to get by, you'll have to learn the quirks of your unique city: "Which neighborhood has the tastiest garbage just after sunset? What park empties at mid-day so you and your dog friends can have a fun romp when no one's around?"
Cancienne, who previously helped create Drop7 and Parking Wars, is seeking $50,000 to make Home Free for Mac and PC. He says he's been working on Home Free for about two years now, and that successful crowdfunding will allow him to focus on finishing it. The completed version will also come bundled with his game Dog Park, his multiplayer game about dogs wrestling together in a park.
Some of the Kickstarter tiers offer rewards with particular appeal to pet owners: If you pledge enough money for the "Full Digital Best Friend Experience," versions of you and your dog will be programmed into Home Free, and you'll get your very own minigame where you and your dog can laugh and frolic and play together digitally for all of eternity.
The Kickstarter runs through October 30, and you'll need to pledge $15 in order to get a digital copy of the game.