In an average week I will receive at least one e-mail a day from crowd-funders asking me to pimp their pledges.
The majority of these are adapting scatter-gun approaches, spraying themselves over as much of the internet as possible in hope of some coverage:
“An iPad can opener accessory and interactive app? Why yes! That’s a perfect fit for my Linux-based readership!”
Others are more targeted, but through meek promises leave me feeling uneasy:
“If we meet our insanely high goal we may add an extortionately priced stretch goal that, if reached, may/might/probably won’t support Linux!”
Thankfully not every crowdfunding initiatives landing in my inbox is as misplaced as the (admittedly exaggerated) examples above.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Ditch the realistic terminals, add a cast of 8-bit characters, and glue it all together with a mishmash of approaches and you end up with something unique — you end up with Script Kiddies.
The game is part tower defense, part button-masher, and part platformer, all tied together by the central premise of ‘hacking’. A colourful collision, the developer behind the game describes it as being ‘all about the awesomeness, the oddness, and the silliness of computer and video game culture.’
So what’s involved?
“Each player has three floors to defend from virus attacks sent by the opposing player. You climb up and down these floors, accessing the computer terminals, and entering the sequence of buttons on the screen.”
Sounds too easy, right?
“The catch? The other player can access the same floor-computer, get the same sequence of buttons, but then enter them faster than you and send a virus before you can finish the sequence. Are you a faster coder than your opponent? “
Now we’re talking!
To keep things peppy, attacks can be counteracted and special abilities accessed, allowing you to deploy faster, more virulent viruses or spam your rival’s screen with popup ads.
A planned storyline mode will round the game out for one player fun, integrating cut scenes and extra characters and tracking your progress through ‘leagues’ as you move from nerdy script kid to ultimate l33t legend.
Open Source Assets Is an Asset Itself
Unlike many of the games touting Linux support, Script Kiddies isn’t set on conquering the world or delivering ports for every platform possible. Instead, it just wants to get made, entertain and give back. Its developer, Austin Dixon, even plans to open source (via GPL v3) many of the tools and artwork assets used to make the game.
So as cute as the aesthetics are, and as fun as the frenetic gameplay may look, the modesty behind this project is what engages me most.
Script Kiddies runs until September 13 over on Kickstarter where it’s seeking to raise a comparatively low $8,500.
You can pledge any amount you like, though $35 or more bags you a custom-made USB stick preloaded with the game, soundtrack, artwork and open-source assets.
Chances are you weren’t in the mood for that $3 Starbucks today anyway, right? Level up by throwing the cash in Austin’s direction.