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Balance of the Planet — Crowdfunding Opportunity!

Here’s a guest post regarding an interesting-looking game, Balance of the Planet, which needs a bit of a bump on Kickstarter. Check it out:

balance of the planet

Twenty-two years ago, I published a software game called “Balance of the Planet.” It was a serious simulation of environmental problems. Despite its esoteric nature, it sold reasonably well.

16 months ago, I decided to build a completely new edition of the game. The new version would be bigger, more detailed, and more accurate. It’s now about 75% done; incomplete, but operational. It still needs a lot more work, but it looks like it will come out well.

I had intended to sell it directly to consumers and schools, but then I got a wild idea: why not get funding and give it away? I could put a version up on the Internet and anybody could play it with their browser. Although this is a questionable idea in business terms, it fits my idealistic side so well that I committed to the idea.

Kickstarter is the venue for my effort; it’s a website that provides “crowd-funding” — people can contribute money to worthy projects. For the uninitiated, here’s how it works: I prepare a project proposal and post it on Kickstarter. People can look at the proposal and decide whether to contribute and how much money they want to pledge using their accounts at The project has thirty days to reach its goal; if it does so, then the pledges are collected and the money is transferred to me. If it doesn’t reach its goal within thirty days, then no money is collected.

I launched the project on July 30th. I need $150,000 to make this work. Right now, it looks bad: the Kickstarter project closes in just two days and we’re nowhere near $150,000. Still, there’s enough time for a last-minute surge; besides, if it doesn’t make it, you can feel noble for contributing without having actually spent a penny! So far, the only people who’ve contributed are gamers; my efforts to drum up publicity from environmental groups (bar this one and two others) have not been successful.

If you’d like to look over the project, here’s the Balance of the Planet Kickstarter page.

That gives you all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Chris Crawford

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