August Kickstarter Round-Up: Gun Art and Video Games

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Once a month we'll be bringing you a look at some of the best local Kickstarter campaigns in order to let you know what's getting ready to be unleashed through the help of small investors.

Engauge!: Ever since I started up my new Free Game Day column showing off some of the simple flash games available to play on PC for no charge I've rediscovered a new love for the minimalist and the old school. Engauge! from Toastie Republic certainly fits the mold, calling to mind things like Vectorman and Shiny titles like Earthworm Jim and the severely underappreciated Wild 9.

It's pretty basic stuff, but fun-looking for all that. $10 gets you a basic digital download of the game itself, which is a fair price by any measure. If you're the kind with money to burn the $125 package includes a box set full of swag including the physical copy of the game.

Goal: $50,000 by September 1

Geodesic Aquaponic Natural Pond: I'll be the first to admit that Josue Matamoros' plan is probably a bit too large scale for Kickstarter, but it's neat enough to at least warrant comment. Matamoros wants to turn part of his property into a swimming hole for the city of Houston, but not just a cement hole in the ground. We wants to great a vast, self-sustaining natural swim pond.

As you can see from the video linked on the page, he has a small scale version already prototyped. Fish live in the water, and their waste is recycled from the bottom of the pond back through filters used to grown vegetables within a greenhouse. The water is then re-filtered back into the fish habit, creating a closed natural biosphere. On a large scale it would allow a safe, natural swim pond inside a greenhouse that would provide both a place to splash around and food.

Unfortunately, it's not really the sort of thing you're going to get much out of beyond the pride of helping create it. If you're into that sort of thing $500 gets you a plaque showing your largesse, and you can attach your name to specific areas for $10,000. Mostly I'm hoping the city sees this and decides to maybe pursue something similar on their own.

Goal: $100,000 by August 31

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Lead Canvas: Robert Clark wants to take your gun and showcase its unique personality through photography. How? By taking bullets fired from the weapon and using a process to show off the evidence from the firing to make a picture of your gun's "fingerprint.

Usually this sort of guncentric fetishism is enough to make me roll my eyes, but Clark's sincerity to the project is fascinating. He is honestly interested in capturing the soul of a weapon, and even for a hardcore gun control fanatic like myself I happily admit he's come pretty close. It's an inventive commentary on gun culture if nothing else.

You can get prints of Clark's own work for as little as $10, but if you want to capture your own gun's signature be prepared to shell out over a thousand. That's not a rip-off, as Clark has to come to you and set up everything he needs to make his pictures, which could be a daunting task if there's much of a drive.

Goal: $5,000 by September 12.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

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