Crowdfunding helps student finish first computer game

The Northern Echo: Up-and-coming computer game designer Teesside University student Amund Farifteh Up-and-coming computer game designer Teesside University student Amund Farifteh

A TEESSIDE University graduate is on his way to making his dream a reality after online crowd-funding helped him to develop his first computer game.

Amund Farifteh, 24, has been appealing for donations via the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter to help him finish his game ‘The Bizarre Creations of Keith the Magnificent’ and release it as an independent developer.

He has gathered over £3,500 in pledges so far, smashing his initial goal of £2,500. He now expects the project to be finished and ready for release this autumn.

Amund is originally from Stavanger in Norway and relocated from his studies at the Noroff Institute to study BA (hons) games art at Teesside. After graduating in 2012, he stayed on to study MA concept art for games and animation.

Keith the Magnificent is a point-and-click puzzle game about Keith the lonely wizard, his grave-robbing adventures and his zombie cyborg friends. Amund started work on the game as his final project in his master’s degree and continued after he graduated in 2013.

Through the Kickstarter project, Amund will be fully funded with the amount of pledges he has received and able to work on the game full time until completion. He will also use the extra money to develop additional levels and features.

“It’s an absolutely incredible feeling and the overall response on Kickstarter has been great,” said Amund.

“My biggest challenge, as an unknown developer, has been getting the word out, but the feedback I've received from those I have reached has been incredibly positive. I am grateful to everyone who has pledged - no matter the amount.”

Kickstarter users can pitch their projects online and promise rewards in return for donations, offering different rewards depending on the size of the pledge.

Since the site was founded in 2009, visitors have pledged over £1billion to user projects, funding everything from homemade postcards to Oscar-winning documentaries. Amund reached his initial fundraising goal when a generous donor gave £1,400 in return for the biggest reward, a specially designed spin-off game.

Amund is also receiving further support for the project at Teesside University. Music technology graduate Rachel Kennedy is developing sound effects and web designer Brendan Emmerson is doing additional programming.

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