Linux Gaming News

Cryptic Studios Veterans Look to Establish Digital Game Studio Centered on Transparency, Starting with a Debut Title Chosen by Players

SARASOTA, FL.- November 2, 2011 – Independent game developer Mob Rules Games today announced the launch of a Kickstarter fund drive to lay the groundwork for its first game. The company is combining startup funding from Open Game Labs with a pledge drive that will not only bolster development of its debut title, but also build a player community that decides which among three game concepts it prototypes first. Its Kickstarter drive is currently underway and scheduled to close on Thanksgiving Day.

Mob Rules is made up of Cryptic Studios co-founder and former “City of Heroes” designer Rick Dakan, former Cryptic and Google programmer Jonathan Wills, and veteran comics artist and graphic designer Austin McKinley.

“Our company values are rooted in transparency, what we describe as being open, honest, inventive and fun,” said Dakan, co-founder and designer at Mob Rules. “That’s the inspiration behind launching by instantly building our community and giving them a voice.”

Mob Rules is raising money to produce a prototype version of one of three games that it will ultimately develop for PC, Mac, Linux and iOS. At the culmination of its Kickstarter drive, supporters who pledged money will choose which of the following concepts go into production:

Guerrilla Gorilla: A turn-based strategy game about ape revolutionaries fighting The Man. You must plan carefully and use ambush and tricky maneuvers to overcome The Man’s enthralled legions with your small but zealous band of simian guerrillas.

Haunts: A head to head haunted house game, where one side plays the brave explorers and the other side plays the supernatural entities that want them gone. Light and shadow, bravery and brains all come into play in this deadly game of hide and seek.

The Last Second: You play Zeta Cervantez, a pulp-era super-scientist whose latest invention can freeze time. In a city beset by criminal mad men, she must use her few stolen seconds to alter the scene of the crime that’s about to happen, turning the bad guys against themselves and pulling the innocents out of harm’s way.

“We have visions for each of these games,” said Dakan. “Part of our vision is to get some wisdom from our crowd of voters.”

For every dollar pledged, supporters get ten votes to use in deciding Mob Rules’ debut title. Their votes are then good for the life of the company, as they become members of an intimate player community that will directly participate in development of the first game and ultimately help guide future titles.

Mob Rules set up shop earlier this year with support from Open Game Labs, a new endeavor started by former Cryptic Studios CEO Michael Lewis. The non-profit organization’s goal is to help develop new and more transparent and open business models for video game development.

“Generous support from the Open Game Labs got us started,” said McKinley, co-founder and artist at Mob Rules. “We believe that since the players are ultimately the ones who determine a game company’s fate, we should work with them as closely as possible while still retaining our vision for cool, fun and affordable games.”

For more information on Mob Rules Games, please visit

About Mob Rules Games

Mob Rules Games is a tiny little start-up with modest goals and a crazy plan for achieving them. The company was established by Cryptic Studios co-founder and former “City of Heroes” designer Rick Dakan, former Cryptic and Google programmer Jonathan Wills, and veteran comics artist and graphic designer Austin McKinley. With the mantra “Open, Honest, Inventive, and Fun,” Mob Rules’ goal is to build a studio based from the beginning on community support, open development methods, and transparent business practices. For more information please visit

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