Sixth Floor Labs LLC, a Linux game development company, has launched their business today. Founded by Ethan Glasser-Camp and Carl Li, the company aims to improve Linux's desktop feasibility through the creation of high-quality games. Games are "sold" to the Internet community through the "ransom model" -- for one large payment, the product is released under the GPL and freed forever.
Sixth Floor Labs is offering up the next installment of their new game, Project: Alexandria. Project: Alexandria is a top-down shooter with an inertia-based physics model, like Asteroids. The first set of levels is already available on their website.
The next set of levels, called "the healbeam campaign", consists of 8 levels and supporting assets -- music, sound effects, dialog, and art -- that have been developed over 8 months. The one-time "ransom fee" is $40,000, collected through the microPledges website. The company estimates a month's work is all that is left to finish the campaign.
The Sixth Floor Labs is operating on the assumption that the open source/free software community has a difficult time producing high-quality games with the same facility that they have produced other software of all times. The ransom model allows the community to subsidize the production of games to offset the apparent difficulty that exists today.
The ransom model offered by Sixth Floor Labs follows in the footsteps of the Blender Foundation campaign, which raised 100,000 EUR in seven weeks, and the Free Ryzom campaign, which raised pledges for 170,000 EUR in twenty-five days.
The collection progress can be seen at http://micropledge.com/projects/project-alexandria-healbeam .
About Sixth Floor Labs LLC:
Sixth Floor Labs is a New York-based company which has been operating in "stealth startup mode" for a little over a year. It is the brainchild of a Linux zealot that wants to give a push to the "world domination" plot. You can visit their website at http://www.sixthfloorlabs.com/ .