UPDATE 05/10/2015 9.38pm: Home Free has surpassed its $50k Kickstarter goal in only five days.
Currently at $52,299, Home Free still has 24 days to go before the campaign ends on 30th October.
When Home Free inevitably meets the $55k mark, developer Kevin Cancienne will add new tricks to the playable dogs' repertoire. "Home Free will feature gameplay about that strange ritual dogs and humans have performed for millennia: humans hold up a piece of food, dogs stare in confusion and move their bodies around in strange ways until they get that food," the developer said of this addition in a Kickstarter update. "Congratulations, dog, you just learned a new trick!"
ORIGINAL STORY 01/10/2015 8pm: Stray dog sim Home Free takes the animal-based roguelike aspects of cult classic Tokyo Jungle and places it in a decidedly more familiar urban sprawl. This isn't after a mysterious apocalypse, nor is it a goofy playful romp like the upcoming Butt-Sniffin' Pugs (though there will be at least some butt-sniffing), but rather a survival sim set in a modern day metropolis.
"This project is the culmination of a lot of work and a bunch of crazy interests: procedural content, urbanism, quadrupedal locomotion, and dogs - how they play, the stories we tell about them, and what makes them tick," said developer Kevin Cancienne on the game's Kickstarter page.
The open-world action-RPG tasks players with scavenging for food, shelter, friends, and ideally a place to call home. Home Free's map will be procedurally-generated and players will have to sort out which restaurants toss out the best leftovers, where they can find rest without getting into a scuffle with other canines, and who will be most prone to offer scraps and affection.
It's not always clear who is friend or foe. Some humans will be sweet towards you while others will take less kindly to your canine ways. Even among other dogs some will be friendly, or even flirty, while others are territorial and prone to attack if you get too close to their turf.
Included in Home Free is a four-player local multiplayer mode called Dog Park. Originally developed for NYU Game Center's No Quarter exhibition, Dog Park was a mildly competitive game in which dogs wrestle with ambiguous win conditions (canines aren't keen on keeping score). "The 'winner' of the game is the dog who had the most fun, and fun comes in many forms: chasing and being chased, wrestling with other dogs, [or] playing King of the Hill on a picnic table," Cancienne explained.
The final version of Dog Park will cater more to a human audience, however, with more specific goals and a greater variety of modes.
Home Free is aiming for an autumn 2016 release on PC and Mac, and you can reserve a copy of it for $15 (about Ł10).
After only a day Home Free has raised more than half of its $50k goal with a current tally of $29,241. It still has another 29 days left until its 30th October deadline. That gives it plenty of time to reach its $80k stretch goal funding the addition of cats.