It’s the Wednesday before payday, and that paycheck will soon be burning a hole in your pocket for booze and pizza and low brow entertainment, so why not balance it out and make yourself feel better about your more indulgent purchases by spending the first dollars of your check on some noble independent projects?  Here are a few that’ll help salve your conscience and please your inner geek at the same time!

Special Effect

With E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in full force, everyone’s hopped up on the latest technology consoles and game developers are boasting about at the expo. While the name of the game at E3 is awe-factor, over at the offices of the mission-driven organization SpecialEffect, the goal is to take advantage of cutting-edge technology to bring video games to individuals whose needs are not currently met by the field.

SpecialEffect finds solutions so that those affected by neurological disease, physical impairment, or a disability of any kind has the opportunity to play the latest and greatest games.

It seems awareness about accessibility is on the rise in the gaming industry. Just this past February SpecialEffect was chosen as the 2013 Charity of the Year by Multiplay, and In an interview with founder Dr. Mick Donnean over at PCGamer, Donnean notes that various game studios have sought out SpecialEffect’s help in developing accessible games.

Blood Kiss 

Written by Michael Reaves, who has worked on such projects as Disney’s Gargoyles  and Batman: The Animated Series, and starring such awesome geeky talent as Neil Gaiman and Amanda Benson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Blood Kiss promises to debut a brand new genre — Vampire Noir!  —  combination of genres that seem so perfect for each other it’s hard to believe it hasn’t happened before.

Here’s a bit on the plot:

“Blood Kiss revolves around detective Joe Belicek, who must solve the murder of a vampire before a deranged killer murders them all. Inspired by Film Noir, this supernatural thriller is set in 1940s Hollywood with famous haunts like the Brown Derby.”

If you don’t know Michael Reaves, you might find the video intro a bit kitschy– the ol’ cue card trick — but you’ll soon find out that Reaves suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, which makes it difficult for him to speak. The film will be associated with the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, in order to promote awareness about the neurological disease. Check out Reaves’ blog Parkinson’s Monster where he writes about his experience with the disease.

The Kickstarter has already reached it’s $50,000 goal to make the movie, but with 3 days to go, the crew is pushing to make the film all it can be. With $100,000 support Reaves and crew promise better sound, costume, and makeup and a film of”Indie Thriller quality, shot with red cam”. The story will also be captured in comic book form.


Vindicated will introduce readers to John Russell, a soldier who lost both his legs in combat.  Upon returning home, he takes up more than just a set of prosthetic legs, he dons armor and takes to the streets to combat organized crime in Seattle.

The creator George Kissell, a comic book artist known for his work with IDW comics and on the Alan Wake video game, is a veteran himself. Team members Ernesto Haibi and Robert Scott McCall are also military vets; Haibi was permanently disabled in combat. The team came together on this project in order to raise awareness about veterans who have been physically and psychologically scarred by war, and the process of coping when they return home.

What makes this project particularly salient is the dedication to realism that Kissell and crew have promised. Hiring technical experts in military and law enforcement, the creators will leave the impossible bullet dodging to the likes of Batman and other unpowered fictional heroes, and show how this everyday hero uses his combat-experience, intellect, and fierce dedication to survive the day and take down the badguys.

Goal: $8,000  End Date: July 12, 2013

Other Projects to Support:

Feel the Force – a Star Wars convention for geeks with disabilities