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The designer of the iconic collectible physical card game Magic: The Gathering has a new venture in the virtual mobile game world — and has launched a crowd-funding initiative to make it happen.

The game business site Gamasutra writes that Richard Garfield is preparing a new location-based mobile game, Map Monsters. Garfield has teamed with Seattle-based independent game studio BodSix for the effort.

To pay for it, Garfield has begun a campaign on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter that aims to raise $40,000 in pledges by May 5th from fans of the idea. Donors can receive “virtual game credit” to spend in the otherwise free-to-play game. (And it’s fair to note that the embroidered patch with the Monsternaut eyebat logo simply sounds cool.)

As of 4pm Friday, the campaign had raised $15,511.

The backstory is that Map Monsters players are members of an “elite monster containment unit” to capture the beasts and reclaim lost heirlooms stolen from our world. If funded, Garfield and BodSix plan to make the game available for iPhone and the iPad first, and then Android — if contributions top $100K.

 [Thanks to Isaac Alexander for the tip]

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