In short, it's a program in which independent game developers can join and have their projects funded by potential players. In fact, 8-Bit Funding is open to anyone with aspirations to create a "video game, board game, card game, or even gaming inspired projects like a gaming focused bar or cafe," according to the website.
One project that's caught our eye - and by that I mean a Siliconera reader named John, and then Siliconera's report caught our eye - is Americana Dawn: The Long Goodbye. This PC-based 16-bit/JRPG-styled game takes place from the Age of Discovery until 1783, and is loosely based on a comic series titled Axis Powers Hetalia by Hidekaz Himuraya, set during World War II.
None of what I'm saying really matters though, since you should just watch this trailer and listen to its wonderful music:
If this looks like your idea of a good time - and if you have fond memories of your Super Nintendo or Genesis, I'm betting it does - you can learn more about the project and contribute on the game's 8-Bit Funding page. Donating not only has the obvious benefit of helping the game to be completed, but a donation of $7 or more will buy you inclusion in the game as an NPC in either the French and Indian War or the War for Independence.
You can learn more about the game itself at the game's homepage as well. The developers of Americana Dawn: The Long Goodbye are aiming for a demo release this December, with the full game to be complete by May 2012.