Independent developer Jason Rohrer, known for unique games such as Between and Sleep is Death, is known for thinking outside of the box when it comes to the art of making video games.

Now he's applying that outside-of-the-box mindset to the promotion of his "massively multiplayer game of burglary and home defense," The Castle Doctrine.

Not quite as nefarious as it sounds, the "Steal Real Money" campaign has Castle Doctrine players stealing money from one another (in the game), and at 5 PM PST on Monday January 27, whatever money players end up with in the game will be converted into real U.S. dollars.

Rohrer is putting $3000 up for "bounty," to be paid out to players, and it will be divided up according to a variable exchange rate (detailed on his blog). That $3000 is just a "fraction" of the game's alpha-period earnings, he said.

"My budget is small, and running this kind of contest is way cheaper and more interesting than advertising," he said in an FAQ on the game's website. "It matches the spirit of the game and doesn't bother people who are not already interested in the game."

On top of free money, Rohrer is offering free "stuff" as prizes, ranging from paintings of the game to security items, including a "dog club" (never used to club a dog, said Rohrer) and $50 gift certificates to a gun shop in New Mexico.

The Castle Doctrine officially launches on January 29 for PC, Mac and Linux.

More information on this unique campaign is available on The Castle Doctrine's official website.

[Kris Graft wrote this article for sister site Gamasutra]