Kickstarter- the backlash is starting

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
David Crane's Jungle Adventure Kickstarter

Here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jungleventure/david-cranes-jungle-ad...

I have always admired David Crane since playing his games as a child, and enjoyed meeting and interviewing him back in 2009. With that said - and I think he would agree - he's been masterfully focused on commercial interests, rather than gaming interests, in the latter part of his career, i.e., pioneering advergaming. To me, this present Kickstarter has an obnoxious funding level, something akin to a AAA title, which I just can't see this being. Certainly this will get a good deal of attention because of his name, but I don't see how this can realistically work out. I'd be far more enthusiastic if the funding levels were more modest or we were given more insight into what the end product would actually be.

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Rowdy Rob
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Extreme Kickstarter donations?

The dangers of fraud or disappointing product with Kickstarter have been discussed, and I have nothing to add to that. But what gets me is.... well, I'm not saying it's a problem, but just something that gives me an odd feeling about Kickstarter projects.

I understand the bottom-tier donation system. If you pay this little amount, you get this. If you pay this amount, you get a little more (collectors edition). If you pay even more, you get more (your name mentioned in game, bonus trinkets, personal thank-yous, etc.) Yes, this part I understand.

What I don't understand is the extreme donation tiers, like five-thousand, ten-thousand, or more dollars! I know that this is pocket change for all Armchair Arcade members, but for most people, that's a significant amount of cash for a game or other product. At that level, it would seem to move the project out of the realm of "donation" and into the realm of "investment," as in you're thinking of a return of some sort. Maybe not in the form of financial return, but perhaps some influence on the product, like "it should have this, and not this!"

Most of the "extreme" donation bonuses seem to be variants of "meet the developers!" I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable in a situation where people are obligated to meet me and kiss my backside.

Perhaps a "return" strategy might be beneficial? For example, if "we" sell this much product, you get this much of your donation back. If we sell this much more, you get most of your donation back. And so forth. (And of course, you get the product in question).

Maybe I'm being too cynical, too selfish, or too greedy to understand the extreme tiers. I would love to have "Wasteland 2" or an "Ouya," but it's not $10,000 of want. If it was a donation to a charity, scientific discovery, or world-changing product, I could see it. There may be projects where us AA members (i.e. the rich) might selflessly think "this needs to happen, I'll make sure it happens with my huge donation," but I doubt "Wasteland 2" is that project.

Don't get me wrong, it's your money and you don't need my approval on how you spend it. But I'm just curious if the "top tier" donors aren't going to be the ones who feel most burned by Kickstarter.

Shawn Delahunty
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Joined: 08/01/2011
Can't really agree Clok

As Matt & Bill have pointed out, it's being driven by what the donators want. Don't like the idea? Don't donate. I mean your same argument could be put forward for Tim Schaefer & Double-Fine... did they really need a Kickstarter pledge? They probably could have gone a more traditional financing route with a small number of private investors, or by getting a regular business loan.

I think I understand what you are getting at; you don't want to see the "famous people" crowd out the unknown upstarts who might have a much better idea or something much more original. In that way, it's kind of like the Apple app-store... a few original things being lost in a sea of clones, utter crap, and a few very high profile "entities". But there are other avenues for the little guys to pursue. There will be another "Kickstarter" at some point--just like there was Steam, then suddenly On-Live and so on. Things change and adapt.

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
I think Kickstarter is the

I think Kickstarter is the best thing ever, really. I'm totally sold on the idea. But let me tell you why.

They are essentially doing what happens already, but giving more power directly to the people.

It's already the case that the majority of us (and everyone if you include government spending) "invest" in commercial projects. For people like me, it's all in the 401K plan. Mutual funds, etc. Somebody looks at the market, makes predictions, and puts my money in project X or project Y. If he just came to me and asked if I'd like to invest $200 in a pharmaceutical company, I'd probably say no way. But ultimately, if he's excited about that company, it's because he thinks that a lot of other people are excited about their products. So it's really an indirect way--because somebody has to make a gamble about whether people will really be buying into them or not.

Kickstarter, on the other hand, is direct. You want to know if people want a Pebble watch? Now you KNOW. No guesswork. Same for all the other kickstarters. Instead of having to go to a publisher or investor and get him interested, trying to convince him that there's interest, you just go straight to the people.

I just wish that everything was like that! Imagine if the government had to fund its wars that way!

"KICKSTARTER FOR AFGHANISTAN! Donate $200 to get jack shit!" Oh, yeah, that'd be sweet.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
I really enjoy there work and

I really enjoy there work and agree its not "wrong" in any rules way.. Like is say its a bit like kicking a puppy, those two are great guys as far as I can tell. I sure dont begrudge um anything either.. they have talent and deserve it. Im a bit more worried about the people who pledge to them. I have never liked when Actors talk politcal stuff.. not becuase they dont deserve an opinion.. but becuase alot fo stupid people feel no matte waht they say is correct.. They dont (or maybe thats the problem they do) understand saying "kill the whales" on TV, in Print, etc.. people who love what they do, who are 100% clueless on the WHALE situation will agree and preach it along with them..

the same may happen in kickstarter.. people who woudl have donated to XXX other project, now are doing it becuase of fan boy love.. not project .. and when you have 100 projects that cant fund htemsleves and only 50 make it.. then you add projects that can fund themsleve, but dont want to added to the mix.. all the sudden its only 20 instead of 50 of the 'cant fund themsleves' getting money.. and 30 of the "can fund it" getting it too..

Again I know I shouldnt care.. rich companies get more money out of investors, its the way it works.. but the flip side , poor companies cant lunch great ideas cuz they cant afford it.. cant fight the system to get recognized.. Kickstarter was a way around this.. now the big rich compnaies see they can use it too.. in my mind it defeats the reason for it.

i guess it get down to how you define Kickstarter: is it just a popularity contest.. purely put money in what you want , get enouhg money and go.. or is it a place for those WHO cant get money elsewhere, so i put my money in to what i want, I felt it was the later. I supose there is no way to say "no you ahve money" so the point is moot.

in the end, love PA love the work they do.. dont like the use of Kickstarter by them.opinion only.

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
I have mixed feelings on the

I have mixed feelings on the Penny Arcade thing too and won't support it on Kickstarter, though I do support them in general. It is something of an abuse of power in a way, but the way Kickstarter is set up, it's still a legitimate use, and frankly, a good argument can be made that if these guys are free from worrying about pissing off advertisers, then the quality of their already excellent work (which is essentially industry satire) can be even sharper and more biting.

Personally, I've learned not to begrudge anyone's success, even people who I otherwise dislike, like the Jersey Shore people, or anyone really who panders to the lowest common denominator. If you really think about, all success is earned on some level, and it can go away at any time. I don't begrudge anyone then for finding clever ways (or otherwise) of making a living or name for themselves.

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