I just saw on Facebook that Her Interactive is launching a Kickstarter. Why, you ask? Isn't that company raking it in already? Well, they're doing great on PC and MAC, but looking to port their full-fledged adventure games to iOS and Android. I say "full fledged," because they're already done some stripped down "casual" versions of some games for iOS, but this is the real deal.
I think this is worth supporting for several reasons. The most obvious is that if you're a nutty fan of this series like I am, then the shot at exclusive collectibles like "Koko Kringle" bars is very nice. $100 gets you a poster signed by the whole team and a custom ringtone from Nancy's actress, Lani Minella. If it weren't so broke, I soooo would've gone with this option. Sadly, I'll have to "settle" for the $50 rewards.
Like most Kickstarters, this one has a "shoot for the moon" $10,000 option. Does anybody really donate at that level? I think it's there as a joke, since it claims that Stuart and Megan will com down to your house and throw you a party.
For anyone who's been on the fence about Nancy Drew games, if you pledge $5,000 will get you a copy of every game they've ever developed. What a value! :)
I guess there might very well be some little rich girls out there who can talk Daddy Warbucks into some of these. They've got it setup to actually show you how many people have donated at the higher levels--I plan to keep an eye on that to see how these really pan out.
Oh, forgot I said "several reasons." Well, another reason is that Nancy Drew is the #1 adventure game series for the PC. Bringing it in style to iOS/Android might very well create a boom for the genre. I know there are a lot of you guys out there that would to see more adventure games, so here's a way to make that happen whether you're into Nancy Drew or not.
The third reason is simply to support the only major game company I know that targets a female audience without pandering to pink. A lot of us complain that there aren't enough games for girls. Well, here's your chance to do something about that. I'm sure that a lot of the girls in their demographic have iPhones already, so there's a really good chance of these games giving them the same positive influence the books did to their mothers and grandmothers.
This and the David Crane Pitfall offshoot seem to be having a tough go of it. On one level I like that many times the true indie stuff seems to resonate much more than stuff like these, though obviously it does little for the fans of the ones that are struggling...
Just to get the numbers here:
$9,167 pledged of $250,000 goal
20 days to go
Jungle Adventure (David Crane)
$16,948 pledged of $900,000 goal
24 days to go
Still time left to go. I don't know what the curves look like for pledges; do they tend to pick up as the final date nears or is there a big spurt at the beginning and a steep drop?
I don't know what will happen in the end, but it seems like it's harder for people to get excited about projects that don't have a deep "nerd culture" relevance. If it's just about raising money to make a game or do a project, that just doesn't get people excited. They need to feel like they're part of a bigger movement that's heading into unexplored territory or providing a unique service--experimental, I guess. I can't quite describe what I'm talking about, but it's like building a fire. Your goal is getting your logs to burn. These projects seem to have plenty of tinder, but not enough kindling to do the job.
Yeah, I've been trying to figure out the difference too. I do think it's one of audience. You need the right product for the right type of people who visit Kickstarter. I also think, as presented, the David Crane thing is a dud, not to mention, wildly overvalued. I think the Nancy Drew thing is one primarily of not targeting the right audience and perhaps there being a touch of fatigue since there have been so many Nancy Drew games relatively recently.
I think both the "Her Interactive" and "David Crane" Kickstarters are projects from companies/people that don't seem like they need the help of "nerds." "Nancy Drew" is already established and bankable, and "David Crane" is a legendary gaming figure. I think most people (like myself) assume that these entities could reasonably find funding through non-Kickstarter sources, and are looking to Kickstarter as an easier source of funding.
Plus, the "Nancy Drew" series has been around for a while, and is hard to get excited about, even if it is on "new" platforms. And in the case of the "David Crane" project, the project comes across as too nebulous. "It's a jungle adventure!" That's about all we know, which is not enough to go on, much less fund.
Interestingly, it seems to me that most Kickstarter projects that do get funded seem to deserve it. Underdogs with cool, innovative, and exciting projects that can't fight with the "big boys" on their own appeals to something primal to most geeks and nerds.
I think the Nancy Drew stuff is the Walmart crowd (as I have never played one I'm not judging the game, just saying its sold in those places) and quite simply not to the standard gamer.. hence most walmarters wont be looking at kickstarter like us more "hardcore" gamers. As for David crane, loved his 2600 stuff... but after that.. not much love. I hve heard some great stuff about "little computer people", but i never played it.. heard its an early version of the SIMS (strike 2!) and lets not leave out NIGHT TRAP! strike 3! (ehhehe I didn't think Night trap was that bad, but it sure wasn't very good). So my interest in something new from him on modern systems is about Nil..
I advised Her Interactive to pump their Kickstarter on their own community forms, which are vibrant with members of their key audience, as well as facebook and twitter. I think the prizes should've been targeted at young girls, too, stuff they'd like to have enough to bug mom and dad to pledge a few bucks to the kickstarter.
I do think Crane has asked for too much money. It looks bad.