A Perspective on Kickstarter for Game Crowdfunding

Matt Barton's picture

Wasteland 2Wasteland 2One of my favorite all-time quotes from the much-maligned Karl Marx goes something like this: "mankind... inevitably sets itself only such tasks as it is able to solve, since closer examination will always show that the problem itself arises only when the material conditions for its solution are already present or at least in the course of formation." When I first read this quotation back in the 90s, the internet was just beginning to evolve from a sort of "super BBS" inhabited almost entirely by academics, engineers, and plain ol' nerds. Everyone could see that something BIG was happening. Much BIGGER, even, than America OnLine--if you could possibly wrap your head around that! For most of this period, the internet was used by the common person mostly to send email and then go on to Yahoo to play some games or browse their extensive directories. Once money started to change hands, though, thanks mostly to eBay, there was an explosion of commercial interest. The web quickly evolved from the thousands of personal pages (dog, career, photos of gardens and some cute animated GIFs)...It soon became common, then expected, to see a URL even on your box of Mac & Cheese. "What are THEY doing on the internet?" we asked.

Unfortunately for these companies, the internet proved a much more difficult market. It wasn't like the old days of TV or print, where consumers absorbed all your commercials and didn't get a chance to talk back. As Henry Jenkins describes so well in his book Convergence Culture, consumers were now unwilling to be passive. Critics emerged from every corner to rate, review, comment, and support stuff they cared about. Witness the rise of Amazon, with its heavy emphasis on user reviews and recommendations, and Wikipedia, which is perhaps even more fundamental--public participation in the making of knowledge itself. As Jenkins and others have pointed out, given the increasing fragmentation of consumers into so many disparate groups, it's now more important than ever for companies to target niches rather than going for the broad demographics they're accustomed to. In short, the only way to succeed is to cater to your fan base, doing what you can to make them loyal, and hoping for positive word of mouth in return. Often this means bringing them into the design and development of a product. Rather than "study" the consumer like a scientist studying lab rats, it's about treating consumers more like savvy investors.

The old style of advertising was based on repetition. Just keep on repeating a simple message until it "sinks in." In the new model, none of this works. Try to force your ads on us, we just install an ad-blocker on our browsers. Try to lock us into region-encoding or obtrusive DRM schemes, we go to Pirate Bay. Keep serving up the same old "tried and true" crap, going after big sales rather than big product, and we quit buying your junk and start paying attention to indie developers (just after we blast it on Amazon and blast your pocketed critics on the game forums).

I believe that Kickstarter (and the larger crowdfunding phenomenon) is the first stirrings of what is to come; the task capitalism is now able to solve.

After interviewing so many game designers and developers over the years, one fact is painfully clear. Software publishers--the folks with the purse strings--almost always suck. It's not really their fault. They can't afford to care about good games, not because they're too stupid to see them, but rather that they're controlled by people who don't give a damn if you're selling games or towels. All that matter is ROI (return on investment). It's all about trying to get the best odds possible that you (a) make your game as cheaply as possible and (b) sell as many copies as possible. This means making some big generalizations about games. If it costs $50 million to make an AAA title, you need to sell a LOT of copies. So what do they do to try to beat the odds?

1. Franchises rather than originality. Every major game today does not stand alone, but rather exists as an entry in a giant franchise. This allows developers to re-use assets, extend into multiple product lines, and gradually decrease production costs so they can spend more money on marketing. What's the downside? Designers get bored, then fatigued, then revolted by the crassness of it all. Another Halo? Yawn. The same happens to consumers. Sure, they'll keep rushing out to buy the latest Gears of War--after all, they keep hearing about it everywhere. But does it really satisfy? Is anybody going to wax nostalgically over Gears of Wear 3 ten years from now?

2. Arrogance rather than humility. The customer is always right. People like Garriott and Roberta Williams understood this back in the day, always going the extra mile to not just meet the customer's expectations, but to surpass them. They also knew their customer wasn't "Joe Blow," but a dedicated fan they knew something about. If you were knee-deep in Ultima back in the day, you also loved Tolkien, Star Wars, The Princess Bride, etc. You could be picked out of a crowd. Eventually, though, this focus on pleasing the loyal fan changed, and (to both their ruin) Origin and Sierra lost focus, chasing after the chimera of "the casual gamer" instead. It was like Return of the Jedi--a bunch of Empire fans show up and get Ewoks. Like Lucas, these companies had decided (like to many others) that they were "too good" just for their nerdy loyals, and went after Joe Blow. But it didn't stop there. No; they had to arrogantly insist that THEY--not their fans--knew what was good for them. Quit whining, you loyal fans; just love Ultima Pagan for what it is and welcome your little brothers to the fold. Arrogance.

3. Focus on piracy rather than quality. To a publisher, every problem is a piracy problem. Sales are down? Well, obviously, those pesky pirates have cracked our system yet again! Yup, there it is, Alpha Protocol and Duke Nukem Forever are topping the torrent charts. Look, I know what it will irritate our fanbase (arrogance), but we must use whatever means we have at our disposal to curtail piracy. Indeed, we should focus on console games, since those are less likely to be pirated. Who cares if the tech is cheap and obsolete compared to PC? Cash!!! Need I spell out the results of all this?

4. Inclusivity rather than Exclusivity. There's a reason Doctor Who fans like me and James Berardinelli feel a bit betrayed by the new Doctor Who. It's one thing when you feel special for discovering and liking something that almost anyone else dismisses at a glance. Back in the 80s and 90s, if you ran across another Doctor Who fan, you instantly felt something akin to brother or sisterhood. You felt INTELLIGENT for like something nerdy, something that other people just couldn't get. You were so devoted to the cause that you would have gladly sent Tom Baker crates of Jelly Babies if it meant keeping the show in production. After all, this was a show for YOU and your kind, as it were. Now? These new doctor who types need us about as badly as Lindsey Lohan needs a photographer. The same is true for games. It's been true for sometime, but games have moved so far away from their nerdy origins that it's really sad. Is there ANY modern game that gives you that same warm, fuzzy feeling of exclusivity you got from something like Ultima or Zork? No way.

So, how can crowdfunding change any of this? Let's start by looking at a few Kickstarters I'm currently funding.

  • Star Citizen. From the maker of Wing Commander, the first few minutes of video will have all genuine nerds wetting themselves. The only letdown I had watching this was when he's shown playing with a controller instead of a flight stick. What the @$@!?!? Oh, well, everything else looks so great I can't wait to play this. What is Wing Commander, you ask? Go away, you normal person you!
  • Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. A turn-based RPG with adventure game puzzles and immersive story, by the award-winning designers of Quest for Glory. Need I say more? If the answer is "yes," shut up, normal, nerds are talking!
  • Shaker: An Old-School RPG by Brenda Brathwaithe and Tom Hall. Do hip hop artists still use the term "old school?" I hope not. I don't want anything "fly" about this game. Give it to me straight and nerdy, thank you.
  • Grimoire. This one is from Cleve Blakemore. Watch the video. Cleve's nerdiness is such that you might get a bit uncomfortable. Good. Fund it.

What do all these projects have in common? First, they're not about serving a franchise; they're about serving a genuine fan base. We quickly see which products do, in fact, have a fan base. We also see whether these aspiring developers are arrogantly trying to make a game they want to make rather than what their fans in fact want. But that's short term.

Long term, we'll see whether these developers have not only the creativity and discipline to follow through, but also whether they have the business acumen to avoid blowing their Kickstarter wad early and going belly-up. I believe this last part will be particularly hard for many of these developers, who are accustomed to going way over budget and timelines. You see, creativity is a MESSY process. It takes time to get things right rather than "good enough."

The real question in my mind is what will happen when, inevitably, a great project runs out of cash with 6-8 months of development left on the table? The first phase of any game development cycle is the heady "big picture" "idea" phase, where confidence is high and attitudes are brash. They'll be stoked from all the funding and people pledging their left nut (or boob) to their worthy project. Will it go to their heads? Yes. Will they follow through? Maybe.

The way I see it, there are five general possibilities here.

1. Publisher or perish. As with the linked case above, a private source of funding (possibly a big publisher) will step in to finish up the project. After all, there's clearly interest in the title. On the downside, it's almost certain that this will result in some cut corners and possibly some unwelcome changes to accommodate a "broader" audience, as well as DRM shenanigans. The designers can also lamely use this an excuse or cop-out for an inferior product, which leads me to

2. Drama. The money's gone, the fans are getting more persistent, some are demanding refunds...It's time to play the Blame Game! This will be harder for the solo projects, of course, but some of these teams just seem DESTINED to splinter. It's not like they can go to a publisher and say, look, we're really sorry, but even though we promised fifty kingdoms we're only going to be able to deliver five. Hey, unless they've been calling people bitches in their ads, no one's the wiser, right? But now they're having to apologize to an angry mob. "I know it's been six years in the making instead of two...I know we said we'd do Linux support....I know we said it'd be full VR with headsets..." How tempting will it be at that point--"Look, *I* personally knew we wouldn't be able to deliver that. But so-and-so just insisted...That's why he's no longer affiliated with this project." You get the idea.

3. Oops, we're sorry we spent all your money buying orange juice and toilet paper! "I'll happily refund anyone's pledge out of pocket" my ass. That's a load of horseshit. If people pay for a product and don't get it, they're not going to accept your apology. They're going to accept your ass getting kicked. And you are NOT welcome at their house anymore.

4. Desperate pleas. "We're almost there....We just need more money!" I'm not sure if anyone's pulled this one yet, but it seems inevitable. A lot of developers are reliant on this. You go back to the publisher and ask for more money. I bet some publishers even prepare for this contingency. My guess is that your fanbase WILL come through with more money if you go about it with humility and treat them with dignity. Why'd you run out of your money? It better not be that you were throwing mad office parties. On the other hand, if it's a choice between asking for more money or nixing a feature, I think a lot of us would be happy to pony up a bit more. The key point here is that we're not idiots; if you have a genuine issue, something unexpected or unavoidable; hey, level with us.

5. Sloppy seconds. Time is up; money is out; drama is kicking in. Just get this shit out the door NOW, warts and all. We can patch it--oh, even better, the FANS can patch it--later! (Business as usual).

To sum up: EXPECT that your Kickstarter-funded game will be (a) late, (b) overbudget, and (c) buggy. If, somehow, it's on time, within budget, and actually runs without crashing every few minutes, be thankful. Those developers love you. Love them back.

Let's just stay that somehow all these obstacles are overcome and these games actually get made. What will it mean for the games industry? I'm tired of lists, so I'll just write it out. First, veteran designers will be emerging from retirement homes everywhere to cash in on their "fan favorite." The sucky part will be when even mediocre "classics" get the treatment. "Remember me? I'm the guy who did Legend of the Red Dragon BBS Portal game. Now I want fifty thousand to do it as a Facebook social game! Also available for Android! Woohoo!" Oh, look, the guys from Darkseed are back with a kickstarter...Or, better yet: "Back in 2001, we tried to make a new Pool of Radiance game and failed. Now we're back to do it right." Meh, who knows? I might actually support that, assuming they FLUSH the initial turd instead of polishing it. OMG, Ball Blazer Returns, this time with STEREO!

Two, guys like us will start being COURTED by game designers.I mean seriously courted, with Valentine's Day cards, flowers, and hugs. Hell, we might even get invited to dinner. Remember, a lot of these designers are certified geniuses. They KNOW how to manipulate us; otherwise, their games would suck. No, we're going to be having a family soon; a nice, big, happy family. Aw, look, it's Christmas! Cleve bought me a puppy!

Three, fans are going to go absolute apeshit. We're going to see a level of fan-aticism we've never seen before. Try to soak this in: Project Eternity has just hit the shelves. You play it for a few hours then call in sick to work. You find yourself more immersed than you've been since Wizardry. When you emerge from your darkened bedroom two weeks later, you're a changed person. What's more, though, is you feel like Jesus because none of this would have been possible without YOU. You are the Hero! Oh, man, are you going to go SCREAMING into the forums...

Here's a little video of Project Eternity fans getting to meet Josh Sawyer, Tim Cain, and Chris Avellone after the game goes platinum:

Four, big publishers are going to feel a distinct rumble, then return to business as usual. Why? None of this will affect them. These kickstarters are not affecting THEIR audience. THEIR audience is all about the new Assassin's Creed, not some game from the makers of--what is Phantasie, again? Oh, Final Fantasy. No, that's not the same thing? Get your @#$@ hands off of my nerd sandwich!!!

Five, we're gonna be in gamer heaven. Or hell.

When people talk about "the means of production," they're generally talking about who owns the factory that makes the widgets. But even if the state owns it, that's not a solution--in fact, it's even worse. We get Soviet bullshit! No, thanks! But this is something better; it's the people who LOVE it, OWN it. All of us can get behind that.

My one fear is, well, that old saying--absolute power corrupts absolutely. We are essentially coming together as fans to tell these developers--"Here's our money. Pursue your dreams." That last part bothers me. It should be "pursue OUR dreams," and we should have more power over the process. I don't think Kickstarter gives us enough power once the initial decision is made whether to pledge and how much. Ideally, the developers would be constantly in touch with us, allowing us to give our insights or even vote as the process goes on. "Here are three different prototypes of the combat engine. Which do you guys like best?" That's the kind of power I'd like to have. It keeps them all honest. The temptation here is that heads will get so fat that we end up with vanity projects.

To sum up, if you aren't already pledging to worthy Kickstarter and other crowdfunding projects, it's time to shit or get off the pot. This stuff is going to have huge consequences for nerdy gamers like you and me. You've got to break yourself out of the mindset of getting instant gratification when you buy games--that stuff is crap anyway. You've got to start thinking long term. $60 today will get you a great game two years from now. That's a HUGE, HUGE problem for many of us, and a RISK. But it's a risk that *we* have to be willing and able to make if we really want to see Great Games again. The problems the gaming industry has been facing since the 90s seem great--but the material conditions for solving them have arrived. Let's see what happens next.


Anonymous (not verified)
Thanks for posting this Matt.

Thanks for posting this Matt. I allways enjoy your blogs, wished you would post them more often!

I acgree with most of what you say here though in some points I strongly disagree.

I dont think you really understand how kickstarter actually works. Its not like you said, an investor investing in a product. If you invest in a stock, you dont actually receive a product from that company. You are only doing to sell the stock back at a higher price or rarely to collect a dividend. You have nothing to do with the stuff they make. You might not even know anything about the company at all. All you need to know is whether the value of the stock is likely to go up or down.

You also say that big publishers are not effected. I strongly disagree with that. publishers are not stupid, they are paying close attention to this believe me. If games like Wasteland 2 do big sales, guess what, publishers will start going after games just like it. They will not just publish assassin's creed games like you say if they see profits in other areas. They are not stupid, they go where the money is at.

Finally, I strongly object to bringing communism into this. That's just asking for trouble. Kind of an asshole thing to do in my opinion.

Lori Ann Cole (not verified)
Kickstarter Evolution

Most of the games trying to find support on Kickstarter and Indiegogo die at birth without getting the funding. Many of those deaths are mercy-killings. It takes more to make a game than enthusiasm and some artwork. You can usually tell by looking at the failed projects why they failed.

Then there are some really great-sounding projects that don't make their funding limit. (Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective - sniff, sob... the paper version of this game was incredible) Crowd Funding sites are a relatively new phenomenon. They haven't been assimilated into our social behavior yet. ("I'm bored... guess I'll cruise Kickstarter and see what games I'd like to play a year from now.") The concept of 'pay today for something that may or may not ship in twelve months' is a risk that most people aren't willing to take. Talk about deferred gratification!

Right now, Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects are fish swimming in a very small pond. There are only so many people willing to feed the fishies. The projects that make it big do so by having a track record behind the people who made them and something in their marketing approach that attracts people to support them. That's why the veterans are doing better at crowd-funding than the unknowns. Most of the veterans at least have some clue about how hard it is to create a game. The rare Indie N00b game developer who has a brilliant game design, crappy art, and no social skills won't be able to compete against the Double Fine Adventure's and the Project Eternity's... It's hard to tell there is a diamond hidden in the dross.

On the other hand, some of the veteran projects have failed, too. Those are the ones that come across as "I'm Zee Greatest Game Designer in Zee World (tm) - trust me - I'm brilliant" approaches. It doesn't matter who you are or what you've done in the past - you need to prove that you are creating something that players are willing to bet their bucks on. If it starts out sounding like a vanity project, it will probably end up as one. And clearly fans have enough BS-Detectors to tell the difference.

As you point out - no major game company would have backed the games that are being Crowd-funded. They want to make "World of Warcraft" profits with every game they ship. Even the biggest successes on Kickstarter raised less than one month of WoW's return. And all the money that fans put into the game from crowd-funding is used to make the game... where's the profit-motive for a game company? We won't be seeing too many of the Activisions of the world jumping into this pond any time soon.

Personally, I'm thrilled with the Crowd-funding concept. It gives me a chance to support projects that interest me - artists, cooks, comic books (yes, there are projects besides video games). It's giving me the chance to make Hero-U with a bunch of people I've never met in person but who share with me the passion to make a great game Our way. It's putting me in direct touch with the fans of Quest for Glory. They aren't just thanking us for what Corey and I have done in the past - they are actively supporting and promoting Hero-U because they are looking forward to what we will do next. It's an incredible experience that could never happen before now.

Shawn Delahunty
Shawn Delahunty's picture
Joined: 08/01/2011
Agree w/ most of this Matt..
Matt Barton wrote:

My one fear is, well, that old saying--absolute power corrupts absolutely. We are essentially coming together as fans to tell these developers--"Here's our money. Pursue your dreams." That last part bothers me. It should be "pursue OUR dreams," and we should have more power over the process. I don't think Kickstarter gives us enough power once the initial decision is made whether to pledge and how much. Ideally, the developers would be constantly in touch with us, allowing us to give our insights or even vote as the process goes on. "Here are three different prototypes of the combat engine. Which do you guys like best?" That's the kind of power I'd like to have. It keeps them all honest. The temptation here is that heads will get so fat that we end up with vanity projects.

I completely understand this sentiment Matt. However I think that a developer "trying to pursue OUR dreams" would be like riding a pogo-stick, blindfolded, into a minefield. The question it raises is this: "Can a committee truly design a ground-breaking / breathtaking / original / seminal creative artistic work? Even a committee staffed by the most knowledgeable and diplomatic of nerds?"

I believe that is the main reason that most amazing and memorable games are generally "1-man-band" kind of things. Sure you may have a team of artists and programmers, and sure they may have some serious input to parts of the game, but there needs to ONE person calling the shots, making the final call. Rarely, I've seen a 2 or 3 person team pull this kind of unified vision off (Myst, Doom 1 & 2), but normally it's a single person. Even the Beatles couldn't survive the creative tensions that tore them apart, and by the end they weren't listening to ANYBODY, much less the fans. (Which is why I personally think bands with multi-decade longevity nearly all resorted to mind-enhancing chemistry at some point....)

Yes, it would be wise of the developers to take a great deal of fan/contributor input into consideration--but good Indie developers already do this kind of thing (Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb, Thomas Riegseicker of Basilisk, Troy Hepfner of MyGameCompany, etc.).

The best plan involves releasing test-Alpha code to a middling sized group of test players, with all kinds of monitoring and measuring code stuffed into it, so that all their gameplay is logged and reported back to the developer. People often describe ONE kind of thing, but actually play a different way... or talk "around the problem" but can't verbalize what "the real problem" is. I worry that this, coupled with trying to listen to a cacophony of opinionated voices, might be akin to trying to have the folks at RPG Codex argue and agree on every feature of the game.

My own opinion is that the best creative works, are those which are the vision of 1 person.


Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006
I agree, but I think that a

I agree, but I think that talented artists can also do a good job of describing to their fans what they have in mind. This is like the patron setup that artists enjoyed during the Renaissance, and obviously something about it worked since so many masterpieces were produced during that age. I DO think, though, that many artists benefit from external review. It's often hard to see the flaws in your own work. As Sandy P. put it in my interview with him; "You have to kill your babies." Often what means the world to the designer just doesn't sit right with the gamer.

If a designer can't make a persuasive case that a decision decision works, I don't see why we should fund that. I honestly don't think this would be a problem, though. From what I've seen, designers can easily get us just as excited as they are, assuming they have the passion and aren't just looking for money.

Shawn Delahunty
Shawn Delahunty's picture
Joined: 08/01/2011
To how much effect though?

I do reluctantly agree with the "Murder your darlings" approach, based on my own writing efforts. (And the sad, tattered, blood-bath results of the red-ink edits I get back. Woowee that can be a bitter pill to swallow...) However I'm wondering how many designers will be willing to submit to this?

More broadly, what are your thoughts on how this "willingness to open up the development/design process" will affect funding? Do you see a future in which those projects which don't explicitly guarantee contributor input, have a harder time getting funding? Do you foresee a "threshold of contribution" that will develop? (i.e. Projects under $ABCD will be able to get away with closed development, but over that they're toast.) Would it be wise of Kickstarter to put in some kind of "Level of Project" approach, as a kind of "pre-filter"?

Matt Barton wrote:

If a designer can't make a persuasive case that a decision decision works, I don't see why we should fund that.

The obvious answer is, "Don't fund it." But that comes off as snarky and rude to me as it must to you. And I know for myself, there are projects which are just dripping with possibility, which I'd love to see funded to completion, but I can't get behind because I can SMELL the train-wreck from here. So I think I grok your frustration and desire for "sane input" to guide some of these things.

Oh, and THANK YOU for making me aware of Grimoire.!   I will be plonking down a $100 pledge for that lovely thing.


Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006
Old School Canned

This just in: Shaker Cancelled by Brathwaite and Hall.

No real explanation given other than they think their campaign wasn't strong enough.

Joined: 01/21/2009
Matt Barton wrote:

This just in: Shaker Cancelled by Brathwaite and Hall.

No real explanation given other than they think their campaign wasn't strong enough.

I could see this one coming. this is a case of "we are losing" lets pull an injury so when we lose it doesn't look so bad.. "stronger product"? (the rtest of this does nor pertain to these two developers.. so please dont think I think they are 'bad" in any way. I look at guys who made great games, so-so games, and bad games.. and more often then not.. they made one great game, 2-3 so-so, and 5-6 bad ones.. SOmetimes there is a real good reason they are not getting bucks to make games anymore. There will always be those people who loved that one great game... so they will insist this person can produce more great.. doubtful, you can't shoot baskets till you hit one and hope nobody notices the 10 misses.. I do know everybody has a great idea that can somehow get twisted with deadlines, budgets, and simply bad decisions.. but all that is part of the game making process. Anybody who has more consistent flops then success needs to really look at themselves..

Nowadays there is so much to making a game.. So i know its got to be hard for these devs with "great ideas" and it sure must seem there is no way to get it done anymore.. but man.. I see all these guys who want 1 -2 million? I know most games cost about $10 mill Plus.. but common.. I see on STEAM 100's of awesome ( and many not so awesome games) made for alot less, with less people.. etc.. I can be done , has been done, and is done everyday. Many of the games have great graphics , great gameplay and last for hours.. all made for alot less. Maybe these guys are doing this as a labor of love?

I just dont know.. I said it earlier.. I'm not a fan of well knows sucking up the Kickstarter funds.. I love the idea of Kickstarter making quirky ideas from unknowns.. Now all i'm seeing is AAA title guys (or ones show where AAA and are no longer) trying to make a buck. ut its no there fault if people pay um to do it, more power to them. I just find it hard to support. I did support Wasteland II, and Eternity, and the game made from the Old Titan Quest engine.. so i'm not practicing what i preach...but most of that (up to eternity) was before Kickstarter had became home to the AAA guys. Wasteland II has been on many minds.. and if it wasn't done bu now it wasn't going to be done.. so i can agree with this one. But all these "old school " game XXXX I love my old school games, but there is a simple reason some of them are not made anymore. the Market for them is almost non existent, its been proved by flops, or highly rated failures.

I think kickstarter is for the watch that does what your phone does. strange cable ties, music that wont be on top 40 radio, comics that cant get traction except from its fans. Books about things major book store wont buy.. Not for the guys who drove$200,000 cars, flitted it all away.. and are between jobs.

Alan Vallely
Alan Vallely's picture
Joined: 06/11/2010
I've seen this kind of thing

I've seen this kind of thing happen before - when designers go too "high concept" and don't provide much in the way of details, the Kickstarter almost always fails. Despite DoubleFine + Obsidian providing only high concepts, they basically sold their ideas as "updated Lucasarts adventure" in the former and "updated Baldur's Gate" in the latter. That alone is concrete enough to resonate with supporters.

Shaker started by just saying "it's old school", and the concept was far too general. They threw in loads of details later on, but sadly - too late. It reminds me a lot of David Crane's Jungle Hunt reboot - it was too vague with no real anchors other than games that are positively ancient :)

While I also like the concept of "unknowns breaking through" via Kickstarter, I don't think it's realistic unless they already have a build of the game to showcase. An indie friend of mine making Drifter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/celsiusgs/drifter-a-space-trading-game) got his Kickstarter through because (a) he had a build to show, (b) he didn't ask for heaps of cash, and (c) he's active in the indie community (and surely got support from them, via word of mouth or finances).

Joined: 09/11/2011
Great post. A very

Great post. A very interesting read.

I just wanted to add one thing. I would be very wary of Grimoire. The game really has been in development for 17 years. Over that time there have been multiple betas, release dates, claims that the game is almost done, etc. Now for a game that is supposedly this close to being done, he needs 250k to finish it? And take a look at what he says he needs the money for. Doesn't seem like much. Also keep in mind Indiegogo doesn't work exactly like Kickstarter. If the project doesn't meet its funding goal, the project owner still gets all the funds that were pledged.

Then there is the issue of the man behind the project. I won't go into details here but the info is out there for people who care. This isn't so much a big deal for me, but I know it might be for some people.

All that said, I hope the game gets released and is good. But I wouldn't fund it, I want to make sure he is gonna release an actual product before I invest any money. Too many red flags.

Shawn Delahunty
Shawn Delahunty's picture
Joined: 08/01/2011
Thanks for the heads-up

Thank you SER. I'll look further into the details before I make the pledge.



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