Your disagrees simply feed my Bubble Count
CRank: 14Score: 0

I had no faith in Kickstarter. Now, perhaps I do.

The so-called "Kickstarter Revolution" that is just now being talked about in gaming circles was no revolution for me. I've been an avid boardgamer for nearly 5 years, and Kickstarter has long been a method for indie boardgame designers to put their design on the market.

Problem is, most of those games end up sucking. I've seen Kickstarter used for a wide variety of projects, games being one of them. Not many of them pan out, and of those that do, a fractional amount are worth your time. After not long, Kickstarter got clogged with dozens and dozens and dozens of "dream projects" from amateur boardgame designers. So, when Double Fine announced their Kickstarter project, I scoffed (no, not because I hate Double Fine or anything). "Kickstarter is the FUTURE of gaming!" many online publications began to chant. Like Cranky Kong sitting in his old rocking chair, I sat back thinking "eh, you whippersnappers. Kickstarter is a fad. Just you wait until the house of cards falls down".

Then, I saw Brian Fargo's Kickstarter video and his brilliant and to-the-point explanation of how restrictive game publishers can be. My eyes began to open. Here we had a 20+ year old franchise being revived by fans and interested gamers. Huh. Go figure. Maybe there really is something to this Kickstarter thing. Reading through the various "backer" options, I caught the $50 slot that read "included full boxed copy with map and game manual". WHAT? It reminded me of the good ol' days. I leapt at the chance and I'm now a Wasteland 2 backer.

Not long after, I saw the Kickstarter for The Banner Saga, a game made by a few ex-Black Isle (do I have that right?) developers. The art is beautiful. The concept is enticing. $10 to be a backer? Sign me up. I'm now a backer of The Banner Saga.

"Hmmm, let's see what else is on Kickstarter". I sifted through a lot of crap. I mean, a LOT of crap. It's no big surprise. Everyone these days wants to be a game developer, and when you have an open website like Kickstarter promising you fame and fortune and funding for your idea, a lot of wannabes are going to hop on the bandwagon. I found another game. FTL. It's a space sim/roguelike. Having played dozens of roguelikes such as ADOM, Nethack, DoomRL, Shiren, Izuna, and Angband, I was intrigued. After seeing the prototype footage, I backed it. Boom. I'm a backer of yet another Kickstarter project.

What possessed me? Why in the world would I throw money at a game that I wouldn't be able to play for months (or even years, in the case of Wasteland 2)? Well, in my mind, it's not all that different from pre-ordering the game, I suppose.

No, it must be something else.

Truthfully, I think my reasons are simple: there are devs on Kickstarter who are delivering the sort of games that I want, the games that big-name publishers like EA and Activision simply refuse to make. If EA was making Wasteland 2 and it ended up being legit, I'd just as happily buy it from EA. But they're not. Brian Fargo had to Kickstart it, and therefore I will back him, not EA. A game like XCOM Enemy Unknown (from Firaxis) could have easily been a Kickstarter project, but I'll be more than happy to buy it as a retail game, no doubt. Some Kickstarter devs are posers. Others have their heads up you-know-where and their games aren't worth a dime. Yet, there are still devs who are earnestly trying to deliver the sort of games that I want to play. Why shouldn't I show them my support?

My critiques still remain: how viable is it to develop a game through Kickstarter? You have several months of development and testing (hopefully), so it will be a while before you see the fruit of your support. I didn't think most gamers would be willing to delay their expectations for something like that, but after seeing the millions poured into both Double Fine and Wasteland 2, I admit that I was wrong. Maybe gamers DO like this idea.

Will Kickstarter be the future? Nope. Will it bring down the age of big-name publishers and developers? No way. However, I do see a glimmer of hope: perhaps Kickstarter will allow for some great games to be made, games that otherwise would never have seen the light of day. Maybe we'll see revivals of old, neglected franchises. Maybe we'll see the emergence of a new breed of indie game developers. I don't know, but I am willing to be hopefull.

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Emilio_Estevez2084d ago

I'm kind of undecided on the whole thing due to the very points you make. The only reason they are being kickstarted is b/c publishers don't want to assist in making them (for the most part). That inherently means they are not up to par, outdated, or have a smaller target audiences. I feel like the kickstarter thing will die down again once some of the projects are finished and don't quite line up to major releases, leaving the people that donate disappointed.

dedicatedtogamers2084d ago (Edited 2084d ago )

I don't agree with the idea that the ideas are not up to par, outdated, etc just because a developer didn't snatch them up.

Case in point, XCOM. Fans have been wanting an XCOM game for YEARS, so much so that they'll buy every mediocre XCOM clone that comes out with the faint hope that it will live up to the original game. So, the XCOM idea is pitched to publishers and what do we get? "Hey, let's take XCOM back into the '60s and turn it into a squad-based shooter. Good idea!"

So, no. I disagree that ideas are shot down simply because they're outdated. Publishers shoot down a lot of terrible ideas, admittedly, but they also screw over great ideas.

Emilio_Estevez2084d ago

Well every case is different, but XCOM would be a smaller target audience imo, so they change it to broaden their targets. Hence, it gets picked up to be published.

dedicatedtogamers2084d ago

Yes, I see what you're saying, and I do understand that in many cases, developers can't simply pursue their "creative vision" with 20 million bucks just because they want to. There needs to be an audience, I agree. But sometimes there is an audience but the publisher doesn't want to deliver.

clearelite2083d ago (Edited 2083d ago )

"The only reason....That inherently means they are not up to par, outdated, or have a smaller target audiences."

Please see all of the junk that publishers are backing these days.

I think the odds of a mainstream release backed by big developers being a disappointment are similarly great. At least with this, you can fund projects YOU think are interesting.

Therefore, a publisher not wanting to back a project does not mean it isn't up to par.

There are many games that would sell well that will not be funded by mainstream publishers for whatever reason. Final Fantasy 7, Socom 2, xcom, many unique ips, etc. (just a few examples)

Many people are also getting tired of the casual shovelware that is being churned out these days(thanks to big publishers) and would rather invest in alternatives, if only for the hope it brings them for their gaming future.

However, yes, if you go on there trying to fund every project, you may be left disappointed.

Letros2083d ago (Edited 2083d ago )

"If EA was making Wasteland 2 and it ended up being legit, I'd just as happily buy it from EA. But they're not. Brian Fargo had to Kickstart it, and therefore I will back him, not EA."

If EA were publishing Wasteland 2 it would be a Fallout 3 clone, FPS style.

The devs want to make a true-to-formula WRPG that has been done on PC many years ago, however this is a niche title now, and not an AAA return product, therefore Kickstarter is necessary, the developers can eat, make a game they love, and everyone is happy.

TheoreticalParticle2083d ago

I was pretty heartened to see FTL get funded. I'm on the fence about Wasteland 2, mainly because Brian Fargo's involved, and if you happen to know anything about the death throes of Interplay you'll understand why that's not a good thing.

This was going to be my true test:

If the internet community fell for this, then I was basically ready to proclaim that Kickstarter video games had jumped the shark, and this was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I mean, a guy trying to beg the internet community to give him enough money to make the crap-ass "deluxe" edition of some video game, which includes such valuable offerings as "I spam you with a thank you email" and you get upgraded to a useless gold colored pin instead of a useless silver one.

Once again, I am heartened to see that this is failing so hard.

So, maybe this Kickstarter thing can work. I mean, maybe you'll even see something of mine up there someday.

Letros2082d ago

I think the main problem is that its being developed for PSP(a dying, if not dead platform), why not develop for PC/iOS?

TheoreticalParticle2082d ago

The game was already made. Honestly, if he was asking for $500K to do the deluxe package AND port it to PC/iOS that would make sense, but $500K for loc is just, well, loco.