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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobF View Post
    Assuming you've released a successful substantial game prior, you will have been lucky to have made back the funds you pumped into the first game. If you've done that, you have made a game that's in the minority of games made and well done you.

    If you've released a super successful substantial game prior that sells multiple millions of copies and have made enough money to fund a sequel, congratulations you, you're a rarity.
    Thing is, I totally buy the initial game just about making its money back - it was a hit, across multiple platforms, it did well. If they didn't make their capital back off that then there was something really wrong in development.

    What I don't get is how they didn't make a decent amount of profit on the expansions. They were just new maps, which really shouldn't have been expensive to put together. Sure, You Monster had voice acting too, but it also had a Portal tie-in which again should have boosted sales. If the DLC only broke even too that's quite surprising.

    Quote Originally Posted by Subatomic View Post
    If you want a Defense Grid 2 in the forseeable future (as RobF's link shows, they don't seem to have the money to make it without outside help) pledge some money, if you're not interested, then don't, simple as that.
    Well it's not that simple is it? I can't pledge for DG2. I can put some money in, but if they make over 250k, they'll then take that and make an expansion, rather than DG2, which might still not happen.

    It's a rule they should have learned from Jane Jenson: offer something appealing and easily understandable. Preferably: a game. Have a single goal, with a single target. Add stretch goals once you get near to exceeding it. That's why the PA Kickstarter stressed the 'a year with no ads' thing even though that wasn't really what you were directly funding. The easier to understand, the better you do.

  2. #22
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c-Row View Post
    No, but personal experience would put a "Oh, they must have all the monies by now" statement onto more solid ground. Especially since they already addressed this very point on their Kickstarter page as well.
    Yes, because clearly a Kickstarter page is 100% honest and in no way a form of marketing.

    This is what they claim but I still find it a bit ridiculous that they need a Kickstarter for it.

  3. #23
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Yes, because clearly a Kickstarter page is 100% honest and in no way a form of marketing.

    This is what they claim but I still find it a bit ridiculous that they need a Kickstarter for it.
    Like I said, benefit of the doubt. So far Hidden Path haven't gotten any negative attention as far as I know, so there is no reason not to believe their side of the story until proven otherwise.
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  4. #24
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c-Row View Post
    Like I said, benefit of the doubt. So far Hidden Path haven't gotten any negative attention as far as I know, so there is no reason not to believe their side of the story until proven otherwise.
    This isn't a court of law, nor would I be so trusting of random people on the internet.
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  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    This isn't a court of law, nor would I be so trusting of random people on the internet.
    Maybe if this was their first ever project, but they have delivered a quality game and various DLCs in the past - not exactly what I would call "random people on the internet".
    - If the sound of Samuel Barber's "Adagio For Strings" makes you think of Kharak burning instead of the Vietnamese jungle, most of your youth happened during the 90s. -

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Subatomic View Post
    As far as I know, Kickstarter isn't a charity to feed starving developers but a platform to, you know, kickstart projects you want to see. If you want a Defense Grid 2 in the forseeable future (as RobF's link shows, they don't seem to have the money to make it without outside help) pledge some money, if you're not interested, then don't, simple as that. I think it's best to judge a kickstarter campaign by its proposed project instead of speculating about wether they really need your money.
    That's the problem. I think the game would be far better backed by Valve, who they seem to work with regularly, than as a Kickstarter.

    Personally I have no interest in backing Kickstarters who give separate levels of what they will achieve with different amounts of money. I just want to fund something I know what I'm getting. And not end up in the situation Vinraith found himself in.

  7. #27
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Let's not get into "who should be allowed to use kickstarter" again. It just results in pretty much everyone having the same opinion, but people arguing over whether or not the rules allow for it.

    And the way I see it is: The devs have more than proven they can make a good game (I am not huge on tower defense, and even I like it). Maybe they suck at money management, who knows (I haven't read their rebuttal). But either way, if they meet their goal, you will almost assuredly get something worth the (individual) investment.
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  8. #28
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c-Row View Post
    Maybe if this was their first ever project, but they have delivered a quality game and various DLCs in the past - not exactly what I would call "random people on the internet".
    How long do you think the incubation period of a games company should be?

    Three years? Four? Five?

    When should they be able to stand on their own two feet? Their second game? Their third?
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  9. #29
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    How long do you think the incubation period of a games company should be?

    Three years? Four? Five?

    When should they be able to stand on their own two feet? Their second game? Their third?
    How long was Mojang's incubation period? Did they have any track record whatsoever when people starting throwing money at them for an unfinished game? Standing on your own feet can only get you as far as your next project if things go awry, so I don't think this is a relevant point either.
    - If the sound of Samuel Barber's "Adagio For Strings" makes you think of Kharak burning instead of the Vietnamese jungle, most of your youth happened during the 90s. -

  10. #30
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Cooper's Avatar
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    I understand tha DG did not make vast swqathes of cash. Games which break even are rare, games which make enough to fund a whole new game are preciously few.

    But, still. Over $30k to develop a single new level within an existing game engine...

    What the fuck are they putting in those levels?
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  11. #31
    Lesser Hivemind Node agentorange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    How long do you think the incubation period of a games company should be?

    Three years? Four? Five?

    When should they be able to stand on their own two feet? Their second game? Their third?
    What do you mean by stand on their own feet? Be completely independent and self-sufficient? Because you can probably count the developers who are like that on one hand.

    The purpose of kickstarter is to, just that, kick start the game; to get that down payment that is required to start working on the game, the money that most developers go to a publisher and sign contracts in order to get.

  12. #32
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    I wish kickstarter projects would publish a more detailed budget plan. If you're asking for my money you should tell me how you're going to use it or at least prove me you just didn't thought a number and put it there instead of actually planning ahead.

  13. #33
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agentorange View Post
    What do you mean by stand on their own feet? Be completely independent and self-sufficient? Because you can probably count the developers who are like that on one hand.

    The purpose of kickstarter is to, just that, kick start the game; to get that down payment that is required to start working on the game, the money that most developers go to a publisher and sign contracts in order to get.
    I think you're forgetting that being a games developer is not a public service, but a private business. And apparently their business acumen sucks.

    Or else, what are we saying here? That the actual businesses in the industry not only have to deal with a fickle and fluctuating market but must also compete with companies that don't even have to make a profit?
    Last edited by Nalano; 30-07-2012 at 03:32 PM.
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  14. #34
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey View Post
    I wish kickstarter projects would publish a more detailed budget plan. If you're asking for my money you should tell me how you're going to use it or at least prove me you just didn't thought a number and put it there instead of actually planning ahead.
    I agree, but at the same time, it might piss people off. Penny Arcade actually gave a fairly detailed (compared to most KS projects) plan and a lot of people feel they shouldn't be allowed because it would be "supporting their lifestyle". Whereas Double Fine was vague as hell (and had many of the same expenses).

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I think you're forgetting that being a games developer is not a public service, but a private business. And apparently their business acumen sucks.

    Or else, what are we saying here? That the actual businesses in the industry not only have to deal with a fickle and fluctuating market but must also compete with companies that don't even have to make a profit?
    In a lot of ways, this is getting into the "games as art" debate. Should a (small) game developer's first goal be to make something good/artistic, or something profitable? A LOT of really good games (Anything by Troika, comes to mind) kind of bomb at release, but pick up in terms of sales much later. Whereas something like CoD is very evolutionary (at best), but sells like hotcakes.
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  15. #35
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    If the initial funding included everything in the stretch goals, I would back.

    That's another thing, some kickstarters goal are not even including fully featured complete games. I understand some instances where they want a bare goal so at the very least they have a game out that they can sell and (hopefully) continue to add to the game with (free) updates.

    Hey backers, back this and you get half a game, we will only give you a full game if you tell all your friends to back it also. Like playing a Facebook game.

    I like the games which actually give me a complete game, and stretch goals include additional content beyond the core of the complete game.

  16. #36
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    Plus I can't help but think if they only reach the first goal, that's going to make DG2 even more unlikely. They're struggling for investment at the moment, now they have to go back to investors asking for the money again, except this time with the news that they can knock five thousand people off any projected sales figures as they're already committed to giving them free copies.

  17. #37
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Plus I can't help but think if they only reach the first goal, that's going to make DG2 even more unlikely. They're struggling for investment at the moment, now they have to go back to investors asking for the money again, except this time with the news that they can knock five thousand people off any projected sales figures as they're already committed to giving them free copies.
    Mm. That's what struck me: it doesn't seem like a sound business practice, quite apart from issues about the "proper" use of Kickstarter. It could have been great if they'd gathered a lot more funding by now. But the whole dynamic of the project is a bit screwy and they put themselves in a bad position if they barely succeed--unless all they want to do is make the expansion pack/map thing, skim profits off the top, and conveniently fail to produce DG2. In which case they've set it up perfectly.
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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    unless all they want to do is make the expansion pack/map thing, skim profits off the top, and conveniently fail to produce DG2. In which case they've set it up perfectly.
    I do keep thinking that, but then there's no guarantee with Kickstarter anyway, they could just pocket the cash and never make the expansion, and I'm not sure in terms of internet-reputation that'd leave them any worse off...

  19. #39
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    In a lot of ways, this is getting into the "games as art" debate. Should a (small) game developer's first goal be to make something good/artistic, or something profitable?
    You can avoid the entire "games as art" thing by recognising that they are, whatever they make, still a business. Tale of Tales, the absolute worst of the 'art games' lot, are still out to make money. At the end of the day if people don't think their game is worth paying for, they won't pay for it. "Good/art game" doesn't have to mean "unprofitable".

    An esoteric nonsense game about a man walking a while cube while the developer shouts random words at you isn't likely to make much money because I can't think of anybody who would actually buy that. Hypothetically if we accept that games can be art (let's not argue that point but treat it as a 'fact' for this discussion) then we also have to accept that people's taste in art generally leans away from the 'out there' stuff. I don't know anyone for example who sits through marathons of avant-garde student films. Hence if you're going to make something 'artistic' in gaming today (which seems to be 'ambiguous, mysterious, and symbolic' in nature) you run the risk of not making much money from it because nobody wants it. The same goes for making a retro 8-bit platformer where the twist is that you have portals. Most of us have had enough of retro platformers and a portal gimmick isn't likely to change our minds, so nobody's going to buy it.

    If a small developer wants to make their own game that's fine. I'd encourage that, that's the idea of getting into game development after all. But if that developer then goes ahead and makes something that nobody likes and they've formed a business to do so (relying on sales of the game to keep them going) I'm not going to cry or throw money at them when it fails. Hell even the big names like Looking Glass Studios fall prey to releasing something at the wrong time which isn't particularly popular.


    Incidentally, Troika probably isn't a good example because most of their games on release were broken messes of bugs or half-realised ideas, or lacking polish. It's a bit of a stretch to liken them to a game dev that just makes something that nobody likes.

  20. #40
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Mm. That's what struck me: it doesn't seem like a sound business practice, quite apart from issues about the "proper" use of Kickstarter.
    I thought the "proper" use of Kickstarter was, effectively, to replace bank investment or publisher contracts as a means for a company to get off the ground. In other words, to provide micro-loans during our current economic turmoil to individuals who don't have good credit.

    However, the goal still remains the same: That these companies eventually get off the ground. That these nascent developers eventually become proper businesses, not just fill commissions - except they're not commissions because the guys decide what they want to make. That we're not just subsidizing their lives.

    In short, Kickstarter is here so that you replace their loan officers, not their parents.

    This is why I don't so much care when Neal Stephenson or whomever decides to do a Kickstarter because it's not about how established they are so much as what they're doing is bouncing an idea that traditional investors would balk at for the obvious reason that they're huge risks. Effectively, they go to Kickstarter so they can try out these ideas without having to apply for bankruptcy protection afterwards.

    But I'm not paying them to live. I'm not funding Stephenson's next book; I'm funding a business proposition, and if that proposition fails to gain traction, I'm not funding the same thing again.
    Last edited by Nalano; 31-07-2012 at 02:56 AM.
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