It's not like there's a lack of room for creativity and innovation in god games or RPGs.
It's not like there's a lack of room for creativity and innovation in god games or RPGs.
It might not have been enough to carry the project (although I suspect they could have got the finish line if they wanted to, I'm glad they chose not to) but they still got a lot of pledges from "Hi, I'm Brenda, I'm Tom and this is an old school game". And we end up with a situation whereby Game Politics (amongst many, this was just the top result for a search) describe this as
It was only unsuccessful in the sense that it didn't carry one million dollars worth of pledges to the finish line, it was definitely successful in getting people to risk a pledge on little but nostalgia alone. If they'd have asked for a quarter of a million, they'd have walked it. If they'd have asked for 450k, they'd have probably walked it also.With 13 more days to go, the old school RPG only managed to raise $246,693 from 7,556 backers
Last edited by RobF; 24-11-2012 at 03:42 PM.
He's not wrong, the point of kickstarter is to give projects and niche genres and "AA" (sigh) games a chance that would otherwise never see the light of day. Anything else is just noise taking away potential funding from those games.
Molyneux needs kickstarter to make his next pie in the sky lie of a game just as much as I need foodstamps and a sponsor.
If he drinks his own kool-aid that fiercly maybe he could invest his own money instead of that of others.
Molyneux or no molyneux on kickstarter, you can bet your ass that within a year we'll see shit from EA appear on it.
Whether Molyneux or Braben actually need the money or not (and I'm pretty sure either of them could find someone to bankroll their project if they pushed hard enough) I suspect there is only a limited pool of money that people are prepared to put towards these projects and the big ones, with recognised names and automatic write-ups in the gaming press, are sucking a lot of that up to provide some easy marketing. Of course that hasn't stopped me from backing a bunch of the big projects, but I'd like to see more of them pledging to Kick It Forward (which I note neither Braben nor Molyneux appears to have done).
And that would be a different game than what they planned. Assuming they had a plan.
Tell you what, scroll back up, read what I wrote, read it in context then reply. It'll save on hair loss for the pair of us.
I think he has a point, if made with typical hyperbole.
there is something a bit weird about profesional studios getting investment without the investors actually being given the rights and benefits of investors. But even if we overlook that and treat it as a magnanimous gesture on the part of fans or just pre-ordering, it does seem to rather raise the bar.
A random bedroom coder/gamer with a cool idea for a game, but in need of kickstarter resources to, well, kickstart the project is unlikely to get a look in.
Without either a great resume or an already nearly finished polished game there seems to be little chance of getting much funding.
Now, weather that should be the case or not is somthing Kickstarter themself should decide, but I think it's certainly having a negative effect on the ability of smaller devs to raise money on kickstarter right now. Though as pointed out earlier in the thread, perhaps their's a level of inflation going on with the amount of money devs are requesting to fund projects (currently), as well as the publics reaction to the inflation.
I kind of see Kickstarter as a place for projects people don't think will succeed. That sounds rather odd, but I'll explain.
I have brilliant idea X. If I think brilliant idea X will make tons of money, I'll invest in it myself, or convince investors to get involved in it because it'll make loads of money. That's the obvious thing to do.
But if instead I have idea Y, and think it's a really bloody cool idea, but no-one will buy it, I put it on Kickstarter. Kickstarter is saying "hey, I've got this idea but I'm fairly sure I'm the only one who wants it, but if 10,000 of you guys do too (and will put your money where your mouth is) then I'll make it".
Your Kickstarter target should be something you don't think you can easily reach. Because if you know you can easily reach it, traditional investment is the better option.
The problem with many games is they're subverting that with 'stretch goals'. They set the target at something they can easily reach, when the real target is actually 2x or 3x that, to make the product they actually want to make. But this way they can keep any of the money they get instead of being in this collective bargaining system.
Yeah, that's sort of how I see it too to a large degree. Before the concept of stretch goals (is this solely a game related thing or has it spread outside of videogames now?) Kickstarter encouraged you to put in for what you needed and then come back later with a further kickstarter if you still needed more or wanted to add more things in.
I'm not sure which I'd class as the better of the two but I can see how the thinking behind the original "multiple kickstarters" idea was weighted towards the backers not having to take too much of an initial risk or load. I *think* I prefer that idea but I can see why a number of projects trying to raise the majority of or all of the funds for the project prefer the all in method, especially when it's clear that people -will- throw in large amounts now.
Doug TenNapel's artbook (Earthworm Jim, among others) had stretch goals for including more pages/better binding etc. than initially planned. I am sure there are several other projects including stretch goals, but this is the one that came to my mind first since I backed it.
- 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. -
I think it was Rab tweeting this morning about next it'll be Richard Garriott doing an Ultima Kickstarter from his moonbase or something. And I thought that was quite telling actually.
Yes, Garriott is a wealthy man that made a lot of money from games, as did a lot of other people, some of who are now doing Kickstarters. But y'know what? Those rich people? They made their money by making the games they knew would sell to the most people, not by making the game they really wanted to make for themselves. That's why they're rich. Yes, they could afford to fund it themselves, but if they were the kind of people who funded their own vanity projects, they wouldn't be rich in the first place.
That's the key to the whole thing for me. A lot of these KS games won't make huge profits, but they should break-even. So it's a zero-risk, low-reward thing. If you take KS out of the equation and fund it yourself, it becomes a high risk, low reward thing. And the great millionaires of the industry (be they companies or individuals) didn't make that money by making high risk, low reward games. Even if those games were the ones they most wanted to make from an artistic perspective.
Double Fine could possibly have just made their graphic adventure and had it be a moderate hit, but why should they when they could get a guaranteed pay-day from MS for making another Kinect kids game instead?
I don't think it's intrinsically unfair for companies to say: "okay, if you want to us to work on something that's probably not going to be a huge payday for us, then you need to pay upfront".
I don' think Garriott, Molyneus et al could be described as making games they knew would sell. Things like Populous were definitely labours of love, and the fact that they did go on to become wildly popular, even decades later, and that the developers still struggled to get funding to experiment with new genres is I think the most telling thing about the industry. People with a proven record of innovation are stifled because the people who hold the purse-strings won't give them the leeway they need to carry on doing that. Which is why I see things like Project GODUS and Elite: Dangerous as such a disappointment, in a way. These are people who should be asking us for our money and saying "Look, I'm Peter Goddamn Molyneux. You know? Populous? Black and White? Syndicate? Give me money. I'll make you something you've never seen before!" Rather than what they're doing now, which is hoovering up cash to make a shiny new version of the games they made 20, 30 years ago.
One thing that strikes me as odd about this subject is the weird expectation we have that game designers will still be creative and innovative after some 20 years on the job. In almost all art forms, that is *extremely* uncommon. Very few rock bands, classical composers, writers, painters, philosophers, etc., have managed to keep their work original and interesting for a very long period. I don't know why we expect the likes of Molyneux to do so.
It's why I said "uncommon", and "very few". There certainly are cases of continuous innovation, but they are the exception, not the rule, and I don't see why it should be different when it comes to games.
Which is why my personal view is that Kickstarter nostalgia isn't necessarily bad. I backed Fargo and Avellone not because I expect them to blow my mind with new stuff, but more as a personal, direct "thank you for all you've given me".
And I'm backing Braben and Molyneux because I'm trully excited to play a new Elite and a new god game from one of the titans of that genre. But if I'm honest, I'm more interested in what 22Cans does with its experiments than in Project GODUS because, while Curiosity may be a bit lacklustre so far, I'm hoping they have something weird and wonderful up their collective sleeve for further down the line. And that's the kind of thing I'd like to see veteran devs going to Kickstarter for.