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Will Kickstarter Launch a Gaming Renaissance?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the pair-a-dimes-shift dept.

Businesses 170

jfruh writes "Most gamers probably know that legendary game designer Tim Schafer turned to Kickstarter to help raise money a new adventure game; aiming for $400,000, he managed to raise more than $3 million. But you might not know that a host of other game projects are doing well on the crowdfunding site, with creators ranging from industry famous to unknown. By bypassing corporate funding and appealing directly to their audience, these developers are sparking a renaissance in quirky, personal games that probably wouldn't be backed by a big label looking for a sure-fire hit."

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First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613251)


Wasteland 2 (5, Interesting)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613269)

I personally am really looking forward to see what comes out of the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter.

Re:Wasteland 2 (2)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613303)

You and me both. It's going to be a long year of waiting.

Re:Wasteland 2 (2)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39615193)

Hey we've been waiting over 20 already. The only thing we have to worry about in one year is if the crazy politicians decide to start world war 3. And if that is the case, I just have to find some like minded individuals who know first aid and pugilism.

Re:Wasteland 2 (3, Informative)

Niedi (1335165) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613871)

+1 here!

However my personal favorite is Al Lowe's new/remade Leisure Suit Larry, although I'm not quite sure if it'll make its goal... I have quite fond memories for that series.
But anyway, let's just see how many more old gems will get revived and how long it will take until the crappy ones start to creep in...

Re:Wasteland 2 (5, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614355)

Really? Well then I guess that the answer is no, this will not launch a gaming Renaissance. So far in my scans of these posts, I have seen a sequel, a remake, people fixated on return on investment, and the established developers getting priority over new, unproven programmers.

That sounds just like our existing games industry to me! The established industry still has an avenue for potentially unprofitable ideas. It's called indie developers.

Also, the idea of giving money to games you want to see made is not new, as people do the same with pre-orders. Some people had Duke Nukem Forever on pre-order for a decade!

Re:Wasteland 2 (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39615187)

The pattern seems to be of remakes of and sequels to classic-style games from the 1990s, of a type which the mainstream games industry claims no longer has a market. The people with experience making such games have found a way around the traditional middlemen. I think there's room for this pattern to continue for five years or so, tapping the veins of creativity that were cut short by the consolidation of the gaming industry, before I'd start demanding completely-new titles (which may or may not be supportable through the Kickstarter model).

Eaubisoft (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613271)

But going straight down as soon as somes start to use it for shitty projects and still get the money.

Just like present day.

Will it start a renaissance? (2)

mseeger (40923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613281)

I surely hope so..... at least i backed 4 projects in two weeks :-)

P.S. I recommend a look here: []

Re:Will it start a renaissance? (5, Interesting)

tfigment (2425764) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613333)

Pretty much same here different games probably. I've funded 6 games in past 3 weeks or so. 5 of those have already hit their targets. Shadowrun Returns, Wasteland 2 and the DFA game are run away successes I think in this phase. I don't think the 6th one will make its targets.

I think it will be successful for well known but niche titles. I have very few problems giving my money to the original authors of the games as that is probably a safe bet. I have slightly more reservations with new content from unknowns or people who have only good mods in their pocket. But I have invested in both just to see if this spurs on new kinds of development but I'm not giving $15 or $1000 to just anybody as there are few guarantees here that the money will be well spent and I will see anything in return in 1-2 years.

I don't care for the latest action game or multiplayer whatever. I'm far more interested in games with content and choices and a little back story not ones that accurately model the reloading behavior of the latest military firearms. Unfortunately we seem to be getting better graphics and animation and worse content as years go by. These kickstarters are showing that there is a market for older style games from decades past that are being updated for today's computers without having to sell your soul to the publisher in exchange for money.

Re:Will it start a renaissance? (1, Informative)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613503)

I've pledged for a few, but Shadowrun lost me with this:

As part of our review, we came to the conclusion that feature additions such as a Linux version, Multiplayer PvP, and Cooperative Play are beyond the scope of the project and would cause us to lose focus on the game you reacted to so positively (and the game we really want to make).

Re:Will it start a renaissance? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613761)

What, the lack of a Linux version? Because the rest is a perfectly sensible assessment of their resources and an allocation of their time to the parts of the game that actually matter. Multiplayer would be a huge time and money sink directly taken away from the actual gameplay, and they're already working on a tight budget. I supported them all the more for seeing that level-headed understanding of practical limitations and for showing they have the right priorities.

Re:Will it start a renaissance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613917)

Not sure why you were modded off-topic for providing information about the game on a topic about Kickstarter games...

If this is supposed to be some gaming renaissance, why shouldn't Linux be considered? Apparently the rebirth of gaming can only be Windows/Mac?

Re:Will it start a renaissance? (3, Informative)

fredgiblet (1063752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614697)

If this is supposed to be some gaming renaissance, why shouldn't Linux be considered? Apparently the rebirth of gaming can only be Windows/Mac?

It WAS considered. The reason why it won't be used is because it will cost more money and won't give any significant return. Also it will require either the existing programmers to learn the quirks of programming for Linux or it will require a seperate team to make the conversion later. Why throw a Renaissance if no one is going to show up?

Re:Will it start a renaissance? (1, Interesting)

Thalaric (197339) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614843)

We don't know the reason why there won't be a linux port because they never said why, so stop making crap up. Frankly, I wouldn't even care to hear an excuse, since it would just be bull anyway. Humble Indie Bundle has already proven that Linux users will pay 20% of total donations for even crappy games, and since there's already Android and Mac versions slated it would be simple to hire Ryan Gordon (or anyone else) to do the port.

Re:Will it start a renaissance? (3, Informative)

Thalaric (197339) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614771)

I don't want to get anyone's hopes up because a Linux port is probably still completely off the table, but in response to the large number of comments on the Shadowrun Returns kickstarter page they replied:

"... Anyway, we want to let you know that we're definitely listening to your feedback and you can expect a full, considered response about Linux early this week. As a company, we are being very careful not to over-commit to ideas and features just to get more funding - everything we decide to include in Shadowurn Returns needs to be within our ability to deliver as part of a great product."

Re:Will it start a renaissance? (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613517)

Vigrior is having a hard time too. But i press my thumbs and try to do a bit of PR for them :-).

The new ecosystem. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613875)

1. Release a free version on iPhone or Android or Steam.

2. Get name recognition.

3. Go to Kickstarter and pitch your new game (or improved version of your original game).

4. "Upgrade" your free game with quick ads pointing to your Kickstarter project.

Let's wait (3, Insightful)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613291)

As somebody who put in money for Wasteland 2, I'm negative about Kickstarter. I'll even join the official backlash team.

Let's wait until a single good game has been released under this model. Or really, a single good game has been released from somebody who doesn't already have a large fanbase and nostalgia helping him get attention.

Furthermore, there's really no accountability under this whole scheme. What if the game released is totally amateurish? What if the developers just pocket half the money? What if the money ends up not being enough and the game is only half completed? What recourse do the "donators" have?

System seems ripe for being abused...Leisure Suit Larry's kickstarter suggests the money is needed to make the game, glossing over that the game has already been under production for at least half a year. Presumably they already had the money, it doesn't mention where the donation's going.

If you want a consumer product, (5, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613305)

buy a consumer product. If you want to make an investment, make an investment.

Kickstarter is not a store, nor is it a brokerage. It is a place to donate and support things you'd like to see happen. Don't send any money their way if you're hoping for some sort of guaranteed return. It's a kind of participation, activism, or expression, not a kind of transaction.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613379)

Wouldn't it be a good idea to, as a Kickstarter supporter, be paid back more if the specific project made lots of money?

Re:If you want a consumer product, (5, Insightful)

forand (530402) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613435)

What you are suggesting is called investing, not donation, it legally requires far more hurdles for a fledgling business to jump through to obtain. Furthermore, until the recent signing of the JOBS Act it was illegal for average people to make such investments within the US.

While I would love to be able to invest directly with local businesses there is a real concern about fraud when dealing with hundreds of thousands of small investment options. The SEC, or anything like it, is incapable of ensuring a limited risk to fraud for investors. We are in the infancy of crowd funding and while I yearn for a well regulated and open marketplace to invest in local business I think it reasonable that we take it one step at a time and not rush into things.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (2)

englishknnigits (1568303) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613659)

I agree with most of what you said but there is already a solution to handling high risk investments. Demand a high return. If the company can provide some evidence that the investment is lower risk (such as having a track record of success, submitting to regular external audits/reviews, etc.) then they don't have to offer as much compensation. I'm sure you will even see firms with the experience and the time to do some due diligence and suggest/handle crowd funding investments for a fee/%. People are finally being freed from stocks and real estate being their only investment options. There will certainly be more fraud and more people putting money where they can't afford to lose it but there will also be people who are more diversified and not losing all their hard earned savings to inflation and the whims of wall street.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613973)

It would be illegal for them to call it an investment, but what would happen if they just decided to give them money? For example, thanks for helping me when I needed it so here's some cash to say thank you. If I made a bunch of money from something that started on kickstarter I'd feel it was appropriate to do something for them. I'd feel pretty shitty about myself if I didn't.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39615113)

Kickstarter is not about donation OR investing.

It's about funding. You get something in return for your pledge. Most games on kickstarter offer the game at one of the funding levels, and swag or recognition at other levels. Many, things on kickstarter, I think, have poorly thought returns for lower funding levels (a complete game for $1? But it's supposedly going to be "worth" $40 when you finish it???)

Some of the returns are similar to donation prizes, but really, it's a place where you can say, by sending money, that this is a product that I want to be made. And the risk is lessened somewhat in that if the funding level isn't achieved, you don't end up spending the money, but not entirely in that you could end up getting something that's not worth the funding you provided.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613383)

buy a consumer product. If you want to make an investment, make an investment.

Kickstarter is not a store, nor is it a brokerage. It is a place to donate and support things you'd like to see happen. Don't send any money their way if you're hoping for some sort of guaranteed return. It's a kind of participation, activism, or expression, not a kind of transaction.

Is your point that investment products are not or should not be regulated to protect investors as much as consumer products are regulated to protect consumers?

Nobody should expect a return, but the nature of the investment should not be murky.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613443)

It's not murky.

You give some money. They might produce game.

Crystal clear.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613509)

Eh... Ignore the corporate shill. The whole concept of donation with no expectation of a return probably blew away several of his Yuppie brain cells.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613523)

So are you claiming it isn't like I said?

And I'm not sure where you pulled the negative interpretation from.

I donated to the watelander 2 one - I'm ust not stupid enough to not know that it's me donating money and them maybe producing a worthwhile game.

Oh sorry, anon coward of course, keep a trolling.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613571)

I think the AC you reply to actually agrees with you. It's not *you* he calls corporate shill/yuppie, it's the *GP*.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613585)

No, it's not. They have levels that you can buy into for each of the different products. For example Diaspora [] promised everyone that donated $5 "Once the software is released as open source, we will send you a CD with diaspora all set up and ready to go, with a note from our team!". I don't think anyone has gotten that.

It's even worse on the hardware side of things. So far I've backed 4 things in the last year and physically have 1 of them. Anywhere from "Sorry guys my supplier changed all my quotes" to "I just wanted to add ONE more feature." The one that I got actually showed up a week after the kickstarter ended. I got the Oblique [] wine bottle holder. The guy had a manufacturer (in the US) already set up. He had prototypes done and I wouldn't be surprised if the second he saw another order he had another 2 made. This guy actually knew what he was doing.

Look at the HexBright [] . I really debated getting it and just going with the prime because as the description says I conceived the HexBright Flex but I was tapped out of cash to actually make one. Kickstarter became an obvious solution. To raise capital I am offering reproductions of my original and first-made HexBright Prime for just $35. As that's worded you get something that's already been made. As far as I can tell no one has gotten anything yet.

If you want this to be a donation to fund further development. Flat out say that. There are projects that do that. But all the projects I've bought into have been pitched as "Guys I've been working really hard on this and I'm ready to show it to the world taking pre orders so I can get 5000 from China." And then all this money shows up and he decides continue engineering.

I'm starting to see why MBAs are needed. Everyone that has a project on there is an engineer of some sort and unless everything is 110% perfect they push the release date.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613803)

As a fellow HexBright sponsor, I'd like to point out that they never claimed that it was already made. On the FAQs:

When will you ship?

Short answer- as soon as we can. Long answer- HexBright is not a product already on the shelf ready to be shipped. You are funding development of a top quality product where almost all your money is going into the parts and materials with almost no overhead, marketing or middlemen costs (we are projecting future retail prices to be over $100). As the saying goes, "CHEAP, FAST, GOOD, pick any two". Our price is fixed so we are choosing between "fast" and "good". Good wins every time.

When I sponsored the project, I wasn't expecting to see it turn up until about summer this year. They've provided several updates, so I'm pretty sure you'll end up with what you've paid for.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613877)

I didn't claim it was already made. They claimed that you were funding development of the Flex and he would be selling the Prime which is a replication of his prototype. As I read that all the Prime needed was produced.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614135)

I thought that the Flex and the Prime were just different versions, with the Prime being his first design and the Flex being his upgraded design (after making the prototype). It makes sense that they're manufacturing them both together and they're also tweaking the designs as they progress. It's a shame you've been disappointed by the project as I still think it's a really interesting one.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613833)

I should mention the Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath [] as being an unexpectedly well produced book. I'm a big HPL fan, so I wanted to sponsor it, but I was surprised at just how well made/written/drawn it is.

Re:If you want a consumer product, (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39615257)

I don't know if MBAs are needed, but some common business sense may be applicable.

As it is, nearly every project I have backed has run late - anywhere from 2 weeks to 7 months and counting.
But projects running late is pretty much par for the course everywhere (and if not running late, then almost certainly over budget or underperforming).

I think backers need to have a bit of common sense as well, though.
The HexBright project is a good example. It's running late and yes the guy continued the engineering process even after the project was funded. Then again, the project itself was billed as the "HexBright - Open Source Light" and it was clear from the beginning that while some of the basics were laid down (choice of LED, body shape), there was plenty left to do especially on the Flex (programmable variant). In that case, I think it's actually great that he got a bunch of feedback from backers and even adjusted designs to suit.
Those who only backed the project in order to get a cheap, bright flashlight (and thus couldn't care less about it being programmable or open source) may well be dismayed, and I can see where they're coming from - but it's been said before and KickStarter would do well to stress it more: KickStarter is not a store.

That's not to say that project creators should be allowed to get away with just anything, though.
The Juicies project is looking like people want to see blood, literally.
The Hanfree project is looking like it may even see legal action against it; a backer who is a lawyer believes its failure after successful funding to be a breach of contract between the backer and the creator.

But at some point things will meet in the middle... backers will get a greater realization that they're basically just throwing money at something and hoping for the best, and project creators will realize that at some point they'll have to deliver or they just might be unlucky enough to face the consequences.

We're kind of off-topic from the main question re: games and KickStarter, I guess, so a small bit about that here...
KickStarter has always seen game projects, some successful, some not so successful. Yes, the recent Double Fine Adventure success spurred a lot more game devs to jump on the bandwagon, and some are even getting a good deal out of it. I don't think it will lead to any sort of fundamental change in game development, though - no more than the Humble Bundles did. It's just another option out there for both developers and their target audience.

If anything, I think it'll show some indie devs that they may not have to wing it; they can get crowdfunding. In which case - as long as they can do their PR well, as they'll lose the by-association that KickStarter projects enjoy - they might as well go with e.g. or roll their own crowdfunding webpage ( there's a wordpress plugin that makes this easy, for example ).

Re:If you want a consumer product, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39614945)

I think your sentiment is awful. Sure each individual consumer can stay away from kickstarter if they don't like it, however they should still be allowed to complain about the model if they believe that it is hurtful to the market in it's entirety. Because more game developers are moving to this model, suddenly the consumer doesn't have a choice of just buying the game, but has to buy a promise instead which may become a game, and may not. Donations are donations. Kickstarter is NOT a donation site.
It makes it very clear that this is a donation in return for a promise deal, just like any regular purchase transaction, however it tries to run away from any actual legally binding promise or legal liability. It's an attempt to soften the typical garenties that are inherent in a transaction to a point where the producer has all the power to fuck over his clients.

If kickstarter projects want to hide behind the wall of just being donations gathered towards the realization of a project, they need to remove the whole "If you pay X you get Y" system, which would most likely kill off a very large part of the funding being provided.

Re:Let's wait (5, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613329)

Well right now we're seeing many popular projects from people who are industry veterans going back 20-25 years. These are people with established reputations as being able to manage teams, and million dollar budgets. The only thing developers have to lose in this deal is their names and reputations, which if any of them wishes to remain in the industry, that will be a huge incentive not to rip people off. I think that's why you see people putting their trust in these bigger projects. It's also why it is harder for less known people to have a successful kickstarter campaign. The community backlash from someone abusing kickstarter would be career suicide.

Re:Let's wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613459)

Actually the LSL game went to kickstarter because they could not get any corporate funding.

Re:Let's wait (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613557)

100% agreement. I kicked the bucket for wasteland 2 based on nothing but the title. No concept art, no details, no script treatment, nothing but a title and a hope for the game I wanted.

Remember Barack Obama in 2008? He had the hope and change, but no details. He was an empty canvas of sorts on which you could imagine he'd do all the things you supported. There was something for everybody. Then he got elected, started making decisions instead of speeches, and the thrill was gone.

Every wasteland status update will disappoint somebody (don't get me started on the "social aspects").

Re:Let's wait (2)

Creepy (93888) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613583)

Many things on Kickstarter are already in production but need some extra funding to see final light. The Leisure Suit Larry people, as I understand it, are working on the "original" game with updated graphics after acquiring the license and original developer, but it obviously isn't done yet since some of the rewards are to add supporters in as in-game graphics. I use quotes around original because the original game was Softporn Adventure [] by Charles Benton, which was nearly identical but all text based (and published by On-Line Systems, which became Sierra On-Line.

As for amateurish, who knows - even corporate funded games with good leads can do that; as for pocketing the money, I don't feel like that is an issue because usually the pledge includes the game itself, access to the closed beta, or some other reward. It is probably a lot more risky to support a product that has not started development, but in the same light people like Brian Fargo have been in the industry a long time and can be seen as more trustworthy than others. He obviously hasn't managed to get corporate backing to do Wasteland 2, which is why he's appealing to fans of the game. Basically, for your pledge you are getting something out of it, not just giving them boatloads of cash to do with as they please.

Re:Let's wait (1)

matunos (1587263) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613655)

What if the developers just pocket half the money?

I'd be more curious about where the other half is going. Don't you *expect* most of the money to go toward the developers?

Re:Let's wait (1)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613835)

There will be a backlash when people first relise that giving money to kickstarter is an investment without ROI. And that they don't have too much say(hopefully) in the project. Indeed, it's not even certain the projects will yield anything.
You don't buy shares of the project.Your money may be gone. If you value your money and common sense then stay away from kickstarter. There's going to be a backlash, yes. And the charge will be lead by the usual Blue Meanies and other assorted grey and featureless men of equal noisy insignificance.
I see kickstarter funding as a downpayment for the chance for your rose-tinted nostalgia to make a comeback. As such once the project takes the hurdles and your money is gone, you've already got what you payed for.
Personally, I think this is a brilliant concept and it nicely bridges the gap between indies(of various size) and the big publisher funded studios.
The current model of too many middlemen has stifled creativity for a very long time. The resurgence of smart indie titles and crowd funded A games is an indicator of that. there has been a void for at least a decade.
I guess the Wasteland 2 pitch video where they pitch the idea to a kid-publisher is propably only half in jest. Syndicate has been remade as a half-arsed FPS, Fallout has been needlessly turned into a 3D person thing(it didn't add anything to the game but difficulty for the devs to avoid glitches), the point-and-click adventure game genre has been mostly limited to indies and new game ideas(or mixtures of existing ideas) are also mainly indies.

This whole kickstarter thing is viable mostly due to the nintendo generation being grown-up, middle aged and rather well off. Disposable petty cash and nostalgia drive this new thing.

Crowdsourcing only works when it gets enough momentum either by attaching big names(calling Jordan Mechner. Please respond, Jordan Mechner) to the projects. This won't work for everything. No, I reckon the AAA pap will continue to be bought, a few indies will do well due to digital distribution and crowdsourcing will fund a couple of AA titles.

On a side note:I'm dismayed Grim Fandango was considered a commercial failure. Same goes for The Last Express. And Psychonauts.
We spend too much money on those AAA disappointments. I've played more Bastion and Orcs Must Die than Arkham City, Warhammer 40k: Space Marine and Assassin's Creed: Revelations combined. Spent 30 Euros on Bastion and OMD and payed full price for the three AAA titles. If I buy the AAA games, flush my money down a toilet or use it to kickstart games makes little difference. The latter seems the best way to spend my funds.

Re:Let's wait (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613873)

I've sponsored a few different projects on Kickstarter and I don't think of it as any kind of investment. I'm basically paying for the reward level offered. There's a certain amount of trust involved that they will actually deliver the rewards, but I haven't been disappointed yet.

Re:Let's wait (1)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614457)

I'm sure I will fund an effort sooner or later, but I'm not yet interested in anything that's been offered. But when I do, I will follow the whole thing from start to finish and rather enjoy the soap opera since I basically payed the admission fee.
I THINK the makers of Legend of Grimrock found the right balance between maintaining their vision and taking in fan suggestions. Which is irrelevant here since they weren't funded by kickstarter. Now imagine what would have happened if Bastion had been funded by kickstarter. I guess they'd been inundated with donor's advice(some of them insisting to be investors and DEMANDING meetings so their concerns could be heard) and it would not have been able to maintain clarity of their concept.
In know I just made this up but that is my main concern with kickstarter. Donor who don't know the difference between a donation and an investment hijacking the design process by sheer noise generated. A bit like a big publisher, but less well groomed and mannered. Kinda defeats the purpose.
I know that's irrational but that's my gut feeling about the whole thing.

Re:Let's wait (2)

grumbel (592662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613999)

System seems ripe for being abused...Leisure Suit Larry's kickstarter suggests the money is needed to make the game, glossing over that the game has already been under production for at least half a year.

All they have is a single background and a bit of animation that they used to pitch the game to publishers, they don't have a game. The publishers didn't want it, so they are now pitching it to kickstarter.

Re:Let's wait (2)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614123)

LL1 has already been remade as VGA/256 colours if memory serves me right. I do distinctly remember that Space Quest 1 got remade in the Space Quest IV engine.
The thing is, I don't think LL1 needs to be remade. The EGA original had its very own charme and high-definition propably won't be able to add anything to it. Besides, a 1:1 remake will propably be lost on the current generation of gamers. It's a tale of an idiot clinging to late 70ies stereotypes which will be lost on anybody born past 1960.

I played it as a 14 or 15 year old kid and it took me a couple of years to see it wasn't a portrayal of a good dating approach but a parody. LL1 is only funny when put into historical context otherwise you'll get only half of the references. The other half will stay hilarious forever.

Also: how do you explain to a 14 or 15 year old kid in 2012 the concept of payphones?
No, LL1 is a true thing of the past, a historical moment and should be portrayed on the canvas that was available at the time.

What a farking luddite I am.

Re:Let's wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39615419)

I'm 15, and I've had to use a payphone multiple times. Even if I hadn't, I would still understand the concept (I had to to use it for the first time, didn't I?), so don't underestimate the minds of young'ins.

I mean, people know what an NES is, even if they're not in common usage nowadays.

Re:Let's wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39614039)

Let's wait until a single good game has been released under this model.

Plenty of projects have already been successfully funded [] , and if you are talking about good games, let me point to this one [] (just because I funded it myself and already have the game to play).

In short, there are already a number of success stories in terms of final products, so... yeah.

Re:Let's wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39614327)

Played the demo of this FTL over and over on onlive. Great fun in its very early form. I think there is already success. However, looking through the board game area there are a ton of failures. Many of the failed board games do seem to have lower quality pitches.

Re:Let's wait (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614393)

Well that's why you're hedging your bets risk wise. Donate 25 bucks or 30 bucks or whatever, if it's terrible it's not a huge loss.

The reason big studios aren't behind these things is because if it takes 10-20 million to make a game and another 20-30 to market it they can't afford to risk that kind of money on a game that's going to make 5 million in sales. The movie studios do this sort of thing with fancy accounting, much larger distributions (worldwide) double monetization (movie+ dvd) and they're big enough 'losses' in one project are really tax writeoffs for kickbacks to favoured people who were paid to develop some monstrosity, see John Carter for example.

Getting 3 or 4 million dollars in funding is hard. Getting 300k is pretty easy, your bank will regularly cough that up in a small business loan. Getting 30 or 40 million is in some ways easier, a big publisher will talk to you at that price point, and they have deep pockets and spread the risk around a lot of investors and have quality controls etc. so you can release a sword of the stars 2 clusterfuck (no offence to paradox, those guys have always been decent to deal with, but they just aren't all that big). A 15-20 person team for a couple of years is very hard to pitch as going to make a game that will successfully compete for player dollars (and time) with titles like Skyrim, SWTOR, Call of Duty, Mass Effect, Etc.. etc. etc.. They might have some novelty to them, and that can sell a few.. but there's only so much room in the market. A 100 person team for 3 or 4 years is definitely going to have something they can show at the end of it and through advertising inertia alone can make 50 or 60% return. A title that's aiming small might never get enough attention to ever sell. Wasteland 2 is interesting because they have millions in free press from Kickstarter, but don't expect a lot of other projects to make it that far.

If you aren't making a game for consoles up until very recently the big publishers didn't really want to talk to you. Lots of awesome, and successful games don't play nice with consoles. Think baldurs gate (being remade), fallout (in the original isometric style), syndicate (remade as FPS), Xcom (remade as FPS). Until Steam really got into gear the PC market was a liability. How many decent selling games are PC exclusive right now? Anno 2070 (give or take the massive DRM fiasco), Shogun 2 fall of the samurai, Crusader kings... uh...MMO's. The first 3 are all european games, aimed primarily at a european audience, MMO's are in a whole other price and risk bracket. Kickstarter seems like it's a good way to guarantee how much money you'll get and get a measure of the interest in paying for a PC game. It will probably take a while to see how donations will translate into sales, but it might be really useful as a '3 million in donations(which come out of sales largely) translates to 10 million in sales, so can we have 5 million dollars mr publisher, and you get to keep all the gravy past 10 mill in sales'. Which is a much better business pitch than '10 million dollars for a project we're not sure how many people will buy please'.

Re:Let's wait (2)

flowwolf (1824892) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614563)

Okay then "Big Publisher Damage Control Consultant", doing his job auspiciously as possible. The accountability is there. The reputation of those who asked for funding is already there. If studios don't follow through on their development promises, you'll be damned sure that people won't forget about it. They won't be seeing any more of that sweet KickStarter nectar if they try that monkey business. You screw your investors/customers over and they'll take their money elsewhere. That's how reputation works. Too long has the publishing industry forgotten that earning a bad reputation can build up to massive repercussions.

I think that this amount of money pouring into independent direct funding has completely blind sided publishing studios. I guarantee you that they are taking it seriously. When your business model is built entirely around being the middle man, the last thing you want your customers to do is to learn how to remove the middle man. Publishers have always been at war with the direct funding model and will usually just use the acquisition strategy to counter that movement. KickStarter revealed something different. KickStarter is a means to a market movement they never anticipated. Even if KickStarter gets bought and dismantled, the training wheels are on and the direct funding model is rolling. We have the technology.

Re:Let's wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39615445)

It looks very useful but ultimately it's a whole lot of people that bite the hand that feeds them - donators will not be offered shares of these upstarts will they?

I suppose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613295)

The independent developer thing has been on a roll for a good while now. All the titles we've seen from the Humble Indie Bundles, Minecraft, Machinarium, etc. have been proving for years now that our games don't have to come from EA and Activision.

The real question is, are indie developers going to find themselves genuinely at-odds with the gaming industry, where, for instance, the console market is increasingly taking a combative approach to its customers.

Renaissance? (2)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613311)

In other discussions I've seen, the assumption seems to be that the first game that betrays expectations will doom the whole system.

I don't think that's true - this isn't an investment cycle, but more a method of pre-purchasing that cuts the last link that was tying small game makers to publishers - seen money for projects.

Collapse isn't inevitable - but I do see some interesting circumstances occurring as Kickstarter is forced to pull funding from some projects, or resulting in empty demo games with no plans for completion.

The idea is still critical though - a mechanism for the potential audience of an entertainment product to freely contribute to the seed money for that product. It will certainly be some rocky challenges ahead - but the core idea will survive, and I think will result in a lot of positive alternatives to insular corporate planning.

It's also a great alternative to the centralized planned culture of nations like France, so intent on protecting an elusive cultural ideal, they approach stagnation at times.

It's a great third way - a way with its own problems, but much to add compared to the extremes of strict corporate planning and liberal cultural protectionism.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Renaissance? (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613373)

In other discussions I've seen, the assumption seems to be that the first game that betrays expectations will doom the whole system.

Kind of an odd comment for some people to make, considering how often the publisher model ends up betraying expectations and it's still around (unfortunately).

whats the return? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613315)

so you invest, whats your return? % of profits based on your investment? an actual product (pre-buy)?seems like big hype for free money, for bad developers.. Timshafer is past his prime , just remember the terrible shit he pulled with Brütal Legend game.

Re:whats the return? (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613349)

Being able to play the game you've invested in.

Re:whats the return? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613353)

You know what, if you click on the funny underlined bits (they're called "links" by the nerds), you can go and read other pages published by a different internet publisher (each independant entity is called a "web-site"). Then you could find out the answer for yourself. This magic way of moving around is called "surfing" (by the nerds, again), and the technology is for some reason called "hyper-text".

Re:whats the return? (5, Informative)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613391)

Who said "invest"?

From the Kickstarter FAQ: "A new form of commerce and patronage. This is not about investment or lending. Project creators keep 100% ownership and control over their work. Instead, they offer products and experiences that are unique to each project."

numerous others as well (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613399)

Adventure game (Jane Jensen), Wasteland 2, Larry 1 (Al Lowe)..Kickstarter is great and I guess more to come! :-) Games comes to Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android. Great times!

Re:numerous others as well (1)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614171)

I'm still mad at Jane Jensen. GK3 was another nail in the coffin of adventure games. Remember how you needed to get cat hair for a Mosley outfit so you could rent a scooter AT A SPECIFIC TIME? Granted, The Last Express was also very guilty in that repect but most of GK3 was an exercise in frustration. They even tacked a Lara Croft style jumping puzzle near the end. Mostly Grace's segments were fun, the rest was a bit crap. Which is a pity since the mixture of 70ies popular conspiracy theory and GK worked quite well storywise. But the execution was utter BS.

What's with adventure games and cats? I'm looking at YOU Day of the Tentacle. Cats don't work that way. Hamsters on the other hand do.

No Renaissance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613441)

No,it won't in general.

The two big prominent projects now were started by people who did already have a name, who are famous gurus of the past two or three decades of computer games. They announced something people wanted for years, namely Wasteland 2 and "some adventure made by one of the adventure-gods".

This is not the average situation of a upcoming project.

I did give money to both of the projects, but I would never, ever give money to people who do not already have a good track record in the industry with projects I really like - which means, some publisher has to stand at the beginning again.

Will Kickstarter Launch a Gaming Renaissance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613461)


No (4, Interesting)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613483)

Kikstarter lets people who already have a name get funding for their pet project.

Re:No (4, Informative)

am 2k (217885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613673)

Kikstarter lets people who already have a name get funding for their pet project.

Tell that to the oh-so-well-known game developers Justin Ma and Matthew Davis (not the actor), who run the Faster Than Light [] Kickstarter project.

Re:No (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614507)

Kikstarter lets people who already have a name get funding for their pet project.

How does that contradict the premise of the original question? Yeah, you need to have a name to get top-dollar funding. Unknowns will get some, but not as much as people who have a proven track record. This is a good thing, as maintaining that record is the only incentive that keeps people from doing a run with the money, or producing crap. (Personally, I think Kickstarter funds over a certain amount should be held in escrow, and released as specified milestones are achieved).

That doesn't mean that Kickstarter isn't going to give games that otherwise would never have been made a chance. It doesn't mean that these games will be consumer-oriented rather than publisher-oriented. It doesn't mean that cutting out the middle-man isn't going to cut development times significantly. It doesn't mean that it won't provide a way for niche genres to get funding.

If Kickstarter accomplishes even some of those things, then I think it would qualify as a renaissance in gaming.

Yes, this is what we need (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613513)

Oil running out, rampant corruption and government abuse in so-called "first world" countries, corporations buying the best laws they can, lobbyists, but what we really need is a *game* renaissance. No wonder the powers that be are not afraid, you're a bunch of children.

Re:Yes, this is what we need (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613565)

Oil running out, rampant corruption and government abuse in so-called "first world" countries, corporations buying the best laws they can, lobbyists, but what we really need is a *game* renaissance. No wonder the powers that be are not afraid, you're a bunch of children.

Multi tasking. A concept familiar to all life forms above flatworms and politicians.

Re:Yes, this is what we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613593)

Priorities. A concept familiar to intelligent beings who realize that resources and time are limited, and that indeed, evils *do* multitask while you slobber away at a child's game.

Re:Yes, this is what we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613667)

Do you sleep? Eat? shit? Shower? Read a book? Post on slashdot? Well fuck you too for failing to combat evil every moment of every day for every year you live.

Re:Yes, this is what we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613709)

You don't see a level of priority there? Sleeping? Eating? Shitting? Pretty ... necessary, no? Adults playing games while Rome burns? Dunno about that.

Re:Yes, this is what we need (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613801)

But trolling /. is somehow different?

Keep up the important work ACs! The world needs you!

Re:Yes, this is what we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613893)

I don't ask for other people's money while I do it. You don't see a whole new level of social indifference here? Not only are *you* not doing anything, but now you take money from a whole bunch of people too, money which can't be used for good anymore. Just more techno-opiates while you get rooked.

Re:Yes, this is what we need (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614201)

You could be doing something good with your time (clearly multi-tasking is impossible)! Stop posting on Slashdot and do something noteworthy! Whether or not you're asking for money is irrelevant. You could be aiding people for free!

Re:Yes, this is what we need (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614239)

So if we're not spending _all_ our free time and money trying to correct the injustices of the world, then we're "not doing anything"? It's not good enough to spend some time doing important things and some time having fun?

So as long as there are any problems in the world (and by the way, there will always be problems in the world) no one should ever have any fun. All effort should be devoted to righting wrongs and correcting injustices. No time to spend with loved ones. No time to create or enjoy art. No time to do any science unless that science is entirely directed at solving some existing crisis somewhere. We should all just be mindless cogs in the great machine, working in the sweatshop of freedom.

So wait, why is it that we want to do this? What's the point of even being alive if all you do is eat and sleep and work? Who would want to fight for the "freedom" to do nothing but fight for freedom the entire rest of your life?

Re:Yes, this is what we need (1)

pipy (1873024) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613933)

Oil running out, rampant corruption and government abuse in so-called "first world" countries, corporations buying the best laws they can, lobbyists, but what we really need is a *game* renaissance. No wonder the powers that be are not afraid, you're a bunch of children.

Don't forget, that before the *game* renaissance, we've seen a *documentary* renaissance on Kickstarter. Hopefully, some of the people who got attracted to games on Kickstarter, will allso donate money to serious documentary movies about what's really going on in the world.

Doomed (1)

samfisher5986 (1927786) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613529)

The idea of Kickstarter is great, unfortunately I don't think its going to work as you might imagine. Here is what I can tell so far: 1. Information and media for games is cherry picked for maximum donations, often leaving out important information like the engine being used and the limitations of the developer and the engine. (For example try to imagine building World of Warcraft in the Source engine) 2. Anyone who pays more then the average game cost and is then very disappointed by the game will likely never do it again. Judging by a lot of the video game projects I think this is guaranteed to happen. Even with Electronic Arts we have some sort of standard because of QA staff and managers etc. 3. A lot of the projects are clearly money driven, There are game developers allowing a single customer to change certain things the game if you donate a certain amount. Its going to get to a point where people will lose interest and pay or pirate the game when its released. 99% of games can be built to a small scale exactly how the developer wants it, they can then use that game to fund the game to the scale they want. People donating money to developers with little or no history is asking for trouble.

Certainly a Boost for Small but Known Brands (2)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613579)

Depends on what one means by "renaissance". Will Kickstarter see a large boost for unknowns making new games for the first time? Maybe, it will help get some ideas done that otherwise never would have seen the day, (see Diaspora), but I doubt it will cause a huge increase in such. What I think we will be, and are, seeing is a large influx of established games and designers creating new work that otherwise wouldn't have ever seen the light of day. With the one and a quarter of a million that The Order of the Stick Reprint Drive [] made, I think we are already seeing this in the table top gaming community. Now other games companies [] are pulling out old favorites and using Kickstarter to judge interest and essentially get pre-sales for a product. We are seeing the same thing with the Shadowrun Returns [] game by the original designers. I'm hearing the same sort of things from friends who are comic book fans about new and old comic book projects. For what are essentially cottage industries with fans, I think it will help a great deal as one can essentially take a lot of risk out of guessing if something will sale enough to make the money back.

Personally, I'm beginning to really get into Kickstarter. New creative projects that I can not only look at getting, but if I really like it could even pay more for extras or even for things like getting myself added as a character in the video game. Some of the projects are small endevors that I want, but the larger demand just isn't there for. If I had to rely on brick and mortar stores or even the internet for such products to get produced, I'd probably never get them. With Kickstarter, a project can get the funding for it to fill what demand there is even if it's not enough to be sustainable for wide distribution.

How can the copyright maffia mess this up? (1)

jwijnands (2313022) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613599)

There must be a way for the copyright maffia to mess this up. But which way?

Re:How can the copyright maffia mess this up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613645)

There must be a way for the copyright maffia to mess this up. But which way?

By spelling, clearly.

Re:How can the copyright maffia mess this up? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614537)

By denying indie developers access to platforms with gamepads. Phones and tablets have no physical buttons, and not everybody likes to play a platformer with a keyboard either.

Kickstarter will create sympathy for publishers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613729)

Publishers big & small have long been blamed for failures when an otherwise reputable ("creative") developer "should have" succeeded with a game.

Kickstarter phenomenon is good in the sense that it is going to teach the common gamer (especially those who put money in) how things really work in the industry. For those who want the lesson early, here are some helpful pointers.

1. Publishing is a statistical business. In OWS terms, 1% of developers are responsible for nearly all profits. The other 99% of developers, whose names you may not even recognize but who still cost the publisher money to support all the same, are worthless crap.

2. Corollary to the above, it is not the publishers who leech success from good developers. It's other developers who leech success from good developers.

3. All developers, especially the ones who are actually good, have the choice to self-fund and self-publish, with a budget accordingly. A good question to ask is why some "successful" developers are unwilling to take a risk on themselves. Why are they only comfortable with spending someone else's money? (i.e. yours if Kickstarting) And guarantee only themselves a paycheck? Kickstarter doesn't even give funders an ownership stake, and therefore no accountability.

Now follows a list of common developer excuses, translated into English. Anyone who is giving money to developers via Kickstarter should prepare themselves to hear all of these from their favorite "indie" project soon.

1. Devspeak: "The publisher forced us to ship on a deadline." English: "We didn't meet the deadline that we contractually agreed upon and were not willing to offer concessions to extend it."

1a (variant). Devspeak: "We were not given enough time to complete and polish the game, despite working 14-hour days." English: "We made no effort to finish the game during the first year of development and spent most of our workdays out at lunch. But we did go into crunch mode during the last 6 months in a futile attempt to make up for our lack of discipline. We delivered the final alpha, the beta, and the gold master within a space of 3 months. Unfortunately, writing game code is not like writing a college term paper."

2. Devspeak: "The game has a lot of bugs because they weren't found in QA." English: "All known bugs were reported by QA, and we were unable to fix them due to a lack of competence, or time (see 1.), or discipline (see 1a.) and we were unwilling to provide concessions in order to secure extra time to sort these problems out."

3. Devspeak: "The game is being constantly delayed in order to add more polish." English: "Either the game is so incomplete as to be unmarketable, forcing the publisher to allow extra development time, or we as developers actually were conscientious enough to sacrifice our own pay benefits to secure this extra time that we need to finish the game. If the latter, we are probably a good enough developer to self-fund or self-publish, so we essentially are the publisher."

4. Devspeak: "The game contains invasive DRM because the publisher forced us to put it in." English: "We contractually agreed to put in invasive DRM rather than accept a smaller contract from a DRM-free publisher."

4a (variant). Devspeak: "The game is DRM-free because we wanted to ensure a good experience for our customers." English: "Our contract doesn't include royalties. We get paid the same regardless of how few or how many copies the game sells. Under the circumstances, DRM is just more work for us, and our bottom line isn't dependent on sales or piracy. If we had to self-publish, this shit would be loaded with StarForce or require online connections for offline play."

5. Devspeak: "We would like to maintain ownership of our IP, all revenue from sales, take all the credit for the game from the fanbase, and not have to risk a dime of our own money." English: "Put it on Kickstarter."

Re:Kickstarter will create sympathy for publishers (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613993)

That's some truly cynical and harsh commentary, but there's a large degree of truth to it. I'm trying to be cautiously optimistic about this whole Kickstarter fad, but I think a lot of idealistic, naive people are going to be very, very disappointed. It's amazing how many people donate to projects that have absolutely nothing to show for themselves, except a few paragraphs about how excited some developer is about his latest idea. If you're lucky, you might get a few details, such as the game engine being used, but that's about it. We'll see. It seems like people are projecting their hopes and desires on extremely vague promises, which is usually a recipe for disaster. However, many of the people involved in these projects are industry professionals with years of experience, so there's always hope.

How many people would have donated to John Romero's Daikatana, if it had been a Kickstarter project?

Re:Kickstarter will create sympathy for publishers (1)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614241)

I beg to disagree.
Since the big publishers are unwilling to take risks, the customers do. Besides, this will not put the big publishers out of business. Somebody needs to make Uninspired Shoot3r as much as somebody has to shovel burgers down the gullets of the punters. Resurgence of quality TV will also not eliminate Reality TV shows.

The thing is, burgers, big publishers and reality tv has fanbois. They don't do sympathy.

Daikatana was cool for about two months. It was reviled even before that infamous ad. TO me personally it was a matter of supreme indifference right from the start. There were quite a lot of FPS at the time it was announced whereas Romero made his name when it still was a novel thing. I hadn't even noticed him before he became infamous.

Re:Kickstarter will create sympathy for publishers (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614761)

Nice try, Mr. Probst.

The ultimate pre-order (2)

Xian97 (714198) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613739)

I see these recent wave of kickstarts as the ultimate pre-order. As a backer, I get a lower price and maybe some extras for my investment, and the knowledge that I am helping with the creation of a game that I want to play but wouldn't have got backing otherwise. As a developer, you get your funding in advance, and anything sold after the release is profit since your expenses have already been covered.

I backed Wasteland 2. I would love to see another post apocalyptic turn based RPG, since Fallout 3 went in a completely different direction in regards to game play as it's predecessors.

Eventually one of these projects will fail, or not live up to expectations, but I hope that is the rare exception.

Re:The ultimate pre-order (1)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614265)

I think of it as a lot less than a pre-order.

If your pre-ordered thing doesn't get delivered then you won't be charged.

For sanity's sake consider it a risk and write off that money spent. If something comes out of it, rejoice. If not, find another worthwhile project. But for heavens sake don't feel entitled but to the anonymous glory of being one of the thousands who backed a thing when the big publishers would not.

Too Bad Mare Crisium couldn't use this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613781)

This would have been great back when Mare Crisium was in development of Stars! Supernova. Would have loved for that to have made it to market! The game play of Stars! with great modern graphics and expanded tech and opporunity in all directions in the game! Still Pull out the Stars! disk every once in a while and play the single player version!

Given the sorry state... (4, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613943)

... of the modern videogame industry while I'm also pessimistic about kickstarter I'd rather throw money at people who love and care about games then just watch every game become an MMO and chained to online DRM (Starcraft 2, diablo 3).

Kickstarter is really tapping into a lot of negative gamer sentiment, especially if you grew up in the 80's and 90's and watched PC game quality dive off cliff after the early 2000's. The last decade has been probably one of the worst decades for gamers and gamers rights on the whole. Map editors, tools to mod games? Sorry we'd rather sell you bonus weapons and extra maps as DLC at inflated prices.

Most newer generation gamers didn't grow up playing Doom, Duke3D, Quake and many other early PC games so they have no f'n clue how bad games have become.

Re:Given the sorry state... (0)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614363)

The decline was already there in the 90ies. Remember the FMV interactive movie fad? Only GK2 and the Tex Murphy games pulled that one off convincingly. IMHO that lead exactly to the heavily skripted 12GB games we have today.
Also at a time there was a huge RTS fad. I tried Warcraft 1 and found it to be Dune 2 with orcs. Nothing new added gameplay wise. Same with Command and Conquer. In that already crowded genre only Total Annihilation stood out.
Or the FPS fad? I played Doom 1 start to finish(had tried Wolfenstein3d before that but it made me motion sick after about 15 minutes). Doom2, Quake, whatever was just more of the same just with a better engine. Nothing to it. Boring. Thief stood out in the 3D genre, but it wasn't exactly a shooter.

Now where did that all lead us to? Syndicate redone as a heavily skripted 3D shooter. X-Com was one of the first franchises to get the first person treatment and it won't be the last.

I'm awaiting Ma2ter of Magic: The Smiting. You are a wizzzard(spelled thusly), trapped on Myrror who has to shoot your way into Nodes so you can tame A BIG SKY DRAKE to ride on(QTE when mounted) and scorch all other wizzards(they only got one extra z cause they ain't as elite as you). You can regenerate health when taking cover but you can only wield two spells at a time. But it has realistic fog of war. As in, you can't see stuff when you are not there. That should shut the fanbois up, eh? As DLC you will get skins to dress you up as Lo Pan, Merlin or a squad of hammerhands.
Just a couple of months before launch they will announce the FANTASTIC news that Mast3r of Magic: Ascendance will be released a year later. After conquering Myrror you find a mysterious tower that takes you to Arcanus which adresses the common complaint that Ma2ter of Magic was too purple. Also the FoV has been narrowed from 45 degrees to 30 degrees since your dragon's sphincter now has 30k polygons in the QTEs when mounted. The publisher's CEO will tell the shareholders that they plan to release one game per year in the Master of Magic franchise until the customers tire of it. The franchise will then be continued as Magic of Master.
And this is where I definitely start to ramble on and on and on...

Re:Given the sorry state... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39615411)

Are you serious? You're drunk on nostalgia my friend. I grew up playing Doom, and most of what Valve puts out is stunning. Sims, GTA ... and so on.

Really? Doom was better than these games? Really?

The risk of Kickstarter (1)

zyzko (6739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39613989)

Kickstarter is a huge gamble for everyone - in traditional publishing the publisher takes the risk and if a project falls flat they write it off. Big deal, they know that half of their investments are not going to fly, quarter will get their money back, 12,5% will make a decent profit and rest will be a success. But with kickstarter you have thousands of contributors for a project, and if, and eventually some project will, turn out to be a pancake on the floor there will be thousands complaining.

I wish all the best for the model, but it is risky as hell - it only needs one colossal failure and people will not donate again.

Re:The risk of Kickstarter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39614237)

and if, and eventually some project will, turn out to be a pancake on the floor


Re:The risk of Kickstarter (1)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614415)

Well, if everybody doesn't see the difference betwen a donation and an investment, then no. People won't praticipate in crowdfunding anymore.

But it is just a matter of time before torrents of QQ wash us all into the sea so it might be wise not to spend money on kickstarter but build an arc instead.

I'm mulling over what it'd take to make me send disposable cash to a project. There are some things but as of now, I'm not seeing it.
But what I do see is the level of expectation that rides on the two-digit donations. The sense of entitlement that seems to be a common theme is the hugest risk to the success to any of these games. If the studios listen to their benefactors then they will end up with a design by comittee problem and that's the main reason why I'm not too enthusiastic. I've yet to read from any of those who were lucky to get funding through kickstarter how they want to keep their fans out of the design process.

There's more gaming than just video gaming (4, Interesting)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614041)

I just want to mention that Kickstarter is also getting board games off the ground as well. I actually only first heard about Kickstarter after playing Alien Frontiers a couple months ago. It is an enjoyable and well received board game that is the result of a Kickstarter project. There are many board games in development because of Kickstarter as well.

don't take any offers from the big guys (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614059)

All they do is suck the fun of the games and add crap DRM and DLC.

It's the beginning of the end (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614375)

Don't wait, it won't be that long until this method of funding is abused, people quit helping and it's ruined for everyone.

the kickstarter bubble will last a year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39615223)

I've joined a few kickstarts, but I do think it has one big problem. It's based on promises, where have I seen that before? ah, yes... politics! Basically, they can promise a lot of things, and then realize they can't add everything they said. This is normal in most games, the difference here is that you have people that already put money on this because of those promises, so it's not the same for a self-funded developer company to say "we decided to scratch such and such system" as it is for a developer that has already received money.

Renaissance? (1)

Sigvatr (1207234) | more than 2 years ago | (#39615359)

The term 'renaissance' connotates the exploration of new ideas. None of these projects are exploring new ideas, they are all sequels to established games or franchises.
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