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Poll - Kick to Start

JuMeSynJuMeSyn Code: KirinAdministrators
edited March 2014 in Latest Updates
What's your stance when Kickstarting RPGs comes up?
Great idea!
Helpful most of the time
Better than letting IPs rot
Unlikely to make a difference
I refuse to support them
It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
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Comments

  • TG BarighmTG Barighm Member Full Members
    edited February 2014
    Great idea until the whole early access thing ruined it.
  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited February 2014
    Yeah it depends on the project, but I'm happy it exists.
  • HyphyKezzyHyphyKezzy The Best Full Members
    edited February 2014
    Great idea, says the guy who's never kickstarted anything. I wait to buy them until they're done so I don't have the perspective of having caught the bad end of the risk but have enjoyed all the games funded by Kickstarter I've played thus far and there's several pending that are among my most anticipated upcoming games.
    Reads street English and speaks in collegiate - Ras Kass
  • goateguygoateguy Member Full Members
    edited February 2014
    In my heart I feel like better than letting IPs rot. In my head I refuse to support them, but that is both a matter of money supply on my side being tight and the over-promising of game features at certain financing levels. But I am certain both of those will change in time for the better.
    If I don't make it home, tell my wife I said Hello.

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  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    I don't Kickstart a lot, but I love the concept and am glad I've been able to get in on the funding for some of my more anticipated titles. I think crowdfunding is playing an important role in the gaming ecosystem right now, allowing small companies/indies to fund niche titles. With most big publishers going whole hog on AAA games and ignoring everything else, Kickstarter is a great opportunity to give us back the kinds of small and mid-size titles that we used to see from smaller publishers that are now long-dead.

    This year will be very interesting, since a bunch of the big projects are coming out. I think many development teams will find out that individual gamers are much harsher masters than publishers, feeling particularly entitled because they were "part of development." Having funded Broken Age, I've already seen a number of people on the backer forums basically saying, "This isn't the game I imagined in my head. I want my money back!"

    Or even worse, the Torment team put up a poll asking gamers if they wanted turn-based or real time with pause combat. The two came out tied, so the team went with turn-based because that was their preference and they had to go with one of them. Of course, all the RTWP people threw a hissy fit and a bunch threatened or tried to cancel their pledges. It's the kind of stuff I can imagine might drive some developers back into the cold, dead arms of publishers. ;)
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited February 2014
    It seems like there are only really three kinds of RPG Kickstarters that actually get anywhere:

    1. Kickstarters from developers who already have an established catalogue of games and/or a desirable IP.

    2. Kickstarters from developers who only really need an initial boost of interest to prove to angel investors that their project is worth bothering with.

    3. Kickstarters for games that are practically finished and really just need money for polish/marketing.

    The couple that didn't fall into these categories but were funded anyway because they had a good pitch, like Sui Generis or that ludicrous JRPG project ("Which one?" Yeah.), are... not looking so hot right now.

    As for Kickstarter in general... eh. I only backed Shadowrun Returns (haven't played yet. Heard it's not so good), Wasteland 2 (not out, but impression of the beta are positive), Pillars of Eternity (not out, but looks really good), and Torment (too soon to say). There have been a whole load of adventure games that I was interested in when they were announced, but it's becoming more and more obvious that no one is interested in making the kind of adventure games I want to play anymore (ie the ones with puzzles not aimed at 5 year olds), even if they plan or marketing them as spiritual successors to some of my favorites. C'est la vie, I guess.
  • ShayminShaymin The Gratitude Pokemon Full Members
    edited February 2014
    I'm not sure which one I'd fall under since I've only backed one Kickstarter ever, and it was for an RPG. Mainly I think it's a good idea if the developer doesn't let itself fall victim to scope creep.
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  • PawsPaws Purr RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    Drav said:
    that ludicrous JRPG project ("Which one?" Yeah.), are... not looking so hot right now.
    Hahahaha, are you referring to Soul Saga?
  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    I have only backed two projects, one being a full-cast production audiobook of a Gail Carriger novel and Cosmic Star Heroine, so I'll be interested in seeing how those turn out first before I bother to kick start anything else. :D;
  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited February 2014
    Paws said:
    Hahahaha, are you referring to Soul Saga?
    I had to Google that name even though I was reading about it the other day, buy yes.
  • smacdsmacd Full Members
    edited February 2014
    I think its a great thing, although I won't be backing anything myself. My contribution or lack of will not make much of a difference. And if the game reviews well later, I'll pick it up. I want to see the successful project start coming before I even consider kickstarting anything. And I'm only likely to start backing companies that have already released games previously kickstarted without too much BS along the way on their previous efforts.

    What I don't like, is when I see the following:
    - Backers treating kickstarter like a glorified pre-order service. Thats a nice perk, but its an attitude that I feel hurts the efforts.
    - Alpha versions of games being released pay-for (especially if its pay-for at much higher than expected retail).
    - Unmanaged bloat when kickstarters (massively) exceed expectations on their fundraising

    To date, there have only been a handful of games that have really sparked my interest, a few mentioned here, and some others like Cryamore and Mighty Number 9. But like I said, they were going to succeed or fail regardless of whether I pitched in a couple bucks or not.
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited February 2014
    As of late, I've only backed one new Kickstarter and don't really plan on backing (m)any others. Cosmic Star Heroine basically got my pre-order because the scope was reasonable, the pitch was solid, and I've seen them do it before. There were no stretch goals trying to bait people to fund more. Some larger devs might have the resources to handle this, but most smaller devs don't and are deluding themselves if they think otherwise. Telepath Tactics earlier in 2013 was also reasonable in scope.

    I just have a hard time tossing money and a pitch that is basically "I love RPGs and am going to make my dream game, but I just need money to do so." If you can't gather resources to start on your own, how do I know you can manage resources once I give you tons of money?
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs The Bemused Administrators
    edited February 2014
    I've only backed two projects to date, and only one an RPG. It's a fine idea, but it's best to be discriminatory as to which projects to back, or at least I think so.
    Reincarnation, realization
  • MonCapitan2002MonCapitan2002 Avatar Captured Full Members
    edited February 2014
    How is it looking bad? I was thinking of checking it once the game gets released.
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  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    Soul Saga may not be everybody's cup of tea (I'm not a backer precisely because I was iffy on the character concepts), but it actually looks like the project is plugging away just fine. The developer posts regular (rather detailed) updates on his progress via the game's official site and appears to have a solid grasp on budgeting and the design process. He's had some trouble with artists flaking out on him, but he solved the problem rather than giving up. I'd be willing to bet that the project will be successfully completed.
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • MinneyarMinneyar Member Full Members
    edited February 2014
    I've backed a lot of Kickstarters, both for video game and non-video game projects, and I've generally had pretty good luck with them. So far nobody has run off with my money, although there was a graphic novel that was around a year late, and a pencil & paper RPG book that's getting close to half a year late... I've backed a few games that are running late, but they at least post updates regularly, so I'm not too worried about them.

    I think Kickstarter is great for experienced developers who don't want to be beholden to a contract with a publisher and for people producing physical products who have already done a lot of work but lack the resources to mass produce things. The two things I look for are people who already have experience in their industry and projects that already have a functional prototype; they generally know what they're getting into. Projects that are just an idea and a plan from somebody who has no real world experience are generally going to fail.
  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited February 2014
    Not really backing on kickstarter (it was on IndieGogo), but I pre-ordered Eternal Eden in February 2013 when it was said to be released in March 2013 and it has yet to be released.
    Though I'm around on the game's forums and see that Elder is actually working on it and he is near starvation because he has no more money left and refuses to accept help from anyone. So it's either the game being released or he dying, whatever comes first.
  • flamethrowerflamethrower Member Full Members
    edited February 2014
    The correct answer is: I refuse to support them.

    The traditional model works: Make game, sell game. If game sells, make the next game; if game doesn't sell, find new line of work.
    But you shouldn't think about it like that. Instead, consider gaming from your perspective:

    Cost: Full-release game is likely cheaper (sometimes not)
    Bugs: Full-release game has less bugs
    Risk: Full-release game has less risk - you get the game when the dev gets your money

    What advantages do programs like Kickstarter, IndieGogo and Early Access have for you as a gamer? Not a lot. For most people, it makes more sense to not participate in these programs.

    Also, you shouldn't pre-order your games. The only reason to do so is: You want to support the developer or publisher. A game could be bad. Any game. It's best to consider reviews before purchasing - these are not generally available prior to the game's release.

    It's also best not to buy games in the release month (the four weeks after release day) to ensure full information. Publishers manipulate information, but their ability to do so after release day is more limited. After release day, people are free to say a game is bad.
  • PawsPaws Purr RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    You shouldn't pre-order big games that there's no doubt will sell. You SHOULD pre-order small niche games that often NEED pre-orders to prove they deserve shelf space. Otherwise, don't piss and moan when those games become digital only :)
  • PimpaliciousPimpalicious Member Full Members
    edited February 2014
    So far I've only backed Cosmic Star Heroine, Shantae, and Mighty no.9 for video games. Also Video Games Level 3, and the Bubblegum Crisis blu-ray set.
  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited February 2014
    The reason why I pre-ordered is mainly due to pre-order discounts. But so far I've always been disappointed with every game I pre-ordered so I'm considering to never pre-order anything ever again.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited February 2014
    I refuse to pay cash-money for something that is little more than an IOU penned by studios that tend to be either unknown or incompetent. There are a few Kickstarted games that look to be good, but I would prefer to buy them on release rather than support this highly dubious system.
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  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    Here's the thing about this system, though. The more well-known studios that have dipped their toes into crowdfunding did so because they couldn't get the money they needed to make the games they wanted to make from traditional sources. A lot of the old mid-tier publishers have scaled way back or collapsed, and big publishers are AAA-obsessed and have no interest in things like traditional RPGs.

    If we want to see WRPGs beyond the BioWare and Bethesda blockbusters, it's worth it not to completely dismiss crowdfunding. It's a way for companies to ensure there is public interest in the games they want to make, especially when publishers are denying that said games have sufficient public interest. I agree that we need a higher bar than simply a pretty concept, and we're starting to see that projects with playable demos or at least reasonable amounts of post-concept-art footage are more likely to be funded.

    Done well, Kickstarter is a great resource for niche communities to support the kinds of games they love. I think it's an important movement for today's industry, and it has even started influencing the behaviour of big companies like Ubisoft.
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • PawsPaws Purr RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    A lot of the mid-tier studios (and by MID-TIER I mean development budgets between 3-7 million dollars. YES, that is a mid-tier developer for console games) moved on to things like web and mobile. I'd imagine some of the successes of KS in terms of gaming came because there was a void in that market left by so many departures -- prove you have X number of interested backers, snag whatever they're willing to donate, hit up investors or publishers for the rest.
  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited February 2014
    Hmm, I wonder if instead of paying money it would be viable to have something like saying "If this game was released, I would buy it."
    It would still have the advantage to determine if there is sufficient public interest, yet people will feel less urge to complain about changes in the project and there is no risk, because if the projects fails, they'll just not buy it.

    I really wonder how much money they do earn AFTER releasing the game compared to the money they got from Kickstarter. I'd estimate it to around 50/50 right now (as in if they got $200000 on kickstarter, they'll probably get another $200000 from sales).
  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    Paws said:
    A lot of the mid-tier studios (and by MID-TIER I mean development budgets between 3-7 million dollars. YES, that is a mid-tier developer for console games) moved on to things like web and mobile. I'd imagine some of the successes of KS in terms of gaming came because there was a void in that market left by so many departures -- prove you have X number of interested backers, snag whatever they're willing to donate, hit up investors or publishers for the rest.
    Yup, though a bunch of them are starting to nudge themselves back to releasing on at least PC as well as mobile, after discovering that the mobile market is volatile and difficult to conquer. An awful lot of really great-looking games (which could probably have done well on Steam) failed on mobile over the last few years. The fact that the three console makers have cleaned up their acts and made it less expensive to develop for their digital marketplaces should help, too.

    A lot of crowdfunders don't have a clue how much money it costs to make a game. I mean, two million dollars sounds like an awful lot to a regular person, but it's peanuts for game development. Most games cost more than that in the 80s, forget now. I really like the Kickstarter projects that give backers the solid numbers for how the money they raised is being spent. That helps us all understand, for instance, just how expensive it is to hire artists and sound people. Honestly, if Kickstarter gives people who are good at game design and programming the extra money they need to hire artists/writers/sound designers, I'm all for it. It makes me sad when a game with a good concept launches with voxel graphics, an unusuable interface, spelling from Hell, or whatever else the starving dev managed to cludge together.
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • lolwhoopslolwhoops Member HalifaxFull Members
    edited February 2014
    There have been quite a few things I've seen on kickstarter that seemed likely to succeed and was interesting, but I can't get over the fact that with my limited budget I'd rather get something on release that is highly anticipated or post release with good word of mouth. There have been some fantastic ideas, but I struggle with trusting that a lot of these (relatively/completely unknown) people can live up to their promise.

    So, I say that I agree with the idea that you shouldn't back a kickstarter unless you're okay throwing away the money. If I had the money to throw away, I might consider it more.
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  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    Absolutely, it all depends on your personal budget. I'm mostly saying that mourning the lack of x type of niche game while simultaneously refusing to crowdfund any projects on principle (rather than budget constraints, which I totally understand) can be seen as being at odds because of current harsh realities in the gaming industry. I personally like the idea of voting positively with my dollars during the concept/development process. It's a more coherent way to vote with one's dollars than refusing to buy a product for whatever reason.

    Approach Kickstarter with caution and within budget, for certain, and know that there's a chance you won't get what you want. But I wouldn't dismiss the movement altogether. As it grows and is shaped by past successes and failures, I can see it becoming a great way for people to get the kinds of niche games they love and don't get enough of these days.
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • NekobasuNekobasu RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    Ocelot said:
    Absolutely, it all depends on your personal budget. I'm mostly saying that mourning the lack of x type of niche game while simultaneously refusing to crowdfund any projects on principle (rather than budget constraints, which I totally understand) can be seen as being at odds because of current harsh realities in the gaming industry. I personally like the idea of voting positively with my dollars during the concept/development process. It's a more coherent way to vote with one's dollars than refusing to buy a product for whatever reason.
    I've had good luck picking Kickstarter winners. So far, the only video game I've funded that has gone outside of its parameters is Barkley 2, and I'm willing to wait based on what I've seen of the game so far. I agree with you: if it fosters innovation in a time when most studios don't want to take risks, it's worth looking into. There are crooks and poor project managers out there, but there are also the people who gave me FTL. For this, many sins are forgiven.
  • watcherwatcher Veteran RPGamer Full Members
    edited February 2014
    Rya.Reisender said:
    Hmm, I wonder if instead of paying money it would be viable to have something like saying "If this game was released, I would buy it."
    It would still have the advantage to determine if there is sufficient public interest, yet people will feel less urge to complain about changes in the project and there is no risk, because if the projects fails, they'll just not buy it.

    I really wonder how much money they do earn AFTER releasing the game compared to the money they got from Kickstarter. I'd estimate it to around 50/50 right now (as in if they got $200000 on kickstarter, they'll probably get another $200000 from sales).
    The whole point of Kickstarter is to fund development. Promises to buy the product are worthless until its completed, just like any pre-order.

    How much they earn on release depends entirely on the success of the game. A highly successful release would see the Kickstarter funds end up as only a small portion of overall revenue.

    Personally, I wish I could find a Kickstarter system where you're getting shares of the product. Where maybe shares of half of the profits are the reward investors get (divided among investors based on their individual contributions of course). That's a system I'd love to get into.
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