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The Kickstarter/Crowdfunding thread

posted by Darth Marsden on - last edited by Jennifer - Viewed by 34.8K users
Since there's probably going to be a fair few Kickstarter projects that aren't done by Tim Schafer, I thought it might be nice to start a separate thread for all the little games on Kickstarter that don't get as much exposure.

For example: Feeble's Fable: The Legend of Runes by Atomic Chimp Games. Another point-and-click adventure game, but this one is going for more of a cute and charming feel. It definitely looks interesting, though they've nowhere near the backing they need. :(

And another: Americana Dawn by one guy, Max K. Lambert. It's a freeware retro-styled RPG about the French & Indian War and the American War for Independence. Kickstarter page is a little bare (he doesn't actually say what he needs the money for, for one), but it looks like an awesome game.

So let's see what other Kickstarter projects you think is worth shining a little light on!
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  • Darth Marsden;806076 said:
    Also not helping matters was Mona's voice. As I said a while back when the Kickstarter first launched, her new voice is better, but still not exactly good.
    I disagree about her voice being better. I think the original was better.
  • Rather Dashing;806494 said:
    No, it's really not. Hell, when I read what you wrote I thought you were talking about the second Dropsy campaign.
    Not really.

    The goal for my original Kickstarter was $225 for a single piece of software. The end result exceeded my expectations and I ended up with $1600. That was cool, and it allowed me to purchase a computer after my older one took a dump a few months after to continue development. After working with the program (Multimedia Fusion II) for a few months I realized that what I was trying to accomplish was wayyyy out of the range of the program's abilities.

    At that point, I consulted a programmer (who also happened to be my best friend) and decided to allow him to continue it in Unity. From that point, I decided to increase the scope of the game slightly and add on an animator and co-composer. This frees me up to work exclusively on art and music, which I love doing.

    I've been working on this game nearly every day since that first Kickstarter. It looks bad that we don't have anything playable up - I'll give you that - but that's simply because I'm not a programmer. I have a metric crapload of art, and as my backers will see in some upcoming videos, the game is quite meticulously and extensively planned out.

    Kickstarter has a reputation for hacks taking money and running, but I assure you that this isn't the case.

    That said, thanks for thinking of me anyway. :p
  • Questria Princess Destiny Something about this feels familar
    Questria: Princess Destiny is Life Simulation Game for all age groups.
    You play as Sirelestia, ruler of Questria; you enact policies and decrees to help guide the princess-in-waiting’s TwiBright choices.
  • I do not like that Double Fine cashed in on a second Kickstarter before publicly revealing funding woes for Broken Age.
  • Rather Dashing;807556 said:
    I do not like that Double Fine cashed in on a second Kickstarter before publicly revealing funding woes for Broken Age.
    Could you provide a link or details? This sounds interesting.
  • DAISHI;807580 said:
    Could you provide a link or details? This sounds interesting.
    Short version: They ran out of money, will need more to finish the second half of the game, will obtain these funds by selling Early Access on Steam and then providing an update with the second half when funding is obtained.

    If you're a backer, you can see the update here.

    If you aren't a backer, here's the full text of the relevant section:

    A Note from Tim

    Hello, Backers of Adventure!

    Those of you who have been following along in the documentary know about the design vs. money tension we’ve had on this project since the early days. Even though we received much more money from our Kickstarter than we, or anybody anticipated, that didn’t stop me from getting excited and designing a game so big that it would need even more money.

    I think I just have an idea in my head about how big an adventure game should be, so it’s hard for me to design one that’s much smaller than Grim Fandango or Full Throttle. There’s just a certain amount of scope needed to create a complex puzzle space and to develop a real story. At least with my brain, there is.

    So we have been looking for ways to improve our project’s efficiency while reducing scope where we could along the way. All while looking for additional funds from bundle revenue, ports, etc. But when we finished the final in-depth schedule recently it was clear that these opportunistic methods weren’t going to be enough.

    We looked into what it would take to finish just first half of our game—Act 1. And the numbers showed it coming in July of next year. Not this July, but July 2014. For just the first half. The full game was looking like 2015! My jaw hit the floor.

    This was a huge wake-up call for all of us. If this were true, we weren’t going to have to cut the game in half, we were going to have to cut it down by 75%! What would be left? How would we even cut it down that far? Just polish up the rooms we had and ship those? Reboot the art style with a dramatically simpler look? Remove the Boy or Girl from the story? Yikes! Sad faces all around.

    Would we, instead, try to find more money? You guys have been been very generous in the tip jar (thanks!) but this is a larger sum of money we were talking about. Asking a publisher for the money was out of the question because it would violate the spirit of the Kickstarter, and also, publishers. Going back to Kickstarter for it seemed wrong. Clearly, any overages were going to have to be paid by Double Fine, with our own money from the sales of our other games. That actually makes a lot of sense and we feel good about it. We have been making more money since we began self-publishing our games, but unfortunately it still would not be enough.

    Then we had a strange idea. What if we made some modest cuts in order to finish the first half of the game by January instead of July, and then released that finished, polished half of the game on Steam Early Access? Backers would still have the option of not looking at it, of course, but those who were sick of waiting wouldn’t have to wait any more. They could play the first half of the game in January!

    We were always planning to release the beta on Steam, but in addition to that we now have Steam Early Access, which is a new opportunity that actually lets you charge money for pre-release content. That means we could actually sell this early access version of the game to the public at large, and use that money to fund the remaining game development. The second part of the game would come in a free update a few months down the road, closer to April-May.

    So, everybody gets to play the game sooner, and we don’t have to cut the game down drastically. Backers still get the whole game this way—nobody has to pay again for the second half.

    And whatever date we start selling the early release, backers still have exclusive beta access before that, as promised in the Kickstarter.

    I want to point out that Broken Age’s schedule changes have nothing to do with the team working slowly. They have been kicking ass and the game looks, plays, and sounds amazing. It’s just taking a while because I designed too much game, as I pretty much always do. But we’re pulling it in, and the good news is that the game’s design is now 100% done, so most of the unknowns are now gone and it’s not going to get any bigger.

    With this shipping solution I think we’re balancing the size of the game and the realities of funding it pretty well. We are still working out the details and exact dates, but we’d love to hear your thoughts. This project has always been something we go through together and the ultimate solution needs to be something we all feel good about.

    In the meantime, I’m hoping you are enjoying the documentary and like the progress you’re seeing on Broken Age. I’m really exciting about how it’s coming together, I can’t wait for you to see more of it, and I feel good about finally having a solid plan on how to ship it!

    Thanks for reading,

  • It is a different team, but yeah, this kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. Of course they waited until the second Kickstarter ended and now people are going to question whether the money for that game is actually all going to go to that project.

    It doesn't really bother me that much as I've seen other Kickstarters go much much worse(one I minimally backed is worth it just to read the updates and comments/hilarious). After reading it, I just cocked my head and said "Really? Double Fine? Really?", but that's about it. Eh. It better be good, Tim.
  • I wouldn't go getting too worried or worked up over it. This sort of thing happens, and small developers get into situations like this quite often, and cut things very fine budget wise. (Take a look at Frictional's 'Amnesia' development, for instance.) I know people are going to get a little more uppity over this, simply because it's fan funds, but I think that's just immature. People need to accept that stuff like this happens, no matter how much money you've got to work with, and regardless of where it came from.
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    Jennifer Moderator
    Yeah, it's honestly not a big deal. Projects go over budget, and he's not asking for more money from Kickstarter backers to cover it. He's covering it through the studio's money and from additional sales of the game through Steam Early Access.

    Part of this project is showing what goes on behind the scenes in development, and budgetary concerns are a huge part of any development team. It will certainly make for an interesting, and honest, look into development during that portion of the documentary.

    Since backers will get Steam Early Access for no additional cost, and they'll still get the promised beta even earlier, it's definitely a no harm, no foul situation.
  • I figured something like this would happen.

    They asked for 400,000$, got more than 3 million, and got to overexcited and overscoped things. I'm sure Double Fine is smart enough to take this into account from now on and not repeat the mistake in the future.
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