Crowdfunding poses more questions than it answers
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John Ozimek | 09:54 - 5 December 2012
I do like the randomness of Kickstarter. But I do worry that there has been a disproportionate rush to the platform by games developers who somehow think it's the holy grail for funding new projects, and I see your point Keith about TIGA's well intentioned effort risking skewing the site from it's simple 'sink or swim' ethos.
Maybe it would work better if TIGA was there to help after a game is funded - with development know-how and marketing support. The problem in the games industry is certainly not a lack of new games; it's a lack of high quality, original and commercially viable games.
Some smart developers have used Kickstarter as a marketing tool to get fan and industry support for their games, and I have no problem with that. As Mike says below, it's up to developers to be smart and to do what they can to make their vision into reality. I just have an uneasy feeling that there are going to be a lot more failures than successes, and I hope that doesn't have a knock-on effect on Kickstarter as a whole.
Keith Andrew | 17:58 - 4 December 2012
Mike - I get your point. Games as a whole is a far bigger business full of many more players than it used to be.
My point was, however, that Kickstarter appeared to be something difference. A way for different kinds of games to make it to market - a nice offshoot from the mainstream flow that enabled weird, wild and unfashionable projects to get going.
That's been lost. Now it seems to be used as a way of funding a game almost by default, which - in my view - both damages its potency and makes it just another platform where scores of developers go to die.
Mike Boxleiter | 17:28 - 4 December 2012
This is a really ridiculous position, I see you are dubious about the point of Kickstarter, but I can tell you it's purpose was never to shine the spotlight on unknown games.
You talk about the flooding of the App Store, but we're also flooding Steam and flooding XBLA and flooding the internet as a whole with games at this point. This isn't because of a failure of the platform holders to keep out the riffraff, this is the result of the democratization of game development. The tools are easier to use, the bar has been lowered so more and more people are making games, and a lot of them are good! There are just WAY, WAY more games no then there used to be, and getting discovered is a HUGE challenge.
Kickstarter and the App Store and Greenlight didn't create this problem, they are all subject to it. Mindshare is now king, console manufacturers and publishers are no longer capable of waving a magic wand and sending money to developers they deem worthy, the market is now in charge of a free and open video game ecosystem, but the price of that is having to do the legwork as a developer to get attention to your work.
We have exchanged a shadowy system which promoted people who knew the right people through backroom meetings for a free and open system that will chew you up and spit you out publicly if you fail to do your homework. I argue it's better, but it's not any easier.
Nick G. | 05:57 - 4 December 2012
I am an indie, and I would NEVER use kickstarter. I believe it puts undue pressure to meet expectations of other people, rather than your vision. I want to create what I want to create, and I don't need the complications of invisible financial obligations. I say "invisible" as people pretend that they are staying true to their vision, but now they have this money and people are asking for feature X or feature Y and they feel pressured to do it - even if they don't do it. It's fucking stupid.
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