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January 24th, 2013, 18:34
Well, there is somewhat of a false dichotomy and here are some reasons why:

- Jam today is better than jam tomorrow, even if you just put it in the bank.

- Your Kickstarter backers help get the buzz around about your game, just as I have done here for games such as Legends Of Dawn, Legends Of Eisenwald (lots of legends!) and Skyjacker.

- Your backers will help you get your game greenlit on Steam (if you are aiming for that). Which you need to start doing some time before release.

- You can use your backers as a core group of knowledgeable gamers for helping to beta test the game. In many kickstarters backers even get to pay for that privilege .

- The value of a game starts decaying immediately after launch as it turns from the latest new thing into old hat. That will likely mean discounting the game after about six months. So you want to catch your premium price payers as early as possible.

- Your cost of sale on kickstarter is very low (ie only 5% of the value goes to KS).

There are some disadvantages to KS too of course: Running a Kickstarter is a full time job from the time you start preparing it through to the 30 days it runs and then you have to coordinate all the rewards. Plus if you fail you get nothing. And its not easy for a one man band - but see Josh Parnell's "Limit Theory", for instance.

My guess would be that for a self funding developer, the best bet would be to run a Kickstarter when you have something substantial to show and run it simultaneously with a steam greenlight campaign, as they can feed off of each other. The amount you can ask for depends largely on how much press coverage you can get for your game, which needs to be concentrated around the campaign dates. Many campaigns have fallen down here by asking for too much with too little PR.

My guess is that the market for a *good* game in the style of Wizardry, Eye Of the Beholder etc. is going to be pretty large. Just look at the success of Grimrock, for instance, and IMHOP that doesn't really capture the essence of those older games (it's too twitchy and too linear) - although it would be hard to replicate the technical quality of Grimrock with just one person, I reckon.

On 2) one thing to consider is that your first title will establish your reputation and it may be hard to spring back after that if you didn't get it right the first time.

Just my 2 cents anyway…
Last edited by Roq; January 24th, 2013 at 18:51.
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