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Default Kickstarter - Worth It for Indie Game Developers?

September 7th, 2013, 10:51
In a new Gamasutra blog post Fredrik Wester ponders if kickstarter is even worth it for indie developers. It's a good read, but do you agree with him?

We all know how Kickstarter is supposed to work: a company or group in need of funding presents an idea to the Internet at large, and based on the strength of the pitch (and some incentives for donors), crowdfunding ensues.

When it comes to game development, though, is this really the best model for raising money – and are gamers really willing to put their money up for a game they don’t they don’t know much about?

Crowdfunding seemingly came out of nowhere for us in the gaming industry and took us by storm. We've experienced the first generation of super projects and the mixed results they delivered (and still aren't delivering). Now that we're looking at a 2nd (or maybe 3rd) generation of crowdfunding and we see that something completely different is happening.
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September 7th, 2013, 10:51
Nice article.Also one of problems small crowdfunding games have is getting press attention after release.Many of games have no reviews and no press coverage of any kind, it's hard to even know they are released.

Also I feel that if kickstarter fails it would discourage devs with interesting idea to pursue it.If crowdfunding fails it doesn't mean nobody wants game, take Miasmata for example it's KS failed miserably(got only 1k), but the game itself did well in press and sold well.
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September 7th, 2013, 11:11
The biggest problem is just because you get say 100k or even 200k doesn't mean you will be able to make any kind of game. Code hero KS is the obvious one I knew would flop, and flopped, but most are in the same boat. If the big guys can't do it for a million it's silly to think a small amount of that will let you do it.

OTOH if you can put out a demo or delivered past games then you've proved to me you can do something. Then the money is not so much to make the game exist but to ensure it's good.

So if I ever get the engine changeover complete I will release demo right after that, and then make a KS. I should have just released a demo then changed engines afterwards, I guess.
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September 7th, 2013, 11:47
I didn't see anything very interesting about that article. He just points out that only part of the money goes to actual game development, which anyone interested should know already, and then he gives some of the same advice that people have been giving for years.

Well, I wish the developers will figure out a way. My primary concern though is if it's worth it for me, and I keep finding that it doesn't.

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September 7th, 2013, 12:34
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
I didn't see anything very interesting about that article. He just points out that only part of the money goes to actual game development, which anyone interested should know already, and then he gives some of the same advice that people have been giving for years.

Well, I wish the developers will figure out a way. My primary concern though is if it's worth it for me, and I keep finding that it doesn't.
Yeah it sounded more like trying to justify running up higher intakes than a serious article. But no matter how you do things there's costs involved, KS is probably a lot less cost than anything else you can do, percentage wise. Even if you fail then it's free publicity to help get the next project going.

The thing to take from it though, is yes it's a risk and if you take a bunch of money from people, you have to be able to follow through. Which takes more than just money.
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September 7th, 2013, 12:37
So physical goods aren't worth it for really small developers. I sort of suspected that.

Apart from that it's really a case of finding an audience. To me, that plays into what I've said in another thread about "passion" in the video games business; a lot of small developers start with a vision of a game, not with market research. As for press… how high are the hurdles to get onto a site like indierpgs.com?

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September 7th, 2013, 13:09
Some KS projects went for physical items. Others dont.

Publicizing over KS right now, players know about the means, so they can do the job by themselves.

Putting money over a game they know so litte about, same for pre-ordering. You must wait longer for a KS project though.

The distribution of backers is another thing: ideally, the money should come from the lowest entry point to get the game. Not always the case. But some KS monetized the access to a beta version. Entry point:$15 beta entry point: $25.
Beta is going to happen anyway and the cost to distribute a digital version is the same as for the release version or the beta.

The question is more about what games KS projects can deliver.
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September 7th, 2013, 13:57
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
As for press… how high are the hurdles to get onto a site like indierpgs.com?
They mostly cover mobile RPGs and jRPGs but honestly they are not doing too good job(no offense to otherwise decent site) when I was making the list i found more info on sites like indiememag.But getting covered isn't enough some of those games need reviews on few places badly.
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September 7th, 2013, 15:11
This again. Kickstarter is a new option that game developers didn't have before. Period. Are indie developers worse off having another option they didn't have two years ago? No.

Is KS the one-stop answer to every indie developer's dreams? No.

Is any actual developer (as opposed to bored games journalists) really butthurt about having more publishing options than before? No.

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September 7th, 2013, 15:47
Well, the guy is not a bored journalist: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/autho…Wester/939395/
However, he is also not Indie, and as CEO of a publisher maybe not exactly a neutral party.
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September 7th, 2013, 16:24
Originally Posted by Nameless one View Post
They mostly cover mobile RPGs and jRPGs but honestly they are not doing too good job(no offense to otherwise decent site) when I was making the list i found more info on sites like indiememag.But getting covered isn't enough some of those games need reviews on few places badly.
They covered a lot of kickstarters (yes, in the JRPG genre mostly). Well, reviews… they certainly are double edged sword. How well would most small indie games fare if they were reviewed by bigger sites?

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September 7th, 2013, 17:31
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
How well would most small indie games fare if they were reviewed by bigger sites?
Some of them where reviewed by big sites, some did very well but there are those that did very poorly I would say like big games but big budget games don't get low reviews on major sites.
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September 7th, 2013, 20:53
Originally Posted by Nameless one View Post
Some of them where reviewed by big sites, some did very well but there are those that did very poorly I would say like big games but big budget games don't get low reviews on major sites.
They don't? They absolutely do, but it does have to be bad in a way that precludes shopping around in-house and freelance reviewers to find one who likes it. That is unless we're talking about the Guardian. Apparently they have reviewers who can find joy in pretty much anything.
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September 7th, 2013, 21:17
They get a bad review when the publisher decides it's such a lost cause they won't send any bribes.
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September 7th, 2013, 22:21
The way I see it, any way to generate money in order to develop something is never a bad thing. It is idiotic to even think Kickstarter is bad for anyone, if you really don't like it then don't back it then boom it doesn't effect you.

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September 7th, 2013, 23:11
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Is any actual developer (as opposed to bored games journalists) really butthurt about having more publishing options than before? No.
I don't see article as another abandon kickstarter article.I see it more as warning about mistakes small team can make(there has been few of those articles too), I think that point of article is, as you said.
Is KS the one-stop answer to every indie developer's dreams? No.
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September 7th, 2013, 23:30
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
The way I see it, any way to generate money in order to develop something is never a bad thing. It is idiotic to even think Kickstarter is bad for anyone, if you really don't like it then don't back it then boom it doesn't effect you.
The only bad I can think of is eventually it may split people's support, meaning we get lots more projects but seldom quite as big as a serious RPG.
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