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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Steven Kimura - Disappointed With Kickstarter

Default Steven Kimura - Disappointed With Kickstarter

April 22nd, 2013, 19:06
Kickstarter has room to be different things to different people. It doesn't have to follow the beliefs of one person on what it should set out to do.

I've supported some projects out of nostalgia, some out of a genuine belief in the developers, and some out of just a passing interest in pre-ordering a game.
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April 22nd, 2013, 19:07
There is a big difference between reviving old games/genres, and just producing another sequel. Also, of COURSE kickstarter is reflecting SOME trends of the industry. After all, in both cases you have to create awareness about your product, you have to advertise. People have to like what you do, or at least to get that impression.

Kickstarter is not a charity giveaway, or some form of indie-developer-social-insurance. There is no guarantee that every good idea can be funded.

Maybe that guy should make some suggestiosn about what kind of concept he'd like to replace kickstarter with. And it should not be "Well, why dont yall just throw your money at ME…"

(I still can see his remark on the shop thingy. Backing does feel alot like preording some special edition / collectors edition etc..)
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April 22nd, 2013, 19:09
My own feeling is that people are putting there own money where their interest is. If people want to invest in X type of game over Y then that is the way it is. At least the opportunity seems to be there. He doesn't suggest anything either - like would there be some litmus test to determine if a game was edgy enough to meet his approval for kick starter?

Getting the word out seems to be the hardest thing. But in general people toss out games and then the public supports what interests them. I know I only put money into a KS if it is a game I would actually want to see developed. I see no reason to support a game I have no desire to play.

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April 22nd, 2013, 19:12
Innovation is all very well, but there's some styles of RPG that I'm far from bored of and that I can pick up and enjoy very easily, and I'm very happy that Kickstarter is meaning that a load of new examples of those kinds of gameplay with new stories, worlds & stat / skill systems are getting made. What more could people ask for?
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April 22nd, 2013, 19:31
Originally Posted by tuukka View Post
But nowhere on the page you can actually find info about gameplay. It's supposed to be some kind of RTS/action/RPG hybrid. But after watching the video, and reading the text, I was pretty confused.
Yeah - that's what I thought when I saw this. Game developers need to demonstrate what their game has to offer and *why* it's different, they can't expect pledgers to take it on trust. Maybe this would have been a good game, but I couldn't tell - so I didn't back it.

That said - it certainly isn't easy to get backing for an original game: Unwritten and Forsaken Fortress managed to hit their targets though.
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April 22nd, 2013, 19:34
Sounds like the guy is just letting his failed KickStarter campaign color his perspective. If he thinks KickStarter is not the place for indies, then what about IndieGoGo?

Damned hipsters…
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April 22nd, 2013, 19:39
Considering how much work they had obviously already done on the game, and how well the video was made, etc, I can understand his disappointment. But he's learning the wrong lessons.

He should be asking *why* they didn't meet their goals, and maybe launch a new campaign (Which is well possible in Kickstarter), without the mistakes they made the first time.

They really needed to explain what was going to be interesting and original in the *gameplay* of the game. Is it like every other RTS out there? What distinguishes it? What kind of features does the gameplay have? What do you actually do in the game? (Besides fighting random people, obviously).
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April 22nd, 2013, 19:50
I think there is also a big gap between the Indie people who want to make a game and which are looking for support on kickstarter - and indie projects which basically want to collect a huge budget to make an AAA title. While the first group looks for like 10.000 to 100.000, the second one can be found between 150k and millions of $ - the price might be realistic to make this kind of game, but in this case kickstarter is likely not the right platform.

Some examples from the games I backed:
Legends of Eisenwald, Goal: 50k
Xenonauts, Goal: 50k
Malevolence, Goal: 6k
MORE, Goal: 50k
Limit Theory, Goal: 50k
Barkley 2, Goal 35k

and so on. On the other hand you have the big budget projects from people who might or might not be known from other games:
Dead State: 150k, made it
Shaker: 1million, failed
Sui Generis: 150k Pounds, just made it
Maia: 100k Pounds, only made it with Total Biscuits help
Thorvalla: 1million, failed

And there is also Banner Saga, which I would say is almost a prototype of the successful AAA kickstarter moneywise, because even if they had some "guys from bioware", they kept their goal pretty low.

I think there is a lot of new ideas and innovation in the small projects and I think these can work out well. But as soon as the project goal is over 100k they better have a big name to build on or some awesome gameplay footage to show.
Kimuras project is in this second Range, and with what he saying he is purely pointing to all the big projects. What he is ignoring though is the tons of smaller projects which flourish on kickstarter besides all the sequels he is talking about.
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April 22nd, 2013, 21:27
For what it's worth, my thoughts on why so many '20-year-old' games are being remade is for two reasons:

1) They were interesting and they were hard. Too many contemporary games are uninteresting and too easy.

2) A lot of people out there (such as myself for example) feel like old school concepts sort of got left behind without reaching their full potential. Many of us crave old school concepts further realized, plain and simple.

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April 22nd, 2013, 21:27
That guy has some nerve. Asking the kind of money he did, simply demands much better pitch than they had, period. Some indie devs have complained about Kickstarter being highjacked by the likes of inXile and Obsidian before. How the hell can these guys be so stupid? Can they do not see, that high profile kickstarters mostly bring their own crowd to the platform and don't in fact take away ANY resources, that would otherwise have been available to "true" cellar dwelling poor indies. It's the exact opposite! Look at me for example. I came in with Wasteland 2, and have since supported 20 projects, including quite a few projects, that fit the definition of indie even for those guys. Think i would care one bit for kickstarting these projects without inXile?
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April 22nd, 2013, 21:37
I agree tolknaz. I learned about Kickstarter because of Wasteland 2. I have supported other projects because of this. If not for Wasteland 2, I would not have spent so much damn money on kickstarters sigh!!!

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April 22nd, 2013, 21:52
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
On the other hand you have the big budget projects from people who might or might not be known from other games:
Dead State: 150k, made it
Dead State wasn't a "big budget project" by any stretch of imagination. Before Kickstarter it was made by one unemployed dude (Brian Mitsoda), who worked on it full time. His wife helped out here and there, but since she was employed by a game dev herself i don't think she had much time for Dead State. Other Iron Tower guys helped out with assets and engine, but nobody else worked on it full time. Kickstarter just enabled them to properly hire a few more people.
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April 22nd, 2013, 21:57
I stopped taking this guy seriously at "Harmonix"…
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April 22nd, 2013, 23:05
Originally Posted by tolknaz View Post
Dead State wasn't a "big budget project" by any stretch of imagination. Before Kickstarter it was made by one unemployed dude (Brian Mitsoda), who worked on it full time. His wife helped out here and there, but since she was employed by a game dev herself i don't think she had much time for Dead State. Other Iron Tower guys helped out with assets and engine, but nobody else worked on it full time. Kickstarter just enabled them to properly hire a few more people.
I just called it big budget in this context due to the 150k goal and the one known name which isn't as known as Garriott or Molineux.
And as I said, 150k may not even be enough to do a project like that. But what I am saying is, that smaller projects, mostly around 50k have very good chances - while projects over 100k will be hard to fund if you don't have the right name and license and it might be wise to try it smaller and for less money instead.
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April 22nd, 2013, 23:25
Originally Posted by Moorkh View Post
I stopped taking this guy seriously at "Harmonix"…
Eric Brosius works at Harmonix too.
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April 22nd, 2013, 23:37
There are a few innovative projects on Kickstarter that are doing decently well. Among the Sleep seems an example, at least to me.

Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
For what it's worth, my thoughts on why so many '20-year-old' games are being remade is for two reasons:

1) They were interesting and they were hard. Too many contemporary games are uninteresting and too easy.

2) A lot of people out there (such as myself for example) feel like old school concepts sort of got left behind without reaching their full potential. Many of us crave old school concepts further realized, plain and simple.
Yep, I'd be one of those. The intense gaming company focus on high resolution graphics seemed to trample a lot of other gaming interest.
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April 23rd, 2013, 01:41
I don't agree with his assessment of Kickstarter at all. I think it's doing just fine and I've backed many small indie projects like Malevolence, Cult, Paper Sorcerer and Arakion - all of which are innovative in a variety of ways, and successfully funded. There is plenty of room for both small indies and the bigger productions on Kickstarter. It's not a zero-sum game. Good games will get funded - provided you promote it well enough.

Too bad that Dreadline didn't fund but maybe there is good reason for that. Perhaps they set their expectations a bit high, and could have done better with the pitch / promotion.
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April 23rd, 2013, 02:27
I never even heard of Dreadline before now, and when I looked at it's Kickstarter I saw immediately that they could have done a much better job with it which, is what lead to it's failure to get funded.

Joxer: I have seen you say that the smartphone business is a fraud a few times. I can't see how it is a fraud at all. I have a smartphone and haven't had any issues that would be considered fraudulent. I have several good rpgs on my phone and I don't have a data plan so unlike what they say you don't need one.
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April 23rd, 2013, 12:51
“For me, indie development is about making something creative and different. I think that’s what Kickstarter was supposed to be about, but I think that it’s shifted, especially in the game space. Now it’s just a shop and I think that’s the death of that platform. That’s not what it’s for.”
Many issues with this statement.

KS had the potential to turn into a platform to fund something creative and different.
The potential was there at start. There were other potentials there too. Those potentials got fulfilled instead of the potential of being a platform for funding things that are creative and different. The realized potential is a pre order online or even sometimes an online retailing service.

Now most of the projects funded through KS are done by indies. And most of them are involved into delivering the same old and old. The conclusion concerning indies' projects funded through KS is that KS indies' projects are not about being creative and different. They are about serving the same old and old.

This guy should not fish for money going to a platform where indies success by providing the same old and old.

Innovation, creativity, diversity wont come from KS projects. If he wants innovation, creativity and diversity, he'd better try his luck with a publisher. Creation, innovation, or diversity will keep coming massively from the publishers' world.

Gamers, KS indie projects will all go for the same old and old. Doing what has been done perpetually and benefiting from the innovation, creativity and diversity brought by the publishers' world.
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April 23rd, 2013, 13:16
My only problem with Kickstarter is Kickstarter becoming to be the biggest - and for some: only - crowd funding platform. Even though IndieGoGo is ~1 year older than KS, it never grew enough to be a good alternative, although it would be much better for indies: you can start an IndieGoGo campaign with less hassle (e.g., you don't need to live in America (or UK)), it accepts PayPal out of the box and you can do a flexible funding campaign.
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