Do you Kickstart?
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December 13th, 2012, 11:42
I have backed 29 projects so far, but no huge sums to either of them. My interest in mainstream gaming has been vaning for years, due to several negative trends for which I believe publishers are to blame. In no particular order:
- DRM: These days, whenever a new game I would be interested in is announced, my first question is about how the publisher will hinder me (as a paying customer) from playing it. If I believed DRM stopped piracy, I would probably accept it, but as it is, I will in many cases actually just be getting a product which is worse than what the pirates are getting.
- Lowest common denominator: platform. In order to make the highest return on investment, most games will be designed to work well on several platforms, including consoles. But I want games which make the good use of the platform I am actually using. As an example, consider the menu systems for games like Risen 2 (bad interface) or Skyrim (horrible interface). These are designed to work well with consoles, and the result is that the PC interfaces suffer.
- Lowest common denominator: gameplay. Again, return on investment dictates that publishers need to get their games out to as many people as possible, and thus, games must be designed to appeal as broadly as possible. Complexity must be kept down, because Joe Average doesn't like to think. Difficulty must be kept down, because Joe Average doesn't like to get frustrated. The game concept must not be too different from Call of Duty, because we know that Joe Average likes Call of Duty.
- Games designed around business models. Look no further than Diablo 3 for an example of a game I could otherwise have been quite interested in. The always online component and the auction house have nothing to do with providing a good experience for the players, the reasons they are there are purely financial.
In general I feel that the emphasis is on money when decisions are made regarding mainstream games. I of course fully understand this, and everybody has to make a living, but the balance of these things has been completely been thrown off, and in the least favorable direction. I want game related desicions to made, at least in a large part, by people who care mostly about the actual games, and who take pride in what is created.
And this is why I like crowd funding, for it puts power in the hands of developers and players, both of which actually care about the games. I don't know for certain if people like Chris Avellone or Brian Fargo will deliver amazing games in the end, but I do trust that they will actually try, and that is something I am willing to pay for.
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