So kickstarter has raised a bazillion dollars for games. rejoice hurrah etc!
I have a love/hate relationship with the idea. On the one hand, it’s awesome to see indie devs get games made that they didn’t have the money to make otherwise, as the alternative (gradually building up over time) took me about ten years to get to the standard of games most people know me for. I’m all for people shortcutting that trudge.
And also, it’s great that established industry names that are being ignored by idiot publishers can appeal directly to the fans and get those games made, even if we STILL do not have TIE fighter 2….
On the other hand, it’s selling a dream, and a pretty unlikely and far-off dream at that. I can’t help but think of lots of great successful projects that I would NEVER have funded on kickstarter, and some crappy disappointing shovelware nonsense I would have funded.
I’d have funded star trek:dominion wars (unplayable half-assed crap)
I’d have funded cossacks II, then hated the direction they took it
I’d have funded star wars : supremacy but then hated that too…
No way would I have funded minecraft, or VVVVVV, and despite the huge popularity and evident finished quality of those games, very few people would have funded them based on just some concept art and a description. I’m sure a lot of people like to think they would have, but I doubt it. Games are hard to judge from concept art.
The problem is, that people do NOT know what they want. people want a better version of what they already have. in other words, they want sequels and remakes, and not truly innovative new stuff. That isn’t ACTUALLY what they want, but it’s what they think they do.
If I proposed 2 games on kickstarter, one was a totally new idea and mechanic, and the other was Democracy 3, Democracy 3 would get 95% of the votes and pledges. But does that really mean it’s the game that will sell the most? If I’d proposed Democracy 1 vs Starship Tycoon 2, Starship Tycoon 2 would have won out. And I’m pretty sure I could raise some kickstarter money for Gratuitous Dinosaur Battles.
But I won’t be doing it, for many reason,s but not least because I’m not sure that kickstarter pledges are that accurate a representation of what the public, in the long run, will really want to play.