Why do so many games go to Kickstarter?

The real brilliance of Kickstarter for game designers is the reversal of quality assurance.  Instead of paying people to debug a game, through kickstarter you can offer ‘exclusive’ access to Tester Only sections of the forum, and charge more for it.

It sounds snarky to say the really great thing about kickstarter is profiting from QA….  But I seriously considered paying Timber and Stone $50 to get that tier of reward.  For tiny indie game developers this is actually a really great QA solution.  However, if the AAA companies start doing it, that might not be so good.

Two Successful Kickstarters

At some point these two should be analyzed a bit more for what they did well, and what they did badly.  For right now I just want to mention that both Scrumble Ship and Dysis have either reached their goal or completed their kickstarter.

Scrumble Ship ends today at 1:27 pm EDT and is over their goal.  Dirkson requested $8000, but total pledges at just over $12,000.
Dysis has 17 days left.  They started with a $5000 dollar goal, but so far have pledges of over $15,000.

Now that they have succesfully raised money will they go on to be successful projects as well?  I hope so, and I’ll be following them to find out.

Kickstarter Reluctance

Old School (now SHAKER) seems like a great idea being put together by a solid company with incredible credentials.  You can tell that if they get the funding the project will be completed.  This is not 2 guys in a basement with no project management experience.  This is the real deal.

So why am I reluctant to back this project?  My gaming hobby (is it addiction or lifestyle?) started with Apple IIe, D&D in Jr High and Ultima on the Nintendo. But Old School gaming is not really interesting to me.  Perhaps my reluctance to be excited about this project is that game nostalgia has no hold over me.  Well maybe certain titles…

The story seems really compelling, a nice balance between D&D and Cyberpunk. AKA Fantasy and Sci Fi, the two big genre’s from the 80’s.  But it just doesn’t compel me to support the project.  It’s just not pulling the right strings.  It was featured by Kickstarter via tweet on 10/7/2012, so apparently there are some fans out there.

Their request for a million dollars feels high.  It doesn’t feel like funding a kickstarter to me.  It feels like a Studio seeking investors.  Maybe kickstarter to me means funding guys like Xavi (Towns) and Dirkson (Scrumbleship).  Maybe at heart I’m an Angel, not a VC.

A really sneaky aspect of Kickstarter is that we each individually get to decide what kickstarter means to us.  To me, it’s funding that little guy who has no support but has good ideas and can prove themselves.  I don’t have any right or intent to tell you what you should support.  Nor do you have any right to tell me what to support.  The beauty here is that doesn’t matter.  We all get to support what we want to.