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Should we Kickstart the Past?
I wonder what some of you guys think about Kickstarters. It seems like more and more these days you can find ex studio devs who are trying to recapture their glory days or bring back the nature of their bread and butter in the form of Kickstarted games. Do you think there is genuine want to brings these types of games back to the forefront (such as the most recent cases of the "collect-athon" Yooka-Laylee, featuring ex Rare devs; and "metroidvania", featuing Igarashi of Castlevania fame) or are they cash-ins on an established formula?


No Man's Sky is awesome...and disappointing...
I certainly appreciate their efforts. In the case of Bloodstained, I am thrilled to see IGA take the reins of another game in the style of the other Castlevania games he was known for. Maybe I'm too much of a fanboy of the Castlevania games that came out in the IGA era, but the later Lords of Shadow games did nothing for me. LoS 1 & 2 don't look that appealing, and Mirror of Fate is a pale imitation of the open-ended exploration style of earlier games.

Whether you think the developer in question is truly passionate about the product or if they are just out for a quick cash-grab I suppose is a matter of one's own personal opinion, but from what I can tell, IGA's really into this project, as Keiji Inafune has been about Mighty #9. I've spoken plenty about my feelings on M#9 so far; both good and bad. Inafune does certainly have big dreams for it, and he appears quite passionate about it. But I do think he's moving along too quickly with it. I keep saying he should release the damn game first and see how it does before he starts talking about an animated series, a MM Legends style spin-off, etc.

What I don't like about all of this is how dependent they're going to be on crowdfunding. M#9 made just under four million dollars from its KickStarter. Apparently that wasn't enough, and Comcept then opened up a SECOND KickStarter to create more content. How dependent on crowdfunding is this franchise supposed to be? I understand the initial KickStarter to do exactly what it says on the tin, to get the money to spearhead this new project, but after that, shouldn't a successful franchise be able to stand on its own? I find it kinda skeezy to see them keep coming back to KickStarter to panhandle for more money again and again and again.

I'm all for crowd funding but I feel as though there needs to be more regulation of the whole system. Good thing can happen with it but it can be taken advantage of leaving the donators with not much to do in regards to a lack luster or even outright flawed end product... be it game, new egg cooking method, a solar powered shovel or what have you.

Taking a look at the current example of the new Bloodstained game... that's made its money in near record time, if not record time. At this point... we (the funders) are now at the mercy of the developers to give us the product promised.

Now, I am not suggesting that in this instance we're going to get taken for a ride.... but where's the incentive to take that B grade product and make it an A grade once you've taken in more money in the funding stage than most games make in their entire life time?

Say this new Avengers film (as an example mind you) cost $10 million to make, and they took it to the intertubes to get crowd funded so we could have our names in the credits, posters, soundtracks, bonus dvd footage and potentially even a spot as a Stan Lee lookalike in the film. But in that crowd funding event they bring in $70 million dollars. That's a lots o cash... but when we're comparing it to things like Mighty #9 and Bloodstains the percentage is really much bigger there. Now say anticipated take at the box office was only $30 million.

So you've make $70 mill and the movie hasn't even been made yet. You spend the $10 to make it and you got $60 left over. Who cares at that point how well it does at the ol' Multiplex.

Is that a common occurrence on the ol' crowd funding thing? I don't think so. Can it happen? Sure. Does it? Absolutely. The Ouya I think is a great example of that. The product fell well short of the promised product... but the money was made and all support from the developers blew out in the wind like so many Benjamin Franklins.

Not even to mention the infamous sandwich incident.

However... I do see a reason for it and I do appreciate it... and I even use it to an extent with my music stuff, hirts and coffee mugs and things like that. I think the burden has to go to the programs that run the funding like Kickstarter and indiegogo and now patreon being the big one.

I think a great method for that would be to cut off allowed donations (through the provider) at Goal +X%.

If I wanna raise $28 for dinner, I'm allowed to get $28 + 15% for a grand total of $32 and change. Anything after that I ever have to make a new campaign (30 days after) or just take donations via another source like PayPal or Dwolla or whatever.

Anyway... them's my thoughts. It's a good idea, but the people running the party need to keep a better eye on things.
The KickStarter for Broken Age was the one that truly paved the way for future game devs to turn to crowdfunding. it was helmed by Tim Schafer, the man behind games like Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, and Grim Fandango. It made over $3.3 million dollars (they asked for $400,000). The devs still went overbudget in designing the game (though presumably to ensure the backers would get their money's worth), and made the decision to split the game in two, using sales from the first episode to fund development for the second (which just came out last month; well over a year after episode 1). And as a result I understand its got its hefty share of controversy in some gaming circles.

Though from the sound of it, a lot of the criticism does seem to be blown out of proportion, I just thought of mentioning it as an example of some of the concerns of KickStarted projects. I've been highly satisfied so far with the projects I've backed myself (though some have yet to have their final release; Mighty #9 definitely still plays like a Beta when I last tried it out)

I don't think the criticism was overblown. Broken Age 2 used most if not all of the same backgrounds from Act 1. The ending was Mass Effect 3 levels of "what?" and "that's it?". And it was a short game that took over 1.5 years. It's the thought of "we're shelling out money for this thing we enjoyed originally and this is what we got?" I'm trying to think of a comparison but I can't do it. Also, Act 2 was part of original game, it was Double Fine's decision to break it up.

Plus there's original's overestimated time on the original, which is summed up pretty nicely here:


But I only bring it up because Broken Age, combined with some of Jason's fears, make me leary of kickstarter. I mean, yes, these are the types of games I want to see. I want another Banjo Kazooie, I want another Mega Man, I want another Castlevania. But it's that hesitancy that is inherit in an idea, and not an finished product you can research which gives me pause. I'll probably support both, but I'm just really leary of it.
No Man's Sky is awesome...and disappointing...
I guess too that I'd add that there are plenty of developers out there that would love to make the next Castlevania or Mega Man or whatever... I say go that route with it. "Mega Man" doesn't HAVE to come from Capcom, "Castlevania" doesn't HAVE to come from Konami. Know what I mean?

If you're so sure the game's gonna be great and take off... take it to someone to fund it. I wanna pay for something that's done, ready, and I can look into first.

I wouldn't give anyone money for the idea of a song...

"Hey, here's the chorus... check it out! Now, can I have $5?"
On the subject, apparently we also have douchebags like this on the backers' end of the spectrum:

That's... pretty rough for the dev. Maybe a 2-step pledge verification process and no takebacks could help mitigate that sort of user behavior?
No Man's Sky is awesome...and disappointing...
Sorry if I'm necro-posting a bit, but the latest Kickstarter hype du-jour is raising some questions as to what does it even MEAN to Kickstart a game project anymore:

It was already revealed that Bloodstained is not going to be 100% crowdfunded. IGA has other investors backing the project; the main purpose of the Kickstarter was mostly to gauge interest from fans. Now it appears that the equally high-profile Shenmue 3 Kickstarter is doing the same thing. It does certainly raise the question of what they even NEED a Kickstarter for in the first place. It certainly has a bit of dishonesty to it as well. If they're trying to see how many people would be interested in it, that's all well and good, but they should lead with that, not this "The fate of Shenmue 3 is in YOUR hands!!" crud. I fear it may also taint peoples' opinions of actual indie upstart developers trying to Kickstart their project if people are just gonna start asking "Why should we give you money when you already have investors giving you all the money you need?"

I think this also goes back to some things I was talking about before, about so how so many developers are afraid to take risks anymore. We have some of them using Kickstarter and other means to gauge fan support for a game before they start on it. Square-Enix keeps remaking older Final Fantasy games and going back to the Kingdom Hearts well instead of coming up with anything new anymore, and that's what the fanbase seems to want from them (their reaction to FF13 illustrated pretty well what happened when they tried to mix things up a little and stray from the formula). Capcom is focused on updated versions of Street Fighter and HD remakes of the Resident Evil games, maybe rereleasing some Megaman games every so often to spice things up a little. Sega is now all Sonic, all the time; they seem to have abandoned all of their less famous franchises. Everyone is playing it way too safe anymore. (Though I can't entirely blame the developers for this; I can also blame the fans' narrow-mindedness seeing how the FF7 remake apparently trumped the entirety of Nintendo's more diverse repertoire.)

There are better ways to see how interested people will be in a game then asking them for money.

Say they hit their funding goal but the backers say "Ya know... we think we'll back out on this one." and then the game never gets made... but the kickstarter raised what it was supposed to. You're SOL as an "investor" at that point.

People sometimes call me narrow minded because I don't really like playing new games all that much... to them I say "Ok... show me a new game." And just about anything and everything they'll point at is a remake, a report, a new game in a series, or a revamp into HD from something that's from the same era of the games I'm playing anyway.

Hell I picked up some stuff in the latest humble bundle... one game is snake with walls, one is defender with awkward controls, one is a platformer puzzle that has a lot of physics jokes and it seems to be the best one of the lot so far... and it's one of the most different in the bunch.

I like different, I like new and exciting universes to immerse myself in when I'm playing games. That's why I bought those Baten Kaitos games and Vagrant Story and Lunar... that's why I love Supergiant and their games (Bastion and Transistor), that's why I used to super love Atlus and Enix and SquareSoft.

I'm running out of people to love that aren't dead, incorporated, "antique", "boutique" or just plain confused.

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