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Although I believe crowd funding has lots of room to grow and has potential to change the way a lot of games are developed, there are pitfalls. The story of Haunts just fell into my lap today. Fully funded Kickstarter game lost some key personnel and will probably fail. I wonder how those backers feel about funding another game.

I've been funding Kickstarters for more than a year and a half now. If you're actually the sort of person that would be a part of Kickstarter's audience pre-DFA, you knew exactly what you were getting into and probably wouldn't feel too bad about something falling apart. With post-DFA backers treating it like an extended pre-order system, there's bound to be a ****storm.

 

I funded a game back in March 2011 that was supposed to come out seven months ago, and it's obviously far from finished. The people who donated to that seem to mostly be scientists in the fields of neurobiology and genetics, and they've been extremely supportive and understanding. Would a major Kickstarter's audience be equally supportive of a long delay? I'm not sure. I frankly don't think these new people realize what goes into making games. The big issue I'm seeing is watching people make business and money decisions when they really don't have a clue as to what they're really doing, what Kickstarter really is, what the risks are, etc. This new set of backers is acting like they're buying a product, and the conflating of "early product pre-order" and what Kickstarter actually does are leading to some serious problems.

 

We're building a house of cards and it's only going to take one big flop to cause it to come crashing down.

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Although I believe crowd funding has lots of room to grow and has potential to change the way a lot of games are developed, there are pitfalls. The story of Haunts just fell into my lap today. Fully funded Kickstarter game lost some key personnel and will probably fail. I wonder how those backers feel about funding another game.

 

Since PE is my first KS, my question concerning that project would be:

 

What are the dev pedigrees and just how much game industry experience do they actually have in both programming and the business end? (Extremely different) There's nothing on Wikipedia about Mob Rules Games.

 

The reason why I backed PE is twofold:

 

Obsidian is a major developer studio with a significant pedigreed history in the industry for AAA titles and thus should have a firm handle on the project management and costing aspects. Moreover, I think it would be easier to "downscale" the business end of things from that higher end to a KS homegrown. Obsidian is betting their industry reputation on this; it's fair to say there's no room for failure. ;) (No pressure, Obsidian.)

 

And naturally, the second reason is for the genre.

 

As a side note, I wonder if multiplayer games are by their nature more expensive to create and QA than singleplayer.

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The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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What are the dev pedigrees and just how much game industry experience do they actually have in both programming and the business end? (Extremely different) There's nothing on Wikipedia about Mob Rules Games.

Everyone who worked on Haunted had prior experience in games, both P&P and videogames, with the main guy being one of the founders of Cryptic which launched City of Heroes.

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Although I believe crowd funding has lots of room to grow and has potential to change the way a lot of games are developed, there are pitfalls. The story of Haunts just fell into my lap today. Fully funded Kickstarter game lost some key personnel and will probably fail. I wonder how those backers feel about funding another game.

 

Why don't we ask them? (Scroll down to the comments.)

 

 

Ummm, wow. Its hard to believe those people are gamers, they are the most understanding and patient people who have ever spent money on a game that has disappointed them.....I'm shocked, hahaha.

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A reason I considered Obsidian a somewhat safe bet, is that they already have the infrastructure in place to develop a game. Programmers, artists, developers, modelers, etc. in house. When a KS has a "garage band" vibe I worry that they may not know what they are getting themselves into and how to manage all of the things that can impede and derail a project.

 

Weirdly, I am more reluctant to back a KS project with a 50K goal than I would a 500K goal ... small budgets imply not a lot of margin for error.

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Look folks, Obsidian said they could make this game for $1.1M. A game in the spirit of the old IE engine games. Considering that they have now much more than that means there are a fair number of believers that the $1.1M budget was enough and that more funds would be a better game. If P:E fails to meet the expectations of the KS backers and the RPG market in general then they have no one to blame but themselves. Obsidian's track record is not the greatest. They have a reputation of releasing buggy, incomplete games. Probably undeserved based on all the stories about the various publishers I've heard. The bottom line, though, is that if Obsidian fails they will bear all the blame and kill all the goodwill they have with the cRPG community (see Bioware post-EA purchase). As such, they have motivation and incentive not to fail. And unlike with other developers, we have insight into P:E's production and can help make sure that the $4M we have collectively invested IS enough.


Rub my belly....you know you want to...give in to the temptation...and don't mind the resulting love scratches and bites.

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Maybe I'm a pessimist, but while I'm hopeful that every single bigger project will do fine, if even one fails to get made, for example, the bad press kickstarter would get, combined with increased sentiment of cynicism from potential backers, could do a lot of damage.

 

Eventually there will have to be a crowdfunded video game project which fails. Let's just hope it happens as late as possible and that the current "big three" - Double Fine Adventure, Wasteland 2 and Project Eternity - will do great and garner a nice reputation for Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general.

 

http://www.rockpaper...kstarters-fail/

 

Am I completely abusing hindsight or does that project look completely unrealistic and not particularly appealing? They already spent twice the amount they're asking for but their pitch hardly shows anything. Even if I was interested in that game, and I wasn't really because the pitch didn't really contain a lot of information about the gameplay, it's a bit sketchy. It's multiplayer turned based defence-attack asymmetrical where you have equipment and abilities based on horror games. Yet it was a three person team where they knew one person was leaving that was the most risk, having a small team in the first place is risky, one of them could have fallen ill, had an minor accident, they had a 4 month window. Yet I'm sure the 700 people or so that pledged $5 are absolutely mortified with this turn of events.

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Ummm, wow. Its hard to believe those people are gamers, they are the most understanding and patient people who have ever spent money on a game that has disappointed them.....I'm shocked, hahaha.

They're INDIE gamers. People in the indie game community tend to actually have some sort of conceptualization of how the sausage gets made(so to speak), so they don't tend to treat developers like some wretched slave caste.

 

Maybe I'm a pessimist, but while I'm hopeful that every single bigger project will do fine, if even one fails to get made, for example, the bad press kickstarter would get, combined with increased sentiment of cynicism from potential backers, could do a lot of damage.

 

Eventually there will have to be a crowdfunded video game project which fails. Let's just hope it happens as late as possible and that the current "big three" - Double Fine Adventure, Wasteland 2 and Project Eternity - will do great and garner a nice reputation for Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general.

 

http://www.rockpaper...kstarters-fail/

 

Am I completely abusing hindsight or does that project look completely unrealistic and not particularly appealing? They already spent twice the amount they're asking for but their pitch hardly shows anything. Even if I was interested in that game, and I wasn't really because the pitch didn't really contain a lot of information about the gameplay, it's a bit sketchy. It's multiplayer turned based defence-attack asymmetrical where you have equipment and abilities based on horror games. Yet it was a three person team where they knew one person was leaving that was the most risk, having a small team in the first place is risky, one of them could have fallen ill, had an minor accident, they had a 4 month window. Yet I'm sure the 700 people or so that pledged $5 are absolutely mortified with this turn of events.

Hindsight and lack of perspective. I assure you, the pitch was very persuasive and intriguing for its target audience. That audience doesn't directly include me personally, though I'm adjacent enough to it that I'm well aware of why people latched onto and backed it.

Edited by HungryHungryOuroboros
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Although I believe crowd funding has lots of room to grow and has potential to change the way a lot of games are developed, there are pitfalls. The story of Haunts just fell into my lap today. Fully funded Kickstarter game lost some key personnel and will probably fail. I wonder how those backers feel about funding another game.

I've been funding Kickstarters for more than a year and a half now. If you're actually the sort of person that would be a part of Kickstarter's audience pre-DFA, you knew exactly what you were getting into and probably wouldn't feel too bad about something falling apart. With post-DFA backers treating it like an extended pre-order system, there's bound to be a ****storm.

 

I funded a game back in March 2011 that was supposed to come out seven months ago, and it's obviously far from finished. The people who donated to that seem to mostly be scientists in the fields of neurobiology and genetics, and they've been extremely supportive and understanding. Would a major Kickstarter's audience be equally supportive of a long delay? I'm not sure. I frankly don't think these new people realize what goes into making games. The big issue I'm seeing is watching people make business and money decisions when they really don't have a clue as to what they're really doing, what Kickstarter really is, what the risks are, etc. This new set of backers is acting like they're buying a product, and the conflating of "early product pre-order" and what Kickstarter actually does are leading to some serious problems.

 

We're building a house of cards and it's only going to take one big flop to cause it to come crashing down.

 

Yeah, and that's what we saw here with PE--it was a preorder storefront (I gave my analysis for that rationale in a different thread). This reminds me of Sawyer who commented... what did he say.... about backing that KS thing by.... Anita Sarkeesian, I think... and possibly losing his money.... Okay, this is going to drive me nuts trying to find the quote. Anyone know what I'm trying to remember? (Maybe I can do that before the edit window closes. :sweat: )

 

What are the dev pedigrees and just how much game industry experience do they actually have in both programming and the business end? (Extremely different) There's nothing on Wikipedia about Mob Rules Games.

Everyone who worked on Haunted had prior experience in games, both P&P and videogames, with the main guy being one of the founders of Cryptic which launched City of Heroes.

 

Interesting. Yeah, I dunno then. Calculations are off. I mean, $25,000? Like nikolokolus says, there's not a lot of room in that....


The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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Although I believe crowd funding has lots of room to grow and has potential to change the way a lot of games are developed, there are pitfalls. The story of Haunts just fell into my lap today. Fully funded Kickstarter game lost some key personnel and will probably fail. I wonder how those backers feel about funding another game.

 

Why don't we ask them? (Scroll down to the comments.)

 

Nice, thoughtful comments. I remain puzzled though how a team of four can be funded for anything like $29,000. Perhaps there was a profit-sharing scheme?

 

 

...Oops, I guess this had already been discussed. Sorry.

Edited by rjshae

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Although I believe crowd funding has lots of room to grow and has potential to change the way a lot of games are developed, there are pitfalls. The story of Haunts just fell into my lap today. Fully funded Kickstarter game lost some key personnel and will probably fail. I wonder how those backers feel about funding another game.

 

Why don't we ask them? (Scroll down to the comments.)

 

Ummm, wow. Its hard to believe those people are gamers, they are the most understanding and patient people who have ever spent money on a game that has disappointed them.....I'm shocked, hahaha.

 

You have very little "faith" in people. Mostly, I do too - cynicism is the way to survive in the world. But, well, when investing in a video game project, it pays off to keep in mind that people behind that project are still only people. And to people, s**t happens - sometimes s**t caused by their own human faultiness, sometimes s**t that is completely outside of their own control. But then it all depends on how those people treat their backers in return - read that update and you will see that the guy goes into as much detail as possible to explain to the people who gave him money what exactly had gone wrong and how, understands the position he's put them all in and that he is still determined to make and release the game anyway and even offers to repay them the money they gave him, because that would only be fair if they wanted him to even though that would probably make him nearly homeless.

 

I'm far from a happy-go-lucky hippie, but... as infinitely cheesy as it may sound, humanity has many faces and this is one of them, and Kickstarter seems to attract it. And that is exactly why I have so much faith in it.

 

We're building a house of cards and it's only going to take one big flop to cause it to come crashing down.

 

I think that's overdramatising it a bit. As I said, as long as the current big three (DFA, W2, PE) don't fail, it's safe to say Kickstarter and crowdfunding will get a pretty sturdy foundation to keep on growing.

 

Sure, there will always be people who will start yelling about losing all hope in crowdfunding and never backing any Kickstarter campaign ever again when one ends up failing, but I think those are neither numerous enough nor loud enough to cause the entire crowdfunding thing to completely collapse. My estimation is that crowdfunded projects will succeed much more frequently than they will fail for the failures to have a detrimental effect on the crowdfunding system.

Edited by Veeno
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runner.jpg

Hey, I just backed you,

and this is crazy,

but here's my money,

so stretch goal maybe?

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Nice, thoughtful comments. I remain puzzled though how a team of four can be funded for anything like $29,000. Perhaps there was a profit-sharing scheme?

 

I guess that's my point on the last page about being more willing to back a project with a larger budget, than a shoe-string project. the 25K they asked for seems low because it is low ... they were probably afraid to ask for more, fearing that they wouldn't meet their funding goal, but maybe they should have been more willing to face failing up front (not meeting a funding goal) where nobody loses anything than lowballing themselves and leaving no margin for error?

Edited by nikolokolus

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Man, I really want OE to succeed, not as much because I want the game, but more because I'd like these negative-types to have to swallow their words. Come on OE, you've got a lot riding on this. Don't screw up.

 

No pressure though :D


My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Interesting. Yeah, I dunno then. Calculations are off. I mean, $25,000? Like nikolokolus says, there's not a lot of room in that....

Nice, thoughtful comments. I remain puzzled though how a team of four can be funded for anything like $29,000. Perhaps there was a profit-sharing scheme?

If you were following the right independent news sources, you'd know a couple of things. First, that they weren't working on the game full-time. Second, they were contracting out a second programmer. The costs were really low because the bulk was really funding the contract work for one guy. Contract guy used up his part of the money, another programmer didn't want to keep working on it. That's what caused the issue here.

 

But yeah, they were working on the game pre-Kickstarter. If you were in the right circles, you might have seen it a few months before the campaign started.

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Man, I really want OE to succeed, not as much because I want the game, but more because I'd like these negative-types to have to swallow their words. Come on OE, you've got a lot riding on this. Don't screw up.

 

No pressure though :D

 

Well, as a $500 backer, I wouldn't exactly call myself the negative type. I have mostly agreed with Veeno on the potential of crowd funding growth in the future, but I do have to acknowledge some of the good points that have been brought up by the others who are little more pessimistic about the future of crowd funding.

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Well, I'm definitely not cool enough to be in the "right circles"

Nah, your'e just not this specific kind of nerd. I don't follow figurine wargames or Magic cards or whatever, but I do follow really niche video game releases. It's not a matter of being better/cooler, it's just a matter of having a different kind of interest. In this conversation, actually having watched the entire development of this thing lets me have a relevant perspective, so I brought it up. Sorry if that came off as braggy or pretentious.

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Well, as a $500 backer, I wouldn't exactly call myself the negative type. I have mostly agreed with Veeno on the potential of crowd funding growth in the future, but I do have to acknowledge some of the good points that have been brought up by the others who are little more pessimistic about the future of crowd funding.

 

At the end of the day, both predictions are realistic. Only time will tell.

 

Crowdfunding is the attempt of getting rid of the "semi-middleman" that is publisher. If it succeeds, it can only mean a better age not only for gamers, but also for the developers themselves. The ideal, to me, would be that there are only developers and players with nothing in-between them. And as I've suggested earlier, the modern infrastructure of Internet permits getting rid of the one remaining middleman - the distributor.

 

But it's still not certain whether crowdfunding itself will succeed, so step by step I say.

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runner.jpg

Hey, I just backed you,

and this is crazy,

but here's my money,

so stretch goal maybe?

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Well, as a $500 backer, I wouldn't exactly call myself the negative type. I have mostly agreed with Veeno on the potential of crowd funding growth in the future, but I do have to acknowledge some of the good points that have been brought up by the others who are little more pessimistic about the future of crowd funding.

 

At the end of the day, both predictions are realistic. Only time will tell.

 

Crowdfunding is the attempt of getting rid of the "semi-middleman" that is publisher. If it succeeds, it can only mean a better age not only for gamers, but also for the developers themselves. The ideal, to me, would be that there are only developers and players with nothing in-between them. And as I've suggested earlier, the modern infrastructure of Internet permits getting rid of the one remaining middleman - the distributor.

 

But it's still not certain whether crowdfunding itself will succeed, so step by step I say.

 

I can ultimately wish nothing but the best for Obsidian. Because if Obsidian wins, gamers win. This was not the case with publisher-funded games. Developers could create great games but still suffer for it both from their fans and the publishers. This whole KS thing has opened my eyes to the incredibly bleak world of game development. It's tough and I really feel for these guys.

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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Also Veeno, you hit the nail on the head!

 

As I usually do when logical argumentation is required - in fact, that's more or less what I get taught at uni.

 

I sure hope it's not an economics degree though, 'cause your logic in these matters is seriously flawed.

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This whole KS thing has opened my eyes to the incredibly bleak world of game development. It's tough and I really feel for these guys.

If nothing else, if handled properly, this is a big benefit to crowdfunding campaigns. As much as gamers are educated about their games now, it's surprisingly common for gamers to have NO idea:

 

-Who made their game

-Who financed their game

-How their game was financed

-How their game was made

-How much their game costs to make

-How many people are needed to make their game

 

Properly handled, Kickstarter campaigns with their more open approach to developer/fan relations(which is already common in the indie space with its 1 to 5-man teams) could really serve as a way to open people's eyes to how games are made.

 

 

I sure hope it's not an economics degree though, 'cause your logic in these matters is seriously flawed.

Side note: My degree actually IS in economics, though my specialization isn't in consumer-end products(it's in international trade).

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I sure hope it's not an economics degree though, 'cause your logic in these matters is seriously flawed.

 

In what way is it flawed? Or are you just making blatant statements to disagree?


"If we are alone in the universe, it sure seems like an awful waste of space"

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In what way is it flawed? Or are you just making blatant statements to disagree?

The core argument is just poor. It's one thing to say that crowdfunding has growth potential, it's another thing entirely to say that sales of finished games in major retail and digital outlets gives us any indication of the possible upper limits of that growth potential. It's conflating so many elements it's mind-boggling. They're not equivalent, they say nothing about each other, and the Kickstarter audience will always be by necessity significantly smaller than the retail/Steam audience.

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If nothing else, if handled properly, this is a big benefit to crowdfunding campaigns. As much as gamers are educated about their games now, it's surprisingly common for gamers to have NO idea:

 

-Who made their game

-Who financed their game

-How their game was financed

-How their game was made

-How much their game costs to make

-How many people are needed to make their game

 

Properly handled, Kickstarter campaigns with their more open approach to developer/fan relations(which is already common in the indie space with its 1 to 5-man teams) could really serve as a way to open people's eyes to how games are made.

 

I just never understood what a publisher was, what a developer did, etc. I just knew Best Buy sold games that I liked. I also knew that these games were getting more and more expensive every year.


My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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In what way is it flawed? Or are you just making blatant statements to disagree?

The core argument is just poor. It's one thing to say that crowdfunding has growth potential, it's another thing entirely to say that sales of finished games in major retail and digital outlets gives us any indication of the possible upper limits of that growth potential. It's conflating so many elements it's mind-boggling. They're not equivalent, they say nothing about each other, and the Kickstarter audience will always be by necessity significantly smaller than the retail/Steam audience.

 

I'm not seeing anywhere that Veeno stated final retail sales indicates any upper limits for the kickstarter model...if it was stated somewhere, I must have missed that. Thus far, what I've read of Veeno's posts seem to be very logical and reasonable, and yet anek comes in stating that they are logically flawed from an economics viewpoint without any reason for WHY they are allegedly flawed.

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"If we are alone in the universe, it sure seems like an awful waste of space"

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