Kickstarted to Death

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
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Teoes said:
Mmm, rabbi bacon. Erin's face in the first panel tells me she knew ahead of time that the project was going to go tits-up.
Yeah, well, she's Erin. Erin being evil is pretty much the status quo.
 

FPLOON

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Is... that why I still don't have my DVD and CD soundtrack from the three-part, now two-part, documentary series that was release free on YouTube over a year ago? Well, fuck! All I got to show for it is my name mentioned in the final credits, only the format fucked up royally on just my name alone... No wonder it was the last [real] project I backed on Kickstarter... :p

Other than that, at least the other two kickstarters I backed succeeded fully... One ended with one band getting their tour in order (with some complementary music from said band sent to all the designated backers) and the one before that ended with all designated backers (like myself) owning both the main documentary and the extended main interviews featured in said documentary on Blu-Ray (and that's not including the pre-screening or the "sequel" documentary) even when that particular kickstarter received far more than what it actually needed...
 

The Rogue Wolf

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I've said before that there's a reason publishers adopted practices like project management and time/budget constraints. It may seem infuriating, but without them we all too often get what you see here- people trying to build the third floor of a mansion before the foundation is finished.

There are some problems that can't be solved just by throwing more money at them.
 

Ukomba

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If you promise more for extra money, if you get the extra money it better be worth it. A smart... 'burger maker'... would just refuse the extra money and not fall into the greed trap. Like with Kickstarter, no one is forcing developers to put any kind of stretch goals down let alone continue to add more and more outrageous ones, that's a failing of greed.
 

Scars Unseen

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May 7, 2009
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Ukomba said:
If you promise more for extra money, if you get the extra money it better be worth it. A smart... 'burger maker'... would just refuse the extra money and not fall into the greed trap. Like with Kickstarter, no one is forcing developers to put any kind of stretch goals down let alone continue to add more and more outrageous ones, that's a failing of greed.
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure I can agree in most cases. Ideally, a Kickstarter for a project that intends to be sold to a mass market in the end will want to obtain exactly enough money to make the game and no more. The reason for this is that there is a diminished value in Kickstarter money that doesn't go toward development versus income from sales. I think that most well run KS campaigns only get about 50% of the pledged money as actual development money, with the rest being split between Kickstarter itself and reward fulfillment. Obviously high end pledges are worth a higher value to the developer, but typically the majority of pledges are at the minimum level to get the final product as a reward. Given that that tier is usually less than what the game is supposed to sell for after release, this means that increased pledges are actually decreased profits in the long run.

The main reasons for trying for higher pledge rates that I can see are either increased visibility (basically gambling that this will lead to higher sales later) or because the minimum goal isn't the game the developer wants to make, but rather the one they can live with limiting themselves to if no better option is available.
 

Lightspeaker

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I have to somewhat agree with the point being made in this article: I flat out can't understand why people get so worked up about every penny going into the project. You're backing the project, but you don't HAVE to back it and they've clearly laid out what they intend to provide for the money given, however much that might be.

They ask for money for a specific project with specific goals. If they get more than that target then there is pretty much zero reason to frantically jump about looking for ways to make it "worth" that amount of money. Its far, far better to properly cost precisely what you want, add a buffer, and then ask for that amount. Not asking for a lesser amount and then saying "but if we get this much we'll make it bigger and better". Its a poor way to manage a business.

However I feel Kickstarter creators have themselves largely to blame for this thanks to the massive fad for "stretch goals". They're not so bad when its a fairly modest addition (extra skins or a few extra levels or whatever) or perhaps even when its a bit of an elaboration on a concept (like making a campaign more open-ended rather than linear and scripted), those things can realistically be added with only a small additional investment with less chance of things going wrong and delays; but when you're talking about adding entire new mechanics and systems...that's when it starts to become concerning. Because that's not an addition, its a total redesign.
 

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
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Caramel Frappe said:
OT: If Erin gave me a thousand dollars, i'd just put a fake horn on a horse, all while putting a burger costume around the horse as well. She would be either so disappointed and kill me, or so absorbed she'll never abandon the poor thing.
Either way, odds are strong you'll be lit on fire.
 

Darth_Payn

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Aetrion said:
This is brilliant, exactly how I feel about how Kickstarter is being used currently. If something has a cult following or is backed by some internet celebrity people will overfund it to hell and back for absolutely no good reason, while at the same time thousands of projects don't even meet the most modest goals.

Crowdfunding has become a mirror of how investor funding worked. Entirely too much money thrown at things that are expected to do well anyways, while no money at all is "risked" to fund innovative ideas that might fail.

Kickstarter: "Ohhh look, the Oatmeal guy is doing the illustrations for a card game, so clearly this game needs 6000 times more money than it asked for, while no other card game can even raise it's basic goal! Fuck anyone who doesn't have illustrations by someone I've heard of before!"


Maybe a celebrity should start a Kickstarter to raise money to spend on kickstarters that actually deserve it.
Maybe Tim Schafer can do it. Let's get a Kickstarter for him!

OT: This is the trouble that occurs when "Shut up and take my money!" is the core philosophy of a website. The leads of each project should say, at some point, "No more, thank you. I have all I need to complete this in the schedule and budget I planned out."
 

IamLEAM1983

Neloth's got swag.
Aug 22, 2011
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crimson5pheonix said:
Hey Grey, would you say Star Citizen suffers from this?
I'd say this is a dramatic understatement.

Why have project managers and clear and concise design documents when you can just holler at your staff? Why do that when you can inhumanly pressure mere human beings in the vain hope that your game will be ALL THE THINGS to EVERYONE?

Roberts has been out of the loop for so long he hasn't even witnessed Molyneux's successive debacles.

Never over-promise, devs, and never over-sell. If the PR department tells you to do it, you tell them to kindly fuck off.
 

Clankenbeard

Clerical Error
Mar 29, 2009
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Lightknight said:
I like the comic but it really fails to properly place the blame on the company swearing they can make a burger worth $1,000 if you give them that instead of the $5 they set as their original goal.
I suspect the creative choice of depicting the burgermeister as a child was intentional. There's no malice or schemed conning of investors. He simply doesn't know any better.

Kickstarter RISKS & CHALLENGES: I don't know what I don't know.
 

Ukomba

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Scars Unseen said:
Ukomba said:
If you promise more for extra money, if you get the extra money it better be worth it. A smart... 'burger maker'... would just refuse the extra money and not fall into the greed trap. Like with Kickstarter, no one is forcing developers to put any kind of stretch goals down let alone continue to add more and more outrageous ones, that's a failing of greed.
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure I can agree in most cases. Ideally, a Kickstarter for a project that intends to be sold to a mass market in the end will want to obtain exactly enough money to make the game and no more. The reason for this is that there is a diminished value in Kickstarter money that doesn't go toward development versus income from sales. I think that most well run KS campaigns only get about 50% of the pledged money as actual development money, with the rest being split between Kickstarter itself and reward fulfillment. Obviously high end pledges are worth a higher value to the developer, but typically the majority of pledges are at the minimum level to get the final product as a reward. Given that that tier is usually less than what the game is supposed to sell for after release, this means that increased pledges are actually decreased profits in the long run.

The main reasons for trying for higher pledge rates that I can see are either increased visibility (basically gambling that this will lead to higher sales later) or because the minimum goal isn't the game the developer wants to make, but rather the one they can live with limiting themselves to if no better option is available.
But that's not what this is about. This isn't someone asking for 10,000k to get the basics of a game down and stretch goals for things the game would need anyways. This is suddenly realizing how much money you could have and promising the moon in order to get it.

Bloodstained is a good example of this. You look at the original stretch goals and they are all really reasonable. Cheat codes, new difficulty levels, music, voice acting, some simple modes, ext.

Then they hit all those and suddenly realize how much money they could have. The next set are

IGA's biggest castle ever, a totally separate Roguelike dungeon, Separate Prequel game, miti-platform release, online multiplayer, Ability to play as bosses.

These are massive undertakings now, several of them are basically their own separate games with entirely different mechanics like Roguelike or Boss Revenge. They're exciting and certainly got me to pony up but the complexity and challenge of making the game is now a lot higher. People's expectations are going to be equally as high now that they are so invested.
 

Daymo

And how much is this Pub Club?
May 18, 2008
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There came an Echo (shameless link http://store.steampowered.com/app/319740)is a game I didn't even back because I'm not a massive fan of buying stuff sight unseen, but I did follow it and see it as a great example of a tightly focused development that knew what it wanted to be from the start. Even then, they stated June 2014 as a middle of the road estimate and it came out nearly 8 months later, I would guess that many kickstarters feel the need to promise a release date (or even features) they are 90% certain they can't hit, to entice more backers. So I propose gamergate 2.0, ethics in kickstarter promises.
 

Imp_Emissary

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Devin Barker said:
I now demand that all of my food feature Rabbi Bacon.
Teoes said:
Mmm, rabbi bacon. Erin's face in the first panel tells me she knew ahead of time that the project was going to go tits-up. What an evil *****.
Rabbi Bacon is indeed rare and expensive. Never had any myself, but science labs around the world have tried to artificially create it in labs, such as this specimen.
http://img.chan4chan.com/img/2010-01-21/1264058200272.jpg

Sadly we can so far only find undiscovered stores of Rabbi Bacon right now. Ever since the end of the Piggy Wars when the Rabbis were forced to sign a treaty stating that they would end the production of Rabbi Bacon we've just been subsisting on what was made at the time.
 

Devin Barker

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Imp Emissary said:
Devin Barker said:
I now demand that all of my food feature Rabbi Bacon.
Teoes said:
Mmm, rabbi bacon. Erin's face in the first panel tells me she knew ahead of time that the project was going to go tits-up. What an evil *****.
Rabbi Bacon is indeed rare and expensive. Never had any myself, but science labs around the world have tried to artificially create it in labs, such as this specimen.
http://img.chan4chan.com/img/2010-01-21/1264058200272.jpg


Sadly we can so far only find undiscovered stores of Rabbi Bacon right now. Ever since the end of the Piggy Wars when the Rabbis were forced to sign a treaty stating that they would end the production of Rabbi Bacon we've just been subsisting on what was made at the time.

So what you saying is im gonna need to kidnap me some Rabbis and start smashing toes with a ball pein until I gets me my bacon?
 

Scars Unseen

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Ukomba said:
Scars Unseen said:
Ukomba said:
If you promise more for extra money, if you get the extra money it better be worth it. A smart... 'burger maker'... would just refuse the extra money and not fall into the greed trap. Like with Kickstarter, no one is forcing developers to put any kind of stretch goals down let alone continue to add more and more outrageous ones, that's a failing of greed.
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure I can agree in most cases. Ideally, a Kickstarter for a project that intends to be sold to a mass market in the end will want to obtain exactly enough money to make the game and no more. The reason for this is that there is a diminished value in Kickstarter money that doesn't go toward development versus income from sales. I think that most well run KS campaigns only get about 50% of the pledged money as actual development money, with the rest being split between Kickstarter itself and reward fulfillment. Obviously high end pledges are worth a higher value to the developer, but typically the majority of pledges are at the minimum level to get the final product as a reward. Given that that tier is usually less than what the game is supposed to sell for after release, this means that increased pledges are actually decreased profits in the long run.

The main reasons for trying for higher pledge rates that I can see are either increased visibility (basically gambling that this will lead to higher sales later) or because the minimum goal isn't the game the developer wants to make, but rather the one they can live with limiting themselves to if no better option is available.
But that's not what this is about. This isn't someone asking for 10,000k to get the basics of a game down and stretch goals for things the game would need anyways. This is suddenly realizing how much money you could have and promising the moon in order to get it.

Bloodstained is a good example of this. You look at the original stretch goals and they are all really reasonable. Cheat codes, new difficulty levels, music, voice acting, some simple modes, ext.

Then they hit all those and suddenly realize how much money they could have. The next set are

IGA's biggest castle ever, a totally separate Roguelike dungeon, Separate Prequel game, miti-platform release, online multiplayer, Ability to play as bosses.

These are massive undertakings now, several of them are basically their own separate games with entirely different mechanics like Roguelike or Boss Revenge. They're exciting and certainly got me to pony up but the complexity and challenge of making the game is now a lot higher. People's expectations are going to be equally as high now that they are so invested.
Bloodstained was probably a bad example for you to pick, as it is pretty much a perfect example of what I'm talking about. I don't know if you actually followed that campaign while it was live, but it was probably one of the most well planned out Kickstarters I've seen. There was no "suddenly realized." They had planned for success in the first place. The minimum goal was just that: the minimum hoped for success.
 

Lil_Rimmy

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This is why I was very impressed with certain Kickstarters that I saw (and now can't remember which) which basically stated once we hit our goal all excess will be stored as wages and profit, and only after we have delivered the base game described will we then tap the excess to add extra features.

That's the way it really should be. Speaking of Kickstarters with huge stretches, what has been happening with Guns of Icarus: Online? (or like Adventure or whatever the title was)
 

Imp_Emissary

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Devin Barker said:
Imp Emissary said:
Rabbi Bacon is indeed rare and expensive. Never had any myself, but science labs around the world have tried to artificially create it in labs, such as this specimen.
http://img.chan4chan.com/img/2010-01-21/1264058200272.jpg


Sadly we can so far only find undiscovered stores of Rabbi Bacon right now. Ever since the end of the Piggy Wars when the Rabbis were forced to sign a treaty stating that they would end the production of Rabbi Bacon we've just been subsisting on what was made at the time.
So what you saying is im gonna need to kidnap me some Rabbis and start smashing toes with a ball pein until I gets me my bacon?
Unfortunately, the art of preparing Rabbi Bacon has been lost to all known Rabbis as the practice was ended while it was still being kept as an orally pasted down tradition. Thus, no records exist of how it was made, and no Rabbi would be likely to know how to make it either.

They've tried to analyze samples found hidden away, but so far they can't nail down how to get it just right.
 

CrystalShadow

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I have, to date, never backed a kickstarter that wasn't a hardware project.
(well, except for something that is baaically akin to donating money to a museum. But I really didn't expect something to be delivered to me personally as a result, So I wasn't overly invested in the result)

so far, I've not seen something I've backed run into serious problems.
The thing about hardware projects is, most of them have working prototypes of their project before they even start the kickstarter.

What you're paying them for, is refining an already working design, and adapting it for mass production.
So, a bunch of logistical work, and design improvements to something that already works.

In game terms, this would be like backing a game that is already a working prototype of most of it's major gameplay features, with just some final additional content and bug fixing, optimisation and the like still to do.

No wonder this tends to work out OK more often than games do. XD