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Author Topic: Kickstarter  (Read 15656 times)
fog
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« on: November 22, 2012, 12:06:50 PM »

Not wanting to derail the Elite Kickstarter thread I thought we'd have a general thread for other projects.

First up it's good old controversial Peter Molyneux and his new 22 Cans studio with Godus.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/22cans/project-godus

Quote
Populous was created over 22 years ago, and we believe that to date, nothing has come close to emulating its powerfully godlike experience. It’s this experience we aim to reimagine. GODUS blends the power, growth and scope of Populous with the detailed construction and multiplayer excitement of Dungeon Keeper and the intuitive interface and technical innovation of Black & White. The original Populous hailed from the 8-bit era but GODUS will use the most modern technology the world has to offer.
My main concern is that later Populous games (after II) got progressively worse as has just about everything Molyneux has been involved in over the last 5 years.

The thought of a Populous I or II on the iPad has me excited though.  BunnyMonkey!


(As a side note, I hope Kickstarter doesn't head the way of other initiatives and gets used more and more by big studios at the expense of the smaller ones.  Molyneux can hardly be that desperate for cash to support his projects that he needs Kickstarter.)
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T_M_C
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2012, 01:26:38 PM »

Cool.

I'm a big fan of Peter Molyneux.

Having played his games and followed his career since the Amiga and ST days.

Take his Curosity project for instance.

I think it's pure psychological Genius.

With the main motivation for players to find out whats at the center of the cube.

Theres basically no gameplay involved but according to that video, they've had over 2 million downloads already.   Shocked


Quote
(As a side note, I hope Kickstarter doesn't head the way of other initiatives and gets used more and more by big studios at the expense of the smaller ones.  Molyneux can hardly be that desperate for cash to support his projects that he needs Kickstarter.)

It's looking like a cop out for a lot of big name developers now isn't it.

Let's try a kickstarter campaign to lower the risks involved so we can make even more money.

Whereras for the majority small time breadline developers, it's their only hope of getting any financial backing.


I had a thought regarding kickstarter in general.

Basically, it's a donation financial model.  With a few perks depending on how much is pledged.

What if a shareholder model was used instead, or as an option.

Where each pledger gets a small stake in the game and as such a financial share of the sales, depending on how much was pledged.

Instead of investing into a company as the traditional stock market does, investors would invest into a product instead.

Obviously the details need to be thrashed out but i think it's a future option that could be used as an alternative funding model.

As at the moment, it's left to the fans to pay for the games they want developed.
And the developer gets all the sales benefits.

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« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 01:30:45 PM by T_M_C » Logged
fog
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2012, 05:38:02 PM »

Take his Curosity project for instance.

I think it's pure psychological Genius.

With the main motivation for players to find out whats at the center of the cube.

Theres basically no gameplay involved but according to that video, they've had over 2 million downloads already.   Shocked
Believe it or not, 2m isn't that great for a freeware title with that much publicity.  It barely made an impact on the top-100 free apps and has disappeared from the charts now.

It's also one of the most bugged and poorest rated titles I've ever seen on the App Store. After updates I still don't think it works  BunnyMonkey!

FWIW I agree about it being an interesting project and would like to see more of this type of experiment.


I had a thought regarding kickstarter in general.

Basically, it's a donation financial model.  With a few perks depending on how much is pledged.

What if a shareholder model was used instead, or as an option.

Where each pledger gets a small stake in the game and as such a financial share of the sales, depending on how much was pledged.

Instead of investing into a company as the traditional stock market does, investors would invest into a product instead.

Obviously the details need to be thrashed out but i think it's a future option that could be used as an alternative funding model.

As at the moment, it's left to the fans to pay for the games they want developed.
And the developer gets all the sales benefits.
That's a brilliant idea.  I particularly like the fact it gives investers a literal invested interest in seeing the project succeed so you have a ready made army of people to spread the word and generate the hype, leaving the developer to get on with actual developing.
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fog
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2012, 02:29:50 PM »

Molyneux wasn't happy with their Curiosity efforts then lol  Smiley

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In an extraordinary interview to be published shortly, a clearly emotional Peter Molyneux broke down into tears when discussing the struggles he’s had with Curiosity, and his concerns about making promises for Kickstarter GODUS.

“I can’t blame people for not believing,” Molyneux responded, when it was suggested that his history of over-promising and under-delivering might hurt prospects for GODUS. Especially in light of the very negative reaction to Curiosity’s server failures – something the creator tells us was “a disaster”.
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/11/22/peter-molyneuxs-tears-i-still-believe-so-much/

I hope the mess with Curiosity doesn't effect the Godus Kickstarter.
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T_M_C
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2012, 03:53:15 PM »

That interview sounds fascinating.

From what i read from your link it seems Peter Molyneux is really depressed after releasing Curiosity and the server problems they've had with it.

Also sounds like he's had a rough time from posters too.

He aknowledges that he over promises on his games and has certainly got a reputation for that, but he's a giant in the industry with a proven track record for innovative and quality games.
I think thats often overlooked.

I'm quite sad to hear this, but also very intrigued by the interview.

Godus is only asking for £450,000 on kickstarter.

It's interesting to see the varying amounts devs are asking for.

With the breadline dev's asking for a lot less money than the big name devs.

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fog
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2012, 11:11:13 AM »

And here's another blast from the past hoping to get some Kickstarter nostalgic backing...

Dizzy Returns from the Oliver twins.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theolivertwins/dizzy-returns?ref=live


This blog post covers one of the points we discussed the other day.  Language warning  BunnyMonkey!
http://effingarcade.tumblr.com/post/36277287313/molyneux-and-f**king-kickstarter

EDIT:
Jeff is not happy on Twitter.

Jeff Minter ‏@llamasoft_ox
I'll just stick an egg in this platformer I'm making and retire then.

Jeff Minter ‏@llamasoft_ox
I mean yeah, I'd love a couple of hundred grand to do my T2K remake. But I'd stand no chance as the already rich have taken it all.

Jeff Minter ‏@llamasoft_ox
Somehow I manage to do my games and the odd remake whilst being completely skint.

Jeff Minter ‏@llamasoft_ox
These people asking for Kickstarter money have ALREADY MADE POTS OF MONEY. That they could use to make games with.

Jeff Minter ‏@llamasoft_ox
Plainly I should have asked for 350 grand to do my Gridrunner remake. f**k's sake.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 11:38:12 AM by fog » Logged

T_M_C
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2012, 08:12:14 AM »

Yup.

I can understand that bloggers point of view.

It does feel like the pledgers are being exploited.

And i bet most pledgers feel that way too.

Thats why i think the funding model will eventually change.

At the moment it's a relatively new system but when the novelty wares off and i suspect the kickstarter campaigns decline in success then a new approach will be needed.

And i think that shareholder system could well be used instead of a donation model.

So at least then the pledgers get a financial return on their investment.


Jeff Minters quotes are classic.

He's been a breadline coder for years.


Incidentally, it cost me under £100 to write Zytron II, not accounting for the website.

And that was for just a few pieces of media.

The biggest cost, was time.  Taking 2 years of part time dev.

Ok, so it's not a AAA title and has had little financial success, but it does show that games can be developed without millions of pounds of backing.


I'd also like to see a breakdown of where the money would be used in a kickstarter campaign.

X amount for dev salaries.
X amount for servers.
X Amount for advertising and publicity.

ect.

At least some acountability as to where the money is being used.

At the moment it seems just as likely that the money could be used for paying off old debts as it could for direct investment into the new game.

Might actually bring in new pledgers that way too.  Showing a bit of transparency.

TMC
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 08:18:28 AM by T_M_C » Logged
fog
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2012, 02:20:43 PM »

Jeff Minters quotes are classic.

He's been a breadline coder for years.
A few people on YakYak have suggested Llamasoft do a Kickstarter, but they don't seem up for it.  Shame really as I'm sure they'd have enough loyal fans to raise a decent amount (relative to their iOS income) and it would give Jeff some freedom to develop stuff he really wants too with fewer of the commercial considerations he now has.


I'd also like to see a breakdown of where the money would be used in a kickstarter campaign.

X amount for dev salaries.
X amount for servers.
X Amount for advertising and publicity.

ect.

At least some acountability as to where the money is being used.

At the moment it seems just as likely that the money could be used for paying off old debts as it could for direct investment into the new game.

Might actually bring in new pledgers that way too.  Showing a bit of transparency.
I agree with that although Kickstarter gives you no guarantee of any product even being produced and that's possibly a bigger stumbling block to investers.  I'm sure it wont be long before a high profile Kickstarter spends the cash and fails to give backers anything in return.

With regards to breakdown I'd guess nearly all goes on salaries.  Once the game is finished Kickstarter still allows developers to sign up with publishers (a finished game could be a publishers dream) who could cover advertising and any server infrastructure needed.  That's without the extra money they get from traditional sales when complete.

From a developers viewpoint they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 02:22:36 PM by fog » Logged

fog
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2012, 05:42:17 PM »

Another good piece from Rob on Kickstarter abuse..

http://www.merseyremakes.co.uk/gibber/2012/11/on-kickstarter/

Quote
We should consider whether it is right to be asked to remove financial risk from people we’ve already made rich once. I’m not even sure why this one even needs pointing out but there we are. When someone comes cap in hand, if you knew the homeless guy outside of the corner store was really a banker with a few million at his side, you would question whether you should give him your money for sure.

Quote
We shouldn’t blindly follow that we should pay for people to run a studio to make a game. This is 2012 and maybe that game could be made in a leaner fashion, maybe that game could be made better in a leaner fashion. Maybe it’s a game that can be made with 4 people and a goat and doesn’t need 30 and a full time tea boy. Maybe it will be made with 4 people and a goat and not 30 people and a teaboy and as backers we’re paying for the 26 people who aren’t needed also with the amounts requested.
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T_M_C
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2012, 06:24:02 PM »

An interesting article.

Quote
With regards to breakdown I'd guess nearly all goes on salaries.

Yeh, it looks like you'e right.

I did some quick calculations based on what the average games programmers salary is.

Some quick googling revealed about $50k (£30k) annual salary.

Lets be generous and round that down to £20k each for programmers, graphics artists, sound guys ect

And lets take Elite Dangerous as an example.

Asking for £1,250,000

So £1,250,000 / £20,000 = 62.5 staff for one years development.

DB reckons the game will take 2 years to complete, ( which i think we can all take with a pinch of salt  Tongue ), so halving that figure rounds down to lets say 30 full time staff.

Lets call it 20 staff, over 2 years costing £800,000.

That leaves £450,000 for all unknowns.
Which might include licensing technologies to use in the game.
Buying physicial equipment.
Extended deadlines ect.

Now it's well nown that Frontier developments has a total workforce of 250 employees.

20 to 30 staff for Elite Dangerous is a tiny proportion of the companies total staff.   Tongue

So, when you break down the numbers, what seems a huge amount of initial money actually doesn't go that far at all.

So, with 250 staff, Frontier developments must have some serious cash in order just the pay all the annual salaries.

So, for completeness, 250 staff at £20,000 = £5,000,000 using an average annual salary.

Five million a year just in salaries is a huge amount of money.  The real figure could be many times greater than that.

So, the company isn't short of money, either in a hell of a lot of debt or probably somewhere in between.

And DB stated the £1.25m needed for Elite was the bare minimum he could get away with to write the game.

It's also interesting to note, that i expect Elite would use existing staff, not new staff brought in specifically for the project, so the staff are already on the payroll.

Would that staff be made redundant if Elite failed to reach it's goal on kickstarter.

I doubt it.

So, why the need for a kickstarter campaign to raise the money ?


Lots to think about there.   Roll Eyes


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« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 04:59:23 AM by T_M_C » Logged
fog
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2012, 09:47:58 AM »

Yup it's a no risk option for big developers, guaranteeing salaries for their staff before development has even begun.

As someone on YakYak pointed out, a Kickstarter for an new official Dizzy game has launched with just a few concept sketches asking for 350k....at the same time a solo developer is doing a Dizzy remake, has a playable demo and wants just 5k.  Even allowing for the overheads of a studio, does the official game really need 70 times the funding?
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fog
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2012, 07:37:39 AM »

Here's one for TheKhakinator  BunnyMonkey!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/706888163/space-drone?ref=category

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fog
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2012, 11:31:23 AM »

I mentioned the Godus updates in the Elite thread.  While they show nothing of the game itself, they still manage to be informative and engaging.  Molyneux rightly has a reputation for over promising, but there are few people on the industry that are more enthusiastic and genuinely interesting to listen to.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/22cans/project-godus/posts
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TheKhakinator
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2012, 12:21:33 PM »

Interesting. I plan to do a guitar pedal and release it at some point, though I hadn't thought of using kickstarter or similar. And probably wouldn't, tbh. Would prefer to do it the normal way. Still, could be a way to jump right into larger scale sales if it worked...
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fog
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2012, 09:39:24 AM »

Interesting. I plan to do a guitar pedal and release it at some point, though I hadn't thought of using kickstarter or similar. And probably wouldn't, tbh. Would prefer to do it the normal way. Still, could be a way to jump right into larger scale sales if it worked...
yeah that would seem to be the way to go.  Most Kickstarter projects need a proven history before launching if they are to meet their target so doing a pedal yourself and then ramping up to bigger ideas seems the way to go.

Can you do a guitar to chiptune effects pedal?  BunnyMonkey!
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