Double Fine's Adventure Kickstarter fund
certainly has caused quite the stir in its wake. Closing in on the $1.8 million mark at the time of writing in just a week has resulted in a lot of discussion among the gaming community, as well as renewed optimism for the rebirth of games long lost. The discussion has also turned towards topics of the necessity of publishers, customer investment and influence on the development of the game. Most importantly, this has sent out a message to developers everywhere that people will pay for what they want to play.
Among the countless praises this miracle of crowdsourcing has proven, there are a few critiques, and the one of note would be the success of Double Fine's endeavor due to it's reputation. In gaming culture, Tim Shafer's name means something, as does Ron Gilbert's. A beloved studio releasing incredibly creative and interesting games certainly earns a space in the heart of any gamer, an a quick payment shortly thereafter- but what of everyone else? It is no doubt that this will become an increasingly popular thing among development studios from here on in, be it to free themselves from the control of a publishers, or simply to raise the funds necessary to make the game itself, we will see studios big and small follow in Double Fine's gold-plated path.
Customer investment is not an entirely new concept, at least in gaming. The thinktanks over at Valve tossed around the idea of community investment
a few years ago. Solid in theory, but never really put into practice. At least until now. Kickstarter investments will surely be taken up by many studios and independents from here on in. Destructoid has already talked around the dream games they'd like to see Kickstarted
, and we've all had our say there (Freedom Fighters 2
! Let's make it happen!), but who would we trust blindly with our money? Double Fine has given no details about the game they plan to make beyond it being a Double Fine point and click adventure headed by Shafer and Gilbert. Over 50 000 people ponied up their share based on the reputation of these people alone, and that is by the one of the biggest selling points of the unknown game.
So I ask you: who would you trust your bid to? What studio continues to make the excellent games that tickle your fancy time and time again and would trust with blind faith to deliver you content that you would be happy with? Partially a question of fandom, but also a reflection on the developers themselves. Credentials are key, but never a guarantee.
I've spent too much time up to this point discussing the matter so I'll limit myself to my two developers of promise. The Behemoth
I've loved Newgrounds ever since I was a kid. I had an outdated PC and didn't have a console until the Gamecube, so the vast selection of flash games available kept me going through the years. Those, mixed with the countless crazy animations that I would watch (especially the ones when my parents were out of the house) probably helped form the weird man that I am today. When Tom Fulp and Dan Paladin formed The Behemoth
, I was ecstatic. Castle Crashers is to date one of my all time favorite games. The artstyle and quirky mannerisms of the game (and their other works) tickle a particular fancy that I do not think they could rub wrong. After Battleblock Theatre comes out, I know for certain I'll be interested in their next game, and if I could give them money now to get end result immediately after it's finished, that's an instant buy for me.
Edmund McMillen/ Team Meat
Another one of the Newgrounds crop, Edmund McMillen is a man with a bizarre vision and an excellent eye for game design who I've only recently come to appreciate. I love The Binding of Isaac
and what it sets out to be as a game, as well as the challenge and energy that Super Meat Boy
provides the player. If only Kickstarter was a thing during his cry for help
campaign, he may very well have had a more successful recovery from his illness. Thankfully, he is alive and well today, and we are all the better for it. Another man who I trust with my dollar, because his twisted mind would surely come up with another great success.
So who would you put your share to in the black hat of mystery? If Valve offers a Kickstarter for Episode 3 to happen next week, would you toss in your share? How about that malnourished indie dev who you've never heard of but has a few cool ideas, would he get your pittance? Do you think this will be just a fad that will blow over when the oncoming tsunami of fan-funded games turns out to be nothing more than a wave of mediocre experiences that lack the lustre of big money's money? Are cookies better than cupcakes? Let your voice be heard, comment below!
LOOK WHO CAME: