I've found myself strangely intrigued by Kickstarter lately. Now I've known about it for a long time, but only really got involved when Dreamfall Chapters started accepting pledges. The plan was to give a bit of money to get the game I want funded. However I soon found myself trawling through the vast array of other projects. This is where I started getting strangely obsessed with the whole concept. What follows is the many exciting adventures I've had on Kickstarter. Huzzah!
So then, I've logged onto Kickstarter and boy am I excited. A wave of self-importance hits me and I feel like one of those smug millionaires on Dragons' Den (It helps that I've put on a suit and smoking a comically over-sized cigar). From here I move to the most popular section, where I can trawl through an endless array of projects. You get to see a project title, image and how well the project is doing. I casually scroll down the page, checking each one as I go. It's an odd experience. The vast majority of the projects are pretty impressive. Videos and text explain how important and truly personal each project is. They tell you how much a pledge would be and what they would do with it. It becomes like some reality TV show where you know that not every project will have a happy ending. Seeing that a project is only 10% funded and only has one day to get the rest, is pretty depressing. At the same time, it's incredible to see things like Double Fine Adventure or Broken Sword with a staggering amount of funding and fan support behind them. I'm being serious with the reality TV show comparison, one minute you'll see a project that'll tug on your heartstrings, then you experience something so staggeringly heart-warming. Who'd have thought that Kickstarter could be such an emotional roller-coaster.
Sitting back in my armchair and setting down my cigar, I stop to think for a moment. It's just as cut-throat as publishers in some aspects. If a game doesn't have a pre-existing cult following or drum up enough word of mouth then it won't get made. People look at games on Kickstarter and judge if they think it'll get enough funding, which decides if they put money behind it. Which is stupid, because if everyone thought like that people would be too scared to fund anything. With Zack Braff's latest film being funded within days, it's staggering to see how quickly money can be pulled together to fund projects (yeah it's a film, not a game I know). The problem with this is he isn't exactly strapped for cash unlike other film-makers. His film is a reminder, that even with Kickstarter smaller developers or filmmakers may not even be noticed. The very thing Kickstarter was set up for, to help the small guys, is being abused by the big guys. Ok, so that may be going a little far, but what's to stop big game studios from getting fans to fund part's of their games?
All that being said, Kickstarter certainly isn't a bad thing. It has potential to be abused, but at the same time has great uses. I'm certainly not upset at some of the projects funded by it. Who am I to argue with fans who actively want to give money to projects they genuinely love?
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