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Old 04-02-2012, 10:51 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
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Default Kickstarter fatigue

A lifetime ago (or was it just two months?) Tim Schafer announced that he was going to make a new adventure game and that he would use Kickstarter to get donations to fund the project. It was tremendously successful, eventually raising over $3.3 million. Life was good . . .

And then everyone and their dog decided to jump on the bandwagon and use Kickstarter to fund their gaming project, asking for large amounts of money. So there's a Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective re-release, an upcoming new Tex Murphy game, a new Delaware St. John game, and today a Leisure Suit Larry 1 remake. And for those of us who enjoy RPGs, there's Wasteland 2, The Banner Saga, and more.

Two days from now, Jane Jensen will make a big announcement, which may or may not involve Kickstarter. I honestly hope it doesn't.

I pledged for Double Fine Adventure on the first day, and was tremendously excited about the whole thing, both the new game (and documentary), and the whole Kickstarter process, checking @TimJustRaised every hour. And I don't even particularly like Schafer's previous games. Now, just three weeks after the end of the DFA drive, I'm already fed up with the whole Kickstarter thing.

Why does everyone have to think that it's the best way to fund their game? More importantly, why do they all have to do it at the same time??? (I mean, 16 years after Al Lowe's last game, it's not like an extra six months would have been unbearable.) Even if you're made of money and can afford to pledge an important amount to many projects at the same time (I'm not and I can't), I don't think you can get excited about that many projects at the same time. The perspective of getting new adventure games, and having a say in what games we want rather than having to wait for a publisher to make a decision, should be a great thing. But at this point, all these old designers from the 90s crawling out of their graves and ganging up on me asking for "pleeeeeedges" is feeling more and more like a zombie invasion to me — and not the fun kind.

I'll probably end up pledging money to some of these projects, but it will be just as a pre-order, or out of a sense of duty to them (or to the genre). But I feel that having all these similar Kickstarters at the same time has taken all the fun and excitement out of it. And I think that fun and excitement is what made the DFA drive so successful. I know I personally would never have upped my pledge to $100 if it hadn't been for all the updates, the fun of watching that counter rise, and the joyful incredulity at seeing just how far we could go. I feel that, by all starting their Kickstarter drive at the same time, all these people, no matter how well-intentioned they are, are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

And that's a damn shame.
Currently reading: Dune (F. Herbert)
Recently finished: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J. K. Rowling) [++], La Nuit des Temps (R. Barjavel) [+++]
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