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Aleix

Point click adventures & DF proves the new world order, people.

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You have proven to be alive, congratulations.

You have chosen from scratch, from your own wills and decided how much you want/can spend for it. Sure you're not choosing the colors, but if you would/could, you'd be crafting it yourself, wouldn't you?. You still want to be surprised, but already decided you want to be positively surprised, not like when your mother buys you socks for christmas!

DF are the catalizers for a new video game industry era, and that may apply for the entire industry. Publishers and big studios should take note for that in the future or they will lose it all by being greedy and negligent. The costumer has to be the boss that hires the producer, but in this case you go from the tipicaly one boss to near 80.000 bosses that wishes the same or very similar production. We have chosen DF, what will you choose next? Hopefully not a publisher, so they can learn their lesson faster.

Tank you for being alive and helping out us all!

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Here, I'm going to ruin it by being cynical.

Developers utilize kickstarter to take your money and pump out b-movie quality video games, without the publisher burning them with torches they get lazy or just plain don't care about your "gamer" opinions anymore after all, big money has told them they don't have to respect "needy entitled" gamers anymore...bunch of stuck up pseudo intellectuals trying to improve things they don't even know how to make...such people need not be pandered to and as such the developers go off into their own pursuits with the money you'd given them...taking leaps you didn't ask for so that they can create a new IP that they can then repackage sequels off of and sell the rights to big name publishers so they can create larger revenue off the great risks the gamers made on the initial product.

So the greatest risk/reward equations start off with gamers being the holders of risk, and being punished both at the beginning and at the end of the production phase.

***

This isn't directed at DF...just big money. Take the biggest risks off the backs of the people and then transform that into sustainable safe money aka privatize profit socialized risk.

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I highly doubt that this is going to change the industry at large. Even though 3 million is a sizable wad of cash, if every body tried to crowd source funding for their games we would never again see games the size of COD, Mass Effect, Halo, etc. There just aren't enough people willing to fork over cash to unproven IPs. I think publishers may be open to riskier propositions because of this in the future, but a "new world order" just isn't realistic at this point.

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I think this will create a small change to the industry, but the only groups that will see real support from the Kickstarter method will be developers that have strong 'street cred', such as Double Fine.

Publishers can and do often say no to a great title (from a consumer standpoint), because they don't believe they'll make enough profit in exchange for putting up the development funding. I want publishers to make money, but greed can defeat a profitable game from being produced simply because it doesn't make enough profit!

To that end, I see developers with a strong fanbase being able to occasionally fund a great title that the publishers won't touch. I do hope that it's gotten the attention of publishers, and tell them they don't necessarily know everything about the industry, and I want it to hurt their profits a little bit (not too much, but enough to serve as a lesson).

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Yup, there are so many project that need money... sites like kickstarter can't help all projects, in fact it's not even able to carry 1% of all interesting projects there are. Kickstarter is an exception, not the rule and I also doubt that this will change. Most people are not interested in backing projects - it contains a risk and you usually have no idea about the result. Typical customers pay money to immediately get something for it and they want to have a clear picture of how it's going to look like. A few projects will be lucky thanks to kickstarters and IMO that's great enough, because especially every great project that gets done because of kickstarter and despite the lack of publisher interest is a win. But don't make the mistake to overestimate this development.

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Kickstarter works for projects that already have a significant amount of following, and are cheap enough to fund through donation. It can also work as a pre-order system where a company may have a production almost ready to go, but needs fan funding to help push the project through the door. A lot of small comics companies do this now they have the rights, they've translated if need be but just need kickstarter to physically pay for the print run and decide the quality of it ( rather than wait until it's done, guess sales then attempt to recoup the money).

We also have a vibrant indie scene, but like less well known people starting kickstarters they have to really work for their PR. A big fancy paints company has people who do that all day every day. So I wouldn't say kickstarter is putting it to the man, just providing another avenue of support for projects that big name publishers can't or won't support. On the other side big name publishers have to justify their big spends to their shareholders, so yeah by natural way of things big generic games get commissioned more, but like it or not that's how business works. Look at the movie industry...

If you want quirky weird games including adventures, keep up to date with indie games blogs, forums etc , get demos and go out and buy those games, and then tell your friends if you like them. Rather than worrying about Large company X making Grey Shooter 2012, go out and buy a a fan game you like. People have a right to like grey shooty games, but it doesn't mean you have to get upset that people make them; just ignore games that don't appeal and take the time to find games that do. Then do your bit and share those games. :)

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Kickstarter works on a trust system, if the game sucks, well, people aren't going to fund their next project.

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Wait, so now Double Fine is part of the Illuminati? Dang. I guess I always sort of suspected that Tim Schafer was a shape-shifting reptilian extraterrestrial. The first clue was when Ron Gilbert decided to work for Double Fine. Everyone knows Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer hate each other after that one time at LucasArts when Gilbert's pickle sandwich went missing and Schafer's breath smelled of pickle sandwich, thus leading to a brawl between the two giant ewoks at Skywalker Ranch to settle the dispute. They would never work together unless their were replaced by space monsters in some plot to take the minds of adventure gamers. It's the only explanation.

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Exactly, this is one of the key pionts here. Beter quallity for every single game and genere, if not they won't feed up the next day.

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As far as I'm concerned this Kickstarter thing is really no different from reserving a game. I used to work at GameStop and some people would put down the full price of the game, and if the game was only going to cost $20 or something I bet a lot more people would do the same. Because of that similarity, I think it's possible that this could become somewhat common, provided consumers start to see them as equivalent.

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There is a huge difference. To start with, any game would cost less the half, if not a quarter, of the usual price if you get rid of the publishers. And does preordering a game at your usual retailer gives you any voice on how tha game will be crafted?

Think of it again.

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There is a huge difference. To start with, any game would cost less the half, if not a quarter, of the usual price if you get rid of the publishers. And does preordering a game at your usual retailer gives you any voice on how tha game will be crafted?

Think of it again.

Don't misunderstand. I completely agree that as a backer I get more than what comes with a normal reservation. The question was (or, at least, I understood the question to be): has this changed the industry or is this a fluke, an atypical occurence that Double Fine (and maybe a couple of others, look at Wasteland 2) got to benefit from and then everything will go back to normal. In short - has this proven the viability of crowd funding for all games hence forth - will other games, from larger and smaller developers succeed with this model in the future - is it possible that even larger, big budget games could use crowd funding as a major part or even all of their financing? And my theory is that yes, it does suggest that crowd funding could become common, even for big budget games (which is what would really change the industry), provided that consumer's understand that on their end it is similar (better, if you prefer) to reserving a game.

Obviously everyone on this forum does understand that, but don't think all gamer's see it that way. Many people, for instance, seem to think that I made a donation to Double Fine. I believe Kickstarter itself uses that term, so that could be where that comes from, but I don't see it as a donation at all. A donation is something you give (say to charity, or a political candidate) without expecting anything in return - I didn't donate money to DF, like some kind of charity case, I bought a product from them. It's actually exactly like reserving a game - after all, many reservations come with extra goodies, even access to betas and so forth.

So then, could, say, Mass Effect 3 have been crowd funded? I couldn't find clear reservation figures, but according to VGChartz the game has sold 3.21 million world wide to date. All of those people didn't reserve the game, but suppose they had - suppose they had been enticed to by the kinds of goodies DF is offerring us. And then suppose that instead of giving that money to GameStop or who ever they had sent their $5 directly to BioWare. And then suppose that they had been enticed to pay full price for the game upfront - and that full price would not be $60, as you say (and as I said, actually) but, for a game like ME3, say, $35. So for $35 you get the game and some goodies, not that different a price point really from what DF is offering us. That's 112.35 million dollars. I'm not sure what the budget for ME3 was, but its clear that for popular enough titles crowd funding could well exceed the 3.4 million that DFA garnered.

You could crowd fund AAA games. But you would need to explain to consumers that they are not giving away money for nothing, they aren't making a donation, as if the devs were a charity, in fact they aren't taking any greater risk than if they reserved a game at a retailer. No greater risk but a much greater reward for themselves and their favorite developers. Once consumers really understand that, crowd funding or a crowd funding/publisher hybrid could become the norm.

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Well,there is a difference,it is huge,but it's a lot more subtle. And that difference is that when you pre-order a game the usual way,they have something to show. The game is in full production and they have all kinds of screenshots,demos,and other stuff and the game is going to be made and you can see what it is they're going to sell. You can really look at it and say whether or not it's what you want.

DFA was basically Ron and Tim going up to the internet and saying "We're gonna make an old school point and click adventure game. We don't have a story,game play idea,or much of anything done on it. But if you give us money,we'll make it." They're pretty much trading on their rep alone. It's Ron and Tim,but they literally had NOTHING when they proposed this but basically the genre. If they're had more info,they might've gotten more,they might've gotten less. But it's only because of their rep that they got what they did for as little as they were offering.

Now,contrast that with ME3. I've never liked ME and the demo vids and all looked to be more of the same. For someone like me,this is repellant. For someone who loves the ME series,it's all flies and honey. How's that contrast with what DFA did? Well,think about games that "weren't as good as the sequel" or "were just too different". Star Control 3,the X-Com sequels/spin-offs,anything that wasn't what you were expecting from the series. Now imagine you "pre-ordered blind" one of those like we did with DFA. You'd be super pissed off,right? And,likewise,if we were talking about Epic Games right after they made Unreal Tournament 1,I probably would've bought UT2 in a crowd funding deal. It was playing the UT2 demo that pretty much killed my interest in the game.

Now,Ron and Tim are a pretty safe bet. They've never made a "perfect" game,but they do good work and the odds this is gonna be their first full on stinker is pretty low since they're going with old school which means technology and such is gonna be not only in their wheel house,but they don't have to worry about making it "cutting edge" which can trip up a lot of games. Which makes it even safer. But there's always a chance for failure,especially if they do this by committee.

I guess what I'm getting at is that not anyone can do this. They either need a long standing rep or a very clear idea of what they're going to make. Even then,they're not going to get everything from crowd funding. There's gonna be the doubters who'll wait til they make something before they buy. And there's a lot less guarantee that what you get is what you want.

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You know, I can visualize a world where big companies require crowd funding as a means to develop the necessities of its consumer base.

Imagine that a crowd could fund clean power plants, better roads, vehicles, healthy food production, and even pharmaceutical development generating cures rather then remedies.

It would be a true democracy, like taxes, but you vote what you want to fund tackling world necessities before profit.

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You make an excellent point. I think most games would need to offer something, some screen shots or game play vids or something, in order to garner interest. I believe that this is typically how you entice publishers, right? Either you have great rep, or you prepare some concept art, maybe a rough demo, a little presentation essentially, and then ask the publisher for the money needed to finish the game. Developers might still need to prepare those packages, except instead of asking publishers they'd be asking fans for the money.

It's true that with an untested, unproven developer it would feel a lot riskier - we all have great confidence in DF, so there isn't much worry here, but I can imagine if it was a companies first game it might not work. But I have to say as I was reading over your post, it reminded of how many times games have managed to disappoint fans, even when they looked awesome from the screenshots and vids. Actually ME3 is again a pertinent example. I was disappointed by Fable 1 and 2 (so much so that I didn't get Fable 3). Screenshots and vids can be misleading...

Perhaps the real question is "Who designed this game?" We all have confidence in Tim and Ron. We don't even really need to know what they're doing - just that they're doing something at all. There are other designers - auteur designers, basically - who could inspire similar confidence. What if Kickstarter campaigns cause fans to think more about (and put more value on) the designers of the games? If that happenned it would be a very positive evolution for the industry!

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Well,Billy,if you're looking for a "good cause" to donate to,there's always Dr. Burzynski's cancer treatment. Just look the name up in google,he'll be near the top. But the whole idea of "crowd funding everything" won't solve a lot of problems since capitalism has always been about people investing in companies. "Crowd funding" is really just capitalism for the common man. Not as much reward either. Still,if it gets things done. But the main problems that cause companies to balk at a concept or idea will still haunt the common man. Such as what if this guy's a con artist? What if the theory doesn't work and the whole concept isn't sound? What if they just plain screw up and lose all your money? And the whole deal with big pharma would take a lot more than crowd funding to solve. It's gonna take a real house cleaning of the FDA and tougher regs on pharmaceutical companies to fix that. I'd probably go with legalizing current narcotics and opening up "recreational drugs" to the market. Gives the pharma companies something to make a profit on and kills drug cartels all in one blow. If they bother to do the work,they can even make safer versions of the drugs. But considering how tobacco companies seem dead set on making cigarettes even worse for your health with all the crap they add in,I doubt that'd happen.

The problem with companies,Mikki,is a great rep isn't always enough. If you read up on the development hell Brutal Legend went through,it's a wonder they got it out at all. But they knew they had a fan following and this was a great idea to "test the waters". But if they're gonna get the kind of money they'd need for Psychonauts 2,they'd be best off hedging their bets and making something a little more solid. At least some concept art and a general idea of the story. If this does well,I'd say that'd be all they need to make a try for it.

So yeah,great rep alone gets you nothing with the companies who'd probably never green light a point and clicker anyway,regardless of how well thought out it is. Us? Well,we're easy. :D I think a great rep will get you farther than a good presentation with the players,tho,while the reverse is true for companies. Food for thought.

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Well,Billy,if you're looking for a "good cause" to donate to,there's always Dr. Burzynski's cancer treatment.

I do hope you're joking about donating to this man and his (in my and, I gather, the majority of the medical profession's opinion) fraudulent and exploitative treatments. But since this forum is not about that, I'll say no more of that here.

As for DFA I agree with what most people are saying: it's great that Kickstarter is presenting another avenue for games to get funded with serious money, but it's a symptom of change, not a cause of change. The change is that the publisher model is no longer the only model, that there are other ways now for people to get games made, and that can only be a good thing. Meanwhile, publishing will always be an option, and the best we can hope for is that publishers look at this sort of thing happening and try to come up with better offers to give developers more reason to go to them for small projects.

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BillyBobBaggyBottom, You have understood the meaning of the message 100%, do you imagine living in a world like that? You're a lucky guy, your ego doesn't distract from the world arround you, keep it up! Also check here at kickstarter, there is a project to build an undergrownd natural light park at new york, can't remember the name while posting but check it out, you might like it. And it's one of this projects you mentyioned. Do you imagine we live in the world you described? Beacause I do.

Mikky Saturn and Merlynn, not only you totally missed the point but you don't belive a word you said beacause you backed the project. Don't get me wrong, you have the right of giving your oun opinion and that's fair enough, but it would be ideal if the given oppinion matches on the subject. Don't feel offended please. Read BillyBobBaggyBottoms text to get a better idea of it.

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Merlynn, stop it please or start your own topic on your subject.

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Surplus: The same medical profession that lets people die in the ER because they don't have insurance and charges my mom 1,000 a month for pills that cost maybe 5 bucks to produce? That one? Yeah,I put a LOT of stock in their opinion. Cause,really,what possible reason would they have to lie?

Aleix: How much "say" we'll get in the game remains to be seen. I'm in it cause Ron and Tim are doing it so there's a good chance we'll see something good. Plus we get the behind the scenes stuff and we get to beta test it. How much will they use our feed back? Only the people at Double Fine can answer that. Eventually. When they read our feedback. And be honest,we are buying "sight unseen" here. Just cause I took the risk doesn't mean I'm not aware of it. Will this lead to a grand utopia? Probably not simply cause I know people and everybody has their own ideas of utopia. Ergo,we don't have a "utopia" due to people not agreeing with each other on what it should be,not a lack of funds.

And really,Aleix. It's just the internet. You should really just relax.

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We should all be a little bit more respectfull to each other, and that includes myself. People wont keep posting on this topic beacause it has totally changed.

In the future, I won't post again if don't like someone elses opinion of the original post.

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I think this will create a small change to the industry, but the only groups that will see real support from the Kickstarter method will be developers that have strong 'street cred', such as Double Fine.

Publishers can and do often say no to a great title (from a consumer standpoint), because they don't believe they'll make enough profit in exchange for putting up the development funding. I want publishers to make money, but greed can defeat a profitable game from being produced simply because it doesn't make enough profit!

To that end, I see developers with a strong fanbase being able to occasionally fund a great title that the publishers won't touch. I do hope that it's gotten the attention of publishers, and tell them they don't necessarily know everything about the industry, and I want it to hurt their profits a little bit (not too much, but enough to serve as a lesson).

I mostly agree with you, but I think one of the problems not-so-well-known developers stumble on Kickstarter is that they not do a decent presentation of what they want to achieve. If you're seeking $1M from a publisher, you're going to sit with them for a while and do the best you can to prove that it's a profitable idea. On Kickstarter, I believe a similar presentation is in order, but to show to backers how fun and awesome this idea is. Most entries however look like "hey I want to do this, gimme your monies".

Another major problem of Kickstarter right now is that there's no easy way to browse all the different projects. Hopefully they'll be able to fix this soon.

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Here, I'm going to ruin it by being cynical.

Developers utilize kickstarter to take your money and pump out b-movie quality video games, without the publisher burning them with torches they get lazy or just plain don't care about your "gamer" opinions anymore after all, big money has told them they don't have to respect "needy entitled" gamers anymore...bunch of stuck up pseudo intellectuals trying to improve things they don't even know how to make...such people need not be pandered to and as such the developers go off into their own pursuits with the money you'd given them...taking leaps you didn't ask for so that they can create a new IP that they can then repackage sequels off of and sell the rights to big name publishers so they can create larger revenue off the great risks the gamers made on the initial product.

So the greatest risk/reward equations start off with gamers being the holders of risk, and being punished both at the beginning and at the end of the production phase.

***

This isn't directed at DF...just big money. Take the biggest risks off the backs of the people and then transform that into sustainable safe money aka privatize profit socialized risk.

In the other end, we get unpolished games thanks to the publisher's stress on the developers.

For example, Fallout: New Vegas was trying to reincarnate Fallout 1 and 2 under Fallout 3 engine. However Bethesda rushed out the team and let the game released as buggy. And due to bugginess of the game, It got 84 metascore (by the way I don't care game review websites, they are just scoring the games according to their popularity, not their real potential and quality). Because they didn't got 85 as a metascore, Bethesda didn't give the bonus payment.

I am not sure publisher-free games automatically mean perfect games. However, targeting games "to appeal every customer on the market" leads us to games like Mass Effect - containing everything from gay marriage to minigames, but a dissappointment RPG as end result.

Therefore when publishers aim "more money, more customers, more success", it can lead to total disaster.

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Actually,some people are going to be offended you can gay marry in ME. There really isn't a "perfect solution" to this stuff. There's just a point where you wobble between pleasing one group of people and another. And most people aren't going to care either way. You're just going to have to choose a demographic and run with it. But the truth is,most of those special interest groups are minorities and most people aren't going to be offended if there is or isn't gay marriage in a game.

It's like the old Mortal Kombat thing. See,back in the Genesis/SNES days,MK1 came out on both systems. The Sega version had the blood and fatalities which MK is famous for,but Nintendo bowed to the pressure of the "concerned parents" crowd and made a version with no blood and no fatalities. Guess which version sold better. So when MK2 came around,Nintendo learned it's lesson,at least in this case,and made MK2 with all the blood and fatalities intact. In this instance,the better looking SNES version sold better. Why? Cause those "concerned parents" weren't going to buy MK anyway cause they don't want their kids to play violent fighting games. Nintendo figured this out and learned to ignore that noise.

In ME's case,they should've focused more on making a game that didn't suck as opposed to coding in who you can and can't bang. Most players have their own ships anyway,so why bother making it canon and ruining their fun?

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