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steamertrunk

How many Slacker Backers are there?

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Hello Everybody!

I couldn't use the Kickstarter because I don't have a Credit Card, so I was really happy that I could contribute afterwards using Paypal, and I'm really excited about this whole thing. I was just wondering how many Slacker Backers there are so far, because I'm sure many people who love adventure games had the same problem as me.

Are there any numbers on that?

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I'm a slacker backer! Lost track of time. So glad this option is available! The documentary is worth it alone! I wonder if I can get my "Indiegame: The Movie" money back... JK! kinda....

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This is a very rare case then. Even though 3000 new backers is quite a bit, it pales in comparison to the amount of original backers. DF may see more sales after the project is released, but the the people most excited about it have all been included already.

It is strange that DF already has all the money on the table. They can look at a bank statement and say "This is what we made on this game, and we can therefor spend this amount on its development." I imagine there will be some sales after the game is released. There are pry people who were interested, but wanted to see a product before committing money.

Never before has a studio walked into a project and said "Hey, we are going to be THIS successful" and truly mean it.

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DF may see more sales after the project is released, but the the people most excited about it have all been included already.

I don't think that's likely to be true at all. At least, if the game really does only sell 100,000-odd copies (i.e. the backers plus a few more), it will be one of the biggest flops in the history of video games, surpassing even Grim Fandango.

I think the measurement for the success of the should be the backer's overall feedback for the game and not how many units were sold after the game release.

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Sadly monetary success is more important that critical success, since without money, jobs get lost and sequels don’t get made.

DF is more familiar with that sad fact than most companies, though to be honest the current industry climate is basically kicking out any middle-sized developers, that can’t really survive without a blockbuster success on the AAA level. Which is why very few remain these days (example: Obsidian).

I assume Slacker Backers go to the profits pile than the game budget pile, since the Kickstarter campaign gathered more than enough for the budget; however Slacker Backer funds may still be used on the game in effort to promote it near release, or to cover any unforeseeable circumstances that may rise in development.

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There are roughly 3000 Slacker Backers--so it's actually quite a small number relative to the Kickstarter backers!

Thank you for clearing that up! That's kind of disappointing, I was hoping for a lot more Slacker Backers. Maybe a lot of people are still unaware that this is possible. I sure hope that the game will sell well when it's done.

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There are roughly 3000 Slacker Backers--so it's actually quite a small number relative to the Kickstarter backers!

Thank you for clearing that up! That's kind of disappointing, I was hoping for a lot more Slacker Backers. Maybe a lot of people are still unaware that this is possible. I sure hope that the game will sell well when it's done.

I think it hasn't been very well covered by the media. But we can help! I occasionally make it a point of telling people on Twitter how much I'm enjoying DFA so far, and where they can go to join in.

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I would expect the number of slacker backers to be fewer. Kickstarter was a very public platform that everyone in the industry linked to and pushed. It also had the added benefit of a limited amount of time whereas with this, someone could back the project three months from now and still get all the content we have now (not that I care, as long as I get to see it too then we're all good).

But, really? Only 3,000? You guys should come up with a few higher pledge levels with new prizes (different from the kickstarter bonuses). Nothing extreme, just different. I, for one, would appreciate a Tim Exercise video giving us tips and tricks on how to stay in that particular shape. Joking aside, I'd totally put more money in. You guys have more than proven your legitimacy to me and now I just regret not giving more. You could even put a timeline on when the rewards will have to go out. $45,000 is nice and all, but that doesn't get you very much more time.

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I am honestly amazed that over 90,000 people want double fine to succeed in the game industry. I own close to two copies of every double fine game and if I ever meet Tim Shafer in person I will give him money just to continue to make games, and also I feel I did not pay the full price for every game I own (looking mainly at psychonauts). There are no words that express the joy on my face when people like me just want to make games to bring joy to other people.

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I think the measurement for the success of the should be the backer's overall feedback for the game and not how many units were sold after the game release.
Don't forget that the backing is just the preordering of games. The number of new sales at release may be less than anticipated since the truly interested individuals have already pitched in. That being said, I'd still expect a good sum, especially if the game ends up being awesome.

That's when we'll see the fringe players who don't particularly favor these games, the players that missed the opportunity to back on kickstarter and don't see the slacker backer option, the players who didn't want to take any risk on a game that wasn't made yet, and all those people under a rock. If the game is great, there will be a lot of money because we are already advertisers for the company. Success on both ends (backing and post release purchases) could be a big signal to producers that they may be missing large markets.

So yes, how good the game is (aka good game = good customer feedback) will be the mark of success. I, for one, am afraid we didn't give them enough money and time to do the best they could.

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DF may see more sales after the project is released, but the the people most excited about it have all been included already.

I don't think that's likely to be true at all. At least, if the game really does only sell 100,000-odd copies (i.e. the backers plus a few more), it will be one of the biggest flops in the history of video games, surpassing even Grim Fandango.

That's actually not true. A game's success or failure depends entirely on its actual budget and needs. A small indie game made by a couple of people working remotely can sell 30,000 units and be a huge success, and a game with a $50 million budget (and another $50 million on marketing) can sell a million units and be a crushing failure. Reds, of course, is somewhere in between there (although obviously a lot closer to the low end, since there's no big publisher deal involved.)

In the case of Reds, we've already covered development costs--that was the point of the Kickstarter! So it is basically impossible for this game to be a flop. Of course it would be great to sell more units once the game is out, and it would also be great to be able to bring in some extra Slacker revenue and be able to hire another team member or two. So yeah, tell your friends! We really appreciate it. But even if that doesn't happen, we'll have had a game whose development costs were covered and that was developed without an intrusive publishing arrangement. Works for us!

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It's all a question of what is the target audience (sorry for the marketing term).

It's been said that the game is made for the backers and funded by the backers. I wouldn't mind if the game were a financial success, I'm sure DF would be extremely happy with it, but that's really not the major goal here. So if the backers like it and even if everyone else hates it, I would consider the game a major success.

@LightKnight77, I really don't know what is the basis of your statement. It's true for everything, that more money and time can improve, but the team seems wonderfully talented and it seems the whole game is progressing nicely.

Besides it must be a success, it's the best 2D point-and-click adventure game Tim Schafer has created since the beginning of the century!*

*This is the first 2D point-and-click adventure game Tim Schafer has created in this century

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Maybe this business model is better for everything.

devs look what consumers want. Consumers fund the project that they want.

Devs make it, consumer gets it for free already because of the funding.

uuuurvybody happeh.

I just watched jimquisition about why people hate EA, its hilarious and true.

I do miss bullfrog

Lets hope this game is so rediculously good that it gets more sales than any indie game yet. Besides minecraft eh

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DF may see more sales after the project is released, but the the people most excited about it have all been included already.

I don't think that's likely to be true at all. At least, if the game really does only sell 100,000-odd copies (i.e. the backers plus a few more), it will be one of the biggest flops in the history of video games, surpassing even Grim Fandango.

That's actually not true. A game's success or failure depends entirely on its actual budget and needs. A small indie game made by a couple of people working remotely can sell 30,000 units and be a huge success, and a game with a $50 million budget (and another $50 million on marketing) can sell a million units and be a crushing failure. Reds, of course, is somewhere in between there (although obviously a lot closer to the low end, since there's no big publisher deal involved.)

In the case of Reds, we've already covered development costs--that was the point of the Kickstarter! So it is basically impossible for this game to be a flop. Of course it would be great to sell more units once the game is out, and it would also be great to be able to bring in some extra Slacker revenue and be able to hire another team member or two. So yeah, tell your friends! We really appreciate it. But even if that doesn't happen, we'll have had a game whose development costs were covered and that was developed without an intrusive publishing arrangement. Works for us!

Yes, that was my thinking. One of the big hurdles after making a game is recouping development costs. In this case that is already done, so whatever comes next is gravy. It is important to remember this is also a niche product. It may not see sales in the millions, but I believe everyone at Double Fine would call this product a success, even this early.

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I would be shocked if DFA doesn't sell more copies after release than before. No game ever sells the majority of its copies in pre-order, and especially not one as vaguely defined as DFA.

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Maybe this business model is better for everything.

devs look what consumers want. Consumers fund the project that they want.

Devs make it, consumer gets it for free already because of the funding.

uuuurvybody happeh.

Exactly! That's why this should be so exciting for everyone.
Lets hope this game is so rediculously good that it gets more sales than any indie game yet. Besides minecraft eh
This isn't an Indie game. This is a professionally made game. Or wait... is it? There's no producers but there are clear investors... what's the true difference? I think it's not produced by a major studio so I think you're correct, this is technically Indie. Interesting. Crap, I just got owned by my own thought process.
@LightKnight77, I really don't know what is the basis of your statement. It's true for everything, that more money and time can improve, but the team seems wonderfully talented and it seems the whole game is progressing nicely.
I base that on the ongoing documentary. Tim stated that they had very little time (though the very little resources informs the time, they could just delay release a few months if they had more resources to cover costs over that time). Anyone from DF can feel free to correct me if this isn't a seriously small amount of time, forcing the likes of the REDS team to work at a pace and quality that bards will sing tales of.

I'm expecting the game to be fantastic, but that doesn't mean I think it's going to be easy for them or that they're not working against a pretty hectic clock where time and resources are about to run out. Given more time and resources he would be able to expand on so much, but as you seem to note, that's true of anything that can get better with more resources and time. That's what Duke Nukem Forever sold their investors on and it still ended up being.. what it was...

I would be shocked if DFA doesn't sell more copies after release than before. No game ever sells the majority of its copies in pre-order, and especially not one as vaguely defined as DFA.
I hope so too, but this certainly isn't just preordering. This was funding. So we really don't know what's going to happen. I think it'll sell a lot.

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I myself am not a slacker backer but I do know my younger brother plans on picking up a copy of DFA once it becomes available on Steam.

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It´s good to know that the game can´t be a flop financially, but I think all of us want´s it to become a huge success, since we (at least I do) hope that this title will be able to help DF finance another title without publishers.

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I base that on the ongoing documentary. Tim stated that they had very little time (though the very little resources informs the time, they could just delay release a few months if they had more resources to cover costs over that time). Anyone from DF can feel free to correct me if this isn't a seriously small amount of time, forcing the likes of the REDS team to work at a pace and quality that bards will sing tales of.

I'm expecting the game to be fantastic, but that doesn't mean I think it's going to be easy for them or that they're not working against a pretty hectic clock where time and resources are about to run out. Given more time and resources he would be able to expand on so much, but as you seem to note, that's true of anything that can get better with more resources and time. That's what Duke Nukem Forever sold their investors on and it still ended up being.. what it was...

REDS has a development cycle that is about a year long, and it is expected to be released sometime in spring next year. Given the budget and size of the team, that's pretty normal. If they didn't extend it and still went for the originally-planned release in October (which was made assuming that they'd only get the 400k they were asking for), then yes, there wouldn't be enough time to make the game that they want to make.

They're an experienced team of developers that have already created games with similar-sized budgets. I'm confident that they know what they're doing.

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REDS has a development cycle that is about a year long, and it is expected to be released sometime in spring next year. Given the budget and size of the team, that's pretty normal. If they didn't extend it and still went for the originally-planned release in October (which was made assuming that they'd only get the 400k they were asking for), then yes, there wouldn't be enough time to make the game that they want to make.

They're an experienced team of developers that have already created games with similar-sized budgets. I'm confident that they know what they're doing.

That's just it, a 400k game in that amount of time would have been something drastically different. It may have even been stick figures for all we know.

With a few million we're talking a much more complex game but the same amount of time. Now, that did allow them to put a lot more resources (like, people) on the project but this doesn't change the time.

I am by no means saying they're not capable. Just that there is a squeeze where time is concerned. Again, someone from DF can feel free to counter Tim's statement, but until then I'll go with what he said about it (he has a lot more experience doing this than I do).

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It will be interesting to see how well these Kickstarter games actually do sell after they've been finished. The worst case scanrio, which I think is unlikely, is that everyone who is interested has already bought the game and no one else will bother.

I do think, that the moderate budgets these games have and have been already paid, most of them will make enough profit to make sequals possible, as at least in couple of cases more games have been promised if the Kickstarter game proves a success.

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That's just it, a 400k game in that amount of time would have been something drastically different. It may have even been stick figures for all we know.

With a few million we're talking a much more complex game but the same amount of time. Now, that did allow them to put a lot more resources (like, people) on the project but this doesn't change the time.

I am by no means saying they're not capable. Just that there is a squeeze where time is concerned. Again, someone from DF can feel free to counter Tim's statement, but until then I'll go with what he said about it (he has a lot more experience doing this than I do).

What I'm saying is that they've pretty much already made games under these conditions. Most of their recent titles were made under similar circumstances (similar budget, similar team size, similar timeframe). The difference is that this time they have more control, since there's no publisher involved and no concerns about recouping development costs. They already have the experience needed for a project of this scope.

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I'm a slacker backer, and proud of it!

I wanted to back the Kickstarter, but it wasn't available for my region, so I was forced to wait!

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DF unlike most other Kickstarter companies, is working on multiple projects (my magic guessing skills tell me two projects besides The Cave) and already has some Publisher contracts (probably ready to pitch more), in some cases Reds resources carry over to other projects like with Chris here, since he is also working on The Cave along with this project, and I’m assuming Kickstarter funds cover his and fellow Reds members salary (he can correct me if I’m wrong).

That’s a great boon for a company, DF is probably doing better now than they ever did, personally I’d like to see them return on a big project again, but that may not be realistic given the current industry climate.

I’d like this game to succeed not as much for DF’s sake (we already established that they can’t really lose from this) but for the future of adventure gaming, if this game sells, Publisher’s may finally take notice, and say “Hmmm, maybe funding adventure games is worth it after all” or so one can hope.

And remember, as far as Slacker Backers go, currently they haven’t really shown anything about the game, so people that fall on the “Tim Schafer is making an adventure game” pull are probably already here, when development advances and when the beta, or the first trailer comes out I’m sure slacking backing will increase (we will probably outright call them pre-orders by then).

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What I'm saying is that they've pretty much already made games under these conditions. Most of their recent titles were made under similar circumstances (similar budget, similar team size, similar timeframe). The difference is that this time they have more control, since there's no publisher involved and no concerns about recouping development costs. They already have the experience needed for a project of this scope.
I guess what I'm not getting is how that has anything to do with this not being very much time or resources for what they're about to accomplish. You seem to be insisting on putting words in my mouth that this team isn't up to par with this when I'm just pointing out the scale of the hurdle in front of them and not saying anything about their ability. Have you considered that they're always strapped? This doesn't make it easy, it just makes this team fandamntastic.

Also, what games are you thinking of in particular? What were the teams/timeframe/resources they had that are comparable to this? Had they already written the story to pitch to producers or did they already have it written like is normal (unless game companies go up to producers and just ask for money to make some unspecified thing)? It's easy to say they've been in this position before, but I think any new software project will have its own unique elements. This thing that DF has done is an attempt to reveal interest in their beloved game genre. In a way, it is possible that the genre's return to legitimacy relies entirely on Tim and his team's brawny shoulders here. I think just the success of the kickstarter project has already done a lot for it. I don't think Tim is concerned about making a good game, he's consistent in good/great games. But I think his goal is to make a breakaway success because anything short of that could mean failure for the next level IF they even want to get producers involved in future games. I think kickstarter will be a continued option for anything like this, especially if the way DF has handled this so far is any indication of their work ethic. The documentary alone has been worth my investment (hence my regret at not giving more), so even a just "ok" game wouldn't put me off.

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What I'm saying is that they've pretty much already made games under these conditions. Most of their recent titles were made under similar circumstances (similar budget, similar team size, similar timeframe). The difference is that this time they have more control, since there's no publisher involved and no concerns about recouping development costs. They already have the experience needed for a project of this scope.
I guess what I'm not getting is how that has anything to do with this not being very much time or resources for what they're about to accomplish. You seem to be insisting on putting words in my mouth that this team isn't up to par with this when I'm just pointing out the scale of the hurdle in front of them and not saying anything about their ability. Have you considered that they're always strapped? This doesn't make it easy, it just makes this team fandamntastic.

Also, what games are you thinking of in particular? What were the teams/timeframe/resources they had that are comparable to this? Had they already written the story to pitch to producers or did they already have it written like is normal (unless game companies go up to producers and just ask for money to make some unspecified thing)? It's easy to say they've been in this position before, but I think any new software project will have its own unique elements. This thing that DF has done is an attempt to reveal interest in their beloved game genre. In a way, it is possible that the genre's return to legitimacy relies entirely on Tim and his team's brawny shoulders here. I think just the success of the kickstarter project has already done a lot for it. I don't think Tim is concerned about making a good game, he's consistent in good/great games. But I think his goal is to make a breakaway success because anything short of that could mean failure for the next level IF they even want to get producers involved in future games. I think kickstarter will be a continued option for anything like this, especially if the way DF has handled this so far is any indication of their work ethic. The documentary alone has been worth my investment (hence my regret at not giving more), so even a just "ok" game wouldn't put me off.

Stacking and Costume Quest had roughly $2m budgets each (Not sure about Iron Brigade or some of their other downloadable titles). They had a vague concept and a working prototype before they were submitted to publishers (the concept and prototypes were made during Amnesia Fortnight, over the course of two weeks. Amnesia Fortnight was originally just intended to give the team something to do while they were between publishers during the development of Brutal Legend), so they did have a bit less work to do with conceptualizing the game than they do this time around.

I'm not trying to argue about this, I'm just trying to say why I'm personally confident that they can handle this project just fine. We gave them a similar amount of money that publishers have given them in the past to make games, and they have full control over how the budget is handled and the development time frame. I don't feel guilty about the amount I pledged as I gave all I could afford at the time and they ended up getting a lot more than they were originally asking for, and there's slacker-backers giving them a bit of extra wiggle-room, so if a delay has to be made, the slacker-backer money will help handle that. They could also potentially funnel in profits from their other games (particularly their Steam releases since all of them except the upcoming Iron Brigade are self-published so, aside from Valve's cut, they're pure profit with nothing going to a publisher) if they somehow managed to run into money trouble with DFA that they slacker backer money couldn't cover.

I'm just saying that I have faith in Double Fine and I think Tim and the rest of the DFA team can handle it, so I'm not worried about it. I'm not certain that everything is going perfectly well there, but I have yet to seen any evidence to the contrary.

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I think your concern can be addressed by Greg who is the producer and has visibility on the project timeline and budget.

What Syd is saying and I agree with him, is that DF know what they are doing. Any project will have its constraints, that's a fact that no matter what you do there will always be some resources missing. The trick is to know how to manage with this and get something good within those constraints. Because this is not their first rodeo, I don't think you'll see something horrible happening.

Besides, several backers here already said they'll support DF if they ran out of money for the project. Beyond that, the company has some income from other sources if the gap is small. All of these are worst case scenarios, I really wouldn't worry about it at this point.

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I'm a slacker. I actually didn't hear about kickstarter until after Double Fine was done, but I did hop in a few later kickstarters.

I'm very happy, and grateful to get to be here still after the fact.

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