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Episode 8: "Adventure Games Are Not Dead"

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.....

As much as I love Tim and all the others having fun and laughing watching it, I miss the extensive in-depth production stuff.

It's interesting that people are being more vocal about this finally...

It's been very odd to watch Double Fine try to be the "fan favorite" company, going out of their way to film the beard-shaving, and "cool car" character pieces... while at the same time seemingly putting every little news release on a schedule... and missing things like the obvious "lets wrap up that narrative we invented for Bagel last episode," or show any day-to-day progress.

It's a bit like watching a documentary scripted by Damon Lidelof or JJ Abrams. Weird reality-show type exaggerated narratives, a high-contrast instagram. I think there's something a bit wrong when the footage is a month+ old because of the time it takes to edit it, especially when it turns out it's about a car.

I'm pretty sure the stuff with Bagel was set up way back in episode 5, and resolved gradually in episode 6 and a little bit in 7 and 8. In episode 5 they started talking about this problem with Bagel not getting enough creative input, then later they resolved that by suggesting more of an overseer role for him. In episode 8 we see this in action by showing the artist following his design document. So not only is it just a little bit weird to say the narrative was 'invented', it's just plain false to say that it wasn't wrapped up.

Also, it seemed pretty obvious to me that the personal bits with Tim were edited in as a light palate cleanser between the beginning part of the episode (lots of progress happening in development) and the finale, (getting feedback from the rest of DF on their progress). Incidentally, the most recent footage was shot around 3 weeks before this episode was released, not a month+, and that was the HOF. So it's not like they were waiting on that car bit to finish the episode off, as you seem to imply. I expect that has been in the bag for a while.

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Hi all!

I just want to say that I am so excited about the in-game footage in this episode. The quality far exceeds my expectations and the style have so much character and soul. Looking forward to the following episodes and to the final game - Keep up the great work on both!

Best regards a happy backer ;-)

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Double Fine is a small company compared to most non-"garage" developers (in other words, we're small compared to most developers and publishers that have an office, benefits, etc., all the "company stuff"), but we still have 60 people, which is a lot to support. It's almost inconceivable that we'd be able to "break the cycle," so to speak, with profits from a single game. Unless one of our games is a massive hit on a scale we haven't had before, it would be difficult for one of our team's games to make so much money that it would succeed in allowing the entire company to be self-sufficient indefinitely.

I didn't mean to imply one game would be enough to break free from publishers completely, but it should be enough to be able to start self funding a game or two at a time, and that's somewhere to build from.

Without that, a lot of devs find themselves on a hamster wheel. There's just no opportunity to really break free. But in this case, I feel like there's a start, and that it's up to Double Fine to parlay that into something gradually bigger, such that maybe in 5 or 6 years, there won't be a need for outside funding. Kickstarter is just that -- a start. It's not Kick-keep-it-going-er.

Whereas inXile was like "No, we want to be all crowdfunded from now on." They weren't willing to do even one more publisher project while they waited for the profits from Wasteland 2 to come in. That's a lot less sympathetic to me, and it's NOT how I see Double Fine or other companies handling it.

I think Double Fine's attitudes toward it are healthy, and I'm going to continue to support DF in one way or another.

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Kickstarter is what you make of it. In other words: There is no one true way to use Kickstarter.

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Whereas inXile was like "No, we want to be all crowdfunded from now on." They weren't willing to do even one more publisher project while they waited for the profits from Wasteland 2 to come in. That's a lot less sympathetic to me, and it's NOT how I see Double Fine or other companies handling it.

That is totally unfair and wrong.

InXile differs from Double Fine in that Wasteland 2 was until Torment their only game in development whereas Double Fine has multiple teams doing different projects from the just finished Cave, the DFA and the recently announced Discord - and that's just what we know about. Oh and there was Middle Manager of Justice as well, which is ongoing as well as far as I understand it. Anyway, suffice it to say Double Fine has many irons in the fire from different revenue sources such as a traditional publisher, crowd funded & privately financed.

Brian Fargo's InXile was just working on Wasteland 2, their only project and mostly funded by Kickstarter (with Fargo putting in some of his own money as well as far as I can remember) and with pre-production finished he had two choices: 1) lay off all unneeded staff as if they just sat around and did nothing it would be a massive drain on limited resources or 2) start a new project. But how could he finance a new project before the current one had made a profit? Well I guess he could have tried to get a publisher for this new project. But as traditional publishers didn't seem to want to back Wasteland 2, an old school RPG he probably figured (and probably correctly too) that they wouldn't be interested in another old school RPG, especially one that favours intelligent game play and so he went to Kickstarter again.

Hell he explained all this much better than I have just done in an Wasteland 2 update: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/wasteland-2/posts/420739

Once Wasteland 2 is out production will shift to Torment and then pre-production can start on a new project which may well be funded by profits of Wasteland 2. It's a perfectly sound business idea, especially if all you want to do is make quality RPGs which seems to be all that Fargo wants. All power to him.

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Trying to force one's view of what Kickstarter should be onto other people is a silly pursuit. Everyone perceives and values Kickstarter differently. Nobody's going to know any long term impact for at least a couple years. Until then if someone is interested in a project and wants to support a developer, go for it and don't worry about what others think.

This thread should be about Double Fine Adventure progress and the video update, not grinding an axe over inXile and Brian Fargo. That's what NeoGAF is for, unless they ban someone for doing this in multiple threads over there and they need to find another outlet for that. ;)

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That is totally unfair and wrong.

No, I understand the situation perfectly well, I just have a different opinion about it than you.

But how could he finance a new project before the current one had made a profit?

Go to a publisher. Which he wasn't willing to do. Which is exactly what I said.

But as traditional publishers didn't seem to want to back Wasteland 2, an old school RPG he probably figured (and probably correctly too) that they wouldn't be interested in another old school RPG, especially one that favours intelligent game play and so he went to Kickstarter again.

I find it highly improbable that publishers aren't more receptive to this idea in light of repeated multi-million-dollar crowdfunding successes over the past year. The only reason they hadn't supported these projects before was a lack of real data to determine if there was still a market, and that's changed now.

Besides, who says his next game HAD to be Torment or even an RPG? Couldn't he have put those people to work on ANY publisher-backed project and then made Torment later with the Wasteland 2 profits?

Anyway, I read his rationale, and I understand it perfectly, but I still object to what he's doing. I don't think he's a bad guy and I don't think he sees what he's doing as exploiting people (nor do his backers, in fairness), but I still think it's not fair what he's asking of people and I'd never give to a project in a circumstance like that.

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But yeah, enough about that. I don't have an axe to grind with Brian Fargo, I actually think he's a good dude and he means well, but that a lot of people are still in this sort of honeymoon phase with Kickstarter and don't appreciate the risks and trade-offs associated with it. I don't feel like it should be a first resort. I'd rather it be saved for the special and exceptional cases.

You're welcome to disagree, of course, and I don't aim to talk anyone out of giving. It's just an opinion.

Trying to force one's view of what Kickstarter should be onto other people is a silly pursuit.
And I never have. Differing opinions can be very upsetting to some people. I've never had any problem with people doing whatever, I'm just saying why I don't give in those cases.

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Eh, I don't see anyone becoming upset from your differing opinions. I'm merely pointing out the obvious regarding your repeated need to tell people why supporting "X" project on Kickstarter is bad.

Thread 1: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=47026256&highlight;=#post47026256 (these don't seem to be the words of someone who isn't upset)

Thread 2: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=49225734#post49225734 (amusing reading for the curious starts here)

I'd say raising this discussion in multiple places is about more than simply sharing an opinion. You express a deep worry that certain publishers are abusing Kickstarter, and you have a personal "one kickstarter per lifetime" rule for each entity. Okay, that's a valid view to have and I don't disagree entirely. But others feel differently, and it's not just because they view kickstarter as a pre-order store. Some people like to support developers directly, be a part of the process, and yes, circumvent publishers.

I guess I'm just the type of person who doesn't get so worked up about hypothetical scenarios. It's so early in the post-DFA kickstarter era, relatively speaking, and until most of these games come out later this year or next year, we won't really know long-term impacts (e.g. if the games are profitable enough for the developers, or if they have to go to a publisher or Kickstarter for their subsequent projects). Until then it's merely conjecture, and I don't think people need to worry about longer-term consequences of supporting certain developers (yet). :)

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Why would anyone think crowd funding a game instead of going to a publisher is exploiting people? I'd rather pay double for a game from a developer than pay for a game from a publisher. I'd rather a developer have creative control. I'd rather not have DRM. I'd rather not have a lot of DLC that would be content in the game 10 years ago. I don't mind if a developer crowd funds their next 20 games.

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Whereas inXile was like "No, we want to be all crowdfunded from now on." They weren't willing to do even one more publisher project while they waited for the profits from Wasteland 2 to come in. That's a lot less sympathetic to me, and it's NOT how I see Double Fine or other companies handling it.

That is totally unfair and wrong.

InXile differs from Double Fine in that Wasteland 2 was until Torment their only game in development whereas Double Fine has multiple teams doing different projects from the just finished Cave, the DFA and the recently announced Discord - and that's just what we know about. Oh and there was Middle Manager of Justice as well, which is ongoing as well as far as I understand it. Anyway, suffice it to say Double Fine has many irons in the fire from different revenue sources such as a traditional publisher, crowd funded & privately financed.

Brian Fargo's InXile was just working on Wasteland 2, their only project and mostly funded by Kickstarter (with Fargo putting in some of his own money as well as far as I can remember) and with pre-production finished he had two choices: 1) lay off all unneeded staff as if they just sat around and did nothing it would be a massive drain on limited resources or 2) start a new project. But how could he finance a new project before the current one had made a profit? Well I guess he could have tried to get a publisher for this new project. But as traditional publishers didn't seem to want to back Wasteland 2, an old school RPG he probably figured (and probably correctly too) that they wouldn't be interested in another old school RPG, especially one that favours intelligent game play and so he went to Kickstarter again.

Hell he explained all this much better than I have just done in an Wasteland 2 update: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/wasteland-2/posts/420739

Once Wasteland 2 is out production will shift to Torment and then pre-production can start on a new project which may well be funded by profits of Wasteland 2. It's a perfectly sound business idea, especially if all you want to do is make quality RPGs which seems to be all that Fargo wants. All power to him.

I agree with you 100% and what's better, so do about 45,000 other people (in less than a week mind you).

I'll never quite understand how and when people develop biases so strong that they allow those biases to negate fact and communication, but Brian Fargo has been extremely transparent, extremely honest, and extremely optimistic. Not only that, he has personally sunk his own money into crowd funding--of his own projects and into the projects of 24 other Kickstarters.

He's not just asking for our faith, he's showing faith himself. He's one of the people sinking hundreds of thousands into the dreams, sweat equity and possibility of the unproven.

Saying, "I'm not comfortable putting my money there," is one thing, but outright, uninformed cynicism seems unfounded. What's more, it seems boring.

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I agree with you 100% and what's better, so do about 45,000 other people (in less than a week mind you).

I'll never quite understand how and when people develop biases so strong that they allow those biases to negate fact and communication, but Brian Fargo has been extremely transparent, extremely honest, and extremely optimistic. Not only that, he has personally sunk his own money into crowd funding--of his own projects and into the projects of 24 other Kickstarters.

He's not just asking for our faith, he's showing faith himself. He's one of the people sinking hundreds of thousands into the dreams, sweat equity and possibility of the unproven.

Saying, "I'm not comfortable putting my money there," is one thing, but outright, uninformed cynicism seems unfounded. What's more, it seems boring.

Not only that, Fargo set up the "Kicking It Forward" initiative to encourage developers to put 5% of their profits into other Kickstarters. That doesn't seem like abuse. Rather, it seems like Fargo appreciates the support he's received and genuinely wants to create an environment where developers have options and a better chance at realizing their goals.

If someone wanted to complain about, say, Richard Garriott (who paid $30 million to go to space then received $30 million from a subsequent lawsuit) not being the most appropriate candidate for asking for crowd funding on Kickstarter, they might have a point. But Fargo? Nah. I see nothing wrong with what he's doing.

Now we can resume discussing Double Fargo Adv--, er, Double Fine Adventure.

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.....

As much as I love Tim and all the others having fun and laughing watching it, I miss the extensive in-depth production stuff.

It's interesting that people are being more vocal about this finally...

It's been very odd to watch Double Fine try to be the "fan favorite" company, going out of their way to film the beard-shaving, and "cool car" character pieces... while at the same time seemingly putting every little news release on a schedule... and missing things like the obvious "lets wrap up that narrative we invented for Bagel last episode," or show any day-to-day progress.

It's a bit like watching a documentary scripted by Damon Lidelof or JJ Abrams. Weird reality-show type exaggerated narratives, a high-contrast instagram. I think there's something a bit wrong when the footage is a month+ old because of the time it takes to edit it, especially when it turns out it's about a car.

That's my quote, not ThunderPeel, but anyway, nice that some of you agree. :)

Edit: I got a chill down my spine when someone mentioned American Chopper, you know that "don't let it be so"-feeling. I actually loved that series and didn't miss a single episode over all the years. However, when I even see the slightest hint that the Reds documentary goes down that route of too much focus on other (personal) stuff than the production itself, I think it's a missed opportunity. Entertaining to watch, yes, informative and educational, a bit less so for this last episode.

I understand it can be very tempting with Tim at the helm, to try to go for the easy laughs. The way episode 7 ended however, I hoped for A New Beginning with all out, in-depth production stuff showing how they dug themselves out of the dire situation.

Edit2: And I have no problem with inXile having two kickstarters at the same time. I even supported both of of them. It's up to members to chose if they want to support something or not, noone is forcing them. It's actually not much different than pre-orders in my eyes, a bit higher risk, yes, but less so if you choose the projects wisely.

EA/BioWare and ME3 with 0-day DLC, pew-pew-pew, poor storytelling and disaster ending was in my eyes a way bigger pre-order failure than any of the kickstarters I'm in on so far. And that with a so called AAA-title. Never again, never again. It feels really good to cut publishers out of the loop, and entities like EA is a red blanket which motivates me everyday to visit Kickstarter and look up another fun project I can support directly. Of course there are good publishers also, but I haven't seen enough positives coming out of them being a middle hand, so therefore I'm a Kickstarterman, for now.

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I really enjoyed the 'Tim' section of the video. It was inspirational to see him cut his beard, embark on a juice fast, and get his car into the shop. (Especially love his little girl. In the live stream of his beard cutting, she was kissing his arm like a devoted cuddle bug.)

I also understand the argument that it was not a segment about the production of the game. We're all used to the formula of putting the human interest pieces into the side quests. To me, however, the rejuvenation of Tim is a key element within the development of this game. We know that the game story is a 'coming of age', a 'hero's journey'. To see the creator, Tim, expand and grow is to see some of that manifest. And not only the game storyline, but the whole kickstarter/adventure game/documentary storyline as well. This narrative is changing publisher politics, perspectives on graphic adventures, and Tim. He is a focal point, driving force, and guide for us on the journey.

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Go to a publisher. Which he wasn't willing to do. Which is exactly what I said.

.....

I find it highly improbable that publishers aren't more receptive to this idea in light of repeated multi-million-dollar crowdfunding successes over the past year. The only reason they hadn't supported these projects before was a lack of real data to determine if there was still a market, and that's changed now.

Besides, who says his next game HAD to be Torment or even an RPG? Couldn't he have put those people to work on ANY publisher-backed project and then made Torment later with the Wasteland 2 profits?

Anyway, I read his rationale, and I understand it perfectly, but I still object to what he's doing. I don't think he's a bad guy and I don't think he sees what he's doing as exploiting people (nor do his backers, in fairness), but I still think it's not fair what he's asking of people and I'd never give to a project in a circumstance like that.

First of all I admire your faith in publishers, but it's almost bordering on blind faith. I'm sure some publishers would want to back a Brian Fargo project right now because he's a hot name in the gaming community. But I'm also sure that there is no chance that they would allow him the freedom to make the game he wants with no unnecessary extras (like multiplayer) or restrictions.

Ok then so why not make something other than Torment or an RPG? Well why the hell should he? I mean there's making games just for the sake of it, for money, and then there's making a game because it's a game you want to make. Now which one is likely to be better, and more profitable down the line. And besides if he went down the publisher route the game would have to make a lot of money for the publisher first before InXile saw any of the profits. And that's not helping them become a fully self funding RPG making company.

Anyway, it's not like he's demanded people give him money, he just asking. And I think that's perfectly fair.

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Why would anyone think crowd funding a game instead of going to a publisher is exploiting people? I'd rather pay double for a game from a developer than pay for a game from a publisher. I'd rather a developer have creative control. I'd rather not have DRM. I'd rather not have a lot of DLC that would be content in the game 10 years ago. I don't mind if a developer crowd funds their next 20 games.

Well, it depends on the publisher, and on the game of course, but I do think that there are too many good reasons for crowdfunding that are both pro-us lot and pro-developer to relegate it simply to a 'last resort'.

(and I think DLC is a more complex issue since while I've no doubt it's often used to sell things that really should be included with the game, it's really hard to actually, realistically draw the line between something that 'would have been in the game' and something that they're making extra. Because the whole development process now has changed to take DLC into account - so how do you know whether planned DLC would have been in the game or if it just wouldn't have been made at all? It's worth raising a few eyebrows if the DLC is on-disc, but even that doesn't mean it would have existed if the concept of DLC didn't exist. But I suppose I'm straying even further off-topic here.)

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Not only that, Fargo set up the "Kicking It Forward" initiative to encourage developers to put 5% of their profits into other Kickstarters. That doesn't seem like abuse. Rather, it seems like Fargo appreciates the support he's received and genuinely wants to create an environment where developers have options and a better chance at realizing their goals.

If someone wanted to complain about, say, Richard Garriott (who paid $30 million to go to space then received $30 million from a subsequent lawsuit) not being the most appropriate candidate for asking for crowd funding on Kickstarter, they might have a point. But Fargo? Nah. I see nothing wrong with what he's doing.

I did bring up Garriott too (although I honestly do think there's a difference between investing your personal finances and your company's profits). Also those Pathfinder MMO people were the worst of them all. That one was more or less a scam, as far as I'm concerned, because they quite literally didn't need the money and didn't promise anything for it.

Like I said, I think Brian Fargo is a good guy. I don't think he's doing this for the money at all, and I appreciate that he's got some of his personal finances invested in this as well. And I also think in his particular case it's not as bad because he's supposedly letting people get the game much cheaper, which offsets the risk involved somewhat.

But it's more about the precedent. I don't want to live in a world where I have to Kickstart every independent game from my favorite companies. It's more about drawing a line in the sand than anything.

I mean there's making games just for the sake of it, for money, and then there's making a game because it's a game you want to make.

And then there's making games that enable you to make the game you want to make. It's called "working for it." ;)

I'm just saying he HAD other options. A lot of people act like he HAD to do this or lay people off, and it's not true. He just liked the KS option better. That doesn't make him a scumbag, but it makes me feel less charitable.

I might be interested in the game once it's made, but just doesn't motivate me to pre-fund it, you know?

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And then there's making games that enable you to make the game you want to make. It's called "working for it." ;)

I'm just saying he HAD other options. A lot of people act like he HAD to do this or lay people off, and it's not true. He just liked the KS option better. That doesn't make him a scumbag, but it makes me feel less charitable.

I might be interested in the game once it's made, but just doesn't motivate me to pre-fund it, you know?

Again, I think you have a simplistic view with your 'it's called working for it'. It just doesn't work out always that if you work really really hard and try and try it'll happen, you'll make a great game and be able to live off the funds forever. If it did, then there'd definitely be more self-sufficient game makers out there. Things happen, stuff doesn't catch in the way you hope it would, sometimes no amount of working hard is good enough because there just is a level of right-place-right-time involved that you can't get away from. Or you might just be the type of designer who always makes stuff with a more niche appeal which is less likely to set the world on fire - which is a totally valid approach. Perseverance is the best chance, but even then, some people get lucky right away, some people go their lives without catching a break they often deserve if you look at the quality of their work.

I also think you are skirting dangerously close to the 'suffer for your art' meme that is so poisonous in the industry at the moment. You can care deeply for your work without enduring hardships; you can work hard on your projects without having to endure suffering; how much you care should not be a function of how much you are willing to sacrifice. Take me for example. I really care about my game designs. The work I do on them with a friend is real design with real problems and when we disagree, it's because we're both very passionate about creating the best experience. But we do our work between our day jobs, because we're both in a situation where our lives would be made much, much harder if we didn't. If we abandoned our jobs tomorrow, that wouldn't mean that we care one more bit about our games, we'd just have more time to work on them. Assuming we could still afford ... anything. That doesn't mean people can't make it work, but none of those people ever tell me I'm not giving enough of myself.

Similarly, I don't think Fargo and co should be expected to make unneccessary sacrifices to realise their vision, particularly when people are, at least for the moment, willingly providing them with an easier route.

As for precedent, I don't think we need to worry. Kickstarter is limited just like every other approach. It works for projects that are either:

* Cheap

* Pitched as nostalgia

* Have some sort of niche appeal.

The more of those the more likely it's good for kickstarter. Cheap because it's more likely to be successful, nostalgia because people are more likely to back what they know and remember fondly, and niche because the niches are not usually being served by the mainstream. That leaves a whole host of games of all kinds that don't seem suitable for Kickstarter.

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Again, I think you have a simplistic view with your 'it's called working for it'. It just doesn't work out always that if you work really really hard and try and try it'll happen, you'll make a great game and be able to live off the funds forever.

No, but in this particular case, if they sell even a paltry 100,000 copies of Wasteland 2, they would have a few million to make Torment, so that's the route I would have preferred they went: Do something to hold them over for the rest of the year (even if it makes them no extra money other than paying their staff) and wait for the Wasteland cash to roll in. Hell, Fargo probably could have come up with a console port deal or even taken out a load to get enough money to keep his pre-prod crew paid for 6 months, which is really all we're talking about here.

Double Fine has recently shown that there are quite a few options to solve problems like these. If you look at all the recent deals they've struck... anything in that ballpark would have probably solved this problem. I'm very happy with how Double Fine has chosen to handle their situation.

I get not everyone sees KS as something that should be reserved for those that need it, but I don't think I'm being unreasonable when I say that inXile could have gone another way, they just found this one more attractive. And understandably so; it's basically free money with no accountability. I just don't know if that's always the best thing for us as consumers.

If it did, then there'd definitely be more self-sufficient game makers out there.

Most game makers didn't already get $3 million to make and self-publish a game.

Remember, my argument is not against Kickstarters, it's against coming back to KS over and over. InXile has this massive opportunity that most will never have, and to then come back to the very same people who gave you that opportunity and ask for more seems... I dunno, ungrateful, maybe?

I also think you are skirting dangerously close to the 'suffer for your art' meme that is so poisonous in the industry at the moment.

It's not "suffer for your art" it's more like "make the most of this incredible opportunity you've been given thanks to the generosity of others.

As for precedent, I don't think we need to worry. Kickstarter is limited just like every other approach. It works for projects that are either:

* Cheap

* Pitched as nostalgia

* Have some sort of niche appeal.

The more of those the more likely it's good for kickstarter. Cheap because it's more likely to be successful, nostalgia because people are more likely to back what they know and remember fondly, and niche because the niches are not usually being served by the mainstream. That leaves a whole host of games of all kinds that don't seem suitable for Kickstarter.

Yeah, but I like an awful lot of games that fall into one of those three categories, so it still makes me a bit uncomfortable.

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(and I think DLC is a more complex issue since while I've no doubt it's often used to sell things that really should be included with the game, it's really hard to actually, realistically draw the line between something that 'would have been in the game' and something that they're making extra. Because the whole development process now has changed to take DLC into account - so how do you know whether planned DLC would have been in the game or if it just wouldn't have been made at all? It's worth raising a few eyebrows if the DLC is on-disc, but even that doesn't mean it would have existed if the concept of DLC didn't exist. But I suppose I'm straying even further off-topic here.)

It may be off-topic but you're right, and it should be acknowledged. DLC is often used to solve exactly the problem Brian Fargo is facing; transitioning between projects that have different needs at different stages of development without laying off staff. I really don't have a problem with DLC as long as the game doesn't go out of its way to pressure me into buying it.

The crowd-funding public loves to crow about what's good for developers and how much they support them, but DLC is really useful to them, and I think when it's done right, it's great for us too. Double Fine has done plenty of DLC over the years, and I think that's great.

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Yeah, but I like an awful lot of games that fall into one of those three categories, so it still makes me a bit uncomfortable.

So it's more of a personal discomfort with wanting to repeatedly support someone via kickstarter than a more general moral objection? I suppose I can get behind that. As I said before, I don't think the moral argument really works because I think it relies on a naive view of how especially a mid-sized developer operates and can be expected to succeed. But if you're just personally uncomfortable with throwing coins in the well repeatedly then that's another thing.

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Yeah, but I like an awful lot of games that fall into one of those three categories, so it still makes me a bit uncomfortable.

So it's more of a personal discomfort with wanting to repeatedly support someone via kickstarter than a more general moral objection?

It can fall on the side of either depending. In the case of inXile, yes, it's more personal discomfort. In the case of Pathfinder MMO, where they already had publisher backing in place, there WAS no independence to be preserved, they ALREADY DID a Kickstarter, and then they came back asking for ANOTHER million to "make the game faster" (likely a bogus claim, since game budgets are based mostly on man-hours and not team size). In their case, I do have a moral objection to what they did. It was a hustle designed to exploit the good will of their community.

Like I said, it's a line in the sand for me.

As I said before, I don't think the moral argument really works because I think it relies on a naive view of how especially a mid-sized developer operates and can be expected to succeed.

I don't think I've said anything terribly naive though. I understand the realities of development pretty well, and I even acknowledge why, from Brian Fargo's perspective, KS is their best option. But it isn't MY best option, so I won't be giving.

Game developers are artists, but they're also businesses. They want to make the games they're passionate about, but once they've been given KS money they stand to make an awful lot as well. Picasso didn't need a patron, because by the end of his career, he was worth $50 million.

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I think as regards Kickstarter funding generally Mr. TheFrog is, I believe, quite right. It's not clear how we should define the precedent inXile is setting, however - inasmuch as they're extremely good (the best, I shouldn't be surprised) at communication with and involvement of their backer community it wouldn't be fair to suggest they're encouraging Kickstarter to become a sort of terrible shop. Backing inXile projects is worlds away from an extended pre-order, and to that extent I think it would be fair to view one's funding as a sort of subscription service to the development cycle.

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If only people were free to choose how they spend their money and which projects they back or don't back. But, alas, Fargo has again literally stolen millions of dollars from 46 000 people who absolutely didn't want to back the project. Because as everybody knows, the word nostalgia will physically force your hand to write in credit card details and authorize payment against your will.

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If only people were free to choose how they spend their money and which projects they back or don't back. But, alas, Fargo has again literally stolen millions of dollars from 46 000 people who absolutely didn't want to back the project. Because as everybody knows, the word nostalgia will physically force your hand to write in credit card details and authorize payment against your will.

I never told anyone what to do or not do.

But nostalgia can cloud your judgement. For all the shit I've talked, if Sega put up a Shenmue III Kickstarter tomorrow, I'd probably back even though they could easily fund that themselves. I know it's a bad idea, but... it's Shenmue III. Such is the power wielded by these companies.

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... Sega put up a Shenmue III Kickstarter tomorrow and I'd probably back even though they could easily fund that themselves.

Ah, if only they'd put up a Dreamcast II Kickstarter... Then I wouldn't feel so bad about missing the Ouya one. :-)

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Not sure why you feel bad about missing the ouya. It's a featureless, powerless, terrible and highly limited piece of hardware that will die in the swamp of hardcore consoles and wireless HDMI PC and mobile solutions.

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Not sure why you feel bad about missing the ouya. It's a featureless, powerless, terrible and highly limited piece of hardware that will die in the swamp of hardcore consoles and wireless HDMI PC and mobile solutions.

What features would one want for it? A motion controller? Social networking built into games? Do you need more power to run good games? No, there were plenty of good games on the PS2 and Xbox and the OUYA is more powerful than those, let alone the older consoles. What makes it terrible? Is it that it's a open platform that doesn't charge license fees and doesn't charge for patches? Wireless HDMI would be another good solution, but the good setups tend to be more expensive than the OUYA. You're right there's going to be plenty of competition in this space of Android low power consuming devices, like GameStick and SHIELD, plus the serveral HDMI media sticks around. Mobile device games are made for touch screen and the devices are far more expensive, plenty are even lower powered than the OUYA.

Lets not forget the OUYA is a $100 device, it's an open platform with a controller that has a touchpad, if you can't see that it has a place in the market then you're not looking.

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If only people were free to choose how they spend their money and which projects they back or don't back. But, alas, Fargo has again literally stolen millions of dollars from 46 000 people who absolutely didn't want to back the project. Because as everybody knows, the word nostalgia will physically force your hand to write in credit card details and authorize payment against your will.

I never told anyone what to do or not do.

But nostalgia can cloud your judgement. For all the shit I've talked, if Sega put up a Shenmue III Kickstarter tomorrow, I'd probably back even though they could easily fund that themselves. I know it's a bad idea, but... it's Shenmue III. Such is the power wielded by these companies.

I never played either Wasteland or Planescape Torment, yet I'm a backer of both Wasteland 2 and Torment. What's my excuse then, accordning to you? ;)

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