Return to “Everything & Anything”

Post

Re: Kickstarter, and the "Promise" to deliver

#16
Well, I still tend to back projects at a fairly high level, Damocles. I can't think of many projects where I've committed funds at the "common backer" tier. I never regretted my backing of Voxel Quest because the creator was deserving of the funding and had real talent. I wasn't really interested in the rewards he was offering and had already asked him to transfer my rights to a good friend on these forums. It was sad when he had to stop work on what promised to be something awesome. He even offered us a full refund but many of us declined on the grounds that we had enjoyed the ride so much. :)

I rarely calculate anything when it comes to KS projects and the like. I can be swayed by the offer of physical goods especially a boxed game with a decent manual and map or suchlike. It certainly influenced my decision concerning Limit Theory. Of course I could also hear the earnestness in the voice of a younger Josh Parnell. And he nailed me with his obvious love of Freelancer. :D

I've even been swayed by indie developers who came to these forums and convinced me of the merits of their various projects.

My biggest gamble has been Star Citizen as far as committed funds are concerned. I know Chris has the vision to deliver a magnificent space game....I'm just concerned about the sheer scale of what he now has in mind. It's not the project I originally backed that's for sure. :angel:

I may have rambled a little in this post. *chuckle*
Post

Re: Kickstarter, and the "Promise" to deliver

#17
Granted, I've only backed a few different things at this point, but my take on it is that the backers don't "deserve" anything except the respect and courtesy of the person(s) they pledge funds to (which includes fulfillment of promises made). If a project fails and is a definite failure, they deserve (if nothing else) an offer for a refund (which they may or may not choose to accept, at their whim). Beyond that, I don't believe anyone is "entitled" to rewards, nor do I believe legal action should be taken unless it becomes blatantly obvious (and there is sufficient proof) that the entire project was an intentional con - emphasis on "intentional". They are called "rewards" for a reason. When you were a kid, you never demanded a "reward" for doing chores, did you? Nor, if you picked a wallet up off the street and tracked down its owner, would it be tactful to demand a reward for returning it. (Or, worse, taking something from the wallet beforehand.)

In short, money pledged to Kickstarter projects is, in my opinion, a donation intended to help a project succeed - and nothing but. There may be offers or promisies of shinies at the end of the road, and I think the project leader(s) should do their best to show the backers the respect and courtesy they deserve by fulfilling the reward promises, but in my mind, a pledge is nothing more than a donation to a cause.

With that in mind, I feel much better about making pledges, and much better if the projects don't ultimately succeed. In the case of Gavan Woolery of Voxel Quest (to whom I donated time, rather than money) - at least he did his very best to make it happen. :) That's all I wanted to begin with.
Victor Tombs wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:40 am
Damocles wrote: See: with Limit Theory, instead of playing a game for maybe 40 hours, you had hundreds of hours of interesting topics to read
Hmm....If Josh does deliver the game I signed up for I'll be spending more than a miserable 40 hours playing it, Damocles. I haven't been here for the past five years for a quick game fix. I've lost track of how many hours of my gaming have been consumed by vanilla Freelancer and its modded varieties over the years.

I'm aware of the dichotomy of interests represented here on the forums concerning the LT project. I'm from the camp that is more concerned about the actual game. :angel:
I would certainly hope that Limit Theory has more than 40 hours of gameplay in it. :lol: I'm pretty sure it will, though.
Have a question? Send me a PM! || I have a Patreon page up for REKT now! || People talking in IRC over the past two hours: Image
Image
Image
Post

Re: Kickstarter, and the "Promise" to deliver

#18
I'm actually a person who has the experience of participating in/running a whopping number of three (3) crowdfunding campaigns myself (none of them were gaming-related, though). And I must tell you, it's miserable and pathetic and I'd never wish to go through it again.

First, Kickstarter is the last of its kind - crowdfunding platforms in Europe actually treat crowdfunding as a pre-order, which made life really difficult when some high-contribution folks got angry at us. Second - the amount you asked for is never enough, it always turns out that you need at least twice as much. Third - the tricks and cheating. Oh, the cheating. To what depth won't you sink to see your project succeed? I was even asked to make a new PayPal account and throw money at my own project to make it succeed, which in the end didn't help but got people really suspicious.

Of the three campaigns I had to run, one was a complete failure (5 euros collected, ha ha), one was an astounding success (10k euros pledged when 4k were asked for), and the last one had troubles because people were tired of us doing crowdfunding again and again, and it got cancelled when some backers of the previous campaign saw the new one and decided that they didn't get their rewards in full and contacted the crowdfunding platform.

So, my understanding of the crowdfunding business is that it's a patch on the company's finances and a demonstration of potential market that allows to negotiate with more serious sources of funding. So in the majority of cases it doesn't actually guarantee that the project gets done.

Things to look out for, as those projects are surely to fail in some way or the other:
  • overly large dev team
  • tons and tons of promotion
  • exotic location for the company
  • putting new pledges just to appeal to the backers
  • general trend of PR and marketing trumping actual work like having prototypes

(Mostly) solo projects like LT represent an interesting situation, though: either the guy who's making it is honest and passionate and won't abuse the obtained funds, and thus will survive easily the (almost inevitable) delays just by not using funds for his salary or at least enacting stringent economic measures on himself, or the guy is a fraud and will try to run off with all the monies :D
Image
Survivor of the Josh Parnell Blackout of 2015.
Post

Re: Kickstarter, and the "Promise" to deliver

#19
outlander4 wrote: (Mostly) solo projects like LT represent an interesting situation, though: either the guy who's making it is honest and passionate and won't abuse the obtained funds, and thus will survive easily the (almost inevitable) delays just by not using funds for his salary or at least enacting stringent economic measures on himself, or the guy is a fraud and will try to run off with all the monies
Thinking about your post, outlander, it never crossed my mind that Josh would run off with the money. It frequently crossed my mind that it would take longer than Josh estimated to deliver a result and I'm still not wholly confident about whether the delivered game will provide a satisfying gaming experience. I'm more wary with KS projects nowadays, when Jeremy Soule is allowed to behave in the manner he has with his backers it does sour one somewhat when considering pledging to new projects. And, as I've found to my chagrin, many of the worthwhile projects fail to reach their funding totals. I'm thinking of Ealdorlight and the second volume of orchestral Wing Commander music both of which had creators who had proved that they could deliver. :angel:
Post

Re: Kickstarter, and the "Promise" to deliver

#20
Josh is certainly the first type. He sacrificed a lot in order to work on LT. I trust him, and the only thing I'm not happy about is that I've missed the original Kickstarter for LT. Star Citizen appeared at about the same time, and those '70 bucks I'll never get back' went into it.

Kickstarter is a horrible way to raise funds, but it doesn't mean it didn't enable some great projects to happen, especially in the niche markets abandoned by the mainstream - like space sims.

And Josh doing a crowdfunding is infinitely better than some folks I know here in Spain who just suck in the government funding for making entirely unremarkable mobile games. 20.000 euros for making a top-down linear adventure-fighting game that's as unoriginal as Vikings with horny helmets and hard rock soundtrack can get :D
Image
Survivor of the Josh Parnell Blackout of 2015.
Post

Re: Kickstarter, and the "Promise" to deliver

#21
I agree with some things you said, but I think you're wrong about Kickstarter being the last of it's kind. It's likely the last for our generation, but I'm sure it will cycle around again someday. Unlike things like VHS and cassette tapes, its falling out of favor isn't due to technology marching on, but due to the advancement of social and cultural knowledge - things that inevitably get forgotten from generation to generation. The only way to kill Kickstarter would be to set up laws prohibiting it. It'll be back, eventually, after it inevitably dies.

There's an interesting statistics page on Kickstarter's projects/funding by year here. In summary, the number of projects is far fewer in 2016 than 2015, while the number of successful projects and the amount of money pledged is about the same. This suggests Kickstarter is now trending toward larger projects. The amount of successful < $10,000 projects saw a significant decline in 2016.

I think this is partially due to people mistrusting Kickstarter more and more. Interestingly, the data points to the possibility that Potato Salad marked the start of the decline. I think this makes a good degree of sense.
Have a question? Send me a PM! || I have a Patreon page up for REKT now! || People talking in IRC over the past two hours: Image
Image
Image
Post

Re: Kickstarter, and the "Promise" to deliver

#22
I meant 'the last of its kind' as in 'the last one that doesn't work on a pre-order basis'. It'll probably last for quite a while thanks to being based in the US, and I'm sure the concept will re-surface at some point in the future even after the Kickstarter itself is brought to heel.

It's just that other crowd-funding platforms caught so much flak for hosting fraudulent and borderline-fraudulent projects that they decided to introduce some way to bring those responsible to account. Add much less liberal European donation laws to the mix, and you'll get modern crowdfunding scene.

On the other hand, consumer protection is important, and I'm all for it.
Image
Survivor of the Josh Parnell Blackout of 2015.
Post

Re: Kickstarter, and the "Promise" to deliver

#24
It's now been 7 years since I started backing projects on Kickstarter. I've been backing fewer games for a while, and not just because I'm tired of Kickstarter spamming me with their virtue signaling every time I go there -- it's just gotten harder to trust that projects I like will be completed.

So how I'm doing at this point?

Code: Select all

FUNDED       DELIVERED    TITLE
Apr 18 2018  Waiting      Bears Want To Kill You - book (holy cow this thing looks hilarious -- advance PB/HB copies have been delivered, shipping starting in March 2019)
Apr 10 2017  Waiting      Pine (still in development, but with active info releases)
Jul 28 2016  Waiting      System Shock reboot (very much still in development and looking amazing)
Dec 12 2015  Apr 14 2017  Bring Back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 (two seasons released so far!)
Oct 20 2015  Jun  6 2016  Sol Trader: a single player space game all about people
Sep 13 2015  Waiting      Legends of Ellaria (Early Access on July 28 2017, but devs very hard to reach since then)
Mar  6 2015  Nov 15 2018  Underworld Ascendant (successful-ish release, but considered incomplete -- some nice promises being made for updates, though)
Dec  5 2014  Jan 15 2018  InnerSpace (successful release... but turned out to be super-console-based)
Nov  8 2014  Aug  3 2016  Voxel Quest (partial, but appreciated)
Oct 22 2014  Canceled     That Which Sleeps (last update Nov 20 2017, no contact since then, dangit -- this looked great)
Oct  2 2014  Dec  1 2014  LOOP: A Tranquil Puzzle Game (OMG I LOVE THIS GAME WHY AREN'T YOU PLAYING THIS??)
Jul 15 2014  Canceled     Spinward Traveller (T.V. Pilot) (some video was released, but then came word all the video was accidentally destroyed)
May 30 2014  Oct 29 2014  BAMAN PIDERMAN: MAKE DA SHOW! (a couple episodes have finally been made, including one long one and one from some other animators)
May 24 2014  Waiting      The Universim (in Early Access since Aug 28 2018 -- might actually be released)
Apr 25 2014  Apr 10 2015  Hero Generations (already got a second edition)
May  8 2014  Mar  1 2016  Storium — The Online Storytelling Game
Feb 20 2014  Feb 13 2018  Kingdom Come: Deliverance (released, since has gotten DLC and more)
Dec  2 2013  Canceled     The Mandate (last update Apr 11 2017, devs seem to have vanished since then)
Jul 31 2013  Apr 15 2014  Eterium - A Space Combat Sim for Windows PC
Jul 31 2013  Canceled     Lacuna Passage (partially completed, further development canceled Jan 26 2019)
Jul 28 2013  Aug 28 2015  Satellite Reign
Jul 18 2013  Suspended    Megatokyo Visual Novel Game (last KS update July 2017, everyone's assuming this one's not going to happen)
Jul 17 2013  Suspended    FRONTIERS (no word from Lars in over a year now, assuming this one is abandoned)
May 31 2013  Suspended    TUG (had to be refinanced once already, started making progress, then disappeared after last update on Mar 31 2017 -- looks like it's toast)
Apr 12 2013  Mar 14 2014  The Veronica Mars Movie Project (excellent movie!)
Apr  7 2013  Mar 26 2018  Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues
Mar  8 2013  Jan 23 2019  Jon Shafer's At the Gates (released! looks nice so far)
Dec 22 2012  Canceled     Limit Theory: An Infinite, Procedural Space Game (canceled Sep 28, 2018) (sigh)
Jan  4 2013  Dec 12 2013  Elite: Dangerous (first Alpha, failed to include all promised content, requested and received partial refund)
Oct 28 2012  Suspended    M.O.R.E.  (ran out of money, suspended development Dec 6 2018)
Oct 16 2012  Mar 25 2015  Project Eternity (later called Pillars of Eternity)
Aug  8 2012  Dec 20 2017  STAR COMMAND: Kickstart Part 2 for PC/Mac (PC KS money diverted to Android version, beta in 2017 but [i]STILL[/i] no completed PC release)
Jul  1 2012  Mar 26 2013  Traveller 5th Edition
Canceled     .            Ealdorlight
Unsuccessful .            Sol Trader: a compelling space action RPG for PC/Mac
Suspended    .            Areal
Canceled     .            STORYSCAPE: Digital Roleplaying System
Canceled     .            "The Hopefuls" board game
So let's see... out of 38 funding attempts covering almost 7 years, 18 have been delivered more or less as promised, for a success rate of about 47% so far -- that is, nearly half of the projects I've backed have eventually delivered most of what was promised.

Is that good? I don't even know any more.
Post

Re: Kickstarter, and the "Promise" to deliver

#25
Flatfingers wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:10 am
So let's see... out of 38 funding attempts covering almost 7 years, 18 have been delivered more or less as promised, for a success rate of about 47% so far -- that is, nearly half of the projects I've backed have eventually delivered most of what was promised. Is that good? I don't even know any more.
I've only backed one KS project (Elite: Dangerous) which, solely from my point of view, did not deliver as promised. <wanders away grumbling>
Knowledge is a deadly friend, if no one sets the rules
The fate of all mankind, I see, is in the hands of fools
Post

Re: Kickstarter, and the "Promise" to deliver

#28
A 50% success rate seems about normal to me. I think it's good. It does at least show there's a steady, roughly 50% chance for a chosen game to succeed (if you weed out all the obvious failures). That's not too different from the real world. In fact, some might say it's even better. A great many games get canceled before the public even hears about them.

If, in the end, you're only backing to give the person a chance to fulfill their dream project... then I would say your success rate is determined only by what percentage of the projects actually get their funding. It's all how you look at it.
Have a question? Send me a PM! || I have a Patreon page up for REKT now! || People talking in IRC over the past two hours: Image
Image
Image
Post

Re: Kickstarter, and the "Promise" to deliver

#29
Talvieno wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:15 pm
If, in the end, you're only backing to give the person a chance to fulfill their dream project... then I would say your success rate is determined only by what percentage of the projects actually get their funding. It's all how you look at it.

Sure. Other than Braben & Co. for Elite: Dangerous (for substantially misrepresenting what they would try to deliver), I haven't gone after any creator. I've treated my contribution as encouragement to a developer, not an investment.

That said, I contributed to those particular projects because what they in particular proposed to create sounded like a product I wanted to have. So even if I don't begrudge the money I backed, there's still some disappointment for the ones that didn't succeed after being successfully funded.

Though, on the gripping hand, I certainly have gotten some enjoyment from being a small part of the fan community for some of those projects (as I said recently about Limit Theory). So I'm not entirely displeased. And 50% does seem to be a pretty fair success rate.

Online Now

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron