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News & Features Discussion  » General: Money, Dreams, and Kickstarter

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24 posts found
  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 13435

 
OP  6/05/12 7:34:40 PM#1

Kickstarter campaigns seem to be all the rage any more for developers to bring the games -they- want to players without the pesky influence of publishers. In today's Devil's Advocate, we take a look at this new trend and offer a few thoughts. Check it out!

Now, Sanya Weathers discussed a variety of reasons why you can't always turn to Kickstarter as a solution for MMO funding in her May 4 Developer Perspectives column. It would be great if you could read that as well. I may retread a number of her points, but I'll also bring up a couple of different things that send my mental alarms ringing when I check a Kickstarter page, even if I have the urge to support that very same project.

Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s The Devil's Advocate: Money, Dreams, and Kickstarter.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  fenistil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

6/06/12 9:27:03 AM#2

Not going to support mmorpg's there.

I love sandboxes, but cannot get into low-budget messy productions. Tried too many times already.

 

Kickstarter also is not and should not imo be used to fund big projects - and good sandbox mmorpg would require at least 35-50 mln $.

 

Still I don't mean anything bad to EoC or Repopulation among other projects.

Contrary - I hope they do well.

Still I am not gonna buy them, unless they are released and I saw user-made gameplay videos & talked with some people I personally know that played those games and think they are ok.

Which I am very sceptical after MO, DFO, Xsylon and other relative low-budget sandbox mmorpg's.

  mightpyro

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/10
Posts: 13

6/06/12 9:34:48 AM#3

The only way I can see MMO's being funded through Kickstarter is if they go the Torchlight route. Use Kickstarter to fund a small game that shows off what kind of MMO you want to make and then use the profits from when you release the game to fund the MMO.

  alkarionlog

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/19/09
Posts: 1033

6/06/12 11:12:12 AM#4

kick starter is a way to get money? yes, its a good thing plyers do it? not really, nothing garantee you will see the game or even if the game will be what you hoped, the vision devs have will alwyas not be what it was made, things changes, also chances to "devs" just take the money and bail out is too big,

also you should ask yourself would you trust someone you don't even known?

FOR HONOR, FOR FREEDOM.... and for some money.

  KaylettaJade

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/28/06
Posts: 141

6/06/12 12:42:52 PM#5

"The Repopulation Kickstarter page is a bit more polished in terms of content, though I'm not sure what the money invested will be used for."

 

If you don't know what the money is going towards, you failed to actually read the full kickstarter page. They don't have a laundry list of software they need to buy to make the game because a great deal of the game world is already made!

 

Taken from the Repop Kickstarter page:

"Even with our very modest target for our kickstarter campaign this will help us to add more of the following into The Repopulation

  • More NPC Species, which may also serve as pets.
  • More refined animations for both players and npc species.
  • Even more armor pieces, hair options, weapon models, etc.
  • More advanced mission templates for an even more enjoyable mission experience.
  • More special effects for abilities.
  • More UI work for better overall usability and visuals.
  • Additional motion capture animations and emotes.
  • Improved cinematic effects for Missions and Engagements.
  • More aggressive beta and release schedule."
 
  halldorr

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/20/05
Posts: 100

6/06/12 12:52:10 PM#6

In other words, more polish. The game is already looking fantastic and is moving towards an alpha. Much easier to back something that already has a significant amount of work poured into it.

  joshuahalls

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/11/10
Posts: 66

6/06/12 1:22:16 PM#7

Thanks, I am one of lead developers for The Repopulation.  We have had some questions on what is the money going toward and Kayletta pretty much added what we had in the section about why kickstarter.  Money is typically spend in the early-mid parts of development on either tools or people.  Both of them allow to add more functionality or content and depending on where the kickstarter ends up being at, we might look at more additional 3rd party tools.  We mentioned something such as hairfarm in the update as an example of a 3rd party tool that would help us add additional options such as more hair to the game.  We already have some hair options already and you can change those, but tools like that allows us to increase the number significantly.  We already have facegen and body moprhing already in place so that will add nicely as another tool for Character customization.  If it isn't being spent on tools it will be spent on artists to allow them to spend more hours on the project allowing us to get more done over the long haul and shorten our development cycle into Beta and Release.

 

We understand that kickstarter isn't something for everyone.  You are taking a risk on any project you are looking at on their website and for many it is less about the risk and more about supporting projects they believe are going in the right direction.  Sanya is right in the fact it will be really hard to fully finance an MMO project to bring everyone on on full time through kickstarter, but we have been doing this out of our own pockets (modest pockets) for years now and successful or not, the train keeps on moving forward.  We have months (just not this month) of monthly updates.  Here is one from January of 2011.

 

http://www.therepopulation.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=126

 

Thanks everyone for your support as we are great to have it and look forward to seeing some folks in during Alpha.

 

 

Joshua Halls
Co Owner-Lead Programmer The Repopulation

  darker70

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/21/08
Posts: 821

A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.
Groucho Marx

6/06/12 1:27:32 PM#8

Sorry Xerves never saw your post ;)

Firstly the devs behind the game would quite easily carry on regardless of Kickstarter they have between them self funded the game,they have not just decided to get some cash and start from scratch the game was originally on another engine,but they saw Hero as a better tool to work across the internet,so infact the game has been in development for quite some time.

Their main reason apart from a bit of badgering from the community is to speed up development and take the load of the devs who have so far worked in their spare time for free,so  some paid devs artists or assisted community help is their goal,there is not a rush here they have stated a long Beta as they are determined to get the best game out they can.

Normally i don't take too many gambles but one decideing factor for me is the constant communication and since i've followed the game since Dec 2011, i feel comfortable that the devs are honest and decent people trying to make a liveing like me and you and not some faceless company regurgitateing the same old crap they infact could have been doing just that as they are talented enough,but they are trying to produce a game that in it's scope in this climate seems quite surreal but it is solid fact.

The Fact is there is an Alpha this June they have solid foundation and after been in many Alpha/Beta's it is supriseing to see the stuff in the game already, infact i would say that this is a 2nd stage Beta as the technical features are very advanced,so if you want answers ask at The Repopulation forums and i'm sure you will find answers from our incredible community there.

  rammur65

Novice Member

Joined: 11/30/11
Posts: 55

6/07/12 3:49:29 AM#9

heh this is the reason why kickstarter exists because fans who actually want a good game and like what they see they can help fund it so all the qqers and the top guy saying what shouldnt be funded is a pointless argument because it people like you guys that makes kickstarter work dont like what you see dont fund the damn projects simple as that when you see a project thats earned a few million dollars worth of fund that says one thing, it says people like what they see and are willing to help fund it.

  MumboJumbo

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3171

Veni, Vidi, Converti

6/07/12 4:18:09 AM#10

Curious if the MMORPG.com team have already dabbled in the dark arts of kickstarter? If so which ones?

Perhaps that would be too much information/appearing to patronage any one title on this site too much. But for non-mmorpgs that might still be answerable if the former is not?

To add to the above mmorpgs mentioned: Pathfinder Online have decided on a technology demo; somewhat controversially (maybe this marketing, early dev approach is better fit for mmorpgs?), but nonetheless appear very business savvy and it's drummed up a lot of support already. Definitely a Trust exercise.

  kryzbyn

Novice Member

Joined: 4/18/12
Posts: 6

6/07/12 8:02:38 AM#11

Yeah, was wondering myself how Pathfinder Online got missed in an article on Kickstarter.  It's raised 180k in less than a month just for a tech demo.  Maybe it's the exception to the emerging rule?

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12255

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

6/07/12 8:22:36 AM#12
Originally posted by KaylettaJade

"The Repopulation Kickstarter page is a bit more polished in terms of content, though I'm not sure what the money invested will be used for."

 

If you don't know what the money is going towards, you failed to actually read the full kickstarter page. They don't have a laundry list of software they need to buy to make the game because a great deal of the game world is already made!

 

Taken from the Repop Kickstarter page:

"Even with our very modest target for our kickstarter campaign this will help us to add more of the following into The Repopulation

  • More NPC Species, which may also serve as pets.
  • More refined animations for both players and npc species.
  • Even more armor pieces, hair options, weapon models, etc.
  • More advanced mission templates for an even more enjoyable mission experience.
  • More special effects for abilities.
  • More UI work for better overall usability and visuals.
  • Additional motion capture animations and emotes.
  • Improved cinematic effects for Missions and Engagements.
  • More aggressive beta and release schedule."
 

 

He's not the only one to have that question. I messaged the devs directly with the same question. What is actually being funded is not clear outside of 'it helps us pay for development.' There is no specific goal connected to the funding, whereas with other kickstarter projects - games or otherwise - there is a described and identifiable stage of production or milestone directly tied to the funding.

 

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7194

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

6/07/12 8:25:05 AM#13
Originally posted by fenistil

Not going to support mmorpg's there.

I love sandboxes, but cannot get into low-budget messy productions. Tried too many times already.

 

Kickstarter also is not and should not imo be used to fund big projects - and good sandbox mmorpg would require at least 35-50 mln $.

 

Still I don't mean anything bad to EoC or Repopulation among other projects.

Contrary - I hope they do well.

Still I am not gonna buy them, unless they are released and I saw user-made gameplay videos & talked with some people I personally know that played those games and think they are ok.

Which I am very sceptical after MO, DFO, Xsylon and other relative low-budget sandbox mmorpg's.

 

You have missed the point in how someone like Goblin Works is using a Kickstarter for a MMO.

They are using the funds to build a TECHNOLOGY DEMO in order to show real heavy money investors.

They are not using the method to build a full on game.

  JC-Smith

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/02/11
Posts: 319

6/08/12 12:20:39 AM#14
Originally posted by Loktofeit

He's not the only one to have that question. I messaged the devs directly with the same question. What is actually being funded is not clear outside of 'it helps us pay for development.' There is no specific goal connected to the funding, whereas with other kickstarter projects - games or otherwise - there is a described and identifiable stage of production or milestone directly tied to the funding.


Most other kickstarter games are funding a prototype, where we're a couple weeks from begininng testing. In the case of Repop it's a matter of time allotment. At this point in development what remains is primarily content (world design, missions, engagements, armor and weapon variations) and polish (UI, particles, cinematics). Unfortunately being that the game has to date been done primarily by people working in their spare time, as well as some outside subcontractors, it's tough to get as much of that done in a timely fashion as you'd like. 

The people who are doing those things are generally guys who are doing this in their spare time, but take contract jobs with other projects to pay their bills. That means they may only have 10 hours a week to dedicate to Repop. If you see a jump from 10 hours a week of time to 40 hours a week, you just gained 300% more production. You can get as much done in one month as would have taken four months before. By alloting those funds to the areas that need done the most, you can both accelerate the release schedule and make sure more stuff gets done. With testing beginning shortly, that is very important.

With regards to one of the above posts mentioning money and how that's not enough to fund an MMO. Repop was designed from the ground up around self-funding. The systems are based on generated content, and the team has generally been at 5-10 people for most of it's 5 years in development. Over the period of that time, the budget has been tiny, because for the most part everyone is working in their spare time and for free. But as we make the final push for launch, we really need to get a couple of important people freed up to work on this full time to improve the testing experience and launch experience for everyone involved. That's the purpose of Kickstarter.

http://www.therepopulation.com - Scfi Fi Sandbox.

  Ozmodan

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6667

6/08/12 10:22:13 AM#15

Funding a MMO with kickstarter is laughable.  Just ask 38 studios people.  They flopped with well over 100 million invested.  You won't get that kind of money from a kickstarter campaign.  Even a small MMO is really well beyond something like kickstarter.  

  GrumpyMel2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1824

6/08/12 11:11:34 AM#16

Kickstarter is a great place to show potential investors that your project has public support/fanbase. Look at what PFO is doing with thier Kickstarter project, for example.

Normaly, you have to pay for (very expensive) market research to have some tangible evidence to show that there's a potential market for a product.

However nothing speaks louder then people opening up thier wallets to show thier interest/support for your project. Being able to goto an investor and say, "I have this great idea for a product and I was able to raise $300,000 with contributions from interested fans of the project to get it started" is miles more powerfull then saying "I have this interesting idea for a project". That's where the real value of Kickstarter exists for MMO developers, IMO.

 

 

  Kiljaedenas

Novice Member

Joined: 7/29/11
Posts: 466

To err is human, but to really f*ck things up you need a computer.

6/08/12 6:34:46 PM#17
Originally posted by Ozmodan

Funding a MMO with kickstarter is laughable.  Just ask 38 studios people.  They flopped with well over 100 million invested.  You won't get that kind of money from a kickstarter campaign.  Even a small MMO is really well beyond something like kickstarter.  

Quantity does not guarantee quality. Eve Online's initial development costs were 6 million before launch, and look how it's doing now. The quality of the management and design teams plays a very major factor. If I had to spend a certain amount of money to hire developers and had the option of either two brilliant-and-work-well-in-a-team badasses for half my available money or ten questionably skilled guys for all the money, I'd go with the badasses, save half my money and probably come up with a better product.

Where's the any key?

  Ginaz

Elite Member

Joined: 4/01/07
Posts: 1711

6/14/12 7:01:56 PM#18

Ah, Kickstarter.

Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.

  Kothoses

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/08/10
Posts: 686

6/18/12 4:58:30 AM#19

Everyone is looking at Kickstarter in the literal sense IE Throw money at something to make it happen.  However I think in terms of the gaming industry Kickstarter can provide a different service.  If I were a big publisher looking to make high quality expensive games I would be watching Kickstarter like a hawk to get a feel for what areas are popular amongst the people I want to sell to.

 

A kickstarter project is not just about the money raised, its about the amount of people it brings on board, certainly for the person seeking funding the money may be the biggest point, but for people like Goblinworks it can serve as a metric of just how many people would buy and sub to the game.

 

If a kick starter project attracts 100,000 people who all give $1 I would say that it is more successful than one which attracts a 10,000 people who all give $10 even though the end outcome is the same amount of funding.

 

What we as gamers can do is use Kickstarter to show what we want to see from the studios, you dont have to even give money, just show an interest.  Put a favoured projects link on facebook or twitter post on their discussions on the site, let people know you want to see something that they are offering.   Although the green is always what matters the level of interest can be used as leverage with a big publisher who may then go on to fully fund the game of your dreams.

 

Promoting thought a new Gaming video blog http://www.youtube.com/user/quinnthalas discussing games, gamers and the internet with gameplay footage as background.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6972

6/18/12 5:13:52 AM#20


Originally posted by Kiljaedenas

Eve Online's initial development costs were 6 million before launch, and look how it's doing now.

Erm...source?

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