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Bursting the kickstarter bubble

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hippocoder, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I'm seeing so many kickstarter threads and people whinging about kickstarter, this kickstarter that... I now feel that anything kickstarter related looks like spam, and I ignore it and move on - no matter how good it is.

    It was only a matter of time before the constant spam of apps being posted on kickstarter (many with no prior ability or evidence of completion) would cause people to move away.

    I'm seeing kids saying oh we'll kickstart it, they really don't want to try making a game any more. It's all about the free money you'll get from kickstarter.

    Personally? I'd say grow a pair and make the game without it if it's your first game. You'll need all the experience you can get.
     
  2. Morning

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    I find it very sad that you overlook so many great projects simply because they're on kickstarter. By your logic big developers should ignore and overlook unity because there's tons of kids spamming S***ty games made in a day.
     
  3. hippocoder

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    That's pretty much what happens, yes. And it's changing thankfully.

    Although your analogy is crap and doesn't make any sense because those S***ty games get done while the kickstarter spam generally doesn't... Make a list of how many games there are on kickstarter and any that actually went anywhere? maybe there's one or two.

    Not to mention that a proper argument against what I'm saying wouldn't require an analogy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  4. ZeroByteDNA

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    It's like baseball bats.

    Now, there are many kids that see a baseball game and want a baseball bat. Proud fathers noticing their child's interest in an athletic endeavor pick up a bat, some balls, some gloves, and off to the park they go. Perhaps the kid sticks with it. Perhaps they don't, but they find some other athletic activity. Maybe they do Little League, learn about organized sports, etc. They learn how to be part of a team rather than being self-centered. One could go on and on about all the positives that come about from baseball bats.

    Now, there are some kids that just want to take a baseball bat and beat the crap out of something or somebody.

    The bat's just a tool.

    Kickstarter. It's just a tool. Some will use it to get their first game out there. They might not have been able to so otherwise. Some are going to try to use it to scam some cash...offering apologies for the inability to complete the project.

    But it's just a tool. It's like baseball bats.
     
  5. Noisecrime

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    I don't think its a case of overlooking projects on kickstarter, which last time I checked still had the same level of quality/expectation as before the bubble, more a case of over-looking the threads on the various forums that have sprung up, where I would fully agree with Hippo's sentiments.
     
  6. TylerPerry

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    Well, most of them want like $100,000 and never get it(and cause of that you get your money back) so they never get made, much like the hundreds of Unity 3D games want talent but never get it so they quit.
     
  7. thesaint1987

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    That's definitely a good one :).

    But anyway, what you are saying is happening everywhere, at any time. It's just because everyone nowdays can do practically everything, or at least try it, and the internet is a real zoo for those people to show off their work to other people. Whether you go to science, movies, games, music, software in general or whatever. It's all the same. It is getting hard and harder every day to find the good stuff. Google itself has lost the overview a long time ago already.

    So I am still for expert quality assessment. Something where you can filter for high quality. But that's not going to happen on the asset store (see my other post) and its not going to happen anywhere else. So stay tuned.

    Every kind of website or thing that reaches a certain amount of reputation, will be spammed with useless crap because everybody, no matter how insignificant his/her findings are, want's to post something.
     
  8. thesaint1987

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    Well, how about signing a contract for the money. If you don't fulfill the stated goals to satisfaction, you have to refund the money. See how much spam shows up with this restriction... Especially if it really can be enforced by law.
     
  9. taumel

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    I think it's worse if S*** happens instead of that people are only talking about it.

    Beside of this as someone noted before it's an option a few will make proper usage of and many who won't.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  10. echtolion

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    Some of the things funded on kickstarter are disgusting, like an RPGMaker game using free sprites getting a six figure funding.


    also most of the projects on there strangely resemble http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/05/04
     
  11. TylerPerry

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    If the game is good why does that matter?
     
  12. echtolion

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    "Good" is subjective.

    Also, kickstarter is supposed to be for funding their project, when that seems to come much closer to "fund my life", I'd love to see how some of the successful kickstarter projects spend their funding.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  13. Morning

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    Exactly. What you might not find good others might. Supply and demand. If there are people willing to fund these projects there must be people who like these kind of products, right? I've yet to hear about a case where people are threatened at gunpoint to donate to S***ty kickstarters :D
    Life is all about trying. I see nothing wrong with trying to earn some cash. Sure it sucks if the kickstart project runs off with the cash but you were aware of that possibility when you donated your money.
     
  14. echtolion

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    Doesn't make it any less disgusting from my point of view, but personally I think retro indie games generally are a disgrace to what "retro" games really were.

    But hey, to each his own opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  15. ZeroByteDNA

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    • Kickstarter does not offer refunds. A Project Creator is not required to grant a Backer’s request for a refund unless the Project Creator is unable or unwilling to fulfill the reward.
    • Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use
     
  16. Morning

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    Preteen girls going crazy over Justin Beaver is disgusting to me. Doesn't change anything though.
    Sure there are bad projects, but there's always a bad thing in a pile of good ones. Kickstarter has also brought many awesome projects that otherwise wouldn't be possible. I am not entirely sure what we're discussing here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  17. ZeroByteDNA

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    "If you don't like a project, don't back it. No need to be a jerk."

    - http://www.kickstarter.com/help/guidelines

    edit: btw, not calling you a jerk - just think it's a trip they have that in their community guidelines.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  18. echtolion

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    I'm not backing it, I'm just sharing my opinion because I thought that's what a forum was for, discussion.
    Maybe I was wrong.
     
  19. ZeroByteDNA

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    I went for some coffee, meant to edit it when I got back. Was not saying that you were being a jerk - was a case I found it funny that's what their actual guidelines say...heh.

    These are the Unity forums - the Kickstarter guidelines do not apply - though, they do have their own community guidelines here.
     
  20. Ricks

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    This will probably result in contributors becoming more skeptical and reconsidering if it's worth to spend 5$ on future promises or the next chocolate bar. It may evolve to a point only half-finished projects get enough donations - projects which can deliver playable demos, have a decent portfolio and of course did widespread marketing to get their project recognized. Especially the latter points require an effort, which shouldn't be underestimated. You need marketing for a project that might not even exist yet. Therefore I also think it's a bubble for most unknown/indie developers.
     
  21. Morning

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    Isn't that a good thing? Well proven developers/companies get trusted from 0 progress while unknown indies require some kind of proof like a demo or something working? That should encourage both developers and contributors. If no one knows you, you have to prove yourself before getting money. This should theoretically result in more finished projects.
     
  22. dogzerx2

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    There's going to be an undulatory balance between project quality and backer skepticism. As long as douches with fake projects don't tip the balance so much the all kickstarter goes down, backers' skepticism will discourage people to take advantage of ks, meaning there's going to be a better bad project:good project ratio, making backers trustworthy again. So the balance will undulate for a while like a pendulous until it settles and ks becomes stable, with people being smart enough about what they donate, and projects being realistic and worthwhile people's time.

    This is how the balance will be like:
    Code (csharp):
    1. balance = Mathf.Sin(Time.time) / Time.time;
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  23. unikum

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    Unless the games are really tiny (or already done), obviously we can't see any results yet from kickstarter games. Takes time to make a game.
     
  24. Morning

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    You should have SOMETHING to show. Many kickstarters are very similar to "idea guys" in the collab section. They have nothing to show and think that if they have team/money they can make their idea. Which is often not even good.
     
  25. Ricks

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    It depends. The idea-people and self-proclaimed CEOs announcing "the next epic mmorpg" will probably fail, which is good, because it prevents spam. But let's say you are 1-2 indie developers, have programming and 2D skills but need additional funds to pay 3d modellers/animators. At the same time the overall quality and scope of your project shown on the kickstarter page is most likely way below the quality of certain other kickstarter projects.

    Let's talk about these other kickstarter-projects: from what I've seen mostly the ones who already have a successfull game history profit from kickstarter. It's the same as trying to get the foot into the mobile market: if you don't have a background coming from large companies - many of these so called mobile game success stories originated from giants like e.g. EA, merely with a more indie-like company name - you are already competing with the "big ones". Obviously these kickstarter projects also get much more recognition (through marketing, connections or whatever), compared to a real indie company.

    It almost comes down to that: the ones who already have money will get more money, the ones needing money don't get any money.

    (Exceptions are possible though).
     
  26. Khyrid

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    I have a lot more finished in my game project than a lot of those kickstarter projects and I'm not using kickstarter until I have at least 75% of my project finished. I may not even use it at all, the less begging I have to do, the better.
     
  27. CharlieSamways

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    Plus F***ing one! :)
     
  28. Morning

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    Kickstarter is hardly begging though. It's more comparable to pre-orders.
     
  29. LucasDaltro

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    Yes,kickstarter is the same of desura alpha funding
     
  30. returnString

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    Alpha funding always has an actual product involved from the beginning though.

    My understanding of Hippo's post was that people are asking for money without having really developed anything bar ideas (which frankly are cheap); that's also kinda irresponsible given the ubiquity of accessible game dev tools these days.
     
  31. Khyrid

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    The usual bum begs for money to get the bus because they got stranded and they just need some change. Whatever their real goals are or what they do with the money who knows, probably buy drugs. They are too lazy to do anything worthwhile with your money to better themselves.

    A kickstarter entrepreneur ask for money to make a really really cool game. Only they are either too young, stupid or lazy to actually do anything worthwhile. Numbers don't lie. Maybe they simply don't have the time to do all that they set out to do.

    Of-course there are exceptions to both and I guess you get your money back if kickstarter doesn't meet their goal. The bum won't track you down and hand you back your change after he missed the bus. Still feels like begging. I don't really like the concept of crowd-funding as it is now. It could work, but I think there needs to be more restrictions on what qualifies for funding consideration.
     
  32. Morning

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    The good part about crowdfunding is that the crowd decides what qualifies. That's the entire point, cutting out the middle man. That's also why failed kickstarters don't get any money. If there was someone to step in the middle and decide who's worthy or not, it would ruin the entire idea of crowdfunding.
    You go and decide if a particular project is worth contributing. If yes, you do. If not, you move on. Quality control is not something kickstarter needs. Fraud protection yes, but not quality control as that is left to the crowd to control.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  33. andorov

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    I have real problems with the Kickstarter model. These issues may arise from ignorance, because quite frankly, I haven't looked too deep into the whole thing.

    1) My understanding is that Kickstarter backers have no legal recourse (unlike stock holders or creditors) and there is no enforcement mechanism in place. For example, a company can state they are going to use Kickstarter funds for xyz but may just end up paying themselves a salary and canceling a project.

    2) Have there been successful video game projects that have been completed using Kickstarter? I know Kickstarter went big only a couple of months ago, but we should start seeing some success stories soon, right?

    3) The Kickstarter model transfers the risk onto a large number of people, "crowd" but leaves the reward to only a few. This may seem like a good thing, but when the risk/reward curves becomes tilted, "market forces" tend to return the curve to equilibrium. This is what we're seeing currently -- lots of people spamming Kickstarter projects will make the "crowd" weary. Less projects will get funded. Those which do get funded will likely be from larger teams or those with significant prior experience. The crowd will bear less and less risk, as their only reward is a completed game.

    4) Relating to point 3, generally when the "crowd" bears the risk and a few people get the reward, we consider the model to be exploitative, and generally wrong. See: too big to fail, banking crisis, etc.


    Please do correct me if I'm wrong on any of these points.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  34. Khyrid

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    There needs to be a balance as will all things in life.
     
  35. taumel

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  36. hippocoder

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    That's right. I'm not actually against kickstarter - I think the concept is fantastic but heavily abused, and I'd like people to use it after having made their first game - perhaps to fund a more ambitious title?
     
  37. maetheec

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    Why all the Kickstarter hate?
    Shouldn't we be happy that this is a great time to try to get some funding for your dream project? I don't want the genuine indie developers here that were counting on Kickstarter to help them realize their dream project to get discourage... and I definitely don't want people here to get discourage in funding potentially great projects.

    Kickstarter seems to be working out pretty well for the indie film industry so far, and I'm only happy that the video game section of Kickstarter is starting to get some real attention (thanks to Double Fine, of course).
    Sure people had abused it with scams, but it's been happening ever since kickstarter has started, and it's not just the video game category.
    Fortunately, most people are clever enough to spot the scam, and successful scams are rare enough that it hasn't break the model (yet).

    I just don't want to poo-poo the crowdfunding idea like kickstarter because of the scams just yet. Instead, let's try to make it work, because if it works, it can only helps us poor indie devs :)
     
  38. keithsoulasa

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    Keep in mind the most successful kickstarters are ether from well known names , or very popular mods . Even a well known name isn't a gurantee
    Like this project failed despite it being from a sub-group of Odd Future
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pizzawave/real-industry
    Although they did a horible job of naming it to attract supporters , Earl Sweatshirt is in the video and he's pretty well known( 10 million views on youtube ) , had the project been call

    "Earl needs your money for album " then i'm sure it would of broke at least 100k . Personally I would of found 5$ if they made clear that Earl would of been on the album .

    To each his own, theirs worse things to spend money on then a failed kickstarter
     
  39. Aiursrage2k

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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  40. unikum

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    Obviously. I was talking about expecting to see a lot of kickstarter games that "has made it". If people feel like throwing away money at projects that has nothing to show, then they can't really be surprised if nothing comes out of it. I don't think it's such a great idea for inexperienced people to use kickstarter unless they have worked on their game for some time already and know what they are doing. For experienced developers, using kickstarter from the beginning is great to me.
     
  41. taumel

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    I guess Hippo just was in a bad mood and that's all about it. I wonder how big this community would be if you would exclude all the wannabe devs or those who produce S***. Maybe the concept of Unity is fantastic but heavily abused... :O)
     
  42. khanstruct

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    Its sad how the indie community has become more elitist than the big, AAA developers and publishers.

    Thanks to tools like Unity, Steam, and countless middleware tools, this has become an open, creative industry, where nearly anyone can create games.

    The whole idea is that great games can come from anywhere and are, in fact, everywhere. People constantly complain about the rehash/rebrand methods of the major developers, then shoot down most anyone who says they can do better.

    Yes, most indie devs have no experience (hence why they are indie). Most games produced are crap; most likely because of a lack of experience and/or lack of support. Is this any kind of excuse? No. But instead of barking at these people for not building something to your standards, try helping. If they have a solid idea, lend your skill, promote the game and yes, maybe even through in a few dollars. Hell, if nothing else, just tell them you like the idea!

    Give this a read.

    My favorite line is; 'You go from gamer to game designer the moment you ask “What if…?” and “What happens when I..?”'

    Now I'm certainly not a wide-eyed optimist, so in that tone, let me just say that you are nothing special. Neither am I. No one cares about what we've done or what we want to do. It's up to us to support each other.
     
  43. Democre

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    I think OP's observation and criticism is valid. It does seem as though the amount of threads announcing a kickstarter project for crap is on the rise. It is almost as if people are using kickstarter for market research before investing too much time into the development of an idea.

    It is similar to the old collab section. What started off as people trying to generate interest or see if someone would help with their MMO for free, got to a point where even the mere mention of MMO just got that thread flamed or ignored. Collab section is and was for gathering people to work on an actual project not for market research or idea development.

    I fear kickstarter is headed the same way. People will stop investing as much time into development of their ideas and just vomit up the first couple coherent thoughts and see if anyone will promise money for it. If they get enough money to back their $100k request, hell it was a good idea, and then they start really developing it. This is completely backwards.
     
  44. khanstruct

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    I agree that since Kickstarter has gotten its popularity boost, more and more nonsense has flooded the site. Again though, that's the beauty of crowd funding. No one is forcing you to contribute. There's not even an up front, cluttered list for you to get annoyed by (like the Collab forum was plagued with).

    Yes, if you click "Browse" there is the list of projects where you'll finally see those piles of nonsense, but does anyone actually flip through the list, thinking "what can I spend my money on today?"

    It comes down to, if you see a crappy project with no thought or work put into it, don't fund it. Easy. You haven't lost anything, and you get to feel all righteous by seeing that this crappy project received nothing.

    Does anyone have an example of a project posted on Kickstarter with no thought or work put into it that actually reached its funding goal? If not, then what are we complaining about?
     
  45. hippocoder

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    You're teasing again. I don't swing that way :O)

    To clarify, no I wasn't in a bad mood. I don't get in a bad mood over forums or computers. I do get in a bad mood in real life if someone is a total dork and cuts me up in traffic though. Back on topic...
     
  46. Democre

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    The increasing number of threads claiming a kickstarter, therefore potentially making 'kickstarter' as big a flame bait or auto ignore key word as 'MMO' is and was. Not that kickstarter itself is flawed.

    This is in the same way that MMOs are not bad business. There are crap MMOs. There are good MMOs. But mention creating an MMO and see how long it lasts before getting flamed or (now that collab is moderated) even allowed to be posted.

    OP was just noting an increasing amount of threads containing kickstarter, and that they were beginning to read like spam or idea guy posts. I agree.

    Develop your idea, sell that idea, mention kickstarter as an aside, or even that it is an MMO as an aside. I think the caution is that given the increasing number of kickstarter posts, one should perhaps back off from leading with "I just started a kickstarter project". It's beginning to have the same effect as leading off with "I'm making an MMO".
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  47. khanstruct

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    This is solid advice either way. If you've done nothing, and have nothing to show, its already painfully obvious that your Kickstarter page will go nowhere. In order to get successfully funded on Kickstarter, you'll need to have at least a modest following; some level of hype for your game.

    It is a shame that words like "Kickstarter" have become taboo. The best advice, as the mods tried to give on the Collab forum, was to ignore the ones that are clearly ridiculous. Unfortunately, this doesn't stop people from just blindly ignoring the whole thing.
     
  48. Khyrid

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    Sorry to go OT.. but

    *imagines a man jumping into another's car to cut them up with a knife

    What the hell? The expression is "cut off", not "cut up". Don't worry, I'll teach you English. I'm from America, where English was invented, so I'm an authority on this.
     
  49. khanstruct

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    hmm... Why do I get the feeling that this should be followed by, "Come at me, bro"
     
  50. Aguy

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    Was that really necessary...
    Lately some people have been going overboard with their comments.
    where English was invented...wow
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
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