Game Guru: Kickstart your gaming career
In the next two weeks, after “Diablo III” and “Max Payne 3,” this video game season is over and the summer drought will begin, unless you are extremely excited for “Sims 3: Katy Perry Sweet Treats,” (I really wish that I made that up.)
But really there isn’t a highly anticipated game release for this summer. So we have to wait until fall to have games like “BioShock: Infinite,” “Halo 4,” “Grand Theft Auto V” and “Resident Evil 6.” While there are more than enough exciting releases, let’s take a look back at one of the biggest developments this season, besides the games themselves.
Kickstarter is probably one of the biggest news stories in the industry. The fairly new company, started in 2008, has picked up steam and changed the way small developers receive funding for their games.
Both new and old developers have used this new venue to secure funding, while traditional investors have failed.
Kickstarter’s model is called crowd funding, or when a developer is connected with the masses in an effort to earn monetary backing.
The developer usually provides incentives to the funders, such as free copies of released games, T-shirts, tours of development offices, or even pledges to add the backers into the game. It should be noted that this is not an investment, but a donation.
There is no guarantee that the game will live up to its potential or that the game will even be finished.
The site and model gained widespread attention in the industry due to the buzz created by Tim Schafer and his company Double Fine Productions. The original amount asked for their new game “Double Fine Adventure” was $400,000. This was achieved in a mere eight hours.
The final amount collected was little over $3 million, eight times the original amount. There is little known about the game, except that it is a point-and-click adventure.
This is not the developer’s first game. Double Fine has created critically acclaimed games like “Psychonauts” and “Brutal Legend.” This is not the only attempt at using Kickstarter in an effort by designers to get back into the industry.
Brian Fargo is best known as the designer of “Wasteland,” the game that was the spiritual predecessor of the popular “Fallout” series. Fargo is now attempting to create a sequel for the series using the Kickstarter model. After unsuccessful attempts to get funding from various investors, the designer turned to crowd funding.
The game also earned almost $3 million in donations, three times as much the asked amount. The model has also allowed creative video game fans to get funding for their project from other fans.
“Fallout: Nuka Break,” a popular fan film, received more than $60,000 for its second season using the site.
Kickstarter is just a new tool in a wave of developments that facilitates indie developers in making games.
From distribution to funding, indie developers are getting new tools to successfully make games.
If there is anything to learn from recent months, it is to not count the little guys out.