Nerd’s Corner: Kickstart ideas
Have you ever pre-ordered a game to earn special rewards? Have you ever pre-ordered a game years in advance?
Kickstarter is a crowd funding website for creative projects that was launched in 2009. Innovators that can’t secure deals with major publishers and manufacturers use the website as a way to get their ideas off the ground and give the people what they want.
As a backer, you choose potential projects that interest you and pledge a certain amount of money to ensure that it becomes successful. If the project reaches its funding goal within the (maximum) 60-day time period, then it will move forward. If not, then no one’s credit card gets charged and the project flops.
Each pledge amount comes with its own reward. Pledging $15 for a new science fiction novel would earn you a free copy of the book when it’s finished. Pledging $1500 would get you lunch with the author to talk about a character in the novel based on yourself.
This year independent game developers have been using Kickstarter like a defibrillator to bring 90s games back to life. It all started in February when Tim Schafer, the creator of Monkey Island and Psychonauts, developed a Kickstarter page to propose a new point-and-click adventure game.
He asked for $400,000 and received more than $3 million from users all around the world. Since then, the creators of Wasteland, Shadowrun, and others have raked in millions of dollars to create old-school games – games that aren’t first-person shooters or Angry Birds.
On one project, Ouya, backers contributed approximately $8.5 million to create an open-source gaming console. This console will allow hackers and developers to tweak it without a lawsuit.
“Effectively, we’re trying to disrupt an established industry,” creator Julie Uhrman said on her Kickstarter promotional video.
Well, Kickstarter sounds great, you say. Are there any drawbacks?
The thing about making an investment is that it doesn’t always pan out. Most projects that are funded do end up releasing a finished product, although not on schedule.
There are only a few cases where they didn’t, and Kickstarter isn’t responsible for you getting a refund.
It’s a small risk, but one that gamers are willing to take.
You should check it out.