What's Your Crowdfunding Experience Been?


#1

I suppose the title says it all, really. Crowdfunding, whether for games, hardware, or other creative endeavours, feels like it’s dramatically advanced over the last decade. Contributing to a project and supporting the creators you’re interested in seeing more from feels like it’s never been easier. I was fairly late to the game personally, but I’ve dipped into a few Kickstarter projects here and there and, in the future, am interested in contributing to more.

As I’ve said elsewhere on the forums, I backed Children of Zodiarcs as my first Kickstarter project, which recently came out and I have been fairly happy with it (although it hasn’t totally commanded my attention, for good or for ill). How have your experiences been? Are you a frequent contributor or do you prefer to put your money only in the most trusted cases? Do you think you’ll keep doing it in the future?

(P.S. This is in General Discussion over Video Games because, obviously, games aren’t the only Kickstarter avenue! I haven’t heard too many success stories, if only because Juicero does rather command my attention…)


#2

At the moment I’m waiting for the projects to finish but so far they been pretty open to their progress. I have two animes dub getting done and two games.


#3

The only project I backed is Indivisible and I’m still glad that I did, Valkyrie Profile is my favorite JRPG and the studio behind the game is very talented. There’s a lot of projects that I follow but it happened at a period where I could not afford to spend money for my hobbies.

Let’s just say that as a Matsuno fan, I was this close to back Unsung Story and…I’m kinda glad I didn’t. I’m not the kind to follow updates though, I’d rather wait and receive an e-mail that it’s out soon.


Oh there was the gamewatch too, it looked like a seducing prospect but decided not to back it because half the time I can’t be bothered to charge my phone, so an electronic watch would definitely get shelved after a week


#4

I backed Barkley Shut Up And Jam Gaiden 2 and, uh… that might come out some day, I guess.

I’m not holding my breath, though.


#5

Mixed bag. From awesome “Fate Core” (tabletop RPG) to whatever-the-hell-is-going-on-with “Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues”, with seems-cool-but-still-not-played-it “Consortium” somewhere in the middle.

Waiting is the thing I personally can’t deal with, really. Plus too many crowdfunding projects are about old ideas, and I was hoping for new stuff.


#6

Backing:

The only thing I’ve ever backed is Rain World, which came out this year after being successfully Kickstarted in, I think, 2014. The animation and visuals were really amazing, and I thought it might be a cinematic platformer type of game (like Another World or Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee). It was instead a brutal survival game, and I have only played it for FIFTEEN MINUTES before being too scared to continue. However, it is still awesome and I’m glad I helped.

Kickstarting:

I ran a small Kickstarter earlier this year to print physical copies of two albums in an ongoing series that were already done, one of which was about to see its initial release. I always envisioned the albums as having physical copies, so I delayed the second one until I could find a way to get them. My goal was $1000 and we surpassed it, guaranteeing printing of the 3rd and 4th volumes. I’m very shy about doing any sort of crowdfunding but the fact that the goal was so tangible and most of the work was already done got me to move on it.

Kickstarter’s framework for communicating with your backers and sending rewards is god-awful and I learned very quickly why many campaigns use third-party solutions like BackerKit to make it bearable.

I’ve been a part of a game that was Kickstarted, 2064: Read Only Memories. Our goal at the time was a now-laughable $60,000 compared to how much it actually cost us to finish the (fucking awesome) game, but it was promised to be doubled by Ouya’s Free The Games fund. That was a program which promised to match Kickstarter funding of any game that would launch on Ouya before any other console platforms.

Ouya became a non-entity while we were developing and we had yet to be paid $30k for our last milestone. Razer, who bought their assets, promptly informed us that they did not own these particular debts and would help us out in some other way but not with money. I dropped a news tip to Waypoint’s very own Patrick Klepek about this debacle and we had a promise for our $30k by end-of-day. Games industry, can I get a hell yeah…


#7

God bless to you man and your team. It pretty tough to see how much you really need to finish a project.


#8

Aww thanks. The game did well enough to get a re-release with full voice acting and… maybe more soon :slight_smile:


#9

Mixed.

FTL, Pillars of Eternity and Wasteland 2 all ended up being big disappointments for me. I know plenty of people loved them, but I was not one of them.

Dead State I didn’t even touch because of how negative the reception was.

But Divinity: Original Sin was magnificent. And I backed two of my friend’s art projects and loved those. Also have Torment: Tides of Numenera, which I played maybe 30 minutes of and seems like it will be good.

Star Citizen was a big mistake and I’m considering requesting a refund. There might be something good some day but it’s clear they’re taking their sweet time getting there and I don’t want to play a space sim that much. Was mostly interested in Squadron 42.

Then there were the failures:
The Black Glove
Late to the Party

I’m glad crowfunding exists, but giving my track record I’m super conservative about it now. Too many projects ended up not being what I hoped for.


#10

I’ve thrown money at projects just for the sake of supporting awesome creators, even if the things they were creating weren’t particularly my bag. That being a readily available option is super rad, honestly.

Here’s four projects I’m happy to have played a small part in realizing (and also wanted for myself):
Night in the Woods
Chainmail Bikini
Hollow Knight
Shadowrun: Hong Kong

And a couple projects that look exciting, but have yet to be released:
Witchmarsh
Praey for the Gods

I’ve backed a total of 24 projects since 2011, and there’s only been three, maybe four complete misfires. I’m more than content with that ratio.

I think my favorite part of the crowdfunding experience has been backing games that look fantastic and then intentionally forgetting all about them. Hollow Knight released earlier this year and blew way past my expectations. It’s up against some rough competition, but it’s easily in the running for #1 on my personal GOTY list.

And in a very, very small way, I actually helped make it real. That’s really fucking dope.


#11

Good.

I’ve backed Idle Thumbs (podcast), Sportsfriends (game), and Dreamfall: Chapters (game), all of which I’d deem successes.

I also put some money into Shenumue III, which I fully expect to be bad so is unlikely to disappoint; I’ve a lot of fondness for the first two games — in the context of their original release — but my interest in this belated sequel is pretty much pure morbid curiosity.


#12

I was on the kickstarter kick a few years back. Felt good to support projects like Gotham Burger Sauce and Anomalisa.

The one that makes me not want to do Kickstarters anymore was Kerfluffle Marshmallows. Homemade marshmallows that came in different flavors and tasted DELICIOUS! Then about a year later the factory burned down and it crushed me. I can’t do that again.


#13

Stuff I’ve backed that has turned out well:
Shovel Knight
Hyper Light Drifter
Awesomenauts: Starstorm
Skullgirls DLC
Armello
River City Ransom: Underground

Stuff I’m looking forward to:
A Hat In Time
Jenny LeClue
Battle Chef Brigade
Hypnospace Outlaw

The last one in particular I’m pretty psyched for, mainly since it’s by the Dropsy developer and that was one of my two favorite games of that year alongside Undertale.

I’ve backed a few clunkers, the most recent one being Hover: Revolt of Gamers. It’s a bizarre, poorly-translated attempt at capturing the same magic of Jet Set Radio, with a nonsensical progression system and some downright awful mission design. The best thing about it, the two absolutely bangin’ tracks they commissioned from Hideki Naganuma, only play in the extremely constrained home base and not in the open world where you’d want to be skating alongside to those tracks.

I remember being warned by someone a few years ago right around when Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained were being crowdfunded, that high-profile campaigns like those (which existed mostly to garner outside funding) would severely harm the platform for devs looking to fund smaller projects, and me thinking they were just being a buzzkill. What a damned shame that ended up being the case.