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Kickstarter is all the rage among game developers, especially in the past six months. According to GigaOm, Kickstarter has witnessed a 50% increase in campaigns overall, with gaming projects as the second most funded category. With combined total of over $75 million in contributions for games, it’s no wonder that developers turn to Kickstarter for funds.

However, funding alone doesn’t guarantee success. On the contrary, Kickstarter’s been under heavy criticism for projects that fail to deliver – some crumbling during the production process, while others struggling to stick to the timeline. Despite its lure, Kickstarter should not be considered “free money.” If you choose to utilize Kickstarter for your project, you are obligated to “pay it back” in some form, if not entirely, via exchange of offers, related products, etc.

If you’ve used Kickstar to fund development, we’d love to hear your experience. Was your campaign a hit or a flop? What do you recommend to other devs, who are considering a Kickstarter campaign launch?


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9 Responses to “Friday Night Forum: Kickstarter Campaigns for Game Development”

  1. Jen Looper

    My Corona App, iZhongWen, is Kickstarter funded. I worked my tail off to raise $1000 to pay for the art I commissioned for the game prizes, the voice talent, and a few other expenses. In my experience, Kickstarter works well for small grants…but every little bit helps. For me, my best supporters were my Facebook friends, so you need to market. It can be hair raising…my funding came through at the last minute by means of a generous grant from a high school friend. The other things to know about Kickstarter is you don’t get the full amount of your funding – Kickstarter takes a cut. Also being funded by your friends really adds pressure to your project to complete it … perfectly … on time and on budget.

    Reply
  2. J. A. Whye

    I plan on giving it a try at some point — but not until I’m good and ready. To me it looks as if you screw it up you may be burning that bridge forever. When I do my first Kickstarter I want to make SURE it gets funded so doing the 2nd, 3rd, etc, will (I suspect) go much easier.

    Jay

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  3. Graham Ranson

    I answered some questions on Kickstarter a little while back when it opened its doors to UK people – http://www.pocketgamer.biz/r/PG.Biz/Glitch+Games+news/news.asp?c=45736

    We’re considering using some form of crowd funding to see if we could get something, such as translations, for Forever Lost. We’ve been tempted by IndieGogo because of its flexible funding option.

    I personally think that the majority of consumers that complain about backing a project that then fails don’t get how investments work and their inherent risks but instead thinks of the whole idea as more of a pre-order system.

    Reply
  4. Nick G

    This shall rub the hairs the wrong way for those who have a bromance with Kick starter.

    I am not a fan of Kickstarter due to artificial pressure to deliver a product. If I was creating something and I had it all laid out, just the way I wanted then I did a kickstarter and all of the sudden everyone wants everything and the direction of whatever I am offering starts to shape up different than the original intent.

    On top of that you get artificial pressure to deliver in a timely fashion which could cause you to deliver a less than stellar product if you just DIY. I believe kick starter is approaching the bubble and it’s not going to be long before more sourness gets added to the recipe.

    That of course, has gotten me flamed many a time but the reality is if you think about what you want, you have to take those variables into account regardless if you think I am right or not.

    The end :)

    -Nick

    Reply
    • J. A. Whye

      I don’t believe you have to take what people want into account — a Kickstarter is (or should be) you saying, “I want to make ABC – do you want to help fund that?”

      If someone says, “Yes, here’s my money! And I also want DEF!” then it’s your responsibility to say, “This KS is for ABC, when it’s done I’ll look at possibly adding DEF.”

      If you let the backers change your design then that’s your fault, not the fault of KS. :)

      Jay

      Reply
  5. Jason Love

    I launched 1 failed campaign last year and I just finished successful one last month for my comic book. My recommendations to others is: Do your research, Let people know about your project well before you launch, and plan the campaign to take up most of your time.

    -Jason Love

    Reply
  6. Garvan Wolfe

    We just started or Kickstarter with a new game that combines an MMORPG with Fantasy e-book series in one app! Even with 1.0 version of the app complete and a great idea and reviews, getting the word out to those who will back you is KEY part of the struggle!
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/823846998/dynasty-of-the-magi-mmo-and-ebook-in-one?ref=email

    Dynasty of the Magi – MMO and eBook in one!

    Fantasy e-book series integrated in a MMO. Players compete on quests from the book, for good or evil, the results crafted in next book.

    Reply

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