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Old 04-13-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
Ravenlock
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[Episode 57] A Kick(start) in the Rear


So it’s been a little while since I hosted an episode; apparently I go away for a month or so and the whole damn world changes. We just talk about the games we would like to see, now, and we all get together and give each other money, and eventually – we hope – the games get made, I guess. That’s just the way it works now. Want a new adventure game from Tim Schafer? So do 87,000 other people – chip in and get it done. How about a Star Trek-inspired space roguelike? Got you covered. A sequel to Wasteland? Done. A new Shadowrun game by the original designer? Coming right up. A spiritual successor to Rainbow Six? That’s over here. Space combat? Yes, of course. A Zombie sandbox FPS with huge multiplayer ambitions? You want this one. Even Al Lowe is bringing back Leisure Suit Larry, for crying out loud. What were the odds of that?

So, yeah. I don’t understand anything anymore, but niche gamer wish fulfillment has literally become a free-for-all overnight. Just figure out what type of game a corner of the internet has been lamenting not having for 10 years or more, make a Kickstarter, put on your most convincing “I’ll make your dreams come true” face for the pitch video, and watch the dollars pour in. Well, sometimes. As we’ll be discussing, sometimes you barely make it. Sometimes you don’t make it at all. And who knows if any actual games come out of all this. But it’s a brave new world, and – spoilers! – one of our own is jumping in feet first with a Kickstarter of their own. You’ll have to listen to find out who. (I lied. It’s J_Arcane! And this is his game: Hulks & Horrors! You should listen, though.)

I did promise in the course of the recording to toss out some links, so here they are:
- The Dwarf Fortress Lazy Newb Pack (every time, Daniel. Every time.)
- The Neverending Indie Thread right here on CoG
- What Would Moly Deux? The Peter Molyneux Game Jam.

As we are wont to do, we talked a long time, so I’d best let you get to listening. Let’s give this thing A Kick(start) in the Rear.

Hosted and Summarized by Eric [Ravenlock]
Participants are James “Fuck Your Dreams I Want Pie” [Vigil80], Daniel [danielOut, also of fiftycal.net] and the no-longer-anonymous John [J_Arcane] of Bedroom Wall Press!
Produced by Clayton [Voodoo]

(Have you followed our Twitter feed? That’s a thing you could do.)



Last edited by Ravenlock; 04-13-2012 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:59 AM   #2
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Interesting follow-up to the Star Command Kickstarter, they posted a link on Twitter last night indicating that apparently all their Kickstarter funds are gone already. They even mentioned doing another Kickstarter just to fund the Android port, you know, the same platform they advertised in the original Kickstarter ...
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Arcana Rising - An Urban Fantasy Roleplaying Game, powered by Hulks and Horrors.
Hulks and Horrors - A Sci-Fi Roleplaying game of Exploration and Dungeon Adventure
Heaven's Shadow - A Roleplaying Game of Faith and Assassination
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:19 AM   #3
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Yeah, they also did a Gamasutra article about the same thing. Honestly, though, that just sounds like they drastically underestimated how much money they needed.

I mean, they asked for $20K, got $37K, and then spent $10K just on producing the incentives they promised. That would've been half their asked for amount, just on rewards, without factoring in the cut Kickstarter takes.

Even as it stands, having $22K after Kickstarter's cut and the backer rewards, they barely covered the costs of incorporation, promotion and buying equipment (presumably to test the game on).

Whether Kickstarter money should have been spent on those things is a good debate to have, but as far as I know there are no "rules" about that - once they've got the money they don't need to answer to anyone on how exactly they spend it. Personally, I might feel a little miffed about $3000 of the Kickstarter dollars getting them on the show floor at PAX East, if that $3000 could have been better spent on the game itself.

But these are precisely the sort of issues that will shake out as Kickstarter projects succeed and fail (where fail is "fail to deliver", not "fail to get funded") and people try to analyze the reasons why.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:26 AM   #4
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I just feel glad I never contributed personally, to be honest. Though I didn't mention it on the show, this was one I've always had suspicions about as far as ever coming out. It seemed like they went a very long time without any actual gameplay to show, and the fact the Kickstarter didn't include a code for the game really put me off.

But then, if they planned ahead this poorly, it seems like that's probably in their best interests they didn't.

Also, it seems like it does a solid job indicating that one should be very careful about the rewards one promises. Some of these Kickstarters get terribly outlandish with stuff, and it makes me wonder how they can even afford to deliver unless they go way over budget.
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Arcana Rising - An Urban Fantasy Roleplaying Game, powered by Hulks and Horrors.
Hulks and Horrors - A Sci-Fi Roleplaying game of Exploration and Dungeon Adventure
Heaven's Shadow - A Roleplaying Game of Faith and Assassination
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:37 AM   #5
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I can calculate possible expenses incurred, due to giving out prizes, using a solar powered calculator from a $1 store and I don't even know how to build a game.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:16 AM   #6
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In related news, apparently in the last month over $10 million dollars have been donated to Kickstarter game projects alone.

Expect this to continue being a very big deal.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:33 PM   #7
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Kind of a wierd show, not really worth it to get into why or any sort of things like that, but yeah... glad to see you guys tossed one up again.

As far as the discussion, you missed a huge chunk, how to "fix" the KS formula, what games we want, and where it could actually lead to. I wrote this a few months ago when it all went down, still seems relevant now.

http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/nab...--221692.phtml

Quote:
Kickstarter double fine stuff happened, I listened to podtoid, and a lot of thoughts have been going through my head. Let me elaborate, I am a PC gamer. I am told constantly that games are going to be 60 dollars instead of 20-40, ports are impossible to make, and that my platform of choice has been dead for the past 10 years.

It makes me laugh to consider those things as truth, but you get the idea. PC gamers exist in a world where no one wants them and it is by the grace of pure passion and love of the craft that anyone enjoys it. I don't know how many times I have heard the media say they hate playing things with 10 year olds on Xbox live, only to tell them that it is far better on PC because of moderators and maturity of the player base, but they just keep paying for online because they think that is where everything cool happens and they can have their cool t-shirts and cool games and everyone else is stupid for not joining them. OK, obviously some background behind that, but let's just move on.

There have been hundreds of indie games on Kickstarter in the past. It is amazing that this is getting press because double fine did it, but by all means I am glad that it has. Immediately my mind spinned towards what could be possible, and what SHOULD be happening right now.

So, imagine a world where (this would be far better in the movie guy voice, but...) the next time someone tries to petition for a port, the HD remake everyone wants doesn't happen, a developer takes a shit, or your favorite developer just doesn't want to localize that brilliant title from somewhere on the other side of the globe, it was actually possible for you to do something about it. The people purchasing the products themselves were ACTUALLY given what they wanted. Fucking brilliant right? Yeah, but it will take 10 years for this to actually happen, and I know 5 companies right away that simply could do it right now and have a bazillion buyers. Let's see.

1. Demon's Souls PC Port
2. THQ games... (Metro 2033: Last Light, SR4. etc.)
3. GR/RS HD remakes on PC
4. RARE being bought out by the fans
5. Psyconauts 2
6. Earthbound 2
7. Pokemon Fully 3D PC RPG with super HD graphics (not fucking cell shading)
8. Red Dead: Redemption PC
9. MvC3 PC

Obviously I can keep going, but that isn't the point or the question I am going to even discuss. The reason all of these will never happen is because the developers are in the assholes of publishers who want to make a piss-ton of money. They don't give a damn about anyone but themselves, and they will literally step on babies just to make a dollar. Maybe not, but I think you know they would deeply consider it.

All I am saying is imagine a world where the stupid bitches making decisions now, weren't. It would be amazing as a gamer, specifically a PC gamer, if we were all a little more open to the idea of some 14 and 17-year-olds making a game have having someone help them out to get it released.

I really wish less publishers owned great companies and licenses like MvC, RAREs games, Demon's Souls, etc. which all will take either a long time or hardly ever exist on expanded platforms simply because people want to sit on them and not do a damn thing with them. I would love to see Super Mario World 2 exactly in the SNES style, or an actual DKC4 SNES port exist in today's world, but because someone at wherever doesn't want to even give it a shot, it won't happen.

Here is my idea...

A website that isn't called Kickstarter, where gamers and companies can actually discuss things and gamers can propose ideas to developers (not publishers). Gamers can back it, the developers post a number of sales they must require to work on it, once it is reached it goes to the approved section, and then the developers go to whomever and get it made. It isn't a perfect system and I am sure there are some tweaks to fix it, but in all honesty, something like that needs to happen.

Thanks for hearing my rant, please post your thoughts below!

-nabokovfan87
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:39 AM   #8
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I remember that blog post, and I remember replying to that blog post. Did that happen over e-mail or something? I could have sworn it was in a CoG thread. I remember very specifically saying I thought RARE being "bought out by fans" was a horrible idea. (Which I still do.)

Regardless, I don't think Kickstarter "needs fixing." Kickstarter is brilliant in a lot of ways just as it is, and applies to a lot more than just gaming.

Though I certainly agree that a gaming-focused "let the net decide and then fund what it wants" website would be an interesting experiment, and one I would support, whether it succeeded in getting games made or not.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenlock View Post
I remember that blog post, and I remember replying to that blog post. Did that happen over e-mail or something? I could have sworn it was in a CoG thread. I remember very specifically saying I thought RARE being "bought out by fans" was a horrible idea. (Which I still do.)

Regardless, I don't think Kickstarter "needs fixing." Kickstarter is brilliant in a lot of ways just as it is, and applies to a lot more than just gaming.

Though I certainly agree that a gaming-focused "let the net decide and then fund what it wants" website would be an interesting experiment, and one I would support, whether it succeeded in getting games made or not.
Yeah, I remember the discussion of that when it first came about, and I slightly revised and discussed it with you. Long time ago.

Thanks for the pod guys.
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:58 AM   #10
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By the way, Eric, you're not the last person on Earth still gaming on a non-widescreen monitor. I'm still clinging to the 5x4 (1280x1024) beast I've had since I made the transition away from CRTs around 2003 or 2004. I figure it works, and not pushing those extra million pixels from 1080p was saving me the hassle of upgrading from my 4890 or adding more RAM.
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Would it be a party without the bionic penis?!
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Now time to see if the "Dress as Santa and come down your chimney" line works.
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:54 AM   #11
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Thanks, Doogie - it's good to know I'm not alone.

(But seriously, put the dollars into an upgrade soon. It makes a bigger difference than you'll know until you see it for yourself, even if you have to run a lower 16:9 resolution than 1080 for gaming.)
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:57 AM   #12
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I guess. I just never really considered it a huge priority. I mean, the thing still works, eh? I've kind of been waiting for it to die for a couple of years now, but it's stubbornly hanging on. Maybe after I move...
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Would it be a party without the bionic penis?!
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Now time to see if the "Dress as Santa and come down your chimney" line works.
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:18 PM   #13
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Changing monitors opens a whole new ballparj of issues, and the ever dreaded fisheye effect in everything.....

UGH.
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