Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Ramblings on crowd funding

I just watched the latest episode of Thumb wars
in short it talks about mostly the controversy with how double fine potentially misbudgeted for their game which is already over budget and are now asking for more money....

i'm not really going to talk about that but it was the spark that made me write this so i felt i should mention it.

i will say that in the episode the co-host Yousif (i hope i spelled that correctly) made some points they were shut down by the host in ways i don't completely agree with.

"As an investor i want to see a good finished project."
This is shot down because purchasing anything is a gamble and you aren't really an investor you are just buying a product on delay.
I respectfully disagree... i mean yes... buying anything is always a gamble, kickstarter or not you never knew what your going to get/if you are going to get an experience you enjoy... you just have to hope that they fufill their promises.
HOWEVER... lets say i fund something, and it doesn't do well/live up to the promises it made/out right sucks.
I am going to be a lot less likely to fund something cause i've been screwed in the past and theres no way to hold the person accountable other then not give them any more money.
and this is my opinion based on fact.

I have funded 4 projects through various crowd funding things.

1. a website known as Anipan which pitched as a place where you could put larger art without the worry of theft.

2. Aaron Pogues kickstarter to put his story into public domain rigth away(essentially an experiment) and one of the tears was an autographed book from him (i thought it was an interestign cause but i was more interested in the books)

3. LA game space/ a handful of indie games.

4. An art book/interview book which just got funded a week or two ago.

so what happened?

a) anipan is a website where you can post larger images if you want... i doubt it stops theft that much though.... the community is disjointed because of the lack of features like an inbox and the way the front page is set up is messy and favors 'popular' art so it's hard finding lesser known artist.... and even if you do findthem talking to them is a pain. one of the perks i paids for was a paid subscription to the site for a year... the sites been up how long and i have yet to see that pay off...
i feel ripped off by a site that barely works... and i knew that was a risk but it doens't change the fact that i would need something special to fund something again.

b) the prize was awesome (and already done) but the project didn't reach it's goal : (
so this time i was more annoyed cause i got excited for something i'll probably never have.

c) been hearing about the gae packs we are getting for la game space and it seems like if i were ever in LA it would be a neat place to visit... i don't feel ripped off by this cause i gave very little and it sounds like if nothing else i'll have a ton of indie games to talk about.

d) this was my gamble... it was not cheap.... but with the promise of interviews from people at Falcom and even art done by someone who works at falcom in the early days i had to give it a chance... if this doesn't end up working i will be pretty upset.

because like it or not i do feel like an investor, i gave you money.... i am hoping to get what you promised in return... and for it to be good.
because when things are bad people will not trust you so easily in the future.

It is nice to see people start taking the publishers side because that feeling of "i gave you money, how can you ask for more" is true in every medium... and while that is not always the case it may break the trend of praising the poor visionary who just wants to get their dream across when in reality they just need to be kept on a short leash lest they go crazy with power... which is good in my books...

near the end of the video it feels like they are arguing about two different things.
Yousif is arguing that he feels double fine has not lived up to their promises and even asked for more money for another game and a second round for this one and how thats not cool considering he raised 1000% more then he asked for.
Shawn seems to argue that this wont take down kickstarter.
ummm of course it wont... it's just one little failed/failing project.... BUT stuff like that will make the buyer even less likely to spend money and then the smaller less popular indie developers who actually NEED the money probably wont get any....

the way i see crowd funding is the way i look at grants.... when you apply for a grant you give a budget and a pitch and if they like it enough they will give you money under a bunch of stipulations...
if you dont' produce on time or try to ask for more money or produce something they see as being poor in quality then they will never give you funding again....
how grants continue to be given out every year despite some failures.
i think kickstarter is the same.... you burn me then no.... no more money for you..... but will KS care? no... they made their cut already.

i wasn't a backer of the double fine game, even though my earliest gaming memory is Full throttle... i feel that larger names using kickstarter is a bit.... ugh.... i don;t think they shouldn't i just wont support it... i'd rather give money to the little guy cause i think they need it a bit more.

anyways thats my opinion... i liked the video i just didn't feel like they were arguing the same thing... if that makes sense.

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