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Kickstarter for Indie Developers


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#1 a548922   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 153

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 09:22 AM

Recently, like many other individuals, I have decided on making my own game. Its the same song and dance. The question I have is different then most, and haven't really found an answer to it. So here we go.

 

If I were to take some of the game engines, and 3d modeling software, that would be given for free for education purposes, or for non commercial, create a product that looks and works great, can I post it on kickstarter without having to buy the commercial versions, or fork out insane amounts of money? My thought is that kickstarter is not a money making entity till you hit your funding correct? So does this mean a loop hole is possible in this industry with using noncommercial for commercial after you receive your first penny, then purchase is with the funding received?

 

Thoughts on this topic?

 

Regards Leland



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#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 19000

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 11:17 AM

Kickstarter and other crowdsource funding are a bad fit for most games.


In exchange for the money you are making a contract to deliver finished goods within a specific timeframe.

Can you guarantee that the exact amount of money is enough to finish the game? Can you guarantee that you will finish within the specific timeframe? Can you guarantee the goods will be up to the required quality? Note that even established companies have a difficult time with these things.

In the worst case, are you prepared to refund all of the money to all of the backers if your project fails?


The best crowd funded projects are the ones that are ready for manufacture and just need cash to pay the manufacturing and shipping goods. Most of these projects are able to demonstrate completed models and individually fabricated object, they are just hoping to get a bulk discount or offer it to the public.

Mass production of a programmable flashlight? Crowd fund it! Mass production of custom art playing cards? Great fit! Looking for enough people to get the bulk rate on a shirt silkscreen run? Wonderful! ... A contract to fund and deliver an inherently risky R&D project? Bad idea.
Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#3 ambershee   Members   -  Reputation: 524

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 06:42 AM

This chart is damning evidence enough - only one in ten projects have ever delivered on time, and nearly half have missed their deadline by more than a year.
kickstarter_video_games_delays.png

 

Source:
http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/UnSubject/20140225/210645/A_Look_at_Kickstarted_Video_Game_Delivery_Rates.php


Edited by ambershee, 28 February 2014 - 06:44 AM.


#4 carrrynick   Members   -  Reputation: 115

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 04:02 AM

I agree with frob.

 

Besides, it's hard to even sumbit your start-up project and get it approved, if you're not a US citizen. So, if you're not, it's better to find other crowdfunding sites like indiegogo, for instance. It has more smooth requirements for entering the community and starting a fundraising campaign.

 

For games - one of the ways is to create some kind of a playable demo version and send it to numerous publishers, who are devoted to distributing games like BigFish, WildTangent and so on.


Edited by carrrynick, 07 April 2014 - 04:02 AM.

Plunged headlong into a promising start-up project. Public beta now.


#5 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 27857

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 04:45 AM


Besides, it's hard to even sumbit your start-up project and get it approved, if you're not a US citizen. So, if you're not, it's better to find other crowdfunding sites like indiegogo, for instance. It has more smooth requirements for entering the community and starting a fundraising campaign.
Just to add - Kickstarter operate in the UK and Australia as well as the USA now.

#6 Mouser9169   Members   -  Reputation: 389

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 10:47 AM

To actually answer your question - it depends on the licenses of everything you use. Read them carefully. I can almost guarantee that for 'educational' versions the answer is no. When you post a project on Kickstarter, you're announcing your intent to make money. That 'kicks in' the commercial clause in many (most? all?) licenses.

 

I'm not against Kickstarter - I think it can be a great way to get a project funded. All those 'doomed' graphs don't mean anything until you put them in context - starting ANY new business is a huge risk. Half of all restaurants fail in the first year. In all seriousness what other viable options are there? Venture capitalists or game publishers if you're an established name or have an absolutely stellar pitch and proof of concept, but that doesn't describe most indie developers. That road also means giving up some of your creative control.

 

Kickstarter is hard work though. Over on the RPG Maker forums Seito described the process she went through for "You Are Not the Hero" (funded at 90k). Basically for at least a month before and the entire month of your kickstarter your full time, second full time, and part time jobs become marketing your game. That's a whole different skillset than making the game, but you've got to learn it if you want to go that route.

 

Oh, and before you do anything commercial, be sure to incorporate, so the most you can lose is the business' money and not your house and everything you own.


"The multitudes see death as tragic. If this were true, so then would be birth"

- Pisha, Vampire the Maquerade: Bloodlines





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