Double Fine Adventure, a video game Kickstarter project by Double Fine and 2 Player Productions, has broken new ground in the crowd-funding community. The project set out to raise $400,000 for the creation of an old-school graphic adventure computer game, which will be developed by Double Fine under the supervision of legendary graphic adventure designer Tim Schafer. At the time that this post goes live, the project has surpassed that goal by far: over $3,000,000 in pledges has been donated, with the project gaining tens of thousands of dollars more every hour. This phenomenal success marks a milestone in crowd-funding and indie game development, and how the two can come together.
For those of you who haven’t yet enjoyed the excitement of pledging to a Kickstarter project and following it all the way to the final countdown of minutes and pledge dollars, here is some background. Kickstarter is a crowd-funding website for creative projects. Creators of all types, from musicians and filmmakers, to inventors and comic book artists, can showcase a proposal for their creative project on Kickstarter as a platform for raising money to see that project complete. They set a fundraising goal and a time limit (usually 30 days, but sometimes as long as 90 days), and broadcast their project however they can to their fans and would-be backers who want to see that dream fulfilled. Besides the warm fuzzy feeling of helping to bring a creator’s dreams to life, backers usually receive rewards from the creator based on how much money they have pledged. These rewards can include pre-release and special edition copies of a product, tshirts, custom content, autographed posters, shoutouts on Facebook and Twitter, and even being taken out to lunch by the creator as a special face-to-face “thank you.”
Kickstarter funding is all-or-nothing. If the project reaches its fundraising goal within the time limit, then the money raised on Kickstarter gets transfered to the project creators through Amazon Payments. If the project fails to meets its goal in time, then all of the money pledged gets refunded to the backers. Over the past few years, Kickstarter has allowed creators to bring their dream projects to life, and to make the kind of products and experiences that their fans truly want – and not what has been dictated to them by a publisher or detached corporate executive. This has included makers of board games and video games with great success. Enter Double Fine Adventure.
Benefiting from the community and reputation that Double Fine brings to the table, the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter project has enjoyed funding success above and beyond any other game project up to this point. No other game project has come close to raising over $3,000,000 through crowd-funding sites. And fortunately, they haven’t had to. Most Kickstarter projects have a much more modest goal. A typical board game project, for example, usually sets out to raise between $10,000 and $25,000. Small video game projects often set even lower funding goals. As indie projects, these games are labors of love by their creators. So much of the creators’ time and energy gets poured into these games, along with their own personal funds. Because of this sacrifice of blood, sweat, tears, and cash made by the creators, their projects just need a little more help from the backers to raise the money needed and get the finished products into the hands and hearts of those who will appreciate them most.
What does this have to do with GAME-O-GAMI? I’m glad you asked! 🙂 Kickstarter will play a big role in the games we are making over the next few years. With your support, we will be leveraging Kickstarter to raise both money and awareness for the original games created by this community. Kickstarter funding will allow GAME-O-GAMI games to be produced at the high standard of quality that we aspire to, and in a high enough quantity to leave no gamer behind. Crowd-funding is also a way in which we can democratize game development. If a GAME-O-GAMI Kickstarter project is well received by our community and inspires us all into action, then we will have no problem funding it. If a project fails to generate the excitement needed to be successful, then that means that the game didn’t have the right appeal to begin with and the community will have spoken. This will benefit GAME-O-GAMI by preventing us from going down the wrong path and allowing us to focus on the games that our community really wants to play.
At the time of this writing, the Double Fine Adventure project has just over 6 hours to go before being successfully funded. Click the link to see what all the buzz is about! If you are reading this soon enough, then you still have time to become a backer in return for a pre-order copy of the game (anticipated to come out around October 2012) and other awesome rewards. Go now! It’s okay, we’ll still be here…
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