Internet phenomena tend to happen at the quickest moments and without much warning. One minute, you are sure you have caught up on the latest and greatest, and seemingly (sometimes literally) overnight, a new trend develops and becomes viral. I am not sure if I missed the train when it comes to Kickstarter, or if this is something brand new, but it looks as if this is the outlet any creative mind can use to, well, ‘kickstart’ their project. Straight from their website, Kickstarter explains:
We help people (like you!)fund creative projects.
Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art,technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.
I first heart about a Kickstarter funded project when Stacking and Costume Quest creators Double Fine decided to back their latest project through this site. Creatively named Double Fine Adventure, the project was a challenge that was accepted by Double Fine, who heard mixed ideas on whether or not adventure games in the industry were dead. This project started with a humble goal of $400,000, and skyrocketed to a whopping $2.3 million. The fan support (as noted by the website and comments on Kickstarter) has been absolutely tremendous, and I feel this game is both well deserved to the fans as well as the developers.
But how does one reach such a lofty goal, let alone exceed it by over five times the original intended amount? Part of that could probably be blamed on the incredibly creative and interestingly crafty rewards for the different tiers. $10,000 will land you various content from the game; hard back art book, the original sound track, autographed posters, even a mini portrait of you! But wait, there’s more! A backing of this amount also gets you dinner with Tim Schafer (founder of Double Fine), members of the development team, and a tour of the office. Talk about an impressive deal. The rewards do not stop there as each tier progressively gets sweeter and sweeter the more you are able to back.
Seeing projects like this aid in the hope for those who are looking for creative ways to bring their own ideas out onto the table, but may not have the appropriate funding for their team. The industry as it stands right now is difficult to get into, with big name companies out-funding most of the little guys. However, there has been a shift with the introduction of WiiWare, the PSN, and the X-Box Live Arcade, as well as other digital distribution methods, where we are seeing more indie game developers gaining exposure through these outlets. Originally, to have any media sold, you had to sell your idea to the publisher. Now, these walls are being lowered thanks to digital content, which eliminates the publishing aspect and solely relies on your creativity as a developer. This is also lowering costs, since developers now do not have to concern themselves about the cost of printing and manufacturing.
Needless to say, there has been an overwhelming number of fans who are excited for the game. As of today, there are over 67,000 backers who have helped fund this project, and I am certain that the folks over at Double Fine couldn’t be happier. If you wish to follow more, or back their project yourself, please head on over to Double Fine’s Official Website or to their Kickstarter. You can also browse Kickstarter by the ‘Games’ category to find plenty of other innovative projects waiting to be backed by enthusiastic individuals such as yourselves.