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Chris Avellone, David Jaffe keen on crowdfunding

Monday, 13th February 2012 01:03 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Double Fine’s crowdfunding success has inspired other developers to consider a new method of sourcing development costs.

Obsidian designer Chris Avellone, whose credits include Fallout 2, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights 2 and many other notable RPGs, floated the idea of a Kickstarter on his blog.

“All of Double Fine’s success from Kickstarter has been inspiring. I GUESS PEOPLE LOVE THOSE CLASSIC ADVENTURE GAMES AFTER ALL,” he wrote.

“The idea of player-supported funding is proof certain genres aren’t dead and sequels may have more legs than they seem. And the idea of not having to argue that with a publisher is appealing.”

The designer asked for suggestions on the blog and his Twitter account for projects Obsidian might explore if it took the crowdfunding route; one of the most popular suggestions is a sequel or follow up to Planescape: Torment, widely considered to be one of the best RPGs of an era dotted with classic examples.

Meanwhile, soon-to-be-ex- Eat Sleep Play boss David Jaffe told Gamasutra he’d consider crowdfunding projects for his new studio.

“With what’s happened with Tim’s Kickstarter, sure, I would consider [crowdfunding],” he said.

“I definitely think it’s a really cool thing, so I would consider it. I think I would be really nervous because suddenly now it’s not just a publisher’s money. Suddenly you have all these peoples’ money, and you don’t want to let them down.”

That said, Jaffe does have some reservations.

“There’s kind of the fear that this would suddenly become, you know, a dick-measuring contest. Schafer comes out and raises a million, and Jaffe only raises $200,000,” he joked.

Double Fine’s record-breaking Kickstarter has now raised over $1.6 million for the developer’s untitled adventure game.

Thanks, games.on.net, Kotaku. [image]

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4 Comments

  1. ejams

    My opinion on this is that it was fine once, as something new and just to show how much people want this new game from them, but it cannot continue. If all of these developers start liking the idea, it’ll be like “I CONTRIBUTED THE MOST MONEY TO THIS PROJECT, I WANT THIS FEATURE IN THE GAME” or at the very least they’re saying they want you to pay for the development and the finished game. This is the way I see it, I’m not sure if it’s that dramatic. If someone wants to explain it better, by all means.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. The_Red

    @1 Good point but I still believe this could work IF the devs that try it reveal their goals and be more transparent.

    Double Fine did reveal that it’s a Point n click Adventure but this system would require a huge shift in marketing and the way projects are revealed. For example, if Chris Avallone just ask for money without any further explanation, not too many people will give a damn but if he says he is gonna spend it on an oldschool RPG in vein of Fallout 2 or Planescape Torment… I’d scream shut up and take my money!

    #2 3 years ago
  3. RandomTiger

    I don’t think dev’s should pander too much to wants of crowd source funders otherwise they will end up with a mess. Also unless a funder is giving %5 or more of the total cost they don’t really have any basis to ask for any features more than any other individual or group of funders. Personally I’ve given up cash, more than I would usually pay for a game in trust that they will do a good job.

    Folk need to take into account that while Tim has very much headed this experiment he also have a well established studio behind this effort. You cant just start a new studio and expect to crowd source straight away without say a demo as proof of concept, like minecraft.

    I could imagine pitching to crowd sourcing being as problematic as to a publisher. Ok, at least crowd sources can’t can your project but they are also unlikely to stump up extra cash if the project needs it. Also publishers provide an annoying but important structure of milestones which a developer will have to be very strict with itself to adhear to. Dev’s with easy money and lack of external pressures to finish games risk taking longer than they should to create just a mediocre product.

    It will be really interesting to see how well this works out, the documentary if honest as they say it is could be very useful for studios considering this in the future.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DSB

    @3 It’s already working for a number of indie developers. It’s the same as it is for the rest of the industry. Beyond funding a studio, what you need is a good pitch. I think people are always going to respond to that.

    People aren’t being given control over the project, so I don’t see the risk. The difference is that the community is empowered to make itself heard.

    Of course that opens the door for whiners and malcontents, but I don’t see how developers have anything to lose by interacting with the people who play their games, and I don’t think the growing divide between developers and the people they develop for is going to add anything to the medium.

    We decide who to fund, they decide who to listen to.

    #4 3 years ago

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