At first I was a Kickstarter skeptic. I’m a slow adopter for new things (I hadn’t owned a mobile phone until 2010), and so as crowd funding became a thing all I saw was a platform for people to pan handle. I stuck my nose up in the air and with a holier than thou attitude decided that I wanted nothing to do with it. I felt that if people truly had a great idea for a product, they should go the tried and true method of finding someone to produce and market it on the inventor’s behalf. I wouldn’t be swindled by some huckster out to make a quick buck.
Of course there is a genuine problem with people exploiting the plethora of Kickstarter/Indiegogo systems. It’d be great to see more of a filtering process on these services to ensure that participants are the “real deal” but hey, the phrase “caveat emptor” came about for a reason. I like this article, which surmises that a group funding transaction is essentially a gift. When I give money to a campaign, I do it primarily because I want the final product that will be created, and because I’ve done enough research to determine whether or not I trust the entrepreneur. Whether or not someone has already met their goal doesn’t particularly filter through my thought process.
I was a little disappointed to see The Escapist encouraging people to stop funding Jeremy Soule’s (composer of Elder Scroll and Guild Wars fame) campaign after he reached his goal. The way I see it, is that if a project is funded, they will always be able to make use of more money. If they make the product the best it can be, and still have money left over… well then it just makes it easier for them to create their next project right? Or it helps the artist to earn more than minimum wage… or to pay the other people who may have been volunteering to help them. There’s no end to where money can be spent in the development of a creative project. As much as I want you all to save your money and give it all to us so we can make our game a reality… you should also consider going over and exploring what stuff already is being pitched right now. There’s a lot of indie development going on these days, and everyone needs help.