Three Days to Go: A Look At Kickstarter

2020

Super Investing

Ever since Double Fine raised a record amount of money on its platform, Kickstarter has become the darling of the video game industry, in the eyes of both the developers and the gamers. While some projects not only meet their goal, but reach far beyond it, others falter short of the finishing line.

The revolution was kick-started by game developer Double Fine, who set their target at the lofty mark of $400,000 for its game only known as Double Fine Adventure; within the first 24 hours, they had raised over a million dollars. Before Double Fine, the Video Games category on Kickstarter had only raised $1,776,372 in its two years of existence1. In the six weeks following the announcement of the project, $2,890,704 were pledged, Double Fine’s amount notwithstanding1.

What made the Double Fine Adventure so special? For one, the developer’s work is a known quantity, having already produced Costume Quest, an original and entertaining fight against monsters on the night of Halloween, and the more widely known Psychonauts. It also had the support of an influential industry celebrity in Markus “Notch” Persson2, owner of Mojang and creator of the indie hit Minecraft. With this kind of success, it is easy to see the appeal of raising funds without having to convince game publishers that a project is viable, especially if the project aims for innovation instead of following a tried-and-true formula.

$50,000 for Pathfinder Online Technology Demo

Paizo Publishing has also taken to Kickstarter. Paizo is responsible for the highly successful tabletop role-playing game Pathfinder, itself a derivation of the third edition of better-known Dungeons & Dragons. The company set itself a more modest objective of $50,000 in order to build a “technology demo” for its upcoming online game Pathfinder Online. The demo will then be used to convince potential funders that the project is viable. With the funding coming to a close, Paizo has already raised over $230,0003.

space quest
Space Quest to spawn Space Venture, maybe.

SpaceVenture Running Out Of Time

However, not all projects are so successful. Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe, who call themselves The Two Guys from Andromeda, are the fathers of beloved adventure franchise Space Quest. The sixth and last entry in the series was released in 1995, yet the games are not forgotten. The Two Guys have thus reunited in the hopes of creating a new project, SpaceVenture, which would be a spiritual successor to the saga of Roger Wilco, the plunger-wielding janitor who saved the galaxy. However, it is possible that Mark and Scott, much like their protagonist of old, will go unrewarded.

The Two Guys have given themselves a goal of $500,000. With less than four days remaining, they have only raised about $384,0004. It is a substantial amount, but if the project is not fully funded, none of the pledges will turn into actual money and SpaceVenture will never see the light of day. That is not to say the Andromedans have been lazy, far from it. The project has received over forty updates, from bits of news to interviews with voice actors, with pieces of artwork thrown in here and there.

The project’s popularity is proven, but it is not yet enough. Will SpaceVenture protagonist Ace Hardway live to save the day or, at least, die multiple times in the attempt, as predecessor Roger Wilco was wont to do, to the delight of fans everywhere? A pledge can be made by visiting the project’s Kickstarter page, where each reward tier is explained at length. A pledge of only $15 is sufficient to be entitled to a free copy of the game once it is released.

Sources:

1. How long before the Kickstarter bubble bursts?, Gamasutra

2. The Past and Future of Psychonauts 2, Kotaku

3. Pathfinder Online Technology Demo Kickstarter page

4. SpaceVenture Kickstarter page