Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

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#1 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:12 PM

I enjoy sifting through some of the crazy projects kickstarter offers up. People have some great (and horrible) ideas. I find myself bouncing around the tech section looking for a gadget I might like and then checking what the minimum investment amount is so I might pick up that item. I see a ton of 3d printers and figure if I can get one for cheap that might be cool. Ha - probably not so much the way kickstarter would prefer you to look at angel investing, but it keeps it amusing for me.

This leads me to a few questions... has anyone had a project on kickstarter? Did it do well, or fail to meet the minimum? How about funding projects? Have you funded another group's project, or even actually received the item in question? Is this whole micro-funding just a passing fad?

There's a certain level of gambling with these projects. I've heard of a few projects where the people were funded, pushed back their release date, and eventually stopped responding to their investors. Sure it's a risk but that's pretty crummy.

For those who aren't in the know - Kickstarter is a place you explain your art, humanitarian, or tech project with videos, sketches, designs, and so forth. Once you hook the people you set a dollar amount you need to raise, a date when it must be raised, and various levels of donation support vs return trinkets for being so helpful.

A few projects I was kicking around funding:
http://www.kickstart...-hardcover-book
http://www.kickstart...-open-source-3d
http://www.kickstart...ibdknox/light-t

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#2 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:19 PM

This is good site for finding puzzle projects:


http://projecteuler.net/
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#3 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:22 PM

I haven't had any projects on kickstarter, but my friend Molly did pretty well with hers

It seems to work pretty well for both sides: fans of an enterprise can pre-commit to supporting an endeavor, and end up with some extra tangibles and intangibles. We got three pairs of tickets (for three different shows) for a $100 contribution on a campaign - just saw a fun production of Much Ado About Nothing last weekend, which was one pair. And of course the theater company gets the money upfront, which helps them actually get the show up. The down side, I guess, is that a theater company could end up spending their gate in advance, since they have a limited number of seats to sell, but that's down to good management. If they're smart, it seems it's going to be a win-win.

View PostDarenR, on 01 May 2012 - 02:19 PM, said:

This is good site for finding puzzle projects:


http://projecteuler.net/


Der... wot?
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#4 lordofduct  Icon User is online

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Re: Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:27 PM

I've funded several projects both big and small. I have yet to be screwed on any of the projects (though some never reached their funding goal... but I wasn't charged so I don't consider that being screwed).

I've also met several teams on the web, and even face to face, who have been funded through kickstarter. Some of them I met at the Kickstarter room at PAX, some nice guys there (I really liked the Code Hero game idea). I even learned that some of the toys my buddies have been toting around are actually kickstarter funded toys. I attended several lectures while there, some of which were Kickstarter related... Met a Cindy Au from Kickstarter themselves, very nice, very informative.

The project I'm working on right now MIGHT get a kickstarter funding round this August. But that depends on if we'll actually need it come that time. We have tons of money saved up ourselves, and we're getting a vertical slice put together for August (waiting on some teammates, they're currently under contracts that limit their ability to contribute right now). But if we feel we may need a few extra grand to get the project off the ground, we'll probably throw in a 10K min kickstarter project.



There's a few hitches that I have concern about when it comes to kickstarter...

1) Research your market to see what the best min amount to start the project at is. You can always raise above that, but you need that minimum to get it. NOTE, don't just put the minimum to low though because of other 'hitches' in the project, you're just setting yourself up for failure (start 1000, get 1000, project actually costs 10K+, you screw those who put in the 1K).

2) Kickstarter projects seldom take off toward the end of their cycle. If they don't hit about 10% of their goal in the first few days they usually don't make it (Kickstarter has several metrics about all this on their website). So get your marketing out their quick right up front (if not before). Push everyone you know to get the ball rolling immediately. Then keep your fingers crossed.

3) Give good rewards... but don't get crazy with them either. Offering a T-shirt for 200 dollars is a shitty reward because who wants a T-Shirt for that much, but offering a T-Shirt at the 15 dollar mark is going to cost you money, so where's the point in that? Remember the cost of rewards comes out of the money you raise, so balance those just right... digitally distributed rewards are the best (as they tend to be cheap or even free). Great rewards I've seen in the the realm of art ventures (like games and movies) is art from the artists on the team, or even cameos of the investor in the product (easier in games of course). These types of things win big bucks from some investors. But don't overwealm the investor with bonus options... Kickstarter suggests 5 or 6 at most. Always remember cost though... cost, cost, cost. Most investors look at kickstarter as a way to pre-PRE-order products, so they aren't looking to spend more than the value of what they're getting.

4) Visual Material HELPS. People like videos, art, etc to see about the project. They like to know what's going on. But they don't want to know the damn nitty gritty. You don't have to blast them with business proposals, but definitely show them what the hell you're up to. We plan to get a nice video together, get some good concept art and in game shots together, and explain how we've already invested about 30 or so grand of our own and just need that little extra oomph to get us there.

...

ummm, I'm getting tired of typing.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 01 May 2012 - 12:29 PM

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#5 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:32 PM

View PostDarenR, on 01 May 2012 - 03:19 PM, said:

This is good site for finding puzzle projects:


http://projecteuler.net/


Can you explain - in English, please - how this relates even remotely to the topic at hand?
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#6 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:35 PM

Benign---

I dont know lol I miss read his post during a quick skim reading during bs time.....


Kickstarter is one of many sites that offer monies for ideas to be produced ...


Thanks for steering my on the right path benign.........
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#7 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:41 PM

I never understood why people would just... Give away money. I mean, I see some really crappy projects - a lot of which developed by hopeful teenagers who think they can create the next call of duty - receiving hundreds of dollars. What's exactly stopping them from just taking this money and running?

And a lot of the projects I see don't even need that much money. Yeah, I supposed when you're doing fashion, businesses, technology, and other things like that it'll take some money to start it off. But projects like 1.5 million dollars for an ipad game? Cmon. The world should not have to pay you to make a game you will also eventually sell to us.

It's just internet begging. You might as well write a sob story about how you can't pay your rent on 4chan in hopes some sucker will believe you and give you $20.

This post has been edited by creativecoding: 01 May 2012 - 12:42 PM

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#8 lordofduct  Icon User is online

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Re: Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:54 PM

They can't take the money unless it meets the goal. If more is pledged than the goal, you get the extra as well. But if you never meet it... tough titty.

People can use their own discression. Yeah 1.5 million to make an ipad game does sound retarded... and they probably won't ever make it to 1.5 million. Double Fine made over that only because they're Double Fine and they're releasing to nearly all platforms.

People give their money to a project based on the projects merits and if they think it'll succeed! Or do you think this just sucks money out of people's wallets with out them knowing?
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#9 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:01 PM

Who gets the money if it doesn't meet the goal? Does kickstarter keep it or does it go back to the backers?

I didn't notice that backers can be offered things in return. This isn't such a bad idea after all. But what if the person who started the project doesn't meet their promises, even if they meet the goal?
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#10 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:03 PM

I've got one project up that I'm working towards getting released there as soon as possible, it has to do with that SOPA/CISPA/torrent thing I've mentioned here once or twice, but right now it's under wraps. It's actually a fucking difficult project in some surprising ways, but it's also a lot easier than I'd thought it would be in others- and it's been a lot of fun learning to do some of the stuff and solve some of the problems necessary to make it happen. I'm hoping to raise 10k for it and cover a few costs (a cheap workhorse PC and a cheap aircon are the big ticket purchases, hosting is the other big cost), living expenses, etc for the time it takes me to get it up and running, which should be another couple of months. If it works as well as I think it will, it will castrate all of these stupid SOPA/CISPA laws and will burn holes in the logic of ISP's putting bandwidth caps on internet connections.
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#11 lordofduct  Icon User is online

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Re: Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:04 PM

no one

the "investors" card doesn't get charged if it doesn't reach the goal. When you pledge you give your CC number, but you aren't charged. At the deadline (usually 30 days) you receive an e-mail telling you if the goal was reached and that you will NOW be charged.

Their is no direct consequence if the person who does the project doesn't come through on their end. That's the risk you take as a 'backer'/'investor', knowing this might not make it. It's investment... investment is RISKY. It's also why you get to chose what you invest in, and how much to invest. It's up the the project owner to convince they will deliver... don't invest if you don't think they will deliver.

And of course... if they don't... they probably won't ever be getting investments again. Reputation can burn...
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#12 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:14 PM

View Postcreativecoding, on 01 May 2012 - 02:41 PM, said:

I never understood why people would just... Give away money. I mean, I see some really crappy projects - a lot of which developed by hopeful teenagers who think they can create the next call of duty - receiving hundreds of dollars. What's exactly stopping them from just taking this money and running?



Well, nothing, really. But generally this stuff isn't supported by people out of the blue. At least, in the music and art projects, it's a way to target your fans instead of your rich relatives to get a production (a show, a CD, whatever) under way. And I don't know any musician who's willing to throw away their most supportive fans for a few thousand bucks.

I don't know how it works for games, though. Do game designers have fans? Do they care if they lose their fans?
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#13 lordofduct  Icon User is online

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Re: Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:26 PM

Yes they have fans, and yes a lot of them do care if they lose them.

Publishers may not have fans... but things like Kickstarter give fans and game makers direct connection. Projects like 'Shadowrun', 'Double Fine Adventure', and 'Wasteland 2' are completely fan funded games by BIG NAME game designers (but not big name publishers). They're going to be making those games that publishers think aren't profitable.

Double Fine is creating an old point and click adventure... Double Fine is ran by Tim Schafer, of Grim Fandango/Monkey Island/Psychonauts fame.

The creators behind Wasteland 1 and the first Fallouts are creating Wasteland 2 (a LONG wanted sequel). Again they're going to get to make the oldschool style Wasteland like that of the 80's (better graphics of course) with out all the pressures of Publishers, and only that of fans. Giving those hardcore fans (myself included) something they've wanted for ages.

Same for Shadowrun, if you never played the SNES/Genesis Shadowrun... well you're missing out. Nothing like that crap Xbox FPS title. (all 3 are BIG projects I've backed... I've also backed small projects as well).




Of course when it comes to smaller studios, it's hard to point out the fans. I may clammer over a new Eric Chahi title (From Dust was the SHIT! though ubi-soft ruined it a bit), but the smaller guys out there I may not be as vocal about. It's not like there are concerts to go to or anything. But certainly buy their titles and keep up on their going-ons so I know what they have in the pipe. I hope to have fans like that one day... and my friends don't count (though I still love them all!)




Sorry, if you haven't noticed. I'm like... PASSIONATE about the game industry.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 01 May 2012 - 01:29 PM

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#14 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:29 PM

Quote

Yes they have fans, and yes a lot of them do care if they lose them.


In that case, I'd feel perfectly happy contributing to a game, if I cared about it. That's not likely to happen, but that's just me.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm pretty apathetic about the game industry. :)

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 01 May 2012 - 01:30 PM

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#15 lordofduct  Icon User is online

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Re: Kickstarter - has it worked for anyone?

Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:31 PM

Oh you'll contribute! You'll contribute to mine, less you suffer the wrath of lordofduct!
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