Vegard Skjefstad

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Tag: Crowdfunding (page 1 of 2)

Do You Even Understand How Crowdfunding Works?

So you think you understand how crowdfunding works? Spoiler alert: You don’t. Now let me enlighten you so you don’t look like a dumb-ass.

Crowdfunding is a brilliant way for individuals and companies to raise money for a project they want to get going. Not everyone can – or will – go the venture capitalist route, and for them, sites like Kickstarter is an alternative way to fund their adventures.

The Kickstarter posts I’ve published over the last year have been exclusively about the dark side of crowdfunding. They have told the stories about game development campaigns that have either failed miserably, or are long overdue on their estimated delivery dates.

Although it might very well look like it, I’m not trying to shame anyone (too much) in these posts. Software projects are incredibly complex endeavors, and getting everything you promised delivered on time is basically impossible1.

In this post, however, I’ll do something a little different. I won’t focus on the crowdfunding campaigns themselves. Instead, we’ll turn the spotlight the people pledging to them. A lot of these people don’t seem to understand how crowdfunding actually works, and it’s really grinding my gears!

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The New Atari VCS – Is It Really Happening!?

Can the long awaited Atari VCS take Atari back to its heydays, or will it be the company’s doom?

I was absolutely sure I’d posted about the new Atari VCS in the past. Since I couldn’t find the post, I though that perhaps I’d shared an article about it on my Twitter feed. But I couldn’t find it on Twitter either! Then I realized I’d shared an article on Facebook, and that post was deleted with my Facebook account. So let me tell you about the Atari VCS right here, right now!

If you’re a nerd of the late 70’s and early 80’s, there’s a good chance you remember the Atari 2600. The 8-bit home video game console was the first commercially successful unit with microprocessor-based hardware, and games stored on ROM cartridges. Atari, Inc. sold over 30 million units during the console’s 14 year lifespan.

Quite a lot has happened to Atari, Inc. since the Atari 2600 was released1. The company was split up into a software and a hardware company, which were then sold, sold again, and sold some more, before going bust, then being re-born with another Atari-name.

Today’s Atari is a mere shadow of its former self. But perhaps the planned re-issue of the Atari 2600 can take the company back to its heydays?

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Core Worlds Digital

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, and I’ll just continue to naïvely throw money at campaigns on Kickstarter.

As you probably know by now, Kickstarter is one of my favorite sites. As one of the first crowdfunding sites, it enables people with a good idea a delusional fantasy to find the money to turn their mushroom induced hallucination into something real. Not everything Kickstarter touches turns into gold, though. Campaigners more often than not underestimate the scope of their plans. That leads to massive delays when the project is funded, and the actual work starts. Sometimes, the project even derails completely, and while most of them don’t turn into a spectacular train-wreck the size of Confederate Express, there is often some entertainment value in the aftermath.

Here’s a look at another Kickstarter campaign I pledged to that promised the moon, but turned into hot air: Core Worlds Digital.

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Shallow Space: Insurgency

Do you remember Homeworld? I sure do. I played the hell out of the original Homeworld, the Cataclysm expansion and Homeworld 2. The franchise is without doubt my favorite science fiction 3D real time strategy franchises set in space. But that’s a very limited niche, to be honest, and there hasn’t been many games in that particular genre since. One of the few games is Ancient Space, which looked very promising, but only received mixed reviews. Also, remastered versions of Homeworld and Homeworld 2 were recently released in the Homeworld Remastered Collection, but I haven’t touched those – for once I’ll let a fond memory stay a fond memory. At least until the collection is on sale for 75% off.

Now there is another game in the works that fits the description: Shallow Space: Insurgency. The game has been Greenlit on Steam and it’s among the most popular projects on IndieDB. The developer, Special Circumstance Games, is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to get “a burst of funding to polish up the game, pay some of our contractors, and acquire the needed assets”. Unfortunately, the campaign doesn’t look too encouraging right now. Well over half way through their campaign, they have only raised 10% of the funds they are asking for, and with a fixed funding campaign, it’s unlikely that they will see any money coming in.

Compared to many other games that seek crowdfunding, Shallow Space: Insurgency actually has a playable demo available. It’s far from feature complete, but I hope it gives an idea of what kind of game it will be when it’s finally released.

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5 New Kicks

Do you have a little money burning a hole in your pockets? What about helping someone realize their life long game development dream?

Here’s another Kickstarter post (other entries tagged with Kickstarter). As you probably notice, I’m having a hard time giving it a creative title. The last time I wrote about Kickstarter projects, roughly half a year ago, I had a look at some of the more embarrassing endeavors in the games category. From people begging for money to play Call of Duty for 48 hours straight to huge sporting events that probably never happened. There were some massive train wrecks among those projects, but there are a few projects that get successfully funded through Kickstarter – about a third, according to their own statistics.

Let’s have a look at five computer game projects you can pledge to right now. One of them is already well funded, while the other four are all in danger of hitting their deadline date unfunded. And since it’s Kickstarter, they won’t receive a penny unless they are fully funded when their campaign ends.

Shadowrun: Hong Kong

The first project comes from Harebrained Schemes LLC, a seasoned creator of successful Kickstarter campaigns. Their greatest success so far has been Shadowrun Returns, which I didn’t pledge to personally, but my friend Klas threw a lot of money at the project. He even got his name in the game credits. I know this because I checked.

Now Harebrained is back with another Shadowrun campaign, and this time they are only asking for a little bit of money to polish a version of the game set in Hong Kong. Being a company that has already showed that they deliver on their promises, they’re already funded and then some. The promise of more high quality Shadowrun was enough for me to pledge the $15 needed to receive a copy of the game on release.

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