Originally Posted by SH64
Bad idea IMO. people will not pay money up front for a project that can not be monitored personally especially with all these canned projects, discontinued games, and bankruptcy/financial issues.
I think there would be fewer discontinued independent projects if they had money to work with during development.
Most indy developers are either in college or are working normal jobs since they don't have a publisher to fund the development of their game. If they were actually getting a small amount of income from the game they not only have added incentive to keep going, they may actually make enough to spend less time at work and more time making the game.
Also, indy games are generally being worked on because the developers actually want to make the game that they're working on, as opposed to a team simply earning a pay check to make a game that they have no personal attachment to because a publisher is telling them what they're allowed to do with it.
I don't really see this customer funded thing as something that would easily apply to AAA titles but I think with a good set of requirements and good regulation by Valve\Steam it could help a lot of developers finish games that would normally never see the light of day due to lack of time and money.
Also, there could be plenty of safeguards to ensure that games are progressing in order to continue receive funding from customers.