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Old 07-21-09, 09:10 PM   #13
Vanzagar
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Default Re: Game development funded by customers?

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Originally Posted by CaptNKILL View Post
This is very interesting...

http://kotaku.com/5318368/valve-let-...es-development



I think this is a fantastic idea. A platform like Steam would be absolutely perfect for indy developers to pitch their ideas to the masses in hopes of getting support (financial or otherwise) from the community to fund the development of games that might otherwise never see the light of day.

If they could put together a good system for this, I think it could potentially change the PC gaming market significantly.

Imagine if all of the interesting projects we've seen over the years had a few thousand or even a few hundred thousand dollars of funding? Not only would we see more indy games, and better quality indy games, we'd see small developers and interesting games being picked up by publishers and brought to a larger market.

I'd gladly help a development team fund an interesting or unique project. Especially if they gave an early alpha demo or something to show that they know what they're doing.
I think it could work but it would have to be well structured something like:

- Customers sign up for donating money, something like pledging an athelete for charity, so you pledge a company say $20. Company doesn;t get the money, the money is held.
- The company specifies a fairly short time frame and needs to be able to produce the game in sections or episodes. So for a game like Crysis, you'd get the game in 1 hour chunks.
- If the development team is 50% over their budgeted timeline, the public gets to either get their money back or vote to extend the dead line.
- Once an episode or section of the game is released the public pays the company what they pledged... maybe the money goes into a 3rd party trust fund or something similar...

This would make it very hard for scammers to succeed and would hold the company accountable. I think for this also to be successful the company would need to have at least a fair amount of the basic game engine created or be using an existing engine modded/redefined...

Could be a cool business model though... most people didn;t think Steam would succeed....

Vanz

ps. how many people would pledge $10, to see an hour of Project Offset released next month...
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Old 07-21-09, 09:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: Game development funded by customers?

The other possibility is setting up a model where you invest in the actual game and not the company and get a percentage of the profits... so for a game like GTA4, maybe you double your investment over a few years...
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Old 07-22-09, 01:24 AM   #15
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Default Re: Game development funded by customers?

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No money up front from me.

Where's HL2 ep3 Gabe? Eh?

If one lousy dollar of my cash goes to funding a game I want a deadline and that deadline to be met.
You should work for Take2 or Activision.
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Old 07-22-09, 11:23 AM   #16
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Default Re: Game development funded by customers?

Here, here. Let me start in by giving $40 to 3DRealms for DNF. Oh wait...
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Old 07-22-09, 12:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: Game development funded by customers?

It's a cool idea for indy projects, and in that realm it has already been done, many time. For larger budget projects it would be very hard to obtain the budgets big games need, and thus we would have less big budget amazing games.

That said, with the (mostly) positive feelings toward Valve and their Steam setup, they are the best company to try it and get a positive return. I still think it would fail though, for the most part.
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Old 07-22-09, 03:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: Game development funded by customers?

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.
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Old 07-22-09, 11:25 PM   #19
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Default Re: Game development funded by customers?

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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.
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Old 07-22-09, 11:44 PM   #20
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Default Re: Game development funded by customers?

Yeah it could probably work for small indy game devs assuming the presence of a strict safeguards system. For larger projects however (even games in the quality level of Trine and Penumbra for example) i dont think its going to work.
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Old 07-23-09, 12:14 AM   #21
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Default Re: Game development funded by customers?

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Yeah it could probably work for small indy game devs assuming the presence of a strict safeguards system. For larger projects however (even games in the quality level of Trine and Penumbra for example) i dont think its going to work.
I don't know. I think gamers are a lot more supportive with their money than people think... especially when their support is required to actually get to play a game that looks good.

Also, I think it could potentially pull some money out of the pockets of (former) pirates. Threats of "You'll never see a sequel if everyone steals the first game." can be easily ignored since they've already got the game, but just a few early investments could make a world of difference to a small developer and could determine whether or not you'd ever get to play the game at all.
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