Kickstarter has completely changed how games get funded and created, making it easier than ever to support indie devs and keep an eye on their progress. With developers and gamers alike taking advantage of these websites to back their favorite games, it’s clear that crowdfunding can be an exciting way to fund your next game purchase.
But with so many games on Kickstarter (and other crowdsourcing platforms), it’s important to know how to navigate them so that you can back something with merit and realistic promise. So let’s discuss what Kickstarter is and how funding your next favorite game through Kickstarter can benefit you. Read on to learn more!
What is kickstarting?
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding website that helps people raise funds for their creative projects, such as games (be they video or physical). Whilst Kickstarter has a sizeable share of the crowdfunding market (and popularised the verb ‘to kickstart’), there are plenty of alternatives such as Patreon and Indiegogo.
Kickstarting a game is a way for gamers to get involved in the development process by making financial contributions that are rewarded with various things (e.g. the game itself, your name in credits, access to the developer whose game you have chosen to kickstart etc). When someone Kickstarts a project, they typically pledge money and receive different rewards depending on the amount pledged.
projects are never in short supply, and there genuinely is something of interest for all tastes.
The benefits of kickstarting!
So what are the benefits of finding a game to kickstart? To list a few:
- Kickstarting a game is a great way to get in on the ground floor and be part of something new and exciting.
- You’ll be able to communicate with the developers, learn about what they’re making, and share your feedback before it’s too late.
- You can essentially purchase a game at a lower price than it will retail for when released.
- You typically get access to an early build of the game, getting to play it before everyone else.
- You may even get some awesome stuff, beyond just the game itself, for your support.
Three of the best
There have been some incredible games come through Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms. Here are three awesome games I was lucky enough to kickstart:
Faster Than Light (FTL)
Spaceship simulator and roguelike, FTL is one of my favourite games of all time. Endlessly replayable, addictive and punishingly difficult at times, it perfectly simulates the feeling of running your own ship and crew. Now stronger than ever with wide mod support and added content.
The Banner Saga
Turn-based RPG, The Banner Saga, is an absolutely beautiful tale of survival and overcoming adversity. Gorgeous graphics and music along with compelling characters and decisions that impact the world around you make this a must play.
Just thinking about Darkest Dungeon makes me feel stressed and uneasy, and it’s hard to recommend you experience it too. Again brutal at times (a bit of a pattern with some of the best Kickstarter games), it’s incredibly haunting and atmospheric. A game where you can be riding high one moment, and have your party wiped out the next.
How to avoid kickstarting bad games
Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites are perfect places for a gamer to look for an idea or product in to invest. But the choice is staggeringly large, with new games being released all the time. So how do you choose which games to back and which ones to avoid?
Here are a few top tips for avoiding bad games that aren’t worth your time or money:
- Remember that making games takes time. If you’re looking for instant gratification then stay away, but equally be wary of games with unrealistic-looking timelines.
- Look to other backers’ pledges to provide insight into the likely success of a project. Following the crowd isn’t a foolproof approach, but is a good indication of consensus for a game’s likely success.
- Be very wary of unrealistic promises. If a developer thinks they are going to match Skyrim or GTA5 on a £50k budget, then they might not be all that trustworthy or credible.
- Avoid games by Peter Molyneux! (I’m looking at you, Godus)
So admittedly when you kickstart games you roll the dice to agree. Get it right and you can experience a hidden gem through its development and be there before everyone else. Get it wrong and you’re essentially burning your money. High risk, high reward!
Do you kickstart games, if so where have you had success? Tell us about it on Twitter or in the comments below.