When I talk to people about Concealed Intent, one of the most common responses is “Are you going to do a KickStarter?”. The answer is “no, or at least not for a while”.
KickStarter is a great idea and has received a great deal of press in gaming circles recently. It allows developers to basically presell their game (or other project – it is not just games) and get the money in advance of actually finishing. The benefit for the backers is the warm fuzzy feeling of supporting Indie games and usually a copy of the game, sometimes with extra paraphernalia (posters, t-shirts, etc). There are concerns too, some people point out there is no guarantee any backed project will deliver – the money could disappear. Despite this KickStarter has hundreds of games raising money right now. Rock, Paper, Shotgun even do a regular roundup of projects. There have been some huge success: Double Fine raised over $3 million; Wasteland 2 raised just under $3 million (and it will be written using Unity3D); and as I write this Project Eternity (to which I have contributed) has raised over $1 million in 24 hours with 31 more days to go.
So why wouldn’t I jump on the bandwagon? Basically because I don’t need the money right now and it would be a distraction. The successful KickStarters put in a great deal of effort to impress potential backers and raise awareness. I have no significant history or background in the gaming industry and Concealed Intent is at a very early stage of development. Time is better spent improving the game than creating videos to sell it. Luckily, Jarrah Technology was a consulting company in a previous incarnation and retained profits can fund development for some time (especially considering my very low expenses!).
As Concealed Intent approaches completion the situation may change. Artwork and music will need to be acquired externally. The quality and quantity of this media will be driven directly by how much I’m prepared to pay. A little extra money at this stage could go a long way. A KickStarter then may be beneficial. I could use the near-completed game as evidence it will be completed and the backers will receive their rewards. It could also be good PR – letting people know the graphics will be professionally produced. However, that is at least over a year away, so don’t look for Concealed Intent on KickStarter anytime soon.