I have a problem. Up until this point in my life I have steered clear of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and more recently Fig. There hasn’t been a game that’s turned to crowdfunding that I HAD to support. There’s been interesting games and projects I’ve thought “oh that’s neat, I’ll play that if it ever comes out” but not something that I felt compelled to support. This combined with the uneasiness I have about putting money towards an unsure thing meant I never contributed to a campaign. Haven’t until now, that is.
With more and more seasoned developers turning to Kickstarter for their projects in lieu of a traditional publisher it’s becoming less and less of an unsure thing and more of a very early pre-order. Such is the case with Knights and Bikes, an awesome new co-op action adventure game being developed by Foamswords Games that launched it’s Kickstarter campaign earlier this year. The talented two man team at Foamswords worked on some of my favourite games like Tearaway, LittleBigPlanet and Ratchet and Clank. The designer’s pedigree combined with how incredible Knights and Bikes looks so early in development made it the first time I saw a Kickstarter game I HAD to support. So with 16 hours left in the campaign at the time of this writing I’m almost certain I’m going to support it. But this nagging doubt in the back of my head remains…
I think it was the announcement that Knights and Bikes is coming to PS4 that pushed me over the edge. Why this game though? And why after so many years of not supporting Kickstarters? Knights and Bikes will come out regardless of my support. I can always buy it when it is released so why contribute now? Why take the risk? For me it comes down to three things. Firstly I want the developers to know I believe in their product. As an aspiring game designer myself there is something incredible about putting a project out to the world and having someone think it’s cool enough to give it money based on excitement alone. Secondly I’ve decided that I would rather take a risk on a project I love and see it fail than not take that risk, see it fail and wonder if I could’ve helped. Lastly I want to believe that someday someone will take a similar risk on a project I believe in. And I can hardly expect that someone will believe in me if I don’t start to believe in others.
Notable Crowdfunded Games:
So I’m going to contribute to a crowdfunded project after years of firmly believing that giving my money without any sort of guarantee I’ll get the product or at the very least my money back is a bad idea. I will instead accept the risk but then also delight in the rewards. I want to see an industry where designers can create their games and practice their craft with direct support from fans, not beholden to a publisher. An industry where creators can simply create. Where someone who wants to make a game has that ability when previously there were many obstacles to see that dream come true. That’s pretty exciting when you think about it.