Let’s look at the scoreboards!
Wasteland 2 is finished with $2.9 million dollars to their name (over $3 million if you count Paypal donations through their own site). The Banner Saga ends today in a few hours and they’re at $683k. If they reach $700k, they’ll add customizable Viking cities to the game. Valdis Story is up to $32k with a week left to go. Shadowrun isn’t doing as well as Wasteland 2 but it’s still doing very respectably with $1.28 million raised and a week left to go. Jane Jensen’s kickstarter is at just under $200k ($300k goal) so it ought to reach its funding in the next 4 weeks. Leisure Suit Larry has almost reached its funding ($430k/$500k) with a little under 2 weeks to go. Yogventures! is going strong with $333k raised ($250k goal).
On the sad side, Republique has stalled out at $77k ($500k) so it doesn’t look like that one’s happening.
The big new kickstarter I’m excited about this week is Grim Dawn. Grim Dawn is the spiritual sequel to Titan Quest, a hack & slash RPG for the PC. Titan Quest is one of my favorite games of all time and Grim Dawn looks even better so I really hope this one succeeds. They’re currently at $128k of their $280k goal.
Another kickstarter that looks interesting is Kitaru. It’s a dystopian future RPG done by a guy who is known for his CGI animation skills. Looks impressive though it’s a bit weird that their goal is only $25k – looks much more expensive than that.
To end things off, I’d like to talk about kickstarter reward tiers. With kickstarter, you have two very different kinds of rewards – digital rewards and physical rewards. You can treat digital rewards as if you were selling someone something. For example, say you’re going to sell a game for $10 – you can have a $10 reward be that you get a copy of the game. You can do this because the cost to deliver a digital reward is next to nothing. However, with physical rewards, you really need to treat them like, well, a fundraiser. Namely, the tier that gives a physical reward should be drastically higher than the expected cost of that physical reward because you want most of the money to go towards funding your game and not to go towards creating and delivering physical rewards. Several kickstarter planners don’t think this through very well with the result that you get things like the Star Command kickstarter where they ended up spending a substantial percentage of their funding on fulfilling the various reward tiers.
So in short, be careful about your physical rewards. I’d even go so far as to say that unless you’re a bigger company like Double Fine with the framework already in place to mass produce physical products, you shouldn’t give away any physical rewards at any tier under $100. Remember that not only do you have to make whatever physical rewards you promise, you also have to ship them and that can be very expensive.