People must be catching on to this Kickstarter nonsense. I hope that’s the case. It would certainly explain why a video from YouTube’s TotalBiscuit can’t even generate the interest necessary to meet your funding goal.
Dark Vale Games doesn’t really need your money. That’s true of all of the games I’ve covered here of course, but it feels particularly true this time. Because they’re admitting that their game, Forge, is almost complete already. They even admit that they’re not using Kickstarter to “kick-start” the project, but rather to “kick-finish” it. So what does kick-finishing entail?
Well, you give them money, and the game is done two months later. $300,000 for the last two months of development. Since it’s unclear just how many people are working on this game, we don’t know how many Lunchables it affords each member of Dark Vale Games and the other two companies collaborating on this project. But they’re not really making any apologies for their funding “needs”:
“To build the caliber of game we’re building, we’ve needed the best developers, designers, and artists we could find. Salaries aren’t cheap.”
They claim over 100 years of development experience, collectively, with some big name companies in the industry. So at least we’re not being asked to fund someone’s pipe dream. But is it really that much better to fund someone’s nearly-finished product? It’s currently in alpha (not even pre-alpha!), and set to be released in November. So while we can be very confident that Dark Vale can deliver this game, given how much of it is already complete, there doesn’t seem to be a real need for $300,000 to get to the finish line.
“We were fortunate to have a relationship, thanks to a proven track record, that allowed us to easily raise the funds to get us where we are, but we need more to finish the game and bring it to the public.”
With their combined years of experience in notable companies, it’s not terribly surprising that they could find funding. Good for them. Most indie developers go to Kickstarter to avoid being privately funded, for worry of having a publisher meddling with their dream game. Dark Vale didn’t seem to have that problem for the entirety of their development so far, so how is it that that’s not an option anymore?
“Rather than bring in more outside investors, who will greatly impact our decision making freedom, we’re turning to Kickstarter and you, the community, for help in getting us over the finish line.”
So let me get this straight: before you had an actual game to show, you were able to get funding without any problems. Now that the game is in alpha, and a mere two months away from completion, any potential investors and going to jump in and start forcing you to change things? Bull. Shit. Now, we don’t know how much their original investor(s) contributed up to this point, but if they need $300,000 just to finish it, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that it was significantly more than that. Where are those investors now? They’ve already funded you up to this point, but now they can’t even put in that last little bit to have the game released?
Assuming that any investor is going to tamper with your perfect product is a classic demonization of publishers, but it’s a little hypocritical to do it after you’ve already taken money from investors. Take that abomination Project Lodus, for example. They at least went about it in the correct order: you use Kickstarter to get to the point that you can find an investor. Dark Vale flips this on its head by using Kickstarter to supplement the funds they already have from investors, and then uses the excuse that any further outside investment would be an affront to their freedom. Come on guys; nobody is buying that. Pun intended.
“One way or another, FORGE will be built and released.”
I’m sure everyone assumed this already, but it’s still kind of a bad idea to admit. You’re just saying “give me money to do something that I’m going to do whether or not you give me money”. That’s a hard sell, guys. But I guess you found that out the hard way.
And then, the whimper of a dying Kickstarter.
Oh no, the Kickstarter failed. Now nothing will change. What a tragedy.
Keeping with the theme of Kickstarter an “indie preorder”, Dark Vale is now simply taking preorders on their site, presumably to get some fraction of what was already pledged – pledges which they won’t be getting now, of course. Another Kickstarter down, another team largely unaffected by their lack of crowdfunding. So it goes.