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Kickstarting an evolution

Kickstarter has recently blown up in the video game community. Double Fine soared past two million dollars, the Idle Thumbs podcast financed itself and then some, indie developers are receiving much needed funding, and there's even a sequel to Wasteland waiting in the wings.

The fever has been caught and the door is open, but just how open is it really?

This isn't so much of a revolution in game making as an evolution. Kickstarter won't change the way all games are made, only some. Most games we play today cost tens of millions of dollars to make, a price well outside the realm of crowd sourcing. Kickstarter will only give developers a way to make the smaller niche titles they've always wanted to but without needing to sell a publisher on the project's viability. 

This is still a new way of financing games. It's a system in its infancy, and it can still fall to pieces and be little more than a foot note in the history of video games. Something like the sequel to Wasteland that Brian Fargo has been talking about will either help to solidify or break the concept. It will almost certainly cost more than what Double Fine initially asked for, and if it doesn't reach its goal, the project's failure could scare Obsidian away from following in Double Fine's footsteps. 

With every video gaming related project that succeeds on Kickstarter, we'll be closer to understanding what the future of the site will be in how games are made. Or maybe Double Fine's success was one in a million. All that can be said is that it will be worth keeping an eye on how Wasteland 2 is received because it's safe to assume a lot of developers will use it as a litmus test for funding similar projects. 

Wasteland

Developers haven't been the only people who have been dreaming big when it comes to what can be created with Kickstarter either. Obsidian's Chris Avellone asked fans what they would like to see from him and the company if they ever went this route to make a game. 

If I had to choose a dream developer and project, I would hand all of my assets over to Ken Levine so that he could make a third Freedom Force game. It seems like the right size for a project, and I'd like to see Irrational's creativity expressed in a smaller game.

What would you Kickstart? 


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