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The Unpopular Post
I've been asked to chip in on this whole Kickstarter issue. If you follow me on Twitter (@Jayenkai) you'll have noticed my dislike of people spamming my twitter feed with constant requests for cash. It's annoying when you get into the busy periods, have your own cash issues to worry about, but still get bombarded by tens of hundreds of requests a day for things that don't yet exist.
As a cash strapped indie dev, I'm in exactly the same situation as most of these guys, with the simple difference that I'm not meithering all my followers, whinging about my cashflow. I can't help you!! But, if you make a decent game, I'll happily send along a wee bit of cash when I buy it. In fact, so will lots of other indie devs, and together we'll help you climb the charts a teensy bit, retweet your game, get you whatever exposure we can, and see if we can make you into a mini-app-star for a few days. It'll be fun! Just, you know, put the work in FIRST!!
1. Mac Mini = ??600
2. Dev Tools = FREEWARE
3. Your own time = Free, no matter wtf other people say. This is what you WANT to do, it's free, stop being so bloody petty about it.
4. iOS Dev license = ?100 per year.
If you'd like to get help purchasing a Mac Mini, consider using a credit/home shopping network. It'll bugger you up a bit, with unreasonable APR, but if you're as cash strapped as I am, it's probably the only way you'll ever manage to get the ??600 that you need. (Very.co.uk is the home shopping network I used to purchase my Mac Mini, as well as my iPod Touches, and recently my iPad, too.)
The ??100 indie dev is a bit trickier to get hold of, and will probably require a month or two of scrimping and scraping, if you're lucky. Once you've got the ball rolling, though, it soon deals with itself. My current rubbish average of one-a-day sales is keeping my bank balanced enough that it can just about pay for the next year's license, unless I go crazy buying too many apps along the way!
Very much a touch and go situation, scraping the barrel and all that, but enough that I can afford to keep making stupid little games, wishing each one the best, and basically experimenting. Trying new things. It's essentially a free deal once it's all up and running, and as shit a situation as it is, it is at least a rolling ball. I got into a nice comfortable groove with very little initial funding. I'm no big company, but I certainly don't need, nor have I ever needed, a huge thousand pound initial Kickstart before I could be arsed to do anything.
But hey, who am I to complain? If some kid wants to make a brand new game, and there's 10,000 others who'd love to play it, then go for it! That's what Kickstarter is there for. Let the kid see that there's interest, give 'em a nice cash injection, and get things going. The future fans can get themselves some nice premium gifts, and hey, free marketing, too! It's all great, and when it all works together, you've got a wonderful network where devs and fans can finally come together and create magnificent games together.
And that brings us to the current fuckup.
David Braben, Peter Molyneux and The Oliver Twins.
All three of these have their own companies. They each have, at the very very least, one graphic artist, one audio artist, one iPhone, one Mac, and the ability to code. They are not idiots, they are not incompetent, and quite frankly, they can bloody well manage to do these things.
Sure, Braben's plan might be a wee bit too big to manage himself, but I'm PRETTY sure his big Frontier company has more than enough competent coders to cope with the size of it.
Maybe The Oliver Twins have gotten too shit at coding to cope with a modern day Dizzy, but.. Come on, who are we kidding!? If all they're making is Dizzy, it sure as hell isn't going to cost them ??350,000 to do it.
And then there's Molyneux, who definitely doesn't need the cash. At all!!
These guys aren't doing it for the cash. They're doing it for the free marketing that comes with Kickstarter.
There's no doubt in my mind that If none of these Kickstarters get funded, their related projects will still end up being released. The devs are using Kickstarter for reasons it shouldn't be, and when folk are donating their ??500 to Braben, to get their name in Elite IV, they're not spreading their ??500 to a bunch of cash strapped desperate indie devs who definitely need the funding more.
At the end of the day, it just plain isn't fair, when the big guys jump onto the kids bouncy castle. You have to be this height or smaller to bounce.
You can afford to do this without Kickstarter. Stop fucking it up for the rest of us.