Comparing Kickstarter and D20

12 Jun
June 12, 2012

I’ve already talked about how I think that Kickstarter won’t be all rainbows and kittens, in the long run.

And before anyone posts an angry comment, to repeat – I’m not saying that Kickstarter isn’t a good thing, overall. Not at all. More options, more avenues for creative people to bring their ideas to market is always better. But I think it’s naive to paint the industry, any industry, in broad simplistic strokes, with the Black Hat Villains on one side and the White Hat Heroes on the other.

We all know that publishers are full of shit, a lot of the time. But I’m wary of that narrative that gamers love, the one that paints publishers as the source of all the game industries failings. And how everything would be better if the publishers would just hand over the money and then get out of the way of the auteur developers as they create their magnum opuses. It’s…too convenient, too simplistic a narrative.

And no, reporting directly to the fans isn’t the same thing. Gamers aren’t the same as hard-nosed businessmen with an eye on the bottom line. It’s naive to think that gamers following the process via videos and forum posts is the same thing as real managerial oversight. There’s no contractual agreement between Kickstarter patrons and devs about meeting milestones. It’d be trivial to hide the fact that the project has become a trainwreck, right up till the end.

My intention here is not to get too negative about this, as I said, I think Kickstarter is a good thing, overall, for everyone. But I was reading r/luddology and I found this comparison between Kickstarter and the D20 open license. Rather interesting, and I hadn’t thought of it that way.

Have a read.

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