I posted about my issues with the “Old School RPG” Kickstarter project a little while ago.
Well, seems I wasn’t the only one with these issues. I’ve seen a fair amount of misgiving being expressed this time, from big sites like Rockpapershotgun down to discussion on forums. Which is unusual and a bit gratifying, I’ll admit. I’d gotten used to playing the role of The Grinch at Christmas. 😉
I say ‘gratifying’, but I don’t want to give the impression that I want them to fail. No. It’s simply that I want more from the devs themselves, so that I feel they’ve earned the support I want to give them.
In short, I want you to ride victorious through the streets, RPG developers. But I also want to feel you have deserved that victory. I don’t want to feel like Kickstarter is an ATM machine, where you can simply insert nostalgia and watch money spew into your pockets. I want crowd funding to survive its birth pains and become a legitimate avenue of investment and funding. If gimmicky campaigns with little substance are rewarded, I begin to feel that this is little more than a short-lived bubble, a goldrush, not a sustainable platform.
In this particular case, I suspect the pitch may fail. They’ve changed the name to “Shaker : And Old School RPG” now, and slapped an incongruous sci-fi logo over their generic fantasy concept art, but I think it’s too little, too late. Kicktraq is showing that pledges are flatlining, the projected end tally dropped from just over a million 2 days ago, to barely a million yesterday, to about 900k today. RPS posting another news item on the updated lore barely made a blip.
Confidence, it seems, is low. It’s possible they’ll pull a rabbit out of the hat, but if you compare to the trend graphs of Project Eternity and Wasteland 2, it’s fairly clear they’re on a different trajectory.
Disappointing for them, I’m sure, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s no law saying they can’t try again, better prepared this time. These are early days, we’re all stil figuring out how Kickstarter works.