Saturday, September 29, 2012

So what's the deal?

So I've been doing a few interviews and conversations about Kickstarter and I wanted to find a place to keep them all.  So here it is!  Expect to see all of my past interviews and future conversations about Kickstarter soon!

An interview with Scrumbleship's Dirk

Greetings my fellow Kickstarter followers, today I’m bringing you another interesting interview this time with Dirk, creator of the exciting new ScrumbleShip project.  Thank you for agreeing to this interview Dirk,

My pleasure!

So my first question has to be, “Why Kickstarter?”

Nezumi and I have been taking care of an older couple for the past few years, which resulted in a rather cheap living situation However, the older couple’s health deteriorated past our help and they’ve moved into assisted living. With our living expenses more than tripling, we decided that we needed some funding to make sure we could still work on it full time.

Surprisingly to me, the kickstarter has been a real boon, drawing tons favorable attention to our game.

Now you’ve already received a favorable interview on Gamasutra why bother with Kickstarter at all?  You could have pulled a Minecraft and just started selling the Alpha.  

We’ve actually been selling the Alpha directly on our website for the past few months. The kickstarter’s primary benefit has been “discoverability” - People, including news reporters, have been discovering ScrumbleShip left and right. Our website income has roughly tripled, even with the Kickstarter siphoning off funds.

And the kickstarter is still helping! Roughly 1/3rd of all kickstarter contributions are generated from kickstarter itself, which is a huge number of people learning about our game.

Liftport Group Interview RAW

This is the RAW audio from my interview with Michael Lain of Liftport Group.  Enjoy! 

An Interview with M.O.R.E. creator Marcin

Good evening everyone and welcome to another wonderful Kickstarter interview!  Today I am joined by IdeaLcenter’s Marcin from Poland correct?  

Yes, That’s correct :)

So normally I start these interviews with a very simple question that leads to some interesting answers which is, “Why Kickstarter?”

Why? That’s simple, because we want to make this game, and without Kickstarter we wouldn’t be able to do so.

As a long time Master of Orion fan (It is number 2 on my top ten games of all time list after all) I have to ask, “Where have you been all this time and what took you so long?”  

An Interview with Harmonia's Simon Bielman

(I tend to write like we’re having a real time conversation.  Please answer in that style if you’re comfortable that way, otherwise I’ll edit/adjust to make it work.  You’ll get final say before publishing.)

Today I’m joined by the creative mind behind the Harmonia project, Simon Bielman!  Thank you Simon for agreeing to this interview.

> Thanks for having me!

So first off I have to ask the default question, “Why Kickstarter?”

> Well, I had this project that I'd been working on for several years, mostly as a hobby.  The game itself was a pretty massive undertaking so it never felt like something I could seriously dedicate myself to.  (This was actually kind of nice because I had no pressure or deadlines!)  After over five years of working on it, though, it felt really solid, so I finally shared it on places like reddit, and it was really well-received.  It felt like a shame to keep the game sitting on my laptop for another five years, especially now that people wanted to play it, but it still needed a ton of work before a proper release.
 So, I decided to work on it full time, which was tons of fun, but there were certain things a couldn't do myself, namely artwork.  Good art costs money, so I'd need to get that somehow.  Plus, I needed some way to stay afloat for several months during development.  Kickstarter seemed like a natural choice - there was already something to show, there was some great positive feedback, and there was nothing to lose if it didn't work out.  In the end, it was a, "Let's just go for it and see what happens" kind of thing.  It felt a little bit crazy, maybe even naïve, but it was really exciting, and that excitement really pushed development forward!  I'm really glad we did it.

So how would you describe Harmonia?

> Harmonia is an online tactical RPG - part roguelike, part MUD, and part Shining Force.  Our focus is on exciting gameplay through an engaging active-turn-based combat system: Instead of building up a single character, you build up a force of four unique characters with different abilities.  Your army faces-off against other armies, controlled by other players or encountered while exploring dungeons, and every situation is different depending on force compositions.  It's like a game of chess with different pieces on the board in every engagement.  The player who has better positioning, better tactics, and uses their force's abilities in tight synergy will win the battle.  As you progress through the game and complete quests, you'll unlock new classes for character creation, additional races, new spells, etc.  Zones also get larger with tougher enemy armies, so you'll need to join forces with other players to fight huge battles.
 What excites me the most about Harmonia, however, is that all of our game assets and scripts are open-sourced.  Our engine allows us to make virtually anything we want - we can implement fully-scripted quests with unique items or add new character classes and spells without even rebooting the server.  When the game is finished, players will be able to host their own servers and modify or create as much material that they want.  I love the idea of having a "Script Repository" on our Wiki where players could download zones or classes or whatever made by the community and put it in their game.  In addition, we could take some of the best stuff out there and ship it with the vanilla world.  It's a really exciting idea!

An interview with Amelia Hamilton

Greetings friends, today I have a special treat for you all!  This one is for the Kickstarter followers as well as my fellow American parents.  I am joined by Amelia Hamilton ( writer of the children’s book One Nation Under God: A book for Little Patriots. (A review of her previous book can be found here: )   She has recently launched a Kickstarter for the follow-up: Ten Steps to Freedom: A Little Patriot’s Guide to the American Revolution. ( )

Good afternoon Ms Hamilton!  Thank you for joining us today.

Thanks for having me!

So I’ll start things off with my usual question, “Why Kickstarter?”

I have a lot of people asking about a second book and I was anxious to get it out! I saw how it worked for other projects, and decided to give it a try. I've been really fortunate to have people believe in me and the Little Patriot mission (to educate kids about America and teach them to love their country), so I knew I would have a wide base of support.

An interview with "Dead Souls Will Move You" creator Brian Harris

Posted Here:

Today I’m happy to be joined by “Dead Souls Will Move You” creator Brian Harris.  Good evening Brian.

Good evening and thanks for having me James. It means a lot we are having this interview.

You’re quite welcome. I think the first question on most folks minds tends to be, “Why Kickstarter?”

Why Kickstarter? It comes down to this. I was part of a group that was looking to start their own comic company. They were looking to rival Image Comics and they claimed to have the funds to do it. I brought in my friend Art Thibert, yes the award winning comic artist, and he said that instead of making a company we should focus on projects using websites such as Kickstarter. At the time I had never heard of the site and went home that night and began looking into it. That was the start of my dream of using Kickstarter to help me fund my dream.

So what did you do in preparation for this Kickstarter? Did you read any particular books or blogs on Kickstarter theory and design?  

Before I put my project up I talked with Art and I also have another friend Travis Hanson, who's Eisner nominated webcomic The Bean, uses Kickstarter for his projects and I have talked with him a little about how it works for him. So I never read any blogs or books but I tried to actually talk with people in the industry and see how they made it work.