I get heated. I sometimes take to this babe-like site howling full of hell, blood and thunder. I’m okay with that, showing you all my emotions and workings. I’m open with how I feel in the public domain, right here. People pay good money for a show like that.
So, it might be a bit surprising that my jimmies are completely unrustled about this Double Fine / Broken Age / Kickstarter hullabaloo. To catch up, read this article on Tap Repeatedly here, one of the best gaming sites out there, period, if you’re behind the curve. Alrighty, let’s move on.
Yeah, Double Fine raised a ton of money – for transparency, I backed – for Broken Age. Yet here they are, asking for more. Understandably, people are irate over this. How could a project that earned so much cash be out of it? How can we take Schafer’s “D’awww shucks, I got excited,” answer? Bluntly, because it’s what backers signed up for.
Now, if there’s one answer I hate, it’s the “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to buy it” spiel. [Editors note: Stop using quotations, dummy – NC] [Other editor’s note: Stop editor’s noting your own articles, dummy – LF] We can’t excuse scrupulous behavior because we have the ability to look away. We have a societal obligation to leave places better than when we got there. We have the responsibility to go beyond this libertarian idea of sole self-preservation. However – and this is a big one – the risk/reward dynamic is the very basis of Kickstarter.
Granted, we must keep in mind that these are not off-the-boat greens. Double Fine has decades of group experience. Yeah, it’s telling that they could be so irresponsible with the money handed over to them but, again, it shouldn’t come at any surprise. Isn’t it a fact somewhere that no game comes out on time ever under-budget? I actually dig the ham-fisted transparency of it all.
It’s the stigma that Kickstarter is a store and not a funding source that has gotten Double Fine into so much trouble (and any like situations out there). I have backed several projects on Kickstarter, several of which haven’t been funded and several of which are still in closed-door stages. In fact, I’ve only gotten one finished project to use. It’s so important to keep in mind that you’re not buying a product, you’re assisting in fundraising.
So, what are we to do and how are we to feel? Really, as backers, we can’t do anything. We can’t make the game come out quicker and most of us won’t be fronting anymore cash to Double Fine. There is every reason to be upset but, maybe, this is the sort of realization that should have happened before we backed. This is video game development; things go wrong at every junction.
It’s a shame on so many levels. How a project reached so high and is now in the muck and grit of attrition. How a developer so beloved has been realized in a new light. How a game can become so fumbled and disassociated from its origin. It’s all a mess. Worse is that all we can do is nothing, our money in this weird state of limbo, attached to a game in purgatory. Willingly, we strapped our money to the Double Fine Kickstarter boat and pushed it off on a maiden voyage that God himself could not sink. Uh-oh.
It’s what we signed up for, though. And it’s something I’ve come to expect from Double Fine: never perfect, always intriguing and oft-times bloated. Heck, that’s just about how I’d describe Kickstarter, too. Games are a sloppy business and, when our money’s involved, it can get too personal. Certainly, we should have seen this coming or at least have feared it. To think that backing a Kickstarter project is any safer than forking it over to your greasy cousin Earl because there are reward tiers is madness. We like to think that games are easy and fun, but they’re a business.
Now, there is zero chance of the game not seeing light in some form, let’s establish that. If you invested in the Broken Age venture so far, why are you mad? Because you’ll get a bigger game later than you expected? Because it over-reached its funding? Because why? That’s what I want to know. Sound off below.