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The Worth of Ideas
by Michael Lubker on 05/15/10 12:47:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Hey everyone, this is my first blog here on Gamasutra, but I'm just going to jump in and put some ideas out there. Looking forward to comments from everyone!

I've been researching Kickstarter as a possibility for funding some of my game projects, and I've noticed a few interesting things.

A lot of the projects on Kickstarter do a pretty public pitch of their IP.

The all-or-nothing paradigm reduces risk for both sides of the party.

With the first thing I've noticed, it may seem scary at first, but there are some interesting points to be made:

1) It validates the project if people are willing to donate at the idea stage. So many games these days seem to get made only if the first one makes a certain amount of money or the idea is not that original. This seems like a great way to get more originality out in the industry again.

2) Having interest from potential buyers is good for large-scale investor interest. Building a fanbase before the first lines of code are done (at least in some cases) would be a big boon to investors who want to know what supply and demand and thus profit and loss will be like.

3) At the idea stage of a project, you don't need to worry too much about other people stealing things. They would still have to implement the ideas, and their version is going to be a different vision that what you would create anyway.

4) Thus, the idea is worth more if more people know about it, than if you keep it to yourself.

As to the second point made here, I think that all-or-nothing really reduces risk for both sides, as people can feel more comfortable putting in a large amount knowing that if the project does not make its goals they're not out a bunch and the developers don't have to fulfil the pledge gifts until they have money in hand.

Looking forward to thoughts and dissonances and hope to blog here often!


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Dmitri Wolf
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This is true it's a really great resource! I also agree that people can get carried away on keeping their ideas secret because they are so precious to them. If you keep your ideas too secret, they will never be realized unless you are some kind of game development renaissance man with 10,000 hours to make a game all by yourself. Otherwise, it's important to have faith in three things: 1) that any given idea you have will not be your last. 2) since the idea originated with you, it is your vision, and nobody else will be able to realize it as fully as you so they will not be able to duplicate it. 3) There are NOT hundreds of people with funding who are looking to rip off ideas; most people have some kind of conscience.