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Crowdfunding, One Year Later
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Crowdfunding, One Year Later

May 1, 2013 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 9 Next

Greg Rice, Broken Age (Double Fine)

DD: What have you learned about crowdfunding since the campaign closed?

Greg Rice: We actually didn’t run into too many surprises, because we planned out a lot of stuff, like reward structures, really thoroughly before we started… Early on I wasn’t expecting as many support requests from people, say, wanting to change their emails, or change their shipping addresses, or dealing with lost packages, and things like that. But we did hire a community manager and a fulfillment agency to help us out with that kind of stuff, and because of that it ended up going pretty smoothly.

Ultimately, we’ve been pretty successful because we have a very talented, very senior team working on this project and they’ve made a lot of games together here at Double Fine before. They know what they’re doing, and they’ve been able to make a special game. Then, with the 2 Player guys, we’ve been able to keep our backers informed of what’s happening, and they’ve been able to feel like they’re aware of what issues we’re facing (if we are facing issues) and why they should be excited about the game.

DD: Does Kickstarter make you feel any more or less production pressure than normal?

GR: It has been a learning experience. It was difficult for us, because we didn’t have too many touchstones to look at and base our project around. I started working on putting our Kickstarter together around November of 2011, and we launched that next February. So it definitely took a long time to track down answers to all the questions I had, and to make sure we’d thought through everything, from how our reward structure was conceived, to being able to actually get codes and deliver them to backers.

A lot of things that a publisher typically handles on a game, like testing, and distributing builds, and marketing, we’d done pieces of those on our PC games, and we had started to do our marketing before, but now we had to take all of those on. A lot of support issues come out of Kickstarter as well, like having 9,000 backers that we needed to answer to.

We definitely have settled into it, though, and now that we’re deep into production on the game, things are feeling great. It’s really freeing to not have to answer to those kind of strict milestone schedules. On our end, we are still building schedules and working toward all those milestones and dates, but it’s nice to be able to be flexible with them, make changes as we see fit, and make sure the team is working on what’s going to be the most important thing at that moment, without having to answer to a milestone structure that had been set years in advance.

DD: Does crowdfunding change your relationship with the audience in any way? Does it change how you’re developing the game?

GR: That was definitely one of our big worries from the start with Kickstarter. Once we had thousands of fans invested in the game who have already given us money, it was just going to be a matter of figuring out how to continue to keep them up-to-date, on how the projects were going, without severely impacting the project itself.

That was one of the reasons we got really excited when the 2 Player Productions guys came on board. We thought that would be a really nice opportunity to let them in on the process, and see how things are going, and also be able to take part in it a little bit, without really taking resources away from the game. They kinda can just stay in the background, and watch things, and piece that together into a story, and make it entertaining for people to figure out where the project is and what’s going on.

In that sense, it’s been awesome because the backers have been so supportive and every time we come up against something that’s a bit difficult, they’re all just really trusting of us and supportive, and in some cases have even pitched in some ideas that have helped to move us along, so that’s been rad. 

Article Start Previous Page 4 of 9 Next

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