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Crowdfunding, One Year Later
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Crowdfunding, One Year Later

May 1, 2013 Article Start Previous Page 6 of 9 Next

Jim Rossignol, and James Carey, Sir, You Are Being Hunted (Big Robot)

DD: Obviously your name’s known around the gaming press, Jim, but I think the Kickstarter is probably the first time a lot of people knew you as a game designer. How do you go about building an audience with a Kickstarter campaign if you aren’t a big name in that space?

Jim Rossignol: We definitely didn’t have to work as hard as some other people. The fact that both James and I have lots of contacts in the U.K. press helped. I had some profile from Rock Paper Shotgun. Although this is our first game with any significant profile, I think we as individuals probably had a bit more profile than some people new to Kickstarter. There are certainly people who have struggled while being really amazingly talented. I was talking to the guys from Moonbot who are doing The Golem. Moonbot is a big animation studio -- 40 or 50 people in the animation world. They’re renowned. They have a couple of guys that are famous animators, a famous children’s illustrator, and in the game world nobody knows who they are. There’s no excitement about The Golem at all. The project looks incredible, the artwork’s fantastic, and the idea is brilliant. It’s an amazing proposition, and yet in the gaming world, these guys have no profile at all. They’re only big in their own field.

I think just the fact that we have some traction in the game sphere did help us and I think it’s helping others, if they come from the mod community, or if they have some kind of profile in indie games. There are other people that are trying to cash in on nostalgia and not getting anywhere.

James Carey: I think that’s sort of shown a bit with the way The Frontier sort of ran the initial part of their campaign -- they had people going “Where’s all the content that all these other Kickstarters are putting up?” I think it was helpful to have a plan for all kinds of videos, and have a plan from the outset for what we wanted to do, and when we wanted to be able to show certain stuff, and we wouldn’t run our Kickstarter until we had that. We were very clear that we wanted to have something to show people before we went on Kickstarter.

JR: Even then, we felt a bit like we didn’t have as much content as some of these more established guys that were able to reel off videos and reel off art. We don’t have an in-house artist. We’re just not big enough for that. So we weren’t able to roll out some of the stuff that these established studios were able to. Those guys have the resources to convince people, and to promise more than we could promise when we’re just a couple of guys, which I think makes a big difference to how the pitch is perceived and how convinced people are at a glance.

JC: We were determined to show a level of professional polish. We said we’re going to try and not show any kind of broken bits or any kind of placeholder UI or broken geometry or things like that. So people seeing it actually get a real idea of what the game’s going to be, and what they’re going to get, what we’re aiming to deliver.

JR: You’re starting to get a little bit of a backlash on Kickstarter now. Starting to get some high-profile names not getting the resources they expect and stuff like that. I think the way we approached it may end up being the way that Kickstarter has to work, even if you’re someone with a name, which is that, “Look, we really are a long way into this. We have committed to it. Look at all the stuff we’ve done.” I mean, we’ve put [in] a large amount of our own money and a huge amount of our time. It was six months before we went for a Kickstarter, so we were fully entrenched at that point, really going for it.

Perhaps that’s not possible for larger studios with bigger overheads, but for us, it was everything. I mean we were already committed to it, so I think there’s a difference between guys who are going to make it work somehow, and these larger studios that have failed to do anything by saying, “This project just isn’t going to work unless we get Kickstarter money,” which is perhaps a shame in some cases. 

Article Start Previous Page 6 of 9 Next

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