Road Rash-style gameplay, with next-gen graphics, physics, and online play!
This is everything wrong with
Kickstarter game development, condensed into a single Kickstarter campaign.
For starters, the “footage” they show is almost certainly a target video - rendered (not in game engine) footage intended to show what the game could feel like, before there’s actually a game to play or show.
The details of the gameplay are super shallow — the kind you’d see in a high level pitch document. The vast majority of the Kickstarter page is filled with an inane amount of backer rewards, rather than actual game details (aside from some renders of weapons, bikes, and a list of “neat idea” gameplay modes).
What’s missing from the page, is any attempt to break down the team’s budget, or how they intend to spend the $160,000 they’re asking for.
They say their team has a “combined 35 years of video game industry experience”, but with the nine team members listed on the page, that means that each averages less than 4 years in the industry.
(And if you’re better at math than me, you’ll also realize that 160k will make a paltry salary for 9 people — even before whatever they’d theoretically have to pay out for their backer rewards. Is this going to be their full-time jobs?)
The “Risks and Challenges” section is three short paragraphs. I’ll even re-post the whole thing here:
There are budget, time, and feature implementation risks associated with every videogame project.
All members of the team have experience working on videogame projects and know the methods to best anticipate and handle these challenges.
The Road Redemption team has so far been able to avoid these pitfalls via focused goals, a realistic development schedule, and a high priority on project management.
So, basically: “making games is hard, but we know what we’re doing.”
Now, maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but game development is hard enough without teams actively trying to screw themselves over.
This is a group of individuals — probably friends — who have NEVER made a game together (or if they had, fail to mention it anywhere on the page), promising “Road Rash-style gameplay, with next-gen graphics, physics, & online play!”
…for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Wii U.
And their release date for the game (according to the backer rewards)? August 2014. That’s 16 months from now. For a multi-platform game release. Also, they’re working on Oculus Rift support! Because of course they are.
Now, none of that is the worst part. The worst part is that the campaign still has 15 days left, and they’ve already raised over $80,000.
Maybe this is the reason the game industry is always a little fucked. People don’t seem to understand that making games is really hard. Good games don’t happen by accident. And neither do bad games. There’s a story behind every game cancellation. There are factors that lead to every critical failure. Every bug-ridden release. Every tale of redemption.
It takes focus and discipline to make a game. The bigger you are, the more focus and discipline you’ll need.
I’m not saying people making games need to be serious all the time. But the second you’re taking other people’s money to make a game, or the second other people’s jobs depend on that game, it’s time to take things maybe a LITTLE more seriously.
The shit of it is that the industry often feels like it’s run exactly like that Kickstarter. Lots of bravado. Big promises. Unrealistic expectations. More bodies get thrown on the fire, as if that has ever solved ANY problem. Deadlines get missed. Everybody loses sleep. Eventually, something ships, or it doesn’t. Either way, all those big promises come back around. Even successful games aren’t successful anymore.
Games get canceled. People get laid off. Studios shut down. But at least there’s Kickstarter, right?
Same shit, different platform.