The Kickstarter Craze

Well, we’ve certainly seen a lot of fuss about Kickstarter. And I’ve been keeping up on it myself, and certainly love the idea. It not only opens avenues for creative works outside the traditional publishing model, it also brings like minds together: and joins them at the purse strings.

Now, certainly the foundation of the system isn’t that different from traditional ‘angel’ ventures. You find someone with money who is willing to accept some risk to finance your project. The big difference is that because the risk is spread so much thinner it’s aloteasier to get people on board. You don’t have to find one or two people willing to put up a hundred thousand dollars when you can find a few thousand willing to risk $50.

So far I’ve fallen for Double Fine’s classic point-and-click adventure game, FTL: Faster Than Light, and Stoic Studio’s The Banner Saga. The question on most of our minds should be when is the craze going to burn out? Right now, many projects stand on their own but are certainly benefiting from the hype; they aren’t necessarily riding on each other’s coat tails, but it doesn’t hurt to speak up while everyone is watching.

I suppose in time we’ll see how the Kickstarter model holds up. The idea is that once you’ve funded a project, that project is obligated to be finished. Reality tells us that won’t always happen 100% of the time. So eventually, we’ll see the system (and the crowdfunders) adapt accordingly.


The 5 Domains of Play

Ugh, it seems like it has been forever since I’ve posted on here. It truth, it has been two months. But finals are done for the semester – always good!

Anyway – on to the meat of this post. I still subscribe to Game Developer Magazine, which is a big source of information in the industry. I came across an interesting article on the Big 5 Motivational factors and game preferences by Jason Vandenberghe of Ubisoft Montreal. It’s the first time I’ve come across something like this.

The Big 5 break personality into 5 components: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. (O.C.E.A.N.) Openness relates to ones interest in exploring the unknown and having adventure. Conscientiousness measures ability to control impulses and keep order. Extraversion measures social stimulation. Agreeableness is like it sounds – the level of cooperation and harmony. Lastly, neuroticism measures how much an individual experiences negative emotions. Each one of these categories breaks down into six sub-factors.

There is a link to the slides to the presentation here, which details how it correlates everything together between personality and game experiences.

The gist, though, is that he’s created a pattern of game experiences to correlate with the motivational factors. There has been some good results based off his surveys thus far, with the exception that there hasn’t yet been any correlation between Neuroticism and gameplay.

All in all, this is something to consider when looking at a game design because it opens up new levels of thought in what a player truly wants.