Kickstarter in Review: ‘Wisp’

So, I’ve talked a lot about Kickstarter on here. Yes, if it isn’t obvious, I’ve got something of a Kickstarter Fever myself. Before I can put my project into the lime light, however, I’ve got more polish and planning to do. To make sure I’ve approached it, given it justice, and prepared for the barrage (hopefully) of questions and criticisms.

So, in the spirit of such preparation I’ve started to look at other hopefuls on Kickstarter. I’m going to do a little review on what other people are trying and asking for. With any luck, I’ll learn something and give a good project or two a little extra word of mouth space on Google in the same breath.

Wisp by Terra Snover

Goal: $4,000

Campaign End: Aug 18, 5:30 pm

Currently at: 30 backers/$650


Overview: A 2D Puzzle Platformer – Wisp follows a small ball of energy as it is guided by a mysterious voice to collect wisps of pure potential.

What’s Done Well

First impressions on this are difficult to put into words. The demo art is… erm, vibrant yet confusing. However, it includes a link to a playable demo so perhaps that can clear up any ambiguity about how this works. That’s an exercise I’ll leave up to the individual, since I don’t really want to color this with my own opinions. I’m curious about how the Kickstarter campaign works, not the game.

I enjoyed the comic that served to give information and background on the project, a little more refreshing than the typical YouTube video. The team also gave us some information on what specifically they want to spend their money on, including a pie chart of sorts. They also provide some indication of stretch goals, with more funding tied to better visuals and more levels.

The game is –very- reasonably priced as far as the Kickstarter reward level goes. $5 gets you a digital copy for PC/Mac. Bump it to $15 for that plus a copy of the game soundtrack, $25 gets you all that plus beta, and so on. An interesting twist on the usual reward levels: there aren’t many physical prizes, most of them are game-related or focus on other services such as contractual artwork from the artist.

And the Rest

The chart is… shall we say, also ambiguous. It’s humorous, yes, with two obscure ‘slices’ labeled as Banana Cream and Key Lime. And the size of the wedges gives us some indication that a little over 1/4th of the funding would go toward payroll so the team can forsake some of their current employment in favor of focusing on development. Hardware and software costs make up the brunt of the remaining pie.

Maybe they are just very frugal, or the development won’t take very long, OR they are low-balling the Kickstarter pledge goal to increase their chances of getting at least –some- funding… but $4,000 is very low compared to most projects. Especially when they are looking to support developer payroll. 40% of $4,000 is only about sixteen hundred dollars – that would only support me for about 2 months, and it would be a stretch for one person, and they have an entire team!

They don’t say much about additional target OS… just other platforms such as iOS, and the FAQ at the bottom of the page clarifying that there is currently no intention for a Linux port but that could change.