There is a certain tidal wave sweeping through the Internet that could have quite the impact on the arts and specifically in producing great art. So I decided to point you in its direction if by any chance it has gone unnoticed by you. I am talking about – Kickstarter!
I was semi-aware of Kickstarter‘s existence for some time. I knew it was a funding platform of sorts but never looked too much into its workings. That was until back in February a bunch of cool guys decided that instead of asking around for producers to approve them for funding they would ask the gamers if anyone actually wants to see their new video game made! And who wouldn’t like to see a new adventure game following strictly in the footstep of its classic point and click predecessors – Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island. Being die-hard fan of those I immediately gave them hefty pile of my hard earned boondollars. Now you are wondering who were those guys and why did I trust them with my moneys? See Kickstarter employs an all or nothing funding model… you actually give the creator money only if enough other people also pledge that they would support the project. If the funding threshold is reached by the project deadline you have to pay up and then the creator gets to make his awesome project a reality. Yeah, this is all nice and dandy but why help? Well usually you would be offered a lot of different rewards depending on your contribution… Check Tim Shaffer’s awesome video and Double Fines Adventure project page and you might understand how they convinced me:
Now I am guessing that you might not be into adventure video games and not share my enthusiasm. So why is thing important… Well, it is important cause it gets the creator in touch directly with his audience. Totally circumventing grumpy producers and sour marketing guys. Just look at what Double Fine did – they asked for 400,000$ and instead they got over 3,000,000$ (Did I mention projects can get over-funded :D) This means that there is big audience looking for something different from what all the big producers and publishers deem profitable and interesting to the consumers. Double Fine simply pushed Kickstarter into hyper-drive. It is the new thriving place for indie games developers, neophyte artists, fledgeling writers and creative designers trying to break free from corporate tendencies and limitation so they can to do grand things especially for you!
Crowd-funding has been going steady for some time even before Double Fine‘s amazingly successful pitch into it and Kickstarter has been helping it become more and more viable for a while now. So what’s not to like? Actually the only thing I don’t like is that currently while you can back up projects from all over the world, you can not start a project if you are not an American citizen. I find this quite frustrating because crowd-funding has incredible potential to help artists and visionaries form less developed countries reach out and find the support to accomplish their crazy cool ideas. Luckily there are some other platforms already going on beside Kickstarter. One of them for example is IndieGogo. It follows pretty much identical model to Kickstarter without limiting project creation process to America only. In my opinion on IndieGogo you will find more social causes and personal agendas alongside artistic projects that on Kickstarter. But all is well, everyone should be able to make his voice heard and see if there is someone to listen.
I think that you will see quite a few crowd-funding projects presented here in the future. Especially in the coming weeks. To get things rolling I would like to share and hope to spark your interest in supporting the project of some friends of mine. They are trying to get a comic book publishing house running to showcase the amazing artists and illustrators we have in Bulgaria and I have tagged along. Here is the project for funding the music video to go alongside our next comic book:
It is in Bulgarian only (Sorry guys, the Bulgarian crowd-funding platform we use is quite limiting for the moment.)