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Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? #977553
09/09/14 10:42 AM
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I received an email today containing a post mortem for the failed Dagon Kickstarter.
The game interested me and I'm sure those who are fans of H.P. Lovecraft, whose stories were a heavy influence on Dagon, were looking forward to it so I'm sorry it didn't meet its funding goal.

There was a part of the email, which can be found here on the Kickstarter pages, that I thought was particularly interesting as it concerns the burden of offering physical rewards on the small, independent developer making games for a niche market.

I've come to prefer digital downloads myself (DRM-free, that is, which can be burned to disk if I like) but I know some of you prefer and want boxed physical copies.
This Indie developer makes a pretty good argument against offering them.
Would you decide against investing in the making of a game without the promise of a box?

Gil.





"Best not to think about it. I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought."
Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: traveler] #978117
09/12/14 01:40 PM
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Considering that DRM-free disc versions haven't been available for most commercial games for some time now, I doubt the presence or absense of a disc version would have much effect on a Kickstarter.

A lot more relevant are considerations like
  • "All the Kickstarter games I've contributed to have been disappointments"
  • "I'm still waiting for my games to be finished and I'm not contributing to anything else until I see them"
  • "I contributed to a full, finished game and all I've seen so far is a %^#$%! episode."
  • ~(Insert your personal Kickstarter beef here)~

But for those who want commercially pressed disc versions, the lack of a reasonably priced disc version is certainly a turnoff. The measly $10 extra that that developer menitioned in his example at
http://orderofdagon.com/kickstarter-post-mortem/
doesn't even match what he asked for in his own Kickstarter --
***Kickstarter for The Eldritch Cases: Dagon*** -- the download was £10 and the physical copy (on DVD or USB flash) was £65. That's roughly $16 for the download and $105 for the physical copy. So where is his $10 difference coming from in his example? No one is offering that.

Look at the extra cost for physical copy "rewards" from these developers --

***Pinkerton Studios*** -- $16 for the download, $100 if you want a physical copy of the game.

***Tex Murphy*** -- $15 for the download, $100 for the boxed version.

***Double Fine*** -- $15 for the download, $100 for the boxed version.

***Red Thread*** -- $20 for the download, $110 for a physical copy.

***Cyan*** -- $25 for the download, a comparatively mere $75 for the physical copy.

***Lilly Looking Through*** -- offered a download for $10 and potentially a physical copy for $110 -- but the physical copy would have only been made available if they reached a "stretch goal" of $44,000, which they did not.

And yet despite that exhorbitant extra cost, there were people who contributed significantly more money to receive the disc versions of games they had high hopes for. Considering that some people are willing to pay FAR more than the actual production cost of a disc version in order to get one, offering a disc version can add to a developer's ability to meet their goal. And it wouldn't surprise me if some of those developers made a tidy profit off of those contributors who wanted the physical version enough to pay the large difference in price.

Of course an unknown or first time developer is less likely to have potential supporters willing to bet that their game will be a "keeper" or something they would be able to re-sell later. And that seems to be the point of the Dagon developer -- that unknowns don't profit from offering a disc version. But the same is not true for well known developers.

+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+

Burnt game discs are no substitute for commercially pressed game discs. I've never had a commercially manufactured, "pressed" game disc go bad. I've had "pressed" discs that were bad in the first place, but never any that WENT bad. This is exactly as you'd expect if you read about the difference in producing commercial discs vs what happens when you burn a disc at home -- the difference between pits and lands carved into the disc media and surface scarring on a dye layer. I've had burnt game discs go bad at roughly the same rate as I've had original game floppies go bad -- and those game floppies are much older. So in my experience a professionally "pressed" game disc is significantly longer lived than a home-burned, as well as simply "looking" better. And my experience seems to match that of other people who post in forums about the longevity of burned discs. You may find a few who claim a CDR/DVDR can last as long as apressed disc, but you often find out they're burning at exceedingly slow speeds like 1X or 2X and using expensive CDR/DVDR media that isn't normally sold in retail shops -- not typical user experience at all.

(Do not confuse a DRM-infected commercially pressed disc with one without the DRM -- because the DRM often will break with new operating systems or older optical drives, even if the disc is readable in every other way.)

Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: Jenny100] #978341
09/14/14 08:49 AM
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Whilst I realise it could be a problem for newer, less well known companies, I find it hard to believe that well established companies can't pitch Kickstarter "disk version" pledges at less than ten times the cost of "digital version" pledges rolleyes

As is probably known by now, I am one of those who will always prefer a game on a disk - but I can't afford the exhorbitant pledges recently being requested for them.
All I would want anyway would be a commercially pressed disk in some kind of transit proof packet and I would be happy to pay shipping costs.

Happily for me, so far, none of the games I have put on disk myself (mainly games bought from GOG over the past few years) have "gone bad" but as you so rightly say, Jenny100, they are not "commercial" quality and will be prone to a faster rate of deterioration whistle


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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: traveler] #981600
10/04/14 09:03 AM
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I posted just a short little comment in the Trade forum about this subject. Jenny your expansive reply was far better and well worth having many/all of the game developers read.

I wish there was a way you could post this far and wide so it was even more available for all to read. I would hate to see this new uptrend in Adventure PC gaming come to a crashing halt because gamers might stop supporting the producers who need funding for their games as they are not giving us what we want at a REASONABLE and fair price in return for our support.

I am quite surprised there haven't been more replies on this post after reading yours Jenny. Maybe we should have Gill change the subject line to catch a few more readers eyes. smile

Cocoa

Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: Cocoa] #981609
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Originally Posted By: Cocoa

I am quite surprised there haven't been more replies on this post after reading yours Jenny. Maybe we should have Gill change the subject line to catch a few more readers eyes. smile


What would you like to change it to, Cocoa?
I don't mind though I don't see the point.
I can see that offering a disk copy of a KS game is a mistake on the part of small, unknown Indie developers trying to get funding for their first game in what Dagon's dev terms a niche market, and I would imagine AGs are a very small part of the gaming industry.
Even the 'big' AG developers aren't going to garner a lot of support for disk copies except from their hardcore fans...and how many of those are there?
Enough to make it profitable to press copies of games?
I really doubt it.

Still, with the permission of the mods, I'll be glad to change the thread title if you think it will encourage discussion.

Gil.


"Best not to think about it. I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought."
Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: traveler] #981611
10/04/14 10:46 AM
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Gil, it's your thread so you may indeed change the title.


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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #981616
10/04/14 10:55 AM
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Okay, how's this?

Gil.


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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: traveler] #981633
10/04/14 11:48 AM
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Do you want me to change the whole thread?


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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #981646
10/04/14 12:57 PM
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I neutral on this, Ana; it's up to Cocoa.
It would probably be better for her to copy Jenny's entire post and add her comment to it under a new title if she wants to generate discussion, though as far as I can tell not too many people were interested.

Gil.


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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: traveler] #981656
10/04/14 01:46 PM
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It's your thread, just let me know if you want me to change it.


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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: traveler] #981663
10/04/14 03:23 PM
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Well, since Cocoa would like to see more discussion, sure, go ahead and change it.

Gil.


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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: traveler] #981668
10/04/14 04:18 PM
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All done..


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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #981697
10/04/14 08:15 PM
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I personally don't like kick starters.. Period. I think its a rip off !
This is my opinion so please don't beat me up on it.

As far as box versions of a game.. This is a new age in game development, and distribution. Digital downloads is the way to go.


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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: Darleen03] #981706
10/04/14 10:02 PM
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Lol!
I hear you, Darleen.
My color scheme seems to be black and blue most of the time.

I'm with you on digital downloads but I am curious to know why you consider Kickstarters a ripoff.
It's okay if you don't want to go into it, but it might make for a good discussion.
(No brickbats, no frying pans, honest. grin)

Gil.


"Best not to think about it. I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought."
Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: traveler] #981707
10/04/14 10:10 PM
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Hi Gil... Good Thread thumbsup

Well for starters I think Jenny said it all here in her post:

" •"All the Kickstarter games I've contributed to have been disappointments"
•"I'm still waiting for my games to be finished and I'm not contributing to anything else until I see them"
•"I contributed to a full, finished game and all I've seen so far is a %^#$%! episode."

Years ago there was no such thing as kick starters. You either made a game for the public, and then charged to buy it.

There are so many people that are not legit in the production of these games. We the customers want the game. So we feel that if we contribute we will see the game first. Its not true, and a rip off.

In fact I started a similar thread on kickstarters... That it was a joke.
No one should have to pay to get a game started... That is a catch 22.
My opinion wink

I read this article a year ago on starters.. That's when I decided not to support Kickstarters of any kind. Here

Last edited by Darleen03; 10/05/14 12:51 AM.

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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: Darleen03] #981721
10/05/14 02:33 AM
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"All the Kickstarter games I've contributed to have been disappointments"
"I'm still waiting for my games to be finished and I'm not contributing to anything else until I see them"
"I contributed to a full, finished game and all I've seen so far is a %^#$%! episode."
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Well, I haven't been disappointed in all my kickstarted games so I can't really agree with that first point Jenny made.
The ones that did disappoint me (enraged me in a couple of instances) taught me a lesson, though.
I've learned to be super cautious about who I help out and not to plunk down more than the basic level of support that earns a digital copy of the game when and if it's finished, usually about $15.
You have to go in understanding it's "when and if" and what you get may not be at all what you expected.

In one instance, I'm sorry about that.
I had a feeling I could trust Jan Kaven and Lukas Medek to complete their massive overhaul of J.U.L.I.A. but the sting of my earlier experiences made me unwilling to take much of a chance, so I backed that at the basic level on IndieGoGo.
In hindsight, I wish I'd invested more because these two worked their hind-ends off to bring a beautiful game out on time (taking a loan out to make sure they did it) and then offer it DRM-free (as well as via Steam) on their website rather than slinging out only Steam keys.
Well, done is done.

The sting of those first experiences is still with me, though, and (unless it's Jan and Lukas) from now on, I'll consider any pledge I make a gamble that may or may not pay off.
Backing a game is a gamble, really, and our judgment of developers isn't always sound.
Sometimes it's their fault, sometimes it's ours for being too ready to believe their promises.

The second two points Jenny made resonate with me but I'm not quite ready to say I won't ever make another pledge to help a dev bring out a new game.
Some are talented and innovative but just don't have the bucks to make their games a reality without help from somewhere and publishers have definitely tarnished their reputation with me.
I see how badly publishers have treated some devs, not even paying them for the games put out under their aegis.
(Anyone know the plural for that? grin)
I also see how badly some big developers/publishers are treating those of us who do not like any form of DRM attached to our games.

So, anyway, I'm not turning my back on kickstarters altogether but before I pledge now, I surely will give it a lot of thought.


Gil.


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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: traveler] #981740
10/05/14 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted By: traveler
"All the Kickstarter games I've contributed to have been disappointments"
"I'm still waiting for my games to be finished and I'm not contributing to anything else until I see them"
"I contributed to a full, finished game and all I've seen so far is a %^#$%! episode."
____________________________________________________________________________

Well, I haven't been disappointed in all my kickstarted games so I can't really agree with that first point Jenny made.

Just to be clear, those are some of the complaints I've read in game forums -- included to contrast with whether the presence or absense of a disc version would affect contributions. And for some reason Darleen left off the last one. The full quote would be...
Originally Posted By: Jenny100
Considering that DRM-free disc versions haven't been available for most commercial games for some time now, I doubt the presence or absense of a disc version would have much effect on a Kickstarter.

A lot more relevant are considerations like A lot more relevant are considerations like
  • "All the Kickstarter games I've contributed to have been disappointments"
  • "I'm still waiting for my games to be finished and I'm not contributing to anything else until I see them"
  • "I contributed to a full, finished game and all I've seen so far is a %^#$%! episode."
  • ~(Insert your personal Kickstarter beef here)~

The list doesn't necessarily reflect my own opinion and it certainly doesn't reflect everyone's opinion. I never said it did. My point was that those reasons are far more likely to affect a person's contributing to Kickstarter more than the presence or absence of the offer of a physical disc. I was also criticizing the measly $10 extra for the physical disc that the Order of Dagon developer was using in his calculations.

Originally Posted By: Darleen03
I personally don't like kick starters.. Period. I think its a rip off !
This is my opinion so please don't beat me up on it.

As far as box versions of a game.. This is a new age in game development, and distribution. Digital downloads is the way to go.

I find it strange that you accept digital downloads so readily as "a new age in game development" while you completely dismiss crowdfunding as a new way to finance games -- games that won't otherwise be made because of lack of publisher interest.

I wouldn't say that Kickstarter was a "ripoff." But the amount of money they're asking for a professionally pressed physical disc certainly is. The biggest ripoff was developers not being paid by publishers as was contracted -- and many going out of business because of shady publisher practices. That has happened FAR more often than scam Kickstarters.

Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: Jenny100] #981750
10/05/14 10:54 AM
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Well ..Maybe I overly stated about being a "Rip Off"

I just can't see investing in "Pot Luck" You are paying it forward with no real guarantee. You might get the game, it might have bugs, will the developer be there for you if there is a problem.

Some developer's are not honest...

As far as hard copies. Just take a look at the trading forum...No activity

Most hard copies now need codes to access game play. Your not allowed to trade these games.

Yes... I think you should be offered disk copies for kick starter games. After all its your investment.. duh


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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: Darleen03] #981752
10/05/14 11:19 AM
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In regard to digital copies, one thing I'd really like is to be able to 'transfer' games I don't want from my shelf at GOG to someone else.
It would be similar to selling a used hard copy and I wouldn't mind paying a small fee (less than the original cost of the game) to do it, or alternatively to have the recipient pay one.

Gil.


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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: traveler] #981769
10/05/14 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted By: Darleen03
Well ..Maybe I overly stated about being a "Rip Off"

I just can't see investing in "Pot Luck" You are paying it forward with no real guarantee. You might get the game, it might have bugs, will the developer be there for you if there is a problem.

Some developer's are not honest...

I think most developers are honest. But not all developers understand how best to budget for their game, meet schedules, etc.

Quote:
As far as hard copies. Just take a look at the trading forum...No activity

Yes, it's the disc versions of old games for DOS, Windows 3.1/95/98 and early XP -- which didn't have the intrusive DRM on the discs -- which still have value. A game with online activation is worthless to anyone else, whether it's a download or a disc. And considering someone with a key generator can use up your keys before you even buy the game, the game disc with activation may be worthless to you too.

Quote:
Yes... I think you should be offered disk copies for kick starter games. After all its your investment.. duh

And for a fair price -- not $100 more than the price of the download, which is ridiculous. After all, they know how many discs they need to have printed, and they can always say "if not enough people donate at or above a certain level, we won't be able to supply physical discs."

We ended up with crowdfunding (through Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc.) because publishers proved to be dishonest in the past. Those publishers are to blame for the need for crowdfunding. So many developers have gone out of business because publishers did not pay them as contracted. Those developers that survived learned not to trust publishers. Instead of getting development costs from publishers, developers get at least a part of their funding from the gamers who will play their games. If they find they need to borrow more money to finish, they can at least point to a successful Kickstarter as proof of interest in their game.

Originally Posted By: traveler

In regard to digital copies, one thing I'd really like is to be able to 'transfer' games I don't want from my shelf at GOG to someone else.
It would be similar to selling a used hard copy and I wouldn't mind paying a small fee (less than the original cost of the game) to do it, or alternatively to have the recipient pay one.

Gil.

Actually the GOG games are usually so inexpensive that I wouldn't expect anything back. But I'd like to have some sort of "back shelf" that I could move my "unfavorites" to. Being able to manually arrange your shelves gets to take so long when you have upwards of 20 shelves worth and have to pull the new ones to the top screen by screen.

Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: Jenny100] #981791
10/05/14 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted By: Jenny100

Actually the GOG games are usually so inexpensive that I wouldn't expect anything back. But I'd like to have some sort of "back shelf" that I could move my "unfavorites" to. Being able to manually arrange your shelves gets to take so long when you have upwards of 20 shelves worth and have to pull the new ones to the top screen by screen.


Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of a fee paid to GOG, sort of as a way of reassuring them we weren't just spreading the games we'd bought 'for ourselves' around to all and sundry to copy and pass on.
They could officially 'move' onto the recipient's shelf then.

I do SO agree with you about the 'unfavorites'. grin
I have some games I bought and hate that I'd love to hide (Night of the Rabbit, I'm looking at you); ditto some games like Magrunner that were freebies but I'd never be able to play with my digital response time.
Someone in the forums said there is a way to Hide games but I've never found it.

Gil.


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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: traveler] #981840
10/06/14 03:24 AM
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I would love Kickstarter games to be offered on disk - but only (as Jenny100 says) at a reasonable price.

As for GOG games ....
I burn all my GOG games to disk. But I wouldn't pass any of them to other people.
If I want to treat someone else to a GOG game I spend the money and donate it directly via GOG.


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Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: Mad] #981885
10/06/14 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted By: Mad

I burn all my GOG games to disk. But I wouldn't pass any of them to other people.
If I want to treat someone else to a GOG game I spend the money and donate it directly via GOG.


Mad,
I think you missed the earlier post with the point I was trying to make: that I have games I don't like or can't play, either given to me by GOG or bought, and I would like to get rid of them.
Hiding them would be an option so I don't have to look at them on my shelf, but getting rid of them would be much better for me.
Someone else might love a game I can't stand.
I'd like to be able to "pass it on" but right now, I can't.
Paying a reasonable fee to GOG to be able to do that seems reasonable to me.
I do give away games I've enjoyed and bought on sale at deep discounts to gift, as you'll see if you check the the Trading Post.

Gil.


"Best not to think about it. I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought."
Re: Should Disk Copies Be Offered for Kickstarter Games? [Re: traveler] #982016
10/06/14 10:28 PM
10/06/14 10:28 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 30,139
United Kingdom
Mad Offline
Sonic Boomer
Mad  Offline
Sonic Boomer

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 30,139
United Kingdom
Oh, I didn't miss your post, traveler, and I understand what you said.

It's just not anything I would want to do myself. Even if it does concern a game I decided I didn't like after playing it.

And I have given away many games via the Trading Post over the years. But not GOG games.


Time : The Most Precious Commodity
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