#1 Posted by Bishna (334 posts) -

So after reading Patrick's piece on Skullgirls, I decided to check out indiegogo. Something that quickly caught my eye is Divergence Online. Its an MMO with a $50,000 goal. It seemed pretty ridiculous to me, so I looked up the developer, Stainglass Llama.

The second result in google is a link to a business document from 2008. I read several pages, and I don't know much about business plans, but it seems naively ambitious. Some choice cuts include financial projections like

  • Initial investment of $3.2 million with a payback period of less than two years

  • Total revenues are projected to be $8.5 million in 2010 and are expected to grow to $74.3 million in 2013.

And some stuff about the CEO

In his time as CEO, Ethan has managed a small team of very talented developers and designers to create Divergence. He has been very successful in the management of his business, controlling not only the operations, but also the financing aspects, utilizing his funds in a very conservative yet efficient manner. He has contributed greatly to the creation of the game, and is confident that both market share and revenue projections can be achieved in the projected time frame.

Also, some of the citations (like one on an estimation that in 2011 their will be 80 million active mmo subscribers) just reference "MMORPG data". So has anyone out their heard about Divergence Online? Apparently its been in development for at least 5 years.

But really I am more curious if this is what most crowd fund gaming projects are like. Is it still worth it to look through kickstarter and sites like it to find the gems? I am actually genuinely curious about people's experiences with crowd funding, being that I am a person who wants to make videogames for a living.

#2 Posted by audioBusting (1549 posts) -

Never heard of it before, but it seems a bit dodgy. Is 50k really enough to complete the game and maintain the servers until they get profit? After the Skullgirls article it's hard to not be skeptical of ambitious projects with low funding goals. Also, flexible funding campaigns on Indiegogo means that they'll get the money even if they don't reach their goal.. this sounds really shady to me.

I've funded other game projects on Kickstarter, but they either have smaller ambitions and/or more realistic funding goals..

#4 Edited by NightOnyx (26 posts) -

@audiobusting said:

Never heard of it before, but it seems a bit dodgy. Is 50k really enough to complete the game and maintain the servers until they get profit? After the Skullgirls article it's hard to not be skeptical of ambitious projects with low funding goals. Also, flexible funding campaigns on Indiegogo means that they'll get the money even if they don't reach their goal.. this sounds really shady to me.

I've funded other game projects on Kickstarter, but they either have smaller ambitions and/or more realistic funding goals..

Yeah, while I'm sure he would like to make the game, I too find it kind of shady. He even states in the comments of the youtube video that the reason he chose Indiegogo over Kickstarter was because he will still get money even if they don't reach their goal. Also the guy kind of came off rather pretentious to me in my opinion.

#5 Edited by Morningstar (2163 posts) -

50k is nothing though. I can't believe it will be nearly enough to make even a fraction of the game.

#6 Posted by Bishna (334 posts) -

Never heard of it before, but it seems a bit dodgy. Is 50k really enough to complete the game and maintain the servers until they get profit? After the Skullgirls article it's hard to not be skeptical of ambitious projects with low funding goals. Also, flexible funding campaigns on Indiegogo means that they'll get the money even if they don't reach their goal.. this sounds really shady to me.

I've funded other game projects on Kickstarter, but they either have smaller ambitions and/or more realistic funding goals..

Shit, I didn't know you still got the money even if you don't reach your goal. That adds a whole new level of shadiness to this.

Yeah, while I'm sure he would like to make the game, I too find it kind of shady. He even states in the comments of the youtube video that the reason he chose Indiegogo over Kickstarter was because he will still get money even if they don't reach their goal. Also the guy kind of came off rather pretentious to me in my opinion.

I didn't watch the video, since it didn't seem to be about the project, just the game itself, bu I agree that he sounds pretentious. In the business doc (which was clearly written by him) there are two paragraphs all about how great he is.

#7 Edited by Kazona (3068 posts) -

You should back it. Come on. Do it. Give him your money.

#8 Edited by Bishna (334 posts) -

@kazona said:

You should back it. Come on. Do it. Give him your money.

Its times like these that I wish I had like 30 million dollars. I would give it all to this guy and make a big deal about it, just to see what he would do. Would he actually make the game?

#9 Posted by stalefishies (332 posts) -

@bishna said:

@kazona said:

You should back it. Come on. Do it. Give him your money.

Its times like these that I wish I had like 30 million dollars. I would give it all to this guy and make a big deal about it, just to see what he would do. Would he actually make the game?

He would take the money and disappear and you would never hear from him again. It wouldn't be very interesting.

#10 Posted by Andorski (5310 posts) -

A good rule for any Kickstarter/Indiegogo/other crowdsourcing campaign is to not fund anything unless:

  1. They person/people behind it are proven to ship out products (e.g. Double Fine and their Kickstarter)
  2. They have, at the very least, a detailed funding allocation projection listed in its entirety.

I find any campaign that says "We just need $XXXX and we can do our project" extremely fishy. The campaign that OP posted is particularly suspicious. The milestones listed in the description are all sneak previews of certain elements in the game. His rewards don't expand the functionality of his product; it only serves to advertise his product more in order to receive later donations. It also doesn't help that he spends a whole section in the description buttering up his potential backers, talking about what player freedom and gaming truth is.

"You're a real gamer, right? So of course you are part of the upper echelon of people who play video games hate the trivial products that major publishers push out. We are making a better product for the better person."

All of that, on top of his meager asking price, makes me think that the guy is either in over his head with his expectations or he is getting ready to make a run for it.

#11 Posted by subyman (624 posts) -

Maybe its a typo and he meant to put 50,000,000

#12 Posted by JasonR86 (9710 posts) -

I don't know why actual companies support MMOs anymore. So I doubly don't understand why a single person would support this kickstarter.

#13 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4521 posts) -

50k is nothing though. I can't believe it will be nearly enough to make even a fraction of the game.

Exactly. It cost Lab Zero $150k for a DLC character. $50k to finish an MMO, no matter how far along it is, seems insanely low even if it is just one guy. Even if that is truly all he needs, I wouldn't want to play that game for a variety of reasons; the biggest one being the ambitious nature of the game sounds way too large for a small team to handle. I think they could make it, don't get wrong. I just don't think it would be any good.

MMOs have big teams for a reason.

#14 Edited by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -
#15 Posted by Bishna (334 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

I don't know why actual companies support MMOs anymore. So I doubly don't understand why a single person would support this kickstarter.

And in the video and its Youtube comments, the guy keeps harping on about how much he hates modern MMOs and wants to make something different. Which is fine, but he is being a real dick about it. One of his responses to a comment on his video reads

I think the issue is you might have misconstrued who you're addressing, sir.

I'm just one bitter, angry old man making a game for other bitter, disenfranchised, resentful militants who already know what they want.I have no need nor desire to try and convert you or any other hipsters with professional etiquette and nonthreatening jargon. If you want your games, life, conversation bland and atypical, as stated, "This isn't the game for you".

He isn't going to get any money if all he does is make fun of the few people who actually still play MMOs. It seems like he is making an MMO for the antisocial.

#16 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4521 posts) -

@bishna: I wouldn't say antisocial per se. I would say he's making an MMO for the "things were better in the good ol' days" crowd and the "(insert MMO here) is for noob casuals" folk. Not to say this game can't be enjoyed by other people, but listening to him talk kinda reminds me of all the comments I see online sneering at modern MMOs for whatever reason.

On one hand, I appreciate the guy's dedication to his craft, but, on the other hand, I think he comes off as more of a "hipster" than he realizes and he could benefit from having someone in his corner who knows how to talk to the public.

Also, every time someone mentions "how things were" in regards to gaming, I think of this video