Adventure Game Somehow Does The Sensible Thing On Kickstarter

Lioness is an indie adventure game that, I guess because its trailer makes it look pretty great, has easily blown past its Kickstarter goal. Instead of going bananas and promising MORE LEVELS and MORE PLATFORMS, though, the three guys behind it are keeping it cool. And the game should benefit as a result.

"We disagree with the idea that there's any direct correlation between quality and scope in a project like this", write the devs on the game's campaign page. "When you force a game or film past its own scope and design it just begins to cannibalise its own narrative and vision by stretching it until it breaks. We've seen this become the case just recently, and have no intention of making a similar mistake."

I'd guess they're talking about Broken Age.

"The more money we have, the better we can invest ourselves into pursuing our vision unencumbered."

Which sounds good to me, because that vision already looks like worth seeing a lot more of. Well...not literally, know what I mean.

Lioness [Kickstarter, via Rock, Paper, Shotgun]


    Sensible. Have kind of always wanted to see this. Something to the effect of, 'Look, we know a lot of people are treating Kickstarter as pre-orders. So, that's cool. We get more money up front instead of after. Nothing more. Takes the headache and risk out of budgeting.'

      I'm just wondering if we're going to see a backlash from the people who don't understand you're allowed to profit from Kickstarter. I remember back when Antia Sarkeesian released her first video there were people up in arms that she had made a fairly standard YouTube video even though she dramatically exceeded her goal.
      I'd wager a lot of them were just the jerks who were looking to attack her on whatever grounds possible, but there did seem to be a few people who really did believe she ripped off her backers by making the product she pitched rather than something that cost as much as she was given.

        Yeah. I get this whole, "Well, you got more funding than you expected, that can't be profit, it ALL needs to go into giving me a better game!" vibe.

        To be fair, it's probably been brought about by attractive stretch goals, but I get the feeling that people don't realize that money doesn't directly translate to time. When these guys add a billion achieved stretch goals to their project, even if the extra money is going to hire more people (and does it, really?) they probably need to be updating the release date to 'later'.

    Good to see. Double Fine's scope creep and mismanagement was, to put it frankly, disgusting, and a potentially scary omen for all KS funded projects.

      At the same time, when Broken Age is finished, it'll be a better game than was first envisioned. The larger scope will flesh out the story, making for a more detailed and satisfying game.

      Scope creep isn't always a bad thing. You are right though; it has to be managed tightly, otherwise it can easily run away from you. That's where Double Fine erred. It's a common mistake.

      Still, I have to wonder why you find it "disgusting". Perhaps you've worked in the public sector.

      Last edited 01/08/13 12:47 am

        Scope creep is bad. Full stop.

        What you're talking about isn't scope creep. It's refaction of the project for a higher budget.

        This is essentially what happened with Broken Age:
        Project budgeted at 400k > get 3 mil > destroy old project management plan > let Schafer run wild > realise that that does not cover the craziness, inability to release game due to the core of it being heavily gutted > decide they require more money

        This is how it should have gone:
        Project budgeted at 400k > get 3 mil > refactor old project management plan to expand upon the project in a _non-essential way_ (ie, things that the game should be able to ship without) > complete project on budget.

        I find scope creep disgusting because I've seen it kill many great projects, both in game development and in software development (two areas I frequent).

    The trailer looks cool, but the gif made me assume this was a game about dancing awkwardly in public. Where's the Kickstarter for that?

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