It's Saturday, which means it's time for another instalment in Worth Reading, our weekly round up of the best games writing from the past week.
Update (4:50 p.m.): Hey, everyone! The headline for Worth Reading has been changed. How come? Previously, it was written as “Some Kickstarters Are Lying About Game Budgets,” which echoed a line in my piece about how some Kickstarters are “lying” about their budgets. My language was too blunt and, in an attempt to shorthand an article I was highlighting, did a disservice to the Kickstarters whose budgets were being described. While some Kickstarters may be misleading people about their budgets, the ones highlighted in the article I was linking to and referenced in our own article here, have explained to potential backers that the amount of money they’re asking for doesn’t constitute a full budget for their game. Some backers may not realize this, but the information, to some extent, is there. That makes these Kickstarters and their approach worth writing about, and it makes the phenomenon of asking backers for significantly less money than the cost of development worthy of discussion, but it doesn’t constitute lying. I apologize for my mischaracterization.
Hey, You Should Read These
I'm of two minds on this argument. One, I believe the fear over known quantities coming to Kickstarter and raising tons of money actually helps the service — and smaller projects — by introducing crowdfunding to other people.
On the other hand, it’s absolutely true this new way of using Kickstarter—asking for way less than you actually need, and simply leveraging the service as a way to prove interest to potential investors—is doing a terrible disservice to our understanding of game budgets. Crowdfunding has been a wonderful way for people to better grasp the realities of how much it costs to make a game, but some projects seem misleading.
Five other companies are listed on Bloodstained's Kickstarter page. If I only count the cute faces and names, we have a total of 20 extra staff to handle marketing, merchandise and PR. Marketing can easily match a game's budget on its own, but let's assume — again, with big sparkly anime eyes and youthful hearts — that we'll only be doubling the budget by bringing on another 20 people across five companies.
We now have a budget of $US7.2 million.
This is napkin maths, but you begin to understand how quickly costs can escalate.
Even knowing that Igarashi's publishing partner is covering 90 per cent of their pre-Kickstarter budget, that's only $US5 million on the table. Where is that extra $US2.2 million coming from? If Igarashi had asked for the full $US7.2 million on Kickstarter up front, it's almost a guarantee the team would never have made its goal. But is this recent pattern of compromising on the "public budget" vs. the "true budget" really any better?
It might be years before we actually see any movement on Nintendo attractions at Universal Studios, but in the meantime, we get to wonder about what might be. AV Club's writers came up with a whole list of mixture of the absurd and the potentially amazing. Personally, I'm rooting for them to finally capitalise on Pokemon Snap, and let us go on a Pokemon safari! Pleeeeease!
As you make your way through the park, you'll want to keep your eyes peeled for Pokémon. We've hidden 151 of these critters across the park, and you'll have to catch them all to win the title of Pokémon Master. To start your adventure, simply download the Pokémon Trainer smartphone app. While it's open, you can tap your phone to any Pokémon you spot to capture it. If you succeed, you'll get to learn all about your new friend from information provided by the world famous Professor Oak.
The Pokémon like to move around a lot, so you won't find them in the same place if you come back too soon. They could be anywhere from the tall grass near the Jurassic Park River Adventure to hiding among the wands at Ollivander's. Catch as many as you can and build the perfect team to do battle with other trainers around the park!
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Oh, And This Other Stuff
- Jamie Madigan analysed the psychology driving loot drops in Diablo III.
- Matt Gerardi helped mourn the games his readers wish were never cancelled.
- Jessica Conditt found the times Kanye West has dressed up as a Final Fantasy character.
- Justin Pottle discovered the Smash Bros. community still can't settle on a single game.
- Jagger Graving listed some of the best video game podcasts around (he's right!).
- Sidney Fussell wondered how much we consent to when we play games like Bloodborne.
- Richard Cobbett looked back at DOOM 3 and wondered: terrible or brilliant?
- Mike Williams profiled the rise of shasher video games, a trend I'm really happy with.
- Lance Hood wrote about human reaction times as they related to playing fighting games.