Bless This Sweet Little Star Wars Kickstarter

Bless This Sweet Little Star Wars Kickstarter

Devin Tripp, from Grapevine, Texas, says he is 20 years old. His is not the first name that springs to mind when you're thinking of development of a new Star Wars "open world RPG". Nevertheless, Tripp — who is "not a very good programmer" and "an even worse artist" — has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Star Wars Open World RPG, a game he promises "will have the graphics of Battlefront or better with the feel of The Witcher 3".

I've seen a lot of people making fun of Devin on Twitter. I mean, yes, a campaign like this is hopelessly naive, and displays a stunning lack of understanding of even the basics of stuff like copyright law (not to mention the complexity of game development).

There are problems with his proposed rewards (with no difference between the $US5 and $US10 pledge). There are problems with his spelling ("obi one kinobi").

But read this:

I am currently looking into talking with Disney if I am able to do this. If not then there might have to be a compromise on the name or some other parts. I need your help. I am not a very good programmer, and I'm an even worst artist. I want to put this project into the hands of professionals, but in order to do that I need money to hire them. This was my dream as a kid I hope you can share my same compassion, thank you.

I know a lot of you reading had the same dream. Hell, I did; for a long time as a kid/teen, my fantasy game was X-Wing vs Dark Forces (working title), a game where (in my head) you could land a starfighter and get out for some shooting/RPG action across the Star Wars universe.

Thing is, I did nothing about it.

So what if Devin's asking for $US200,000 ($279,867) and his spelling sucks? What some will call a fraud or just laugh at, I see as a guy who maybe doesn't know any better getting off his arse and doing something about one of his dreams, regardless of how futile his efforts will likely end up. After all, all Devin is doing is asking for money; he's not the guy actually donating their cash, like it was some kind of internet joke (and people are donating; the pledged amount is jumping up by a few thousand bucks every time I refresh the page).

I asked Devin about his Kickstarter, and he said "I'm a little scared on the legality of this. If I do not receive the go-ahead from Disney, then I am not sure what I will do. I'm not even sure if i am allowed to make a Kickstarter with their name. I guess I will find out."

He also tells me that he has a little experience coding, having made "a couple apps on the android app store and some programs using java", and that both the Kickstarter campaign and $US200,000 funding request haven't just been settled on randomly, as he's been inspired by projects like Shenmue 3, which used Kickstarter as a springboard for further funding elsewhere.

Not that the $US200,000 (or the people donating to him) matters, since Disney's lawyerbots have no doubt already been alerted. But until the moment comes that they shut it all down, I hope — if this isn't some kind of bizarre, saccharine fraud — Devin can live at least part of his dream, even if it's only for another day or two.


    Reminds me of the "100% science based dragon RPG" that went viral on reddit awhile back. The guy has no idea of the challenges involved but basically thinks for $200k he can hire people who'll make his idea a reality..

    It will clearly be taken down long before it gets any real traction (hence three brave souls have backed at the $1,500 tier!) but it's not the worst attempt at crowdfunding a game I've seen. I once saw a real piece of work on Indiegogo where a guy promised to make a virtual city based game superior to second life. For $10,000 he would create one city, for a mere $20,000 (his stretch goal) he would replicate the entire world!

    No indication of what the game would involve other than incorporating a virtual online marketplace. The only images on the page were lifted wholly from some Chinese news site because they seemed to suggest the presence of a virtual avatar within a 3D modelled environment, at an extremely rudimentary level. The backer reward tiers were all the same, with an increasing amount of vigor, e.g.:

    $10: thank you very much for supporting this game
    $15: thank you very much for supporting this game!!!
    $100: THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

    I wound up reporting it as a scam and it disappeared, but I kind of wanted to know more of this guy's thought process.

    Last edited 06/01/16 3:57 pm

    I for one, believe in Devin. If the man says he can make a game with the graphics of Battlefront, and the feel of The Witcher 3, and all he's asking for is $200,00, then who are you to shit on his dreams?

      All he needs to fuel all our childhood dreams is permission from Disney and Lucas Films [sic], as well as people to create all the art assets and do all the programming within two years on a shoestring budget. I assume Devin will assume responsibility for what is clearly the hardest part, the writing, a skill of which he has clearly demonstrated total mastery.

      Who am I? I'm reality.

      I shit on everyone's dreams.

    200k is pretty much the yearly salary for 2 programmers.

      Maybe in corporate land. You get 4 game programmers for that. 5 if you hire straight out of uni.

        And these 5 uni programmers are good for what? Writing a MMORPG straight out of Computing 101? hahaha

          haha Yeah pretty much what I meant. For the level of programming required for such a project I don't think a couple of uni kids with no industry experience would cut it.

          You guys make me feel like we're paying way too much for our programmers at work. If you include overheads, $200k gets us about 1.9 coders.

            I think @badger made it pretty clear he was speaking specifically of game programmers. "Real" programmers and designers do make a significant chunk of money. I work for a supermarket chain's IT branch and some of the senior guys in some of the teams are making more than $150K a year. This is a different world from video game programming.

              That might make more sense. Didn't realise there was such disparity between guys who bang-out code for games vs corporate systems.

                Yeah, it was a little jab at game developer pay. Best job I ever had, but easily the worst paid.

      $200 grand wouldn't cover the coffee costs for developing what he's after.

      Last edited 06/01/16 5:34 pm

    I’m a little scared on the legality of this. If I do not receive the go-ahead from Disney, then I am not sure what I will do

    You'd think that these would be the kind of questions you'd try to have answers to BEFORE you start raising money?

    Disney will shut this down in no time flat. Anyone who invests in this is utterly wasting their time.

    Oh my god. This comment.

    "This project has already delivered more than Godus has."

    I may have fallen off my chair hahaha.

    What $200K might do is allow him to build a decent business case/proof of concept which he could pitch to Disney.

    It seems likely that Disney, with this already lucrative IP, are looking at various concepts in various media. If Devins could pitch a good enough case, maybe he can kickstart Disney into action.

    Last edited 06/01/16 5:45 pm

      Let's be honest. the idea of an open-world Star Wars RPG is not new. It's been done before, and there's even an MMO. He isn't bringing anything new to the table, it's just a 'wouldn't it be cool if...' which comes down to execution, and it's clear he doesn't know what he's doing. Even if people weren't reacting to this with derision, Disney frankly doesn't need this guy's blessing, nor give him a cent, because the idea just wasn't his in the first place.

    "This was my dream as a kid"

    He still is a kid!

    Either way, in 5 years time when we've all burned over 2,000 hours playing this staggeringly detailed and immersive game we'll be kicking ourselves that we ever doubted this kid.

      Why are we patting him on the head and cooing? The man is 20 years old; he's an adult and if I hadn't ruled it out from his terrible spelling, I'd have guessed he'd be in uni.

    I think everyone missed one crucial line.

    2nd paragraph first line for the description, it mentions of "obi jim Kenobi".


    Last edited 06/01/16 6:09 pm

    Looks like a joke to me, the comic spellings of known characters is too quaint to be true I reckon.

    It's doomed, obviously, but I really feel for the guy.

    Luke's right. This young guy has a dream and is sick of it not being a reality, and wants to work to make it happen, even if he doesn't know what he's doing because at least it'll be something more than anyone else is doing.

    I know a guy who once asked me if I knew anyone in the industry who could get him in contact with the people who buy ideas. Because he had a great idea for a game (involving some major IPs), and he could just picture it in his head, how amazing it would be... he just wanted to see that dream become a reality (and maybe get some money for coming up with the idea).

    I did actually stomp on his dream a little, outlining what I saw as the way to get it done. Come up with design, licence an engine, hire on or recruit volunteer industry professionals in programming and art to create a proof of concept to have something concrete and visual to take to investment meetings, with the aim of using the VC money to enter into licencing negotiations with the IP-holders.

    Tried to say as gently as possible that no-one buys ideas because EVERYONE has ideas; the only thing that makes an idea valuable is making it work.

    Still... I felt for him. We've all had that dream... the thing we wish 'someone else' would make into a reality. This kid, Devin? He's done more than most folks will ever do. It's a shame he's going to come crashing back down to reality pretty hard and maybe get a lot of people laughing at him in the process, so I feel bad for him for that... but I do admire him, too.

      Ideas guys are like roaches. You feel kind of bad stomping them, but if you don't they only multiply and then you wind up with a colony of them up inside your fridge

      This. So much this.

      My first major writing project was a Super Mario Brothers CYOA book (in a similar vein to the licenced Nintendo books that were doing the rounds when I was a kid). When I was seven, I sent them off to a publisher, and (of course) they were rejected.

      But the editor took the time to footnote the letter with a handwritten notation encouraging me to keep up with my writing. It was an incredibly thoughtful and gentle let-down.

      If I'd received a "lol no, now we sue your ass" response, it's hard to imagine I would have bounced back and kept up with the writing. How different, and much sadder, that life would be.

      Poor Devin. He's not gonna get that gentle landing, that's for sure.

      Last edited 07/01/16 1:38 pm

        And being so young, but not still a child, it might be harder for him to laugh it off the way he will really need to. And that's a real shame. I hope he gets some good contacts and friends out of the project, though, who can help him to a better position to transform ideas into reality.

        I mean, he's mentioned that he's made apps (I assume for some kind of education project), and that's something at least.

    Wouldn't it be unfortunate for the 3x $1500 backers if somehow this managed to reach its goal :P

    Hmmm... there is a limit of 20 top tier backers of $1,500 minimum. Assuming he gets all 20 backers doing the minimum, that is $30,000. The project needs $200,000 to launch... that leaves $170,000. He would need another 2,813 $60 backers then, assuming no further 5 or $10 pledges come in.

    That maths is... optimistic. One really should have thought through their tiers more. It feels like he just has not added everything up. Not the best of signs. :-\

    The comments are absolute gold on the Kickstarter.

    Does anyone else love that, despite the difficulty he has with the English language, he included a very helpful grammar/spelling tip at the end of his pitch?

    I think I'll back it, just for this.

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