One Kickstarter Is Asking For US$275,000 To Build A Demo

People have gotten pretty accustomed to Kickstarter projects not always being able to deliver on their promises, and as a result more and more developers are paring down their ambitions and offerings to tailor.

But this latest Kickstarter project has taken things a step further. It's called Broken. And if you fund the initial stage, all you'll get is a demo.

It's only been posted in the last 24 hours and according to developers Kollide Entertainment, the cost of developing a full game is so substantial that the first round of funding will only be enough to cover pre-production.

"Nailing pre-production is one of the single most important aspects of creating games today," the campaign page reads. "It allows a development team to establish a tangible vision for the game experience that everyone on the team can get excited about and use as a guide throughout the rest of development."

Here's precisely what the pre-production round of funding — which is US$275,000 — will deliver:

In pre-production, we'll lock down:   The complete script for each of the six episodes of the first season Storyboards for each episode of the first season Concept art for characters, environments, and major scenes that will be encountered in the first season The overall in-game style for all visual and aural aspects of the game (environments, characters, animations, textures, vfx, lighting, cutscenes, sfx, music, major character VO, etc.) A detailed production plan for creation of the entire first season A vertical slice experience (playable demo) representing the full game experience in ~3-5 minutes of gameplay

A maximum of 5 minutes of gameplay; potentially less than 3. That's a hard sell.

But I feel like the developers deserve some small measure of credit: they are at least presenting one piece of development that is often ignored. Gamers have become accustomed to seeing playable demos, teasers or gameplay footage when a Kickstarter campaign launches. It's become the standard.

But those prototypes take time, and more importantly, money to develop. You don't make something out of nothing for free. And Broken is trying to acknowledge that.

Question is: do people want to contribute to a demo worth US$275,000? And even if you only have to pledge $14 (rounded down from US$10 at the time of writing) for access, wouldn't the developers have to make the demo publicly available to drum up interest for the second round of funding necessary to make the full game?


    I don't really see anything wrong with this. They're being up front about what people are actually putting they're money into the hat for and it's a lot better than using Kickstarter as a tool to catch a publisher's eye or to achieve a co-investment target set by a publisher (eg. Shenmue III). If people don't want to pay any money then they won't and those that do won't feel cheated when they just get a demo at the end.

    One thing that kind of strikes me as odd though is how a 3-5 minute slice of gameplay can represent the full game experience in something that sounds like it will be pretty expansive and full of depth. It's either shallow gameplay or a poor choice of wording.

      Yeah, a "vertical slice" lasting 3-5 minutes would be better off being a demo reel than a representation of the gameplay.

      They're being up front about what they're pitching and that's fine - no issue. But I'm definitely on the "why would I put money into this" side of the fence.

    They asking for money to prototype, isnt against kickstarter rules you have to be up to that stage vefore asking for funding. Thats why they rejected the lazer razer cause it was only a concept with a mock protoype that was too questionable. Or is games the exception... and the issue why games kickstarting has poor returns.

      Prototypes are only required for physical objects, as far as i understand.
      The razor went on to be funded on indiegogo - i was just chatting to a friend about this yesterday.
      My wife is in the middle of a kickstarter campaign as we speak (GO AND SUPPORT QUANTUM SUICIDE!) and it reminded me of the skarp razor. The video they had was them cutting like 3 hairs in 90 secs.. pretty dubious.
      It's an interesting way to fund a demo, but its going to be a hard sell to sell an idea of an idea. I wish them best of luck, but don't think it will pan out.

      Creative projects (albums, comics, games, books, etc) don't need to be finished. They don't even need to have been plotted out or planned even slightly.

      Only the 'manufacturing' category requires the project to be successfully prototyped.

    I have no issue with this, not something i would help fund, but the devs to their credit are being upfront about what your money is going to get you. whether or not its asking for a lot, will pe proven by the success/failure of this kickstarter.

    The most honest kickstarter Ive seen so far. Go for it guys.

    I wouldn't fund this. I would expect the developer to pony up the coin for this initial bit. You cant expect the backers to take on all the risk and then start pre production. I've backed games in the past where their vision and ideas were very clear and they set out their milestones.

    If they can get funding to make enough for a demo perhaps they'd then be looking for a publisher to throw in the rest?

    My name is Joeyray Hall, one of the founders of Kollide Entertainment.

    I wanted to thank you for your article and for pointing out some things that warranted change in our Kickstarter campaign.
    We have since updated our reward structure to give more to our backers during development and fixed some of the messaging to be more clear about our goals.
    Let us know if there is anything else that we could do better and thanks again.

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