In a rather lengthy interview with GamesIndustry International, Chris Avellone, Creative Director for Obsidian Entertainment and father (well, sort of) to a number of really great roleplaying games, has shared his thoughts on Kickstarter and its future, divulged a few more details about Project Eternity and the development team’s plans and, well, time travel.
The Kickstarter breakdown is the most interesting part of the interview, as Mr. Avellone voices his concerns about the inevitable fatigue effect crowd sourcing will experience. He identifies the first release of a Kickstarter-funded project, successful or not, as a likely turning point for the entire crowd sourcing initiative. Obsidian may be the current holder of the “Most Successful Video Game Kickstarter Campaign” campaign title, but by the time they started the fund raising for Project Eternity, they have already noticed a dropping level of contributions.
The somber tone doesn’t last long, as GamesIndustry starts asking questions about the game’s current development and its future, notably the issue of rating (or rather, not having to submit the game for rating), how the team cooperates/will cooperate with the fans during development, future plans for the franchise and more. The question of Kickstarter’s impact on the industry surface a few more times, but is not nearly as bleak in tone as the opening few questions.
The entire interview ends with Chris Avellone discussing time travel:
If someone had told me we would hit $4 million, I wouldn’t have believed them. Even if that someone was a future version of me that had traveled back in time, grabbed me by the shoulders, and said “I have seen it with my own eyes.”
We’d like to end with a sobering note related to the Kickstarter fatigue mentioned by Mr Avellone. You may recall Shaker, an old school RPG by Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall we covered before. The Kickstarter has been cancelled, citing the perceived weakness of the pitch. However, Kickstarter projects may fail even after they met their funding goals. Haunts: Manse Macabre, a game successfully funded through crowd sourcing, has ran out of money, burning approximately $5,500 per month due to mismanagement.