Kick Me?

Posted by | Posted in Game Development, GLSLPlanet, Life, Lua, Pioneer, red ship | Posted on 11-01-2013

I wonder if you could use KickStarter a bit differently, to fund individual developers? I haven’t really contributed much to Pioneer this last couple of months since starting at Crytek, it’s just consumed all of my time.

I’d like too contribute a lot more, in fact I have a fecking long list which doesn’t even include all of the things that I’d like to do with it:

This must be the same for some of the other Pioneer team too but our “real” jobs get in the way of the fun things we actually want to do.

So, how about KickStarter campaigns for individuals?
You list what you want to do, time estimated, and in priority order with whatever you think is a fair rate of pay for doing something you love.
Let say I did it, since I’ve just thought of it and don’t mind publicly discussing my finances :)

What if I could risk working for only 6 months next year (Hah! Again that is!). That would put my minimal funding for it at about £15k before tax to cover my mortgage and bills etc. Stretch goals would take you further through the list of things you hope to cover so I’d have:

  • GPU terrain,
  • orbitals,
  • water,
  • Faction Trade value differences.

For the first 6 months, and that would take £15k to get funding, if I got £15k then that’s what I’d deliver in that time before I bugger off and find more paying work, but stretch goals could also be:

  • 3D cockpits,
  • Threaded Job Scheduler,
  • Atmospheric Heating and re-entry effects,
  • Temporary decals showing shield hits,
  • Rewrite noise system to use graph/nodes.

They could take the rest of the year and require another £15k divided into £3k chunks for each stretch goal.

All of that is just an example list, I think I’d be doing a lot more than that in a year of solid development on Pioneer for a start! :D money is just a guess as well as I haven’t taken taxation into account or indeed how that would even work :/

What I’m wondering from you lot however is what people think of the idea itself? Getting people to pay for individual developers on Open Source projects isn’t a new thing, there’s lots of examples of companies paying developers fulltime, bounties are a common way of funding large features too so it’s not that odd an idea.

Any obvious problems or flaws in the idea?

StoryBricks is up on KickStarter, aka putting my money where my mouth is.

Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 03-05-2012

It looks like KickStarter is becoming more and more the route to funding for a lot of projects.

StoryBricks have just created their page and I’ve put forward what I can afford right now and here’s where I explain why it’s not just because thedarkproject & Psychochild work their.

First a little background; I’ve funded one other project previously, a much smaller effort to produce a sprite animation creation tool – this one I originally decided to back because I had a much much much earlier version of the tool already through my involvement with the “Natami” project. It came from such humble beginnings and was such a clear little idea that I wanted to support it.

StoryBricks is obviously a little bit different, it’s not a 2 person team working on a tool … oh no wait, it kinda is :) Everything is relative.

They’re a small team of developers, admittedly some very talented and experienced developers, who are trying to redefine the way that MMOs/RPGs/Storys in general can be created and edited in games. That’s a tall order when you look at the hundreds, literally hundreds, of developers required to create the tools, gameplay and content for a regular MMO or RPG. It seems like a goal that’s worth pursuing because the real joke about the “kill-10-rats” meme in MMOs/RPGs is that sadly it is real!

It could be argued that it affects more than just MMOs in fact but lets stick with the territory that StoryBricks are after.

Real story, that develops and reacts to you as you play – something tabletop gamers are used to and that I haven’t seen in a computer game beyond the most cursory of changes in so many years that a little of what I feel for gaming has slowly withered away – might actually be possible. Of course I can see uses for it far beyond MMOs, hell I’d like to use it in Pioneer to give it more character(s), or think of Deus Ex where following leads changes the plots as characters realise you’re onto them but instead of being scripted it could be dynamic involving the various attitudes of the NPCs to you and those characters.

That sort of thing has to start somewhere, and it looks like it’s starting with StoryBricks and their KickStarter page – I think Psychochild (aka Brian Green) does a much better job of writing up what it’s about so go read that.

Right I’m not good at explaining myself so I’ll stop there but hopefully you can see something of what I see in it and maybe fund it a little too.