So I was reading the Kickstarter pitch for a pretty-looking game. I was being tempted, but a little iffy, until I got to the last question at the bottom of the page:
OMGee What are your stretch goals?!
There are ways to do stretch goals that don’t affect the timeline of the deliverable, and we’re looking into those, should interest arise. We don’t believe in artificially increasing the scope or timeline of the project just because there’s a small chance that we might receive a butt-load of money through Kickstarter. We want to be very careful about any stretch goals, should that become a thing in the future. We’re building a game of a certain size, scope, and with a specific core vision that we’re proud of and insanely passionate about, and keeping to that is numero uno in our mind.
And, after two Kickstarter campaigns of my own, that sold me.
Plan out the thing you want to make, estimate how much time and money it’ll take to make it. If you make a ton more money, then wow! You made a lot of money! Now deliver that thing, and go have a party. Start planning your next thing, and know that you can do a bigger idea if you want to – and that you can spend more time playing around until you get the next thing right, because you’re still coasting on the profits of the last one.
I’ve been moving away from the BONUS THINGS! and STRETCH GOALS! model in my own campaigns. I think these guys just solidified it – the Kickstarter for Rita 3 will have no extra tchotchkes, and the only stretch goals will be “reprint volume 1 and 2”.
Who knows, I may change my tune when one of the stretch-goal-laden projects finally makes its way to my hands – when you’re doing an AAA-scope game, things are no doubt shaped differently. But I don’t think I’ll adopt that model any time soon. I just want to make my comics.
(Ultimately it didn’t sell me, as I only found out about this campaign after it was over. But whatever.)