I am very interesting in the funding for this project. A ubiquitous trend in smaller companies games these days is the early access projects that consumers are inundated with on a regular basis. These projects allow customers to buy in early to help the project continue to develop allowing them access to the game but often times leaving customers frustrated by slow development times and lackluster content.
Having seen both sides of this perspective, I am interested in how crowd sourcing could be done right for Crowfall. If we take two forms of crowd sourcing we can examine them for possible implementations in the game.
1. Early Access: As previously stated this is based on customers buying into being testers. They play an unfinished version of the product but own a copy through all states of development.
Pro: Proof of concept. Players get to start playing and often have a great deal of influence over development, balancing and design.
Con: With social media, word spreads fast. A lackluster project will quickly get a bad rep and die.
Pro: A consistent stream of player based data to balance and help the dev team flush out concepts that will be beneficial for the game.
Con: Early Access often provides a large chunk of income for the team but introduces players to an unfinished environment/game. This can create a lot of exploits, cheats and rather damaging allegations to the brand.
2. Kickstarter: We are all familiar with this brand of crowd sourcing where users pledge money to support a project and if it hits it's mark the money is released to the project.
Pro: Excellent ways for smaller companies to make revenue. Look at a game like Divinity, which used kickstarter and was successful.
Con: Though this path will have incentives for donations, the development cycle is still a multi-year process and the likely hood of us playing a finished or even good beta version is often a long time. This long period causes hypes to dissipate.
Pro: Hype! A lot of hype around the project means media and press. These are essential tools for everyone now a days (I work in marketing/pr, it is VERY essential).
Con: Not reaching the goal = no money and loss of project.
I would like to know your thoughts. At this point I am under the assumption that some sort of crowd based solution is the big revel that they are counting down. In any scenario I could come up with, this is a multi-year project that is going to take a lot of hype and capital to become a realization.