It was shortly after attending E3 2016 that I started to dabble into the Kickstarter scene, and like any new and exciting thing that I have not tried before, I wanted to jump in and try it out. So, in August of that year, I backed a music group called Master Sword–a metal band that played songs based off my favorite game series, The Legend of Zelda. I backed the “Supporter Scribe” tier, which came with both a physical and digital copy of the album featuring ten songs, a digital video documentary, a Kickstarter patch, and a thank you message from the band. From the moment I received all the rewards in late 2017, I was hooked. This was the beginning of my Kickstarter adventures.
So, what exactly is Kickstarter and how does it work? Kickstarter and other platforms such as IndieGoGo are project funding platforms that allow someone with an idea to set a campaign up for the product they would like to get funded. This allows people to put money towards a project that they want to see come to life, and if the campaign reaches its set goal before the set date, it will charge the backers’ credit cards for the tier amount specified. It is an investment in a way because you put money towards something, hoping for a return, but instead of money it’s a product. Of course, like any investment, a person runs the risk of projects falling through or being canceled do to copyright and legal action. Though it’s a gamble, it is quite fun to watch the progress of the project.
Upon receiving my items from the first campaign I supported, I opted to then back the Video Games Live: Level 6 campaign, and it successfully funded in April of 2018. Being a fan of Tommy Tallarico–the man behind Video Games Live–I became quite excited for this new album after attending a live performance many years prior. I backed the “Press Start,” Tier with albums 4, 5, and 6 as well as a Donkey Kong piano album featuring David Wise from the original soundtracks of the Donkey Kong Country series. Other items included Press kit photos, documents, and digital posters. I was so happy when this one arrived, and I absolutely enjoyed the Donkey Kong tracks the most. After backing two musical projects, I started to stray from the path eventually to see what else Kickstarter might have to offer.
My wife then came across a game called Summer in Mara. In the game you explore a series of many islands as Koa, who is on a journey to discover herself and the secrets the world holds. You become immersed in the colorful world and begin by completing various tasks, such as farming, mining, cooking, and crafting. Eventually you will explore different islands from your boat and help others with their storylines. After reading the description, I was immediately enamored by the concept and backed the “Singer in Mara” tier. This tier came with a digital copy of the game, art book, and soundtrack, along with stickers, a postcard, and wallpapers. Around this same time, I backed two other games: Chained Echoes and Eternal Radiance, both in the RPG genre. I’m still waiting on these two games, but Summer in Mara became my first Kickstarter indie game to release with my name in the backer credits. Seeing my name roll through the end credits was closure to a wonderful journey I had just embarked on with those who had also backed the game with me, along with the developers who worked so hard to give us the finished product. It’s a solid game, and I enjoyed my time within the world that I had some say in as a backer.
With such amazing experiences with Kickstarter as a platform and with the projects themselves, I have really enjoyed process and the content I have received. This article is just a glimpse of a few projects I have backed and though most are positive I have had a few disappointing experiences as well. One of which was a copyright issue with Nintendo on a Legend of Zelda project and the other a crash and burn scenario of an indie title that looked so promising. Both projects I will discuss in my future articles of this series. I will give you my thoughts, experiences, and end-product reviews of a few of these projects and will do my best to answer all questions that first time kickers may have. I hope you will enjoy my journey and that in the future you will try backing a project for yourself and start your own journey.
Have you backed any Kickstarter campaigns or on other funding platforms? Please let me know in the comments.
Shane Kelley is a Staff writer for Boss Rush Network, as well as a writer for Another Zelda Podcast. His favorite game is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. You can find him on Twitter to talk video games, Marvel, and axe throwing.
Featured Image: Kickstarter.com