Carmageddon devs: 'There's going to be a [Kickstarter] game that fails to come out'

Stainless Games on the challenges of using Kickstarter and how the platform could be about to reach saturation point.

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Kickstarter has made a big impact in gaming--this week, a high-profile media outlet sought to use the site to fund its staff, while a new piece of hardware has broken records. Another recent Kickstarter success was Carmageddon, from Isle of Wight-based developer Stainless Games, which managed to secure funding for a release this year.

Patrick Buckland, co-founder and chief executive at Stainless Games, and Neil Barnden, co-founder and executive director, talked about their Kickstarter experience at the Develop industry conference in Brighton, England.

Barnden (left) and Buckland (centre) at Develop 2012.
Barnden (left) and Buckland (centre) at Develop 2012.

"We were semi-caught out by the amount of attention the campaign would involve," said Barnden of their Kickstarter campaign, which achieved its funding goal in May. "We spent a month before the campaign planning. The amount of attention the campaign needs is really considerable. You're going to have to have several people largely dedicated to it during its duration. And when it's finished, you still have people wanting updates and wanting to know how it's going."

The pair also gave their opinion on Kickstarter being used for existing projects such as Penny Arcade, rather than those that are getting off the ground: "There shouldn't be any limitation on what Kickstarter is used for," said Barnden.

They did, however, have a warning about the dangers of crowdfunding. "At some point, there's going to be a game that's been funded that fails to come out. It's going to be interesting to see that process," said Buckland.

"At the moment, people are funding something and all they're getting is a promise," said Barnden. "The people who frequent Kickstarter and fund something every month--that might dry up a bit," he said, pointing out the long time between someone funding a game-based project and seeing the result.

The owners also explained how they reacquired the Carmageddon license from Eidos-owner Square Enix but, even when they did, kept it a secret from the majority of the company. "We wanted to keep the number of people who knew about it as small as possible. We thought people would post it on Facebook," said Barnden.

The Carmageddon project, now known as Carmageddon: Reincarnation, will have "proper, modern graphics" according to Buckland. "Not Call of Duty-level, we don't have that sort of budget, but [it will have] rag doll physics," he said.

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