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Comment: Re:Can money be returned if a project is unfinishe (Score 1) 192

by Heliosphere1 (#39922163) Attached to: How Long Before the Kickstarter Bubble Bursts?

and want to get a large amount of money (i.e enough to live on for a year or 2, hire some contractors for work outside your skill set). My 2 bits of simple advice are, build a community. Crowd funding is about getting the community to help you make a game that they want (both you and your community should be wanting the same game).

Thanks very much for the thoughts. I will set up a forum for a community at some point. I've struggled with this "make the game everybody wants" vs "make the game I want to make, and see who's interested" dichotomy, but am biased towards the latter. The direction popular gaming has gone in recent times does not interest me much. If I wanted to go where the market seem to be, for example, I'd make a $2.99 2D cell phone game, or FPS #90338932. I think I'd rather make something I want to make, though I know it to be a very small niche, and hope there will be enough people interested to support it. Just as you say, following one's passion. I'd rather make a little bit of money and do something I find cool, than the other way around.

demo of just ship to ship combat, nothing more

Ship to ship combat is in progress and coming along decently :). And it's designed for as much community expandability as I was able to manage. Thanks for comments. I had a look at your page; looks pretty cool.

Comment: Re:Can money be returned if a project is unfinishe (Score 1) 192

by Heliosphere1 (#39921967) Attached to: How Long Before the Kickstarter Bubble Bursts?

If you don't have a "real" job besides the Kickstarter project, how are you paying your rent/food/equipment/etc?

It's my last few work years before retirement. I'm funding it out of my retirement savings, which is a dangerous thing to be doing, but I'd rather do something I enjoy doing even at some personal risk. I can do so for several years, but at the cost of living well below a poverty income level while I'm doing it. There are personal costs to that, such as forgoing even cheap vacations.

Kickstarter could (hypothetically) provide a safety margin. If some unexpected expense should appear, such as my (already old) car dies, it's quite possible the project could be completed with KS funding, but not without.

If you use the Kickstarter money for that, it's gone by the time you know you have failed.

Perhaps, but if my project fails I will find a few more years of a normal job, in which case there is a funding source again, some of which could be returned to the KS investors. It appears this doesn't fit into the model, which is fine. I just didn't know either way, before.

Comment: Re:Can money be returned if a project is unfinishe (Score 1) 192

by Heliosphere1 (#39921493) Attached to: How Long Before the Kickstarter Bubble Bursts?

But I imagine that the KSs might be able to sue the developer for damages over his breaking of the contract.

I was pondering it more in a voluntary sense. Say for example that I, as a game developer, due to circumstances beyond my control am unable to finish the project I started. This happens quite often even with the best of initial intentions ... even on well funded commercial projects, let alone tiny-scaled single-developer indie games. If this happens, is there some established mechanism for me to return funds to the people who were kind enough to support the project, without anybody having to sue anybody?

I suppose in many cases the money is simply gone, but for me the alternative to my game project is finding a "real job", in which case I think I'd feel somewhat morally compelled to attempt to return people's hard earned money for a project that never came to pass.

Comment: Can money be returned if a project is unfinished? (Score 5, Insightful) 192

by Heliosphere1 (#39921205) Attached to: How Long Before the Kickstarter Bubble Bursts?
A while ago I started developing an indie Elite-like game (yes, it runs on Linux...). I'm funding it out of my personal savings (scary...) but I've had Kickstarter recommended to me by a number of people as a funding alternative. I know very little about it. The indie oriented spirit of the place looked nice enough. I've seen other projects in the genre I'm developing that aren't as far along as mine raise significant funding on Kickstarter, but I've held off because of a few things that are unclear to me. For one, if I funded the development of my project in this way, what happens if something prevents the project from being completed? The Kickstarter info says there is no guarantee that a finished product will be produced, so nominally "nothing happens", but there are large risks involved with developing an indie game with its own custom engine from scratch. Many start, few succeed. I think I would find it quite ethically difficult to live with if I accepted people's money to make something, and for whatever reason wasn't able to complete the project to my or their satisfaction. Even if it is only a small amount from each person, I'd end up feeling pretty miserable if they paid it expecting a finished project which never came to pass. I was never able to find any info about whether a mechanism exists to return funding if projects cannot be completed.

Comment: Re:I was writing a non-DRMed, Linux-native game (Score 1) 324

by Heliosphere1 (#39795777) Attached to: Phoronix Confirms GNU/Linux Steam and Source Engine Clients
Nod - thanks for the info; I will investigate the non-DRM Steam situation when the time comes. It will be some time before this is a playable game, although I feel it is further along and more polished than two or three other efforts in the genre that seem to be widely reported on. At the moment, I'm just trying to ascertain whether there would be any interest, and there seems to be not a shred, which is pretty discouraging - I've come close to giving up. Gaming sites like Joystiq haven't wanted to run anything about it, which makes me think either there isn't a market for this genre any more, or it's going in a direction that people don't like (e.g, lots of ship-systems modeling, a thing more at home in the 90's gaming market than today, perhaps, when more simplified experiences are preferred).

Comment: Re:I was writing a non-DRMed, Linux-native game (Score 1) 324

by Heliosphere1 (#39795065) Attached to: Phoronix Confirms GNU/Linux Steam and Source Engine Clients
I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to try - very few have even looked - and the feedback (find a better video hosting site) is very useful for me. You've my gratitude.

I'm sorry about your video experience; I don't have a site for the game yet (it's a bit early in development). I tried to use youtube for the videos, but that didn't work when they required a cell phone number for verification, which I don't have. Dailymotion was not my first choice of video hosting sites, believe me, but I didn't have luck with Vimeo or Youtube. Eventually, if I can get this project to live (it's gasping for every breath at the moment), I'll buy real hosting and a message forum for it. I do have some direct links to the AVI files on filehosting.org, but I'm not sure I trust that site enough to post the links here, unless someone knows for certain it's safe.

Comment: I was writing a non-DRMed, Linux-native game (Score 2) 324

by Heliosphere1 (#39794453) Attached to: Phoronix Confirms GNU/Linux Steam and Source Engine Clients
It's an Elite-like: I develop it natively on Linux, although it runs on Windows also. However, the project is pretty close to dying on the vine for lack of any discernible interest. It's just a personal project done with no budget (at all), so wouldn't compete with major studios in the graphics department, but I think it's at least semi-credible on that front for a one-man indie game. (If curious, see Part1 Part2 Part3, though be prepared for amateurish presentation. I'm genuinely curious, since I thought there'd be some in the Linux community who'd like such a game).

It's a bit sad, but I suspect the project would have had far more interest if I *had* chosen to DRM it and sell it on Steam, but I'm about as anti-DRM as they come, even for a project I've put a year of my life into. I'll give up the whole thing before I'll allow DRM anywhere near it, even if that means it cannot succeed.
Games

+ - Can the Elite-like niche sustain a small scale product?->

Submitted by Heliosphere1
Heliosphere1 (2620037) writes "I'm the sole developer of an Elite-like indie game in development called Heliosphere: I made some demo videos to show what I have done so far. If someone wants to toss the original AVIs up on bittorrent, that's cool; I can post filehosting links separately. I recommend using fullscreen and "HD" mode on DM:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xq7py5_heliodemo1-pt1_videogames
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xq7qiq_heliodemo1-pt2_videogames
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xq7qpa_heliodemo1-pt3_videogames

There is no staff or money behind this effort. I decided to take the last few years before I can retire to try something creative, and attempt to write a game. I'm just over one year into the project, so the road ahead is long. I'm trying to decide whether this is viable to pursue. I'm aware of about 4 or 5 other impressive efforts in this genre, all of which have more resources (programmers, sometimes artists and/or money, where anything more than 1 person and zero dollars can be defined as "a large project" from my POV).

On one hand, I think it's absurdly cool that this genre might stage a bit of a comeback, and also that the efforts are coming from indie developers, who in my opinion are keeping gaming alive in the face of various major studios who are crushing it. I hope at least some of those indie projects will see wild success. On the other, Elite-likes are a small niche: for every gamer interested in such games and who hasn't abandoned the PC as a gaming platform, there are a million who'd prefer Angry Farmville In Space. It's unclear to me whether this niche can sustain a lone developer with all the limitations and constraints that brings on what I can create. Unfortunately, I will need to make a living wage, as I am currently chewing through my retirement savings to create this. It's this, or a few more years at the grindstone.

I can answer questions about the project here, but cannot accept or read implementation ideas.

(And yes, it runs on Linux, as well as Windows).

[Editors: Sorry for the double submission: the first attempt appeared to disappear from the queue — not down voted, but just gone, after about 5 minutes, so I figured it didn't work.]"

Link to Original Source
Linux

+ - Can the Elite-like niche sustain a one-man effort?->

Submitted by Heliosphere1
Heliosphere1 (2620037) writes "I'm the sole developer of an Elite-like indie game in development called Heliosphere: I made some demo videos to show what I have done so far. If someone wants to toss the original AVIs up on bittorrent, that'd be cool; I can post filehosting links separately. I recommend using fullscreen and "HD" mode on DM:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xq7py5_heliodemo1-pt1_videogames
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xq7qiq_heliodemo1-pt2_videogames
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xq7qpa_heliodemo1-pt3_videogames

There is no staff or money behind this effort. I decided to take the last few years before I can retire to try something creative, and attempt to write a game. I'm just over one year into the project, so the road ahead is long. I'm trying to decide whether this is viable to pursue. I'm aware of about 4 or 5 other impressive efforts in this genre, all of which have more resources (programmers, sometimes artists and/or money, where anything more than 1 person and zero dollars can be defined as "a large project" from my POV).

On one hand, I think it's absurdly cool that this genre might stage a bit of a comeback, and even cooler that the efforts are coming from indie developers, who in my opinion are keeping gaming alive in the face of various major studios who are crushing it. I hope at least some of those indie projects will see wild success. On the other, Elite-likes are a small niche: for every gamer interested in such games and who hasn't abandoned the PC as a gaming platform, there are a million who'd prefer Angry Farmville In Space. It's unclear to me whether this niche can sustain a lone developer with all the limitations and constraints that brings on what I can create. Unfortunately, I will need to make a living wage, as I am currently chewing through my retirement savings to create this. It's this, or a few more years at the grindstone.

I can answer questions about the project here, but cannot accept or read implementation ideas.

(And yes, it runs on Linux, as well as Windows)."

Link to Original Source

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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