Building a game around a variable budget is 'a terrible idea', says indie developer Andy Schatz
Kickstarter stretch goals are total bullshit and can lead to unnecessary new game features, the designer of upcoming indie title Monaco has said.
Speaking to Penny Arcade, Andy Schatz said that while he was happy many developers had succeeded on Kickstarter, he was unsure of the use of stretch goals when funding a game’s development.
He added that building a game around a variable budget was a terrible idea, and that it should be developed with all the necessary features in mind from the start.
“I have a little bit of an unpopular opinion of Kickstarter,” said Schatz.
“I’m really glad for the people that have been really successful on Kickstarter, and don’t get me wrong, I really like the idea of free money, but I’m of the opinion that designing a game around a variable budget is a terrible way to design a game. To be frank, I think that stretch goals are total bullshit.”
A number of Kickstarter developers have used stretch goals in the past to encourage more backers to pledge money with features outside of the project's main budget. Stretch goals can range from new in-game areas, ports to new platforms to full-blown features.
Schatz went on to explain however that developers should build a game organically and decide if it has an incomplete feature-set before taking to Kickstarter, rather than trying to tack on extra features which could make the end product bloated or unfinished, while also potentially throwing development costs into disarray.
“If you are adding in some optional thing to incentivise people to give you money… there’s a difference between allowing your fans to have an extreme amount of input on the game, which I do, the beta testers have an incredible influence on the game, but letting them design the game in the sense of ‘if the budget is this, then I’ll do this, and if the budget is that, then I’ll do that,’ that to me sounds like the perfect way to make a game that’s insufficiently complete or bloated,” he said.
Andy Schatz is an indie game developer who created single player and co-op heist game Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine. The title was funded through the Indie Fund, which invested $100,000 into the IGF award-winning project.
The title is expected to be released on Steam and XBLA in April this year.
Image credit: Matt Mechtley