Project Zomboid developer Chris Wilson reckons that Kickstarter is a fad that's about to implode, if it hasn't done so already. To this end, he recommends Alpha Funding as a more reliable source of income for indies.
“We’ve all seen it. You can smell it in the air,” Simpson wrote in an article penned on IndieGames.“The Kickstarter bubble is strained to breaking point and looks set to burst, if it has not already.
"Thankfully, alpha-funding seems to bypass a lot of the growing cynicism levelled at crowd-funding, since people who purchase actually get something for their money right there and then."
Alpha funding involves granting alpha and beta access to customers who pre-order a game, who can get involved and even inform development as it progresses. Prison Architect has successfully employed this model, which brings some interesting benefits.
“There is also a proven history of the developer that prospective customers can look into, to make sure the game is in active development, and that the people they are paying are trust-worthy and capable.
“Furthermore it’s a lot more tempting to dive in if all your friends are already playing, regardless of how you may feel about it in principle. I can only imagine the popularity of alpha-funding growing as the popularity of Kickstarter game funding begins to wane.”
Kickstarter may have lead to some great games already, but there's a growing feeling of wariness surrounding the crowd-funding portal. One of our regulars, DivideByZero, has actually prepared a Community Corner column on the subject that will go live this afternoon.