Game development can be hard. The long hours, constantly trying to fix the little nitty gritties that should only take a second but can end up taking days, if not weeks, all the while forcing you to push back work on the actual major parts of the game, it’s tough. Add on to the that the pressures of indie dev work, having to be your own boss and setting your own hours, dealing with the constant reminders of limited funding and seeing that estimated release date slipping farther and farther away from your grasp. It can get to you.
So when Chris Crowell, creator behind the Tokens & Tilesets campaign (formerly Virtual Table Top), posted a recent update on his Kickstarter about having taken a two month sabbatical on the project due to stress, you can sympathize with him. That being said, it does raise some larger issues.
Like many Kickstarter games, Tokens & Tilesets’ release date has been postponed indefinitely from its original November 2015 launch, though a beta was released to backers a couple months back. Over 400 people invested in the Kickstarter, and while it is the duty of the campaign creator to release the content as promised, when promised, pushing that dev too hard to meet those deadlines can often lead to even more delays, and even the possible cancellation of the project.
So my questions to you are these: Where’s the line between pushing smaller developers to meet backer expectations and giving them control over their own schedules? Do you still expect, after the many delays seen on Kickstarter, to have the game released by the estimated date when you initially fund it? Do, or should, you have any say in the matter? Are the devs their own bosses, are you, or is it somewhere in the between? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments below.