Last week the prospect of a new crowdfunded 3D platformer filled me with joy. It was called Griff: The Winged Lion, but it wasn’t doing well on Indiegogo. Over at least a couple of days, it didn’t collect a single penny. In a bizarre twist, developer Breakerbox Studios canceled the Indiegogo campaign and moved to Kickstarter. Speaking with project lead and Breakerbox Studios founder Jake Pawloski, we now know what’s going on behind the scenes.
When asked why he initially chose Indiegogo, Pawloski said that he found the site more flexible. He made the move to Kickstarter because it “seems to have a stronger pre-established gamer community and wider recognition among people.” There’s no denying Kickstarter is the better platform for crowdfunded gaming. It’s more widely used, has higher quality standards, and its projects always get more money.
Pawloski seems to understand that as well, so why launch on Indiegogo to start? “We went with Indiegogo in the first place because it’s more flexible and allows HD video to display right from YouTube in the campaign.”
Pawloski removed the original trailer because it contained the Indiegogo logo, which needed to be swapped for the Kickstarter logo. “Since YouTube doesn’t allow members to switch out less than two seconds of their video and keep their views, they need to either contact YouTube and emphasize the minute change or simply replace the video.”
The YouTube video in particular seemed like a sticking point for Pawloski, so I asked him why he thought it was so important. “The YouTube video for IndieGoGo page isn’t like super important or anything but it is a good thing for two reasons: 1. It adds views to the YouTube video itself and 2. It displays in 1080p HD at 60fps. On Kickstarter the video is dumbed down to low res.” As Pawloski points out, a higher resolution and framerate is beneficial to Griff, given its Playstation 1 aesthetics.
The number of views seems to be a sticking point as well. It makes sense that a crowdfunding developer – any indie developer – would want their trailer to get as many views as possible. But on Kickstarter or even Indiegogo, simply racking up views doesn’t matter. The focus needs to be on spreading the word on the crowdfunding campaign, and if you’re counting views from people watching on the crowdfunding page itself, than they already know about it.
I can understand why Breakerbox was hesitant to post their video on Kickstarter. Something like that is no reason to try Indiegogo first though, especially if you think Kickstarter gives you a better chance of success. What Breakerbox could have done was shoot a pitch video with Pawloski and the rest of the team talking about the game, and why they need crowdfunding. Then take the gameplay trailer and embed it in the page itself at its original resolution.
The move likely won’t do much damage. They didn’t collect any money during their brief stint on Indiegogo. They’re doing better on Kickstarter, though “better” is relative. Currently the campaign sits at $231, a far cry from its $15,000 goal. With only 11 backers, it seems unlikely Griff: The Winged Lion will meet its goal, even on Kickstarter.
It serves as a good lesson for developers looking into crowdfunding though. Choose the platform you think will give you the best shot at success. Don’t base your decision something like YouTube views or even video resolution. Getting funded is more important than that, right?