Battle of the Bits is, uh, an interesting Kickstarter campaign. It isn’t like the usual campaigns we cover, in fact, I’m not really 100% sure what it is. Technically Battle of the Bits is an established MMORPG… sort of? The Kickstarter is near the end of its campaign now and it doesn’t look like it is going to raise the $15,000 it asked for (unless this article does another To Light) to upgrade the site. I can see a lot of reasons why this might be the case so let’s go through them.
I think the main issue with this campaign is that it isn’t obvious to an outsider what it is. It’s difficult to pitch because it is difficult to explain. Essentially Battle of the Bits is a gamified forum or community where artists can compete with each other to make the best music or art. I don’t really understand the RPG element of the site apart from that you can level up through participation and gain different titles. I suppose it’s kinda like 1up. The whole site has been the developers passion project for over a decade in his spare time. This Kickstarter is essentially, to raise money so he can work on Battle of the Bits full time rather than getting a new job. He emphasises a lot in the video that he’d rather do this than get a job which is another thing I think is a mistake. I think it would have been better for him to hire a professional, you certainly could for $15,000. I get the impression he is a self-taught programmer which is awesome, but also means that there might be things a professional could do quicker. That’s the main reason I personally wouldn’t back it (other than the fact I’m not musically inclined).
I also noticed he didn’t release a press release until after the Kickstarter campaign was going, which makes me wonder how much promoting work went into this. Still I think with a little more work and reevaluation Battle of the Bits could return to Kickstarter and get funded, but what do you think?