It’s always disheartening to see a project I back not make funding. However, it also makes me glad to see when they don’t give up. Some eventually return to crowdfunding while others end up finding other means of securing funds. In the case of Stardrop, they’re returning to seek money from fans, but not in the way you’d expect.
Back in April, a Kickstarter campaign for Stardrop ran that finished well below the mark. As one of the backers, I received an e-mail from lead developer Joure Visser about a relaunch campaign. Instead of going through Kickstarter, IndieGogo, or any of the other established sites, he decided to go a different route. As of now, if you’re so inclined you can go to their own site and pledge there.
There are a couple caveats to this though. One is that there is no end date. The current funding campaign for Stardrop will continue until Joure decides to stop receiving pledges. The other is that there will be no refunds. All sales are final, so be sure you want to give your money before pledging. Thankfully, there is an updated demo to try out before you take the plunge.
I’m sure you’re wondering by now why he’s not going through any already existing site. According to the e-mail, it’s due to a combination of unmentioned personal reasons and that he just doesn’t have the time for a full month’s campaign. After all, it can be taxing and stressful to project creators.
I’ve seen campaigns ran in this fashion that don’t do well. Some, like the one for 7th Guest 3, crashed and burned very quickly. I’m not particularly fond of this method, but it is as valid as any other option out there. I did enjoy the original demo for Stardrop, and I do want to see them succeed. However, some problems do arise when going this route.
Perhaps the biggest issue is the “no refund” angle. Sure, even Kickstarter doesn’t promise your money back when a project fails to deliver but it’s more glaringly obvious when they outright state it. Another problem area is the lack of a funding goal or end date. With most crowdfunding sites, there’s usually a month or so period of time to get money. With no clear goal, it’s hard to tell if they’ll be able to deliver anything at all. This is also a problem area with IndieGogo’s “flexible funding” initiative.
This could encourage more developers to use this method in the future, or it could backfire for the developers. It’s hard to say with any certainty which way it’ll go, but time will tell.