Perhaps the biggest draw to crowdfunding from a backers perspective is the chance to recognize a great game and directly support its development. It allows for a more personal connection with the developer and their project. An opportunity to say, “I recognize what you are trying to do and I want to help you do it.” When a developer strives to create a game that is personally meaningful to them this affirmation often makes just as much (if not more) of an impact than the actual funding. Which makes it all the more disappointing when a great idea is presented by an incredibly weak campaign.
Such is the unfortunate case of the Kickstarter for Bottles. Developer Aiden Lippold is trying to raise $1,200 to create a 2D game centered on domestic abuse. Drawing from his own experiences, Lippold wants to show what it is like to grow up in an abusive household through the eyes of a child. It’s a dark subject matter that could certainly use more attention, but the campaign is completely inadequate at demonstrating its viability.
The first major issue is the campaign’s utter lack of content. Aside from a generic title card there are no visuals to demonstrate the 2D style Lippold is promising. Combined with the absence of any mention of game mechanics or genre and it’s impossible to know what Bottles is intending to become. It’s the suggestion of a game with out any demonstrated plan to make it such. It’s the sort of project that backers expect to fail, for good reason.
It certainly doesn’t help that the reward tiers absolutely scream scampaign. Backers would apparently have to pledge at least $500 just to get a copy of the game. Is it wrong to hope this was just a joke campaign? That the absurd funding tiers were the developer tipping his hand at how ridiculous the campaign page looked? Sadly, the pitch seemed sincere.
It would be great to see more indie developers tacking tough issues in their games. It’s just a shame that Bottles won’t be able to meet the lofty goals ahead of it.