Monday, August 10, 2015

Funding Along With The Crowd

In the comic today, the frogs "crowdfunded" their latest endeavor by picking the pockets of the crowd of potential investors. Crowdfunding in real life is slightly more legitimate.

I am most familiar with Kickstarter as a crowdfunding platform. I was one of the higher-tier backers of the OUYA, which was one of the most successful campaigns ever run. I gave enough that I got tickets to the party back in March of 2013. I guess maybe that's why I got my dev OUYA on time (in December 2012) and everyone else was complaining that the stores had them before the backers did. Then OUYA struggled for a while before being acquired by Razer last month. Did it ever fulfill the dreams of those of us who donated money? Can any project ever really live up to its hype?

I even tried a Kickstarter campaign myself once. OUYA was doing a promotion where if you got funded for at least $50k to make an OUYA-exclusive game, they would match what you got from Kickstarter. It sounded like good publicity, so we put up a campaign. Did it work? Absolutely not. But can I blame anyone for not donating money to me? Not really.

It did give me the idea that I should bring back my frog comics and build an audience before asking the Internet to give me money to make a game about my frog comics. So here we are. The frog comics have been running for over a year now, I'm slowing building an audience, and maybe in 10 years or so I'll have enough fans to fund my game idea at $5 each.

Today there is another crowdfunding platform called Patreon that focuses on monthly funding for art projects. It's very popular with webcomic creators, but I haven't set anything up yet. I guess I'm not sure that I qualify. Are my comics really art, since I make them in Inkscape instead of with a pen? Am I really a webcomic author, or am I just a software engineer who can make a web page resemble a comic? Maybe I just don't want to face the rejection of having no one give me any funding.

I'll keep thinking about it.

Amphibian.com comic for 10 August 2015