Thursday, January 6, 2011

"All or Nothing" or "You Earned It You Keep It"... Why Not Both?

After reading a comment by an avid fan of the "All or Nothing" system of payment that Kickstarter employs, I felt like it was time for us to revisit the notion. Obviously, there are advantages to both Kickstarter's and IndieGoGo's method, particularly as it applies to game development.

On the one hand, we certainly don't want developers to get saddled with a lower amount that they need nor do we want people to feel like they just contributed to nothing and feel "ripped off" by a game never being fully developed.

On the flip side, however, there are certain advantages of a developer getting at least some of the money owed to them. Let's face it, developers are a resourceful bunch. Just because they might ask for $2000 but only received $1000 doesn't necessarily mean that the project can't finish with the money contributed. It just means that the developer might have to work a little harder to get something done.

And thus we have our dilemma. Two different system, both with which has its own advantages. So why not a compromise?

What we're proposing is a marriage between the two systems. Let's say a developer needs $5000. Our thinking is that should the developer raise at least half that amount of money they could realistically be able to finish their project. As such from the half-way point on we will ensure that developers are entitled to the money they've risen minus our 10% fee (and PayPal fees) for not reaching the set goals. This is a window that basically allows for developers to take what they've got and work with it on their project. Should a developer still not feel like this is enough then he/she can request to have it all refunded 100% back to the contributors at no cost to them. Should said developer raise less than half of the $5000 goal then we will refund all contributors.

Using this method should keep developers honest about their funding expectations and not allow them to simply create a project to "cash in." However, it also won't penalize entirely people who fail to make their desired goal.

Feedback is appreciated.


  1. Sounds good, except for the part where you're charging the developers 10% instead of 5%.

  2. It's a fairly common practice and it's primarily designed so that developers have a further incentive to keep their goals within reason and to really try to make said goal.

    We'll look into it going forward but we really don't want to only give reason for a developer to pursue half of his/her goal.

  3. Hi, Geoff. I read your answer to my comment in the previous blog entry, and although I like the solutions you bring I'm still not totally cool with how you have to "punish" a developer by charging him more if he doesn't raise as much as he wants.

    He could have a very good project and he could be very realistic and even humble about the amount he's asking for, yet he may not get all the money he's requesting. Is not his fault. He's got enough punishment by not raising the amount he needed.

    I think that if the people donating think he's asking for too much they will "punish" him themselves by not donating.

    Also I don't see the point of trying to "cash in" by asking too much when there's no limit to the money you can raise and you can get more than the amount you are requesting.

    Still, this is a great project and I wish you good luck, I'm looking forward to the launching day. Thanks for being open to receive feedback that may seem a bit harsh (but it's with the best intentions). Cheers!

  4. I understand your sentiments johan, seriously you've already put your mark into this site given your arguments. I'm happy somebody is as passionate as you to voice serious concerns.

    I don't want this extra charge to be seen as punishment, but the fact of the matter is that we need to further incentivize developers to reach their goal.

    Fact of the matter is that our site will be 100% judged based on how successful projects are. If developers aren't reaching their project numbers and are continually failing to be "successful" then it makes the entire site look bad, which in turns hurts all other projects that are on the site.

    We'll be constantly evaluating it as we move forward and perhaps soon after we will decide we don't even need it. However, out the gate we need to hit the gaming community hard and fast if we want to gain any traction and if that means we need to give developers further reason to keep reaching after they've hit the half way mark of their funding then that's what it means.