Kickstarter as a whole has a ton of potential and huge implications for the future of gaming. Currently the most popular online crowdfunding platform, it’s been used to great indie hits like Broken Age, Undertale, and Hyper Light Drifter — but it’s also been involved in some pretty huge flops as well, like the recent Mighty No. 9. This week’s biggest new Kickstarter, a remake of the classic PC shooter System Shock, has managed to sidestep most of the problems with Kickstarter games by releasing a demo.
By releasing a demo, even a pre-alpha proof of concept, System Shock puts itself miles above many Kickstarters. Being able to play the first ten minutes of the game (which I recommend, by the way) does a lot to prove what the developers are capable of. There’s more than just some concept art and a prerendered trailer, but an actual tangible game with combat, animations, and demonstrations of the various systems at play. More developers should go a similar route.
The main goal of a successful Kickstarter is creating a sense of trust in the consumer so that they’ll back your game. If the consumer doesn’t feel that you can deliver on your promises, than they won’t give you money. The best way to create that trust is simple: actual gameplay. And System Shock is doing that right.
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