Seven Questions for Every Video Game Kickstarter
Recommend checking out this article:
My own comments below:
These are all good questions. I would offer the following advice:
For point 1: “Who is the project manager for this development?”
To be fair, not everyone has a “General Manager” of a project. Indeed, that’s an oftentimes bad role in a creative enterprise; most subject matter specialists don’t like answering to a person who has authority just by virtue of handling the money. That said, if they use a better model, they should explain that model. So maybe what we should be asking is:
“Do you have an Organizational Chart for the team?” (Also, asking for workflows will sometimes yield some interesting information, but that’s a bit more advanced.)
The Org Chart should define the roles and responsibilities, and should also help in answering question 2 and to a lesser extent 3.
To further answer question 3, and to answer question 6 at the same time, the team should provide a preliminary Product Roadmap, featuring key milestones and staff ramp-up schedule at the same time.
Questions 4 and 5 can both be answered in the same budget breakdown document (even if the tools are free, they should still be listed and indicated as such).
Question 7 should be answerable both in the body of the pitch, but also in the aforementioned documents. Early Access and the like should be in the roadmap. Other sources of funding should be in the budget breakdown (as that shouldn’t just feature the Kickstarter money).
Two more things I would ask are:
* Where are you planning to get the additional staff from?
Quality staff are hard to come by. If you want the best of the best, you may have to use agents. Or at the very least direct approaches (which are time consuming), and then you have to expect to pay a lot more than you would for students out of Uni.
If they have a core team of relatively skilled and experienced people, sure, that can go a long way. But if they commit to a timeline for the additional hires, that puts them under time pressure. So I’d like to know if the future hires are scoped out already or if they will post a job listing or what.
* What happens if the project attracts unexpected investment?
People were none too happy with the whole Oculus/Facebook thing. Maybe explain the team’s philosophical stance on working with large companies, and what happens to the backers’ investment if and when EA steps in and buys the whole shebang.