FTL designer wary of another Kickstarter pitch: "It just adds a whole new layer of stress"


Indie space roguelike FTL warped into our top pick for 2012's Short-form Game of the Year and tickled our auditory sensors with wonderful space pew-pew music . Its Kickstarter campaign boasted $200,542 in donations over the $10,000 goal. But given a chance to do it again, FTL designer Justin Ma wouldn't be as keen to include crowdfunding. Speaking to Polygon , Ma said the constant exposure of a publicly tracked project would weigh down the two-man team and add a "whole new layer of stress."

"I feel like I wouldn't be able to work as freely or with such agility as we were with FTL," Ma said. "We prefer to work from within a cave until we have something we feel is worth showing. I'm not sure how some developers are able to publicly show their progress at every stage of development; it just adds a whole new layer of stress."

Ma's thoughts show the other side of the coin on the level of outreach expected by developers when carting their concepts through Kickstarter. Double Fine's Tim Schafer stated people felt crowdfunding made him " unafraid of being open " to sharing as much updates and unfinished media as possible. But as Ma explained, that option could also turn into a burden and constrain developers on a tight schedule.

"Unlike some projects that could simply hire more people, we did not have the option to increase our scope greatly since we also committed ourselves to a deadline only a few months away,” Ma said. “We tried to walk the thin line between using the extra funds to increase the quality of the final product while trying not to delay the release too long. In the end, I think we were reasonably successful."

Omri Petitte

Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?