Not every Kickstarter project has a Tim Schafer, Brian Fargo or Jordan Weisman behind the wheel. There are plenty of great projects out there, but sometimes the pitches seem a little weak or it’s clear that there are one or more aspects that might not have been fully considered. The difference between success and failure might just be having a bit of guidance from someone who’s done it before. On the flip side, there are many young developers out there eager for experience. Kickstarter projects might just give them a chance to make something cool while honing their skills.
Today, Obsidian Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer, Chris Avellone, posted on the developer’s website an interesting proposition. The studio is willing to play matchmaker between intern and junior developers and Kickstarer projects in need of a bit of help. We asked Avellone about the generous offer, to which he responded,
“I get a lot of internship requests that Obsidian can’t help with, and then it occurred to me that Kickstarter projects would be a good avenue for interns and internship programs to pursue, and I’d love to be able to bring the two together. On one hand, it helps Kickstarter projects get needed resources, and it helps students and juniors get more practical game experience and exposure to the industry.”
Avellone is currently working in just such a capacity (though, he is by no means an intern or junior developer) with Brian Fargo on Wasteland 2. When asked about this possibly leading to a broader business opportunity in the industry for Kickstarter consultants, he said,
“I think Kickstarter is a great opportunity for contractors in general. I think Mike Stackpole alone is almost guaranteed to get a lot of work across projects based on his track record. I wouldn’t be surprised if Colin McComb (Planescape: Torment) also gets approached for work.”
It will be interesting to see how much the Kickstarter segment of the market grows, especially if it becomes, in part, a proving ground for young, talented developers to make their own titles. This would allow them to both build a strong resume while gaining practical experience that will serve them regardless of what type of development environment they seek.
Whether or not this is something that will spread to larger studios is something that only time will bear out.