Star Citizen boss urges developers to work with fanbase
Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts has said crowdfunding is a strong tool in building communities for games, in a speech as GDC Next.
Roberts’s in-production title Star Citizen is the most successful crowdfunded video game ever, backed to the tune of $26m and climbing. He said, “It’s not just about raising money… this is the mistake I see a lot of other campaigns make. The best thing about crowdfunding is that you get to build your community early.”
Roberts stressed, “It’s very important to aggregate the people who are interested in your kind of game.”
According to Roberts, the new space trading and combat simulation IP has accrued hundreds of thousands of followers by engaging the community and keeping them interested through frequent posts and videos showing the game’s progress, while asking for feedback.
Roberts advised future crowdfunders, “Make sure you are meeting the demands of your community. The community is very good at telling you actually how they want to support you, help you, and give you more money.”
He added that, in exchange, you should let them “experience the journey of making the game alongside you.”
He continued, “Build your own site. It allows you to have complete control over the medium and message.” Although he conceded that crowdfunding venues such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are “good for finding or initially building a community.”
The veteran developer also advised future developers to offer upgrades and perks, involve the players, and to continue the crowdfunding campaign in order to draw in new, paying fans.
Follow Sean on Twitter: @SeanDKnight