As someone who has been to bat for several Kickstarter projects lately, I'm becoming concerned with what's going to happen on the other end. After all this community support, will it be back to business as usual when the products hit the shelves? Will all this "fan outreach" end when they start worrying about maximizing their sales?
How will I feel when the games that I've not only helped fund, but--like many of you, have also promoted heavily with every social media tool at my disposal--how will I feel if those games end up on the shelf with the same kind of closed-source, DRM-encrusted, shrinkwrap-licensed bullshit that plagues the rest of the industry?
After some preliminary research, I've found that while most of the big game projects at least promise a DRM free version (at least as a limited option to backers), there are few promises that they will *exclusively* offer DRM free versions.
Let's consider how some of the Kickstarters I've supported are handling these issues:
Terry Hancock of Free Software Magazine has published a wonderful review of several free software games for the GNU/Linux platform--and the best part is, he selected them based on the folks who would know (his kids!). I was struck by how many of these titles resemble some of my favorite Amiga shareware games, like Atomic Tanks and MOAGG (a Thrust clone). There are also some good-looking shooters, several strategy games, and a really sweet-looking 3D pinball game called Neverball. I strongly recommend that you head over to FSF and check out Terry's reviews!
Mitch Meyran has started an interesting discussion over at Free Software Magazine about the lack of big budget games for the GNU/Linux platform. Mitch asks some good questions: How hard could it be for a company to develop their games in OpenGL (of which DirectX 9 is a clone), something several actually already do, compile a binary and an installer for Linux, and sell it - or even wrap it along with their Win32 PE binaries? Indeed, why not? As it stands, I strongly concur with Mitch that the lack of A-list titles is one reason many folks haven't already switched to to the free OS. And, yes, we all know about Wine and the like, but are these options really practical for the typical PC gamer? While you're browsing at FSF, be sure to check out my article Games in Captivity.