Okay, I want to bring up Sportsfriends.
I’m not convinced I like the name. No, let’s get that out of the way. Perhaps I could’ve got behind Sportsenemies or SportsPack or SportsSportsSports or SportsPixels or Get Your Sports Shit On, I don’t know. Sportsfriends, meh.
It’s not a product. No, let’s get that out of the way. It is a product to be, a thing yet to be made. It will be Sportsfriends. Now it is just a Kickstarter.
I’m not a Kickstarter junkie. No, let’s get that out of the way. I like cash in, product out. I can get kind of allergic when it comes to donating money to games causes. There are lots of Kickstarter contributors out there who see Kickstarter as an alternative preorder system. Guess what! I’m not one of them.
But I put money into Sportsfriends.
Doug Wilson interviewed Petri Purho, Ramiro Corbetta and Martin Jonasson for Electron Dance in an article called Waking the Crowd posted last September. It was all about these cool exhibition games that haven’t translated so well to folks’ homes. I wrote a little bit about this in a recent essay called The Hokra Problem and here’s the key line:
The PC is not traditionally viewed as a device that people congregate around.
I’d like that to change, even if just for us few old-timers who cling to a desktop, Michael Brough. Maybe Sportsfriends, containing Johann Sebastian Joust, Super Pole Riders, BaraBariBall and Hokra, can change that. And that’s why I put money in, because I’d like this to become a real, commercial thing. Not Sportsfriends per se – but these kind of games. It is a proof of concept for a new commercial genre. (And also I want to play BaraBariBall with Gregg B again outside of the Eurogamer Expo.)
Look, here’s a video about Sportsfriends! Yeah, yeah, Tim Schafer is in it. Will you watch it now?
Kickstarters often don’t get their funding until the last minute. I put this down to psychology. It’s a mixture of pressure – you’ve no time left to think about it, it’s now or never – and perhaps also waiting to see if your contribution is absolutely necessary. As I write this Sportsfriends has only broken through 50% of funding, so contributions are still very much needed.
There are three days left.
Look, here’s a video interview with Doug Wilson in which he talks a lot about these type of sports games!
WHERE DO I GO
It wouldn’t be Electron Dance if I didn’t add this: please remember that donating to a Kickstarter is no guarantee of anything. The very reason Kickstarter works is because it is a donation model and not one where you get equity. These four guys may just run off to Hawaii together with the money. Or conspire to write the FPS QWOPDoom instead of finishing off all these other games as promised. IT COULD HAPPEN. I’m not here telling you to contribute, I’m just spreading the message for a Kickstarter I actually care about.
Also I promise not to bring up another Kickstarter for the next year. That’s my Kickstarter pledge.