Borut Pfeifer, a friend of the blog and Georgia Tech alumnus, recently left his job as a lead AI Programmer at EA Los Angeles to strike out as an indie. While many in his position would probably be worrying primarily about their fiscal security, hoping to cash in on the massive interest in small-scale downloadable games with a quirky art style and a few novel mechanics to drive the experience home... Borut has decided to make a political game. More specifically, he's making a documentary game about the riots in Tehran following Iran's most recent election. In order to fund the project, he has turned to Kickstarter. This website allows one to set a funding goal and enumerate a number of tiered rewards for specific levels of contribution. Potential patrons are only charged if the campaign goal is met by the end date.
Borut, like many other indies using Kickstarter, offers producer credits and an in-game likeness of the patron at the highest tiers of contribution. The lowest-tier offering, perfect for impoverished students such as myself, is $10 for a preorder of the game. Presales, if you remember, were one of the two key methods by which African Americans were able to fund their first independent film projects. It's exciting that people like Borut are trying this for games, especially for a documentary game that has the potential to define the genre if it succeeds. Here is an article by Pfeifer at Gamasutra on the process of creating a Kickstarter project. Clicking on the widget above will take you to the project site. Please consider helping him out!