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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

DCS WWII kickstarter closes, what did it achieve?

Well, there has been a lot of interest in the idea of using a Kickstarter campaign to support the development of a new flight sim, so what happened?

In the end the campaign raised about 160,000 USD - 60,000 USD more than the original 100K target and 10,000 over the first of several 'stretch' targets.

Along the way the incentives and bonuses for backers were changed, changed again, and changed yet again until it became almost impossible to work out what your pledge had actually earned you between early alpha, early beta access, t shirts, flight manuals, extra aircraft, signed photographs of the team or a day in Moscow...all were up for grabs at some point or other. But in the end, if you were a backer at around the $40 level, it got you access to several flyable aircraft that later buyers may have to purchase individually, and access to the closed beta of the game.

It was all rather chaotic.

Some people seemed to think their money was going to support the base game development, but that was never the intention. The kickstarter campaign was just intended to allow the devs to add more content to the game before its release, and generate some needed interest and PR.

So what extra features in the actual game will the 160,000 USD buy actually? Remembering that at one point the devs were dangling a flyable and crewable B17 in front of backers to encourage them to pledge.

The whole campaign resulted in...a cockpit for the already planned AI Me262, it turns out.

Now that it is done, looking back it seems like a whole like of hype and digital ink for a very small outcome in terms of extra game features to me but if you are a backer, you may be happy it all ended with you getting potential access to a few more aircraft for a relatively small outlay.

From project lead, Ilya Shevchenko explaining that the KS project was not a distraction and only resulted in adding a new cockpit to the game:

The team had their tasks on September 4th, the day before KS launched, and that's exactly the tasks they're working on today, and what they'll be working on on Oct 6th, the day after KS ends. I have not issued any new tasks or changed any existing ones during this campaign once. The 3D modelers are making planes and cockpits. The landscape designers are working on Normandy. The programmers are doing their thing.
I really can't stress this enough. The only change that will result from this kickstarter is the addition of the Me.262 cockpit to one modeler's task list, and the addition of its programming to the flight model crew. That's IT. Everything else is exactly where it was a week, a month, two months ago.


  1. Shows 42 hours remaining for me.
    I've been sitting on the fence watching this thing, and damn is it messy. If this is the level of organisation being applied to the project then it's no wonder Dover was such a mess, and I would be very concerned for a similar outcome with this.

  2. Chaotic it was. Even frustrating at times.
    And exiting, I kept coming back each day to follow its progress.

    $160.000+ raised, over 2.500 backers.

    IF everybody stayed on the fence, AND the DCS WWII was to be developed ANYWAY, I for one would be off worse:

    The planned planes would be (exept 1) be available for purchase, about say $30-40 apiece. 4x30+$ is 120+$. For all the 5 DCS P51 level planes. No extras, no ME262, manuals ect. for me as non backer.

    Being a backer, for the same amount of money I get 1 extra plane, the ME262, and 5 extras (manuals) apart from Beta acces.

    More importantly maybe, the backing showed a trust and revival in the
    Hardcore flightsim genre.

    So on the individual level as wel as in a broader perspective a lot more than another cockpit is to be found I say.

  3. I forgot:

    ....or for a mere $40 ALL 6 aircraft!

    The other strech goals will be reached in time, just not at once.
    Of that I am sure.
    So taking it easy to get there does not bother me.

    And then we can all say it started with this "botched" kickstarter, and see where it got us...

    THAT is what it will have achieved. Mark. My. Words.

    Good sim times ahead, for those who see it.

    My 2 cents, of course.

  4. The Kickstarter provided extra funds to ensure a better product at release and an incredible value to those who backed it.Regular price for a single plane at DCS level is $40.For that same amount pledged on Kickstarter you get 6!!!!!SDK available for the public was not mentioned and its sad because its one of the most important aspects of this project.Completely biased article, whoever wrote it has a very strong agenda.

    Fortunately I this is an unknown website so I dont think the biased opinion of a single individual matters much, specially not now that the project is funded and even a stretch goal was reached.

  5. What is this? Why did you take Ilya's quote out of context?! What gives you the right?
    Here's what really happened:

    Yes, ilya said that the KS changes nothing, "other than funding it [the development]".

    Without the KS- NO ONE would have DCS: WWII.

  6. I am not sure your post correctly reflects the fundraising effort. The reward system was indeed confusing, very difficult to understand but as far as the goals & stretch goals I think it was pretty clearly stated at the beginning that in order to COMPLETE the development of the original 3 aircraft $100,000 was needed. (I do not believe the cost of the FW190 is included here as it is already being developed for DCS World and should go into beta in Feb. 2014. And of course the P51 already exists, hence 3 rather than 5) Costs to COMPLETE further content were calculated and stretch goals were based on that. You are implying that the project could/should be completed without the extra funding.

    Also, It became clear early on that backers wanted the B17 but the complexity of that project required more funding that was at this time available. The more achievable goal of the Me262 was offered based on backer comments; it was the next most popular option. Furthermore, your comment that "at one point the devs were dangling a flyable and crewable B17 in front of backers to encourage them to pledge" is disingenuous and misleading. The idea of offering the B17 at the $375,000 level arose DIRECTLY in response to backer requests. I am pretty sure it was originally intended to be developed at a much later date following the release of many other aircraft and was originally presented as a $750,000 or maybe even $1,000,000 goal. That it came so strongly into play was due to BACKERS requests not the developers trying to get us to give them money.

    1. "I think it was pretty clearly stated at the beginning that in order to COMPLETE the development of the original 3 aircraft $100,000 was needed."

      Actually, no. This is from the Kickstarter page:

      "The initial kickstarter goal is needed to fund a longer more extensive beta testing period for the game, giving all its components extra polish, and to make the game landscape more alive by creating a larger variety of ground objects and vehicles, and spending more time to hand-craft various historical areas such as accurate recreations of more coastline villages, important bridges, unique airfields, and more."

      So the kickstarter funds were always just intended to enhance a game that was being produced anyway. As Ilya said in the quote included in the post, which was not taken out of context.

      So to say 'without the KS no one would have DCS WWII' seems to contradict what the devs themselves said.

      My only point with this post was to try to make clear what the kickstarter project actually did for the GAME, not the backers. The backers get all sorts of nice little bonuses, but the game itself, only gets the addition of a cockpit for what would otherwise have been an AI only Me262.

      As your response, and the response of others to this post demonstrate, many backers did not realise that they were just backing enhancements to the game, not the actual game itself. 150,000 USD buys almost nothing in modern PC game development.

  7. Is fair that the kickstarter awards was a mess, but who cares, it was a good idea and good to see such support. Now some DCS fanboi arrives who is upset something seems to criticise a DCS game, as typical, but I dont think the original post was critical, just an opinion.

  8. Yay ... way to go on generating interest in your blog by stirring up a little controversy, like that never been done before

  9. Its not hard to understand. There is a game called DCS WWII. DCS is backing it, and development already started. Now the developer wants to build a bit more into the game, get some proof there is a market for it, what does he do, he does a kickstarter project. He promises some tshirts, some early access, some extras like free aircraft, to help raise interest. Depending on the amount raised, he will add new features like a new cockpit, a new aircraft. He raised 150,000 and for that he gets a bit more autonomy and a bit more freedom from DCS, and we get a flyable Schwalbe, which wasnt in the original plans.

    Duh. How hard is that to understand?

  10. This is an IL2 propaganda blog - any discussion useless.

    1. Yes, you must be propaganda. Oh wait, then why did I write this...

      " DCS WWII Kickstarter fundraising 60% to target
      The team behind the newly announced DCS WWII 1944 project went the crowd funding route with a kickstarter project: the goal was 100,000 USD to fund some extra work such as a flyable B17.

      They gave themselves the month of Sept to do it, and there were many doubters, but it seems they will get there with time to spare.

      As of 11 Sept, 6 days after posting the kickstarter appeal, they are at 59,000 USD, with three weeks and only 40,000 USD to go.

      Looks like it might be 'game on'!

      I threw in 40 dollars, why not? The game seems pretty certain to proceed and a few dollars gets you closed beta access and a couple of payware kites."

      Must have been confused. I guess that is why I also cover BOBII and CFS3 as well as IL2 and Cliffs of Dover and the DCS release of the FW190 and...

      Discussion here is more than welcome, and there is more than one sim out there, not all are perfect, and all opinions are valid.

      Sorry about that.

  11. For anyone following the project it was clear enough, even the additional rewards that kicked in at the right moment to rejuvenate backers levels and bring in new backers. The rewards were clear enough for anyone bothering to study Ilya's rewards chart. The rewards didn't only add aircraft, they also added opportunities to acess Alpha and Beta testing of some new aircraft and the game itself. As already stated, new DCS aircraft typically cost around $40. $40+ backers get aircraft worth over $200 as well as the game itself.