Website: Kickstarter

Kickstarter is probably the most well known crowd funding website in existence. Basically, here you can obtain money for any creative projectnote  you have by submitting a description of your project (usually alongside a short video) and promising rewards to people who "pledge" different amounts.

While the site has enjoyed a reasonable success beforehand, Kickstarter has gone through an explosion in popularity after February 2012: not only did an iPhone dock become the first project to raise a million dollars, but legendary game developer Tim Schafer announced he was going to raise money for a new adventure game, and Double Fine was only asking for $400,000 as its goal. Said project ended up raising over 3 million, with 1 million raised in a single day. The Order of the Stick Reprint Drive also joined the 1+ million club the same month. Here you can find a nice retrospective they released for their fifth birthday.

Schaefer's success then caused a large number of game developers to turn to Kickstarter in the following months, and later talents from other fields as well. The website has played a significant role in popularizing the concept of crowd funding as a whole.

Notable Kickstarter projects include:

  • Initially Chris Roberts tried to crowd-fund Star Citizen through his own website, but so many people tried to pledge that the server couldn't handle it and crashed. To address the site's instability and make up for lost time, he started a Kickstarter project as well.
  • Sunless Sea
  • Super Retro Squad
  • The English-language localization of The Tale Of ALLTYNEX
  • Thanks Killing 3
  • That Dragon Cancer
  • Theatre Is Evil, an album by Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra. Notable for surpassing its $100,000 goal to the tune of $1.2 million, and the album debuted on the Billboard top 100 Album list at number 10 due to the immense number of Kickstarter pre-orders. (Later provoked a bit of a controversy online when Palmer invited local musicians to play with the tour gratis.)
  • Torment: Tides of Numenera, the Spiritual Successor to Planescape: Torment based on Numenera. Fully funded in just six hours and went on to become the most funded video game to date on Kickstarter, having surpassed Project Eternity by $200k on its final day.
  • Tropes vs. Women in Videogames
  • Time Of Eve was hoping to raise 18,000 dollars for an English subtitled release on Blu-ray. Instead it got over 10 times that and hastily added more subtitles, a dub, artbooks, merchandise and shorts.
  • TV Tropes (yes, this very site) launched a Kickstarter on November 30, 2014, seeking at least $50,000 to improve the site and the servers its on. It was part of a change of leadership with the original creator and founder stepping away from running everything behind the scenes. In the words from the staff:
    After 10 amazing years, it's time for TV Tropes to grow a beard.
    • On December 8th, the $50,000 minimum funding goal was achieved.
    • On December 26th, the first $75,000 stretch goal was achieved, allowing the team to get more servers, hire a part time programmer, and work on an API.
    • On December 30th, the last day, and with at least four hours remaining, the second and final $100,000 stretch goal was achieved. The staff will then work on Season 3 of the Echo Chamber and a vlog series. In the end, $105,186 was raised from 3,109 backers (not counting any Pay Pal donations).
  • Under the Dog, an OVA set in a near future world, where the UN trains augmented assassins
  • Underworld Ascendant, a continuation of the Ultima Underworld series
  • Upldr
  • Veronica Mars (The Movie): The fastest funded film project on Kickstarter at the time after being fully funded with a million dollars raised in under 11 hours.
  • War for the Overworld, a Spiritual Successor to the Dungeon Keeper series, unconnected to but fully endorsed by the latter's original creators.

This website provides examples of:

  • Follow the Leader: While Kickstarter had hosted hundreds of gaming projects before Tim Schafer, Double Fine Adventure caused several high profile developers to join in. It also paved the way for much more expensive projects: before DFA getting over 100k on Kickstarter was a bit of a stretch, now several projects have tried and succeeded getting money around and over the 500k range.
  • Honest Axe: It has been repeatedly shown that Kickstarter backers are on average a lot more forgiving towards projects that publicly explain why and how they failed to reach certain promised goals and deadlines than towards the ones that try to gloss over their mistakes with standard PR lines.
  • Self-Deprecation: The pitch-videos that tends more towards the humorous side of the Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness usually include this in spades. The one for CLANG being a prime example, even getting an "it takes time" joke out of Gabe Newell.
  • Sturgeon's Law: As with everything, most submissions are not funded for good reason. Whether or not the trope also applies to the things that do get funded is a matter of debate.