Kickstarter is probably the most well known crowd funding website in existence. Basically, here you can obtain money for any creative projectnote stuff like businesses, charities, etc, are not allowed 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 crowdfunding as a whole.
Dreadball, a sci-fi sport board game from Mantic Games. Like the Reaper Miniatures one further down this page, they used Kickstarter to fund and release the game and expansions far faster than they would have through traditional means. It also influenced development at points - the community's response to one MVP, Mee-Ken Judwan, led to the creation of the Judwan species as a team for the Season 2 expansion, for example. And much to the backers' delight; the game is far from being merely Blood Bowl In Space.
Dreadball Xtreme, a sibling game focused on illegal, backalley games of Dreadball sponsored by crime-bosses and those who aren't happy with the DGB regulations, is also being funded via Kickstarter.
The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened?: a documentary made by filmmaker John Schnepp detailing the history of the failed Superman movie, Superman Lives - the infamous film that refused to have Superman fly, have him fight a polar bear and deal with Brainiac and his "gay R2-D2 with attitude" robot sidekick.
Girl Genius: The professors sought funding to print volume 12 of the comic, and ended up with enough to reprint the entire run. It's currently the fourth most funded Kickstarter in the comics category.
Harbinger Down, a horror film about a research team of college graduates who stumble upon the wreckage of a Russian ship and discover that the crew were performing experiments on tardigrades which are rapidly mutating, the film is being produced by special effects legends Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. and there will be absolutely no CGI creature effects.
LeVar Burton brought up a Kickstarter to help resurrect Reading Rainbow as a web series, even providing a large library of interactive books and video field trips to promote literacy to deserving kids across America. Its $1 million goal was funded in seven hours, and has finished with almost $5.5 million in total (including an extra million from Seth Mac Farlane, of all people). At 91,000 backers, it is also currently the most popular project done.
Pillars of Eternity, pitched by Obsidian Entertainment under the provisional title "Project Eternity", managed to reach it's $1.1 million goal within roughly 27 hours, and ended up making almost 4 times its original goal, beating the Double Fine Adventure as the most supported game Kickstarter on its final day.
Penny Arcade Sells Out: Rather than one specific project, PA is looking to get the fans to pick up the site's operating expenses for a year. If successful, then they can work on projects for the fans instead of for advertisers.
Downloadable Content podcast season 2: "Funded" at $10, reflecting the creators' desire to restart the podcast.
Potato salad note The most famous "joke" kickstarter on the site, funded at $10.
The Ouya: An open, hackable console based off the Android OS which retails for $99. Its controller features two analog sticks, eight buttons, and a touchpad screen.
Reaper Miniatures: Rather than expand their Bones range over several years, they used Kickstarter to try and expand the range a bit faster, with the newer models from the range being the rewards. They originally asked for $30,000 with a rather nice selection of models for a $100 pledge. As of this edit, they have nearly reached the $2.15 million mark and by expanding the $100 level reward with each stretch goal, those backers are now getting somewhere in the ballpark of 200 minis. As Tychoput it; "Itís a good thing that the Bones line being funded consists of plastic minis, because if they fulfilled this order in pewter or white metal it would influence the tilt of the earth, killing billions."
RiffTrax wanted to live-Riff Twilight in August 2013. They asked Kickstarter users for $55,000 so they could get the rights from Lionsgate. They ended up with $264,860. The studio declined, so the guys ended up taking on Starship Troopers instead.
RiffTrax returned to Kickstarter when they wanted to get the rights to live-Riff Godzilla (1998). (After Twilight, they made sure that the studio was already OK with the plan as long as the check cleared.) They asked for $100,000, and got it in a couple days. So they announced (again, after checking with the studio first) that if they reached $250,000, they'd add a live-Riff of Anaconda to the schedule. Final total: $265,011.
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.)
Wasteland 2, pitched by inXile Entertainment in the aftermath of "Double Fine Adventure"—in short, what Double Fine started, inXile codified. Wasteland 2 was the first big-name Western RPG pitched on the platform, even though it was quickly overtaken by even bigger projects like Pillars of Eternity and inXile's own Torment.
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.
Recently, Retsupurae (or more specifically, those done by slowbeef and Diabetus) have taken to spotlight a few ridiculous gaming concepts (though try to hide people's identities as much as possible outside their faces)