Website: Kickstarter

Kickstarter is probably the most well-known crowd funding website in existence. 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 three million, with one 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:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime 
  • Eve No Jikan 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.
  • Little Witch Academia Episode 2
  • Under the Dog, an OVA set in a near future world, where the UN trains augmented assassins
  • AnimEigo completed a wildly successful Kickstarter for a blu-ray of the original Bubblegum Crisis.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics was attempting to use this to help its "Riverside Reborn" Continuity Reboot by using the funding to get three titles - Betty & Veronica, Jughead and Life With Kevin - out the door faster. Controversy over it caused it to be shut down five days later.

    Film 
  • 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.
  • The storyboard animatic for a CG feature film adaptation of The Goon.
  • 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.
  • I Am Big Bird - A documentary about Carroll Spinney, the last original Muppet puppeteer, who has played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969.

    Literature 

    Music 
  • Animusic 3
  • Savlonic's debut album Red.
  • 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.)

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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.
  • 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 Tycho put 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."

    Video Games 
  • Hero-U, a Spiritual Sequel to the Quest for Glory series made by the Coles.
  • Homestuck Adventure Game: Reached its goal within two days, and ultimately raised over 350% of its $700,000 goal. It is to be set within the universe but not following the main canon.
  • Yogventures!, a cancelled video game that would have been based on the characters and personalities of The Yogscast.

    Web Video 

    Webcomics 
  • Awkward Zombie: Volume One
  • Brawl in the Family: Volume One
  • Deep Dive Daredevils: A Diesel Punk webcomic about the USS Custer and its' brave crew.
  • Erfworld, four times. The first was a project to make a motion comic from Book 1, that ended up funding several other goals. The second, an alphabet book featuring characters and creatures of the world. The third, a set of lapel pins featuring the battle crests for the seven major factions in the world. The fourth project is currently underway, with the goal of funding production of Book 3.
  • 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.
  • Johnny Wander: To finance the printing of the third paperback volume.
  • 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.
  • The Order of the Stick Reprint Drive

    Other Projects 
  • 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.
  • Potato salad note 
  • 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.
  • 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).

This website provides examples of:

  • All or Nothing: A project will only take its backers' pledged funds if it reaches its funding target. If it's so much as a dollar short, it gets no money at all.
  • 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.