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"Kickstarter: Where idiots go... to spend money on crap."
Sam Hyde

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 had enjoyed a reasonable success beforehand, Kickstarter went 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:

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    Comic Books 

  • 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.


    Live Action TV 

  • 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.)
  • Ted Leo's The Hanged Man.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 7th Sea: Second Edition was the first tabletop RPG Kickstarter to raise over a million dollars, with a final total of $1.31 million - over forty times its original goal of $30,000.
  • Apocalypse World 2nd Edition
  • Blades in the Dark
  • Book of Beasties
  • Conan, a minatures-based board game from Monolith. Not to be confused with the other Conan KS here, which is a tabletop RPG.
  • Darklight: Memento Mori
  • A new series of sourcebooks for Delta Green that managed to raise $362,324, several times its original goal of $40,000.
  • 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: "It’s 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."
    • It worked so well a second campaign was run for another wave of new minis. This was followed by a third campaign to convert their CAV skirmish game to Bones material, and then again by a third general Bones minis kickstarter.
  • The Strange
  • Tephra, a steampunk roleplaying game, was published in 2012 after a successful Kickstarter campaign that enticed supporters with advanced copies of their special promotional supplement, the Adversary Book, which contained a list of non-player characters to use as antagonists in sagas.
  • Torg Eternity
  • Trogdor!: A tabletop game based on the recurring character from Homestar Runner.
  • Witch Girls Adventures: Book of Shadows. It got funded, but the project essentially collapsed and backers were stuck with Witch Girls: ReSpelled, a "1.5 edition" that amounted to corebook errata, rather than what was promised.

    Video Games 
  • Shadowrun Returns: An isometric Role-Playing Game and the first digital adapdation of the setting since the 90's. Performed well enough to receive an expansion pack (Dragonfall) and a sequel set in Hong Kong.
  • Yogventures!, a cancelled video game that would have been based on the characters and personalities of The Yogscast.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Video 

  • Ava's Demon: Books one and two.
  • Awkward Zombie: Volume One
  • Brawl in the Family: Volume One
  • Check, Please!: Volumes one and two were financed through kickstarter. Volume three is still in campaign, but has already reached near ten times what was requested.
  • 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 Foglio 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
  • For several years now, weekend Dumbing of Age strips have been funded as stretch goals from the drives for the strip's print volumes.

    Western Animation 
  • ''Anomalisa with Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. The Kickstarter was made just to see if there was any interest in financing the film, where it eventually did and got picked up by Paramount at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Barry & Joe: The Animated Series
  • The Saga of Rex: a traditionally-animated film project based on a graphic novel by Michel Gagné (whose references include The Iron Giant and Prelude to Eden).
  • SWAT Kats: Revolution: An attempt to revive one of the most radical cartoons of the 90's.
  • Wakfu: In an attempt to provide an English Dub for English broadcasters. It worked and now the show airs in select Cartoon Network markets, and on Netflix for most of the world. At the time it's campaign ended, it was in the top 5 most funded animation category ever.

    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 it's 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 Echo Chamber and a vlog series. In the end, $105,186 was raised from 3,109 backers (not counting any PayPal donations).
  • Fruitbat Factory, the publisher of 100% Orange Juice!, opened a Kickstarter campaign on January 30th, 2018 to produce a line of a plushies based on the characters from the game. The campaign met its funding goal within 72 hours since it started, with extra funding going towards producing cards, accessories, and extra character plushies.

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. This is to prevent backers from wasting money on a project that ends up becoming underfunded and unable to be finished.
  • Con Man: Beware; as with any other platform for raising money, Kickstarter has attracted its share of scammers. The site does offer some fraud protection and will shut down any project that can't be proven to meet its standards, but it's also rather easy for any crook to fund a project that has no realistic chance of ever being made.
  • 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.
  • Loophole Abuse: Project creators regularly find ways to bend the letter of the Kickstarter rules so they can get their project funded. Case in point, someone (who we'll not cite here as in to avoid personal attacks) once made potato salad through Kickstater, the reasoning was that the site's ruled say that only creative projects should be funded and that potato could, technically, fit under this category, as "creative projects" is a term that can be left to much more interpretation than one would think.
    • It's also possible to run a Kickstarter to start a business, provided the business produces something sufficiently creative, a video game studio, or a distribution platform for music, or a food truck, or manufacturing and selling a new gadget.
    • Kickstarter doesn't allow porn, but that applies only to live-action; games and comics with drawn sex scenes have been able to draw plenty of funding.
    • Soliciting donations for charity is not allowed either, but one of the late reward items in The Order of the Stick Reprint Drive included Rich Burlew just coincidentally already planning a donation in that same amount to a charity.
    • invoked At one point, Kickstarter only allowed projects to be funded in US dollars, and required someone in the USA to receive the funds, via an Amazon Payments account. During this time, projects frequently opened up PayPal donation drives for those who couldn't contribute in US funds or via Amazon, but only after the main Kickstarter drive was fully funded. This was officially discouraged (since Kickstarter takes a percentage of the money), but they couldn't really stop it since the PayPal donations were supposedly coming from people who were unable to contribute on Kickstarter in the first place (until Kickstarter opened things up to make foreign contributions and projects possible).
      • At least one project had to scramble to move to Indiegogo when it was realized that such a lump sum would cause major financial problems for the designated receiver.
  • Self-Deprecation: The pitch-videos that tend more towards the humorous side of the Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. 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.