This is one of those “testing the water” questions, and it’s easy to answer one-way with the heart and then another with the wallet. We know Bob Bates did it, and successfully, but what about the other Imps? Let’s assume it’s your usual Kickstarter backed effort, with the game then also being available afterwards via the usual routes.
I mean, I’d try any of them. But it’s a pretty hypothetical question. As far as I know, Bob Bates’s Thaumistry wasn’t that successful. I don’t think anybody looked at that kickstarter and said “Wow, I gotta jump on this train with my own parser IF idea!”
Zarf, it’s interesting that Hadean Lands, while starting with a lower goal, raised about the same total amount of money as an Imp-designed game.
I’m not sure what it suggests exactly, except that there’s a pretty stable core market for IF, and that it’s hard to tap into anyone outside that market even with four decades of clout. Not that we didn’t know that already… But I guess $30k-$35k is a plateau for projects like this.
I actually rather see a new game by Lebling or Moriarty than Meretzsky.
EDIT: But on the other hand I think a kickstart for Steve Meretsky to finish “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe” would gather some interest, Do Activision still own the rights to that one or is it the estate of Douglas Adams?
Or is it Strand Games (which sprang from the ashes of Magnetic Scrolls)? There’s a guy over there who says he’s been looking into the possibility of making a Restaurant game based on some old design notes which came out of an agreement they once had with Activision to develop such a game. Mind you, he’s been saying that for a while now:
To be clear: If you’re talking about games which aren’t parser IF, all bets are off.
I hope people are aware that there’s a Kickstarter running right now with Emily Short as the lead writer: Mask of the Rose. It’s a visual novel from the Fallen London company (and set in that setting). Currently at $200k and I’m sure it will end higher.
I’m going off topic now but it does feel like finishing off those unreleased games is something worth doing. The stages of development are so minimal in most cases that the new author could use whatever system they preferred ie Inform 7.
There’s also Marc Blank, who wrote some of my favorite Infocom games, and let’s not forget Amy Briggs. After Plundered Hearts I would have loved to see what else she would have come up with.
If I’m not restricted to only Infocom Imps, I’d also include the people who made the two Gateway games at Legend Entertainment. (According to the in-game credits, that would be Mike Verdu, Duane Beck, Michael Lindner, Bob Bates and Glen Dahlgren.)
Not to my knowledge, but Hadean Lands was a decade ago and Thaumistry was just three years ago, and they raised about the same amount of money. And general IF interest increased in those intervening years (ie. the rise of non-parser games mostly), while not as much has changed the last couple of years.
I know I’m not exactly delivering a hard-hitting analysis here, I’m just trying to say that unless something radical has changed the world of parser games in the last couple of years that would affect the market more than the 2010s did, ie. if a mainstream IF superstar didn’t do better in a healthier IF landscape than a niche community superstar (and I hope you understand that I use the word “niche” in the best possible way here, Zarf; I’m not a native English speaker, so perhaps there’s a better word) did when it was a niche market, I’m not sure I’d expect much more.
Obviously nothing would delight me more than to be proven wrong!