For those who follow my blog (thank you for that), you may have noticed a recent surge of me pointing out a variety of kickstarters I found interesting. All those efforts I've mentioned, I've also backed to a greater or lesser extent. It's kind of a fun process actually. On one hand it's great to build a small community around a project where people commonly share dreams and ideas as well of hopes of getting a project from, in some cases, early stages of conception to completion. It also provides a means of funding a project without all the necessary capital. It isn't perfect of course. Since Kickstarter started back in 2008, there has been issues that have cropped up and I suppose there is still a matter of the product actually coming to fruition even if all the necessary funds have been raised.
If you don't like the idea of pre-orders, then there isn't reason to like Kickstarter much either.
What is does do is encourage people who have dreams and the know-how to actually get things out to the public. It promotes a real 'can-do' attitude which I like to see.
Naturally, the community of small hobby publishers and independent developers have been doing all of that for years -- all you have to do is look towards the OSR community for many examples of people who are carefully constructing their dreams and visions for their fellow gamer. It's hard to put one's own money on the line to get all the various components put together for a slick and professional looking product. It's particularly hard if you've got a bunch of other bills to pay and when there isn't much left over after food and rent (or mortgage) are accounted for. But some of you manage to do it. Some of you avoid POD and lay down some cash for real print runs -- something I applaud very much! There are many I could name who do this sort of thing routinely or, at least try to. But I won't. I've probably mentioned some in the past and will likely mention some in the future. If you read my blog, it's likely you follow other blogs who mention some of these creations routinely.
If it wasn't for the small publishers and hobbyists in our community, I think big name publishers would killed have buried this kind of gaming long ago. Third Edition was a great boon when it first came out but then it reared it's ugly head and devoured much which made up the on-going diversity in rpgs. The OGL gave rise to a new generation of gaming as well as the OSR.
To all of you that toil on, you have my thanks! Now... that said, if there was never an OSR, I might have a bit more money in my pocket on a month to month basis! ;)