The creator of the multiplayer heist game Monaco, Andy Schatz, thinks that designing a game around a crowdsourced campaign with a variable budget is "bulls***."
"I have a little bit of an unpopular opinion of Kickstarter," Schatz said in an interview with Penny Arcade Report. "I'm really glad for the people that have been really successful on Kickstarter, and don't get me wrong, I really like the idea of free money, but I'm of the opinion that designing a game around a variable budget is a terrible way to design a game.
"To be frank, I think that stretch goals are total bulls***."
Schatz felt that a game should be made with the designer's clear intent in mind, rather than scale the project to fit budgetary constraints or expand it to please fans and take advantage of extra funds.
"When you're designing a game, the way I think you should do it, and not everyone is the same way and I recognise that, but the way you should do it is you figure out what the game is, you figure out what the game needs, and you should make that."
While Schatz said that beta testers "have an incredible influence on the game," they don't dictate the scope of the game. "Letting them [fans] design the game in the sense of 'if the budget is this, then I'll do this, and if the budget is that, then I'll do that,' that to me sounds like the perfect way to make a game that's insufficiently complete or bloated," Schatz postulated.
"To me, you should decide if the game is incomplete without those features. If the game is missing a finger, add a finger, if the game is not missing a finger, don't add one. That's sort of my take on Kickstarters. That said, there's the possibility that at some point I'll try doing one, but I don't like what it does to design."
Schatz was fortunate enough to have Monaco backed by the Indie Fund, a group on indie game developers such as Jonathan Blow and Kellee Santiago that loan out money to indie developers with promising projects. Monoco was given a budget of $100,000 from the organisation, which also backed such titles as Dear Esther, Antichamber and The Swapper.