Sly Robot Games is excited to announce our next release Plant Girl Game.
Plant Girl Game is a cozy tabletop roleplaying game about a family of plant children saving their town from ecological disaster, written and designed by Dominique Dickey and project managed and edited by C. J. Linton. We hope you’ll back it on Gamefound, where it will be crowdfunding this spring.
Most folks with a toe in the tabletop gaming space right now are aware of the ongoing issues with Kickstarter, but in case you’re not: in early December, Kickstarter made the horrible announcement that it will be switching its services to blockchain. We were dismayed for many reasons, but primarily because:
- The carbon offsetting that companies do to ameliorate the environmental damages that blockchain, cryptocurrency, and NFTs cause is always insufficient, and Kickstarter is no exception. Other people have spoken more articulately about this issue than we can, but there’s no such thing as carbon neutral or carbon negative blockchain.
- We had planned to crowdfund Plant Girl Game on Kickstarter at the beginning of February.
So, we pushed the timeline back, and are switching to Gamefound for our next campaign. We don’t know if Gamefound will be our long-term solution, but it’s the one we’re going with for Plant Girl Game
There was a version of this where we decided to stick with Kickstarter. These are the reasons we decided not to:
- Not using Kickstarter right now has the potential to be materially impactful. Kickstarter has announced the intention to switch over to blockchain in the next year, but they haven’t yet. So there’s a chance, even if it’s slight, that if creators and backers boycott Kickstarter they’ll reverse the decision. We’re not big creators in the scheme of things: our only Kickstarter, Tomorrow on Revelation III, funded at $11,327. But if every small potatoes creator shrugs and stays on the platform with that reasoning, it adds up. To us, this was an order of magnitude different than, say, continuing to use Twitter now that it has its new little NFT icons, which Twitter will not be rolling back regardless of whether or not we log off.
- Personally and professionally, we have equity and justice commitments for ourselves, and one of those is environmental stewardship. We definitely don’t consider ourselves the paragon of sustainability or ethics, and this is not a condemnation of anyone who made the same calculations and came to a different decision. But we’re trying to make choices that we feel comfortable standing by. Using Kickstarter to crowdfund this project would not have been one of them.
- Plant Girl Game is literally about mitigating environmental disaster. The idea of crowdfunding a game with those themes, on a platform doggedly committing to the opposite for no reason other than profit, felt pretty deranged.
We’re not sure whether or not Sly Robot Games will use Kickstarter again, and we’re still evaluating our stance on working on projects that crowdfund via Kickstarter going forward. In full transparency: Dominique was attached to Yazeba’s Bed and Breakfast as Lead Editor before Possum Creek decided to switch to Indiegogo (though we’re happy they made the leap!), and they wouldn’t have departed from that project over the funding platform. The decisions each of us make personally, based on our financial needs separate from the company we’re running together, will also certainly vary as we move forward, but we’ll continue to be honest about them.
We’re committed to releasing games in a way that is sustainable for us, working within a creative and ethical framework we feel proud of. We’re looking forward to sharing more about our equity and justice commitments later this year as we expand our online presence.
– Dominique and C. J.