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 Kickstarter is not a store, duh 
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Cross Eyed!
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Kickstarter is not a store. I pre-purchased the prototype rift because I trusted Palmer's obvious commitment to VR and his apparent approval through numerous videos of gaming software celebrities who endorsed him and his design.

New kickstarter rules, however, would make the Oculus Rift old campaign a "non-starter" and here is why:

http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/kicksta ... ot-a-store

In particular:

" Product simulations are prohibited. Projects cannot simulate events to demonstrate what a product might do in the future. Products can only be shown performing actions that they’re able to perform in their current state of development.
Product renderings are prohibited. Product images must be photos of the prototype as it currently exists."

The simulation on the kickstarter page might be interpreted as showing a 180 degree field of view even though the quoted field of view is obviously much lower. Also, they showed a pre-rendered image, which is now not allowed.

I still believe in Palmer, but I do think these are very very good rules to enforce. I still believe this was an excellent opportunity and I am fortunate to be a part of it!


Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:49 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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Its really sad they did this. I mean, I can understand what they are saying about it not being a store, but this is the wrong way to go. Without pre-renders I seriously doubt projects like the Rift (or Ouya, etc.) would have got even half of the supporters they did. Also, not allowing multiple items as rewards? What is the sense in that. They are really making a big mistake and I hope they realize this sooner rather than later.

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Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:11 pm
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Thumbs down.

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Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:20 pm
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Cross Eyed!
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cybereality wrote:
Its really sad they did this. I mean, I can understand what they are saying about it not being a store, but this is the wrong way to go. Without pre-renders I seriously doubt projects like the Rift (or Ouya, etc.) would have got even half of the supporters they did. Also, not allowing multiple items as rewards? What is the sense in that. They are really making a big mistake and I hope they realize this sooner rather than later.


Ohh, I didn't catch that new rule about multiple items. That doesn't make sense at all.

I think the title of the blogpost gives away who is being protected by the new rules and it isn't the developers! But, I still like the idea of being forced to post current difficulties. I think that could replace having to have a real product to show though.

By being more open, you gain more trust and these rules take that a bit too far. Any chance palmer will post about his current progress/difficulties? I know he is probably working very hard but I am curious to find out.


Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:27 pm
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greenknight wrote:
The simulation on the kickstarter page might be interpreted as showing a 180 degree field of view even though the quoted field of view is obviously much lower.

That was actually unintentional. That was due to an incorrect render at first, but then deadlines were so tight that we didn't have time to make a new render, put it in the video, and export the whole thing again. So, yeah, that's a bit misleading, unfortunately.


Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:31 pm
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Problem is, by prohibiting simulations and renderings it really kills what many people want Kickstarter for -- to fund development of new things. If you've prototyped everything and refined it and have all the production tooling, material source and production specifics done what do you need Kickstarter for then? Preventing multiple purchases of a Kickstarter product? I see some really problematic things with these changes. Maybe this will bring about alienation of users and Kickstarter's undoing. I hear there are other crowd sourcing sites out there, but I've not visited any.

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Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:53 pm
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Cross Eyed!
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Dycus wrote:
greenknight wrote:
The simulation on the kickstarter page might be interpreted as showing a 180 degree field of view even though the quoted field of view is obviously much lower.

That was actually unintentional. That was due to an incorrect render at first, but then deadlines were so tight that we didn't have time to make a new render, put it in the video, and export the whole thing again. So, yeah, that's a bit misleading, unfortunately.


Oh, good to know.



But what about updates on progress? It would be interesting to know what is involved in terms of production, design, etc. I know this is going to be a commercial product, but getting to know more about the trails and tribulations of product design would be really enlightening.

I know so little about the people involved, any intentions inferred from a rushed video is bound to be full of presumptions.


Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:42 pm
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BHawthorne wrote:
If you've prototyped everything and refined it and have all the production tooling, material source and production specifics done what do you need Kickstarter for then?

Totally. It doesn't really make sense. Either they want people to post pics of shoddy duct-taped prototypes (which really isn't appealing for anyone involved) or they want to force these type of projects off Kickstarter and onto other crowd-sourcing sites that are more lenient.

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Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:10 pm
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greenknight wrote:
But what about updates on progress? It would be interesting to know what is involved in terms of production, design, etc. I know this is going to be a commercial product, but getting to know more about the trails and tribulations of product design would be really enlightening.

Not sure how much I'm allowed to say, so I'm just gonna keep my mouth shut for mow. ;)


Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:45 pm
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Cross Eyed!

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I do think that it would have been both more convincing and generally effective if Palmer had gotten a 3D print of the prototype design for use in the video.

More details about how he planned to go into production would be welcome as well, I don't think its a bad requirement.

Aside from that I think the video fits a reasonable interpretation of the new rules. The FOV and tracking speed parts were really just animated diagrams, showing the capabilities of the prototype "in its current stage of development" (if it had been accurate), not really simulations of how the Rift will eventually work. If they banned that then they would have to ban the labeled pin out diagrams on kickstarted arduino boards because the real thing doesn't have that much information printed on it. Perhaps to be sure the rift would have had to be represented as a wireframe or something to make it clear that its not the real device.


Last edited by Owen on Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:00 pm
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Two Eyed Hopeful
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There are enough alternatives that Kickstarter can make whatever decisions it wants in setting restrictions to set itself apart from the other sites.


Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:04 pm
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I don't know exactly what I think about this new update... Leaning towards not liking it, but understanding that they have the right. I don't know how much of it was the Rift, I would guess that Pebble and Ouya were an even bigger motivation.

Something to remember is that IIRC, the creators of Kickstarter were never fans of how it was turning so much towards gadgets and technology. I remember a few interviews where they talked about how it should be for "creative projects" and "art"; I like it a lot better as what it is now, and I think they changed their tune when they realized where the money is.

greenknight wrote:
But what about updates on progress? It would be interesting to know what is involved in terms of production, design, etc. I know this is going to be a commercial product, but getting to know more about the trails and tribulations of product design would be really enlightening.


I love that approach, and was a big follower and supporter of the OpenPandora project, which very much followed that philosophy. If you had been around on MTBS3D for the past few years, you would know that I an very open about all my designs, ideas and prototypes, and I strive to do that as much as possible! Problem is, a project like this has to work with literally hundreds of players in the hardware, software, and manufacturing sectors; It is hard to give meaningful and in-depth updates when you have to tiptoe around "secret" information that is just not ours to release. That is why we cannot give updates on the sensor, LCD, etc. Being in business relationships can be a bitch, but it is better to be careful than to accidentally do something we should not. It would not be good for us, and it would be even worse for partners who trusted us to keep our mouths shut.

Owen wrote:
I do think that it would have been both more convincing and generally effective if Palmer had gotten a 3D print of the prototype design for use in the video.


We could have. Problem is, it would not have been a working/meaningful 3D model. There is just no way to get it durable and light enough with 3D printing, and a "dumb" mockup would have been seen for what it is: A block of plastic printed from a render that in no way has to actually function. Our prototypes, roughshod as they were, worked perfectly and impressed everyone who actually tried one.


Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:49 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful
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PalmerTech wrote:
Something to remember is that IIRC, the creators of Kickstarter were never fans of how it was turning so much towards gadgets and technology. I remember a few interviews where they talked about how it should be for "creative projects" and "art"


Well thats the things about the internet, people....life itself. When you put something out there its bound take shapes and forms that you didn't anticipate. For example, this neat little thing called “the Rift”.

Sure, its their site, their project, their baby; so of course they should be able to do whatever they want with it. Although the problem lies in the fact of how successful Kickstarters tech- and gaming-section has been. The creators AND consumers put their heart and hopes into these projects. Following as they go along, talking, brainstorming and simply being down-right groovy with the current format. So if you change that with some arbitrary statement like “Well its not a store”, then you are going to piss people of. Seriously, how many people here thinks “store” when they hear Kickstarter?

Lets say I open a cinema with a wide selection of genres in hopes of getting people to watch more small Serbian arts flicks. But instead people get the ticket bundle where you get a large popcorn and get to watch Shia Labeouf trying to act as a non mentally challenged person for 90 minutes. If I then take away that bundle because “thats not how I had envisioned it”, that would be really quite dickish.

Kickstarter: As long as the project is serious, please let them within reason, do what ever they want.


Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:45 am
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Working in the CG-industry myself, I recently read some funny stories a big vendor of stock 3D models published for general amusement. Stories about people who called support asking why those houses/cars/whatever they were offering are so cheap...

At the current state of rendering technology there is a certain percentage of people who are not able to tell the difference between a rendered image and a photo anymore, even if the rendered image isn't a really good one. And with really good ones it's sometimes even hard to tell for professionals nowadays. My guess is, that such considerations are at least partly the reasoning behind this decision. They might get into deep legal trouble, if people start suing them once a project fails, and that project was advertised based on 3D renderings that people claim to have taken for real.

Personally I think it might have been a better idea to allow renderings, but make it mandatory to mark them clearly as CG. But I can understand their decision.


Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:35 am
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I agree in principle with what they are doing, however some of their requirements seem a bit harsh - particularly the "no rendering and simulation" clause. For most technology projects I would want to see the raw prototype to understand what sort of progress they have actually made. It also hopefully prevents an "arms race" of video production quality whereby contributors with more money, contacts, or skill in video production can out-compete other projects for consumer interest. How much more eager was everybody for the Rift based on the outstanding video they produced and how many more "casual" backers did they get because of it? The Rift will deliver, but I can see other projects embezzling money based on a snappy video.

However, there are surely projects that cannot afford to create a prototype without feed capital. All they might have to show are mathematics, market studies, and design plans. It feels wrong to make them compete for mind-share against products with physical prototypes. Maybe if they allowed hand-drawn renderings then nobody would be confused and you could still show a "virtual" prototype?


Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:56 am
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brantlew wrote:
The Rift will deliver, .....

Even this we can't be sure of (no offence PT & D). But that's the risk I'm willing to take.
These are donations to make something possible with the reputation of the creator on the line.

I don't plan to ask for a refund if any of the projects I backed falls through.
But I might be more careful backing other projects in the future.


Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:19 am
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Thanks everyone for your responses, especially Palmer and Dycus.

I know there will be relevant updates on progress as time and legal requirements permit. I am not extremely knowledgeable when it comes to VR but I enjoy reading about novel VR applications. This forum is an amazing resource!

The rules are a bit unfair but fortunately don't apply to the Oculus Rift. I bet Palmer won't even need kickstarter again, and if the rules are too restrictive I am sure he will have other funding options.


Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:21 am
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Here is the problem I see in all of this. Kickstarter is supposed to be a community. The community sets the tone and direction for the overall success of itself. Once it starts steering away from the founder's vision they should at least humor the direction it's evolving to because it is showing success. It would be a whole different matter if failure was driving the changes. The main gripe I see in all of this is that it looks like success it taking Kickstarter in a direction the founders don't want it to go. I find fault in the way they are seeking to correct that success and scare off future projects in the process. Do they seriously want be be focused down on crowd sourcing the arts at the expense of everything else? IMHO, it's a flawed vision.

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Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:31 pm
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BHawthorne wrote:
Here is the problem I see in all of this. Kickstarter is supposed to be a community. The community sets the tone and direction for the overall success of itself. Once it starts steering away from the founder's vision they should at least humor the direction it's evolving to because it is showing success. It would be a whole different matter if failure was driving the changes. The main gripe I see in all of this is that it looks like success it taking Kickstarter in a direction the founders don't want it to go. I find fault in the way they are seeking to correct that success and scare off future projects in the process. Do they seriously want be be focused down on crowd sourcing the arts at the expense of everything else? IMHO, it's a flawed vision.


Very eloquently put sir. My not so eloquently put point exactly. I really hope they'll reconcider this new direction.


Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:17 pm
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@BHawthorne: Its true. They will probably get a huge community backlash (as you can see the comments on their blog) and hopefully correct their course.

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Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:23 pm
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Kickstarter has been getting some bad press lately due to funded products either missing deadlines, or not coming to fruition - most of these being in the technology category, which also are the ones that tend to raise the most money. If they're not a bit more careful with the projects they allow on their site, then I have little doubt that people will eventually become too weary of funding anything at all. I think for a lot of the high-tech project proposals, Kickstarter will need to be almost as scrupulous as a venture capitalist. This would at least mitigate some unrealistic projects from getting funded. I think in the long-run, they'll need to have a more complex funding mechanism, instead of just handing over the lump sum. Projects would need have a timetable for the various stages between their current state to production, and it would be upon reaching these milestones that would unlock a portion of the funds. Major problems could be detected early on, so funds could be seized, and the remaining money gets returned to the backer.

With that said, I think it's stupid to not be able to use any renders. Sure, I don't want to see ones that are 100% CGI (there have been a few), but I see nothing wrong with a healthy mixture. I do, however, applaud the part regarding risks and challenges. I find that a lot of projects have too little info for my liking. I do wish more of them would strive to be as open with their backers as Double Fine Productions.

The Oculus Rift is the first project I backed on KS, and much of it has to do with the confidence I see in the team. I think they would have had no trouble getting funded even under the new rule. It wouldn't hurt to toss us a few crumbs though :lol: It would be cool to know things like the enclosure design being complete, final testing of production model, etc.


Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:53 pm
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Having a time table is a good idea.

But I can only imagine the burden it would put on development. I expect delays and that is a reason why I purchased the rift before it was finally released. But, should I be pleasantly surprised and the full product is released next year, WOW.

But delays happen, and that is ok by me. I only hope the enthusiasm the rift generates will continue.


Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:04 pm
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This has been adressed in other ways already, but let me give my two cents.
Personally I think its very important to remember the potential Kickstarter has to bring stuff to life that would never see the light of day otherwize, and our right as a community to believe in crazy projects that might just work.
Things that barely reached funding, should have gotten a grace period or should be able to adjust their funding goal slightly (if it means they can still deliver)

I was hoping they would go an entirely different direction, and wished that I would be able to choose some flex on my funding.
If they did not reach funding by 30 days or whatever, but was still climbing slow but sure, I would
just select my own funding to be flexible to allow for the deadline to be postponed.

That is how important it is to me, the idea of being able to nurture a product to life that doesn't have a million dollar corporation backing it.

And if it ends up not reaching funding goals, I would still have my money returned no hard feelings.

I would love to have a high risk option, meaning I understand the potential for failure but believe so much in the idea.
I wish I could simply fund people with simple but great ideas, that need what would be a pre-project funding just to get money to hire some help.

This is, to me personally, the true beauty and potential of kickstarter, the guys and girls that have really good ideas, and need a creative and interested community backing them in flexible ways.

Cater for the serious industry guys that lack funding, and cater for the plain old good idea that people want to help.

Once you start demanding physical prototypes and stuff, my opinion is that there are some great ideas that will never be realized. There are plenty of other ways to prove you are being serious and determined.

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Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:05 pm
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greenknight wrote:
Having a time table is a good idea.

But I can only imagine the burden it would put on development. I expect delays and that is a reason why I purchased the rift before it was finally released. But, should I be pleasantly surprised and the full product is released next year, WOW.

But delays happen, and that is ok by me. I only hope the enthusiasm the rift generates will continue.


Yes, it would place a burden on developers, but I think it's fair and justifiable. I'm not saying that time tables have to be 100% rigid, but at least you might be able to detect early on that a project is an unrealistic money pit, or worse, a scam.


Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:35 pm
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It kinda looks like they are trying to cover their butts from accusations of fraud. Fraud in and with the internet- imagine that. Looks like some of there past customers may have been deceived. But then again what do I know.

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Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:07 pm
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I agree it's due to external pressures they made these choices. I'm sure they didn't want to, but with the ever increasing visibility of their service, the chance of high profile projects being fraud (or just never coming to light) they probably got some legal advice to be a lot stricter with the hardware stuff. I know a lot of websites have discussed Kickstarter's liability if projects fail. With our glorious legal system I have to imagine even with all these disclaimers, they might be scared they could be held partially liable.

That said, I think they could have probably been a little more giving on this. For example, in Oculus Rift's case there was a video showing a working prototype. A rendering of what they would like to turn it into is completely reasonable and should probably be allowed in the future. Maybe just keep it restrictive to projects with no prototyping done will limit the chances of a larger than life failure and lawsuit.


Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:35 pm
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I wonder how many scam/con projects are submitted to Kickstarter we as users never see because of the screening process.

But I don't understand the not more that one item rule?

I guess projects can still offer product renderings on there own homepage... or would that be a breach and Kickstarter could terminate the contract?

Paul from the Teensy 3.0 project offers a go guess why this change was made (see third paragraph of this update):
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulstoffregen/teensy-30-32-bit-arm-cortex-m4-usable-in-arduino-a/posts/313618?ref=activity


Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:46 pm
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alpha wrote:
I wonder how many scam/con projects are submitted to Kickstarter we as users never see because of the screening process.

But I don't understand the not more that one item rule?

I guess projects can still offer product renderings on there own homepage... or would that be a breach and Kickstarter could terminate the contract?

Paul from the Teensy 3.0 project offers a go guess why this change was made (see third paragraph of this update):
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulstoffregen/teensy-30-32-bit-arm-cortex-m4-usable-in-arduino-a/posts/313618?ref=activity



Good find alpha.

I would love to see a risk and challenge section on the oculus website. Again, I wouldn't have made the purchase if I didn't accept the risk. But, it would be nice to know what are the challenges that the team at Oculus is facing! Really. Would be awesome.

Apparently it is hard to do. There is too much secretive legal crap to make this easy to do and still have the project done on time. That is my current interpretation of what Palmer said in this thread.

Why not have a section for challenges overcome? Maybe this is too time consuming too?


Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:43 am
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Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:27 pm
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To be honest, I always took that render to be hype and not indicative of the final dev-kit. However now that the project is a wild success it gives me more confidence they can actually produce something as finished as the render.

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Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:55 am
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From a legal stand point- I hope your right Cyber.

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Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:54 am
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I always took that render to be their concept of the consumer version they were trying to kickstart, not the developer kit prototypes they were giving as rewards to backers. I was expecting something like Carmack had, but a bit rougher. (I was too late for the kickstarter though, so I got a preorder instead.)

I know full well that Kickstarter is not a shop. I kickstarted another project before (on pozible though), this documentary, where the reward was just a brief mention in the credits (and the product's eventual existence):



I think most people understand the concept of kickstarter, and have probably already kickstarted other things, and I don't really approve of the new rules.


Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:12 pm
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