I tend to stand by the rule that if a company is trying to make a game through kickstarter and are asking for less than a million dollars, they probably donít know what they are doing and itís not going to end well.
I guess that's a decent enough rule of thumb for casual backers who only go after the big projects (the AAA kickstarters, if you will), but it's a bit too simplified of a method for my taste. I'd put it like this:
- Ambitious (ie. tries to pull off multiple features rarely seen in games)
- Total required funding is less than 7 digits (pay attention to any alternate sources of funding listed in the Kickstarter and add to this total. This includes funds supplied by the developer or investors/publishers. Low total required funding is OK if the team has funds coming in from other places.).
- Technically impressive (mostly in terms of graphics, but it could be just about anything technical that makes you raise your eyebrows in approval).
- Has an unproven group of developers behind it.
If the project you're looking at contains more than two of the features listed above, do some research before backing. If it contains more than three, stay away.
Please note that some of the oldest Kickstarter campaigns sometimes break these principles, mostly because everything was still highly experimental back then.