Kickstarter Projects!

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Re: Kickstarter Projects!

Unread postby Flowswithdrek » Sun May 10, 2015 2:00 pm

If you do go for a Kickstarter, keep us all updated. And, if you need any help brainstorming story ideas I'm always willing to kick back and forward and flesh out a few ideas.
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Re: Kickstarter Projects!

Unread postby warp9 » Sun May 10, 2015 6:53 pm

Flowswithdrek wrote:If you do go for a Kickstarter, keep us all updated. And, if you need any help brainstorming story ideas I'm always willing to kick back and forward and flesh out a few ideas.

I will indeed keep you all updated!

And thanks for the offer of help, that is very much appreciated! :D
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Re: Kickstarter Projects!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Mon May 11, 2015 11:19 pm

Hm ... last I heard, Rob, you were working on an android game or some other mobile gaming, or maybe I misremembered. Wouldn't be the first time, but that's why I mentioned that. Ah well. Glad to see you are going strong and are making progress.

Thanks for stepping in, Allen. Good advice. Sorry to hear about the headaches though.

I had some of the same headaches with one author vanishing on me, a couple struggling to finish their stories (but they all turned out very nice!!!), I ended up having to shell out way more money than the Kickstarter earned me for several unforseeables, including nearly every quote I'd gotten for things like bookmarks, shipping, printing, etc. all being higher when I actually needed them, than months earlier when I researched them. The ebooks being a total nightmare (starting over after over 2 months working long hours on them with little to show for it). Everything taking longer than it should have —Murphy's Law stuff.

warp9 wrote:
That all tends to suggest actually coming out with a fairly playable version 1 of the game. Then, once that is complete, moving forward to the Kickstarter.


Yes, it is highly recommended to have a working prototype or other products completed to show you know what you are doing and can complete something cool. I hear that with RPG's you should try to have them at least 80% complete (minus art) if not more so, before turning to Kickstarter for support. With all the RPG's I'm seeing on Kickstarter (and many of them failing to get funded), it's a bit of a catch -22. You need fans to get funding, but to get fans you need stuff on the market. It's easier for mobile games as you can put them in the itunes store or App stores. But of course as with practically anything, there's lots of competition.

I've also seen people put out a game for free for word of mouth and as a portfolio piece, then put out a game for money (or ask for money on Kickstarter), with a game right there for them to see what you can do. Kickstarter is rough. You have to really dazzle people. You are very talented, Rob, but I'm just saying you will want to have as much done as you can, show samples, provide a clear vision, battleplan, realistic turn around time (as realistic as you can anyway—like Allen said, little problems can pop up easily enough), promote your Kickstarter like crazy—in the right places, get some art to show (it's easier to get people to rally behind something with decent, relevant pictures as most people are bad at visualizing, so you want to show them something they can sink their teeth into.
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Re: Kickstarter Projects!

Unread postby warp9 » Thu May 14, 2015 2:38 am

Bob Whitely wrote:Hm ... last I heard, Rob, you were working on an android game or some other mobile gaming, or maybe I misremembered. Wouldn't be the first time, but that's why I mentioned that. Ah well. Glad to see you are going strong and are making progress.

You are probably remembering correctly. I did have an idea for an android game, and I was interested in getting into that type of development. Unfortunately, I never got very far in that particular area (at least not yet).

On the other hand, I have quite a bit more experience with C++ and programming in a more traditional desktop environment.


Bob Whitely wrote:
warp9 wrote:That all tends to suggest actually coming out with a fairly playable version 1 of the game. Then, once that is complete, moving forward to the Kickstarter.


Yes, it is highly recommended to have a working prototype or other products completed to show you know what you are doing and can complete something cool. I hear that with RPG's you should try to have them at least 80% complete (minus art) if not more so, before turning to Kickstarter for support. With all the RPG's I'm seeing on Kickstarter (and many of them failing to get funded), it's a bit of a catch -22. You need fans to get funding, but to get fans you need stuff on the market. It's easier for mobile games as you can put them in the itunes store or App stores. But of course as with practically anything, there's lots of competition.

I've also seen people put out a game for free for word of mouth and as a portfolio piece, then put out a game for money (or ask for money on Kickstarter), with a game right there for them to see what you can do. Kickstarter is rough. You have to really dazzle people. You are very talented, Rob, but I'm just saying you will want to have as much done as you can, show samples, provide a clear vision, battleplan, realistic turn around time (as realistic as you can anyway—like Allen said, little problems can pop up easily enough), promote your Kickstarter like crazy—in the right places, get some art to show (it's easier to get people to rally behind something with decent, relevant pictures as most people are bad at visualizing, so you want to show them something they can sink their teeth into.

That all makes perfect sense. And in some ways works more with what I know. I don't really need any extra funds to develop something on my own (I'm kind of a lone-wolf anyway). The only problem is that there are limits to what I can do all by myself

However, I can take some inspiration from knowing that a game like UnderRail ( http://www.underrail.com/ ) was largely developed by one guy (at least at first, he did eventually get a few people to help him as he goes into the final phases). Although he chose a different route than Kickstarter: his strategy has been to sell the alpha version, with the understanding that anyone who buys the early version will eventually get the end product. He has been able to develop the game far enough so even the alpha version is very cool.

UnderRail is also worth mentioning because it is also a major inspiration in terms of its design (it is a turn-based, post apocalyptic computer RPG). It includes things like psionic player-characters, which I intend on incorporating into my own game. So I am looking at UnderRail pretty closely.

Bob Whitely wrote:get some art to show (it's easier to get people to rally behind something with decent, relevant pictures as most people are bad at visualizing, so you want to show them something they can sink their teeth into.


That point about art also makes perfect sense. Hopefully I'll have a demo of some sort up on youtube pretty soon. And I'd definitely want to show something fairly nice before getting into Kickstarter territory.
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Re: Kickstarter Projects!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Thu May 14, 2015 1:22 pm

warp9 wrote:UnderRail is also worth mentioning because it is also a major inspiration in terms of its design (it is a turn-based, post apocalyptic computer RPG). It includes things like psionic player-characters, which I intend on incorporating into my own game. So I am looking at UnderRail pretty closely.


Looking at how other companies and individuals approached similar products and problems is definitely a good idea. Well, it sounds like you are on the right track from what I can tell. I'll look forward to seeing the youtube video. Please do keep us informed on your progress my friend!

Cheers!
:)
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Re: Kickstarter Projects!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Fri May 15, 2015 11:17 am

Here's a cool project to back and not much time left: The Dwarves of Demrel!

An indie fantasy film about dwarves trapped in a mine. Looks like it's going to be good! I backed fairly early on and have been excitingly watching it go. They just reached funding today! Join with me and let's take that Kickstarter and other worthy projects to new heights!
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Re: Kickstarter Projects!

Unread postby warp9 » Wed May 20, 2015 9:51 pm

Bob Whitely wrote:Here's a cool project to back and not much time left: The Dwarves of Demrel!

Very cool stuff! It is good to see they got funded. It sounds like they have some really good ideas for design of their sets. It is also nice that they are apparently filming in an authentic location.
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Re: Kickstarter Projects!

Unread postby warp9 » Sun May 31, 2015 12:23 pm

A general question about Kickstarters. . . . I notice that, at least in many cases, the people setting up the projects announce that they will personally not be taking any of the money from the KS. Is that pretty much a standard thing? I can see how that would make sense---on the other hand, it might be nice for the people setting it up to see some reward for the work that they do.

On other fronts, things have been moving along with my own project (although somewhat slowly).

Bob Whitely wrote:get some art to show (it's easier to get people to rally behind something with decent, relevant pictures as most people are bad at visualizing, so you want to show them something they can sink their teeth into.


In line with the concept of "having something to show," I ended up putting a bunch of stuff together to see how things will eventually look in the game.

It is important to me that the game features fully destructible terrain and structures. In order to accomplish this feat, the under-structure of the landscape is going to be made of block-like voxels. However, my goal is to combine the blocks with more complex structures, which will hopefully make things look a bit less block-like. This is sort of a visual test to see how this arrangement will appear.

It is also important to see what my code will have to handle in a technical sense. I'm concerned about things like: how many light sources are likely to be needed per scene, how many shadow-maps I need for those lights, how many polygons per scene, etc.

Right now this is just a test, and shows more about my art-work than the programming stuff (I'm not using my own game's rendering system here, but these are the 3D models and textures I'll be using; it is just a matter of porting everything over to my game engine, once I have all the code working).

The scene features one of my favorite Lovecraftian monsters: the Mi-go. As I mentioned previously, the game will have a Lovecraft theme, and these creatures will play a fairly major role. I had fun making a model of one; it is something I'd been wanting to do anyway. Although, now that I'm taking a second look at it, I'm thinking that perhaps the creature's limbs look a bit too spindly. I did want it to look somewhat insect like, but maybe a bit more thickness would be better.

More generally, I think things in the scene probably need a bit more grit and dirt, but this is a place to start, and it is never to early to start getting some general feedback. If there are some things that people don't like, it is better to find out now, rather than later.

http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w42 ... 6ys628.jpg

Hopefully I get some demo videos up fairly soon, but there are still a few things to do before I get to that point.
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Re: Kickstarter Projects!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:26 pm

warp9 wrote:A general question about Kickstarters. . . . I notice that, at least in many cases, the people setting up the projects announce that they will personally not be taking any of the money from the KS. Is that pretty much a standard thing? I can see how that would make sense---on the other hand, it might be nice for the people setting it up to see some reward for the work that they do.


Most of the Kickstarters I'm aware of do not establish a base funding goal that includes any money for the actual Creator. I spent a great deal of money on my Kickstarter before and after the campaign and had not planned a penny to go to me. It was all exposure for our IP. My hope is that they'll like what they see and come back wanting more.

I am aware of a few Kickstarters in which the Creator said that they'll be drawing a salary, but very few (and while I've backed a lot of campaigns, I don't back them if they are asking to be paid. It's not that they don't deserve their money—I did more work by a long shot than anyone I brought on board to work with me. They got paid but I didn't, and I'm fine with that. Besides, there's some chance of making money off the actual product in the long run. Most indie publishers hope to at least break even, and with how much I invested in Cosmothea and Arcane Synthesis, breaking even would be a boon for me, but I, like other creators, am hoping to make a little off the venture, for my family's sake, if nothing else. Even if I don't, it will not have been a lost cause, however, as it is helping to build the fan base!

I've also heard when an author releases a series of products (read trilogy, but it'd work for some other sorts of linked projects) I've heard some of them release the first book free to get you hooked. That's hard to swing, and I'm not sure how they're doing that, but that is an option with the theory being that if they're hooked, then of course they'll buy the other 2 in the series if they are of equal or greater quality.
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Re: Kickstarter Projects!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:26 pm

warp9 wrote:On other fronts, things have been moving along with my own project (although somewhat slowly).

Glad to hear you've been able to make some progress at least. My own work on Cosmothea has ground to a halt as I try to finish the project at hand.
warp9 wrote:In line with the concept of "having something to show," I ended up putting a bunch of stuff together to see how things will eventually look in the game.

It is important to me that the game features fully destructible terrain and structures. In order to accomplish this feat, the under-structure of the landscape is going to be made of block-like voxels. However, my goal is to combine the blocks with more complex structures, which will hopefully make things look a bit less block-like. This is sort of a visual test to see how this arrangement will appear.

It is also important to see what my code will have to handle in a technical sense. I'm concerned about things like: how many light sources are likely to be needed per scene, how many shadow-maps I need for those lights, how many polygons per scene, etc.

Yes, very complicated stuff, but it sounds like you are taking the right steps, from what I've heard thus far (and from my limited background in that arena).
warp9 wrote:Right now this is just a test, and shows more about my art-work than the programming stuff (I'm not using my own game's rendering system here, but these are the 3D models and textures I'll be using; it is just a matter of porting everything over to my game engine, once I have all the code working).

The scene features one of my favorite Lovecraftian monsters: the Mi-go. As I mentioned previously, the game will have a Lovecraft theme, and these creatures will play a fairly major role. I had fun making a model of one; it is something I'd been wanting to do anyway. Although, now that I'm taking a second look at it, I'm thinking that perhaps the creature's limbs look a bit too spindly. I did want it to look somewhat insect like, but maybe a bit more thickness would be better.

More generally, I think things in the scene probably need a bit more grit and dirt, but this is a place to start, and it is never to early to start getting some general feedback. If there are some things that people don't like, it is better to find out now, rather than later.

Agreed and that's one of the principle reasons why I do playtesting on Cosmothea well before many other designers I know. I like early feedback. That said, there'll always be gaps and unpolished areas until a game's done, and people have limited vision, so you can get some unhelpful comments as well. For example if my gear section only had 5 weapons, they might say they want more, but of course there will be more, but they only know what they see—that sort of thing--and for the record, that's not a real example as I have plenty of weapons. ;) )

Interesting scene. Thanks for sharing it. :)

Yes, grit and dirt —wear and tear as well, will be the sorts of crucial elements that make a game pop. Also, reducing the plastic look 3D models often have and ensuring appropriate lighting and shadows is also uber important. I've played some games in which they were too dark in some areas (even if I adjust my monitor). Now, sometimes darkness is good, but there were times I would have loved to have seen a bit more. Too much darkness and you loose the sense of scope. Anyway, yes all that is very important. Glad you're having fun with it all. Wish I knew 3D. I can do some pretty nice simulated 3D, like building 3D shapes in Illustrator and then sprucing them up in Photoshop, but true 3D is something I've struggled to learn. And I don't really have the time to even practice.

Anyway, hopefully you'll be able to show off some more art (and at a time when I'm not mega swamped) and a video to boot—that would be cool! I will be able to give more and more specific feedback when I have a better sense of the game (one of the downsides of very early feedback). Lookin' forward to seeing more. :)
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