Kickstarter Update: Priorities & Plans

Hi guys, and welcome back to another round of Blog Time with Rob! As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve been spending most of our time lately just preparing to launch the Kickstarter campaign. As it turns out, those preparations are taking longer than we anticipated, but we hope you’ll continue to bear with us. In the interest of transparency, that’s what I’ll be talking about today! So the big things we’ve been focusing on lately are (in order of priority):

Gameplay Prototype

Most of the team’s effort for the past year has all gone towards our current playable (but buggy) Unity prototype build. That may seem like a long time, but keep in mind everyone has been contributing in their freetime for only 5-20ish hours a week. Even at this point, we’re considering it to be a pre-alpha vertical slice prototype. By vertical slice, I mean it represents a “slice” of our basic gameplay loop, and each of our gameplay pillars in its most basic form. The purpose of this prototype is to demonstrate those features in video/animated GIF form, and to show the general public that we can really do what we are promising. It may be something we release publicly eventually, but we want to continue polishing and bug fixing before we risk putting a bad taste in any potential backers’ mouths. The art and gameplay are all really coming together though, and you’ll all get to see the fruits of our labor very soon!

Video Preparations

Everybody knows that having a kickass video makes or breaks a Kickstarter project, and we’ve been pouring a lot of effort into this front as well. We think the world and story is one of (if not) the most compelling aspects of Project Resurgence, and we think the best way to introduce that to people is through a motion graphics sequence to start off our video. It will briefly tell the story of Lumen, the development of the five Tribes, and the founding of Dehrgada City through a series of illustrations and narration (big thanks to voice actress Tamara Ryan). The rest of the video we plan to keep short and sweet, with myself and Cohh talking about our plans, goals, and why we need your support! As soon as we have a rough version, we’ll start asking for feedback from you all too.

Campaign Page Content

Since this is almost as important as the video, we’ve been spending a lot of time working on the actual content of the Kickstarter page itself. Not only is it difficult to figure out the best and most concise way to describe the game in written and visual form, but we also have to organize all that info and create a flow that tells an interesting story from beginning to end. We’ve also had our graphic designers and concept artists focused on creating graphics to add to the professionalism and visual polish of the page. Not to mention, we also have to plan out each of our reward tiers and the inherent logistics of producing, storing, and distributing all those goodies in painstaking detail. It’s a lot, but we’re steadfastly plowing our way through. :)

Feature Breakdown & Budget

Another element that is vital to the success of any Kickstarter is identifying a proper scope and getting good estimates on the actual production costs. This is something that’s been on my mind a lot lately, especially with articles like this talking about some projects asking for less money than they actually need and in turn distorting the average backer’s perception of how much game development really costs. Our intention is to ask for the very least we can to provide you all with a tight, polished, and highly enjoyable experience in the world we’ve built. That does mean we’re going to have to be extremely focused with our scope (only the most essential elements of everything), and leave everything else that we’d like to do as a stretch goal. At the very least, I promise to be transparent with all of you about our budgetary needs and what exactly your contributions will be going towards. Kickstarter is all about trust, and we feel like this is one of the best ways to build that trust with all of you.

PR & Marketing

Especially for new studios, just getting the word out there and building an audience is something that has a huge impact on the potential success of Kickstarter campaigns. That’s been one of our top priorities for months now, and one of the reasons we always try and post interesting updates frequently and regularly. Writing these blogs and having a presence on social media and our forums takes a lot of time though, and unfortunately it’s something we felt we should scale back a little to make sure we can designate enough time for the other things listed above that we still need to get done. But, now we need to really start reaching out to the press, blogs, podcasts, and streamers, so we can continue spreading the word as we get closer and closer to our Kickstarter launch. If you know of any of these types of people, please definitely let us know (comment below, on this thread, or email nectargamestudios@gmail.com) and we’ll reach out to them. This is one of the areas where we can really use your help, so tell your friends and help us continue spreading the Resurgence out across the interwebs!

Hopefully that breakdown gives you all a much better idea of what we’ve been up to lately, and what we still need to accomplish in the near future.  We still haven’t set an official launch date yet, but I can tell you we intend it to be very soon. I’m talking weeks, not months (provided nothing disastrous happens). Thanks for reading, and look forward to more news real soon! And if you haven’t signed up to be notified as soon as we launch the Kickstarter, you can do so on our homepage right now! 😀


Discuss in our community

8 thoughts on “Kickstarter Update: Priorities & Plans”

  1. But something to think about regarding the polygon and other articles about Kickstarter. Polygon don’t seem to understand the basic concept of Kickstarter, let alone what a budget is. Reading the article, I am like, where in the world did they think the Kickstarter was the actual budget? Kickstarter is sometimes for “additional” or “seed” or other funds. Could be for “indie” games to put the entire budget up. If they took the time to look through the Bloodstained kickstarter, and watch the video he does not state it’s their budget. Only what they need. Koji is pretty clear on that. So as you do your kickstarter, be detailed and transparent with everyone. Don’t leave people with expectations that can not be met. Set the bar low and blow that away later. Looks better than setting high and not meeting that. Like Scotty from Star Trek did, multiple your time by 4, and then when you complete under that you look good.

  2. Good points Floki. That article I linked was an opinion piece, but unfortunately I think there are a lot of backers out there that think the goal is the actual full budget or simply don't understand how much game dev truly costs. I believe you're right though, that the best way to avoid that problem is be as straightforward as possible with our phrasing and don't over-promise. Before we're ready to officially launch the page, we'll ask for feedback from our fans first, to make sure we do just that. And Scotty did say it best :)

    There was also a rebuttal article on Polygon about that issue, if you're interested (this time with stats!).

    http://www.polygon.com/2015/5/21/8637287/how-bloodstained-and-yooka-layle-are-helping-other-smaller

  3. I discovered NectarGameStudios via someone's comment (and link) on the Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter. Visibiliity concerns are a very real issue, especially for new stuidos.

    Swen Vincke (owner/lead designer at Larian Studios, the fine people behind the recent Kickstarter megahit Divinity Original Sin) has discussed visibility/advertising/promoting several times on his blog. I -strongly- suggest you read some of his stuff before you launch your own Kickstarter. Few people are as open and honest about these processes as Swen.

    (His general opinion is that traditional media outlets can do more harm than good, and are less effective at increasing visibility than focusing on specific new media outlets. IE, that it's more productive to get a few YouTubers who enjoy games in the genre your own game is in, to make videos about your game, than to get Polygon or Eurogamer or IGN or whoever to write about it).

  4. [quote="Arsene-Lupin, post: 435"]I discovered NectarGameStudios via someone's comment (and link) on the Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter. Visibiliity concerns are a very real issue, especially for new stuidos.

    Swen Vincke (owner/lead designer at Larian Studios, the fine people behind the recent Kickstarter megahit Divinity Original Sin) has discussed visibility/advertising/promoting several times on his blog. I -strongly- suggest you read some of his stuff before you launch your own Kickstarter. Few people are as open and honest about these processes as Swen.

    (His general opinion is that traditional media outlets can do more harm than good, and are less effective at increasing visibility than focusing on specific new media outlets. IE, that it's more productive to get a few YouTubers who enjoy games in the genre your own game is in, to make videos about your game, than to get Polygon or Eurogamer or IGN or whoever to write about it).[/quote]I found then from the same link I bet.  I agree that I looked how open Sven came across (even so considering the issues that have come up after some interviews).

  5. [QUOTE="Arsene-Lupin, post: 436, member: 88"]A small question, as I peruse your stuff: are you developing your own tools and things for Unity, or licensing Obsidian's stuff (like InXile is for Torment) to get it RPG-ready?[/QUOTE]

    Hey there Arsen-Lupin,

    We have no licensing agreements between Obsidian and ourselves. We develop our own tools and systems, along with some framework help from various other developers and their work.

    In other words, this game is ours and ours only. We however have licensed some frameworks from other small developers.

    Landon

  6. Hi Arsene, thanks for the tip! You're talking about lar.net right? I'll have to read through some of his stuff. Yeah, we aren't planning to do a whole lot of outreach to the press (since they rarely cover Kickstarter campaigns, unless they get huge) but I honestly didn't think it would do any harm. What did Swen say on the matter? We're definitely trying to focus on word of mouth, YouTubers, and streamers though.

    And regarding tools, we're building it all ourselves using Unity (and some plugins). I'm sure licensing Obsidian's new stuff would cost a fortune for one thing, but we also want to keep a free rotating camera to really show off our art from all angles :)

  7. Good to hear Rob.  I am one who respects and understands that sometimes a feature or plan doesn't work out exactly as planned (ie how Divinity:  OS had to drop the day/night cycle of NPCs), just fyi.

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