When to use Kickstarter and be successful?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by TheNegroShoddy, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. TheNegroShoddy

    TheNegroShoddy Member

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    I've been working on my game for three years now and have already spent around $600 to $700 on assets (possibly more). I want to start a Kickstarter campaign to fund everything else I need for the game and was wondering when would the right time be to start one. I've blown through my original demo budget and can't afford anything else at the moment. Most of my budget so far has gone into concept art and sprite animations. I'd likely need around $20,000 at the least in order to get the bare minimum of what I need done.

    I'm really early in development and only have 11 enemies finished (eight of which are demo ready) and a few player [card] attacks. I don't have sound effects, but I do have several music tracks. The battle system is around 75% - 80% done and I have the menu system and deck editor finished.

    Would launching a campaign now be a smart move with what little I have? I understand that Kickstarter can be a bit of a gamble, but seeing the success of something like One Step From Eden lets me know there is an audience for the style of game I'm making. However, I've seen so many projects fail to get funded, which is why I also seek some advice on how to increase my chances of success.

    Here is some old gamplay from a few months ago just in case your wondering how the game looks:





    Apologies if this is the wrong section to post this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  2. FrostyCat

    FrostyCat Member

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    I know better than to buy into a Kickstarter for a game that so blatantly infringes on Capcom's copyright on Megaman.

    This is a project that you should have never betted on making a net income out of.

    Edit: Corrected owner of Megaman's copyright.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
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  3. TheNegroShoddy

    TheNegroShoddy Member

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    Are you joking? Megaman is owned by Capcom. Also, I'm aware of copyright patents for the original grid design, which is why I expanded the grid. In fact, other games inspired by Battle Network have expanded the grid to avoid IP infringement issues (End Cycle, One Step From Eden, Tri-Wing ). To be clear, I'm only using some megaman sprites just as placeholders for right now. By your logic, the IP holders of Code Vein, Lords Of The Fallen, The Surge and many others would all be sued by From Software for aping their Dark Souls format. There are enough differences under the hood to distinguish the game from Capcom's Megaman.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  4. FrostyCat

    FrostyCat Member

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    Then don't start a Kickstarter until you have completely divested yourself of those placeholders in the demo.

    If you're going to evoke One Step from Eden as an example of a Kickstarter campaign you look up to, why don't you follow its example? For starters, did it go public with improperly licensed, copyright-infringing placeholders still in its marketing materials and public demos? And did its proprietors need a random Joe-shmoe to tell them that kind of presentation would draw no eyeballs at best, and legal eyeballs at worst?
     
  5. TheNegroShoddy

    TheNegroShoddy Member

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    I get your point, no need to be rude. I just needed some advice here given I've never made a commercial product before and don't know a lot about the Kickstarter process. I'll wait then.
     
  6. CombatCalamity

    CombatCalamity Member

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    Here is my honest opinion. Please don't take it personally.

    All the placeholder things aside.

    Your game looks very.. dry... I first saw your trailer before seeing the trailer of the game that you linked on KS, and I already thought it wasn't very appealing. But then I saw the trailer of the game that you linked on KS, and I was like... WHOA! Massive massive differences. Your game looks even worse than an already bad impression with that comparison. That game on KS looks very exciting, engaging, the sound effects, very fast-paced, as if your mind is being challenged in a good way. Everything just works. I think you still have a long road ahead of you if that's the direction you're taking. Watching through your trailers/gameplay demo feel like a chore. Average guy would probably skip the heck out of those and move on to the next page when seeing your game. On top of that, soundtrack is also really really annoying! God I don't remember when was the last time I heard bad melodies being played over and over again to imitate JRPG music. Art is also... meh.. They look more like a personal project made for a college assignment than a professionally made one. I don't want to hear anything about the fact that you bought those assets for $700 and EVEN MORE......



    Also, man.. $20k!!!! Please tell me you're spitting that out randomly.... Even that game you just linked only asked for $15k! Are you out of your mind? If you say that you need at least $20k (quite possibly more due to your inexperiences in managing resources and publishing games in general) to get that game up and running, I'd say just quit it.... It's not worth it. You will just fail in delivering the product and blow everyone's money and leave everyone disappointed with you, including yourself.

    FYI, with only stuff like these to show up in KS, it's not a gamble. It's a humilitation.

    Forget it, stop watching Indie Game: The Movie, wake up, and face this reality in 2019. It's not gonna happen at that state. You either need to have a really good, appealing and interesting trailer, or you have to provide a demo so people can see it themselves, that is IF they can still be bothered after watching the terrible gameplay preview from your videos.. While at it probably also revamp the way your game looks. That KS game has a simpler pixel art pallete but looks better in general. Yours looks like it was mix n matched from various different sources. There is no standard that your game settled with.

    You'd be lucky to get $500-$1000 funded if enough people fund it out of 'curiosity'. Most likely it'll just get 5-10 bucks funded tho.

    My suggestions:
    You have to build a community instead, which means it's gonna take a lot longer. KS/crowdfunding only works when you already have a mass-following on your game beforehand. Then and only then will you have a better shot at your KS. Even that doesn't guarantee anything. Provide the game for free for everyone to play. Direct them into Discord or something. Ask for feedbacks. If people like your game then they will be very enthusiastic about these stuff with you, you can just tell their excitement through their sentences everytime you're about to push updates. Seek for fans. That's what you should do.



    Just a friendly reminder, you have to get used to insults like these, because where do you think compliments lead you? Nowhere.
     
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  7. TheNegroShoddy

    TheNegroShoddy Member

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    To be clear you mean the card art (icons) and not the sprites? Yes, I know the card icon art sucks lol I made them. Rest assured that is only placeholder art. I've only paid for sprites, concept art, and music. I hope the sprites aren't bad too. I know the U.I. needs work.

    Wow, you think its awful? I'm curious as to what you think of a boss theme, main menu theme, and deck editor themes. Thought my music guy did decent work, but to be fair I've only gotten two others opinion (one of which was a close friend).

    The 20k is just a guess based on the fact that I might have to abandon the original Visual Novel(VN) format for a full-blown overworld since most BN fans want a world to explore. To be clear, coding the project will be no problem (I have nearly 10 years of experience, just not making a commercial product), main issue is money. A full overworld would be very expensive to produce. The original concept was going to be a boss rush style game with visual novel aspects thrown in, which would cost way less, but would likely be less appealing to some people.

    I do plan to have a demo playable for people. Ideally I want to have at least 15 minor enemies and two bosses. I wouldn't want people to just go off of videos alone.

    Placeholders aside, I assume you think there is too much of a difference between the player character and the enemy sprites? The sprites for the player were made at a different time by a different (inferior) pixel artist than the one that I'm currently working with now. I'm planning on getting the player sprites completely redone to match the enemy sprites, so if that is your hang-up rest assured it will be fixed next.

    I have no problem with critcism as long as people aren't being rude for the sake of it. I've only gotten mostly positive feedback when I showed some of this stuff on the BN subreddit, but I guess that's because it is a more niche community. At the very least you've given me a lot to think about. I won't give up, but I will wait to pull the trigger on KS and continue to work on the game. I've worked too hard on this to not see it all the way through.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  8. pixeltroid

    pixeltroid Member

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    The sprites I'm seeing in the video are good. But yes, the UI can be improved, and the backgrounds as well.
    Because if you're planning to go to have a demo for kickstarter, you better make sure every aspect of your game is polished!

    That said....I'm really not familiar with the genre/format of your game. It looks like a turn based game to me (not a fan). So if you want to crowdfund your project then you need to make a reasonable estimate as to how popular your games genre is among people and then calculate your asking price accordingly....and reasonably.

    Someone said your game is based off an existing megaman game. If that is so, then just be aware that people may not be too interested in funding a game thats too similar to the original.


    Good. I wish you the best of luck!
     
  9. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    I say work on your art. If you need money for an artist, find an artist, pay the artists to make some good art that you can take it to Kickstarter and say look this is what we want to do, here's a sample of what we can do. Here's a demo. The more art, gifs and gameplay you can offer up the better.

    I've seen a lot of failed Kickstarters with placeholder art and if it's not good enough or for an unpopular genre, people just won't donate.

    You can do a Kickstarter whenever you want, but to make it look as best as possible, wait until you're close to the end. Then if it's successful, wait a year or two to release the game that you already had 90% done and use that year or two to hype your game. This tactic seems to work as I've seen a few crowd funded games that players complain the final product is too much like the crowdfunding demo where and wonder what work was actually done in the past two years. I assume later game content.

    A few people in the WIP forum have done successful Kickstarters and plenty have failed. I've been a part of quite a few successful Kickstarters and I've read articles on this.

    It's also recommended you not give up much in physical items as that costs more of your profits and developers have somehow lost money in that process. There are also taxes, hidden fees, and the occasional troll that will bounce a payment.
     
  10. Danei

    Danei Member

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    I don't mean to pile on the criticism, but I will echo other opinions that your game is definitely not ready for kickstarter, for all the same reasons. You definitely don't want to release kickstarter videos with unfinished player-character art and no sound effects! Few things feel worse in a game than a completely silent pistol. Also, I would say speed up the action in your game. Neither yours nor the kickstarter you linked really appeals to me (I think it's just not my kind of game) but that one at least appears to be fast-paced and potentially challenging, with split decsions on where to be and what to do, and crucially, the battle pace matches the energy of the battle music track. Yours seems to just crawl along, especially the enemy projectiles, and the player-character shooting little shots one at a time with no visible impact apart from the target flashing. Also it would look a lot nicer if the characters appeared to move between positions instead of disappearing and reappearing. And when you win a battle, for goodness sakes turn off the battle music and play some fanfare! These may seem like small details, but auditory and visual feedback are really important in games, especially if you're just watching a video of an otherwise unfamiliar game, and in a competitive environment like kickstarter, you want those details to be as on-point as they're going to get.
     
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  11. woodsmoke

    woodsmoke Member

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    You've been working on the game for 3years and the game is really early in development? I can hear alarms in my head. Sounds like the scope of the game is too big.
     
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  12. TheNegroShoddy

    TheNegroShoddy Member

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    The reason I have so little done is because I actually had to restart a couple of times and code everything from the ground up. Like I said the other day originally I was just going to do a boss rush visual novel style game. I ditched the boss rush idea and kept the visual novel idea up until now. I know a lot of people want an overworld to explore, so I might need to make a bigger game than planned.

    Like I said the other day, I blew my budget on the apparently horrible music, so I can't afford sound effects at the moment. Same reason you don't hear victory music when you beat all the enemies. Also, keep in mine this is old gameplay. Since then I increased the speed on a few projectiles and there is a hit effect, but I hadn't fixed a line in the code for it appear clearly. I've also increased the players shooting speed the other day. I wanted to mimic the pace of the old games, but it seems that I got things too slow. Didn't realize this at the time, but the warp movement in the Megaman games was apparently something they had to do because of GBA limitations or at least this is what I heard.
    At this point, I probably will wait until I've made a lot more progress until I even show off more gameplay let alone do Kickstarter. Judging for everyone's reactions, I have a long way to go.
     
  13. kupo15

    kupo15 Member

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    Yes you do. It sounds like you have no idea what direction or what your final game will look like let alone a plan to achieve it. You've scrapped your game and rebuilt it several times because the BN fans want an overworld and stuff to explore instead? What if they want something different later on, are you going to scratch everything and rebuild again? You are supposed to be the expert in your market, not following the whim from fans of the genre or other people. That shows a lack of leadership and vision for a game you want to create.

    I see a lot of "guessing" this and that of what it will "probably" cost to do it which is not good. You can't ask for $20k to create a game and that number seems to have come out of nowhere. If you are going to ask people to trust you enough to give you $20k, you need to be responsible for that and know ahead of time how to spend it and exactly how much you actually need.

    How come you didn't show this instead? You can't show people old unpolished footage and explain away that its old gameplay and its currently better and to trust you that $20k is going to make things better because it won't.

    To put things into perspective, here is where my game was at when I first considered going to KS thinking it was ready 4 years ago. All the assets were original (except for SFX and background) and the vision was very clear. Yet, 4 years later looking back, it was definitely too early and now I'm almost at a point where I'm ready for KS if I choose to do so. Even though my game has completely transformed, I've got quite a bit left to do if I wanted to go the KS route.
    [​IMG]

    Long story short
    Until you have a solid vision for what your game will be, have polish original assets that show the final quality and presentation, know exactly how much you need and a plan on exactly how that money will be spent, you are far off from KS imo You need a product to show off that shows exactly the final quality and look without having to explain away what's missing from making it look appealing
     
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