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Hostile Viking Studio Development

Portas Aurora: Arrival Kickstarter Recap

Posted by , in Portas Aurora: Arrival 10 February 2013 - - - - - - · 2,475 views
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Portas Aurora: Arrival Kickstarter Recap The Kickstarter campaign for Portas Aurora: Arrival for August was as follows:

The Money side
Goal: $25,000
Pledged: $ 868

Dollars Pledged via Kickstarter $667
(meaning that the user was actually on the site)
Dollars Pledged via external referrer $201
Average Pledge $ 18.87

<- This is a breakdown of where and how much each person pledged.

The Video side

2141 Total plays with 27.60% completing the video.
1918 views being on the Kickstarter site.
223 views from offsite plays.
The video went through a lot of changes over the course of the campaign.

While I could do ten entries on all of the things we learned while doing the Kickstarter campaign I will try and sum up the main lessons learned.
Lessons to take away from the Kickstarter campaign:
  • Get the word out that you are going to be launching a Kickstarter before you actually launch it. There is a lot to be said about that first 48 hours of your campaign. It can get you spotlighted if you have some "above average traffic".
  • Design a few different reward tiers between $10 and $25 because they are the most popular.
  • The project video needs to show a few key items. First a simple idea that people can catch on to. Second it needs gameplay act or action. Third show the team talking about the project to humanize them to the viewers.
  • Need to have your video in more places then just Kickstarter. You need eyes on your video is key to making your goal. The more viewers the higher the chance that one will pledge.
If people have more areas of interest just leave a comment and I will expend on them.

*Edited to add a link to the Kickstarter Project Page - Thank you

Portas Aurora Recap

Posted by , in Portas Aurora: Arrival 03 February 2013 - - - - - - · 1,035 views

The Kickstarter project for Portas Aurora: Arrival from September was not a success in terms of raising the capital to help produce the game. However, it was amazing. We received tons of feedback, and met dozens of great people making this last month a successful month. For more information on the data we collected from the Kickstarter project I will be posting another entry.

The team behind the Portas Aurora project were hit with a large chunk of life after the close of the Kickstarter campaign leading to the game being placed on the back burner. We had discussed other opinions to continue the development of Portas Aurora: Arrival and we are not wanting to let the project fall by the waste side. With the new year the remaining members of the team looked to pick Portas Aurora backup only to discover a massive amount of assets had been lost or destroyed between multiple moves. Even with multiple copies and backup the game as it was is a shell. The team has joked that it is not a over huge lost because many of the comments we received targeted at the graphics were that they were sub-par and needed to be reworked leaving us with a clean slate.
If you have have some ideas, we would enjoy hearing them.
Thank you.

Ding Screen

Posted by , in Portas Aurora: Arrival 20 September 2012 - - - - - - · 577 views
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I have gotten comments that the game does not look RPGy enough. After further questioning to determine what was missing I was informed that I lacked a "Ding Screen". Therefore, I present the Portas Aurora: Arrival "Ding Screen".
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I am sure that it needs to be modified to some degree, but for now it looks fair?
All comments are welcomed.

Character Sheet Area Update

Posted by , in Portas Aurora: Arrival 18 September 2012 - - - - - - · 1,528 views
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Version 1
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Version 8 - Blue

Converting the game to 1280x720 has opened up more space for information and while that can be great for players it was hard to get the space to look "right". The grey squares are Skills (smaller boxes) and Talents (larger boxes) we do not have art assets for them so I have not placed this screen in the video.

This area is called Head Quarters in Porats Aurora: Arrival it is the normal character sheet from most RPGs.
There is a star system map in the window, but players do not normally use it for system interaction and therefore it is a smaller size.

Any comments or suggestions for improvement would be amazing.

RPG Promotion Sites

Posted by , in Portas Aurora: Arrival 15 September 2012 - - - - - - · 1,071 views
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Thinking about doing some promotion for your RPG? Here is some of the sites that have featured Portas Aurora: Arrival. Even if you are only looking for possible RPGs to play then this list maybe helpful too.


There are also a few forums that RPG fans like and I have seen some traffic from.
http://crowdfundingforum.com - This one is more generally targeted, but there is a strong group of RPG fans that look here for upcoming games.
http://gog.com - Has a great community.

If you are looking to do a Kickstarter Project there is a few more sites that you may want to look at I have gotten a bit of traffic from each of them.

rockpapershotgun.com - Katchup

If there are anymore sites that people can or should use you can drop them in the comments and I will add them.
Hope this helps a few people.

Edit: Added the forums to the list.

Brief History of Development

Posted by , in Portas Aurora: Arrival 13 September 2012 - - - - - - · 875 views

Brief Development History:
  • Aug. 2011 - The story behind Portas Aurora: Arrival is begun
  • Oct. 2011 - The current Engine 1.0 is written
  • Nov. 2011 - I built a space trader-like game that had players moving around doing the normal space trading actions, but it was fair to okay at best.
  • Dec. 2011 - An Avatar section was added to the space trader-like game.
  • Feb. 2012 - I started to build the combat section of the game. It was fun up to and sometimes including when the Ai would cheat and use map objects to kill my ships.
  • Apr. 2012 - I realized that these 3 elements could be merged together with a little work and using the story I had been writing as the cement. The story really requires all of the sections to be deep. In Civ players are teased with the option of peaceful victory it really only makes up about 10% of gameplay options. For the story to be believable the game would need close to a 50% split in its combat vs other.
  • May 2012 - Finished a rough Design Document and began generating a prototype with all 3 elements rolled into a highly immerse game.
  • Jul. 2012 - Working prototype.
  • Aug. 2012 - Launched Kickstarter Project.
A few people had asked about what lead up to the create game state and after thinking about it, it made sense to include a small section about the game's evolution. If there is additional information you would like please comment or message me.
Thank you.

EDIT: Fixed a date issue and added the most recent material.

GUI - Update

Posted by , in Portas Aurora: Arrival 12 September 2012 - - - - - - · 1,013 views

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Continuing to upgrade Portas Aurora: Arrival's GUI to have a more "polished" look. Sadly it takes a fair amount of time.
I also rearranged the stats of the ships and added a Hull Strength % at the top to allow users to have a greater understanding of how stats work in Portas Aurora: Arrival.
If you have any ideas or feedback I would enjoy hearing it.
Comments can be left here or on our Kickstarter Page
Thank you.

Radically Updated Trailer Video

Posted by , in Portas Aurora: Arrival 07 September 2012 - - - - - - · 1,042 views
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Thank you to everyone that gave feedback or asked questions.
If you liked the new Trailer and want to know more about Portas Aurora: Arrival Check out our Kickstarter Page
In addition if you have feedback for this video or the Kickstarter Page we would be happy to hear it.

I really did not realize how much people were turned off by the first combat series. I will be cutting it and replacing with an HD version.

The video still needs a better introduction and a way to link the Galactic Senate to the "Blue Assembly of Triangles".

EDIT: Updated after a few comments both from GameDev.net and other places.

Welcoming Linux to the family

Posted by , in Portas Aurora: Arrival 04 September 2012 - - - - - - · 1,119 views
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Last night we welcomed Linux to the list of supported Platforms for Portas Aurora: Arrival.
Hope this allows more people to enjoy the game.
Portas Aurora: Arrival. Check us out on Kickstarter: http://kck.st/PBGcQK
For more information check the game out at: http://www.portasaurora.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PortasAurora
Follow the game's development on Twitter: @PortasAurora

Linux Gaming News Reported the Event!

Gameplay Footage - Dev vs. Viewer

Posted by , in Portas Aurora: Arrival 01 September 2012 - - - - - - · 986 views
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In an earlier entry I shared the Portas Aurora: Arrival Fund Raising Pitch video. I asked people to evaluate it and provide feedback and list of points. Well after sorting through all of the feedback I realized that there is a huge difference between what I thought people would want to see and what the view demands to see.
The following are some rules for future videos:

1. "People do not want to see people, they want to see the game."

Okay there are a few exceptions to the rule. If the person developing the game, the person writing the story, the person scoring the game, or possibly the artist on the game is famous.

2. "People want to see gameplay footage."

My first mistake was to think that all game footage was equal.

People like action. Moving things are more attractive and exciting. It must be something primal.

Therefore, for a high chance at producing a successful video it needs to have sections with action.

Action does not include simple things a.k.a. setting up a multiplayer map. However, this is not always true.

If your game has a out of the normal way of doing or displaying the simple things showing it could be a plus.

Still you need to show a few different "streams" of action. Meaning the video should highlight different areas, characters, class, or any visual that is not constant in your game.

3. "People want more then just their sight to be engaged by the video."

What do I mean by this? Simple, the audio of the video needs to match the video. If you are making a tutorial video then having a narration with clear even tone and little to no music or disturbing noise in the background, but if you are making a trailer video or something designed to excite people you need to use something else then narration. Music is often the best solution for engaging and exciting people. Be sure that the music matches what is going on in your video.

Some Addition rules:

4. No one likes to adjust the volume each time you switch to something new in a video. Therefore, make sure the sound and volume are consistent, these things distract the viewer from understanding your message and often people will stop viewing.
5. Video about your project should for the most part be highlight reels. Show the key features and try not to spend 50 hours on things that you may find interesting. Give them a simple servings. This goes still is valid in the area of tutorial videos. Focus on one thing or a small well connected group of things to show/explain.
6. If you have some complex features in your project break them down into easy to understand steps. Make things as simple as possible. Your game may have complex systems but you want to make it "noob" friendly for them. This may have been partly as a follow up to rule 5.
7. People are always on the move. Therefore, no matter how much you have to explain "Keep the videos under 10 minutes". Unless you are doing a ultra review with some cinematics anything over 10 min is overkill, just do a second video.

My final thought for this entry is that this Dev Journal has become more of a series on what not to do in videos that Developers may produce, but I will hopefully get back on track.

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