Character Work + Network Code + Amping up for Kickstarter
We have been working hard to resolve several issues that have plagued us over the past couple months. One of these being the network code. With the help of many of this communities members, and the grace of god at some points, it would seem we have resolved most of the network based issues. We still have much to be tested in that field and will continue to do as we progress further. For now, the server is stable and healthy and players can join and leave without any real issue other than a few camera glitches here and there. Telanor has been working to resolve those and has resumed work on block destruction and placement being managed on the network side of things.
On the art side of the house work has resumed on the detailing of the gorgane model. I hope to have some screenshots by the weeks end. We have been working very hard on getting a constant theme within the art. This is one of the most annoying processes as we see something everyday that might change our minds as to the direction we should go. The key is to pick something and stay focused with that technique or design. This can be very hard to do but I think it is ideal for a team if they want to ever finish the game! After the work on the gorgane we have started to do work on environment details as well as objects that you will find throughout the realm. Art is going to be a big factor in what makes our game look and feel different than other voxel based block games. We dont just want to make it feel blocky but rather we want to create a harmony between models and blocks. This is tricky but if we are able to pull it off I think it will be unique enough to be eye catching.
Lastly, we are amping up our development phase for our kickstarter launch. What does that mean? This means that we are going to be turning out more images and developmental stages so that we can get something worth showing off. Our goals are very modest ( we would like to see 100,000 or so to keep up production ) but I think we have more than enough to catch the people to get that. I have been studying the medium for some time now and think I have plenty of data to assist in making a quality kickstarter campaign. The key seems to be in the following areas:
While the least of the three parts ( since some games with horrid art are still making 100,000 ) it is key to understand that art does have to be in the game for the kickstarter to work. People have thrown up just concepts and they have failed horribly because of their inability to portray the picture for the playerbase. You must paint a picture of what your game would be like and to aid in that process real art helps! The more game assets you show off the better and youtube videos of in game videos is a major plus.
Bottom line? Unless you have made a game previously you will not make money based only on concept!
The members of kickstarter need to understand what it is you are doing. They do not need 5000 pie charts with a full diagram, they need a cookie sized serving of what your game will be and how they will enjoy it. The campaigns that have had the most success are the ones that got right to what the best part of their game was and focused on that. Be it from bear punching to pigs who upgrade themselves by fighting, the goal is very clear you must express the concept of your game in a very clear and concise manor. The simpler and easier it is to understand the more receptive people are. My favorite one so far is Planetary Annihilation. In the first few moments they show you blowing up a planet with an asteroid and at that point you are very clear on what your purpose is.
Tech demos are not needed but they help to show how far along your game is. The more polished a demo the more receptive people have been. That said, I have seen games like Forge that were highly polished that did horrible. ( keep in mind they actually made some good money from their greenlight version of the game ) Kickstarter is a fickle mistress and you really have to know the audience you are going for in order to gain the most support. The key to the tech demo is showing off the features and the features only. People do not want to see 5 hours of gameplay footage of you running around. While this is interesting to you ( you made the game of course it is ) it is not interesting to the player. Highlight the key points and do so in a very short period of time.
Again, this is just data I have noticed from the most successful projects. ( I think anything that is 75,000 and up to be a real success ) There are many other methods you could use and some of them are worth investing if you have the right people. I remember one of the projects used humor and I would have never backed the project otherwise... but the guy was just that damn funny. I thought maybe if just some of his humor was to translate into the game it would be worth the 5 bucks. Sometimes, that is all it really takes...
Anyway, thats all for now. I dont normally like to post things without some form of screenshot or visual to show progress but at this point there is not much to show off. I am working on getting our logo and website done so in the future that might be something I can show off.