Dominion - Praying for the grace of Kickstarter
Having spent the last couple of years "out" of the games industry doing iOS contracting - trying to get into a position where I can have a crack at my own products... during this time I've been watching Kickstarter - trying to figure out how to wangle an account to allow funds to be drawn from the US based site (which they would allow, but required a US bank account, which requires US citizenship, which is fair enough)... and sighing... then the UK version was announced!
I was hot on it - trying to get my project to a point where I'd dare show it to the public... checking I can do the core of what I want in a prototype... I was days away from clicking "Submit" on the pitch to Kickstarter ready for the 31st October UK launch... and then I came across Star Citizen on Kickstarter... and it all fell apart.
How could I compete with that?
After a day of moping about - I concluded - I couldn't. But nuts to it! I had spent too long bringing something I've been planning for decades to a point where I felt it good enough to show anyone. So, now I had to change my game (literally...). So I did, i spent another couple of weeks rethinking, redrafting... we were ready. I was bricking it.
I'd missed the UK Kickstarter launch - and the free surge of exposure that no doubt came with it on that day - but there you go. On the day I went to press "Submit" on Kickstarter pitch No. 2 - one of my co-conspirators sent me a link to Elite : Dangerous. Well. I think "bomb" sits pretty well.
It took my wife to pick up the pieces of what was left of my mind. To her testament (and my gratitude!) she did a stirling job. Granted, there may still be fractures in their still but on the whole it's back on track. So - again - a game-changer. We had to rethink, and try and make our differences our strength against the "competition"... we were about to go up against two huge names in the industry, all competing for the same pool of money and generosity - all promising to do the same thing (more or less).
I think we've got it... I hope we've got it. We're indie - so we can afford to stick our neck out (my neck!) and take a daring risk. If we can convince dev's that we're not out to take the p*ss and our Crowd-Development idea is aspirational and ambitious and crazy but ultimately can work - then I don't think for one minute our pitch is over-committed. I've gone to great lengths to ensure the budget sits, the scope is flexible, and that the MVP will be sufficient enough to deliver the core promises we've made.
What can fail?
Exposure. You can have the best product in the world, set up a stand and sell them for a dime - but if no-one knows about the stand, the product or the price, chances are you won't sell a single one.
We need people to come and see our pitch - anyone who's interested in space combat games, anyone who looked at the Star-Citizen pitch, or the Elite pitch, you may know someone - you may be that someone... please take a look - and see what you think.
Who knows, you may like what you see - you may even pledge! But if you think it's worth a look - please pass it on to anyone else you may know who likes the genre!
(If you do, thanks in advance!)
PS. More on Dominion can be found here ; http://www.maksw.com/dominion/
PPS. I'll try and arrange some piccies just for GameDev - I didn't want to repost the same stuff from the pitch or the site!