Search Unity

The Other Brothers Kickstarter open discussion on tricks, tips and why KS can fail

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hippocoder, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    26,096
    Our KS: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theotherbrothers/the-other-brothers?ref=live


    Hi guys,

    Thomas Pasieka and Bjorn Hurri have a kickstarter up right now, and were gracious enough to promise to split the KS 4 ways (giuseppe, robert, bjorn and thomas). This was very cool of them however it looks like our kickstarter attempt is doomed to failure. Initially the numbers looked good because notch donated 5k in the first day, so obviously it looked good. But now we're coming along and we're just getting no backers at all. Or maybe people aren't finding it.

    I invite you to an open discussion here on the unity forums to look at our kickstarter page and tell me your HONEST NO PUNCHES PULLED opinion. If it's S***, please tell me why. If it does not want inspire you to back it, then don't pull punches, tell us why please.

    There is a tiny, tiny chance we could make it if by some reason it suddenly gets a second wind, and if it does I would be using your opinions to help tweak the kickstarter so it does it's best.

    Please leave honest feedback and constructive criticism - thanks!

    Anyway, I am happy to report all findings here so that other developers who no doubt plan to start a kickstarter DO NOT make our mistakes. Here are some of our errors which I hope you will be wise enough to avoid.

    1. I do not think we thought it through long enough. We rushed it out when really if you took 2 weeks so far to plan your kickstarter, that's the minimum possible time. We only spent a few days figuring it out.

    2. The pricing of the rewards are out of touch with reality.

    3. The presentation? Updates? etc... you decide, please leave honest feedback.

    Thanks for your time guys, and I hope our mistakes here will enable other developers to avoid making the same mistakes.
     
  2. mgear

    mgear

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Posts:
    5,762
    (just a random thought..as its not really the kind of game that I'd be interested)

    but lets say you would get some unity source package with $$ donation, then I could probably donate just for that..
    (im sure you cannot give the whole source and graphics, but maybe some useful stuff to play with learn about 2D game programming?)
     
  3. fuzzysmurf

    fuzzysmurf

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Posts:
    81
    theirs obvious popularity in it, but not enough.

    imo, it may not be top interest.
     
  4. Khyrid

    Khyrid

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Posts:
    1,781
    The game looks well made and I'm guessing it's probably fun to play. What I don't get from watching the kick-starter or following the development of the game loosely is what the edge is. That feature that makes it stand out from other games. I see there are a lot of interesting characters and I see dialogue, but as far as game play, it doesn't blatantly stand out to me.

    I think the features that a game needs to have at least one of is: Immersion/eye candy, rpg system or pvp. Maybe that's overly simplified, but maybe it gets you closer to a solution. Like I said, it needs an edge.

    If you look at Castle Story (I know a completely different game), you can sit there with your castle you build and feel good about how awesome it is while you actually fend off attacks in a seemingly dynamic environment. That's a damn good edge.

    In Skyrim, Oblivion etc you build this class up and you can wander around in an immersive world.

    To be most relevant I guess look at games that are similar to yours and determine what their edge or "hook" was. Extrapolate from that and when you nail it, advertise it.

    *As for the KS page, no idea, wouldn't know where to begin myself. I think the game has to dominate by being awesome, the page layout is secondary.

    Hope that was any help, good luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  5. Unicron

    Unicron

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Posts:
    191
    The Kickstarter presentation is very good...but the game, personally just doesn't look appealing and lacks some gameplay to it, it's too generic. I mean it's a spin-off of Nintendo's Mario but honestly I'd rather play the original Mario game.

    Just like Khyrid mentioned, there has to be some kind of hook or that feature that will make me want to play or keep playing. Having a dirtier more scruffy looking mario brothers just ain't gonna cut it.

    But yeah, no complaints on the Kickstarter, it's put together very well. You might just need a bit more exposure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  6. Democre

    Democre

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Posts:
    345
    Honestly for me, it's a case of TLDR.
    I have a big monitor and having to scroll the page before I even hit the first actual paragraph, coupled with seeing a lot of scrolling left just turns me off I guess. And then after the first paragraph, scroll another bit.
    I think subconsciously it makes me feel as if you are trying to pad the page, and have little actual content. Even though it's obvious you do have a lot.
    My recommendation for you is to use a smaller font in your KS paragraphs (Edit: It appears that KS has a standard size font, so you can't change that). Have links out to your site with the full text of back story, motivations, etc.. keep hook blurbs on the KS.
    Keep pictures and text in distinct visual sections. Having to scroll through a picture to get to the next 2 sentence paragraph, or having to scroll through a paragraph to get to the next picture is annoying. I either am having to do that or I'm parsing text for a small bite size, then switching over to visual parsing in my head, and then back to text, then back to imagery.... etc...
    I do like the project itself, but I guess the KS page is just tedious.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  7. Khyrid

    Khyrid

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Posts:
    1,781
    Also have you considered contacting James, the Angry video game nerd? This style seems right up his alley as far as nostalgia stuff goes, he may be able to pull in a lot of views on your KS page at the very least.
     
  8. unikum

    unikum

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Posts:
    50
    Why the ref in the link?

    To me the game doesn't really look that interesting to play. Doesn't matter what you do on your kickstarter page if the game itself doesn't seem to have anything interesting in it. Feels like the sell is that it has a retro feel to it and that's it. I think getting that amount of money for something that feels like a random flash game will always be hard.
     
  9. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    26,096
    I really dig what you guys are saying, please keep it up and I'll collect all the thoughts together in one post at the end of it.
     
  10. Jingle-Fett

    Jingle-Fett

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Posts:
    549
    I thought the Kickstarter page was pretty good. This is more nitpicking than anything else but I'd say the first thing to show would be screenshots of the game, rather than have them towards the bottom/mid. Maybe also include a straight up gameplay vid showing a minute or so of uninterrupted regular gameplay footage. I'd say that kind of gameplay vid is more important for a game like The Other Brothers than most games due to the graphics style. It's sort of hard to tell what the gameplay is like from the screenshots alone (it could be a RPG or a shooter or a platformer) so showing a video of what the regular gameplay is like (rather than having to skip through the main video) would be nice. That being said, I consider that to be more presentation details than anything else, things that help or could have been done better but don't necessarily make or break the project (again, I thought the overall KS page was much better than most).

    If I had to guess, I'd say the main reason is because it wasn't well known enough. From my understanding, most of the successful Kickstarters are the ones that already fairly well known before hand. Meaning they were shown at indie game festivals, appeared in multiple articles, had podcasts, forums, etc. Then the kickstarter was merely a way to allow all those people to contribute, as opposed to finding those people during the kickstarter. The people who haven't heard of the project before but become interested during the kickstarter I guess could be viewed as sort of a bonus or supplement.

    For example, Ouya had a lot of people aware of it before it ever reached kickstarter, that's how it was able to pull such crazy numbers on the first day alone. That many people interested in it gets other people talking about it, which in turn leads to more people hearing about it. So if enough people know about it before-hand, it sort of snowballs from there.

    Basically you need to have a modest fanbase ahead of time.
     
  11. Khyrid

    Khyrid

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Posts:
    1,781
    I also highly recommend distributing demos if you haven't already, then people can make videos about the game and you get that viral thing going. I think.. I don't know actually.
     
  12. superpig

    superpig

    Quis aedificabit ipsos aedificatores? Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Posts:
    4,236
    • 6 seconds into the video and I'm already going 'wtf.' If you want to do the 'oh hello there, I didn't see you!' joke cliche thing, you need to not do it half-assed. This is your first impression - you really want to blow it on that?
    • Also the sound quality's pretty terrible. I gave up on the video when he just started talking incoherently to his kid.
    • The most eyecatching things are the images, but the font used for the text in them is painful to read.
    • The opening synopsis paragraph ("It was just another rainy evening...") is poorly written. Their primary motivation for the entire game is they've "seen [the girl] around town" and "fancied her a bit?" Maybe you're aiming for satire but it doesn't come across that way. If the story's important enough to lead with, it needs to be better than that. If it's not important, don't lead with it.
    • I'm seeing next to nothing about gameplay there. All I know, after reading the page, is that it's a platformer, involves jumping/collecting/racing against the clock, and has physics. That's vague and uninspiring. Do you have any interesting mechanics involving your mechanics? Are there a range of special powers they can acquire? What am I going to be collecting?
    • I'm also not getting any real sense of the overall tone of the game. You say it's "wild and crazy" but I'm not really seeing anything to back that up. Your marketing pitch doesn't have anything "wild and crazy" in it to show me what that tone means to you.
    • "Retro pixel style" is only a selling point to a small handful of people.

    ...

    OK I went back and fast-forwarded the video a bit - looks like I gave up just before actually seeing some game footage the first time.

    • I do not care about the people who are developing this game at the beginning of the video. Get me to like the game first, and tell me about the people involved afterwards. Making me sit through several seconds of showing off your own personal sprites before I know anything of consequence about the game makes it all feel like a vanity project.
    • This sounds like a documentary or a news broadcast, not a trailer. There doesn't appear to be any connection between the footage I'm seeing and the audio I'm hearing. Your voiceover artist has a very clear, level voice, but that's calming - not exciting.
    • Use actual screen captures instead of pointing a camcorder at the screen.
    • There are no particularly interesting bits of gameplay there - it's all just fairly generic platforming. Show me some of that "modern mechanics [and] gameplay" you were talking about.

    All this said, I do agree with Jingle Fett that the most likely cause is that you're not sending enough people to the KS page in the first place.

    Edit: I do also agree with earlier comments about the font being too big, but I guess there's not much you can do about that other than having less text to compensate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  13. ZeroByteDNA

    ZeroByteDNA

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Posts:
    1,042
    Heading over to Google, clicking on News, and doing a search for "The Other Brothers" returned 4 results:

    Aug 6th - http://www.joystiq.com/2012/08/06/the-other-brothers-pays-homage-to-mario-bros-needs-to-be-pai/

    It's a blip article. Blip. What did I just read? I forget. The comments on the other hand. I remember negativity. So, I'd say this article creates a negative impression of TOB. Somebody that reads it, will likely come away not wanting anything to do with TOB. They'll have no idea why, but it generates a negative feeling. It's a blip, with negative aftertaste.

    Jul 31st - http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/...-other-brothers-celebrates-retro-pixel-glory/

    A wee bit more meat than the first one I listed, but there are no comments. So while this article does not have the negative comments that the other one did, there's no comments. There's no interest. So again, somebody that reads it, will likely come away not wanting...well, no - somebody reading this one will likely completely forget about TOB within a few minutes. If somebody had read these two articles, there's going to be a negative feeling and a lack of interest. So far, it's not looking good.

    Jul 31st - http://www.ripten.com/2012/07/31/not-quite-as-super-the-other-brothers/

    Well then, this one is a mixed message. At several key points in this short article, it is very negative. Heck, even the title is negative. By the time they say it seems to be a good deal - they've already lumped all sorts of negative buzzwords in there (Hell, even the passive language of "seems" does not help)...that the combination of reading the article and the lack of comments; well - it's a compact version of having read the first two articles (the passivity of it nearing the direct negativity of the first article listed).

    Jul 31st - http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Multiformat/The+Other+Brothers/news.asp?c=43616

    A pretty positive article. This one is the first to make me want to look at more info on the game. If I had read through to this fourth article (the order they are presented in News Google), then I may or may not have taken a further look. For some it may be positive enough to overcome what they saw in the first three, but for others they will have already been sold on TOB being bad. To be honest, I'm not sure anybody would have kept reading after the second article.

    Doing a search over on Bing News for "The Other Brothers", returned three of the four articles Google did - they did not have the second one listed up there. They also had a fourth though. Even though it's the most recent article, it was listed fourth...

    Aug 7th - http://www.gameinformer.com/b/featu...7/the-kickstarter-compendium.aspx?PageIndex=2

    And it's a blurb mixed in amongst a compendium of many other games and projects. It's listed right above a nifty image for Ouya... and bam, off to look at Ouya and TOB's forgotten. So this one didn't really help. Browsing comments, just clutters things more.

    But let's be honest here, who actually searches News for things like this? They hit up their regular Google/Bing/whatever.

    A regular Google... well:

    • The TOB site.
    • A comedy variety show.
    • A band.
    • The TOB KS page.
    • TOB cancelled...

    Oh? Cancelled? Hrmmm, guess that's that then.

    A regular Bing... well:

    • A comedy variety show.
    • The TOB site.
    • The TOB KS page.
    • The Joystiq article.
    • A band.
    • The TOB Facebook page.
    • A restaurant.
    • The RipTen article.

    So from Google, we see that TOB was cancelled.
    And from Bing, we see two articles (including the comments sections) basically bashing TOB.

    How about folks that might lurk/surf various sites?

    A search at http://indiegames.com returns this article: http://indiegames.com/2012/07/kickstarter_projects_the_other.html

    Jul 31st... and it's a blip article again. The comments section... well, it's a much more lively and interesting discussion than seen elsewhere, lol. I could see somebody coming away from this with either a positive feeling, a negative feeling, or getting so caught up in the discussion of KS, appropriate amounts, how much developers should get paid, and all the rest - that they completely forget about the TOB part.
     
  14. superpig

    superpig

    Quis aedificabit ipsos aedificatores? Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Posts:
    4,236
    Heh, and just as I finish editing my post, this pops up in my GReader...
     
  15. LaneFox

    LaneFox

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Posts:
    6,459
    I think the gameplay trailer stuff looks pretty cool, seems like you guys have done a really good job capturing the classic retro vibe. It's hard to tell if there is anything substantially fun to play. Most of the gameplay shown is a little vague since its early yet, but it seems like lots of jumping on heads in a rainy sewer setting and I can't see much past that.

    Kinda in the back of my head I'm thinking it lacks some real heavy "check this fkn awesome game out" kind of video. It's that monotone girl speaking over most of the video and technically does fine but doesn't give me butterflies. I think more theatrical influence would have helped the presentation for sure.

    The contributor rewards look good.. It all seems fairly solid theres just not much presentational flare and intensity. Another factor may be just simply a lack of hype over time.

    I think generally my comment is when I go to the kickstarter page I want you guys to blow my mind, not pitch me a concept. Others opinions are definitely going to vary but nailing the wow factor always makes a sale.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  16. stereosound

    stereosound

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Posts:
    75
    My brutally honest thoughts (you asked for it!):

    The video doesn't inspire me to pay at all. Your only gameplay footage is a guy jumping on things. That's it. It looks BEAUTIFUL, and I think that's the only reason anyone's offered any money for this. Half the video is saying what's on the side of your bar. A quarter of it is a bunch of people talking about nothing in particular. Personally, i also feel if you're trying to justify where the money's going you are asking for too much, or at least gives off the perception of that. Especially when you're saying "we'll need to buy all these cool devices to test!". I think you're asking for too much for a 4-member 2D platformer, regardless if your budget estimate is too high/too low (plus it's actually quite niche). Nothing in the video told me why I'd want to play the Other Brothers. Nothing convinced me that this game is worth putting my money into instead of another project on kickstarter. Or why I should even bother paying ahead of time and not waiting for the reviews.

    I think there's a lot of potential here, your marketing on it just sucks. I feel like I'm being thrown DLC. There's no stretch goals. There's no inspiration or motivation to help make the Other Brothers the next big thing. I walk away going "hmm, if this does get funded, I'll have to keep it in mind for when it comes out, maybe pick it up on a steam sale".
     
  17. mada

    mada

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Posts:
    53
    You should offer a copy of the game at the $5 level.
     
  18. ZeroByteDNA

    ZeroByteDNA

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Posts:
    1,042
    Even that's kind of off. You start off seeing the images of TOB. You read about TOB. Then there's the Shadowrun image. There's barely a comment on it in the article, but the two comments so far are Shadowrun. There's more screen space and discussion given to TOB, but Shadowrun is the draw...yes, it's a UT blog on how Unity changed the world and how KS's changing the world for financing (you can change the world with Unity and Kickstarter!!!!)...even with the pitch at the end, if your game makes oodles of money, spend it in the UAS...lol. Ahem, outside of the poor formatting of the page - the blatant sales pitch...I see that "part time amateurs" are making TOB and oh, there's going to be a Shadowrun game? Where am I going to look?
     
  19. ecurtz

    ecurtz

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Posts:
    616


    • This was the single most off-putting thing for me. Whether it's because she isn't familiar with the content, isn't a native English speaker, or some other reason the narrator for the video doesn't seem interested. The combination of the script, which is clearly trying to convey the passion the team has for the project, and the narrator, who is nearly monotone, is just weird and I think it really detracts from your pitch.

      I know your hands are somewhat tied due to app store policies and the like, but it seems like a hard sell to be funding Unity licenses for platforms that aren't available as pledge rewards.

      KickStarter is something of a crapshoot as well, I've backed a number of projects and which ones take off can be bewildering. I've also seen a number fail and then come back with a little more planning to succeed easily, so hopefully there's a future there for TOB even if it doesn't make it this time.

      I pledged for $20. You need 2500 people at that same level (which isn't even THAT cheap for an "indie" game) to make it. That's obviously a tough sell. Maybe it would be possible to do it in two stages with desktop platforms followed in 6 months by portable or something?
     
  20. DavidByers

    DavidByers

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Posts:
    79
    Although I'm a backer, the $15 price point made me have to think about it. $10 and I'd have backed without question.
    I'd also simplify your reward structure. I'd put all of the digital stuff in a $25 deluxe tier, and the poster + t-shirt together in a $75 tier.

    basically this is how I'd do it:
    $10 - game (maybe even $5)
    $25 - digital deluxe with soundtrack, digital art book, etc... + beta access, + name in credits
    $50 - name graffiti style (limited)
    $75 - poster + tshirt
    $150 - art book
    $250 - become a character (limited)
    $1000 - design secret (limited)
     
  21. tatoforever

    tatoforever

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Posts:
    3,964
    @superpig,
    I think you went a little too far by over-exaggerating issues a bit too much. The game isn't finished yet and i agree that input is always good but i don't think that making a final review (as if the game was completely finished) of a kickstart project is useful.

    To the TOB developers, your main problem is obviously visibility. I guess you started your Kickstarter campaign when no ones knew about your game (or the folks behind it) which doesn't help getting attention to it. Kickstarter campaign is probably good when lot of people knows about your project so it already have an audience. I believe it's a bit late to redo all those things. What i suggest is to show up your game to some mobile publishers and see if they can help you with the money.
    Anyway, hope everything will be fine for you guys.
     
  22. ZeroByteDNA

    ZeroByteDNA

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Posts:
    1,042
    This is a list of the top 5 funded video games:

    One can go through and see how they laid out things, did stuff, etc, etc... style their KS page in a similar fashion.

    But at the end of the day, as good as the KS page may look, be usable, and all that relative jazz...
    ...it's still about getting folks to look at the page in the first place.

    Look at the buzz those got. Look at the buzz others have gotten.

    It's about getting the folks to the page to see it...
     
  23. tatoforever

    tatoforever

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Posts:
    3,964
    Can't agree more... 10000%.
    If you cannot show what you are doing, you'll never get the hype running. ^^
     
  24. ecurtz

    ecurtz

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Posts:
    616
  25. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Posts:
    4,831
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  26. Games-Foundry

    Games-Foundry

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Posts:
    632
    Kudos for opening this thread. I actually increased my pledge having read this thread because I found the insight valuable. We're planning on taking Folk Tale down the KS route eventually so I've been reading as much analysis of KS campaigns as possible. I feel a duty as a community member to support other teams who have reached a fairly mature state of development, especially where the team members contribute meaningfully to the community.

    The marketing, KS video and niche style do appear to be areas of weakness. Marketing wise, I've been following TOB threads here on the Unity forums for some time, and I'm sure you've captured most of the backers that you would have from this community as TOB threads are often on the first page. Has there been much activity aimed at broadening awareness outside of a handful of developer forums? The KS video fails primarily because of the voice over, and no gameplay clips up front. And finally being niche will limit your audience, and thus potential backer pool.

    I've read conflicting opinions on how much promotion to do prior to a game or KS launch. One games journalist said not to do any PR until you have a downloadable demo ( unless you are a big studio with AAA IP ). Readers get excited by coverage, and if there's no call to action ( download link ) leading to a conversion ( pledge, pre-sale, beta sign up ) then it's just dead exposure as it'll probably be forgotten within a few days. But on the other hand, exposure seems to be hugely important leading in to KS campaigns. Like most things, the key seems to be finding the right balance.
     
  27. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Posts:
    4,677
    As mentioned I didn't like the voice over stuff in the original videos. Although I liked the project, the video wasn't enough to make me a contributor (I have the additional hurdle of having never contributed to anyones project, what does signing up entail, I have no idea).

    The other issue for me is the gameplay. I like the idea and look of the game, but I have absolutely no desire to play it! The initial scenes made me think of an adventure game, and I was thinking this would be a "platform adventure" kind of like Commander Keen meets Sam n Max, I was totally psyched on this.

    However the footage looks like pretty generic platforming, and I'm not sure the art style really gels with an action platform game.I love giuseppe's art (I even hired him to do some stuff for me), but the big personality filled sprites just don't seem to lend themselves to action platforming; action platforming is about fast paced precise controls and immediate visual feedback, you want to be able to judge to the nearest pixel when you have to press jump!

    TLDR: See the bold comments :)

    EDIT: And some positives on the gameplay ... the boss battle (or maybe its not a boss battle ... the first footage of fighting the guy in white...) definitely looks interesting.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  28. Uttpd

    Uttpd

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Posts:
    114
    Most have been said already.
    The Video is your Hello card. It should be mostly about the game, not the K. campaign. It fails there.

    PS:Saw this (great) article today:
    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/175561/5_tips_for_making_great_16bitstyle_action_games.php

    Their game does not look half as good as your game... but their campaign is mush better. Its all about the game, what sets it apart, their passion and why you should play it.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1829034266/volgarr-the-viking

    good luck.
     
  29. superpig

    superpig

    Quis aedificabit ipsos aedificatores? Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Posts:
    4,236
    That was nothing even close to a final review. You don't want to see me do a final review. ;)

    Everything I've pointed out can be fixed in a day or two. Showing off things like gameplay mechanics doesn't require actual game footage; storyboards/animatics - or even just plain text descriptions - is enough, if that's all they've got. Most of the issues can be fixed by just refocusing and polishing the copy.
     
  30. MooseMouse

    MooseMouse

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Posts:
    515
    +1

    Your Kickstarter page is fine. It is not the problem. Don't waste effort adjusting it. In fact, I would cut my losses with Kickstarter for now and use any effort (beyond building the game) to get the word out and grow your fan base. Consider offering access to alpha versions of the game to anyone who wants to play it. Then set up a forum and interact with your players/fans as much as possible. As you build trust and rapport you may be able to ask them to help spread the word. If you are not building a fan base with concerted effort, then maybe the game itself is the problem.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  31. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Posts:
    4,831
    braid was a really popular pixel based platformer (it was never my cup of tea) but i think it brought new type of things to the table (the rewind mechanic and its art style). I wonder if you have to bring something unique to the table (a unique selling feature), or maybe its just that you didnt market it properly.
     
  32. Dabeh

    Dabeh

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Posts:
    1,603
    $15 for the game?
    I wouldn't pay that much, I buy indie games worth that much. WHEN THEY ARE FINISHED. They are polished and have a bit more gameplay to them.

    It's hard to know what the hell your game is about, that is another thing. Don't try to sell your game at what you think it's worth. You are trying to raise money for your game. $10 MAXIMUM. Not even that

    You want people to talk to their friends about this game, $5 for the game? Yep. $15 retail price? Okay then! I'm not going to buy it and that means I'm not going to talk to my friends about it.

    $5 I'll go and tell my friends that I just brought a new game on kickstarter, they might even look at it and buy it!. If you tell me the retail price is $15 and I get it for $5. I'll impulse buy it and not even remember I brought it until it's out.

    I didn't even know you guys had a KS, I knew this game existed though. Try to get a bit more hype for it and maybe release short demos?

    And my harsh opinion about the actual game?

    The game looks boring. It's not my cup of tea, you seem to be marketing to a niche market. A niche market and 50k goal? Asking for doom.
     
  33. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,423
    1) reward pricing was a bit rough, for example 1k$ for the book. i really wanted that book, if it was priced at 100$ people would have been more likely to pledge that amount

    2) too commercialised, i felt like you was trying to sell me some sink cleaner, there was a lot of AND!! BUT WAIT, THERES MORE.. and all that hoo raa

    Its a great shame that this did not get funded, totally deserves it :/
     
  34. khanstruct

    khanstruct

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Posts:
    2,865
    I would say visibility was a major issue. I'm an active user on these forums, and aside from this, I had only heard of The Other Brothers once; and even that was just in passing.

    Build up some more hype! Get people wanting to see a KS page before it exists!
     
  35. nipoco

    nipoco

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Posts:
    2,008
    The game suffers from the same issue as a lot other games do. It's not the graphic that makes a indie game popular, it's the gameplay.
    Just some fancy retro graphics won't sell. The gameplay looks too generic. Where is the real twist?
     
  36. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Posts:
    3,824
    Hmm... this was a 30 day ks right? this is not good. Whatever happens you gotta finish this game man!! I mean, you're getting a bit over 1k a DAY, it's not bad at all tbh, but with 18 days it gets a lil rough to reach the goal.

    All I can say is the game looks awesome! I love to see gameplay vids! MOAR PLZ! I think we should all propagate this ks actively! Like on google+ twitter fb, etc!
     
  37. Khyrid

    Khyrid

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Posts:
    1,781
    Well, you're another 15 dollars closer.
     
  38. mada

    mada

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Posts:
    53
    I could see a game like this doing really well if it had an adult rating. Sort of like a cross between Mario and Leisure Suit Larry.

    You could take the mushroom power ups to a whole other level.
     
  39. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Posts:
    7,975
    That pretty much sums it up.

    Of those top games, at least 3 of them I had heard of before they started their KS.
     
  40. tatoforever

    tatoforever

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Posts:
    3,964
    Again, your game is fine, you now need to get close to your audience a bit more. Promise them early access builds, pics, videos, stuff that non-backers will get acess to it. Backers must feel that they are getting something in return (a good game isn't just enough). Go to every indie web out there and post about your game, help your hype running.
    Your Kickstarter will probably fail, but that's not the end. Try to get a web page for TOB with a donation service. Donners (including myself) will send you money over there. ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  41. ZeroByteDNA

    ZeroByteDNA

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Posts:
    1,042
    Something else to keep in mind:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/creators#CanIRetrMyProjIfFundIsUnsu

    IndieGames had this article: http://indiegames.com/2012/08/kickstarter_relaunch_jetpack_2.html

    They've hit their goal with 28 days to go.

    So it's something to consider, if the funding fails with this attempt - getting the word out there and trying again.
     
  42. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    26,096
    Hey guys!

    Well where to begin? First I am a little overwhelmed by how respectful and insightful most of the comments were. You were able to criticise our project from the perspective I wanted, and also able to see the shortcomings in our kickstarter. When people get together and really take something apart constructively, much can be learned from it. Thanks to everyone who took part, there is a lot of good information here! :)
     
  43. Photon-Blasting-Service

    Photon-Blasting-Service

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Posts:
    423
    I really can't find anything wrong with your campaign. The rewards are good and the game is very appealing.

    I think you may be suffering from a saturation of the market. Too many kickstarters for too many games?
     
  44. redcap_old

    redcap_old

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Posts:
    281
    Hippocoder, I really hope I don't come off sounding too fanboyish because I know that you asked for criticism and not just empty encouragement, but I just want you too know that TOB is actually one of the few game releases I am excited for. I for one am super excited about the art direction you took, the mechanics the game has, and the overall atmosphere. It feels like a steampunk version of Super Mario, Sonic the Hedge Hog, and other highly loved games of similar genres. More than anything I actually want to own it on my Ouya (Purchased one with two controllers for game design purposes.) I intend to play it with my kids and wife for the activities section of our family nights now and then.

    But I still haven't pledged to the campaign despite my extreme interest in the product, and here are the reasons in no particular order. Just as a disclaimer, I might sound extremely selfish in half of my reasons for not donating; but it isn't intended to be read as such. I want your project to succeed and I want you guys to be able to roll around in the large piles of money you make because I am all about capitalism; but most of my reasons for not pledging boil down to me not feeling like I am getting enough for my money. So don't read my comments wrong, I understand the cost of development and the time you put into this; but I am just offering the most honest reasons and suggestions of why I haven't donated yet.

    1) I need interesting and regular updates. Be flexible, offer more inside glimpses into the game, talk about development, talk about how the art is made or more about Simian 2.

    I usually wait till the last few days before pledging. This has too do a lot with I am extremely frugal, but more so that I actually look at the updates too see if the campaign gets any sweeter. I actually pledged to the Ouya campaign 10 hours before it was over because I wanted to know everything I was going to get. TOB announcing that they were on Ouya actually helped make the sale.

    The updates for TOB really haven't impressed me so far. I mean I am all about hearing thank yous for some of the devs, but I specifically remember nothing of importance in either video.

    2) Uninteresting or high priced rewards.

    The electronic goods interest me, exclusive content interests me, and soundtracks really interests me but the physical goods and the in game references of my name don't interest me at all. Also $15 for just the game seems high. I understand because I have followed this project and pay close attention that this includes new content and chapters in the game; but I don't know how many people understand that.

    3) I see no value in pledging now as opposed to waiting for the product to be done.

    Yes I would get the game sooner, but it would still be the same game with or without my pledge. The reasons you list for why you need the $50,000 are all good reasons; but most of them don't concern those who are giving you money. Localization, for example, will not benefit me at all. I see localization as helping you the developers (which is fine) but if you want my support rather than my charity I need to feel the money will impact me directly.

    You might want to consider offering something unique in the game if and only if the kickstarter campaign is successful, that way more people feel that they NEED to donate rather than they want too, but... An example might be 2 player vs. mode similar to the old Mario Brothers where you were in a room and had to kill turtles, dodge fire balls, and collect coins.


    All in all if your campaign fails, I still believe your game will succeed. So don't give up, keep problem solving and you might be surprised with how your kickstarter campaign turns out. I have seen other projects come back from worse. $10,000 is not a bad start and you still have 16 days left. I did see one project utterly fail though, and they did something very unique. They offered incentives for people who pledged above a certain amount whether or not the campaign was successful. It was something simple like a desktop background or a song from the soundtrack; but that actually motivated others to pledge money and the project ended up not looking so dismal in the end. They still didn't succeed, but it was a lot closer campaign than it could have been otherwise.
     
  45. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Posts:
    5,670
    I don't know if you still want more feedback but I just watched the trailer and peeked at the KS page. ... my impression is, I'm slightly confused about what genre the game is in. My initial impression is it's a graphical adventure, and this is mainly due to the graphical style and the `lack of repetition` in the screen layout. ... ie what you'd usually see in a hand-drawn adventure game like Monkey Island etc... but then on the other hand the game appears to play like a platformer. In terms of its platforming prowess, I think it falls short. The main characters maybe don't have enough of a heroic/magical/cutesy persona which seems to be almost necessary for a good platform game. Also as a platform game it seems almost like its a bit half baked, being partly platform partly adventure game. So my platforming skills don't look like they'd be pushed to the max. The jumping looks a little clunky, there's lots of time jumping/walking around with nothing happening, and `as a platform` game it looks like nothing new. I wouldn't choose a couple of mechanics or whatever they are, everyday regular joe's, as `heroes` for the main character. I have to make more of a mental stretch to get into the style of the game's atmosphere and its presentation, rather than getting an immediate grasp of the character and control system. Some of the animation is cool and the pixely graphical style is cool but it doesn't seem gratifying enough. Something is just a bit flat and self-contained and not flashy enough. So it's sort sort straddling the lines between an adventure game with adventure elements, versus a partial platformer implementation, and being in that kind of not quite one or the other territory maybe makes its identity weaker. In a way it breaks new ground but at the same time is working against strongly established genre boundaries while trying to merge them. So I'm a bit... confused, and left wanting. It seems to have a narrative, it seems to have a nice visual style albeit it a bit `ordinary`, but the sense of fun and gameplay seems a little unresolved.

    That's my 2 cents, just from watching the trailer mainly, so I might be way off and I'm sure there's more to the game that comes later.
     
  46. Redbeer

    Redbeer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Posts:
    402
    Much of this may have been said already, but here's what jumps out at me.

    1) The game is nicely designed, and the pixel graphics in and of themselves aren't an issue, but the design, to me, doesn't "pop". It's just not something that jumps out at me and says "whoa, I want to play that right away".
    2) The gameplay looks like it has similar issues. It's a running, jumping platformer, by the description...ok. It could be fun, but it's not something I'd pay $15 for, and I'm inclined to say that the graphical style doesn't "jibe" with the gameplay. When I think jumping platformer, I think bright colors and/or playful characters, or at least something that is very distinctive in its design. I don't see the appeal of jumping around in a gray world with grayish/brown pixelated trashmen.
    3) Since the game doesn't have that "jump out and inspire me" look and feel to it, and it's not a refresh of a classic IP (like 4 of the 5 top KS projects are), I'd need some other incentive to invest in the project.
    This could be:
    a) Really compelling reasons for me to "want" to invest in you as people.
    b) Secondary incentives that are very appealing (like art, books, signed stuff, a comic/graphic novel)...something that can be made alongside or with the game graphics, that is appealing, and priced appropriately that I feel it has real value.
    c) Some sort of revolutionary "feature" I want to see put in a game and out on the market.

    To put it really simply, this looks like a good project, but it's definitely something that I'd wait to pay $5 for on Steam, rather than something that jumps out at me as a "must have". Also, raising 50K so you can port to a bunch of targets and localize...meh, not compelling enough.

    On a personal level the "Unity licenses cost money" angle put me off a bit, since you are such a raging supporter of Unity Pro, and it's pricing. You have been very vocal about how "if your business model doesn't support the cost of Unity and development...you're doing it wrong", so why do you need money through Kickstarter for Unity 4 upgrades?

    I also don't know why this particular project requires a four man operation, and going on 9 months, + 3 or more mentioned in the video, unless the game is MASSIVE. If that is the case, then you should advertise that fact, in detail. How many hours of play will this be, 5, 10, 50, 100? How many backgrounds/levels/playable characters is it? Where's the concept art for all this? The video mentions "modern features with retro graphics", I don't see a single thing in the actual game play that couldn't have been done 25 years ago...so if there is something special coming, you should advertise it.

    What it seems like now, is you got four talented guys together, with game in progress, looked at the price of Unity 4 Pro upgrades and said "hey let's do a Kickstarter because it's all the rage now, and so are RETRO GRAPHICS, that will pay for them!"
     
  47. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    26,096
    Thanks for the great thoughts. Regarding unity 4, that is required for Linux, so if we were going to make those guys happy we would need to port it to unity 4.
     
  48. ZeroByteDNA

    ZeroByteDNA

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Posts:
    1,042
    This may come off as too general, but since there's a lot of good general information in this thread already - I hope that it's cool to ask this here (if not, I can create a thread about it - but then we'll end up with fragmented info...meh).

    In targeting multiple platforms and seeking funding on KS, two things pop up at me right off the back: hardware and platform pricing.

    First, with platform pricing. To be honest, I'm more familiar with this in a sense from the ebook industry - where it's not so much about platform as it is about the particular vendor: consistent pricing for Apple, Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, diesel, kobo, etc, etc, etc, etc.

    When it comes to games though, wow, it gets rough. App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Steam (-ish pricing), etc, etc, etc. There are countless articles, blogs, et al in regard to different pricing methodologies, different consumer expectations regarding pricing on various platforms, and all that business jazz.

    Your Apple person might be fine with 99¢, your Android person might want free, Windows Store starts @ $1.49, then you have the $4.99/$9.99 type of pricing. You've got IAP, Ads, and all the rest of the pricing jazz.

    So when it comes to offering the actual game as a reward for backing, well - should the game even be a reward level? That gets into pre-order mentality and that pricing is going to get complicated as you consider your intended targets. Should the game instead then be offered along with some other reward? You get a poster + the game, you get a t-shirt + the game, you get a coffee mug + the game, you get an audio CD + the game, etc, etc, etc. Would you emphasize on the lower backing amounts, that it's not about the backer doing a pre-order - but rather, you're thanking them for their donation at that level and as a courtesy that you're giving them a copy of the game regardless of what the pricing might be when the game is released. They're not pre-ordering the game, they're backing the development of the game...the free copy of the game is just a thank you sort of thing.

    Next would be the hardware. This too, I believe to be somewhat complicated. Then again, I have a tendency to overthink things and that may be the case here. Regardless though, when you consider developing on multiple platforms - there is going to be the additional cost of the hardware.

    Say I'm just making a game for Windows PC. I'm not only going to have my development machine, but I'm also going to have a test machine. That's going to be my min spec machine. The game should run "fine" on that machine. It should run better on other machines (and I may even have other machines), but I'm going to state a min spec for the game and need to make sure that a machine with those min specs can actually run the game "fine"...so to speak.

    I want the game to run on OS X as well. Well, I'm going to need a Mac. Am I going to look at a Mac Mini, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro? Will I go for a refurb that most closely resembles my min specs? Am I going to have to purchase multiple OS X machines for testing?

    I want the game to run on iOS as well. If I do not already have my OS X machine, well I'm going to need to buy that as well. So does that mean I not only need my OS X test machines, but I need an OS X development machine as well? Once I've gotten the development machine angle handled, I'm still looking at the cost of the iOS devices. If I want the game to run on an iPod, iPad, and iPhone...well, I'm going to need an iPod, iPad, and iPhone for testing. Emulators only go so far.

    I want the game to run on Android as well. At this point, I've probably got more Windows and OS X machines laying around than I know what to do with...lol, so there's no worries there. However, I'm still going to need an Android phone and tablet. Given the fragmentation of the market, I'm likely going to have several test devices running different versions of Android and at different hardware levels.

    For Linux, well - if I've got my Windows or Mac machine - outside of the min spec deal, I should be fine here.

    For Flash, well - that's a cumbersome issue given the varying levels of Flash support out there and which platforms I want Flash to work on...so er, nevermind for now.

    So here's the thing - the guy planning to play the game on his Android phone is going to look at the GOAL for this KS project and laugh his ass off. Hell, it goes beyond any of the individual potential consumers laughing their ass off while thinking of their own platform, there's also going to be the simple issue of expectations down the road. Okay, here's this guy trying to do all this with this KS...will this guy being doing anything else? Are we just backing this guy's shopping trip?

    And bazinga...the question arises - would it be best to do separate KS projects for each platform? Would it best to break down the costs for each platform into their own project? If you don't get the funding for one project, well - you can say screw them and just develop for the game for the platforms you did get the funding.

    Hrmm, just a general question that had been on my mind of late - and - well, it kind of came up in this thread...so I asked...
     
  49. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Posts:
    5,577
    most of the people that have seen this think it is just a Mario clone, what i think is needed is a more in depth game play movie and how it works etc. to prove it is not just a mario clone.

    Now, If i was in your shoes i would do this,
    1. Make the first level in a build make sure it works flawlessly and make a webplayer of it
    2. Get some famous people to twit your game like just send them messages asking if they would try your game(the web player level) other people are probably looking at there twitter/whatever and will then look at your game and maybe they will(Notch backed your project so maybe he would put a twitter message out?) Andrew Gower(The creator of RuneScape) is rich ask him to try your game and then send the link to the kickstarter ;) he doesn't have that many followers on twitter so he would probably reply.
    3. Give your game away for $1 :O I think this would make your kickstarter go through the roof cause if the game is going to cost over $15 to buy when it comes out then everyone will use kickstarter to buy it when it is 1/15 of the price. And realy why does it matter if you sell 10,000 copies at $1 or 666(the devils number) at $15 to get the same money? How about that?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  50. ColossalDuck

    ColossalDuck

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Posts:
    3,246
    I like your first 2 suggestions. But, its worth far more than a dollar.
     
unityunity