With the Kickstarter campaign for “Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore” now at an end, the question arose, of course, how we would continue from here, now that the funding of the game did not fall into place.
Let me introduce you to “Plan B.”
While we evaluated various alternatives how we could perhaps put funding in place, one concept in particular struck us as notable, and we decided to give it a shot. Since many of you have already shown us during our Kickstarter campaign that you have faith in us and our ability to create this game, we are hopeful that many of you will also support us in this renewed effort and help us to get us off to a strong start here.
We do not want to deviate from the formula of the game. The reason why so many of you have fallen in love with “Deathfire” is because of its many cool and unique features. If we were to reduce the scope or depth of the game, we would essentially destroy everything that fans cared for in the first place. Therefore, the decision was made to find a solution that allows us to keep the game’s features intact.
We decided to take an episodic approach to the game
The plan is this: Instead of creating a large-scale game all at once, we decided to take an episodic approach to the game. As opposed to forcing ourselves to a development schedule that spans a year or more, and which needs to be funded up front entirely, we have decided to develop the game in installments, each an individual chapter in the story—as you would have in a book—which, when taken together make up the entire story of the original game.
However, instead of having individual smaller games, each new chapter will be entirely integrated in the whole, giving you ONE GAME that will get ever bigger!
At this point, there are a number of great examples out there, for games that have done very well using an episodic approach. Especially “The Walking Dead” by Telltale Games jumps to mind instantly as an example of episodic-delivery-done-right.
Each of “Deathfire’s” six chapters we will build, will expand the game as a whole when they are released, not only continuing the story, but also introducing new features as they enter the picture. The advantage of this approach is, I think, self-evident.
Instead of creating a huge monster pool for the entire game all at once, we can focus on creating the creatures necessary for the current chapter only. This saves time, resources and thus money.
Instead of having to create all the many levels necessary for the entire game, we can focus only on the relevant ones, saving time, resources and money.
Instead of having to write and design character interactions for the entire game, we can focus on the ones you will meet in the current chapter, once again saving time, resources and… yes, money.
In addition, this approach will also cut down on our debugging and testing time, as each chapter is a much smaller unit to work with. All in all, we will be able to still tackle the big project we had in mind. We just do it in smaller stages, one bite at a time.
There are many more reasons, why this approach is actually very attractive and has a number of advantages over the traditional all-at-once approach, but I believe you can get the idea.
The result is that we will need a much smaller financial upfront commitment, and as the individual chapters are being rolled out, they can begin to generate incremental revenue that will then help us along as we continue with the project.
There is still the problem of getting the ball rolling, of course. Fortunately we have already done a lot of the ground work in the past months, creating a workflow and toolchain that will allows us to work efficiently right out of the gates, but we will still need money to pay everyone who’s working so hard on this project, along with some necessary software and hardware purchases.
As of right now, we are accepting pledges from fans directly!
Therefore we have decided to accept pledges from fans directly. As of right now, you can select reward tiers and back our project right here on our official website, just the way you would do on Kickstarter. In fact, we have tried to keep much of the reward structure in place that we offered in Kickstarter, though due to the nature of the beast, some amends had to be made. At the same time, there are some really cool changes, because things such as the Beastiary will now be continually updated and will grow over time as each new chapter is released.
There is a certain amount of base capital that is required for us to safely enter development of this chapter-based approach, and over the course of the next two weeks we want to see if we can reach this $50,000 base goal. Reaching it will make it possible for us to pay out small salaries and keep everyone’s families fed properly, while developing the first chapter. Upon reaching that milestone, we hope that the chapter release itself will generate enough buzz and interest to bring in additional funds through new backers or sales, which, in turn, will allow us to continue the development.
We are all very excited about this new prospect and hope you will join us. Not only does it potentially save our project, but moreover, it offers a number of great opportunities that had not existed before. Opportunities to get fans involved sooner, more often and over a much longer period of time. Clearly, the B in Plan B stands for “even Better.”
Thank you for your faith in us. We promise that in return we shall do our very best to create the game you have always wished and loved to play!