Welcome to “Plan B”

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!


So, are you in or are you out? Watcher or maker-and-shaker?
 
SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR PLAN B AND LET’S MAKE THIS GAME A REALITY!


Click here right now and make your pledge!

22 comments to Welcome to “Plan B”

  • Tal  says:

    Why are the rewards different to kickstarter? On kickstarter I backed for the $25, but now to get the same rewards I have to pay $35? Or am I reading somethign totally wrong?

    • Avatar image Guido Henkel  says:

      The main reason is that we had to reshuffle rewards for a number of reasons. Kickstarter rewards were priced and planned based upon reaching a $390,000 goal. That is no longer the case. We now have very different goals tha twe are trying to reach which has a direct impact on what we can do.

      However, as we go along and as more and more backers join the fray, we plan to add additional rewards, just the way we did during the Kickstarter campaign. We just have to be very careful and conservative at this point, until we see what the overall perception and acceptance of this model turns out to be.

      Thank you so much for your interest, and your support.

      • Tal  says:

        Thanks for the reply Guido =)

        Unfortunately I can’t do $35, $25 was my limit (for various reasons =)) So now I gotta decide whether to go the $20 and get less for it, or just wait and see – will keep an eye on things anyway, ‘cos I really am looking forward to seeing the end product! =)

  • Darklord  says:

    When do you take the money? What happens if I pledge and you do not reach 50K, will I get it back?

    • Avatar image Guido Henkel  says:

      Yes, indeed. If we won’t reach the $50k goal it will be impossible for us to make the game and we will refund all pledges.

  • stony3k  says:

    One suggestion would be to include the first chapter of the game in the $5 pledge level. That may get a few more people to join at that stage – those who may now just watch on the sidelines.

    Another suggestion would be to figure out how to get the first episode on Steam Early Access pretty quickly.

    I do want to point out that the Shadowrun Returns team broke their game in two pieces because of funding issues, and while they were successful from a monetary perspective, they did get a lot of negative feedback. Hopefully that actually helps them make the game better instead of reducing the sales of the 2nd chapter.

    • Avatar image Guido Henkel  says:

      Stony3k, it makes a big difference whether a game has been designed as an episodic title from the ground up or if it simply being chopped in half, the way it happened with “Shadowrun.” We can actually create very cool setups, making the most of the episodic nature. To us it is becoming a feature as opposed to an unexpected necessary requirement.

  • Darklord  says:

    Pledged. :)

  • Milliste  says:

    On that note come on everyone! let’s get that 50K goal =} and continue to show our support! =D

  • lookatmike  says:

    Pledged on KS, happy to pledge here as well. I want to see more of this kind of game made, and I’m glad that some people are trying to put one out, after the genre being essentially dead for a decade or so.

  • Sammy  says:

    I would be pledging right away, but the problem is, doesn’t an episodic format inherently mean the game is going to be linear? The comparison to The Walking Dead is not very comforting in this regard.

    • Avatar image Guido Henkel  says:

      Not necessarily. Depending on the design it is still possible to allow for a large number of different branches to develop in the plot, so I would not worry too much about it, but I can certainly understand your concern.

      • Speedster  says:

        Will the chapters be broken according to major goals that must be accomplished, or areas where that part of the story takes place?

        • Guido Henkel  says:

          It will be a bit of both, but mostly it will be story-driven, following major goals within the plot.

  • forgottenlor  says:

    I pledged and am crossing my fingers for Deathfire. You guys need to update your Steam Greenlight page and link it to this website.

  • dan0001  says:

    When do you hope to hit beta and subsequently release for episode 1? Also, do you expect each episode to take a similar amount of time?

  • Paul Vincent  says:

    Great to hear the game’s going ahead! When I made my PayPal payment, I didn’t see anywhere to tell you my Kickstarter id, to get my “special reward” as someone who backed the Kickstarter bid. So if I tell you here that my Kickstarter name is Paul Vincent, email prvincent@gmail.com, do I still get my special reward?

  • Mihai  says:

    “without DRM” Yes, I like that. Do you plan to release Deathfire on gog too?

  • felixr  says:

    Just a theory, but I suspect the silly, campy name was responsible for some lack of funding. I guess it’s a fitting-enough name for this kind of fantasy RPG, but it may be a bit too juvenile. I think anyone can see that the game has good features if they read or listen long enough, but some gamers still like to adhere to a certain seriousness. Or perhaps it’s just the transparancy. Maybe the game has good features, but the name is representative of a very scatter-shot approach. Like “we don’t care about a consistent world, we just put in random cool stuff”. And while the stuff may really be cool enough, there needs to be a clear vision that pulls it all together, and increases the confidence in funding. Even if the vision is, sadly, just a more overt “irony” about how silly and campy it all is, though I don’t like this approach.

  • Berndor  says:

    Pledged ;-)

  • Indoclone  says:

    Pledged!!

    One question, will this only run for 2 weeks or there is no time limit?

    • Guido Henkel  says:

      We are trying to raise at least $50k within two weeks. This will determine whether the development of the game will continue or not. However, if we will continue developing the game, accepting pledges from backers will be an ongoing process.

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