The importance of a community
I break the usual updates trend of new airplanes and content to write about something that has been very important to us: the community.
Since day one, when I made the first version of Dogfight, I thought the community should be at the center of the game. This hasn't changed a bit during the past year and won’t change in Dogfight Elite. I always focus on listening to player requests, complains and feedback and try to address them as soon as I can.
I believe this focus on people has helped us in more ways that I can mention in a post. Throughout time, the forum members and players have grown into a kind of brotherhood where everyone helps each other and set rules for each fictional squadron. I've seen the previous version of the game grow from me alone, to a couple of players a day to the current massive amount of pilots that each day post on their own created web pages or forums. This has been possible not because of my work or my teams’ work as developers or graphic designers but thanks to a community that appreciated our recognition for a human touch.
I will give a few examples on how the community has been helping us creating Dogfight Elite.
Content: Our community is a very diverse crowd. It is shaped by real life pilots, veterans, writers, actors and firemen among many others. Our shared interest is Dogfight Elite. Many wrote to us immediately letting us know that they didn't want to only pledge but actually be part of the team and the creation process of the game. Some volunteered to create soundtracks, sound fx, voice overs, collect historical documentation, and so on. To give just a few examples of the responses we've received...
Art work from Green macheine12 at http://www.dogfightplay.com/index.php/forum/2-gossip/31857-dogfight-art-gallery?limitstart=0
Art work from Alexninja at http://www.dogfightplay.com/index.php/forum/2-gossip/31857-dogfight-art-gallery?limitstart=0
Hand-made models by Dark Night: http://www.dogfightplay.com/index.php/forum/2-gossip/32239-the-official-dogfight-in-3d-thread
Rick Wiggins, from USA, he is a volunteer moderator in the forum, but he has many talents unknown to most Dogfighters. (His blog: rickwiggins.blogspot.com) Upon watching our Kickstarter video, he sent us an email with a “press release” and his suggestions on how to write a game description since I’m not a native English speaker. He gave us several versions, which he kept improving through out the week. Not fulfilled enough with pledging and volunteering, he also wrote to us with an “intro script” for the game trailer. This is the script that you can hear right now while watching the Kickstarter video http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/echoboomapps/dogfight-elite and most of his suggestions are now part of the main page. And then… he even apologized he couldn't do more because he was moving and had the audio system unplugged!
Nathaniel Doldersum, he is from Netherlands. For Dogfight Elite we use a system called Unity and a plugin named Terrain Composer http://www.terraincomposer.com/ that save us countless hours of work on terrain design. Nathaniel is the actual author of Terrain Composer. When he found out what we were aiming to achieve, he spent days modifying his software, improving it, and creating custom terrains to test the prototype. He even posted our kickstarter on Terrain Composer’s main page. There is only one thing cooler than Terrain Composer… Nathaniel himself.
Terrain done with Terrain Composer.
Pledges: 97% of all pledges on kickstarter come from our forum. This meant a lot to us. In less than 48 hours we were able to raise over $5000. If this wasn’t enough, the community itself decided to promote the mission of Dogfight Elite. They wrote to museums, magazines, bloggers, even some placed a “Pledge for Dogfight Elite” on the email signature. We enjoyed every story we read on the forum. From the hilarious kid explaining his strategy to convince his mom to pledge, (through a structure of several days!) to the ones giving advices on marketing. You can find all the threads at our forum here: http://www.dogfightplay.com/index.php/forum/2-gossip/33048-dogfight-elite-the-next-level-we-need-your-help
These are just a few big examples of the many responses we've received since posting the project in Kickstarter. Some have asked us why we decided to go for Kickstarter instead of trying to raise private funds. This is the reason. Kickstarter depends on its community to fund and make projects successful. Dogfight Elite has the same vision.
Keep pledging and sharing. Let’s get Dogfight Elite off the ground!
Ps. To our community, a huge hearty thank you! To Rick, don’t punish me for that cheesy last line :)
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The Early Backer: You'll get our undying thanks! You'll also get your name listed on our site. We'll print your name, stick it on the wall and look to it whenever we are in need of inspiration! Also, you will receive early access to the beta mobile version of the game on Android, iOS or Windows Phone 8. The first 250 backers will receive a digital download of the game Dogfight Elite for $10! (Suggested retail price is $25)Estimated delivery:
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The Gamer: A digital download of Dogfight Elite on any of the desired available platforms! (iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, PC/MAC, and any platform we can make it available for!) Also access to the private Dogfight Elite forums where you will be able to interact with the team during the development process!Estimated delivery:
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The Duo Gamer: You will receive TWO digital copies of Dogfight Elite. In short, TWO The Gamer rewards so that you can play with your family, friends or frienemies!Estimated delivery:
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The Featured Actor: You'll get all previous rewards PLUS a limited edition Dogfight Elite t-shirt! You will also be eligible to appear on a future Dogfight Elite promotional video (you, your voice or you playing Dogfight Elite!)Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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The Dogfighter: You'll get all previous rewards PLUS a physical Dogfight Elite box copy of the game with booklet and all, showing the creation process and much art-work! You will also receive a unique in-game airplane SPECIALLY made only available for Kickstarter pledgers! And Your name will also appear in the game's credits as backer and patron!Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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The Legendary Dogfighter: You will receive all previous rewards: two digital copies, the box, the in-game plane, etc... And also: ALPHA ACCESS: Beta access is not soon enough? We will give you alpha access so that you can begin testing with us the game as soon as possible! This means you will be in direct contact with us and you will be first in line to provide valuable input to the making of Dogfight Elite! For all your support, the team members will personally sign your physical copy of Dogfight Elite. Just because, you rock! We can include a personal message of your choice if you wish (a gift note for someone special?)Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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Duo Legendary Dogfighter: Do you want two physical copies of the game with alpha access so that you can enjoy with friends or give it away as a gift? This is your reward! TWO The Legendary Dogfighter rewards. Meaning 2 physical copies, 4 digital downloads, t-shirts, and so on!Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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The Squadron Leader: Add to all previous rewards the ability to create your own squadron and manage it during alpha/beta! Also a limited edition Dogfight Elite t-shirt with your name, pilot name or text of your choice on it! This limited edition t-shirt design will be different to the previous reward and exclusively available for this selected group of kickstarter backers!Estimated delivery:
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The Air Marshal Backer: All previous rewards PLUS a physical diecast aircraft at 1:48 scale of one of the planes used as a model for the creation of the game! Note: Only 5 available. We can't give these to any other reward.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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The Air Marshal Backer We've got more airplanes! The Squadron Leader rewards PLUS a physical diecast aircraft at 1:48 scale of one of the planes used as a model for the creation of the game! Note: Only 15 more available. We can't give these to any other reward.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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The Marshal of the Royal Air Force: Pick your own airplane paintings! Pick a plane from the game you like best, tell us how you want it painted and we'll go ahead and include it on the game but you'll be the only pilot who can choose this painting! You can even name the decal after you! We'll also send you a poster and t-shirt! Note: Plane paintings must be suitable for all audiences: Rated E for Everyone :)Estimated delivery:
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The Historic Heritage: Do you want to be able for anyone to pick your colors? This is the reward! We place your logo and paintings on any airplane of your choice. Up to 4 different aircraft. Then the whole world can pick up those colors and fly with them!Estimated delivery:
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The Mission Creator: Do you belong to a veteran group, are you part of a museum or just want to leave your mark? The Historic Heritage reward PLUS you'll have exclusive access to us and work on the creation of a special secret mission that will be included in Dogfight Elite. Always dreamed of creating a mission for a game? This is your chance! You'll have bragging rights for it in the credits!Estimated delivery:
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Marketing Guru backer! We will work with you on the creation of a landmark with your organization logo/info on it, adjusted to WWI or WWII style for everyone to see when they play online! This will be there forever, as part of Dogfight Elite! Imagine if your organization, squadron or museum existed during the wars, having it on our map would be awesome! We would love to have your logo/info included as part of the game! Note: No adult content allowed. To clarify rules, please contact us before pledging.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)