Altais: Age of Ruin - A dystopian fantasy RPG (Canceled) project video thumbnail
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AU$ 6,933 pledged of AU$ 40,000 goal
AU$ 6,933 pledged of AU$ 40,000 goal

Update 8 - Moving Forward


Hello Kickstarters!

At this point it’s pretty safe to say that we won’t reach our funding goal in time but this isn’t the end for Altais. I have learned a lot from this project, so I thought I’d use this as a bit of a post-mortum and to talk about its future.

Why didn’t it work?

Well based on the feedback I’ve been getting, it seems the target was simply too high. When I was setting up this project, I did a lot of research into how RPG books were made and what other projects had done in the past. I looked at the big brands because I had high hopes for this and that led me to some incorrect conclusions: Big companies like White Wolf and Monte Cook Games raised well over $40,000 but apparently this is too high for an indie startup.

There’s an interesting phenomenon that occurs around kickstarter projects: even though the whole idea is to fund start-ups and new ideas, and even though it’s a no-risk system, everyone only wants to back projects that look like they will succeed. There’s a fantastic article all about this by Albino Dragon:

Other feedback also suggested that people would really like to try before they buy and that the lack of a testable system may have hindered the project.

So where to from here?

I really believe Altais will be a fantastic game so I'm not going to give up easily. Altais will be back! I'm going to continue working on it and in a few months I’ll be relaunching with a much lower target. I’ve also begun putting together a preview game, which will provide an introductory campaign and trial of the system, and it will be available as a free download. I’ll have more artwork to show off at that time and I’ll also be making a new video.

For our backers who return to support us in the relaunch, I’ll be throwing in free add-ons as a loyalty reward, more details on that soon.

I also have two other projects in the works, these are still very early in development but for now here’s a brief teaser:

Evil Benevolent Aliens

A tongue-in-cheek sci-fi board game for 2-6 players. Each player takes on the role of a sympathetic alien race that arrived on Earth shortly after humanity went through World War 3. The cities are rubble, the people are starving, but fortunately you’re here to help! Harvest resources from the ruins of the old cities, construct new housing and infrastructure, and help those poor innocent people rebuild their world… until the time is right to reveal your true diabolical scheme! Are you there to harvest humanity for food? To zap them with evil mind control devices? Are you building a laser on the moon? Or maybe you plan to crash the Earth into the sun! Are there even aliens at all? Maybe it’s all a government conspiracy! A humorous game of chaotic hidden agendas and exaggerated sci-fi tropes piled so high you can barely see the giant alien squid beneath! The world is ripe for conquest and if there’s anything TV has taught us, it’s that there’s nothing more evil than a benevolent alien.

Jumping Titan

A psychological cyberpunk card game for 2-6 players. It’s the year 2437, technology has changed but people are pretty much the same. Innovations in Brain-Computer Interfaces allow the human mind to be augmented by connecting them to a Central Computer. Think: Faster. Smarter. Deeper. This Computer now monitors for criminal thoughts and the crime rate has plummeted, but it also renders people vulnerable to hacks, even complete take over. There is only one type of crime left: “Crimes Against Personality”. Players take on the roles of rogue law enforcement agents who have discovered a terrible secret and are now being hunted. They exploit the system, Jumping from body to body, trying to stay one step ahead as they flee to the last place where the Computer has no hold: the colony on Titan. But the hack is imperfect, with every Jump they lose a piece of themselves; a memory, an idea, an emotion. Even if they make it to Titan, will they still be the same person? Will they still be human at all?

So that brings me to the end of this update, I hope these teasers intrigue :) I’ll message you all when I have more to announce on any of these projects, especially for the Altais relaunch.

In the meantime, you can follow us on facebook and twitter to receive all the latest updates.

Until then, I want to thank you all so much for your support, there has been a lot of positive feedback and you are all amazing! it means a lot!

Laura Wilkinson, Rick Haseman, and 7 more people like this update.


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    1. Parhelia Games 2-time creator on May 11, 2014

      thanks for the advice. :)

    2. Benjamin R. Covington on May 9, 2014

      I'll be back for the re-launch!
      However, just a word of advice about funding goals. Don't base your target on what others are doing. Figure out exactly what you'll need to complete the project (this will of course need to calculate in backer reward costs, shipping and handling, and what kickstarter takes out).
      If you go above that, fantastic, but if not, at least the project will get funded.

      Good luck on the next launch. I'll be waiting for it.

    3. Ruben L.Z. Tan on May 9, 2014

      Well, can't say I didn't see this coming. A friendly advise from me to you: what exactly do you want that 40k for? Sure, you want to raise that amount, but why 40k? Why not 8k? Why not 10k? What do you want to spend that money on, after deducting the cost of printing and shipping?

      I think basing your pledge on what other people pledge for is unrealistic. I would rather see what the money is going to be used for (artwork, convention booths, legal fees, editing fees, profit, etc), and with POD, it shouldn't be that hard to ask for a lower pledge.

      In any case, all the best in your next attempt. Like I said, I really want to see this project come to fruition. Keep all your current backers in a customer database and email us next time you decide to start over! :)

    4. Jeremy Kear
      on May 9, 2014

      I'll be back at a similar or same level on re-launch. It'll look fantastic. All Re-launches look and feel better than the first. and that wasn't even your problem this time. If it'd been $10k you'd 'ave kicked it in base on what you got. ;].

    5. Parhelia Games 2-time creator on May 9, 2014

      Patrick: Lots of good ideas in there, thanks.
      saodhar: thanks for following :)

    6. Saodhar
      on May 9, 2014

      A very nice update, though of course sad. I'm already following you on facebook, so please give some good news soon. And I'll gladly support the next KS approach. I hope those teaser systems will also make their way here. :)

    7. Patrick SAYET
      on May 9, 2014

      Ah and maybe make the KS duration longer? Most are 30 days but I've seen some with 40 or 60 days, might give more time for people to know of it.

    8. Patrick SAYET
      on May 9, 2014

      I'm sad it won't be funded, and I'm not sure canceling it now is the best, as sometimes there's a big rush in the last days, so it wouldn't have succeeded, but it would have got higher and informed you of how much can be raised in the last few days.
      From the last 6 months I've been active on crowdfunding sites, the only thing I'm quite sure of is you need serious advertisement to have a hope to raise an important pledge amount. But sadly there's the luck/destiny/whatever thing too, a very nice project with professional presentation, a motivated team present to answer questions, with an original and constructive idea, can fail.
      I'm coming back to the "professional" thing. Most customers will fall for a "nice" presentation - no need to have a 15 year professional infographist - so just a practical, well set with the differences and originalities well pointed out, is necessary.
      Looking the main page again, I was struck by the font used for "Altais - age of ruin" and the colour used : first it's not easily readable, and the colour feels like mud so it's not pleasant. Something missing is photos of the finished product (or a prototype) and maybe some pages of the book, including the character sheet ; this would prove the project is in a late stage of advancement.
      I very much like the art, but some of the images are too common (the barbarian with the lance, the undead), but the big cathedral with ships around it and the maya pyramid motivate my imagination.
      Maybe you can do what "the Godsfall", another paper RPG KS that failed, and do a "preview" to see the things that need to be tuned.
      A thing that could draw people is having your project shown on "professional" RPG sites (I'm French so I don't know any) and maybe have some people write an article. Having known RPG "veterans" back the project would also attract attention.
      Possibly having a presentation of your team would be nice (and "professional" / I hate this word but I don't find any other one) and maybe some are known from the public.

    9. Parhelia Games 2-time creator on May 9, 2014

      Thanks Ian. :)

    10. Ian Borchardt
      on May 9, 2014

      I should add I did like the game concept and am looking forward to your second attempt.

    11. Ian Borchardt
      on May 9, 2014

      You might want to look at POD delivery at cost for pledgers through DriveThruRPG (or similar). Basically you run the Kickstarter on the basis that when it is complete they receive a link which allows them to print the book at cost from DriveThruRPG. This has the advantage that you don't need to collect shipping costs (since they pay the shipping when they order the book), and don't need to manage inventory and warehousing.

      The cons are that it is not as nice or as cheap as a good offset print book (although you need ten times the number of pledgers to get to the territory where offset printing is possible, let alone cheaper), and it doesn't give you extra copies to put into the distribution chain. Although that probably a lost cause as most retailers/distributors won't order an unknown game from an unknown company anyway (least it sits on the shelf forever - or until the next discount sale). So you will probably end up burning most of the stock from an offset print run to keep warm during the winter anyway.

      So realistically you are looking at POD printing anyway for physical copies. For which your target number was indeed much much too high. YMMV.