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A special RPG in which you assemble your team, build and manage your base, collect resources, and survive in a post-apocalyptic world
A special RPG in which you assemble your team, build and manage your base, collect resources, and survive in a post-apocalyptic world
3,535 backers pledged $121,096 to help bring this project to life.

Some answers


Thank you guys for your understanding and advises, we will keep doing what we can do.

And since some people are interested in how the project look different from the original video, as the chief developer, I will explain it in detail.

It is a long story. First of all, it didn't happen in one night, the game went through almost one year and a half of development and changing. As you see the game is an experimental one which means both technical approach and designing approach are not matured. During the development, we experienced coming up with a new idea, implementing it, testing it and abandoning it almost everyday. This is not the best approach, a dangerous one, but our only choice which I believe gradually led the game off track. Another note is that the we did make a demo prototype during the kickstarter campaign. That demo was only for the purpose of recording videos so it has absolutely no game mechanism in it whatsoever. What I can do in that demo is, I can walk, shoot and drive and of course we made the graphic look as good as possible(It is very easy to make the graphic look good if you don't have to worry about performance). And combined with video editing we made the original video look like the game that we are going to produce. However, we later found that we are unable to make the real game look like the video, especially in terms of graphics. Here is an example why. In the demo version, there is no dynamic daylight cycle and weather system, so we used the baked global illumination lighting which has much better performance and rendering quality. However in the real game, we have to use dynamic lighting for the daylight/weather system(sunrise, nightfall, raining...) which is much slower and has worse graphical looking than baked global illumination(this is probably why open world games(skyrim) often have worse graphics than level based games(battlefield 3)). This could be one of the many reasons why you feel the game looks different now, the technical approach in reality doesn't match that in prototype. This is especially likely to happen on experimental projects which the technology has not been established yet.

Another example is the animation quality. You might have noticed, we did some high-end motion captures back in April 2013, 

and combined with the Mecanism technology of Unity engine we achieved quite some near AAA quality animations and AI behaviours based on animation, however, all that had to be abandoned three months later after we slowly discovered that the whole fancy animation system was doing too much dragging on the performance, especially when other CPU/GPU consuming subjects kicked in(large terrain, dynamic lighting, hundreds of objects/npcs on the same map...) So we ended up using our old, more ugly looking animation system for the sake of performance and that explains why the animation looks worse than any of our early updates.

Again, this is just one example. There are at least 20 of similar cases happened during the development of FF. So basically we "wasted" at least 70% of our time on testing out technologies that are no longer valid, just hoping to make the game the best we could. I don't regret the effort though, because with all that lessons learnt, my team and I now know very well how we could avoid it in the future. So if you are willing to make something similar I could offer my two cents.

On the other hand, the FF engine itself is matured very fast(dynamic weather, base building, customization, vehicles and plane physics...) We hold some solid technologies here and with a proper team and enough funding, the power of the engine could be unleashed.

How we spent our 121k? Brief breakdown,

60% for hiring(all staff, including composer fees)

20% for renting and equipment (We move to China for cheap labor cost so we have to get some whole new sets of equipment and an office)

15% preserved for rewards.

5% preserved for emergency. (such as legal actions)

The only reason why we could last this long is probably because we were in China, much cheaper labor rate and rent than NYC. And man, I didn't enjoy the polluted air in Beijing.

I agree that please don't stop supporting experimental indie projects just because one or two failed. Without that trying and failure there shall be no success whatsoever. And we indie developers are the pioneers who want to take the challenge. Your $15 bucks is much more than getting a product, it is supporting the progress of the gaming industry.

And a fun fact, at the end of the day no matter how bad your game is, there will still be people who enjoys it. So there is no good reason to stop making games:D

Comments are welcome and if you wish to know more, contact me at

Best Regards



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    1. Missing avatar

      Sankfang on September 17, 2014

      I have no hard feelings but if I were you I would look for an investor, show them the Kickstarter to prove there is interest then get back to the original vision, top down base building game in a post apocalyptic world. You lost when you went 3d and looked like a shitty DayZ. Go back to that great style. No mo cap, no 3d map crap. I don't care if 3d is better for shooters, make it less of a shooter. The less work and "experimenting" you do the better. Resource management, base building and some shooting and AI. Done.

      If you think I am being silly and underestimating the work I can write out a design document showing you how much easier this way is, a better game and done faster.

      We don't care about graphics or 3d worlds. Think it over.

    2. psyco363
      on September 4, 2014


    3. Eric Hon on September 1, 2014

      how do we get a copy of the beta?

    4. Kris Kizlyk on August 20, 2014

      Unfortunately it is developers like these guys that have sunk a lot of peoples faith on Kickstarter because they can't complete the project. I was looking forward to this game, however I never did get to play the game. However, they still have the Beta up for grabs so I am going to Download the v1.0.4 Beta and give it a shot...heck I did pay $160. I do hope that they resurrect this game.

    5. Aerouge
      on August 5, 2014

      So this Kickstarter actually failed?

    6. Missing avatar

      Sankfang on July 24, 2014

      I knew this would fail to deliver the second I saw that 3d shit. Some people lack the backbone to hold a clear vision. Top down base management with resource gathering. I cannot imagine a more simple game. This won't be going on any resume I think.

    7. PegasusOrgans-AGL 589 on July 23, 2014

      So many game projects on Kickstarter don't even succeed, let alone get 120k these days, and it is projects like these that created the situation. So many great games that would have been made, but people no longer are willing to invest.

      We backers can wait, and we'll forgive you if you eventually release a trimmed down version of the game you promised, but you have to keep us in the loop, even if it is boring or uneventful news. If you are still plugging away, LET US KNOW.

    8. Missing avatar

      JJ Parus on July 16, 2014

      "During the development, we experienced coming up with a new idea, implementing it, testing it and abandoning it almost everyday. This is not the best approach, a dangerous one, but our only choice"

      Why was this your "only choice?" It would seem to even a non-software writer, that you would be aware of the capabilities and limitations of existing coding capabilities, use that as a basis, and perhaps experiment with certain approaches for certain elements that seemed to be "low hanging fruit", that is, easy to get the results without a great deal of time / effort / cost.

      It also seems that common sense would dictate that with failure after failure, at some point logic would dictate that "this approach isn't getting us what we want" and "we can't afford to do any more experimental approaches if we will ever deliver the product."

      But no...

      I'd like to know why not.

    9. Missing avatar

      JJ Parus on July 15, 2014

      "... we will keep doing what we can do."

      Which is what, exactly?

    10. Missing avatar

      JJ Parus on July 15, 2014

      So where are we now? Are we even going to get a release of the current, unfinished work for our money?

    11. Michael Caldwell on June 18, 2014

      Very much should have stayed with original idea. So wanted this game, but what was produced was....well, terrible.

    12. Piotr Stolarczyk on May 20, 2014

      Don't know about the rest of you, but I feel a little bit cheated ... Basically you are admitting that you did the exact same thing that Gearbox Software did with Aliens: Colonial Marines. Show a fancy pre made gameplay, get people excited and get there money. I know that you had the best of intentions, but right now it does not look so good. I wish you stayed with the first idea of the game, oh well :(. Best of luck to all of you and don't make the same mistake again ;)

    13. PegasusOrgans-AGL 589 on May 4, 2014

      Can you sell all that mocap stuff you did?? I mean, there must be someone who'd buy it.

    14. Brian on May 3, 2014

      @Con Totally agree with you on the direction. For some reason I just assumed that this was the direction instead of AAA graphics.

      The one thing I don't agree with everyone though is that this game is totally lost. Take a look at Project Zomboid. At one point the team managed to lose everything from a burglary since they didn't back up their files remotely. They had to restart from scratch (code, assets, everything), after taking a lot of people's money. Well they did, and now they're on Steam selling an Early Access version of the game. Their sales numbers look pretty healthy too.

      Of course open sourcing it doesn't hurt either.

    15. Brian on May 3, 2014

      @BenLeak You don't need to pay $38 to host and manage open source code. Github, Bitbucket, and Sourceforge all do it for free. On top of that, they all have git or mercurial integrated.

    16. Björn Fallqvist on May 2, 2014

      Con, I agree with your post. If they had focused more on base-building and management and less on graphics and weather systems, it might have worked out better. I backed at 100$, but I don't expect to receive anything at all now.

      That said, I'm not too bitter about it, it's a very real risk when pledging on Kickstarter, and one should be aware of it.

    17. Go on May 1, 2014

      Hmm it sounds like you guys just lost your way. Honestly the main pull of this sort of game was never graphics or engine, it was base building and story design in a post apoc world. The fact that you wasted vast amounts of time and resources trying to push things like graphics and dymanic weather systems shows you've just made the mistake most AAA game companies do these days. Throw the vast majority of your funding behind graphics and assume that will sell the game, while tacking on just enough design and story will be enough to get it by.
      Honestly I think most gamers who come to kickstarter are here looking for someone different from the norm you tried to achieve. If this had been 80 percent about building an awesome post apoc shelter/base and 20 percent about fighting mutants and graphics I'd have loved it. Instead we've got this.

      I agree with those that have said you should have come to the community sooner with your concerns regarding the project and what direction you've taken it in, but now its too late and you've managed to waste $120,000 in funding, an opportunity many better teams with better game ideas just never get.

      Does this mean the lads and ladies who backed at the higher levels (such as a boxed version of the game) get nothing now?

    18. Missing avatar

      Godewijn on April 28, 2014

      Thank you for the way you communicated with us in these past two updates and the comment replies.
      All the best of luck for the future! :)

    19. Missing avatar

      AuronStarglider778 on April 28, 2014

      I am afraid I must concur with Aysir, while I understand you wanted to make the game as great as it could be, I cannot help but feel that you should have planned this more thoroughly so as to avoid some of the pitfalls encountered.

      However, in spite of this, I would gladly back another project of yours because you had the courage and integrity to come forward when things went downhill for the worse. That, and your constant interaction with the community and trying to make an honest effort to produce something the community would enjoy.

    20. Aysir on April 28, 2014

      I'm really surprised this game reached a v1.0. You've got mechanics and a game engine, but there's no design holding it together. You start and are just dumped with a building that's not your your own and random NPC's hanging around. Open source or whatever future developments aside, this 'game' is a huge disappointment.

    21. Photon Productions Creator on April 27, 2014

      Ben - yes there would be some management. If we do that, we need to first trim the project down and do some optimization on source code because the source code is pretty much a nightmare now.

    22. Photon Productions Creator on April 27, 2014

      Trock - The future devs are better off if they have Unity Pro to open the source project and I don't think we could provide a lisence for that. Unity Pro is $1500 per seat. However, you can still open the source project using the free Unity which will have some pro features cut off(such as some image effects). And if it is opensourced it is completely opensourced(art assets, source code, everything) so literally the community can do whatever to the game. I personally think it is a good idea too.

    23. Missing avatar

      Ben on April 26, 2014

      I think Trock has some great feedback and I have never dealt with lawyers on this subject, but I I know that money is an issue and the source is big and I really like the idea of us (the supporters) having a way of seeing results coming from the developer (Photon Productions). So, another option may be to first figure out the legal protections and then use a hosting service to host the source code. You could cover your hosting service fees by charging a nominal fee ($2-$3 per download of the 30GB of data) or less if you can trim it down. This will insure that the community is committed to the cause and not just interested in downloading the code.

      There would be a bit of management around this, but well worth seeing the game move forward. I saw that this company currently has a deal on hosted VPS service -…. At $38 a year you serve the source code to 66 users via FTP/SFTP/HTTPD via a download manager and not have to worry about rapidfire/etc. - •2GB RAM, 60 GB disk (non-SSD),1 Gbps link, 2 TB bandwidth.

      There is a chance that no one would have an interest, but just seeing our responses it seems pretty clear that many of us would probably be interested in helping out in any way possible to see this idea move forward.

      I wish you the best of luck!

    24. Missing avatar

      Trock Brass on April 26, 2014

      I support that you turn this game Open Sourced, where you hold exclusive rights to all developmental builds or any additions made on anyones computer using your assets or code. Where users cannot sell their additions to your games source or assets without written conset from Photon Productions.

      Writing something like that is easy to do, find an attorney. Or write it yourself.

      As for releasing the source, you can just host the assets and provide aid in the form of what tools you used (Unity Pro I assume) and just have a place for people to commit changes. You could even offer rewards like name in credits, access to dev builds, access to assets, or a paycheck when the game sells enough ALL of it at your discretion, so don't make promises but optional rewards or gifts are always nice for peoples hard work. (Just let them know its possible but not promised or mandatory from you.)

      Doing this would improve the game tenfold, modders do a lot with games that are broken.

    25. Robin Watt on April 25, 2014

      So the game is at 1.0.x now... is it not released now? If so, why have I not seen anything to access this?

    26. Missing avatar

      Jan Martin Mathiassen on April 25, 2014

      I'd have a chat with people who are well versed in copyright law, but afaik as long as you "own" the material you're opensourcing (i.e. you've either made it yourself or paid for it with the express intent of you owning it and all rights to the material, be it code, textures or other data), then it's just a matter of slapping a license on it (BSD, GPL or the like).

      If you don't own all the material now, then I think you'll either have to just replace it, cut it or get the owner of the material to relinquish copyright of the material to you, and you can then do with it as you like.

      PS: I've got to add a caveat that I haven't opensourced anything I've collaborated with other people on, only a few small projects I've made from scratch myself. YMMV, and IANAL, so please do consult with someone who are properly well versed in copyright law before doing anything.

    27. Kenneth Tse on April 24, 2014

      Graphics are nice, but fact is that the game experience is always the most important. FTL was a game that had pretty bad graphics, but was super fun to play. For older ppl like me, I remember Tie Fighter in the 90s was so awesome, yet the graphics are horrible by todays standards. This is a lesson as a game maker to not forget priorities. And to the haters out there... this is not an investment, its a crowdsource. You are more/less gambling that the ppl here succeed.

    28. Photon Productions Creator on April 24, 2014

      I am actually thinking about opensourcing and I also want to know how because I have never done this before. But one thing I know is that this project is going to be a huge challenge for the future devs if it is opensourced and we probably need to do a lot of optimization beforehand.

    29. Missing avatar

      Thomas on April 24, 2014

      I have mixed feelings about this. There's obviously bugs to be fixed here, but at least they've shipped something. I don't think that KS being a risk is justification for failing, but I do realize that some projects don't ship anything.

      As much as I dislike Steam, I do think that early access is one possibility, assuming that they'll take it. It's certainly better than some games they already have.

      If all else fails, I'd love to see the game opensourced, even if it means that we need to pay pay for the assets, I'm sure that a community could develop.

      I know it would be a little strange, but I do wonder how much it would cost to just opensource the game. I'm not sure what 3rd party licenses would have to be renegotiated and all that, but I'd consider donating towards opensourcing the game.

    30. ThomasN on April 24, 2014

      At least you got something playable. This is more than other projects I backed here can say for themselves.
      I can understand that you don't want to hear from this project for a while now.
      Use it in job appliances. And hopefully somebody with money and/or time does still believe in this project so you can polish it up to the point you are satisfied with it.

    31. Brian on April 24, 2014

      1. The graphics are currently good enough. Can they be improved? Of course, but it's not that important.

      2. Is pathfinding crucial? Why not just change it into a squad based RTS like Baldur's Gate II where you can pause the game and give orders to your whole squad?

      3. Why can't you guys just get on Steam and start selling what you have as "Early Access" to keep the cash flow? A lot of games are still early access. Even Minecraft was alpha when it started to sell.

      12 year olds need to realize that Kickstarter isn't a store where you buy stuff. You're funding a project and there's no guarantee that anything will be made. This said, it's great that you guys actually have something to show and I didn't get burned like some other Kickstarters that I've funded.

      Just put it on Steam or somewhere as work in progress game and keep selling early access copies.

    32. James Gawne Jr. on April 24, 2014

      I also wish to join previous backers in thanking you for your honesty. Obviously I don't like hearing that we strayed off course but you are owning up to it and that takes away some of the sting.

      I also would suggest Early access on steam. You'll have to deal with trolls on a daily basis but you should get the constructive criticism and funding you need to make this game great.

      In the future though I would suggest if things look to go this bad, contact your backers sooner. That way we can all brainstorm on how to save a project we all care about.

    33. Missing avatar

      Alexander Schilpp on April 24, 2014

      You focused on technology and graphics than on game design. I always wondered why you felt you have to go for shooter/open world instead of base & team management. There your creativity can shine, and you don't need fancy graphics. Check out prison architect ...

      When you go for graphics aka "production value", you set yourself up against the big guys with multimillion budgets. But if your game is unique or a niche, graphics doesn't matter too much.

    34. Stephen Finch on April 23, 2014

      You attempted to make a very ambitious game, on a shoestring budget. Honestly, I'm not surprised that it didn't turn out as well as everyone might have hoped. Even so, you came out of it with a game, and a lot of underlying technology and experience. I hope to see a new project soon, maybe on a smaller scale.

      Also, for all of those who are flipping out, this kind of attempt is the POINT OF KICKSTARTER. We gave them a chance to try, and they did. Please, keep the abuse to a dull roar. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm only out $15. It's not the end of world.

    35. Photon Productions Creator on April 23, 2014

      Michael - So glad to know!

    36. Michael Caldwell on April 23, 2014

      Well, if you start again, we will be here to help :)

    37. Photon Productions Creator on April 23, 2014

      Joshua - Thanks, we could continue if we have the extra money however I feel like maybe starting over is a good word because most feedback indicate that it is not the game it should be so if that is it, I don't think there is any reason to continue developing the version we have now, starting from where we started is the right thing to do. But that is a whole new stor.

    38. Photon Productions Creator on April 23, 2014

      Michael-I see you you mean, I personally also feel that there are fundamental errors which started from the very beginning. If we are going to try again we will have to revert far back. And I think it might be a good approach to break a huge project down into smaller projects. For example FF can be broken down into a RTS and a base management game and deal with each smaller part seperately. And gradually add more features to it. I think this approach is much safer and doable for a small indie studio with very limited funding. In any case, I know we are not in a good shape of opening it to the public.

    39. AKASlaphappy
      on April 23, 2014

      I have said this before and i will say it again. I have bought 100s of games in my life time that sucked or I just did not enjoy them; to hold you a indie developer to a higher standard then AAA games to me would be beyond stupid. I have never gotten a refund from a AAA studio for a game that was buggy or unplayable so why would I start with a indie developer! Maybe in the future we shall see your vision for this game, if not sa la vi.

      On a side not I agree with the others here that say you should get on steam early access to get additional funding.

    40. Michael Caldwell on April 23, 2014

      Finally played. Don't really know how to comment on it.

      You should have stuck with the original graphics; sometimes people have to upgrade their computers if they want to play a game. It's very hard to see anything, even on max settings, and my followers appear to be able to engage people that are not even within sight. The pop-up/mouse-over fonts are very small and difficult to read and the controls are completely counter-intuitive. I highly recommend you revert this back to a pre-beta state and get more funding. Releasing this as it is right now will ruin your reputation, guys. I know you ran out of money, but releasing this is a terrible idea. You've got my support, and that of a couple thousand other folks. Go back, do it correctly. Go Greenlight on Steam in a proper manner, people will support you.

      Just....please, don't release this.

    41. Missing avatar

      Christopher Bauer on April 23, 2014

      Well... at least you are being honest about it. 121k isn't a lot of money but I doubt people who post here could even conceive of how to get a c# console app to display "Hello World", much less build an entire game with practically no money. For you plebs out there, most software developers make at minimum $40k/yr out of college. Realistically we only donated enough to hire 1 or 2 people on for the project. Most games are built by scores of developers. Our contributions, sadly, were not enough for this dream.

      I see you guys are still trying to work on it. I'll keep my eye on you, good luck

    42. Missing avatar

      Adam Rafferty on April 23, 2014

      I'm with Katie st Dennis, this is crap!! This destroys faith in kickstarter & all it stands for. Moving to China? How much did that cost?? Look at introversion, small team that worked from their bedrooms & still make quality stuff?If u didn't have the confidence in the team u had then y bother? In my view, u knew it would cost a lot more money but didn't state it as u knew it wouldn't get backed, it would seem a project this ambitious would need around $500,000, & u had bob hope of getting that. Everybody else is sucking up to u but I say u let everybody down who put hard earned cash & had faith in u. Nobody kid yourself, this game is not going anywhere now.Not that anyone here gives a @@@@ but I'm done with Kickstarter!! For gods sake bloody squirrels!! No wonder it went @@@ up!!

    43. Joshua Johnson
      on April 23, 2014

      @Photon Productions
      If you are going to continue development then I strongly recommend steam early access, that's exactly what it is in place for, it gives devs with low budgets an opportunity to offer an incomplete product (which will hopefully be complete one day) while benefiting from additional revenue from people who know they are purchasing that incomplete product. There are a lot of games that have shown up on early access in far worse shape than this one

    44. Thomas Harkless on April 23, 2014

      I have backed around 20 projects. I have yet to have one turn out to the exact measurements the designer thought they would get. I would rather support the indie's and take my chances. You guys are trying new ideas and new ways of doing things. The distributers don't want to take chances. Without chances you will not advance.

    45. Björn Fallqvist on April 23, 2014

      It's a shame, but it's the reality of crowd-funded projects. I wish you all the best of luck in future endeavors, although this did not turn out as we might have hoped.

    46. Photon Productions Creator on April 23, 2014

      Trock - In any case, I was not trying to make an excuse for not being able to make it right. I was just saying it was what happened to the project that we had a lot of time and money spent on things that we later have to abandon. You are right though, simplisity will often do the job just alright and we failed to realize that, I mean, we really don't have to spent money on fancy things like mocap if we don't really have a big budget.

    47. Peter Baltzer Hansen on April 23, 2014

      i for one have not lost faith in PP, i dont even care about the rewards, sure i was a little annoyed at FF going 3person shooter rather than rts style, but still i feel like this project has potential and i hope it stays alive :)

    48. Photon Productions Creator on April 23, 2014

      We will make the rewards, and do much as I can to fix the bugs.

    49. Photon Productions Creator on April 23, 2014

      oh btw, we are not stopping now. We are still making progress, but much slower due to the fact that it is the two of us working now and we do need to find alternative ways to make a living.