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, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1317934609/forsaken-fortress/posts/464466
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