Day 28: Stretch Goals & Exciting News!
Hello! We're getting close to the final 48 hours of the Loki's Exile Kickstarter and we're so close to making our funding! The last 24 hours has seen a huge push of support and, if things keep up, we're certain we'll not only meet our funding goal but break through past the ten thousand we initially set out to achieve. I'm doing my best to sound all "rational and calm" about this but I promise that on the inside I am giddy like a five year old with an ice cream cone.
We also have some very exciting news to share, but it requires a bit of backstory so please bear with us. If you just want to see the stretch goals announcement, scroll down - You can't miss it.
Really Long Bit About KreativeSpill, Norse Noir, Our Budget & Our Goal
As you've probably read by now, KreativeSpill is a company founded by friends and mostly staffed by former co-workers. KreativeSpill was created in 2011 and, since then, has worked on several projects, including providing display technology for stage plays, various contracted code support tasks, and our first title "Halatafl" (currently being reworked for re-release). Though Norse Noir is one of our primary focuses at the moment, its important to note that this isn't the company's only project, and that we do have outside sources of revenue.
The idea for Norse Noir came about in late 2013, with serious work beginning at the start of this year. In April of 2014, after producing a working demo of what was then a pixel-based Norse Noir, KreativeSpill was able to secure over $50,000 in funding from the Norwegian Film Institute in their quarterly grant for the arts. After receiving this grant we decided to go for something a bit more unique than our original pixel art plan and added onto the art team to craft the hand-drawn aesthetic we now have. This grant money has fueled production on the title from then until now, garnering the game and assets we've been presenting to you over the last few weeks.
Several months ago we looked at the budget for KreativeSpill, Norse Noir, and everything else in between and realized, flatly, that we were approaching a wall - We had a good timeline in which we could finish the game, but the funds were simply going to run out, and the money being brought in by other projects wasn't going to cover the rest of the production. Looking at the numbers we figured out a timeline for what would let us both finish the game and take the time to run a Kickstarter; from there we rounded out the needed salaries for the paid employees to around $10,000 for the time frame, and then set about hoping the internet would like what we had to show.
This brings us to two pieces of good news, the first of which you're already aware of - Turns out the internet (that means you) likes us! As we said above we're very confident at this point that we will reach our goal of $10,000 before our time here runs out, and everyone on the team is gearing up to deliver Loki's Exile as the best adventure game it can be. You have all been incredibly gracious in helping us reach this point and we mean it when we express our gratitude - The indie games market isn't always the easiest one to be in, and for us to go from zero presence and community on the internet to having so many people show their support for what we're doing is... well, it's something that means a lot.
And now, because of this, we have another good piece of news to share:
Kickstarter success or no, we will be making Norse Noir: Loki's Exile!
Recent changes in the company's financial outlook have forced us to re-evaluate our budget for the year and, in a turn of events you don't see every day, the outlook was surprisingly good. New contracts and opportunities for KreativeSpill have given us enough overflow at this point to ensure that our original timeline for Loki's Exile can be met with or without this Kickstarter succeeding. Should the Kickstarter suddenly take a nosedive and hit the ground with a giant thud, we will still be able to produce a game. It will be bare-bones, it will be lacking many of the features we want to include, it won't look as pretty, but it will exist, and it will be of the absolute best quality we can produce.
Obviously we're still here on Kickstarter and, unless a whole bunch of you have gone running and screaming for the hills by this point in the update, we're still looking pretty good for making our goal. This leaves us in the position of asking ourselves "... well, now what?" We could be dishonest and just take the cash and stuff it away, or otherwise not tell you what we're going to do with it, but we don't want that any more than I imagine any of you want to be lied to.
So why are we still here and still asking for your money? Because we don't want to scrape by. We don't want to give you this game in its most basic form and presentation. We're pretty sure that *you* don't want that either - You're here because you want Loki's Exile to be as good as it can be, and with our new financial forecast we believe we can deliver more than just a bare-bones experience. So, with that in mind, the $10,000 from Kickstarter will be going to three very important things for the title:
-- Voice Acting: With the budget received from Kickstarter we will be able to assure at least a partial voice acting reel for the game. Voice actors do not come cheap (and rightfully so), and a large part of exactly how much money we spend on voice acting is going to depend on the final amount of text in the game's script - We can, however, promise at least partial voice acting for the title if we make our funding goal.
-- Additional Cut Scenes & Characters: As stated on the front page, our biggest time and budget expenditures are in the art department - Animating each character by hand and painting each background takes resources and time, which both cost money. With the Kickstarter budget in place we can guarantee an increase in both the quantity and quality of our planned cutscenes in game, and will also be able to devote time and budget to creating background/flavor NPCs for the player to interact with and make the game feel more generally 'alive'.
-- New Sound Library: Our composer Jon has been doing a great job with the Norse Noir soundtrack so far, and we want to support him in the best ways possible. With this in mind we will be using part of the Kickstarter resources to purchase a new sound library for him to use, as well as giving us a bit more freedom financially to aid in his work.
All of these items were on the table to be potentially stripped back, if not completely removed, depending on our budget and time. With it looking like we're on track to meet our goal here on Kickstarter, we are very happy to be able to start thinking *inclusively* with the idea of extra assets and voice acting, rather than being afraid to bring these things up in the presence of our accountant, lest he begin to openly weep.
Now, with that in mind, what if we go over the $10,000 we have targeted here on Kickstarter? We're getting close - So what about potential stretch goals? We felt it was important to explain our budget a bit more in-depth first (hence the big long wall of text above) to help explain why our goals are where they're at, and even though we aren't expecting to meet all of these goals here on Kickstarter we do hope we can continue to entice everyone into helping us make Loki's Exile the best it can be. So without any further ado....
-- An after-credits epilogue scene! If we manage to get to $13,000 we will have the additional budget to create an epilogue scene bridging Loki's Exile to the second planned episode in our series. This epilogue will feature a new playable character and takes place exclusively in the lands of Asgard, at a time when things seem to be going very wrong indeed. The additional increase in our budget will cover the needed time for our artists, animators and writer to complete the scene.
-- Text translations to German, French and Russian! Our fanbase for Norse Noir has grown world-wide by now, and we want as many people as possible to experience our game in their native language. The additional funding will be able to take care of three complete text translations of the title, and is an important first step in seeing additional voice acting translations for these languages as well.
-- Text translation to Chinese! In keeping with the above, we also want to offer a Chinese-language version of our title! There are additional issues and tech concerns with localizing a game to & from Chinese which require a larger budget, but we would love to be able to bring our game to our Chinese fans in their native language.
-- Hats! Because why not. If for some reason everyone on the internet decides to give us $30,000 we will let you dress up Lars and other characters in the hat of your choice. You will literally get to pick out hats in the game and wear them on the main character's head, OR talk to other characters and put them on their heads. Completely up to you. We will guarantee a minimum of fifteen different hats with this budget, including porkpies, bowlers, berets, Carmen Miranda-style fruit hats, fedoras and a sombrero. Yeah Valve, now what? Note: We will never make this goal.
We'll be adding these to the front page and, if we do happen to meet any of them over the next day or two we'll make sure to update the images to show our progress.
We have several awesome games to show off from around Kickstarter but before we go into those we wanted to give special shout-outs to the fine folks at both Adventure-Treff.de and KickstartVentures, both of whom have given us some excellent press coverage through-out the duration of our Kickstarter. KickstarterVentures has a new article up talking about the final days of our project and we're incredibly grateful for the support. All of you guys rock!
First off we have the visual novel Hearts under Blades, which looks like it's aiming to tell a pretty interesting story with some very nice graphical touches - Lots of range of expression in their characters, and their backgrounds are beautifully done. Ten days left on the clock and they're over halfway there, so make sure to take a look!
Next up there's Boxman Begins, a team-based shooter that looks to introduce some unique concepts into the genre - The idea of a game mode where you take damage if you miss the target sounds like it'd be seriously tense, and I really like the low-fi art style they've gone with for their character models; keeps things easy to read in-game. Nine days to go on their project and definitely worth checking out.
The Ice-Pick Lodge crew is back, this time on Kickstarter for Pathologic. Ice-Pick is one of the most insane dev houses in the world, and I mean that in a way that offers absolutely nothing but the highest of praise, and Pathologic is looking to live up to their equally crazy track record. $210k out of their $250k goal with 19 days still left on the clock means there's a good chance of this one succeeding, and I sincerely hope it does. The world needs more weird in it. And speaking of weird....
Last but most certainly not least is a game you're bound to have seen the last couple of weeks if you're an adventure game fan: Paradigm. I mean what am I supposed to say about this that isn't instantly better summed up by one of the freakin' amazing screenshots on their Kickstarter page? It's the weirdest thing I've seen in years and everyone on the team has completely fallen in something-we've-chosen-to-believe-is-love with it. These guys really deserve support and love, just for bringing something so unique and different to the table. Look at the hair on that sloth.
That's it for now - Thank you guys for reading, and we'll be back with more soon. Cheers!!