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$5,452 pledged of $24,000 goal
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By The Dirigiballers, LLC
$5,452 pledged of $24,000 goal
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About this project

The Wild West has been monopolized by an aggressive airship empire that controls the skies. Those left on the ground have fallen victim to poverty and organized bandit armies. However, the venerable Tumbleweed Express steam engine is set to saddle up and ride again, spearheading a campaign to bring support to those who have been downtrodden and forgotten. Her opponents don't take kindly to competition though, so the Tumbleweed Express has armed herself for war... 

Try our demo before backing us! The demo is playable in your browser* at the following link : http://www.dirigiballers.com/#!demo/c1drm

*Unity web-player is required and can be downloaded here or within the demo page itself.

Created in Unity, with primary support for PC, Mac, and Linux devices.

                           

 "Tumbleweed Express is one of those games you didn't even know you wanted until you saw it. Then it becomes something you just gotta have!" -Vincent Parisi, Indie Game Magazine

"Tumbleweed Express is an intriguing on-rails combat experience..." -Jamie Feltham, VR Focus

Tumbleweed Express is a game about trains with guns on them in the Wild West! Set in the late 1800's, the game is full of narrative elements and details that tell the story of an alternate take on the industrial revolution. 

In the golden days of the steam renaissance, engines like the Tumbleweed Express were the preferred method of shipping and transportation. As the West expanded, more people and influential characters began arriving to make their claims. Recently, a businessman with an iron-fist has monopolized the West by introducing a fleet of steam-powered airships that have taken over the local economy and law enforcement activities. 

Those left on the ground are helpless to the whims of bandits and outlaws and receive little-to-no support from the Airship armada. One nameless cowboy (or cowgirl) has arrived in town of Cactus Downs looking to make their name and fortune. 

After sweeping the table in a game of cards at the Saloon, the entrepreneur finds in their possession the deed to the long-thought obsolete Tumbleweed Express Shipping Co. steam engine and warehouse! With a new conductor, and a taste for adventure, the Tumbleweed Express is set to saddle up and ride again in a mission to bring support and justice to those who have been left behind!

The Dirigiballers have combined your favorite elements from the Rail Shooter and Tower Defense genres to create a game that's accessible and fun while still offering a deep and engaging experience.  

In Tumbleweed Express the player rides and manages the eponymous train. The player manually controls various types of weaponry on the Caboose at the back of the train. Additionally, the player is able to purchase freight cars with automated turret types that fire at will! 

Various upgrades and customization options are available, which allow players of all kinds to succeed with their own unique play styles! Are you a strategic mastermind? Outfit your train with employees and turrets! Are you a hotshot specialist? Upgrade your caboose weaponry to personally handle anything your enemies throw at you!

The Dirigiballers have chosen Kickstarter as a funding platform because we view it as the most efficient and intuitive tool to engage with our audience; additionally, we think it fits in best with our unique development style and we hope to meet people who are passionate about the project through this venue. We also hope that you will enjoy the list of backer rewards that we have planned as they were very fun to come up with! 

The lion's share of the funding we receive will go directly towards the final production and release of Tumbleweed Express, which includes: commercial licenses for the development tools we use, some hardware needed for testing, help with attending conventions, and the marketing that will help increase exposure enabling the project's success! Below is the total rundown of the development aspects that your donations will be funding.

Development Software:

The team needs to take advantage of various types of game development software to create an awesome experience for players! Releasing the project will require licensing, royalty, and subscription fees being paid towards these tools.

Marketing:

Mainly, marketing is necessary to gather player feedback, our most valuable resource in creating an experience that delivers as much as people ask for. Getting the word out isn't cheap though, not to mention the man hours and expertise that go into crafting an effective campaign. 

Kickstarter Reward Fulfillment:

We've outlined a budget that will allow us to cover the costs of producing and shipping the awesome rewards we're offering!

Kickstarter Fees/Amazon Fees/Taxes:

The middle-men need to pay their bills as well!

 Developer Overhead:

Every month the team gets together to work for 48 hours straight, which adds up quickly accounting for everything we need to survive! Although the team doesn't require man-hour compensation for the development of this project, we still thought it would be nice to compensate the guys for donating their time to marathon development sessions as on top of all their other free-time contributions. 

$1 - TUMBLEWEED: Inclusion in all game credits as a "Kickstarter Backer" as well as our gratitude.

 $5 - PASSENGER: Digital download of the Tumbleweed Express main theme, an exclusive desktop wallpaper, and all rewards from previous tiers. 

 $10 - Drillcar Bandit: Early bird digital download edition of the Tumbleweed Express game and all rewards from previous tiers.

 $15 - Dirigible Pilot: Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game and all rewards from previous tiers.

 $20 - Merchant: Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game, The Original Soundtrack, and all rewards from previous tiers.

 $25 - Engineer: Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game, a MakerBot file that can be used to print your own 3D model of the Tumbleweed Express train engine, and all rewards from previous tiers.

 + A voucher for the October issue of Indie Game Magazine!

 $50 - Marshal: Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game, a printed 3D model of the Tumbleweed Express train engine, and all rewards from previous tiers.

 $65 - Conductor: Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game, a Tumbleweed Express 4-Tone Pinewood Train Whistle, and all rewards from previous tiers.

 + A year subscription to Indie Game Magazine!

 $75 - Prospector: Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game, a limited edition Tumbleweed Express poster, and all rewards from previous tiers.

 $150 - Dignitary: Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game, a limited edition Tumbleweed Express T-Shirt, and all rewards from previous tiers.

 $250 - Outlaw: Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game, a custom designed Cactus Downs' Most Wanted Poster featured in the game based on your photograph, and all rewards from previous tiers.

 $500 - Dirigibaus: Become an honorary "Dirigiballer" and be listed as a Producer on all game credits. Includes all rewards in previous tiers, permanent access to Tumbleweed Express builds, and an invitation to work with our Project Manager allowing you to provide feedback on the games progress.

Risks and challenges

Once successfully funded, the primary challenges for Tumbleweed Express will be releasing the game, marketing it, and maintaining meaningful communications with our supporters.

By releasing a digital product we have the option of self-publishing through our website, but it would be much more beneficial to release through a trusted platform such as Steam, which requires a successful Greenlight campaign and continued support.

Marketing this project is a unique challenge because there is not a proven market for the unique gameplay offered despite our confidence in the quality and engagement of the experience we're delivering. We need to ensure that we don't alienate potential players.

Lastly, it will be important to us that we maintain contact with our fanbase, as we believe that the best way to create a great game is by heeding our players and incorporating their feedback.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Tumbleweed

    Inclusion in all game credits as a "Kickstarter Backer" as well as our gratitude.

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    Passenger

    Digital download of the Tumbleweed Express main theme, an exclusive desktop wallpaper, and all rewards from previous tiers.

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    Drillcar Bandit

    Early bird digital download edition of the Tumbleweed Express game and all rewards from previous tiers.

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    Dirigible Pilot

    Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game and all rewards from previous tiers.

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    Merchant

    Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game, The Original Soundtrack, and all rewards from previous tiers.

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    3 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Engineer

    Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game, a MakerBot file that can be used to print your own 3D model of the Tumbleweed Express train engine, and all rewards from previous tiers.

    You will also receive a free voucher for the October Issue of Indie Game Magazine!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Marshall

    Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game, a printed 3D model of the Tumbleweed Express train engine, and all rewards from previous tiers.

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    3 backers
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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Conductor

    Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game, a Tumbleweed Express 4-Tone Pinewood Train Whistle, and all rewards from previous tiers. You will also receive a yearly subscription to Indie Game Magazine!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Prospector

    Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game, a limited edition Tumbleweed Express poster, and all rewards from previous tiers.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Dignitary

    Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game, a limited edition Tumbleweed Express T-Shirt, and all rewards from previous tiers.

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    Limited 6 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Outlaw

    Digital download edition of Tumbleweed Express game, a custom designed Cactus Downs' Most Wanted Poster featured in the game based on your photograph, and all rewards from previous tiers.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Dirigibaus

    Become an honorary "Dirigiballer" and be listed as a Producer on all game credits. Includes all rewards in previous tiers, permanent access to Tumbleweed Express builds, and an invitation to work with our Project Manager allowing you to provide feedback on the game's progress.

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Funding period

- (30 days)