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Update #6

Plan B

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Our project is nearing it's end, (check out my post project thoughts and advice to other hopeful project owners here) and while it may be discouraging to see how it has gone so far, we have plans for how to proceed from here. However I would like to open it up to our awesome fans and backers to let us know what you think should be the next steps. There are lots of options:

-retool and relaunch

-use another method of funding

-wait until we have more to show, then launch again

-forget crowd-funding and make a deal with someone

- (your idea here)

Giving up is not an option! Also, let us know what you think of the project as a whole and why you think it has failed.


Update #5

Websites, Forums, and Card-games

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As the kickstarter moves on, I am continuing to develop the game, the universe in which it lives, and this dev-brand that will eventually become a platform to make some cool stuff. We have a new look and feel for our website, we have a new platform for fan feedback, and we have a pre-alpha "mechanic-testing" card game that you can download (on the home page of our site) and play with your friends. Obviously there are some things that will change drastically, (the actual joust will be a bit more dynamic in-game of course) but it will allow us to introduce and test some features like 'perks' (we are calling them virtues) ... these will hopefully create more strategy and add interest in an otherwise rock-paper-scissors game. Feel free to print out the pages and try it out with your friends! We would love to hear some feedback!

It's tough to watch a static kickstarter project, (and I have a lot to say about the merits of kickstarter, and our plan-B) but we will continue to do what we are doing until the end. I can say, however, that with the addition of video view metrics that they have added, it's clear that we are simply not getting the views necessary to reach our goals.

Thank you all for your support and interest.

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Update #4

Getting on the Map

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I want to say a big thank you to newsgrape.com and indie-house.com for featuring us on their sites. The most difficult part of this campaign has been getting views. (being a kickstarter video game during the biggest news week for video games ...E3 week... doesn't help) ...but giving up is not an option, and failure is not the opposite of success, it is an ingredient.

I plan on posting a more detailed report later that outlines some of my incorrect assumptions, timing issues, and marketing mistakes to give a fair warning to other kick-starter hopefuls, but in short... Kickstarter is a funding platform, not a marketing platform. And there is no guarantee that you will get featured by the site itself, regardless of the quality of the presentation. 

But enough about that. We will soldier on and continue writing articles, running marketing campaigns, and trying our best to spread the word. I still believe that once people see the project, they will want to get involved. We have an extraordinary average pledge amount of $61 which is no small thing.

About the image:

Instead of a traditional level select, the player will be able to pan, zoom and tap on the interactive map to progress to the next tournament. Once you tap on a sigil, an area screen will be displayed that will tell the player some background lore and information about that location, as well as give you options to visit a blacksmith, enter a tournament, battle a boss, and more.

I also want players to be able explore the universe through this map by tapping different areas (some will be obvious and some will not) and triggering some voice-over and concept art that will make the universe more rich and believable. If the player taps on an area in the mountains of Glein for instance, the voice over may begin to talk about the harsh environment, or the formidable, indigenous, animal life in that area. 

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Update #3

It's about character

2 comments

When developing games, you can't start out with the question:

How to I make a game about character, chivalry, morality, and honor?

Instead you MUST ask the simple question:

Is this game fun?

We have all seen the awful attempts to teach children something good by making a video game. One time as children, me and my brothers sent our mom to rent a video game from the local video store. (this was a reward for finishing all our homework in a timely manner) We gave her the name of the game we wanted, but were disappointed when she came home with Mario's Time Machine. (do you remember that nonsense of a video game) I'm sure Mom thought it would be great to rent a game that would teach her kids history, indeed that is what they were pitching to her on the back of the box. "Travel through time and answer history questions to proceed!" Doesn't sound like fun? Instead of jumping on mushrooms and fighting browser, you needed to find out where Isaac Newton went to school, and answer correctly in a quiz! Needless to say, we didn't enjoy it very much, and we didn't learn anything... because we didn't play it. 

On the other hand, I have learned quite a bit when doing something fun, like when you play a game or watch a movie about history that sparks your interest and leads you almost unconsciously to your computer to read up on a person or an event. Learning is not necessarily fun, but having fun is a good place to start learning. Knowing this truth, and developing such a fun game and story, I am not satisfied like so many other developers to simply entertain. If we have something fun, that means we have an audience. If we have an audience, then I feel a responsibility to that audience. Why not take the opportunity to challenge players to think about questions that matter ...questions like:  "What does chivalry, honor, character and courage mean to you?" I plan to bring these questions to mind through character driven storytelling. 

I have been telling my kid's bed time stories since they could understand (I have three boys of 2yrs 4yrs and 5yrs), and I love it. I usually start by allowing them to pick the protagonist and antagonist. (this usually results in a story about Spiderman fighting Darth Vader or something) Sometimes however, I will tell them a story from my childhood. I grew up drawing and writing about knights, dragons, and castles, and while most of these stories are lost in my cluttered garage, this tale begs to be told, and I can't remove it from my brain, or focus on any other story until I tell it!

My main inspiration for storytelling comes from mother, who (before she passed) wrote a few novels for young girls, which left an eternal window into her personality, values and character. I wish to do the same, but not with a novel for girls. (because well... all my spawn are manchilds)  I mean to tell my story through tightly developed downloadable games, games that will be enjoyed by geeks like me, kids like mine, and everyone else who loves character centered storytelling and fantasy. And in doing so I can promote the values that I think are so missing in today's entertainment, where gore, sexuality, and selfish actions are promoted.

It does not surpass my primary goal (to make a really fun mobile game) but it is a goal non the less.

The image shows the process of bringing one of the characters to life. I started with a photo (David is a friend who graciously loaned us his visage for the project) and quickly sketched over it to prepare it for another artist to finish up. The character is Sir Ector, a soft spoken knight who's renown for is impartiality, he judges others solely by their actions regardless of their race, heritage, or social standing. He is not without enemies though, choosing to dine with his squires and servants more than the dukes and lords of his land has earned him the nickname "The Indigent"

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Update #2

Display Your Standard!

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Ken Macmillan (trailer voice talent) is helping us out on this project and we are happy to use his families coat of arms to illustrate this backer reward. A custom house sigil pennant. This is a great way to show your family pride or advertise for your company as well. Although space is limited, you can send us your families crest that our artists will put into the game. Each player will be able to choose a pennant to display their loyalties. There will be several in game factions of course, but you will also receive (at any level of giving) a special kickstarter exclusive 'invictus' pennant.  We are also including a few game news organizations to see if we can generate some more attention!

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    PAGE -- 1. Access to blog updates giving you a sneak peak into the universe of the Pauldron Games. 2. A copy of the game (and one for a friend) for your chosen, relevant platform. (see funding chart)

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    SQUIRE -- in addition to previous gifts.... 3. Code for exclusive in-game lance 4. Code for exclusive in-game shield

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    17 backers

    MAN AT ARMS -- in addition to previous gifts.... 5. exclusive code for in-game armor, and your name in the credits. 6. pdf art book with all art pieces, some development notes and sneak peak into future content

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    KNIGHT -- in addition to previous gifts.... 7. exclusive Kickstarter T-shirt 8. hardback 'storybook' special edition art book (add $15 for international shipping)

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    LORD -- in addition to previous gifts.... 9. Get into the game! Your name added to a list for a random knight generator. 10. large high quality landscape print of concept art used in game (you can frame it or mount it via adhesive back) 11. Kick-starter exclusive Kings Lance hoodie with stainless steel pendant (or keychain, zipperpull etc...) bearing the mark of the King's Guard. (add $25 for international shipping)

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    REGENT -- in addition to previous gifts.... 12. Single color, paint-able resin desktop statue (which will double as an ipad stand.) of a main character in the game. 13. Send us your families' coat of arms to use as an avatar icon in game! (some design considerations apply) 14. Huge, full bleed landscape concept art (with gator board and pegs ready to mount on wall) (add $30 for international shipping)

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    KING's GUARD -- in addition to previous gifts.... 15. create a knight's armor! Send us a design to use in-game with a menu description (must follow certain design guidelines) 16. attend our launch party in Washington State! Enjoy great food, games, and a reading of the story by the voice-over talent. (backers of this level are responsible for transportation and lodging) Details will follow soon... 17. receive an exclusive custom made "Lost Sword" sword replica (1:1 scale decorative piece, not a battle ready weapon) 18. Become a character in the game! You (or an avatar character) will become immortalized in some concept art (image showing several knights) as one of the few knights in the King's Guard!

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    KING -- In addition to previous gifts... 19. become integrated in the universe as a key character! We'll take your photo and we will put you in the game, or work with the creator directly to develop an avatar character. 20. One on one experience with the creators of the game! Enjoy a fancy meal, discuss future game play and story elements to get a sneak peak into the future of Pauldron Games! 21. Lifetime supply of Pauldron Games digital content, along with a big hug!

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Funding period

- (36 days)