Update #10: Chime Flat & Console Version
Hello Team Sharp!
OK. This is big news so hold onto something or someone close by. It'll shape the future of the game and the remaining week and a bit of the Kickstarter. It involves new games and consoles. KEEP READING.
We haven't quite hit the stretch goal yet. If we keep going at this rate we will. That's fine, but there are two other stretch goals I want to tell you about because i) they are important to me and the game and ii) they might encourage people to get involved now, before it's too late.
Here we go.
GOAL 2 - £20,000: A NEW GAME! This is the huge secret I mentioned before. We will make another game called Chime Flat, a 2D version of Chime with a chiptune soundtrack and retro graphics. Everyone who backs above £15 will get this new, standalone version.
And here's the even bigger one, something many of you have requested:
GOAL 3 - £25,000: CONSOLE VERSIONS! We'll put Chime Sharp on PS4 and Xbox One (and backers at £15 or above will be able to select that as their version)
OK. Here's an FAQ on those rewards, where the F is for Fictionally:
Q. What is Chime Flat?
It's a standalone version of Chime with 2D visuals and a chiptune soundtrack. Like 8-bit Chime, if 8-bit meant "hey, this is all a bit pixelly and has a reduced palette" which it seems to, these days.
Q. Why is Chime Flat a stretch goal?
There are a few answers to that. Partially because it seemed like a cute idea that will encourage new people to back the game, and current backers to upgrade their pledges to help us get there -- everyone wants more levels, more songs, and we know some people prefer straight up 2D visuals to Chime Sharp's new 3D thing.
We've also had a lot of chiptune artists contact us with a view to getting their music in the game; the truth is that that genre works really well, and anyone who's ever heard One Life Left will know how fond I am of wonky bleeps and bass-y saw waves. It's important that Chime Sharp's soundtrack is cross-genre and diverse, but producing a themed, light version of the game with that sort of music in mind seemed like a fun, fairly straightforward project -- and one with other consequences too.
The main consequence is this: we know in the future we'd like to put Chime on mobile devices and while that isn't in the scope of this stretch goal (that'll require some thought on smaller playfields and new rules, too) it is a step towards that -- the aesthetic and interface will be developed with mobile in mind.
So if we get to £20k you'll all get a second version of the game, a side project if you like, with new levels and new music, and those of you who want a portable Chime will be one step closer to that too. It feels like a good goal.
Q. Tell us about the console version stretch goal?
That's not a question, you've just stuck a question mark on the end of a demand.
Q. Well to be fair you wrote it yourself.
OK fine. I am a console gamer who grew up with PCs and plays games on both, and I will be very disappointed if I don't get to play Chime Sharp on my TV with a joypad. I understand those of you who say you can't back the project if it doesn't exist on consoles. I get it.
A console version is not that far away, technically. The problem is that, while Unity allows us to develop cross-platform it doesn't mean it's free to put games on PS4 and Xbox One. So we have to be sure that we're going to make that money back that. Am I sure we would, right now? No, not 100%. This is game development.
But I want it there, and you want it there (I think), so this stretch goal is to prove the desire and soften some of that risk. The money we make by hitting that target (if we hit that target) will go towards making a console happen. Chilled Mouse will cover the remainder. They'll do that because we've agreed £25k is enough evidence that it should exist: proven by the people who committed because we said there'd be a console version (and provide the boost we'll need to take us there), by the press interest (if there is any) and so on.
Q. Who gets a console copy of the game?
If we hit £25k anyone who backs at £15 or above will get to choose the version of Chime Sharp they want from these options:
PC (Steam + DRM free)
Q. OK, I've upped my pledge to £15. How else can I help you get there?
We know people are still finding out about this right now. Witness this Tweet from someone who found out about the game a few days ago -- aimed at someone who is so good at the original Chime they literally broke it.
So: TELL people. Facebook, tweet, share, write about us. If you know journalists, bloggers, Youtubers, Twitchers (the videogame kind), Twitchers (the bird-watching kind), whoever, let them know. Put them in touch with me. I will talk to them! I will hold them. I will hold them so closely and when they try to say something I will put my finger to their lips and say "Shh..." and then "... arp". It's marketing. You can't be arrested for marketing, everyone knows that.
Seriously. I can and will talk to people forever but I only know like 12 people and two of them are my parents. You are the key here. Be an evangelist. I'm not pleading with you, like, "C'mon pal, we're best friends, help me just this time buddy, oh gosh, I need this, go on, I've got you when you do your Kickstarter down the road". I'm saying it like this: if you love Chime and want Chime to be bigger and better, I need you to tell people and help us hit those Stretch Goals. There are more people who will love this game. I do not know where they are but someone will.
Q. Ste, while you're here, what were those other things? I'm really looking forward to your next newsletter ALREADY.
Thanks! You are very kind. Here are some topics we might cover next time, because they are on my mind now but I want you to stay focused on the Stretch Goal thing:
1. Notes on running a stress-free Kickstarter campaign. 2. A couple of brilliant projects by friends which you should back. 3. A tense rant about Kickstarter's horrible, bugged-to-ruin email formatting, which absolutely killed my last update (always read these things on the site if you can) (let's see how this one looks, though). 4. Some thoughts on Chime Sharp's soundtrack. 5. Why we've got two versions of the game on the web. 6. A photo of a cat. 7. Chime Sharp at Gamescom (I'm going. Are you? Say hi!). 8. Probably another photo of a cat if I thought I could get away with it? We'll see.
Until next time.
S & Team CM