Time for a tactical withdrawal...
While we've still got the better part of a week to go with this Kickstarter, it's pretty clear that, barring divine intervention, we're not going to hit our funding goal. We are, therefore, canceling the Storyscape Kickstarter project. (We'll update the main page and close things down sometime in the next 24 hours, I expect, so if you want to do any last-minute increases of your pledges for posterity's sake, now'd be the time... after all, there's no downside to being generous on a cancelled Kickstarter!)
This is a setback, of course, but not an insurmountable one. We've learned a huge amount during this process, and one of the most exciting pieces of information is that we aren't alone; many, many gamers really want something like Storyscape to exist.
We made some crucial errors, however. The worst was that most gamers never got wind of what we were trying to do. Compounding that problem, our pitch, while (of course) perfectly clear to us, proved not so clear for a lot of other folks.
So we're transitioning to Plan B. We have some small projects in mind for now; projects we can accomplish quickly and with a small budget... and we'll run tiny little Kickstarters for them. We're already in talks to get those projects nailed down, and we hope to have announcements about them in the near future.
Once we've gotten a few of those smaller projects completed and delivered (within budget and within projected time frames), we should have a more solid reputation; people will be able to see that we're actually capable of doing what we say we'll do -- that we're not merely vaporware hucksters. We should also have a larger audience who know who we are and that we make quality stuff... and an audience like that is fantastically helpful for Kickstarter success.
And that's when we're going to come back to Kickstarter with Storyscape. We'll be using the intervening time retooling our pitch, to include building more of the components of Storyscape, in order to better show off what the game is really all about.
By that point, we'll have the aspects of a successful Kickstarter that we don't have now; a better pitch, better examples, better marketing, and a bigger audience.*
If you're interested in seeing how Plan B plays out, please sign up for the Slabtown Games newsletter:
(We won't be able to send you information through Kickstarter any more after we cancel the project, so this is probably the best way to stay on top of what we're up to.)
You can also join the Slabtown Games discussion board at http://slabtowngames.com/index.php/community/discussion-board -- we get a lot of great ideas and feedback from our supporters over there, and we'd love to have you join the conversation.
* You'll notice that I said we'll have a bigger audience, not a better audience... 'cause there's no such thing. You folks... the people who believed in us before anyone knew who we were, and who've stuck with us even as the outlook for this Kickstarter grew more and more grim... are the best audience a group of geeks like us could ever hope for. You've got no idea how much of a morale boost you've all given us through these several weeks, and with your kind support and enthusiasm for Storyscape... well, how could we give up now?
Thank you so much. I've got no better words than that. Thank you.
And in the paraphrased words of one of our generation's greatest thespians... we'll be back!