Based on original design, the scope of Confederate Express was enormous.
With 24 different playable characters, multiple classes, procedural world exploration and squad-action tactics - no wonder the estimated budget was a whopping $400k.
Our plan for kickstarter campaign was to intentionally set the donations goal low - that way we could at least get a solid vertical slice out of it to show later to investors. Even though our campaign's performance was stellar (earned $1 for every pageview) - we were not featured by KS staff; and therefore were left to figure out a way to get the rest of the money ourselves. That's where the ugly plan to pivot with Knuckle Club came from - ultimately leading us to a whole year of wasted time and effort.
At that point - there was absolutely no chance we could get outside funding, so the only way to finish Confederate Express was to roll up our sleeves and do it on our own - just the two of us.
First, we slashed the game's scope. No more procedural world exploration, no squad-action, no vehicle mechanics. The idea was to create 50 levels and just load them one by one - starting with easiest ones and saving most difficult for the last. This way we won't have to be stuck trying to reinvent the wheel or become an endless feature factory.
The end product was a minimal visceral exprience, focused on player control micromanagement and spiced up with handmade animated visuals engaging spectator's imagination.
Even though it saddens us to see Confederate Express not reaching it's original vision - we still got many exciting accomplishments out of it. First, we have created False2D™ - an incredible production tool that was instrumental in reducing workload greatly, saving us time and money. We also accumulated an extensive indexed library of animations, all adhering to a strict standard. This library is a foundation for the future work in aliasing - our proprietary image scaling technique - which we have great plans for. We strongly believe that aliasing has a great potential in competing with AAA 3D visuals in the future.
Fast forward to 2017, we are reaching the end of production, and the game is getting closer to becoming a reality every day. We are still shaping up things as we move along, but the core objective is to get the game shipped, at any cost.
Please join us next week for our Monthly Progress Report update, where we will showcase the work completed for the month of September as well as future plans.
We appreciate your support!
Dennis & Max