James Bond will return!
Er... AI War 2, I mean.
Chris here. If there's anything that a hardcore AI War player knows, it's that "losing is fun." Not fun in the most literal sense, but the journey to the loss was fun, and enthusiasm for jumping back into the arena and doing better the next time is high. We will be back -- and soon!
You can sign up for our mailing list if you want to be notified of major new projects from Arcen in general. That said, if you got THIS email, you should get the next one saying that the re-launch is live, too.
Fast facts about the re-launch plans:
- Keith will be at the helm next time, rather than me. There are a variety of reasons for this that we go into detail on in the links above and our forums. But the short version is that he's the best man for the job and it makes the most financial sense for you and the company and the project (nice when all those things line up).
- If you don't know who Keith is, he's the force of nature behind the last three of AI War Classic's expansions, and he basically took my original game work and took it to another level. He's set to do that again.
- We expect the re-launch to be on November 17th, which is next Thursday.
- We're still finalizing the new budget and the new design document, but we'll be sharing both with you absolutely as soon as we are confident in them.
- Overall our goal is to come in slightly under $50k for the base funding amount, which we think we can hit within 72 hours given how this first kickstarter went.
- Beyond that, we'll have a number of stretch goals laid out from the get-go that show you where we're headed if we pass that base funding goal. Not all of the possible stretch goals, but enough to get started solidly.
- Despite being slimmed-down a lot, we've been working hard to keep the most exciting things, and in a few cases even add some new exciting things (we have a different group for the new project, so different things are possible than before). I'm excited about how it's coming along.
Fast facts about Arcen's future:
- We have had to scale back staff and contractors, and a lot of us (including me) are looking for ways to keep ourselves employed since AI War 2 can't pay for us after all.
- With that in mind, you'll see other projects and funding efforts from us that will in no way impede AI War 2.
- I want to be really clear about that last point from the start, because usually when a developer has a second kickstarter (or second game in any fashion) prior to fully delivering on the first kickstarter, it means something is wrong or shady. In our case, it's simply a matter of we have more people in the "Arcen extended family" than can be supported by one project; so different people will work on other things.
- This is also not new for us: Keith developed those last 3 expansions for AI War Classic while I and others were mostly doing something else, and it worked out brilliantly. I made Skyward Collapse and various other projects while he was working on other things, and so on.
- If this is unsettling, think of a larger company like... Square Enix or something. They have multiple offices around the world that work on entirely different projects from one another. However, they do get the benefits of lower total overhead and better coordination and so forth since certain costs are not duplicated per project.
- For instance all our tools and such don't have to be re-purchased each time. AI War 2 relies heavily on code from past games, including Release Raptor to some extent.
- That said, we will never mix the budgets around. You're funding what you're funding, and that's a trust we will not break (and have no reason to do -- it would be stupid of us on every level). When we do crowdfunding, we plan and budget to an extreme degree, and we know where the money is headed. If there are unexpected shortfalls that still aren't covered by our built-in buffers in projects, then Arcen has ongoing residuals from other past games and I'd pull money from there.
- Perhaps I'm spending more time than is wise talking about the above, since it might make you think "why is he being so defensive about this?" The short answer to that is that various other developers have done some seriously shady stuff. I don't want to have even the appearance of being associated with those kinds of shenanigans.
As always, if you have any questions about any of that or anything else, please just ask me! Sometimes I'm less clear than I'd prefer to be, but I'm always happy to clarify when someone points that out.
It's easy to eye-roll on that, given that we didn't reach our funding goal. But we did hit a level of funding that very few kickstarters do, and I'm really grateful for that. In the process we learned a lot -- both about how to run kickstarters and what matters to you folks specifically -- and so we're in a really good place to head into the next one.
I feel like I should have something insightful and moving to say at this point in the message, but I'm basically just focused on the next goal. We've known that this wasn't going to fund for quite a while, and I made my peace with that what feels like ages ago; now we're getting quite excited about the relaunch, and the ending of this first kickstarter is an exciting step in that we're finally closer to the new one.