Answers to questions - Do you have a publisher? How big is Crate? How far along is Grim Dawn?
First let me just say, I am amazed that we're already nearing the half-way point and I am humbled by not only the financial generosity of fans but by how much you guys care and the effort you've put into spreading the word about Grim Dawn. We still have a lot of people to reach and your efforts at raising awareness about Grim Dawn are the best way to make that happen. We're counting on you!
I also wanted to re-post some information from the comments section for those wondering about who exactly we are as a "studio", whether we already have any funding and just how far along Grim Dawn is in development.
Just to clear things up, we do not have a publisher or really any funding at all right now besides a small trickle from our pre-orders, which has been very helpful but isn't near enough to pay even one person full-time wages. We aren't a big portion of the team from Iron Lore as some might assume, we're just two full-time guys and a few friends from Iron Lore who help us out as much as they can on nights and weekends. We all work remotely in home offices as we can't currently afford to rent a space. So, we're about as indie as it gets and definitely aren't double-dipping. As someone said below, Grim Dawn is sort of like a big, glorified tech demo right now or maybe more like a vertical slice and a half. We want to be able to deliver all the content everyone expects of an ARPG on release but building that requires more than just a full-time designer and programmer. To be able to make real progress on this game, we need a full-time artist, animator and content designer at the very least. We could finish up a nice game with a fair amount of gameplay for the low price with that team. We'd love to do more though. Our current features give the game huge potential and with more people we could put those features to much better use. It would be great to have extra people working with our new quest system and the faction system. I know some really cool stuff can be done with that but currently we haven't had much time to play with it. It is just sitting there, waiting to be turned into awesomeness. So while you might think of most development as building a cake layer by layer, we sort of have an entire slice built from top to bottom (the vertical slice) and we need this funding to build the other slices. The more funding we get, the more slices. I'm sure you guys would rather have an eight-slice cake instead of a six-slice cake. With more money we could also add some frosting and I'll post an update soon to let you know about a few of the things we'd like to add if we can surpass our goal.
I should also say, a big part of the reason that we're here is that we're feeling increasing pressure to get this game out and our current progress is just painfully slow. We want to be able to move forward faster and have a core team who's time we can depend on so that we can start projecting release dates and keep everyone happy. Our hard work over the past two and a half years has gotten us to the point where we could probably release a very small alpha soon, which I'm sure fans will be excited to play but looking at how long it has taken us to get to this point, I don't want it to take another two years for us to release the full game and I know you don't. So, we're here trying to correct that problem for fans so that we can deliver the game you expect in a time that is more reasonable. I mean, as long as we can keep going without salaries, keep harassing people for part-time help to get the other assets we need, we'll keep moving forward but with the extra full-time people this KS campaign can provide, we could start making some real results that I know you want to see.
Finally, I just wanted to respond to a couple comments I've seen where people have expressed that they think Kickstarter should only be used to fund projects that couldn't happen otherwise. Grim Dawn couldn't happen if we weren't willing to start this project with no funding and work for the past 2.5 years without any pay. It also couldn't happen if the other developers who have contributed over the years weren't willing to donate some of their free time on nights and weekends to create art and animations for us. It is still true today that the only reason Grim Dawn can continue to happen is that we're still willing and able to keep working unpaid.
So, I don't think it is fair for people to say a project that isn't started, because no one was willing to put in any work on it without full funding first, is more worthy than a project that people had the dedication to start themselves without money. I'm not knocking on any of the other projects, I can appreciate that those other studios have employees to support and maybe can't afford to invest free time into a new project but I also don't think we should be penalized because we did.
Thank you for listening and thank you all for your continued support!
Arthur and the Crate Team