Grim Dawn is backed 50% in 4 days! New goals on the horizon!
Wow, I can’t believe it; we’ve already passed the halfway point only 4 days into our Kickstarter project! I want to thank and congratulate all of you because this is really your success more than it is ours. You made this happen! The goodwill and encouragement I’ve seen in the last 4 days are beyond anything I expected. Is this still the internets that I’m on? ; )
Having just passed 50% of our funding goal, many of you are already looking forward to a new, higher goal, even beyond the immediate one of full funding and have started asking what we could do if we had more money. $450k seems like a good next target. Though we’re plateauing out as expected, we seem to be on a good trajectory where I believe we can reach that goal if we can keep the momentum going. We’re planning some new videos, more updates and a couple other things over the coming weeks to help make that happen on our side.
The most critical thing that I know everyone wants is more content. There are some aspects of content development that are difficult to increase without extending our release, like class development. However, most of content development can be laterally expanded with the help of more developers and art outsourcing, without impact the release date. At $450k, we could bring on an additional designer, an artist and increase our outsourcing budget for equipment.
The artist would primarily help us to increase the number of unique enemies, items and more effectively manage the expanded art outsourcing. We have around 200 items in-game now, which covers most of the common equipment but we have barely any unique item art. We’d really like to get our item count up over 400 and hopefully even higher. I mean, loot, isn’t that why we’re all here? We expect to be adding a lot of additional items in expansions but we feel like everyone would be a lot happier waiting for an expansion if they had more loot to collect in the first release.
The designer would be helping to expand the world, creating quests and doing quest scripting. This means a larger world with more quests, side-quests and unique locations to discover - including some hidden ones! We don’t want to just create a big expanse of bland world for you to hack your way through; we want to fill it with unexpected encounters, mysterious locations that are outside of the main story and untold horrors lurking in the farthest, darkest corners of the land. These details are what really give the game some soul.
For me, part of the magic of older games, thinking all the way back to stuff like the TSR AD&D Goldbox games (for those of you who were alive then) is that they often included mysterious locations and side-stories that were entirely outside the main story and areas of the game. I remember playing Pool of Radiance and thinking how cool it was that the town was surrounded by all this wilderness that the main story wasn’t directing you to go out and fully explore but yet, it was there, with tantalizing little features in distant parts of the map that could be nothing or could represent the location of some cool point of interest. I liked how developers back then weren’t worried about forcing the player to see all of the content they created; they were okay putting some stuff in that players might not get around to seeing. I tried to do this on Titan Quest with the extra enemies in epic and legendary difficulty but I wasn’t too involved in the world-building, so I was limited in what I could do in that area. In Grim Dawn, we want to have a more open world that is littered with all kinds of hidden, out of the way locations that you can stumble upon. One of the most important aspects of this for me is that the world shouldn’t be crafted for the sole purpose of telling a single story. The main story shouldn’t take you everywhere in the world and the events taking place in it should go far beyond that. We really want to instill the game with that feeling of magic and wonder that I got out of games as a kid but haven’t experienced very often in recent years.
The more designers we can get helping to generate this kind of content, the richer and more expansive the experience will be. It will also allow us to put more time into other types of content though, such as enemies and items. The first artist we bring on after passing our funding goal and the extra art outsourcing will help us to deliver more unique item and enemy art. Additional design helps us to do more with this art once we get it. There is a difference between just getting monsters and items into the game at a minimal level and really having the time to add depth to them such as making additional skills for enemies and balancing them to create interesting tactical situations for the player. We’d love to have the time to not just get cool items in the game but to actually write a little lore for some of those items. Finally, we have the faction system. This is a feature I’m really excited about, that you don’t normally see in this type of game. We could use factions to set up some really cool situations, especially related to side-quests. However, it is also sort of peripheral to the core ARPG experience and it is something that we may not be able to utilize to its full potential unless we have more people helping.
Getting our total number of designers up to three would also give me more time to talk to the community, focus on the bigger picture and allocate more of my time to playtesting, balancing and refining the gameplay.
EDIT - It seems there may be a large number of people who would prefer we avoid professional translation and go with more of a community, grassroots approach. We're all for this if that is what the fans want. We'll take up the discussion on the forum and for now just leave this as: Grim Dawn will be translated into other languages, one way or another. : )
I feel like you guys are going to get sick of hearing me thank you eventually but really, I can’t thank you enough for allowing us to get this far already! Keep spreading the word, “like” the Grim Dawn Facebook page if you haven’t already to help spread the news socially, post on forums and keep pestering those big gaming media outlets to cover Grim Dawn! So far the reception Grim Dawn has gotten has been more positive than I could have imagined but the number of backers here is still relatively small, so I know that there are tons of people out there we just haven’t reached yet. I see only good things ahead of us!