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Update #22

DIGISTORE - STOCKTACKING

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Hello everybody.

We got dozens of messages during last 48 hours. People found changes there in DigiStore (we closed most of tiers, remaining only bolt-ons and t-shirts), and sent us tons of messages. The most of messages have two questions:

1) "Did you guys close the project?"

2) "I passed a deadline and didn't pledged. How can I do this now?"

 In result we must response:

1) We didn't stop the project, absolutely not! The reason of tiers disappearing there in DigiStore (http://store.digitilus.com/ ) is that we promised to close current set of tiers in the end August. As was announced in the end of our Kickstarter, we reopened possibility to pledge exactly the same amount, as was in kickstarter, and to get exactly the same set of rewards, as was there in Kickstarter. This was done for those, who would like to support us after Kickstarter. We planned to close this promotion in the middle of August, but we delayed with Amazon payment gateway, so we prolonged proposal till the end of August. But as well as we have a second bunch of messages, we ...

2) ... renew those tiers for a while. Seems like many people were in vacations or really passed dead line. So we prolong them for 2 weeks (we can prolong for a longer period of time, but not longer than next Kickstarter launch date). Please, everybody who really passed deadline - we appreciate your desire to pledge, so do your choice and let us fix this stage, moving to the next one. Thank you!

PLEDGE STATS

PayPal balance $23 394.77 - 328 backers

Amazon balance $3 214 - 65 backers

Pay attention - we added DWOLLA payment system (which is available in AMAZON STORE  checkout). It is very useful way to pay for US located backers with Credit Card. First of all, this payment gateway has an incredible fee - only $0.25 per transaction (for any amount more than $10), sending payment directly to our bank account. Second, you can hide your personal data from us completely. Means, we will see only information, which you typed in our checkout form fields. If you really wanna hide your personal info, just type anything you like there. But remember - we will use that info for shipment. So I'd suggest to use at least your real e-mail and shipment address there to get your rewards into the right address.

OTHER NEWS

Unity 4 pre-order is opened now, so we are planning to buy new version of Unity in the nearest time and to test it. Furthermore, works are going on in full speed - in program part for a while. We work on porting of our physics to Unity, experimenting with detailed demolition and shooting simultaneously. I'm not posting any screens or video, cause it's all in stage of program code and some test builds. But I will post materials (and new online test demo) as soon as we will get something showable.

As for Linux - no doubts we remember about your request and will inform you as soon as we'll get test results!


Update #21

STUFF IS HAPPENING

Hello everybody!  Sorry about the quiet, and the lack of forumage - there’s a lot going on backstage right now! Here are some quick hits.

THE NUMBERS

Almost 300 backers, PayPal balance: $21,795.27 USD The pledges have slowed recently, but we understand - you need good news and visible progress to trust us.

AMAZON PAYMENTS

It’s been a long, rough road. We had a third-party plugin that did NOT play nice with Amazon’s API and we had to rewrite it from scratch. But we did! Amazon Payments are at last up and running. Btw, we already got 2 pledges per $20 to Amazon, so we can confirm - system is working and you are welcome to pledge through Amazon :))

In the meantime, those of you who have been waiting for Amazon, now’s the time to migrate your pledges! It won’t be too much longer before the early-bird specials go away.

DigiStore link is http://store.digitilus.com

THE FORUMS

With Amazon out of the way the forums are our next priority. The back end is done, plugins and all; we just have some data massaging to finish up, getting logins tied to pledges and the like. The calendar dartboard says end of Friday to get this sorted out.

MBA STUFF

This is the other thing that’s kept us busy. Right when the Kickstarter ended, we found out WHO has been watching the campaign, by their messages and inquiries! So there’s been a bunch of boring suit-and-tie stuff happening in the background, the speculation and conversation that comes before hard business offers. This activity takes a lot of time to work on all those presentations, business pitches, budgeting stuff and so on. [p.s. not Origin ;)]

GAME DEVELOPMENT

All said above is very important stuff, no doubts, but all of this is not the main activity we do now. Our main work was and is the game itself.

We've created a plugin that converts our existing assets into Unity format, and are working on another converter to skip the middleman and pipeline directly from 3D MAX/Maya. Why all the fuss? We have a lot of unique data (physics mostly) that won't pass over with standard formats such as FBX. These plugins help us convert ALL the juicy bits without running into problems or starting from scratch. We've already hammered out most of the kinks, so there's nothing but good news on this front.

Stress-test for the number of unique objects:

YTG Cargo Ship, completely converted to Unity data format:

Experiments with shading:

Experiments with materials:

Experiment with dynamic lights:

Dynamic light effects stuff:

Object selection shader: 

One of Unity’s strong points is browser integration, and to that end, we’ve got a super early testbed up and running. It’s nothing fancy (in fact, there’s no reset key, press F5 to run it again) but it demonstrates asset conversion, complex construction, and a quick stab at new shaders with dynamic lighting and shadows. You can test it HERE  This is an example of future content that will only be available to backers pledged to COMMUNITY EDITION and upper tiers - behind-the-scenes, work-in-progress shenanigans - so we’re hoping this tempts a few more of you to join us there!

FURTHER PLANS

NEXT KICKSTARTER - As was said before, we are planning to go through several micro-Kickstarters. It's a part of our strategy to continue development and bringing SKYJACKER to the stars despite all circumstances. Our target date for our first micro-Kickstarter is September 15th. We’re planning on having a full-featured test disassembly app in Unity by then. So if you prefer to support us here on Kickstarter (instead to pledge via DigiStore) - this will be your chance to spread your love to SKYJAKCER

NEW PROMO STUFF - we are happy to see that many of our backers still keep our "DESTROY the SILENCE" banners and avatars there on their Facebook pages. We are planning to renew our promo pack, adapting it to the new reality (replacing "Kickstarter" from the logo). Furthermore, we will prepare new promo pack accordingly to the new campaign motto and visual stuff. So please continue to use current banners and avatars for a while, if you like them, and we will give you new ones very soon. We need your help and support in meaning of promotion of the SKYJACKER

DIGI STORE IMPROVEMENTS - the new setup has a lot of extensions available, including DWOLLA (the possibility for US backers to pay us directly by using Credit Card, no PayPal or Amazon commissions and other issues) and several other modules (such as many popular parcel services for accurate calculation of the shipment costs), so we should be able to take care of any future payment needs without much fuss. We will add these modules improving our service there in DigiStore.

SKYJACKER GAME SITE - this was some of our background activity during this time. We improved visual design, some texts and code stuff.

Site as it was before:

Site as it is today:

But we believe it's possible to continue improvements. So you are welcomed to send us your comments and ideas. Furthermore, we have a multilingual module there, which let us localize web-site to other languages. If you have a time and desire to localize SKYJACKER web-site to your language, this would be very helpful for us and for the community.

DIGI STORE TIERS & BOLT-ONS - In respect to the patience of those who waited for Amazon gateway update to pledge through Amazon, we prolong current proposal till the end of August to let all of you, who use Amazon, to occupy the same set of tiers we had during our Kickstarter campaign. In September 1st we close current set, and we'll change set of tiers.

And to everyone who has pledged, thank you. Keep spreading the word, and keep posting in our comments - we’re never too busy to talk shop.

IN MEMORY


Update #20 - For backers only

SOUNDTRACK

8 comments

For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.


Update #19

MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE

WE ARE MOVING FORWARD!

5 days passed since July 23, when we ended here on Kickstarter. Many of you asked: what will happen if SKYJACKER won't get funded through Kickstarter. Here is an answer - our DigiStore statistics shows: 214 backers, $11,151.21 USD (clear amount after fee withdrawal!). This is the supporters and funding we’ve gathered to date through the DigiStore (after PayPal’s fees). So yessss! We are moving forward despite all circumstances, powered with your loyalty and really great support. In the future we’re going to build out a public counter for the site that tracks these figures, for right now we promise to keep you in the loop with updates like these.

SOUNDTRACK

As was promised, we delivered our current official game soundtrack to all of you, including several backers, who pledged through the DigiStore before the end of the campaign here on Kickstarter. We promised to do this, so we did. Current version had been released in MP3 format with high quality of encoding (320 kbps, 44100, Stereo). But we promise to convert the music into FLAC and other lossless formats in the future, when we will get more tracks and more time to do such conversion. 

We hope you like our gift :)) Enjoy!

THE NEAREST PLANS

Our next goal: launching the FORUM! This is vital - we need a new and open line of communication to discuss our next step and future plans. Furthermore, after the end of our Kickstarter we got many new backers, who 'pledged' through DigiStore, but cannot join us here in KS to discuss project issues and features. So we’re not just going to “announce” our future pokans, we’re going to get your opinions, feedback, and ideas.

We’ve heard you! PayPal was the most quick and easiest way to launch our DigiStore. But it has had some shaky history at times. Our business guy is taking precautions to ensure we don’t become the next horror story, but all the same, we’re going to diversify our payment options as well. Furthermore, same as we had people, who can pledge only though PayPal, now we have a lot of others, who can use only Amazon. Thus coming soon: DigiStore payments through Amazon - we hope to have that up and running next week.

IN THE STORE

As was said, we’ll be keeping our current set of store offers (same as our Kickstarter tiers) for a few weeks. After that we’ll be changing to a more traditional sales model. Physical and virtual goods will be separated, and pack-ins will be split out. So when that happens, the game, soundtrack, and extras will all be separate products. The base game price will also fluff up to $20 - we did say $15 was the early bird special! 

Pledge migration: these changes are NOT RETROACTIVE so they will not impact those backers, or any other orders that take place between now and then. Please migrate your pledges NOW! We want to honor our legacy pledges, but the Kickstarter price structure isn’t right for a proper storefront.

ON THE FORUM

Once up and running, we’ll have some things to discuss. The t-shirt designs were proposed as an exclusive Kickstarter reward, so now we’ll be asking for feedback to see what you guys want to wear (and find out your feelings on exclusives). Our plans for future Kickstarters - we’re still roughing out the details internally but will be posting them there first before anything is finalized. And of course the Idea Pile is going to be a sticky thread up top.

The timing of all this: the forum launch is as soon as possible, and Amazon Payments is crossing fingers for next week. Sometime next month the store products will change. But in general we’re going to measure twice, cut once - we’re not going to jump into the next kickstarter right away. We need some time to gather our community, smoke-test our site features, research the viability of Unity 4, and apply the lessons we’ve learned. Stay tuned!

MOMENT OF ZEN


Update #18

NEW LIFE

Hello everybody!

Our volunteer-chief-editor Veav is sleeping now, so please forgive my non-perfect English.

INTRO

2890 backers - it's such impressive number! To be honest I NEVER had so many friends in my life before :D So before to start my explanations I would like to express my gratitude for your support and your faith in our talent to make this new and incredible game.

As was said before, we never give up. There is a good proverb: "what does not kill me, makes me stronger" and this reflects my life position - do all your best and keep perfection in your mind and your actions, and you will reach your goal despite all circumstances.

We all here did all our best trying to win our kickstarter and make this project real. Unfortunately something still is out of our control and we didn't reach the goal: to assemble $200 000. But we didn't fail too. We captured a great prize - strong community, who is willing to play this game. Folks, just imagine - we are ARMY! One strong power, which has intention to move on, to continue this action non-stop till the very end. And having such army, we really can move on and  crash all those bumps and rock on the way.

Ok, Kickstarter ends, plan A has been reduced, was what's next step? Sure, it's a plan B

PLAN B:

For those, who passed our previous updates, here what was said:

Skyjacker existed before Kickstarter, and Skyjacker will continue to exist - we’re going to be finding alternative ways to fund the development cycle so we can bring you our dream. SKYJACKER WILL RISE.

We WON'T be relaunching a new 200k campaign. While we do have more brand awareness now, we’ll also be “losing” pledges to the store, making it less likely we’d hit that finish line. Our tentative plan consists of two strategies we'll realize simultaneously: 

FIRST - we are ready to accept your pledges anyway, but on our own site now - visit us at http://store.digitilus.com You will see there completely eqaual structure of rewards to what you saw here on Kickstarter. The only changes: we get payments through PayPal/Credit Cards (currently). And we will add more payment options later there.

So go there, choose the tier you'd like to pledge, choose the bolt-on you'd like to get in addition, and pledge extra as a donation (*optional). Don't forget to write your instructions, comments or desires in special form while check out. Your pledges will be used to continue work on this game right now, without a necessity to wait till the end of campaign. No waiting anymore! We sat here during 84 days and waiting for result, and now we must move!

*** ADD-ON: SHIPMENT PRICES  - backers from Asia, Australia and other distant lands (distant from California), if you pledge on tiers with physical rewards, you may see your shipment consists $25 instead of $15. Please forgive us for this price now. It's built on the USPS prices and currently we are forced to use it. But we have a plan to research local services and prices there in your region and maybe to order physical rewards printing there in your area. Same to Europe. This probably will let us save YOUR money. But we need a time to do this. Plus we will need to elect a regional manager from our backers to help us to manage logistics. So please currently keep things like they are: either accept current price (if you are Ok with $5-10 extra) or don't select physical rewards tiers for a while. ut remember - this is just a plan, and there are many other things we must to do in a higher priority! So please make your choice in respect of this information.

SECOND - no doubts, we believe that most of you will do your pledge there in our site. But sure somebody will not be able to do this, or somebody prefers to pledge only here in Kickstarter. We have a second part of our Plan B exactly for this case. The plan is to break out the whole development cycle into smaller stages and to launch series of new kickstarters with reachable goals (around 15K - 20K) 

An example: our first project could be to bring all our ships into an environment similar to the STARSHIP DISASSEMBLY app (for new backers - check our Update #5, if you didn't get a try), accompanied by setting details and developer commentary. We’d be giving our backers something for their money (who there prayed for Skyjacker in OUYA? Your dreams are not such unreal now :)) ), we’d be making progress (all the ships have to be moved into Unity anyway), we’d be able to sell the end product, and we’d be able to set a much lower goal since we’re not trying to headbutt the whole wall down. Such application can be well customized at levels of complexity and would let us stretch goals right during such small kickstarter: A) 3D meshes  - all ships are converted into interactive environment and can be disassembled B) Interactivity -  possibility to test their devices and weaponry C) Add physics - possibility to shoot them blowing and crashing. Targeted platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android

Next kickstarter - hangar with player starship customization, and alien pilots walking around and assisting us there; Next kickstarter - multiplayer; next kickstarter - soundtrack/book translation/MOD tools creation etc. - until we'll be ready to launch our big final kickstarter with 100K goal to combine all those parts together in one common game SKYJACKER. 

With this approach we’d reach that same 200k one step at a time, without asking so much so soon, and producing more content to drum up interest as we go. Furthermore, this will let us keep our presence in gaming press, continue reporting about our new steps and results.

All this time our community will keep growing, while new backers will join us at every new round and stage. We’ll keep you in the loop about this as we flesh out the details, as we may pursue this development model anyway even if we hit our goal - it’s better than trying to get everything done at once.

NEAREST ACTIONS

1) Forum - we will setup our own forum and will switch our discussion there. This will let us create groups, discuss different aspects of the game and working moments of the campaign

2) Soundtrack - as was promised, EVERYBODY who keep their pledge till the very end, will get our soundtrack for free - all current (30 music tracks now) and all future tracks. Yesterday we discussed with our music composer Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz our next stage of work. His answer (on the background of making music for Epic): "concerning music: sure no problem. im busy, thats true, but im glad to continue, so ill find time for do more music to you :) "

So we will arrange soundtrack downloading by special links during this week. Wait for update please.

3) Commuity - having own forum, we can arrange roles there now, having moderators, leads of discussion, etc. As any army, we must organize oneself. So we'll do this

4) Information - currently we will continue to use Kickstarter as our main place of information, until we'll migrate to own forum.

Well, that;s what I'd like to say in brief right now. I guess, I could forget something, so just ask me in our current forum or send me a message. As always, everybody will be answered and will get all necessary help.

And please DON'T STOP reddit, don't stop with all your social promotion of the project. We must explain to others - we didn't stop and we didn't give up. Yes, we failed this battle, but we didn't fail the war. So now we are changing our formation before the next battle. 

Remember words of great Michael Jordan: "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships. " We have talent, and we got a great team - you and us. So now we must build our common teamwork to make this game real.

Pirates, welcome aboard and let's start to move. All those alien convoys are waiting to be attacked by us there between stars. So let's move - Go-Go-Go! 


2,890
Backers
$128,238
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    8 backers

    WALLPAPER SET: A large collection of Skyjacker wallpapers for your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device, along with our heartfelt thanks. We appreciate your contribution!

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    5 backers

    SOUNDTRACK PACK: As the Wallpaper Set, plus: the complete game soundtrack (DRM-free digital downloadable version, 320k or lossless). Take Skyjacker on the road!

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    1146 backers

    COMPLETE EDITION: As the Soundtrack Pack, plus: THE GAME in all of its unearthly beauty on PC or Mac (DRM-free digital downloadable version). Walk the ruthless path of Ael-Skyjacker, the lone human in a galaxy of conflict, as he tears apart the stars in search of fame and fortune. Sabotage, assassination, robbery, grift - all in a day’s work! This includes everything - all cutscenes, voiceovers, missions, and content.

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    322 backers

    COMPLETE BUNDLE: A bundle of two Complete Editions, for you and a friend. Every bundle contains a spare of everything that isn’t physical; in this case, you’ll receive two wallpaper sets, two soundtrack packs, and two Skyjacker games to play together. Or maybe you want one for your PC and one for your Mac? We can do that.

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    325 backers

    COMMUNITY EDITION: As the Complete Edition, plus: exclusive access to the beta release of the game and its private discussion community. We'll keep you in the loop and include your feedback in the game creation process, and we’ll grant you the title of Beta Tester on all our forums, public and private. You’ll also get the PDF version of the Skyjacker artbook, with 100+ pages of concept art - detailed illustrations of alien races, planetary habitats, designs and technology, and extras left on the cutting-room floor.

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    50 backers

    COMMUNITY BUNDLE: A bundle of two Community Editions. You’ll receive two PDF artbooks, two voices in everything we do, two early downloads of the game in progress, and two logins with the title of Beta Tester on top of the Complete Bundle.

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    609 backers

    SETTLER EDITION: As the Community Edition, plus: all future content we make for Skyjacker for free, forever! We already have post-launch plans for an EXPANSION PACK of a few dozen additional missions where you step out of the shoes of humans and become the aliens - on both sides of the conflict. Smash the planetary colonies in the name of the pirate brotherhood, or fight to the death for the honor of your race! (Check out the FAQ for more details on the expansion pack.) Of course, we’ll promote you to the title of Settler on all our forums, so everyone knows you’re not afraid of commitment.

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    105 backers

    SETTLER BUNDLE: A bundle of two Settler Editions. You’ll receive two of everything Skyjacker in the future (as long as it’s digital), on top of the Community Bundle. Since you’ll both be beta-release backers, you’ll get in on the beta release of future content too. Pretty nifty, huh?

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    89 backers

    PIRATE EDITION: As the Settler Edition, plus: special thanks in the game credits as a Skyjacker supporter! We'll thank you by name, or the name of your choosing (subject to editorial approval). And we’ll upgrade your title to Pirate on the forums too, so everyone can shiver in terror at your presence. But here’s the best part - we’ll take all the downloads and put them on a professionally-packaged, pressed DVD. Then we’ll put it into your hands. No firewall in the world will stop you! (All physical items are exclusive to the campaign, and ship free within the US; please add $15 to your pledge for international shipping.)

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    80 backers

    CAPTAIN’S EDITION: As the Pirate Edition, plus: one t-shirt of any design. Protect your frail human flesh from the dangers of space! We’ll also ship you a limited edition print of the game poster in full size (36” x 24”) for your bedroom, barracks, hangar or gun cabinet. But what’s a Captain without a crew? We’ll give you TWO downloads of everything. All rewards from this point forward are bundle packs! This includes 2x beta releases, 2x forum handles, 2x wallpapers, 2x soundtracks - everything that isn’t physical. And we’ll thank you both in the credits, in even BIGGER letters, and on the forums with the even SNAZZIER title of Captain. We’ll thank you right now, just for reading this! Thank you!

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    71 backers

    COLLECTOR’S EDITION: As the Captain’s Edition, plus: we’ll go even further. We’ll put together a physical game box for all this loot, with the soundtrack on CD as well as the game DVD. It’ll be personally signed by Eugene Zhukov and the rest of the team leads, unless you ask us not to. In fact, we’ll sign everything we can get our hands on; the jewel cases, the poster, even the t-shirt (and those aren’t easy). Of course you’ll still get your downloads, so you can leave the box in mint condition.

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    17 backers

    WOLFPACK EDITION: As the Collector’s Edition, plus: we’ll hook all your friends up too by giving you FOUR downloads of everything and sending you FOUR Portable Skyjacker USB drives, each preloaded with the Complete Edition game. We’ll set you all up with the title of Privateer on the forum, and for the credits, we’ll thank all four of you by name, under the clan name of your choice and billed proudly above the Captains. Added bonus: we'll send out a second t-shirt of any design!

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    10 backers

    MEMEPACK EDITION: As the Wolfpack Edition, plus: we’ll add your message to the credits as your clan motto, anything you like (subject to editorial approval; keep it around Twitter-length, please). Plug your website, propose to your girlfriend, throw out your favorite quote, or make us spout memes and in-jokes at everyone who plays!

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    8 backers

    HARDCOVER EDITION: As the Memepack Edition, plus: the hardcover Skyjacker art book. Yes, we’ll sign it with pride! We’ll wrap it up in a third t-shirt of any design, a total of three, and call you out in the forums and credits as a Broker. Then we'll further acknowledge your financial acumen by putting your name in the game, as the designation of a weapon, part, planet, or ship (we’ll make sure it’s something you like). You’ll be a part of the Skyjacker universe from here on out.

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    5 backers Limited (95 left of 100)

    BOSS EDITION: As the Hardcover Edition, plus: our designers will draw YOU, in full space pirate regalia. And then we'll put it on an exclusive jacket of your very own! Materials and exact design to be determined - but it'll be nice. We won’t try to sign this one. While that’s happening we'll attach your name to a character in-game (or leave it as a designation, your choice), and elevate you to the regal position of Boss on our forums and in the credits. Don't worry about the cost of shipping; even if you're outside the US, we'll take care of it. Nothing but the best for the Boss.

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    EPIC EDITION: As the Boss Edition, plus: we'll put you in the game. We'll animate YOU in 3D as the subject for a CUSTOM PLAYER CHARACTER. This includes your face and proportions, a personal logo, and the highest category of criminal community rating in the game. Only you can play as this character (we'll give you a secret code to activate it) but other players can hire you as an NPC, so they'll get to enjoy it too! You will be known across the skies as a true Hero... or a Villain, your choice.

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    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    LEGEND EDITION: As the Epic Edition, plus: with your permission, we'll use your character in our promotional campaigns. You'll be on our posters, in our trailers, and on whatever other media we produce. Your name will, in fact, be Legend. Furthermore we cordially invite you to come hang out with us in Los Angeles, CA, USA. We're from Russia - we know how to party. (Please contact us directly to make personal arrangements before the end of the campaign.)

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Funding period

- (58 days)