As we unveiled Plan B earlier, naturally, the question immediately arose why we did not decide to simply try another Kickstarter campaign. Allow me to lay out some of the reasons for you, why another Kickstarter was not really a viable alternative.
The Kickstarter campaign that just ended took a whole three months out of our lives. Time that could have been spent working on the game, but was instead used up by preparing materials, creating videos, perfecting specific scenes for screenshots, collecting, consolidating and writing up all the information for the pitch. Not to mention, running the actual 30-day campaign, which included answering questions and emails virtually non-stop, constantly pursuing the press for coverage, doing written interviews, podcasts, video interviews, while also preparing the regular Kickstarter updates along with the new information, images, footage and reward overhauls that came with it.
Running another Kickstarter campaign would be every bit as time-consuming. It may seem straight-forward at first glance, but it is not just a matter of simply reusing the materials we have. It all would have to be recompiled, consolidated once again, provided with a new pitch video and so forth. The effort that goes on behind the scenes in order to pitch, promote, and present the project would be every bit as time-consuming as it was the first time, especially because in order to succeed, the general expectation would be that we need a new presentation with new materials that tops the first one and won’t simply try to rehash the existing campaign.
Running the campaign itself would once again be as feverishly demanding as before. Not only from an emotional standpoint, but also because once again, the campaign would have to be accompanied by frequent updates, offering up new information and details and, of course, new images or video clips, as well as everything else that is required to keep a Kickstarter campaign alive and kicking in the eyes of the public.
So, in the end we would lose yet another 3 months or so that are not used to continue the actual development of the game. That is not how I envision game development, really, and neither should you.
Many comments I read suggested that the raised awareness of the game as a whole would help the second Kickstarter start out stronger and therefore would make it so much more likely to succeed.
In our opinion, there is absolutely no indication that a renewed Kickstarter campaign would have any more chance of success than the previous one whatsoever. In fact, it is our firm belief that it would most likely be less of a success, because instead of “raised awareness” we would have to fight a definite kind of fatigue that would inevitably come into play. It would be so much harder to get press coverage the second time around, because the project is no longer “fresh” and has been covered by various media outlets from numerous angles already in editorial pieces and in a good number of interviews. It was incredibly hard to obtain what coverage we got, and it would be immeasurably harder the second time around. And without media attention a Kickstarter campaign is simply dead in the water.
In addition, many of the original backers would most likely not return to the project either because the project has lost its luster, or because they don’t know it’s around as a result of a lack of exposure stemming from the aforementioned media fatigue. To make matters worse, many backers may think it is still the same campaign that they backed already and would not even investigate it further.
With Christmas approaching fast, a quick restart would have been unfeasible as well, even if we had wanted to just reuse our existing pledge materials against our better judgment. With people spending money on presents, the diversion of the Holidays, travel and vacations, it is probably one of the worst times of the year to actually reach out to people. By the time it is all over and we would have been able to restart, our backers would have moved on to other things, other campaigns, and their emotional attachment to “Deathfire” would have been lost. Pledging on a Kickstarter campaign is mostly a thing of the moment. It lives within that 30 day window, and that is why it was so important for us to launch into “Plan B” while the irons were still hot.
The most critical aspect, however, is that we see no way how we could reach any more people than we did in the first attempt. We have tried our very best to get exposure and coverage with paid advertising, media coverage and outreach. Many of our backers were simply phenomenal in their support, sharing, posting, contacting and reminding people of the “Deathfire” campaign, and there is not much they have not tried, and we owe a great deal of the campaign’s performance to their efforts.
Having said all that, we truly feel that the episodic approach has many, many benefits, and over the coming months we will show you the neat things we have planned to take full advantage of that scenario. It won’t be easy, but it will be fascinating, that’s for sure, as we will try to push the envelope of interactive storytelling in chapters. Since we will not create stand-alone episodes, but chapters in one ever-growing game, it will all seamlessly fit together and give you a game in the end that will hopefully be even richer than our original goal had anticipated.
We thank you sincerely for your support and your trust. We have a reputation of 30 years in the industry to uphold and we will do our darnedest to make “Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore” the most engaging RPG we possibly can.