THORVALLA an RPG by Guido Henkel (Canceled) project video thumbnail
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$47,074 pledged of $1,000,000 goal
$47,074 pledged of $1,000,000 goal

The ship is lost…

When we started the Kickstarter campaign for Thorvalla, we did so with the best of intentions, to build an exciting role-playing game, putting to use our countless years of experience in the industry and knowledge how to build solid RPGs. It took a lot of work to prepare this campaign and it took the team two months to prepare the initial pitch and the materials to go with it, so it was not something we took lightly.

At this point, however, it has become evident that there is not enough interest in and public support for such a game, and that we will not able to raise the funds necessary to make Thorvalla.

We are therefore canceling this campaign.

But not all is lost. The project may not have found the backing we needed to make it a reality, but if nothing else, it showed us that many of you do care. The 1,300+ backers, the countless messages and posts are testimony to that, not to mention the generous financial support many of you pledged. Many of you wanted to see this game made very badly, and we know how disappointed you must feel at this time.

Believe me, when I say that we feel with you and we feel for you. You are the real fans and you will always have a special place in our hearts as those who believed in us and our vision!

Even though it didn’t succeed, we are very proud of Thorvalla, and we are glad that we tried, rather than never having tried at all.

Thank you all so much for your support.

The Thorvalla Team


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    1. Missing avatar

      Sven Dufva on December 6, 2012

      I agree with Kogi - better PR would have helped this immensely. I just happened upon this myself, but after reading about Thorvalla I immediately pledged, and I believe other people would have done the same. But I never saw anything about this project on any site other than Kickstarter itself!
      So please, wait a few months, allow the christmas buying sprees to fade away, and try again - but also try to get the word out! We backers will help, but we can only do so much.
      I believe that Thorvalla can generate the interest (and funding) possible if only people will find out about it!

    2. Missing avatar

      Kogi on December 6, 2012

      Guys, first of all: it's really bad time. There were couple of other great game projects such as Wasteland 2 and Eternity Project, that got reeeealy large part of cake. I think that fans pledged some of their money and simply can't afford this project in the way they would otherwise.
      Second: really try to get better marketing and PR. If it wasn't for my friend I would never had known that anything like Thorvalla ever existed. Please, try in couple of months again.

    3. Lyndon Trafalski on December 6, 2012

      I hope you guys don't give up trying to make games. Really would like another proper Dark Eye RPG since Radon Labs who made Drakensang went bankrupt.

    4. Sardu on December 4, 2012

      Still hope, to see a new Game in the future from Guido....

    5. Weresheep of Sin AKA Stefan
      on December 4, 2012

      Pity. Planescape Torment and the "Das Schwarze Auge" Trilogy were among my favorite RPGs.
      I for once thought the pitch ok, but ... I only learned about the project yesterday (and then backed it). Now I believe I'm somebody who tries to stay informed, but it seems to me that - at least in Germany - Kickstarter and especially your project are not really well-known.

      Good luck ... and maybe Thorvalla is not completely dead.

    6. Nemo Pohle on December 4, 2012

      I can't really put a finger on why this failed. For me it was due to the bad timing. I spent $500 this year already for all the great kickstarters there were and although I really liked the concept of Thorvalla I couldn't afford another boxed edition. Well - in six months things would have been different.

      Then the norse mythology doesn't seem to resonate with a lot of people. I also didn't get to see a lot of coverage. Thinking of other projects I saw a plethora of interviews and press coverage, here not so much after some initial blips on the gaming press radar.

      I also think a lot of people really want to see results now and not go into another kickstarter. If you wait for a year, when one of the high profiles (Wasteland 2, Double Fine) is released that might be a great time to re-launch this. Well, best of luck.

    7. Thomas Lichte on December 4, 2012

      Pity it did not work.

      I for my part would even be willing to put money on the disposal, only to a reasonable demo can be created to try to get a fresh start on Kickstarter. Unfortunately, it will not be realised as Guido Henkel said.

      I just hope there will be more Kickstarter campaigns with similar ideas. I would like to once again play a decent roleplaying on the computer and not always this shallow console-stuff.

      If you should try it sometime again Gudio I will be back and support you.

    8. Avarchillion on December 4, 2012

      come on put a paypal link up and you will get at least part of your funding that way.

    9. GhanBuriGhan - WOOS Wose on December 4, 2012

      The ship's not lost, just way of course, I hope - I hope there will till be a spritual successor to RoA somewhere in your future, Mr. Henkel. Until then, may your keel stay wet, your sails full of wind, and the cargo hold full of fermented Herring...

    10. Mark on December 4, 2012

      Awwww man :-( This looked so promising!

    11. Gurney on December 4, 2012

      Probably this required some additional preparation work.
      1 - I discovered the project only a few hours before cancellation. So I guess more communication upstream was necessary.
      2 - I guess at least some funding must be found prior to the KS campaign so that some kind of preliminary demon can be shown. This is key for credibility and for people to understand what thy would pledge for.
      I hope the project will be back at some point...

    12. Mikkel Georgsen on December 3, 2012

      This was due to a bad pitch - I backed because I could see the potential, a lot couldn't.

      Continue work on it and when the story/lore/mechanics is finished try again :)

    13. Missing avatar

      Peace on December 3, 2012

      I'm sorry to hear this, although the writing was on the wall. I know you said earlier that this was your one shot and that you won't be redoing the kickstarter, and I understand the financial reasons for that, but you should be aware that the kickstarter's success is not necessarily an indication of interest. Those of us who pledged did so on faith in you, based on your past work and the glimpses shown in this project. There are many who would pledge for this game, but require more substantial information about the game, the scope and clear indication that you're able to pull it off.

      I know it's hard to look at a project like this from the outside, but your past work in the field is over a decade ago, with now defunct companies. This means that tapping that fanbase is hard, and it's even harder when people don't have an indication that you are able to pull it off. I'm sure you put in a lot of work setting this up, and you're confident that you could pull it off if it were funded, but most people need more substantial proof that you still have what it takes to make a great game. When people lack information, things like not having picked an engine or perspective, and an unclear combat system are easy to take as indicators that not enough planning has been done, even if it actually has.

      There are two ways to sell a kickstarter, either on name recognition or on a fully fleshed out proof of concept that needs funds to be executed to completion. Your name and experience carries enough weight that you wouldn't need a prototype to get funding, but not enough that you can get funding, especially at the million dollar level, without a much clearer indication of how big the game is going to be, how it's going to look, how it's going to actually play and most importantly why the team you've assembled is good enough to pull it off. Your updates concentrated mainly on lore, and it's great to know the world is fleshed out, but to me that's not as important as how that lore is going to be used storywise and gameplaywise.

    14. Stephan Hammes on December 3, 2012

      That's very sad... but you should try again!

      Even if it takes years for you to try again. We will be here to back your project!

    15. Hideo Kuze on December 3, 2012

      "it has become evident that there is not enough interest in and public support for such a game"
      While it may look like it, it isn't so.
      The problem was with the pitch that failed to convey what type of game this is and explain its gameplay mechanics.
      Additionally, people need to see something... may it be a gameplay video from a prototype or images or concept. They need to get the feel of it.
      There have been KS projects that didn't do that but they were peculiar ones, for different reasons.
      I sincerely hope - maybe in Feb or March - you gather all the work that was produced so far and all the feedback you got, and condense it into a pitch video.
      It will be much better than the current one and be able to create the required initial momentum.
      Decreasing the game scope/size and asking for a smaller amount can also help a lot in giving confidence that the project will get funded, which in turn is able to garner more backers.
      Like I said in another comment, when people feel the project isn't going to make it then they don't pledge anyway... the so called collective action problem.
      So, ironically, having a strong pitch is possibly the most important in a KS campaign.

    16. MattK: Pathfinder inXile for Eternity on December 3, 2012

      You definitely have whatever money I can spare behind you if you try again!

    17. Missing avatar

      Mars on December 3, 2012

      Ah damn it. I have been really lookling forward to this.

      Lasst das erstmal sacken, vielleicht geht ja noch was! ;) Kommt Zeit, kommt Rat (hoffe ich für euer Projekt(e), und für uns Fans)!

    18. Missing avatar

      Michael Simon on December 3, 2012

      It's sad the projects ended here, sure it's started slow, but I had still some shards of hope the project would get some momentum when started catching some audience, especially U. S. American audience.

      My point is, and I don't want to hurt anyones feeling here, that Germany don't really counts for Kickstarter. I mean with Project Giana another heavyweight of German computer games history barely made it. And they were maybe two month before completion of the game with gameplay fotage and even a demo for some levels. I'm not sure if it's general awareness or the language barrier or the difficulties with payment, i mean not even uses amazon payments.

      Nevertheless Thorvalla is/was a great project with some intelligent and different ideas that would have deserved being funded and I would like to which the entire team of Thorvalla the best luck for whatever the plans for the future are.

    19. Missing avatar

      Christopher M. Carter on December 3, 2012

      I am also sorry that this won't be made; I wish that one day it might be reconsidered. I liked the pitch, and the data about it, and the updates looked great. You never know in the future, but for now, I am sorry to see it cancelled. You had my full support.

    20. Darklord on December 3, 2012

      Really sorry to hear this. I hope you do try and bring something out again in the future.

    21. Ziffy "zifnabbe"
      on December 3, 2012

      this is a pitty...

      Good luck!

    22. Nordwin on December 3, 2012

      Please Guido, don´t bury Thorvalla forever! I hope that someday I will hold the box of Thorvalla in my hands and enjoy a game of perfection ;)

    23. Missing avatar

      zack_the_backer on December 3, 2012

      It´s a mystery that this campaign got so less resonance. But it was simply not present enough out there. I´m sure that the biggest part of the possible audience did never hear about Thorvalla.
      Even on Kickstarter it wasn´t sure that you´ll see it after the first few days.

      On the other hand i have to admit that the pitch could have started at least 10 days later or so. The crowd that did not play Arcadia and people who don´t know your name needed some more graphics, animations and maybe boobs and blood ;-)
      I read a lot of: "Why is he doing an anime-RPG?" or: "it´ll be a tactical combat game with trading cards". The viking artwork and the dragon should have been included in the first place. Also decisions about the perspective etc. should have been taken before the start.

      It was also risky to aim for the old-school players and then offer them something new they did not understand (combat system with cards) without explaining it more. It should have been explained more detailled and deeply OR left away (at least in the pitch).

      That does not explain the $47k, but the campaign could have been initalised better.

      In the end i´m just sad.
      Please retry it one day. Thorvalla can become reality.

    24. Muad'Dib on December 3, 2012

      I'm not surprised.
      The project lacked enthusiasm and professionalism.

    25. Petr Kelbl on December 3, 2012

      there is interest and public support, but you went wrong with so high goal. i think $400,000 would be better next time. and most importantly - Kickstarter is quite saturated with various RPGs and you cant hope for getting over 1,000,000 after Project Eternity and Wasteland 2. count with me next time, but think about the goal through and through!!!

    26. alcaray on December 3, 2012

      If you decide to try another project, be sure to post an update here. Then we (if we have not turned the option off) will all get email notifications.

    27. Missing avatar

      Ufuk Deniz on December 3, 2012

      You should not feel heartbroken in any way. What you did in terms of working for your goal even without any promises shows that you care in what you do. It's been a pleasure backing you guys even though you didn't make it this time. I hope you keep trying and am sure you'll succeed sooner than you'd expect.

    28. erik on December 3, 2012

      " It took a lot of work to prepare this campaign and it took the team two months to prepare the initial pitch and the materials to go with it, so it was not something we took lightly."

      It did not show and you have only yourself to blame. Sorry.

    29. gandalf.nho
      on December 3, 2012

      I agree with my fellow backers about to try again, but only after the holiday period and prepare a stronger pitch with some animations like the dragon one and avoiding concept art with a style different from the real one and maybe a lesser goal. And regarding in-game things exclusive for backers avoid big things like a dungeon, stick to cosmetic things

    30. Julien
      on December 3, 2012

      Damn - another great projects that did not make it ... I wish all the best in the future and I hope you will find the funds for this game, one way or another guys

    31. Missing avatar

      duncan10r on December 3, 2012

      I could write that in english, but its late noq and iam tired, so in german: Es ist sehr sehr schade Guido. Ich hoffe doch sehr, du lässt dich jetzt nicht total davon abschrecken und machst irgendwann einen neuen Anlauf. An der Kampagne an sich war nichts auszusetzen. Tolle Bilder, das gedachte Konzept kam auch gut rüber- ich habe wirklich keine Ahnung warum der Anklang so gering war. Vielleicht haben die Leute alle keine Kohle mehr nach den letzten Kampagnen oder wollen einfach abwarten was aus den bereits erfolgreich finanzierten Dingen wird. Ich finde das, wie schon erwähnt, sehr schade. Letztendlich müsste eigentlich schon deine Deutsche Fanbase ausreichen um 1 Mille zusammen zubekommen. Das wäre ein tolles Spiel geworden, wie traurig...wie gesagt, ich hoffe doch sehr das man dennoch bald mal wieder was von dir sieht. Es war ja Jahre leider sehr still. Sollte es wieder über Crowdfunding gehen bin ich der erste der spendet.

    32. Missing avatar

      Svetlin Balcanski on December 3, 2012

      It's very sad. All I can say is, that if in the future Guido or Neal are willing to create a game, I'll be here.

    33. Michael Beurskens
      on December 3, 2012

      This is really sad.
      You should try again in February or March 2013 with more assets (images, music, etc.).

    34. Missing avatar

      odintsaq on December 3, 2012

      Arm yourselves and launch another campaign, with more media attention and more graphics and screenshots for the indecisive backers and it could be done next time. I'll be waiting!

    35. Missing avatar

      PatrickT on December 3, 2012

      Too bad, I was really hoping this project would make it.
      Es sah zwar nicht so aus, aber man wird noch träumen dürfen...

      Nonetheless, I wish you guys all the best for your future projects and hope to hear from you again soon.

    36. Alexander Lyakhov on December 3, 2012

      @Guido & Neal: Don`t surrender. If you will have the opportunity, give it a new try. The games you made were too awesome to be forgotten.

    37. Fernando Fernandes on December 3, 2012

      Too bad. :-( Well, better luck next time. I'll be a baker again. :-)

    38. MattK: Pathfinder inXile for Eternity on December 3, 2012

      (sorry for the typo: "Kickstarter" not "Lackluster") damn autocorrect!

    39. MattK: Pathfinder inXile for Eternity on December 3, 2012

      Hey, maybe you could "kick it forward" and send an update to your backers about other great gaming Lackluster projects out there?

      Some ideas:

      Pathfinder Online:

      Telepath Tactics:

    40. KevinP on December 3, 2012

      Pity, my view is that it is bad timing. On the back of several large kick starters, you are now moving into Christmas territory. Suggest you rethink about launching in Q1 2013. Best wishes for the future.

    41. MattK: Pathfinder inXile for Eternity on December 3, 2012

      Noooo! I was so excited about this project!