by Matt Gilgenbach
MrPendent - I'm not sure what to do about that. The latest demo is digitally signed and there's nothing the least bit malicious about it. It's possible that Norton flags things as malicious when not many people have used it. That's the way Windows 8 smart screen works (if they are unsigned), but perhaps Norton is doing something similar. It’s something to look into for the actual game, but I don't have time to try and address it for the demo.
S.D. – I’ve definitely been trying to leverage all my connections, but I will definitely hit them up even more next week. There are some campaigns that I am excited about, but I was always worried to mention them because it might seem weird to be asking people to fund other projects when I am trying to get more money to fund mine, but I like your philosophy, so I’ll give it a try.
Sterling – Yeah, it’s funny that the game has a similar name to the Neverending Story, and it terrified me as a child. Maybe that’s why the word seemed like such a good fit. The flashes of violence are most likely going to be in what I call “mini-nightmares” – basically short cutscenes of terrible things that you wake up from in between transitions.
I wouldn’t say that the fact that it focuses on my personal fears is enough to carry the entire game, I do think it really gets people interested when they start to play the game. I do agree that really the game shines because we have a number of interesting parts working together. If we just chose to do one thing well, I don’t think the game would really work.
The birthday balloon is kind of a joke. My wife gives me balloons and decorations sometimes (I have the “happy birthday”, “Love you”, and “happy anniversary”), and I keep them up year round because they remind me how sweet my wife is. Good catch though!
John GT – I am hoping the 48ers will really help. I’m definitely not giving up on the project and will continue to push it as hard as I can. :)
StranaMente – I’m definitely interested in doing add ons. Your feedback is valuable. I can probably split out some of the digital rewards and maybe offer some physical goods as well. I did email Cara twice, but I never heard back. I emailed someone else at RPS as well, so hopefully they’ll give us some support – especially because we are launching simultaneously on computers now. :)
This would be the time to introduce add-ons and extra bits and bolts to make people raise their pledge, or to lure some one with some extra with just some buck more.
Personally I'd love to have the digital art book, but am not interested in the music, so the 50$ is too high, for example, so you could offer that as an add on.
You could offer downloads for your previous game as an add on, or even better (if possible) free with every pledge of 25$ or more.
I don't know if you already did, but you could try to write to Cara Ellison, she wrote an article on your game for RPS, so maybe she's interested in writing some more? Many game's journalists do not appreciate the pressure from a crowd of people and do not react well to mass mails, so you may have a better chance with them.
This is all I can think of for now, I hope it helps.
There's always that last push when all the Forty-Eighters get their "Remind Me" notices en masse two days before closing. If your project is close-ish to full funding, often enough of them will jump on board to fill that final gap. But don't stop advertising!
Wow I finally get it. So Neverending Nightmares is actually the spiritual successor to NEverending story, but you play the CHild from it, grown up and suffering from all a severe mental disorder (or two) caused by what he experienced in that story/movie! Wow.. this is going to ROCK..
*cough* Just kidding man.
I actually agree with you on Event horizon. I saw it in college (watch who yer calling old.. I think I am a few years older than you buddy! LOL ) and what I found interesting about ti was that the horrific imagery (and hell even the sound design for that recording) resonated with a dark part of my mind that I am aware of and have come to terms with, but often do not see filmmakers, storytellers or artists channel. It was disturbing to see something so..familiar. I don't think you need to channel stuff like that for this game. It works well for the trailer, it has to for such a short film/plug/trailer to be effective. So I was glad you didn't do anything like that in the demo. As well I wouldn't expect to see flashes of violent/gorey/nasty scenes interspersed in a tense but normal game scene..
I will agree I am intrigued by the fact the game will focus in and detail a number of your personal fears and psychological quirks. I think if done well it could be really amazing put into a game. But I don't think I ever considered that the 'hook'. So far it's been the sum of it's parts. Those aspects, the audio design in the demo, the choice of Ed Gorey art style, and a chance to make a creepy disturbing or horrific game that doesn't use cheap scare tactics and cliche devices we've seen 100x over. I love the combination of these details, it gives it a uniqueness and fresh angle on the genre that I hope will be brilliant, and inspiring to other game designers.
I am sorry the campaign is not flooding your coffers with cash. As I said I will continue to follow this and up my contributions as our dialogue continues. Also, Happy Birthday! or whomever just had one. I maybe missed it but I see the Birthday Balloon in frame with this video. Cheers!
Having a spike of funds could mean a number of things (some nefarious), so to keep it in context, I think it's equally relevant to check out the backer count increases toward the end of AR-K:
Hundreds of new backers in the final three days! The way they did it was to promote the project like crazy, constantly, and calling in every friend in the media they could (their writer, Greg Rucka, brought in large swaths of his fan-base). Matt, I assume you've reached out strongly to all of your friends and contacts in indie games, and asked for their support via their social media channels, blogs, podcasts, etc. It's hard to overstate how important those are. Also, it is now a tradition on Kickstarter for campaign creators to turn their backers on to other projects that are interesting to them. One doesn't have to call their backers to action to help raise awareness. For example, I'm supporting a couple of small promising projects, one which funded and one which has a good start. In an update, the campaign creator of the first (wo succeeded with an incredibly modest $7.5k goal) said some nice things about the creator of the second (an indie dev buddy of his, it seems). When Kickstarter campaigns altruistically help each other with promotion, regardless of reciprocation, we see over and over that the rising tide lifts all boats.
The best way is to modestly mention one or two at the end of an update, and briefly state why they are interesting to you. That way you don't spend an entire update to feel like you're spamming another campaign on your backers, and by stating why they are interesting to you (rather than calling us to action), you can feel good about doing it.
It's worth a shot, it's a wonderful thing to do, and I strongly suggest it. It may be counter-intuitive, but I've seen it have a lovely effect on at least fifty or so of the projects I've backed, possibly more. :-)
Matt: I just tried to launch the demo and Norton stopped it, claiming that there were signs of malicious code (drive-by download) in it. I'm sure this is a false positive so I wanted to let you know. My definitions were updated approximately 40 minutes ago. I realize that Norton is not 100% (hell--it's probably not 75%) but still...
Feel free to message me if you want more information.