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$17,589 pledged of $49,500 goal
$17,589 pledged of $49,500 goal

Goodbye, Kickstarter.

So the Prisonscape Kickstarter didn't succeed. Our goal was to get 49 500 USD and there's little over 17 000 USD with only 46 hours to go. Getting this sort of money at the final hours is not unheard of, but for many reasons we decided not to go for the final push. It was a good run, and we had plenty of coverage from the press and at least people now know about Prisonscape. 
What comes to reasons for the campaign failing, I really can't pinpoint any single thing, but here are some of my guesses: 
  • We didn't have a demo or enough gameplay in the KS video. Some of the bigger sites were asking for a build. It's not given that they'd write about your game, but with stable and polished we would've had better chance in getting those big articles
  • Not enough press coverage on the big sites. Not many big sites wrote about us, and so we didn't get enough traffic on the campaign page.
  • The beginning was too slow. The campaign really needed those big numbers to look like a successful campaign. This could be me speculating, but I checked some successful campaigns and they all had a very strong start.
  • PR mails were sent too late. This could partially explain the slow start. We sent the promo mails AFTER we launched, because we wanted to provide the KS link in the e-mails. We got plenty of articles but they were probably too late and people were already speculating that this will another failed Kickstarter.
  • Our goal was too high. This has been said many times, but I still feel that our goal was reasonable when you take a look at the budgeting.

I'm really happy that we have a big number of backers and if you exclude friends and family, all of this money came from organic sources. I know that some people grow their total pledge amount with some of their own money, and there's nothing wrong with that, but we decided against it and it was fantastic to see that over 1000 people were ready to fund our game.

So what happens now? Well, we keep on making the game, of course! There's no reason to quit altogether after one adversity - we just have to learn from out mistakes and do things better next time. We have already started by launching a pre-order on Paypal:

Our next goal is to make a great demo for the Prisonscape beta team, the press and for the Youtubers which hopefully brings more attention towards the game. We also want to build a good community which gives us feedback and new ideas about the game, and we're hoping that YOU would be part of it by pre-ordering the game.

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who supported us, and remember, this is not the end of Prisonscape!

Best regards,

- The Prisonscape team

Mirza, Jordan Drexel, and 11 more people like this update.


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    1. Lunar Enigma 2-time creator on May 8, 2014

      @Michael: We already have pre-order on our site, check out:

    2. Michael on May 8, 2014

      I will gladly support the game however I can. Maybe a Humble Store preorder option now?

    3. Missing avatar

      Jabberwok on May 8, 2014

      As some people have said, I don't think your goal seemed too high. I've backed a lot of games on kickstarter, and 50,000 is on the low end, even for smaller studios.

      If you decide to kickstart again, I agree that a strong demo is a must. If you don't have one, I think it's pretty tough these days for anyone who isn't already a well-established studio.

      I was pretty intrigued by this, and I'd love to play a demo if one comes out. I probably won't preorder until then, though, mostly because there are just a million games out there lately. I don't know about other KSers, but I've had to be more selective lately to keep from spending copious amounts of money.

    4. Missing avatar

      KoChanneo on May 8, 2014

      The target seemed pretty reasonable, but damn a lot of it was going to taxes.

      I think if you'd had more PR, it might've gone better. The other campaign I was watching when this started, The Red Solstice, Twitter never shut up about them. There were articles on the big sites, they had a lot of playable stuff going on and in general they were being very noisy the whole time. Even then they only scraped by.

      This was very, very quiet in comparison, and I actually found it through the Kickstarter front page rather than any actual press. Do it again at some point, and do more PR next time!

    5. Missing avatar

      Jupp3 on May 7, 2014

      I don't see the target unreasonable at all, but I'd question renting offices, as that seemed to be a big money drain (and not having it would allow slightly less unreasonable salaries) - might be nice to have some "common place" though, perhaps have meetings if some school could provide space after hours? (or just more quiet bar)

      In any case, look at the positive side, and consider this free promotion. The game is now definitely more widely known than before the campaign.

      Another thing, did you contact any other similar enough projects? I've seen it happen a few times that a project gets advertised in other projects' status update, and gets a boost in amount of pledges.

    6. Jorge Palanca on May 7, 2014

      +1 to that pre-order through PayPal and wishing you all the luck out there!

    7. NetherWind Games on May 7, 2014

      Sorry guys, I feel like we will be approaching the same boat. We are going to keep pushing though! I'll preorder later from you guys.

      Good luck.

    8. Eugene Ivanov on May 7, 2014

      otherwise you get in a real long-term development with no funds for it. It is a bad practice.

    9. Dermott
      on May 7, 2014

      count me in! I just pledged for beta via paypal. I really want to play this game. Now gimme the beta *kidding*

    10. Torment- The Enduring Exile on May 7, 2014

      Goal was totally reasonable. The PR wasn't there, I agree.

      I'm hoping over to put in for a beta tier. My suggestion is to get on Steam EA if you are greenlit. It's a great way to get your work out there and get press.

    11. 8 Bit Pxl Games on May 7, 2014

      You should definitely do a second campaign if this one doesn't make it. I always back a project again if it relaunches just like Red Goddess was mentioned by Saodhar. You may not reach your this time, but this was definitely good exposure for you. Don't give up yet.

    12. Saodhar
      on May 7, 2014

      Second campaign might be a good option. It will solve the slow start problem for sure. You could also tweak the campaign goal for it. look at the second "Red Goddess" camaign. It got almost half funded in under a day.
      And please don't abandon the project - it looks really nice.
      If you won't be starting a new campaign - I'll back the game through PayPal on my current pledge level.

    13. Lunar Enigma 2-time creator on May 7, 2014

      @Aumus: We feel that Paypal is better way to go at this point, but we'll consider launching a new campaign once we have something more concrete on our hands.

      @rachaar: We'll let the campaign run until the end and we might even do some updates.

    14. rachaar on May 7, 2014

      I mean, you might want to wait to see what happens with people who had Kickstarter set up to remind them about this project. I was one of them and I just got an email twenty minutes ago - and immediately backed the project! In a couple of hours people will start coming home from work. It's not impossible. I admit it's really weird for me to have just backed this project and then get this update in my inbox...

    15. Jordan Drexel on May 7, 2014

      Why not also relaunch the campaign? I saw a good amount of other projects do that and learn from the first time what they could have done. Their second time was a success!

    16. Missing avatar

      Mirza on May 7, 2014


      So any game that doesnt get backed on kickstarter should be abandoned?

    17. Eugene Ivanov on May 7, 2014

      >>So what happens now? Well, we keep on making the game, of course!

      I think it's a bad idea. If it doesn't get backed, it's better to start a new project.