Campaign cancelled - to be relaunched!
We've taken the difficult decision to cancel the Kickstarter campaign mid-flight. However, this is not the end, and we'll be back to Kickstarter (very) soon! We've had a huge amount of extremely positive feedback, with special thanks in particular to those of you who've backed the campaign at this stage.
Firstly, and most importantly, the campaign isn't predicted to hit its goal of £45,000. Counter-intuitively, this is putting off potential backers from contributing to the campaign, as they see it as having "already failed" (despite the fact their pledges would take us towards the goal), and so most newcomers aren't willing to invest. Nearly all Kickstarter campaigns see an initial burst of backers, with a slump in the middle 2-3 weeks, and usually another burst in the last 48 hours. Despite this hoped-for uptick in backers we don't think it's enough to break the goal and at this stage is now harming the perceived success of the project.
Also importantly, we think there's a few problems with our pledge rewards and pricing. There's too large a gap between different pledge tiers and the value some people are seeing in them, which we believe is turning further backers away.
We'll be re-launching on Kickstarter in the very near future (actual date to be determined). We'll update our all backers when this happens, but you can also opt-in to our mailing list for that and other development updates.
When we re-launch, we'll have a much reduced goal and a completely reworked set of backer rewards and pledge levels.
A note on pricing
We want to make sure that those of you willing to buy into the game at an earlier, very unfinished stage are rewarded with the cheapest price of the game - compared to some studios who decide to charge extra for the privilege of testing an early product.
In the new Kickstarter campaign, the base pledge level will be £10 (~$12.50) for a copy of the game from earliest release, including a free upgrade to a Steam key when we release on Steam.
We've decided that when we launch to early access (initially via either Humble Bundle or Itch.io, and later via Steam) the game will be priced at £15 (~$18.50 USD). Later when we get to our beta phase (a mostly feature-complete stage), as defined by the roadmap, this will increase to £20 (~$25 USD). We don't know yet if we'd increase the price again at the version 1.0 release or not, but that's a long way off from needing a final answer.
Finally, we won't be running any sale-type discounts on the game until it's released to version 1. We think it's particularly upsetting for backers when a game is priced up for its earliest adopters only to receive a 50% or 75% discount a number of months into development.
Why this is good
In addition to the reduced basic pledge tier, every other pledge tier reward will be reworked, set at a lower price, and for the great majority available as an "add-on" reward. We'll also be introducing some new rewards not discussed previously.
This means you'll be able to pick and choose which rewards you want from the campaign rather than being restricted to the current pre-defined set of choices and their ascending prices. If you wanted the 4x copies of the game to share with friends, you can now add on multiple copies at +£10 each for however many (or few) you like. If you like the idea of designing your own settler or legendary artifact, these will also be available as add-ons so you can select which you prefer.
We've learned *a lot* while running this Kickstarter campaign, and we'll apply that knowledge to the new one to make it even more successful. Even some relatively big name indie games such as AI War 2 were unsuccessful in their first Kickstarter campaign only to return with a rework to great success, and we're confident of doing the same.
Why this is bad
The goal with the original Kickstarter campaign was to let the team commit 100% to the development of King under the Mountain to get our Alpha 1 and later releases into the hands of players as quickly as possible. With a reduced goal we'll have to scale this back a bit, meaning that the first alpha release will come a little later than planned - we're going to estimate November or December 2017, though this could be sooner if the new Kickstarter campaign is more successful than expected and reaches towards the original goal.
With a reduced goal we'll instead still have to spend some time on side jobs and contract work to make up the shortfall in funding required to get the game made. However, even a lesser goal will let us spend a lot more time and funding on development than what has brought us up to this point.
Your feedback is important!
Please let us know what you'd like to see changed in the new campaign and we'll be sure to take it on board. As we want to re-launch as soon as possible there won't be enough time to add any significant new features to the playable prototype but you can at least expect some bug fixes and performance improvements.