The frequently asked question: PC port?
(Asked a couple of times so far, anyhow.)
From a comment on the front page:
"Tell me if I have this straight. You will have the ability to make this game run on any platform, and in fact will be doing so, but (except for this temporary limited edition) choosing not to make it available. And choosing to only make it available on a very closed platform? Why?"
Fair question. I've also seen people ask "$25 for an adventure game? Huh?" Which is the same question, from the other end.
I chose the iOS platform because (a) I know how to code for it; (b) Apple handles payment, distribution, and upgrade; (c) it's a new market that isn't as fusticated as the PC world; (d) it's associated in the public mind with ebooks; (e) text games and mobile go together like bacon and caramel. I can make a clean, polished, professional-quality iPhone app to wrap around my game.
Whereas on Windows... sure, I know how to create a game that runs in a Windows interpreter application. All my IF games since 1995 can do that. But that's not the same as creating a polished app. I'd have to learn how, or find someone to work with to do it. I would have to partner with somebody to handle payments. I would have to figure out the marketing and distribution channels of the PC world.
Maybe I can figure out those things. I would like to tackle them. But they are a separate problem to tackle. Writing a game and building an iOS app, in parallel, is as much as I can commit to for one year. I have to maintain focus or I will explode.
So, you ask, what the heck is this "Limited Edition" doing on my page?
Well, what can I release without exploding? Well, I could mail you a CD containing the portable game file, a freeware Windows interpreter, a freeware Mac interpreter, and pointers to some more interpreters for Linux and so on.
That would be very easy to produce. But as a product in the PC gaming market, it would be a total failure. (Or I would have done it ten years ago!) No marketing, no installer, no polish. Who would buy that? Answer: people who are already committed IF fans; people who want a Zarf game specifically. I don't have to market to them; they're already at my Kickstarter page. They already know how to set up an IF interpreter.
Presto, a terrible product idea turns into a terrific reward for Kickstarter contributors. The Limited Edition is for the people who will appreciate it, who want to donate $25 to the cause -- however many or few they may be. I hope for "many"... but it's not what I'm selling. My product is a $5 iPhone game.
Once the iOS app is out, then I'll decide what comes next. I've already said I will look into Android and other mobile ports. I want to release my game -- successfully -- on Mac, Windows, and everything else under the sun. But I can't make promises about plans that I have not yet made.
(The "all mobile" clause on my rewards list is a special case. Everybody who donates $3 or more gets the iPhone game. But some of those people don't have iPhones. I want to do what I can for them, even the ones who aren't at the $25 level. An Android (or other mobile) port would be equivalent value. I can't promise that will happen, but I can promise that if there is an Android port, they'll get it. Best I can do right now.)
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Hadean Lands for iPhone. A $5 value! (If I ever port to Android or Kindle or any other mobile platform, you can have those versions too, for free.)
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Hadean Lands collectible postcard! With bonus IF quick reference on back. (And also the game for iPhone, plus any mobile ports.)
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Hadean Lands Limited Edition: shipped on a rune-inscribed CD. Playable on Mac/PC/Linux. This will *only* be available through Kickstarter. (Plus the game for iPhone, and the postcard.)
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Hadean Lands full-page, full-color map poster! This map will be part of the game docs, but this poster will be larger and prettier. (Plus the game for Mac/PC/etc, and iPhone, and the postcard.) (Belated note: the poster will be added to all rewards $50 and larger.)
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Your name will appear in Hadean Lands, in some form, as an ancient alchemist or sage or spell-rubric. ("The Sulphuric Dragon of Andricus Plotinus", that kind of thing.) (Plus the game for Mac/PC/etc, and iPhone, and the postcard.)
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You will have access to the closed beta-testing phase of the game. Early access! Opportunity to offer feedback! (Plus the game for Mac/PC/etc, and iPhone, and the postcard.)
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You will be credited in the game as a Hero of the Calcination. (Plus the game for Mac/PC/etc, and iPhone, and the postcard.)
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You will receive the source code of the game, for your edification and amusement, as a printed volume. (Plus special credit as Hero of the Dissolution, and the game for Mac/PC/etc, and iPhone, and the postcard.)
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A mystical alchemical calligraphical formula of ancient (made-up) lore, hand-written on (freshly-made) ancient paper. With incomprehensible mystical symbols! (Plus special credit as Hero of the Coagulation, and the game for Mac/PC/etc, and iPhone, and the postcard.)
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The traditional Kickstarter "I'll fly out to visit you and bake you cookies!" offer. (Continental US only please.) We can hang out and talk about IF, or play the game together, or go out for Peruvian -- whatever's agreeable. Plus all of the above.
- (36 days)