Author Topic: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!  (Read 3824 times)

Offline x4000

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(Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« on: November 15, 2016, 11:19:41 AM »
Hey everybody!

Here's the new kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/arcengames/770186919?token=af1fc0b9

We'd love to get your feedback on it from a perspective of how well this sells the game to you in the very early part of the page (that stuff in the What Is AI War 2 section) in particular, as well as the more detailed stuff further down.

There are a lot of graphics missing here, and a few places where there is a ~*~ and a note that some particular content is missing.  The video is just the video from the first campaign, right now.

The rewards have been redone somewhat, particularly as you get into the higher tiers.  A lot of the things that we offered the first time are not things we can offer anymore now that we've got a reduced scope and staff.  However, we'd love to hear about other ideas if you have them.

There are also now Addons noted, and I'd love your feedback on those.

The risks and challenges section has been updated a bit, and the Arcen section also has been moved and shrunk and rewritten.  Overall there's a whole lot less text floating around here, which is the idea.

I took out the budget section from before, because it's a bit fuzzier this time.  There are a number of pieces of work that I'm doing or that Blue is doing that Arcen is funding directly instead of the kickstarter funding them, and so the chart starts to look even more misleading when you show it in that fashion.  We still have a very detailed budget, but I'm not sure that the breakdown we had was all that interesting to folks before.

The "current feature status" section is also gone, because it seemed pretty clear that people weren't reading that in the first place even if they were really into the game, so it's better to just save that space I figure.

If there are things you feel like should be on there that are not, though, then please let us know!  Overall I'm trying to make a condensed and convincing message that isn't overwhelming people with the sheer volume this time.

Cheers!
Chris
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Offline Apathetic

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Re: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2016, 01:37:23 PM »
In general it looks good, though I thought the first looked fine so /shrug.  My comments are only about the various reward tiers.

Pledge levels critique:

The one thing that seemed a bit odd and took me some reason to figure out was the multitude of different backer levels that were very similar.  The first 9 tiers that provide rewards are 3 sets of the following: Early bird X, Regular X, super X.  To me, it might clarify things if only 1 of those levels had much of a description, then the others were modifications to that.  So it could be

Early Bird Launch Backer:
<stuff>

Launch Backer:
same as early bird launch backer.

Bionic Launch Backer:
Same as Launch Backer (Or list as early bird launch backer)
+Bionic Dues
+Skyward Collapse

Also the $26 pledge level seems a bit out of place.  All other pledges are a multiple of $5.  The other potentially important thing to mention is that in the first iteration of this kickstarter the early backer beta tester level did not get completely claimed.

The sound track being added to the Alpha backer level, but not the early Alpha backer level seems an interesting decision, though I'm guessing it has something to do with royalty payments...



Rewards tier image critique:

For clarity, in the Rewards Section, it lists that all pledges over $XXX get YYY.  Does that count pledge Addons?  So if I buy just the Launch Backer then add 3 additional copies of the game do I get all the additional rewards?

Also the Rewards image lists a number of items as 'New Rewards!', new to what?  This is a new kickstarter, these are only new to the first iteration.

I think either the 'Name a planet' reward should be removed from the rewards image, and moved to a text based entry like the other rewards that are $100+, or the other $100+ rewards added to the reward image.

In some instances I've seen projects that had numerous backer levels end up with a backer tier / reward matrix, which seemed to simplify things.  Though those projects' reward tiers were a bit more complex.

Offline Lakshata

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Re: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2016, 02:26:00 PM »
I think the main things it needs, and I'm not sure if it's possible, are a screenshot of the new UI, and a video of an actual planet conquest or something.

Offline nas1m

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Re: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2016, 02:59:06 PM »
Sounds really good to me, especially the introductory section.
I agree that a snippet in of real gameplay would go a very long way to promote the game as far as the new video is concerned.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2016, 03:20:59 PM »
Pledge levels critique:

The one thing that seemed a bit odd and took me some reason to figure out was the multitude of different backer levels that were very similar.  The first 9 tiers that provide rewards are 3 sets of the following: Early bird X, Regular X, super X.  To me, it might clarify things if only 1 of those levels had much of a description, then the others were modifications to that.

Yeah. I agree with this.

Offline x4000

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Re: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2016, 04:22:24 PM »
Thanks all!  Keep it coming. :)

Regarding the backer levels: I've put together a number of changes on there that make them both more brief and hopefully calls out the differences better.  I like having the full list of things on each one, because typically when I'm backing something and it says "plus all prior reward tiers," that gets annoying to figure out what I'm supposed to be getting.  Plus when it's things like getting the game earlier, does that mean I get two copies?  Etc.  That said, I also had how verbose it gets; I condensed it as much as I could, but perhaps even more could be helpful?  Thoughts welcome.

Regarding the graphic and the addons not being clear: really good point on that.  I've put a note in the rewards section at the top.  Does that cover it well enough?

Regarding the rewards image vs rewards text in that section: those will all be in an image later, FYI.  It's just not set up fully yet.

Regarding the soundtrack, I've moved that to now also be in the early bird version of that.  It bugged me, too.

Regarding some of the dollar amounts seeming odd ($26), well, now a lot of the dollar amounts are changed up a bit.  Everything is a multiple of two, but that's it now. ;)

Regarding screenshots of the GUI, I'm not sure if we'll have a version of that we're going to be completely ready to show off yet, but we'll see.  In general regarding images, that stuff is coming but it's specifically omitted right now because I'm redoing all that stuff with newer graphics, etc.

Same deal with the gameplay.
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Offline Tridus

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Re: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2016, 04:59:28 PM »
Windows XP support? Wow. That seems like a waste of support effort in this day and age since we're talking about 1% of users on the Steam hardware survey (and dropping fast).

There's mk I badges and mk IV badges, with some gaps. I presume that's WIP.

There's a huge gap between the $16 tier and tiers that come with AI War 2 stuff. The soundtrack shows up at $44, but then we're up to $72 to name a planet. The only other things in between there are games I already have. Naming a planet used to be $65 and the "message in a bottle" stuff was in the middle, so it seemed like a smoother ramp up in tiers. I guess if you want the other games it would feel better, but for me it feels off.

There's a $100 tier that gives you copies at 1.0 release, surrounded by alpha access tiers. That's awkward. It almost seems like you could eliminate that tier entirely with an Addon: "Additional copies of AI War 2 at 1.0 release: Add $20 per copy."

Offline x4000

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Re: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2016, 05:19:24 PM »
Quote
Windows XP support? Wow. That seems like a waste of support effort in this day and age since we're talking about 1% of users on the Steam hardware survey (and dropping fast).

Those are simply the minimum requirements for unity itself.  We don't have to do anything special to support that OS -- it just works.  Which is nice!

Quote
There's mk I badges and mk IV badges, with some gaps. I presume that's WIP.

Hmm? I'm not seeing the gap you refer to.

Quote
There's a huge gap between the $16 tier and tiers that come with AI War 2 stuff. The soundtrack shows up at $44, but then we're up to $72 to name a planet. The only other things in between there are games I already have. Naming a planet used to be $65 and the "message in a bottle" stuff was in the middle, so it seemed like a smoother ramp up in tiers. I guess if you want the other games it would feel better, but for me it feels off.

I'm open to suggestions, but basically we've had to retool things somewhat so that we can actually afford to do the backer rewards now.  Blue now has vastly less time on the project, so the art things we can offer is down.  The voice stuff is comparably cheap and so we can offer that still, and a bit lower priced.  The name a planet stuff is overall pretty cheap, but we have to have something to give to folks past a certain threshold.  I'd be amenable to moving that lower and then having something else that people can name or... something... higher up where it is.

But now it's Keith and I that have to sort all that stuff, since we no longer have Jack, etc.  Though Cinth can probably help some.  But we're just way shorter on people and time in general, when it comes to backer reward fulfillment.  We haven't set up anything we can't do, don't get me wrong -- we're quite capable of doing what we're promising.  But that's part of why prices and availability for things shifted around a lot, and in general the tiers are different.

Our strongest asset that we are able to give away that doesn't cost us anything new is copies of our existing games.  Not that exciting for the hardcore fans of Arcen, but for people just stopping by on kickstarter hopefully that grabs them.

I do agree with you that it feels off to not have things show up until that far, though.  I'm just not sure what to do about it yet. :/

Quote
There's a $90 tier that gives you copies at 1.0 release, surrounded by alpha access tiers. That's awkward. It almost seems like you could eliminate that tier entirely with an Addon: "Additional copies of AI War 2 at 1.0 release: Add $20 per copy."

Scrapped it.  Yeah, that was odd.
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Offline Cinth

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Re: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2016, 05:27:04 PM »
Though Cinth can probably help some.

 ???
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Tridus

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Re: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2016, 05:30:35 PM »
Quote
Windows XP support? Wow. That seems like a waste of support effort in this day and age since we're talking about 1% of users on the Steam hardware survey (and dropping fast).

Those are simply the minimum requirements for unity itself.  We don't have to do anything special to support that OS -- it just works.  Which is nice!

Oh that's handy!

Quote
There's mk I badges and mk IV badges, with some gaps. I presume that's WIP.

Hmm? I'm not seeing the gap you refer to.[/quote]

Reading fail on my part. I see them now. :)

Offline kasnavada

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Re: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2016, 06:14:46 PM »
Quote
AI War is a grand strategic RTS against an opponent so much more advanced than you, and with so much more territory, as to be completely insurmountable.
By conventional tactics ? If it was complete awake and focussed on killing you ?

Actually I'd rework the whole section. Sounds like you're supposed to enjoy being a masochist, rather than playing a game. I'd stress the game being hard, no problem, but here it sounds like winning is a bug earned only with billions of tries, it's too much.


About pledges... ugh. You've boosted the prices and added stuff. I personally don't care about bionic dues, skyward & AI War, I've already got them all. AI War I got twice actually, that is if impulse was still working. Good thing though, you managed to put up addons. I'm not sure about the price increase thing, but then again the first KS didn't succeed, so.


~*~ Details coming. => I suppose that those details will be in before the KS starts =).



Missing stuff: I think that the KS requires some kind of "what is the game flow". I suggested in another thread that the video should show it (it's not been updated, has it ?). Currently you mostly speak about how awesome everything is, but not what it is. That's my feeling at least.

Offline NichG

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Re: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2016, 07:49:35 PM »
I would agree that saying 'you will lose, many times' is going to be a turn off (and I think given that the AI has lots of different difficulty settings, its unnecessary to make it sound like this is going to be Dwarf Fortress). Instead you could say it positively: 'the AI has all the advantages of territory, technology, and forces; but it's distracted. You must use subtlety and strategic planning to grab resources that empower you, while not drawing the attention of the AI...' Basically, make it a 'look, here's what kinds of skills this game will develop in you' sort of thing.

In the Kickstarter risks section, I would really not say 'the biggest risk is not getting funded'. Statistically, talking about your Kickstarter not getting funded or things that sound like you're begging or asking for money (rather than offering things in exchange for money) are the biggest predictors of it actually not getting funded (see, e.g. https://comp.social.gatech.edu/papers/cscw14.crowdfunding.mitra.pdf). In terms of honesty policy, its Kickstarter and the whole point is that there's no risk to the supporters if the thing isn't funded, so its unnecessary to say I think.

Offline Sounds

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Re: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2016, 08:43:53 PM »
Quote
AI War is a grand strategic RTS against an opponent so much more advanced than you, and with so much more territory, as to be completely insurmountable.
By conventional tactics ? If it was complete awake and focussed on killing you ?

Actually I'd rework the whole section. Sounds like you're supposed to enjoy being a masochist, rather than playing a game. I'd stress the game being hard, no problem, but here it sounds like winning is a bug earned only with billions of tries, it's too much.


About pledges... ugh. You've boosted the prices and added stuff. I personally don't care about bionic dues, skyward & AI War, I've already got them all. AI War I got twice actually, that is if impulse was still working. Good thing though, you managed to put up addons. I'm not sure about the price increase thing, but then again the first KS didn't succeed, so.


~*~ Details coming. => I suppose that those details will be in before the KS starts =).



Missing stuff: I think that the KS requires some kind of "what is the game flow". I suggested in another thread that the video should show it (it's not been updated, has it ?). Currently you mostly speak about how awesome everything is, but not what it is. That's my feeling at least.

Wow! Everything you mention above echoes my own thoughts. :)

Not sure how much value Arcen's existing titles work as an incentive, for me they offer no value from a pledge perspective. Don't misunderstand, I'll definitely be pledging. Its just a case of asking whether you're able to offer other incentives to appeal to your existing customer base, rather than just offering things someone already has.

I'd also add that I'm a bit confused with respect to offering/s around the soundtrack and the stretch goal. I don't think you're implying this but I'll ask any way:

Are you saying without the stretch goal there won't be an OST at a certain tier? You might want to point out the difference.


Offline yllamana

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Re: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2016, 11:39:28 PM »
I just want to agree with the people saying the start is a bit offputting and doesn't sell the game super well. Not sure about "the most sentient AI in gaming" either? I guess what's weird is the blurb comes right after a few quotes talking about how great the AI is, but then doesn't mention anything other than how the enemy is so powerful that it could squash you even if it was completely brainless. Maybe it'd help to explain what the AI opponent is good at in particular? What makes it "the most sentient AI in gaming"?

I would have also thought one of the strengths of the game is that it has options to tailor the game to your skill level and desires. The blurb makes it sound the opposite, like the game is going to put some crazy challenge in front of you and you have to rise to its level to prevail. It's good to mention you can make it as hard as you like, but how well it can be tailored to you is really important and doesn't get mentioned at all.

Offline Chthon

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Re: (Please review) New kickstarter pitch and campaign page!
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2016, 12:54:09 AM »
I went in on the $300 tier where I got to Name a star, Design a station, and write some lore.

What happened to those tiers? I was going to stick to that pledge amount.