Author Topic: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??  (Read 3400 times)

Offline chemical_art

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2016, 04:54:02 PM »
Maybe do something in game, like pay a bit extra and you get a code. Put the code in game and it unlocks a custom AI taunt for when it attacks you, in addition to the regular ones. That doesn't require shipping anything except codes, but is kind of the same idea.

That is another idea too, but not as appealing to me for some reason. It feels a bit less personal.

Do I think Chris would write a unique insult to everyone? I won't say. Would he write a unique insult to me? No doubt  >D

Also, letter writing is almost obsolete and that gives it a charm and personal feeling. That is what makes it worth paying five dollars for.

Well, a paragraph and mailing a letter to 1000 people is suddenly a lot of work. The DQ campaign was two sentences per person in something that was being mailed anyway, and it still took something like a week to execute. Good revenue for a week of work, but paragraphs and mailing are a significant step up in effort, especially when trying to also build a game. I would start that at $10 to make it even remotely worth the effort to do, and at that starting price I don't know how well it does.

Something like a customized taunt is a lot easier to do and doesn't carry physical shipping cost. If you have to do a thousand of them, that matters. :)

A paragraph I consider 5 sentences. I would imagine 2 of the 5 would be identical to everyone. For those of us who have not been in the forum forever, I would consider all the sentences to be identical. For those who have been around, maybe two sentences would be unique. So it all evens out. Chris can decide.
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Offline Tridus

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2016, 05:01:20 PM »
I have to confess "player faction: Spire" and "player faction: Zenith" look like PERFECT stretch goal material.

I feel the game needs at least 1 additional race beside human as a proof of concept.
Oh yes, what are the stretch goals looking like at the moment? Pablo music will be one or will be part of the campaign, the lorebook and general writing/story stuff... what else?

I have to confess "player faction: Spire" and "player faction: Zenith" look like PERFECT stretch goal material.

It's true. But at that point you don't have that as part of the base campaign anymore, so you can't show it as a flagship feature upgrade over AIWC. I'm not sure that's a good idea, as it's a pretty big thing to open the pitch with.
It's want vs. need. How many people will pay these alternate game modes? Very few. Dedicated AI War players. Most of them will be equally excited about AI War 2 happening at all, we're not likely to get extra money up front because of the aliens.

I'm not sure I agree with that. Playable races with different game styles is a major upgrade. It's a feature you can sell people on as being new and different from classic. Putting it on a stretch goal means you can't do that in the initial pitch.

I think it sells better than you do.  Classic has no real equivalent to it, unlike a lot of the other stuff.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2016, 05:17:28 PM »
I'm not sure I agree with that. Playable races with different game styles is a major upgrade. It's a feature you can sell people on as being new and different from classic. Putting it on a stretch goal means you can't do that in the initial pitch.
I think it sells better than you do.  Classic has no real equivalent to it, unlike a lot of the other stuff.

It's proof of concept than the game can be entirely modded. Which is basically the main new stuff in the sequel, moddability. Most of other changes, numerous and hardly discussed as they are, is refining what already exists into a sequel. And, yes, if the proof of concept works, mods auto-generate interest, money, fans, other stuff...


@my previous post... forget it. Frankly, Captain Jack's last post demotivates me, as much as this letter thing does. But it's not worth explaining it publicly. As tridus said, Chris'll choose what he wants anyway => completely agree with that.


Anyway, I think we should try working on point 4:
Quote
4. Anything you can do to help in terms of resolving the design document's many open ends would be appreciated.

Simply put, what's not in the document yet ?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 05:20:18 PM by kasnavada »

Offline chemical_art

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2016, 05:36:42 PM »
I'm not sure I agree with that. Playable races with different game styles is a major upgrade. It's a feature you can sell people on as being new and different from classic. Putting it on a stretch goal means you can't do that in the initial pitch.
I think it sells better than you do.  Classic has no real equivalent to it, unlike a lot of the other stuff.

It's proof of concept than the game can be entirely modded. Which is basically the main new stuff in the sequel, moddability. Most of other changes, numerous and hardly discussed as they are, is refining what already exists into a sequel. And, yes, if the proof of concept works, mods auto-generate interest, money, fans, other stuff...


@my previous post... forget it. Frankly, Captain Jack's last post demotivates me, as much as this letter thing does. But it's not worth explaining it publicly. As tridus said, Chris'll choose what he wants anyway => completely agree with that.


Anyway, I think we should try working on point 4:
Quote
4. Anything you can do to help in terms of resolving the design document's many open ends would be appreciated.

Simply put, what's not in the document yet ?

Moddability is great. It is also highly a niche. I would say 80%, if not closer to 90% of the average game market does not care in any degree about it. For the AI Wars market, I would still gather that 75% of the market does not care. That is certainly not 75% of the forum market, but anyone who bothers to register here is not normal. Or, more accurately, common.

People would care more about alternative starts, yes. Pre-defined starts are the norm in many games. But for anyone new to the AIW market they would have no idea how playing as human vs spire vs zenith means anything. They have no idea. So its appeal is limited except in the most vague of terms (do you want to play sneaky or deploy a frontal assault?)
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Offline Captain Jack

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2016, 06:03:47 PM »
I have to confess "player faction: Spire" and "player faction: Zenith" look like PERFECT stretch goal material.

I feel the game needs at least 1 additional race beside human as a proof of concept.
Oh yes, what are the stretch goals looking like at the moment? Pablo music will be one or will be part of the campaign, the lorebook and general writing/story stuff... what else?

I have to confess "player faction: Spire" and "player faction: Zenith" look like PERFECT stretch goal material.

It's true. But at that point you don't have that as part of the base campaign anymore, so you can't show it as a flagship feature upgrade over AIWC. I'm not sure that's a good idea, as it's a pretty big thing to open the pitch with.
It's want vs. need. How many people will pay these alternate game modes? Very few. Dedicated AI War players. Most of them will be equally excited about AI War 2 happening at all, we're not likely to get extra money up front because of the aliens.

I'm not sure I agree with that. Playable races with different game styles is a major upgrade. It's a feature you can sell people on as being new and different from classic. Putting it on a stretch goal means you can't do that in the initial pitch.

I think it sells better than you do.  Classic has no real equivalent to it, unlike a lot of the other stuff.
I think I've been misunderstood: It's a selling point TO AI WAR FANS. AI War fans are going to back us no matter what. I want to target the non-fans as well and that means bringing down the initial goal. "More ways to play" is not a real selling point to those unfamiliar with the base, so we have to sell people on the Spire and Zenith while the Kickstarter is ongoing. We can do that! But it's easier to put them into the stretch category interspersed with things like "more music" and "one last AI War Classic mega patch" so we have funding goals for everyone, core and non-core.

It's proof of concept than the game can be entirely modded. Which is basically the main new stuff in the sequel, moddability. Most of other changes, numerous and hardly discussed as they are, is refining what already exists into a sequel. And, yes, if the proof of concept works, mods auto-generate interest, money, fans, other stuff...
I don't think that is the conclusion most people draw. Most people will just see "more stuff" and not make the leap to "that I can add to".

@my previous post... forget it. Frankly, Captain Jack's last post demotivates me
I'm actually optimistic about the Kickstarter. I am not optimistic about the state of the industry, because it's an industry like any other.

Offline Tridus

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2016, 06:21:49 PM »
Quoting on iOS is painful, so please excuse the lack.

Re: mods

It's hard to say, but Skyrim and Fallout 4 are huge games in large part because the mods are so versatile. Xcom2 mods were super popular. Cities: Skylines got a lot of press and attention from its mod scene. Lots of people never touch mods, true. But lots of people do, and those people are your evangelicals. They're the loudest fans that tell their friends. They also make goofy videos of mods in action and post them on social media.

They tend to have a big impact of you get a modding scene going. That part is the catch. Hat requires effort, and ideally easy discovery of mods. Aka: steam workshop.

Re: races. Yes, I think there was a misunderstanding. :)

Offline chemical_art

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2016, 07:11:53 PM »
Quoting on iOS is painful, so please excuse the lack.

Re: mods

It's hard to say, but Skyrim and Fallout 4 are huge games in large part because the mods are so versatile. Xcom2 mods were super popular. Cities: Skylines got a lot of press and attention from its mod scene. Lots of people never touch mods, true. But lots of people do, and those people are your evangelicals. They're the loudest fans that tell their friends. They also make goofy videos of mods in action and post them on social media.

They tend to have a big impact of you get a modding scene going. That part is the catch. Hat requires effort, and ideally easy discovery of mods. Aka: steam workshop.

Re: races. Yes, I think there was a misunderstanding. :)

All valid points. However for both Skyrim and Fallout they had a long history of the modding in previous games. It was built in for the audience. Cities: Skylines I view as a breakthrough product. It filled a niche that was void before it. A bit like Dwarf fortress and other revolutionary games in that regard. Which is great for them, but not something that should be depended on. Mods are great in giving game legs after an extended period of time. Mods do not give you that initial push, unless it is a matter of faith that mods will always save the day. For Bethesda and Paradox that is true. Arcen, for all its joys, has not established that asset of faith yet.
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2016, 10:19:47 PM »
My vote is for 30 days. You need to be doing a media tour to raise money, and that means doing a miniature update to AI war classic to grab people's attention (it could be as simple as one new ship, an updated graphic or something), doing the podcast rounds, YouTube, RPS, reddit, etc. Can you think of 30 days worth of attention grabbing things to do to raise money? If not, do the shorter version.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #38 on: September 23, 2016, 02:15:18 AM »
Mods are great in giving game legs after an extended period of time. Mods do not give you that initial push, unless it is a matter of faith that mods will always save the day. For Bethesda and Paradox that is true. Arcen, for all its joys, has not established that asset of faith yet.

Extended time is something that Arcen actually needs. Frankly, I don't see the point if Arcen's back into this situation next year. So, even if it does not help with the initial push, which I dont believe for a second, it's needed.

About Arcen's modding community, if you were a die-hard modder at core, you wouldn't be there because few games in Arcen's library are modabble. Thing is that AI War's concept and gameplay is inherently moddable, people have asked to redo ships, turrets, stations, everything in the game multiple times over. Some games don't fit that concept, but AI War does. So, yes, it will generate a modding community. There will probably be a huge demographic change on the forums as a result of the design shift.

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2016, 02:57:49 AM »
Mods are great in giving game legs after an extended period of time. Mods do not give you that initial push, unless it is a matter of faith that mods will always save the day. For Bethesda and Paradox that is true. Arcen, for all its joys, has not established that asset of faith yet.

Extended time is something that Arcen actually needs. Frankly, I don't see the point if Arcen's back into this situation next year. So, even if it does not help with the initial push, which I dont believe for a second, it's needed.
Au contraire, AI War is doing an amazing job at holding its tail. An AI War expansion this time last year would have completely changed the calculus of this year.  :(

Well my larger point is that I find it unlikely that modding alone would boost AI War's ongoing sales when it's already selling ahead of how seven year old RTSes sell when they aren't made by Blizzard.

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #40 on: September 23, 2016, 03:27:19 AM »
Actually I forgot to say this before:

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Offline Misery

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2016, 03:29:52 AM »
spam
First: a poll. Surely you've got a list of forum users, send a mail to each one and ask if they'd buy at least the default option (by setting a specific title). Of course, set a specific mail adress for this one. A bit obnoxious but given the situation...

We do have a list of forum users, but I'm not sure how good of an idea it is to send emails to everyone. Some people choose to have their emails hidden, and they  may not want us to contact them via those routes.

Well, that's a good point on "is it a good idea to send email to everyone" - sorry I didn't consider the implications of those. Last time someone did that to me it was the llamaserver because Dom3 was nearly not greenlighted to steam. I didn't mind then (and since the game was greenlighted the next day, I don't think many of us were). That said, nowhere on the llamaserver was written that the email would not be used for XXX purpose. So he was safe. Not sure about Arcen.

If not possible, I assumed that Arcen had some kind of newsletter going on, associated to forum users. From your answer, that sounds like a no to me ?

The point would be to draw a very rough estimate on how many people would participate, and to spread the word at the same time. There is about 6k user registered here, but... there is the "spammer bots" registering issue which I don't have a clue about...

Quote
Also, what do you mean by "buy the default option" and "set a specific  mail address"
The idea was to basically poll "more random" people than the active crowd on the forum on whether they'd be interested buy participating to the KS with "at least" the pledge that gave them the game. The "set a specifc mail address" and "topic" for that basically is spam management issue (if you're interested, send the mail at KS_poll at arcen dot com, subject "AI War II KS: I'm in". It should be possible to add a link inside the mail itself so it "presets" the answer too.

Then with a simple mailbox rule, you can count the results. So the "main" arcen mailboxes ain't spammed. There is possibly other things that could take care of those (like poll sites), but I don't know enough about them to use them safely.

When you sign up, you do technically opt-in to a newsletter that we can send you, but the big concern is how people would react. As a gamer, I wouldn't be upset if a company I liked emailed me once or twice for some huge news, as long as it wasn't constant.

As to the spambots, there are 0 spam bots that we are aware of. I just went through and deleted the last batch of them. (Aware of means they have 0 posts, and have a link in their signature or in the website field).

I'm thinking we can actually use our new survey software to poll people, which might be easier, I'm not sure. I can try to have a few mock-up polls up and running so everyone can see what option they like best.


Those blasted bots seem to appear super-frequently though, in terms of new ones.  I've been stomping the damn things (ones that are active/new, it didn't occur to me to go look at inactive ones) left and right recently, they're way more frequent than they used to be.

I can get a lot of them since I'm on here so often, but still, they're everywhere.  It's ridiculous.  The only good thing is that they're not hugely active; they seem to sit there for awhile before firing their spam lasers.

I wish there were better security measures in place to somehow just keep the bloody things from appearing in the first place.  I've never seen a site that manages that though.

Offline Dominus Arbitrationis

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2016, 10:36:52 AM »
Quote
When you sign up, you do technically opt-in to a newsletter that we can send you, but the big concern is how people would react. As a gamer, I wouldn't be upset if a company I liked emailed me once or twice for some huge news, as long as it wasn't constant.

;D

As to the spambots, there are 0 spam bots that we are aware of. I just went through and deleted the last batch of them. (Aware of means they have 0 posts, and have a link in their signature or in the website field).
Hum... sorry my bad. About 99% of the explaining was not done there. The spam bot register on the forum, do they count toward the user count on the main forum page ? How much of the "registered" users do they represent ?

Like this guy : http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php?action=profile;u=23722

I go through the database occasionally and delete everyone who has no posts and has links in their signature or website space. Overall, we average about 500-1000 spambots, depending on how often I purge them. If I purge them often, we keep them low, if not, we get a ton. The current record for number of spambots is 5500 something.
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Offline Dominus Arbitrationis

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2016, 11:13:38 AM »
Okay, so I've created a Pre-Kickstarter survey (https://arcengames.com/limesurvey/index.php/939581?lang=en), which features a question about how much you are going to contribute and asking if you would like to sign up for the newsletter. If you do not wish to answer, you don't have to, and if you don't want to contribute at all, there is an option for that. Oh, and there is an Other option, so if you're unsure or planning to contribute in an odd fashion, you can answer there. There is also an option to not sign up for the newletter.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: From Chris: Kickstarter 21 days or 30 days? Plus help in general??
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2016, 11:18:04 AM »
Remarks: If the "this is a question help text", a link to the kickstarter document with the pledge could be cool.