General Category > In Case Of Emergency, Release Raptor

Kickstarter, early access, or none of the above? Hmm.

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x4000:

--- Quote from: mrhanman on April 13, 2016, 07:24:26 PM ---
--- Quote from: x4000 on April 13, 2016, 01:54:05 PM ---I want to be sure and show the raptor in real environments.
--- End quote ---

Jurassic Park confirmed!

--- End quote ---

Haha.  :D


--- Quote from: Misery on April 13, 2016, 07:10:08 PM ---Hm, I'm curious, do you have an estimated release time for the game as a whole at this point?  Is that still awhile off?

--- End quote ---

Release-date-wise, I am still thinking that May might be reasonable in terms of what I can accomplish, but probably isn't wise if there's to be time to market it.  So sometime in the summer, I suppose.

Honestly I've been all over the place on this:
1. Keep it small and focused and release sooner than later.
2. Or run  a kickstarter and see if people care to invest in having it be made into something larger than #1.
3. Or release to Early Access with a decent feature set, and build it out to at least the size of #1, but larger if it's getting good traction.

I'm not quite sure, just yet.

chemical_art:

--- Quote from: x4000 on April 13, 2016, 07:31:31 PM ---Haha.

Release-date-wise, I am still thinking that May might be reasonable in terms of what I can accomplish, but probably isn't wise if there's to be time to market it.  So sometime in the summer, I suppose.

Honestly I've been all over the place on this:
1. Keep it small and focused and release sooner than later.
2. Or run  a kickstarter and see if people care to invest in having it be made into something larger than #1.
3. Or release to Early Access with a decent feature set, and build it out to at least the size of #1, but larger if it's getting good traction.

I'm not quite sure, just yet.

--- End quote ---

I wonder what the value of Early Access does in term of advertising. That could be an asset.

x4000:
Right, that's what I am thinking about this from in terms of perspective: advertising.

Kickstarter:
Pros:
- Generates money and awareness WITHOUT making the game available to absolutely anyone, which preserves the "mystique" of an unreleased game.
- At the same time, does bring in some supporters and gets them on board early.
- At the same time, is a marketing and awareness vehicle, which is excellent.
- Can capture more revenue per individual, which feels really slimy to say; but ideally the tiers are worth it so it's not actually a bad thing.

Cons:
- Backer rewards have to be designed and filled.
- Doing the campaign directly conflicts with time to spend actually making the game.
- A failed campaign is a black mark, so the actual dollar amount needs to be pretty low in order to be sure it gets hit.

My strategy with this would be to set something super low as a target, like maybe $5k.  And for that, we get some sort of baseline extra feature, such as perhaps a feathered raptor model (that is pricey).  Then everything else is stretch goals beyond that, and we see what sort of features people are willing to support the game to have.  More environments, more dinosaurs, more enemies, all sorts of things are possible.  It lets us define the scope up-front matched to the funding level that the game gets during the kickstarter, which is great.

Early Access:
Pros:
- Early publicity without the game being "released."
- None of the extra baggage of backer rewards or running and designing a kickstarter.
- It gets in testers early, and potentially some early reviews.

Cons:
- The game is in the hands of anyone who wants it during the entire EA period, which utterly removes any mystique of a game not being out yet.  That makes it perhaps less interesting to reviewers, and it definitely makes 1.0 far less of an event.
- The "new on steam" launch event happens during the early access state, and not at 1.0, which I view as really bad.  "You only get one release on steam," as they say.  I'd prefer if that was a 1.0 release.
- Any sort of roadmap beyond the baseline of "we're definitely doing this regardless of how it sells" is impossible to make, because the funding goals are not there like a kickstarter would have.  I guess.
- Some of those early access steam reviews will be more negative than they would be for a polished 1.0 build.


Overall I feel like the kickstarter route is probably better from a marketing standpoint and probably a financial standpoint.  But it comes at some extra cost in terms of time to market and general distraction from core development activities.  So there is that.

Right now I'm just on the fence, and waiting to see what happens as I start releasing videos and screenshots and information over the coming weeks.

Misery:
I'll be honest, I don't like the early access idea.

Not because I don't like early access games... I've been doing testing for such things since long before they were named that.  Back in the day, it was "beta", not early access, dagnabit.

No, the thing that bugs me is the godawful image that early access games as a whole seem to have.  I cant count the number of times I've heard "Early access sucks, everyone should just wait till the full release", or just people complaining about bad experiences they've had, or... stuff like that.  Valve kinda seems to have zero control of the system as a whole, so while I personally have had no bad experiences with games in that state, that's entirely because I research the heck out of them before buying into one.  A lot of people don't, they go "OOH SHINY" and buy, and then they have a bad time, and of course it's the fault of the system, not of their derpy decision, and so on.  It's just NEVER the consumer's fault, nope...

Kickstarter has it's issues, but I personally don't see them as being nearly as bad.

The question to me is, how will you get the word out there about this happening?  Either option seems to need some big way of getting attention to them, or nobody will contribute.

Pumpkin:
Here are my two bits of thought.

I won't personally support a kickstarter for a project as modest. It's a game made as a waiter for a game made as a waiter for a big game (namely: RR -> ??3D?? -> SBR). I will definitely buy it when it'll be out, because I trust Arcen for making good games, but I'm not totally enjoyed by the project. Please understand this is only a personal taste: SR, RR and stuff are far from my favorite genres (which precisely include SBR and AIW). Also, I regard backer's rewards and the general "kickstarter design" as a consumer's lure.

Regarding Early Access, while I totally agree with Misery's point, call it "open beta" and I'll buy it (and provide my humble bug reports and comments). However I'm totally okay with a 1.0 release and I think it would be a wise choice from Arcen.

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