First of all... as always, great customer service, and great communication skills. But, ouch, and sorry for the next lines.
That "raptor thingy" outcome was sadly kind of predictable. I had a small discussion with Misery on the steam forums a few months back. Said nothing, after all the (lost) work done on SBR... I thought that maybe you could pull it off. Also I moved back a bit from the forums because of the feedback I, among other, gave you here. I among other dropped a few comments, the game got remade, and delayed and little progress was made. Not that I think it would have helped much.
When I saw SBR released by you, my first thought was that it was going to be a failure because:
- you tried to do the impossible: make a real diplomatic AI.
- make a complete 4X game by an indy team of less than 10 people in about 6-10 months.
Next you went on the "raptor" thingy because... dunno. It was completely doomed to be a failure IMO. Dinosaurs are extremely popular and the dinosaur market is over-saturated especially since ARK went out. Also Arcen has no experience in 3D gaming that I know of. It's not "just" a matter of "people expect strategy games"... it's that you're somehow have been able to make very good strategy games, asymetric with "simplified" AI and reasonable AI and diplomacy options (in AI war & the last federation). Other types... less good.
Also, something that always bothered me, but you seem to believe that every game can and / or will pay itself back. Maybe it's time to change that point of view. Do what the other do. Create a few cash cow games that earn more than they cost, so you can afford to fail.
I'm getting confused, but... what I want to say is that while I'm a small-time supporter of your firm, and a very small cog in this forum... Sorry. I think that I and others on the forum share the blame, for encouraging you on paths that don't have an end.
On the other subject at hand... I do think though that getting a kickstarter & making something you intimately know is a good idea. Especialy with the... stress issues you've shown at the end of SBR. You'd be "free" of the "if it fails I'm out of money" stress source. Which is good.
However... this time I'll dare and ask. Do you completely know what you're doing when doing this sequel ?
People will probably expect the WHOLE of AI war (that's including the expansions) in the base game, but (somehow) better. Do you somehow have a working plan for that ?
I certainly hope it's doable, but I'm not sure you're not setting yourself an impossible goal again. Then again the kickstarter may succeed beyond expectations... still I'm getting worried, as Arcen's been among the few developpers I'm following actively.
I hate to be the voice of doubt. You certainly don't need that. Still. I hope it gets better. I loved AI war, the last federation and basically what you've managed to accomplish on this forum here.