Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstarter?

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Lishy
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Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstarter?

#1 Post by Lishy » Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:05 pm

When is a fanbase really supposed to take off? Before, or after a team releases their project demo?

Should interest be expected to grow significantly once a Kickstarter is launched, or should a creator secure their fanbase prior to Kickstarter?
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Re: Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstart

#2 Post by trooper6 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:30 pm

In my experience as a person who has given money to Kickstarters and has a friend who put together a successful Kickstarter...you need to have a fanbase beforehand. You need to work really hard on to get your word out before the Kickstarter because, apparently, you need to get the bulk of your funding in the first few days if you hope to be ultimately successful. So you need lots of hype going into the Kickstarter.
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*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
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Re: Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstart

#3 Post by Hijiri » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:57 pm

Lishy wrote:When is a fanbase really supposed to take off?
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No, really, we don't know. There is no recipe for a fanbase, it's just simple luck and hoping the right people talk about your game.
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Re: Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstart

#4 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:05 am

I always assumed it was best to form a fanbase first before leaping headlong into a Kickstarter campaign.That means updating your thread/blog/webpage frequently, getting your name out (twitter, tumblr, Facebook, dA, etc.), and giving feedback. With a fanbase, you'll have people reblogging and supporting your Kickstarter, which could increase its chance of success.

For me, very rarely do I put money into a Kickstarter campaign where the creator/team has not created or published something beforehand OR has not provided tons of work to show on their thread/blog/website prior to the Kickstarter. Call me picky, but I will gladly throw money at a group I am familiar with...not so much with one that doesn't have experience!
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Re: Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstart

#5 Post by trooper6 » Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:28 am

I'm going to add to Green Glasses Girl's comment.

I, too, rarely put money into Kickstarter if the creators have not published something beforehand OR provided tons of work to show.
But here is another reality about my spending habits: I am very unlikely to Kickstart a VN.

There are so many VNs available for free. And a VN can be made very, very cheaply. The vast majority of my VN will just be time spent by me. I'll probably spend some money commissioning some art...though if I wanted a typical anime style, I could probably get someone to volunteer to do that for free as well. However, I probably won't end up spending more than $2-300 on art...probably less as there are only two characters in the VN.

And then there are VN creators who I love who are small teams...who make VNs that cost money to buy...and they didn't Kickstart. So...
So...when I see a Kickstarter for a Ren'py VN asking for $4-10 thousand dollars? I am very, very skeptical. That game would have to be very special and bring a LOT more than your average VN.

Really, the only Visual Novels I'll support on Kickstarter are ones I would support for political reasons. i.e. There are very few VNs dealing well with race or transgender issues or whatever, and someone is Kickstarting a project like that, and they've already created some VNs in the past that I can try out, and the VN is going to include significantly more than your average VN.
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*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
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Re: Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstart

#6 Post by Lishy » Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:03 pm

What if we've been blogging a lot, but people simply haven't discovered it yet?
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Re: Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstart

#7 Post by trooper6 » Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:24 pm

If you've been blogging and people haven't discovered it...then you need to do more advertising to get people following your blog.

So I checked out your Twitter and your Tumblr. These are my thoughts. I'm only one person so you can feel free to ignore my comments thinking I am not the sort of person you would want to worry about.

1) I looked at your Twitter first. And I noticed this Tweet: "I have a cavity... FUCK!" This doesn't look very professional. Maybe you don't want your personal twitter to be part of the representation of your company. -1 for you
2) I looked at your Tumblr. Here is way more information about your project. Far more professional. +1 for you.

And this leads me to a number of thoughts, especially about Kickstarter.
3) Huh. The game seems interesting. It is also going to be free. When it comes out, I'll probably check it out. (Note: This is an accomplishment. There are many, many VNs that come out and I don't play them all. So getting me to play your free game at all if I don't know you is an accomplishment). +1 for you
4) You have a complete VN team and seem to have a lot already done, which means it seems like this project will at least get to the demo stage. +1 for you.
5) This is your first VN and you plan it to be 13-16 hours per arc with 4 hrs? That's like 450,000 words...that seems overly ambitious and you have no other VNs under your belt proving you can get a project finished...now I'm skeptical. -1 for you
6) Oh...it's a KN. That isn't my preference -1 for you (Note: This is a personal preference, I imagine the KN aspect would give a +1 to you for others, so you can easily ignore this particular point)
7) I don't know your work, because you haven't put something out already. -1 for you
8) You seem nice on the Lemmasoft forums, you've been a member for a while and you have quite a few posts, showing you are invested in the community. +1 for you
9) The art is anime style in a way that isn't new, -1; but it is well done and good looking +1
10) Set in a high school -1; But there is Lovecraft and there are people of color +1

Final Tally: 0. Not negative or positive. More wait and see. That's good.

So...onto the question of Kickstarter.
I think it very unlikely that I would give you money for a Kickstarter. You have a complete team who are all working for free to put out a free game. What would you be using the money for? Also, I high serious doubts based on your lack of a previous release and the huge planned length of the game that the game will ever come out.

So...Kickstarter is just not going to happen for me.

That said, if you actually release the game and your website had a donate button, and I liked the game, I'd give you $5. Cyanide Tea released Nachtigal pay-what-you-want and I gave them money for it...I think I gave them $10, actually. Now, I gave them money because they had produced two games I played and really liked which they released for free, and they are active and positive members of the community, and I wanted to give them money as a sign of appreciation. So...me giving them money had a lot to do with all the work they had done before they released Nachtigal. Actually, I haven't even had time to play Nachtigal yet. But I still wanted to give them money.

So. Will I play your game? Probably. Will I give you money after I play it? If you actually deliver on your hype and I like it? Yes. Will I give to a Kickstarter? No.
Last edited by trooper6 on Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A Close Shave:
*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
Check out My Clock Cookbook Recipe: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 51&t=21978

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Re: Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstart

#8 Post by Godline » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:53 pm

Good way of summing that up. :)

As trooper says, it's all about reputation. What's your hook? What makes your VN different to all other ones? That's what you need to market with.

For example, since Kaitlyn in Chinaland is a language learning VN, we'll be marketing it with other language learning resources. Puzzlegate could play up the puzzle side. Even cute little VNs like Get Dumped could advertise that they had a twist to it - something realistic.

You need to ask yourself:
What makes yours unique? And in what ways can you milk market that?

And if there is nothing unique - then it's not too late! You haven't released it yet! MAKE it unique.

Sorry if this doesn't help, it's morning and I'm a bit rambly.

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Re: Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstart

#9 Post by Kuiper » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:32 pm

I think it might be helpful to ask more generally, "What is a fan?" Or, "what makes a fan?"

Generally, in every case where I've been a "fan" of a franchise or creator, it's because 1) they created something that I enjoyed and 2) that thing built up my anticipation of future releases.

For example, I used to be a pretty big fan of Pokemon. If you look at the people who are "Pokemon fans," all of them had some sort of engagement with the franchise which probably involved direct exposure to officially produced Pokemon material: they played the video games, or they watched the anime, or they played the card game. My enthusiasm for Pokemon didn't really peak until the 00's, after I'd gotten several games into the series. You probably wouldn't find very many Pokemon fans if you went back to 1995--nobody had had a chance to play the game yet!

By the same logic, if you haven't shipped anything yet, it's unlikely that you'll acquire much of a fan base. To use a popular idiom, trying to build up a fan base before you've released anything seems like putting the cart before the horse.
Lishy wrote:What if we've been blogging a lot, but people simply haven't discovered it yet?
If you want people to become fans of your blog, then blogging a lot seems like a good approach. But if you want people to become fans of your visual novels, then perhaps you should begin releasing visual novels. There is a case to be made for blogging--sometimes, you can take fans of your blog and convert them into fans of your other work.

What makes a blog take off? Well, in nearly every case that I've followed a blog, it's because the creator was already doing something that I found interesting, or the blog itself was just inherently interesting. It's fine to aim for the latter if you want to be best-known as a blogger, but it doesn't really look like you're doing that: all of the posts on your blog are things like project updates, which means that they're interesting mainly to people who are interested in following your project progress (i.e. people who are already fans). And that's fine! Most dev blogs are created primarily for the benefit of super-fans who are interested in following project progress. (And other VN devs--the kind of people you tend to find in a forum like this--qualify as a certain type of "super-fan," because they frequently have an interest in the VN dev process beyond what you see from most "normal" VN readers.)

Bearing that in mind, my understanding of your situation is that you want to be known first and foremost as a VN dev (rather than being a full-time blogger, part-time VN dev). Based on this, it seems a bit backwards to hope people to notice you first for your blog before they've had a chance to check out your VN. If you want to be known for your visual novels and acquire a fanbase, then create and ship a VN that people can get excited about. It looks like you've already put a sizable amount of effort into your project, so getting to completion should be a task within your grasp. Best of luck!
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Re: Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstart

#10 Post by Lishy » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:35 am

trooper6 wrote:Post

This is a very constructive post. Thank you!

I definitely think I'll be taking your advice and updating my Twitter to be a bit more professional. It was originally intended to have more of my personal stuff on it, but I think I'll delete some of the more stupid posts anyway.

Anyway, a few other points I would like to respond to:
trooper6 wrote: 5) This is your first VN and you plan it to be 13-16 hours per arc with 4 hrs? That's like 450,000 words...that seems overly ambitious and you have no other VNs under your belt proving you can get a project finished...now I'm skeptical. -1 for you
The demo alone has each chapter currently averaging around 20,000 words per chapter, and the demo itself will be 3 chapters long. To be honest, this is also an understatement, because I have a lot more plot planned for chapter 2 and 3, that I feel it will extend the demo much further than 60,0000 words. If all is well, the demo should last people a whopping 1-2 hours.
trooper6 wrote: 10) Set in a high school -1; But there is Lovecraft and there are people of color +1
I would like to note that the plan is to have only the first half of the story take place the final year of High School, while the second half takes takes place in College. However, keeping in mind the characters are 18 and over, players could appreciate that bars and bartending are incredibly important to the setting and motif, much more than school.
trooper6 wrote:You have a complete team who are all working for free to put out a free game. What would you be using the money for?
The project is entirely self-funded by yours truly, and I am currently paying more than $3000 dollars towards this demo. Not exactly something I should brag about, but it needed to be said that this isn't free to make, and I have been funding this a long time. Music and artwork don't come cheap (although my artist has been a huge help with some of his freebies, he's had to make ends meet recently), and while I am able to perfectly handle the writing, I need to be able to feed and clothe myself.

That said, the money from Kickstarter will be covering the bread and butter, like art and music. One of the things we really wanted to do for awhile was completely revise our sprites. Considering our situation right now, and the sheer volume of sprites we are dealing with, we are looking at at least $1,500 for sprites alone. Not too expensive, considering there will be a least 20 different characters with sprites, and each have multiple poses and many many different outfits. (To put this in perspective, Kagra herself has 5 different outfits at the moment, 4 different poses, dozens of facial expressions, and over 100 different layers in a single .PSD file.)

One very, very important use of money I will be dedicating some of the project budget, is the funding of backups. This is VERY important in my opinion, so I will be backing up the project and all its assets on a variety of mediums, such as on the cloud, on multiple external hard-drives (I currently only have one...), an external hard-drive at my friend's house in case I lose the ones at home, etc... I hope others share my opinion that this is an important part of the project budget.

Another use of funds will be website and brandwidth fees. I am sure fans will appreciate the existence of our own project website, rather than having to rely on Tumblr or sketchy "free" domains. I want to make sure that people will not have to deal with ads for our website whatsoever, and I also want to make sure the website is secure. Probably not too expensive, but still worth mentioning as an important use of money.

Then there are maintenance fees... For example, having to pay for laptop repairs.

Overall, the point of the Kickstarter is to secure the development of this project.

Stretch goals would likely include a professionally done VN Opening, drawn backgrounds instead of photographs (this is super, SUPER expensive, considering the variety of settings in Bells), and possibly doujinshi that expands on the backstory a bit.

My plan for the Kickstarter is actually to keep reward costs low. I notice in projects like this, the rewards take up a whooping 20% of the budget, For the project I linked, that is minimum $3214 dollars. I believe donors would appreciate for my own project if that kinda cash was used for development costs, rather than expensive pr stunts like dakimakura. Seriously, there is so much more that could be spent on with that kinda money.

And on the note about dakimakura, I find them horribly degrading, and I won't allow my characters to be exploited in that way.

I should also be a bit up front that even though I keep talking about what I pay others, a tiny portion of the Kickstarter should also go to my own living and college expenses as well. I have invested a lot into this project, and sacrificed a lot for it as well. But I should probably paraphrase Taco-Man (who I'll give a shout-out for his awesome videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2TT4P ... AmrGv-2QuA) that fans can't expect an artist to constantly work endless hours, pumping out free content for them to enjoy, without the artist expecting a little something in return for all the hard work. In my case, food and college. I respect my fans enough to understand why this isn't being greedy.
trooper6 wrote:So. Will I play your game? Probably. Will I give you money after I play it? If you actually deliver on your hype and I like it? Yes. Will I give to a Kickstarter? No.
Hah, I appreciate the support.

Thank you very much for the great feedback! ::D
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Re: Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstart

#11 Post by Morhighan » Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:17 am

trooper6 wrote:So...when I see a Kickstarter for a Ren'py VN asking for $4-10 thousand dollars? I am very, very skeptical. That game would have to be very special and bring a LOT more than your average VN.
I have to disagree with this. I might be biased though because I'm not using Ren'Py and because of my life situations. Sorry if I get off-topic.
I'm currently making my VN, AIdol and have been carefully writing down and budgeting costs and estimations.
My kickstarter estimations are around $5k. I believe this is a reasonable price for the quality I am hoping to deliver, but I'm sure not everyone will agree with me.

Some notes before I get into it.
-It is my firm belief that the basic formula for calculating the minimum cost of producing a game is:
Cost of Living x Time x Team Size
I mostly use this estimation to calculate games made entirely by me--art, music, writing, code, etc. are all done by me, and me alone. It would be impossible for me to properly pay anyone else at this rate.
When my fiance made a game in two months, we estimated the minimum cost of producing the game. It came out to about $1986 thanks to food costs, shelter costs, utilities, and equipment. It is a small game that we released for free, and had he made any money from it, that $1968 would be the basic goal of what we would want to make back for the effort put into the game. All in all, he's made under $1 from ad revenue.

-I am dirt poor. I am too sick to be able to work, I'm on public assistance for food, and I scrounge up about $75 per month if I'm lucky with commissions. That doesn't always happen though, and now I'm too sick to work on commissions. I live and sleep in a 4'x3' closet with my fiance thanks to our really kind friend who did not want us to be homeless. Because I don't have a diagnosis, I cannot get on disability. I have a lot of problems, especially financial ones. Those problems are no fault of my own, I was just not born into affluence, luck, or a good situation in any way.
When I started AIdol, I was determined to do everything myself. The art, writing, code, music, GUI/HUD, you name it. I soon realized that, with my health, I would never complete the project alone. So I found artists who wanted to work with me, ones I believed to be up to my quality standards, and started in on the game.
Despite my crappy finances, I firmly believe in paying my artists and anyone who helps with AIdol, and it is my desire to pay them well, no matter how small or grand their contribution is. To be able to do this, I have to scrap my belief in the "minimum game development cost" formula, which would only really benefit me.
Any money I get goes towards the game's assets and my bills. When you're sick like I am, you rack up a lot of medical bills. Currently I owe thousands of dollars that I'll never be able to pay off in my lifetime at this rate. The only way I can make this game and pay my team is to have a kickstarter.

Let's get to the point.
To make the AIdol demo will cost me at least $400. I am paying all of this out of pocket. The demo will be there so I can show the work, effort, and quality I hope will be in the final product.
Current cost predictions to complete the game are a little shy of $5,000. Let's break that down.
Programming - My programmer works for $10/hour. We estimate 200 hours of programming sessions. So there's $2,000.
Background Art - I want the highest quality of work that my artist can produce, so we will estimate $75 per BG and $8 for edits. At 16 BGs and 11 edits (at the very least) that adds $1288
Sprites - Full Body are $25, Waist up are $15, Outfits are $8, Expressions are $1 each, Pose arm changes are $1, and Complex Pose changes are $5. I have 13 sprited characters that will be shown waist up. With basic expressions and outfits calculated for just the bare minimum at the moment, it is already $414.
CGs are $25-35 each, and there will be several.
I have had assistance with character designs from two designers at $5 per design so far. Thirteen characters will make this a bit costly, and I might consider cutting this out.
I still don't know how much it will cost me to pay for promotional art, GUI, logo, achievement buttons and other art features.
I'm considering voice actors.
I have no idea how much music will be when I find a musician, but you can bet it'll be expensive.
I also plan to have a limited release hard copy edition which will cost $452.56 to produce.
Not mention Kickstarter fees ($200+), Amazon Fees($200+), and backer rewards.

So far my estimations are at $4,889.02 for a kickstarter just to get the game produced. This is not counting any hefty legal fees, like DBAs, seller's permits, taxes, etc. There are a lot of costs people don't consider, and any intelligent game developer should give themselves a buffer in case of an emergency or miscalculation, no matter where their funding comes from.

TL;DR--Even free games are expensive to make if you give a modicum of care to quality and treating your partners fairly, and even if you sacrifice paying yourself in favor of others.
I will be releasing the game in a "Pay what you want" format because I want everyone to be able to experience the game no matter their financial situation. I wish I could sell it for $20 online, but that would go against my personal values. If people want to support the game on their platform of choice, they can. If people want to pirate it or give it out to their friends, they have my blessing. I will sell any remaining copies of the disc version at convention tables, which I will pay for out of pocket. Let's hope I can make some sort of profit, because that will help with my next game if I'm lucky. I am not going to be paying myself for this project, and I hope that this sacrifice will get me closer to making my game a reality, because if I included my own wages for the game, the game's kickstarter would be way over $5k.
And if there are people who have their doubts about a game's kickstarter being $4-10k, especially mine, I hope that my transparency with production costs will clear their suspicions. Of course, I know not all gamedevs are THIS transparent with their crowdfunding, but I think honesty is the way to go when it comes to these things. I don't plan on cutting corners budget-wise. I'm just making a game for people to simply enjoy because I feel the need to, and it will be pretty and of a quality that I can stand by, dammit.
Also I don't feel like I'm pushing any political agendas in my game, so maybe that wouldn't be interesting to some players. (Though I suppose some people might think that my LGBTQA+ characters are pushing some agenda. They're wrong. Art reflects life. That's all.) Their loss. I think people need to keep a more open mind when supporting fledgling projects. I don't claim that my game is going to be special or bring a lot more than the average VN. I just want to produce something that I think will be up to my quality standards that others might have fun with and enjoy.

If you want to see me current Production Costs list, you can see it here.


------------
As for fanbase, Lishy, I'd work on that before the kickstarter for sure. Good luck!

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Re: Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstart

#12 Post by firecat » Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:00 pm

Lishy wrote:
trooper6 wrote:Post

This is a very constructive post. Thank you!

I definitely think I'll be taking your advice and updating my Twitter to be a bit more professional. It was originally intended to have more of my personal stuff on it, but I think I'll delete some of the more stupid posts anyway.

Anyway, a few other points I would like to respond to:
trooper6 wrote: 5) This is your first VN and you plan it to be 13-16 hours per arc with 4 hrs? That's like 450,000 words...that seems overly ambitious and you have no other VNs under your belt proving you can get a project finished...now I'm skeptical. -1 for you
The demo alone has each chapter currently averaging around 20,000 words per chapter, and the demo itself will be 3 chapters long. To be honest, this is also an understatement, because I have a lot more plot planned for chapter 2 and 3, that I feel it will extend the demo much further than 60,0000 words. If all is well, the demo should last people a whopping 1-2 hours.
trooper6 wrote: 10) Set in a high school -1; But there is Lovecraft and there are people of color +1
I would like to note that the plan is to have only the first half of the story take place the final year of High School, while the second half takes takes place in College. However, keeping in mind the characters are 18 and over, players could appreciate that bars and bartending are incredibly important to the setting and motif, much more than school.
trooper6 wrote:You have a complete team who are all working for free to put out a free game. What would you be using the money for?
The project is entirely self-funded by yours truly, and I am currently paying more than $3000 dollars towards this demo. Not exactly something I should brag about, but it needed to be said that this isn't free to make, and I have been funding this a long time. Music and artwork don't come cheap (although my artist has been a huge help with some of his freebies, he's had to make ends meet recently), and while I am able to perfectly handle the writing, I need to be able to feed and clothe myself.

That said, the money from Kickstarter will be covering the bread and butter, like art and music. One of the things we really wanted to do for awhile was completely revise our sprites. Considering our situation right now, and the sheer volume of sprites we are dealing with, we are looking at at least $1,500 for sprites alone. Not too expensive, considering there will be a least 20 different characters with sprites, and each have multiple poses and many many different outfits. (To put this in perspective, Kagra herself has 5 different outfits at the moment, 4 different poses, dozens of facial expressions, and over 100 different layers in a single .PSD file.)

One very, very important use of money I will be dedicating some of the project budget, is the funding of backups. This is VERY important in my opinion, so I will be backing up the project and all its assets on a variety of mediums, such as on the cloud, on multiple external hard-drives (I currently only have one...), an external hard-drive at my friend's house in case I lose the ones at home, etc... I hope others share my opinion that this is an important part of the project budget.

Another use of funds will be website and brandwidth fees. I am sure fans will appreciate the existence of our own project website, rather than having to rely on Tumblr or sketchy "free" domains. I want to make sure that people will not have to deal with ads for our website whatsoever, and I also want to make sure the website is secure. Probably not too expensive, but still worth mentioning as an important use of money.

Then there are maintenance fees... For example, having to pay for laptop repairs.

Overall, the point of the Kickstarter is to secure the development of this project.

Stretch goals would likely include a professionally done VN Opening, drawn backgrounds instead of photographs (this is super, SUPER expensive, considering the variety of settings in Bells), and possibly doujinshi that expands on the backstory a bit.

My plan for the Kickstarter is actually to keep reward costs low. I notice in projects like this, the rewards take up a whooping 20% of the budget, For the project I linked, that is minimum $3214 dollars. I believe donors would appreciate for my own project if that kinda cash was used for development costs, rather than expensive pr stunts like dakimakura. Seriously, there is so much more that could be spent on with that kinda money.

And on the note about dakimakura, I find them horribly degrading, and I won't allow my characters to be exploited in that way.

I should also be a bit up front that even though I keep talking about what I pay others, a tiny portion of the Kickstarter should also go to my own living and college expenses as well. I have invested a lot into this project, and sacrificed a lot for it as well. But I should probably paraphrase Taco-Man (who I'll give a shout-out for his awesome videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2TT4P ... AmrGv-2QuA) that fans can't expect an artist to constantly work endless hours, pumping out free content for them to enjoy, without the artist expecting a little something in return for all the hard work. In my case, food and college. I respect my fans enough to understand why this isn't being greedy.
trooper6 wrote:So. Will I play your game? Probably. Will I give you money after I play it? If you actually deliver on your hype and I like it? Yes. Will I give to a Kickstarter? No.
Hah, I appreciate the support.

Thank you very much for the great feedback! ::D
Lishy i by no means saying you're doing it wrong but $3000 on a demo kind of seems like a bad start. this is a demo we talking about not a game like Morhighan spend on for her/his game, so there is something off about the demo costing that much. my advice on the demo is to just release it even if theres bugs on it people will understand and they be happy with the demo then a no demo. lasty don't disappoint your fans by saying you have a demo but later in production say 'demo is never going to be released' that just makes people mad while at the same time dont put too much on the demo like the story, secret characters, or add a ending.

i just want you to know that a demo should only be a demo not a game.
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Re: Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstart

#13 Post by trooper6 » Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:55 pm

Morhighan wrote: TL;DR--Even free games are expensive to make if you give a modicum of care to quality and treating your partners fairly, and even if you sacrifice paying yourself in favor of others.
And yet, there are high quality free games that are put out all the time without using Kickstarter.
Morhighan wrote:Also I don't feel like I'm pushing any political agendas in my game, so maybe that wouldn't be interesting to some players. (Though I suppose some people might think that my LGBTQA+ characters are pushing some agenda. They're wrong. Art reflects life. That's all.) Their loss. I think people need to keep a more open mind when supporting fledgling projects. I don't claim that my game is going to be special or bring a lot more than the average VN. I just want to produce something that I think will be up to my quality standards that others might have fun with and enjoy.
There are lots of pieces of art that have no LGBTTQQIAA people in them, or people of color in them, or only one woman in them. Or, if they are presented, they are presented an a dehumanizing way. So, no, art doesn't always reflect life. Including people who are normally excluded from representation is a political act.

That said, if you present your game as "not political" (when the politics of representation is important to me) and also as not special and not bringing a lot more than the average VN (which I can get for free)...then why should I give you any money to make your game?

You say that people should be more open minded when it comes to funding fledgling projects. But Kickstarter isn't charity, it is about putting in your own money in order fund a product...if your product is not presented as something interesting to me, why should I give you my money? I have a limited amount of disposable income. And artist commissions are coming up for me to pay for out of my own disposable income...so what I spend my disposable income on is going to be what I want to spend my money on. I am under no obligation to spend my money on "fledgling projects" or any project. No one is entitled to my money before they produce a product.

ETA: And appropos this topic...Dischan just folded after raising $67k for their VN through Kickstarter.
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 13&t=29819

Because of this possibility, people are very careful about what they will fund. I'm not going to give money to people who don't either have a) a track record of producing or b) are doing something I believe in so I don't mind the risk.
Last edited by trooper6 on Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
A Close Shave:
*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
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Re: Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstart

#14 Post by Morhighan » Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:09 pm

trooper6 wrote: And yet, there are high quality free games that are put out all the time without using Kickstarter.
And that takes a lot of effort and skill I don't have.
trooper6 wrote: There are lots of pieces of art that have no LGBTTQQIAA people in them, or people of color in them, or only one woman in them. Or, if they are presented, they are presented an a dehumanizing way. So, no, art doesn't always reflect life. Including people who are normally excluded from representation is a political act.
Do forgive me, I should have said "art reflects /some/ aspect of life." Of course it's not going to be 100% or accurate.
trooper6 wrote: That said, if you present your game as "not political" (when the politics of representation is important to me) and also as not special and not bringing a lot more than the average VN (which I can get for free)...then why should I give you any money to make your game?
Hm, I may have worded that poorly.
I suppose by presenting my characters, some people will understand political implications that I don't really care to push. And that may interest them or it may make them stay away from my game. But the characters and situation are what they are.

Also, I'm not going to try to say "look at my special snowflake project! It's SO above and beyond what anyone else has to offer!" while I'm presenting my game with the hopes that people will support it. I'm going to let the work speak for itself there. If people see value in the demo and other previews, they can support it. But I'm not going to masturbate my ego to try to appeal to others through bravado.
trooper6 wrote: You say that people should be more open minded when it comes to funding fledgling projects. But Kickstarter isn't charity, it is about putting in your own money in order fund a product...if your product is not presented as something interesting to me, why should I give you my money? I have a limited amount of disposable income. And artist commissions are coming up for me to pay for out of my own disposable income...so what I spend my disposable income on is going to be what I want to spend my money on. I am under no obligation to spend my money on "fledgling projects" or any project. No one is entitled to my money before they produce a product.
It is good that you are firm on what you will and will not support. Everyone has that right.
I think I'm just tired of seeing the same recycled concepts getting funded while others aren't considered worth the "risk" because they are different or new. I'm supportive of innovation, even if there is a little risk.
trooper6 wrote: ETA: And appropos this topic...Dischan just folded after raising $67k for their VN through Kickstarter.
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 13&t=29819
That was such a shame. My comment on that thread holds my opinion on the matter.
trooper6 wrote: Because of this possibility, people are very careful about what they will fund. I'm not going to give money to people who don't either have a) a track record of producing or b) are doing something I believe in so I don't mind the risk.
That's a reasonable way to handle things.
My past works are not indicative of my works now, and my current projects will need funding to exist. I can't quickly create quality content to please people who will only support established creators. Instead, I hope that my demo (harmful though demos are) will ease any doubts that potential backers might have. I think that's how many newbies feel as well, judging by posts online.

As a side note, I think it's important to have as much as possible ready before asking for funding. Personally I'm going to get both my demo script as well as the full game script done before I even consider a crowdfunding campaign. And, like I said, will be funding the demo's art out of pocket.
Crowdfunding campaigns terrify me when they start off with very little to nothing completed on the project. Way too risky.

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Re: Fanbase before or after demo release? Or after Kickstart

#15 Post by trooper6 » Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:36 pm

Morhighan wrote: It is good that you are firm on what you will and will not support. Everyone has that right.
I think I'm just tired of seeing the same recycled concepts getting funded while others aren't considered worth the "risk" because they are different or new. I'm supportive of innovation, even if there is a little risk.
I don't disagree. And please believe that I do not give crowdfunding money to the same recycled concepts. That is one of the first things that will disqualify a project from getting my money. Generally, speaking I want to support innovation and things that will make positive political/cultural change in either the world or in the gaming industry or in the VN world. Your described your game as not being special and not bringing more than the average VN. So that doesn't scream innovative.

You say you don't want to ego stroke, but there is a big difference between ego stroking and marketing your product as if you believe in it and find it valuable and worth other people's time. Self-deprecation is not all that good of a marketing strategy.

Could you imagine?
Coke! It is a soda! It tastes like all the other sodas and it isn't special. Buy Coke!
Mad Men! It is a TV show! It isn't anything special and you know it isn't really better than any other show. Watch it!

That is not going to help build a fan base. You have to believe there is something special about your project for me to believe it as a potential consumer. You have to have some sort of hook that will make me care. If you have a hook that will make me care, you have a better chance of getting me to spend some money. If you cannot project passion and enthusiasm...I'm not going to have it.

Note, in your post on the Dischan thread, you spoke with such passion and eloquence about bookkeeping, I thought...Dang! I want that person to be my bookkeeper! This person may not have the most experience, but they have passion, they have great politics connected to their love of bookkeeping and they've made a case why they are special in this marketplace! Wow! I'd love that person to have their own accounting firm!

That level of salemanship/enthusiasm/passion was lacking in your description of your VN. And so it wouldn't cause me to invest in your VN.
A Close Shave:
*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
Check out My Clock Cookbook Recipe: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 51&t=21978

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