The importance of perseverance as an independent developer can’t be underestimated.
Just ask Interdimensional Games’ Greg MacMartin. Last December, Techvibes highlighted the Kickstarter campaign of their first project, a multi-chaptered science fiction franchise called Consortium. The campaign last December asked for $200,000. The campaign wound up being pulled after 17 days. Nine thousand was a good start, but it wouldn’t have made a good finish.
“When we took a moment to look at our original pitch video, what we realized was that it wasn’t revealing enough about the game. All the factors really piled up to not having enough traction to make the turkey day deadline. So we kind of went back in the trenches and looked at what we learned, and continued working really hard on the game, and then came back with a new campaign.”
The team at Interdimensional Games took a different approach for their second kick at the can. This version of the campaign focuses more on the immediate future—while Interdimensional Games does still intend to pursue a franchise, if financially possible, the spring campaign focuses exclusively on getting this first title out the door. This strategy seems to be working so far: the campaign has already raised 60% of its goal in nine days.
Now the campaign’s website focuses on the game’s metatextuality. The ability to play the game as someone who is actively playing a game with the surrounding characters and environments is a differentiator, and it’s already being celebrated by others in the field. The Kickstarter page highlights one such piece from Adam Smith at Rock Paper Shotgun, one of the more notable PC gaming news blogs.
Despite the initial campaign’s failure to launch, Greg is more enthusiastic than ever about crowdfunding’s ability to unite publisher and consumer.
“Truthfully, we want gamers to be our publisher,” he told Techvibes. “We want to be connected at the hip. We want our community to become an active part in finishing this game, giving that feedback, making those polishes. We want it to appeal to the kind of gamers who want sci-fi, they want story-driven, something new and fresh–all these backers, all these people are a collective publisher. We want them to have control. We want to make the right call, balance and polish the game that best suits them.”
The campaign has 21 more days to achieve its goal. The first failed campaign has taught Greg a thing or two about crowdfunding.
“A successful pitch answers ‘Why is this game different?’ and shows as much as it tells,” he explains. “Planetary Annihilation, they did an amazing job with the pitch video, before the game even existed, because they created a movie of what the game would be like and how it would play. They made millions, it worked brilliantly! They showed it, they showed exactly what they were going to be making. They didn’t just tell it. So inspired by that, we’re showing a lot more, and our message is much more distilled. Distill and show. Those are the two secrets to doing this.”
The secret’s out. If the campaign succeeds, Consortium will be out in July of this year.