We’re going commercial

Posted On 12 Nov, 2014
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In which I announce that this project is going to start being sort of for sale soon, and I tell you exactly how that is going to happen. Hint: by for sale I mean preorder and by soon I mean pretty much immediately.



Well, we’re doing a Kickstarter. Also we just opened a store.

There, I said it.

The Kickstarter starts Thursday morning and the store will have no products until then. We don’t want to wait any longer as the year comes to a close and if Thursday is good enough for the blizzard thing then Thursday is good enough for us. This will be my 2nd attempt at a Kickstarter and this time I know what I’m getting into. I’m saving my enthusiasm for 30 something days from now when I get a chance to sleep again.

That being said, I’m actually starting to look forward to going back. I think I’ll tell a short story about me and Kickstarter: I didn’t do so hot the first time I went to Kickstarter. Then I met an artist who wanted to make the project look amazing and go back for round 2. I had mixed feelings about that plan at first, but in my opinion the project looks amazing, so we are going back and I’ll just have to enjoy it. The end? I supposed that depends if Jan kills me for being sassy.

Here’s why I think Kickstarter may not be so bad this time around:

  • We have 2 people working on it. That is 100% more people!
  • The code is much farther developed, (there is an actual playable version) so our pitch should be stronger.
  • The art has caught up to meet the code in professionalism, the project simply looks way better than it did before.
  • I have a bit of other funding and I don’t have to pay upfront for art…that means our funding target can be lower.
  • Here’s the best part: I’ve built a store so we can accept Paypal donations and we already have a way to distribute the thing.

 

Even if the Kickstarter doesn’t work out we plan to trudge on and slowly bring the game up to the point where we can support it from preorders and donations alone. There is no going back this time. That being said, there’s some fun stuff we can’t do without money up front so Kickstarter really is the best option for us right now. Lets try and make this one work!

So lets talk about how cool the store is, because I just activated it and it’s the reason things are really happening this time.

I wanted to make sure the store was way more professional and way more secure than even the main site, so we built it on a whole new back-end using windows Azure. It’s way better than some of our existing website, I’m looking at you forums. We can accept online payments via Paypal, and the store integrates with our launcher so we can distribute the game simply by setting store roles or by selling products. Since we’re constantly adding new content and bug fixes I knew the only way I could launch this is with automatic update support, and that had to extend to paying customers. You may have guessed some of this from how the launcher accepts a username and password now.

One of the big requests I got during the last campaign was “I want to back your Kickstarter but I can only pay via Paypal” so this time We are going to mirror Kickstarter reward tiers on our store. Any money made on the store during the Kickstarter campaign will count towards stretch goals, and at the end of the campaign all rewards will be distributed via the store.

But enough about the store, arguably the best part of this Kickstarter is how much closer the working game is. We currently have the launcher distributing a development build with a fully playable singleplayer game to friends and family. It needs polish and content still, which is why I’m not already sending it to people, but that means I can actually offer a rough date for the launch of closed alpha testing for singleplayer: We want people to be playing this within 30 days of the end of our funding campaign. That’s around ~62 days from now if things go as planned, and maybe only 90 days if things go a little less as-planned.

So in Summary:

  • Store opens today for preregistration
  • Kickstarter on Thursday 11/13/2014
  • Game available for early testing in 2-3 months
  • You should tell your friends to play WTF instead of WOW! (or both, I’m not your mom)