Thorvalla - Cancelled
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December 5th, 2012, 04:58
I don't think the failure was due to it being a turn based game. As I see it the reasons for why the kickstarter didn't work are many fold.
1. Bad timing. Like people mentioned, the holidays are coming up, and some big kickstarters like star citizen were going at the time and wrapping up. Also there were a bunch of other RPG kickstarters in the same time frame.
2. The pitch was bad. Some people are enough to get a million bucks just at the mention of their name, but not a whole lot of people can still do that. You need a solid pitch, and then tons of hard work following up. Exact same thing happened with Shaker.
3. The names just aren't as big. They just didn't have built in fame to them, like say Chris Avelone. The Arkania games were great, but let's face facts, they were even more niche than most RPGs of that era, and just aren't well known as other RPGs.
I was hoping that there was enough appeal in Europe for it to make up for being not very well known in the States, but that didn't work out.
4. Next to Zero media coverage. Codex, RPG Watch, and Banshee just aren't good enough to get the word out. The Solenttar guys only asked for $4000 bucks, got mentions here, on the codex, and got tweets from Brian Fargo and Chris Avelone, and yet none of that was enough to generate enough interest. Outside of niche RPG sites, I didn't see Thorvalla get any coverage. Doesn't help most of the news sites are sick of covering kickstarters, and only mention the larger, well known ones.
5. Kickstarter Fatigue. No really it's a thing. Are games still funded, sure. But people are starting to get a lot more picky about what they fund. And they should. With the attempted scams, games like Star Command failing to finish and running more kickstarters, stuff like Haunts: The Manse Macabre falling apart despite being funded, and rumors publishers started to game the system, people have
right to be cynical and cautious about Kickstarters.
6. They really didn't have much so show. Some concept art, and a few models that initially could only be seen by people with the unity plug in. That's it.
7. They simply did not do a whole lot to promote the project. The days of posting your project, and waiting for the money to roll in are kind of over. You have to be really active in engaging the community. Look at how hard the Hero-U guys had to work to meet their goal.
8. A million bucks is a hard sell. I know multiple major RPG developers have said you simply can't make a good RPG for less than a million. The Larian guy has said even that's way too low. I understand that RPGs are huge undertaking compared to regular games. Most people don't know that though. Many people will balk at a project that big, if it doesn't show signs of reaching it's goal. Others may not think a game even needs that much. Whatever reason, again, it's a hard sell.
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