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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Legends of Eisenwald - Post-Funding Update #43

Default Legends of Eisenwald - Post-Funding Update #43

October 14th, 2013, 15:48
Aterdux Entertainment has posted a new post-funding update for Legends of Eisenwald with a followup to the previous update.

Our Early Access Experience

Usually we don't post updates usually so soon after one another, but we really wanted to share with you how the first day on Early Access went.

The launch has been really wonderful and successful. To put it in perspective, we sold twice as many copies on Steam in ten hours than we sold via pre-order in the whole time after Kickstarter (and that's almost year and a half). The money we've made on Steam so far is already enough to ensure we have the budget we need to finish the game.

We keep on working and fixing bugs, there are in particular some issues with Windows 8 but they will be resolved shortly.

Thank you,


All of us at Aterdux
More information.
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October 14th, 2013, 15:48
I know a lot of people aren't fans of Early Access but this is exactly what I hope to hear when games do this. As much as I love Kickstarter, I think there's a lot of projects that cost more to make than they raise. Something like this that can help them finish and polish the game correctly is fine by me.
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October 14th, 2013, 15:51
I'm just waiting for the full release of all my kickstarters

This one looks like it will be a lot of fun.
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October 14th, 2013, 16:22
I agree it's good news but I'm surprised no one finds it troubling the game would never be completed otherwise.

Fingers crossed it will come out finished in the next 6 months. September 2012 was the date given, and as you can see it's almost 2014 now.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; October 14th, 2013 at 17:04.
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October 14th, 2013, 17:22
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I agree it's good news but I'm surprised no one finds it troubling the game would never be completed otherwise.
The thing is, that's not really a surprise. To me, most of the Kickstarters are badly underfunded. But I suspect that many are labors of love that their creators are willing to work on even while they are living off Top Ramen and needing help from family and friends just to keep going. It almost feels like a community of starving artists.
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October 14th, 2013, 17:29
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
The thing is, that's not really a surprise. To me, most of the Kickstarters are badly underfunded. But I suspect that many are labors of love that their creators are willing to work on even while they are living off Top Ramen and needing help from family and friends just to keep going. It almost feels like a community of starving artists.
I get it but this is becoming a trend among the smaller kickstarters. Funding is barely adequate. People should remember this when the next kickstarter RPG asks for a minimum of $100,000 instead of complaining.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; October 14th, 2013 at 18:51.
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October 15th, 2013, 03:06
Initially, they asked for just 50,000, which doesn't turn out to be enough for the final polishing process and they seem to be quite happy with the additional funds through Early Access. Hopefully, Kickstarter+Early Access combo will bring the market different games since these kinds of games are often considered highly risky and less rewarding by publishers.

Complaining doesn't lead anywhere. I, myself, am jaded a bit but see no merit in complaining especially when projects are gathering funds. In fact, if you don't help them funding, then, how about just voting for Greenlight to let other people fund projects (lol), at least? I do feel some projects na´ve but I think, in most of cases, they will get their lessons eventually even if nobody complains.
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October 15th, 2013, 04:00
The game is shaping up nicely and yes they did underfund their kickstarter, but without "publicity" and "crazy fans" they didn't really have a choice.

Not all independent developer can be Chris Roberts.
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October 15th, 2013, 04:37
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
Not all independent developer can be Chris Roberts.
He managed to get $22 million with more still pouring in. I don't think anyone will ever come close to that again.

Though I fear his game may turn out to be jack of all trades, and master of none also. Basically to ambitious. So fingers crossed for his game als
o.

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October 15th, 2013, 04:51
Not surprisingly, despite of the intimal meaning of "kickstarter," as far as CRPGs are concerned, it must be much harder for new comers to get as much funds as known designers. Personally, I backed a few projects to thank the devs for fond memories of their past works, even if I am bound to be disappointed by their new projects more or less, which would be counted as crazy fan psychology, I guess. Reading some developers' comments, I don't seem to be alone in this kind of motivation for backing, though.
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October 15th, 2013, 10:12
Probably a lesson to be learned.

The game has not much progressed since early beta release and players with access hunted bugges more than they contributed to the design.

KS made early access a pledge level and Steam early access comes to compete with that level.

With Steam early access, you've got the game cheaper than the basic pledge level and you can get early enough to do what is supposed to be a monetized extra during a KS campaign.

Beside, the exposition on Steam store might lead to more customers. KS has probably something to rework here.
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October 15th, 2013, 14:08
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Probably a lesson to be learned.

The game has not much progressed since early beta release and players with access hunted bugges more than they contributed to the design.
Hi guys, this is Alexander, Legends of Eisenwald is our game.

I am not sure what you refer to, but to say the game has not much progressed since early beta is simply not correct IMHO. Tons of things have been introduced, UI improved, new scenarios added, new content like weapons, combat arenas added, just to name a few.

KS made early access a pledge level and Steam early access comes to compete with that level.

With Steam early access, you've got the game cheaper than the basic pledge level and you can get early enough to do what is supposed to be a monetized extra during a KS campaign.
The game is not cheaper at Early Access than it was at KS - $15. And at KS we also gave backers a copy of Discord Times.
Beside, the exposition on Steam store might lead to more customers. KS has probably something to rework here.
That is one thing that I partially agrree. Steam sales so far are really beyond our even not very modest expectations but had we come to Steam with what we had in Early Beta or even during the KS campaign, it wouldn't do us any good. KS is still the platform for early stage funding, and the money received there is way more important for us despite all miscalulations with the time and budget. And to those miscalulation there is a short answer: high ambitions, lack of experience and too few people in the team.
Last edited by Aterdux; October 15th, 2013 at 14:22. Reason: typos
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October 15th, 2013, 18:24
For the kickstarter, the chance to improve the game with the developpers came at the basic pledge level sold at $25(basic because higher pledge levels offer the same opportunity)
From the covenant set out at the KS, for $15, you had nothing of that chance.
In the meantime, the game developpment has not progressed that much before the Steam early access offer appears that players coming to the project by the Steam early access have nothing left of the opportunity of improving the game with developpers.
And Steam early access comes at $15.

So yes, players through Steam early access get their game cheaper as the developpment so far has not dried out the opportunity to help improve the game.

It gives food for thoughts on KS that will monetize an early access in the future.
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October 15th, 2013, 18:52
Actually, they offered me, a mere $15 pledger, beta access quite a long time ago through Desura, which I decided not to be involved (I'd like to have a finished gameůso, sorry but no contribution here). They gave me Steam Key through Humble Bundle, too. So, if I choose to do so, I can try the game any time.

@Aterdux
Yeah, even at KS stage, for veteran devs, potential backers still have a good reason to give them money such as I wrote above even in the worst case scenario. If they are active companies with decent size and rich experiences, it also assures backers, to some extent. This is why I only pledge the minimum amount for the devs I'm unfamiliar with (, which is true to your case, to be honest). I think Early Access can be a godsend for the devs to avoid falling into the mercy of vulture-like publishers in fear of losing their projects or even their companies.

That said, other than money, how much does EA benefit as QA works? I visit Steam forum occasionally but, at the early stage, there seem to have been people who don't even know how to exclude false positives and submit them to their anti-malware companies. That said, there seem to be variety since some users are offering good feedback. At least, compared with some other games, your game appears to be well-accepted especially as a complex game (Congrats on that!). Also, other than the traditional communication, Steam is gathering info of the users but how much of such info is given to you? Especially hardware related info would be valuable for troubleshooting, I presume. More or less related, I see some X-com: EU players there thanks to the social media function of Steam Community, which would give good idea on what kind of players you are dealing with, too.

I still keep my own healthy dose of skepticism but the information era seem to have begun to offer various tools for the devs, maybe, enough for a paradigm shift.
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October 16th, 2013, 00:58
Dusk, thank you for addressing some of the questions! No need to write a lot for me

Both Kickstarter and EA are god sends for indie devs Both get you into a direct contact with players and this is really great. We are still in the dark after all these campaign how to interest press in our game, but the players are easier to interact with (by the way, I really enjoy writing in the forums, and well, sorry I haven't been writing here before).

Still, Kickstarter money was really valuable since it allowed us to bring game much ahead in the time where we had no actual game to show. And at this stage, with running beta (and again without money ), EA works great. To get so much support and enthusiasm is amazing.

For QA EA works pretty well (even though many duplicate reports, but it's better to get more than less). But much better is the feedback. For many months I was trying to convince my team to make ranged and support units being able to step back if enemy is approaching. Well, now players told us the same thing, and we will do it! Some concepts we had to defend like our combat system, especially in the first few days. But now it seems it grew into many Which is also really nice.

We probably suck at many things like planning, talking to press and others. But - we love talking to our community and we will do at least this well
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October 16th, 2013, 11:12
To handle the press, it's usually a good idea to send a free preview copy to some gaming websites saying they can use that copy to write previews…

Then when the game is about to come out, you send them free review copies.

You can even work with some websites by asking them if giving them 1-week exclusivity might help, so they get a copy before any other site.

Other than that, it might be good to ask for advice on some other forums.

Planning is a skill you learn, but as basics : it's useful to have a specific schedule for everything to be done and assign priorities by distinguishing between important and urgent things to do.

So you assign levels of importance (for example : A, B, C) and levels of urgency (1, 2, 3) to tasks.

Fixing a gamebreaking bug would go in A1, and thus should be addressed very quickly as it is very important and urgent.
Fixing a cosmetic bug might go into B3 or C3 if it's really minor.

Adding new feautures might be B1 or C1 if they require a lot of work and need to be tested. This means they're not as important but if they need to be done, then do it quickly, because other things rely on them.

Adding a new questline not related to the main story might go into B2 or C2, assuming that it follows the same standard as other questlines, testing should not be as intensive as for new features (which also require balancing).

This then builds up into an Excel sheet with nice coloured boxes which tell you what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, its status and it's importance/urgency (and how long each task would take, including dependent tasks such as proofreading, testing, balancing).

From this you basically build up a Gantt chart, which tells the team what to do and when each week/month.

Takes quite a bit of time to build up, but once it's done it goes quite quickly.
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October 16th, 2013, 12:55
Originally Posted by Dusk View Post
Actually, they offered me, a mere $15 pledger, beta access quite a long time ago through Desura, which I decided not to be involved (I'd like to have a finished gameůso, sorry but no contribution here). They gave me Steam Key through Humble Bundle, too. So, if I choose to do so, I can try the game any time.

What happens after a KS happens after it. Time has this property it flows one way only.
When deciding over a KS, potential backers make their decisions with the information at hand. This should go without saying but apparently, it cant.

The extra to get access to an early version was monetized, meaning that backers had to pay more to get the opportunity.
That was the information as given at the end of the KS.

Now with the potentiality of KS projects going Steam access, the monetization of an early access as a potential pledge level must be rethought.

KS board games had a similar issue. Some KS offered exclusive material like miniatures or so. Later, backers found out that the same minis that were told to be exclusive to the KS, were distributed publically and had nothing exclusive to the KS.
No backers knew this at the end of the KS. Of course, the marketing argument of exclusivity worked as backers loaded up on this exclusive material, thinking they could not find them elsewhere but through the KS.

This issue is solved: I cant think of KS board gaming that kept selling material as exclusive when it is not.
The material is either exclusive or it is not.

KS video game projects that monetize an early access to their games as a distinctive pledge level requiring extra money might find their way out.

In all cases, for potential backers, the lesson to be learned is that early access to a game should be envisioned with a potential early release on Steam.
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