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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Graywalkers - Interview @ The Id DM

Default Graywalkers - Interview @ The Id DM

March 17th, 2014, 09:43
Russell Tomas the Creator/Team Lead of Graywalkers Purgatory was interviewed on The Id DM to answer a few questions. Here is a small part of the interview.

Your first Kickstarter campaign aimed at bringing Graywalkers to life was not successful. What lessons did you and your team learn from that process? What needs to change the second time around for the Kickstarter to fund?

With our first Kickstarter, we learned a lot. There were many factors that affected what happened and I think we are more prepared now. I can honestly say that we were totally unprepared for the first one. I guess thatís why I never truly felt that bad that we didnít make it the first time around. I did my research and prepared but there were many things we failed to do beforehand which would have improved our chances. For one, we didnít do much in the way of marketing. We didnít do any pre-marketing, and marketing during the campaign was limited. I think the only reason we even got to $44K was simply on the fact that many loved the idea of the game. Our video wasnít all that great as well, so that was another drawback. It was too long and lacked gameplay video. We only got gameplay footage after the campaign was going for over a week. Also, luck and timing was not in our favor. When we came out, it was like all the best RPGs all went to get funding. We were competing with other games I personally felt I would like to pledge to. In the end, many of these great games didnít get funded as well. They said one major reason was the string of bad PR for indie game groups in KS that didnít keep their end of the bargain and also because of KS fatigue. Being too close to Thanksgiving and Christmas also didnít help, as well as having the launch of PS4 and XBox One happen those same weeks. Everybody was simply tapped out of excess cash.

What is it like to see some campaigns be wildly successful and others struggle? I imagine itís a mixture of hope and anguish!

It is frustrating, exhilarating, stressful, and exciting. The Kickstarter campaign is one of the most grueling things you can ever do to yourself physically, mentally and emotionally, all at the same time. For the whole time of the campaign, you will not be able to properly sleep, eat, rest or anything else. Kickstarter will be your world every waking minute that you have till itís done. I donít recommend it for everybody but if you relish the challenge, then by all means, go for it. It definitely builds character and I truly believe that itís worth the risk. It is a unique opportunity and if you have an idea or a dream, you have an opportunity to reach it. You just have to be honest to yourself about the support you get. Based on the feedback, you can tell if your product is a great one or not.
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March 17th, 2014, 09:43
Wasn't sure what to make of this. On one hand it's better fleshed out than many failed Kickstarters. On the other, games in this genre tend to have budgets in the millions and it's hard to see them making a turn based RPG that competes with even Shadowrun Returns with 100k, never mind Wasteland 2 or D:OS.
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March 17th, 2014, 14:57
Originally Posted by Roq View Post
Wasn't sure what to make of this. On one hand it's better fleshed out than many failed Kickstarters. On the other, games in this genre tend to have budgets in the millions and it's hard to see them making a turn based RPG that competes with even Shadowrun Returns with 100k, never mind Wasteland 2 or D:OS.
Well, the thing about game budgets that you have to keep in mind is that not all developers enter KS in the same situation… Graywalkers already has a pre-alpha build they have been working on and they are almost ready to release a demo to their backers and the press. We don't know how much of their own money the developers have effectively put into the game (they may have a private investor, or the team may have simply been working on it for free in their spare time). IIRC Numantian games said they had put over $300K into Lords of Xulima before turning to crowdfunding.

Games like SRR and Wasteland 2 had absolutely no work done when they launched on KS (it was just a rough concept) and a large part of their funds was used to recruit additional team members and possibly pay Micro$oft IP licensing costs in HBS case.

Ultimately, if you're going to back any KS game, you have to place trust in the developer that they know how much money that they need to finish their game and that they actually ask for what they need rather than what they think they can get. Of course it's harder to place trust in an unknown developer than one which has already released some games, but that's the purpose of them creating an alpha demo- so would be backers can see if their game is on the right track.
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March 17th, 2014, 16:16
Yes, but that's the point really - I didn't know enough about the game to make a decision and have flushed enough $ down the Kickstarter toilet . I'd probably have given it the benefit of the doubt 2 years ago or so ago, but since then it has become a lot clearer just how hard it is to make decent games in this genre and much of the stuff that has emerged has been somewhat lackluster. That's not to say I won't consider backing it if they relaunch - I will, but they will need to do a lot better with their Kickstarter and be more transparent about how they are going to pull it off.
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March 17th, 2014, 17:47
Obviously such a game costs more than 100k. The question is how much unpaid time the developers want to put into the game in hope that sales will pay their salaries when the game is complete. I think a lot of succesful kickstarters have had a lot of unpaid labor hours or a private investor before they even become kickstarters. Only a team with really big names, who are selling nostalgia is usually going to get funds with just a concept.
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