Shattered Time - All News
Thursday - March 06, 2014
Shattered Time - Update# 7, Final Update
Daniel J Swiger has posted his final update for his failed kickstarter Shattered Time. The game only managed to get $2,702 of the $100,000 goal. Here is a part of the update.
Final Update: Chronicles of the Rift
First off, I’d like to thank every one of you for backing this project. Even more so to those of you who knew it wasn’t growing fast enough to succeed, but wanted to show your support anyway.
Statistically this campaign never really stood a chance. I had a pretty good idea of that from the start. In January, only a handful of people had any knowledge of this project. Getting the information out there and generating awareness was as much of a goal as eventually raising the money. To that end I am sure that I managed more awareness in the last 30 days than I could have without this campaign.
At least, in that sense, it was a successful campaign. I’ve learned a lot, gathered a lot of feedback, and been able to identify a better route for the future of this project.
I think the biggest ‘mistake’ was trying to pitch two different ideas at the same time. I wanted to sell the campaign on both the concept for the game, and the open, community driven framework. The game, the story I want to tell, will require a lot of time and resources to complete and to do it right. It will also require me to build the framework first.
Creating the framework, on the other hand, just needs time. So I am separating the two concepts, to focus on producing an open system for anyone to build a top down CRPG.
Chronicles of the Rift: Playable Game System
This framework will primarily require time to develop and expand the modular system. Creating a wide range of adaptability and an easy entry curve. It won’t require the resources that developing a full length game would, and could be completed in as little as six months.
Monday - March 03, 2014
Shattered Time - Update# 6, Statistical Success
The next update for Shattered Time talks about what the developer Daniel J Swiger has learned from a failed kckstarter. He only managed to get $2,613 of $100,000 goal.
My original plan was quite different than this current campaign.
Traditional investment models seek out "First wave funding" from individual 'angel' investors to produce a workable concept, then pitch that concept to investment firms in "second wave" funding. If successful the angel investors get paid back and the company moves forward with product development.
Second wave funding never really ends, though. If you can get more funding, you do it. A startup never stops seeking more funding.
In that sense I considered a first campaign set to get just enough funding for me to work on the project for 1-2 years. Then to run a second campaign with the purpose of getting better equipment, software, and possibly hiring on more developers and artists. The second campaign would be running on the premise that the game is already going to be made, no direct 'risk' with it not being funded.
That's never been done before. As ambitious as this project is already, I was concerned about the negative impact such a plan could have if it not explained properly. In the public eye, asking for more funding is a bad thing. Even if it's standard practice in the business of investment.
There are a number of things I changed in light of crowdfunding advice, though, that I think were harmful. Running the campaign for 30 days instead of 60 is one of those things. Three days into the campaign there were already comments on other sites that the project looked like a failure for having 27 days left and "only" being %1 funded. I think there would have been better reception, and a better looking outcome if I had gone with a 60 day campaign.
So I am reconsidering my starting 'overly-ambitious' plan of a smaller campaign to get the project moving, with a larger one to come later. That will require reducing the scope of the game by a considerable amount to be practical. Though I can still potentially do a lot with what I've got if I can have enough funding to just focus my energies on development.
I want this to be a community minded, community driven project. So now's the time to start looking for and building that community. I'd like to get as much feedback as I can. The current campaign, the possibility of a future one. There is a lot I want to change, but what do you think could have been done better? What convinced you to pledge? What nearly convinced you NOT to? What would you suggest for the project moving forward?
Saturday - February 22, 2014
Shattered Time - Update# 5, Promotional News
In the next update for Shattered Time we get information on the games development, and marketing. As for the game it has only managed to get $2,182 of the $100,000 goal.
Game Development and Marketing
In game development there are a number of factors to achieving success. The most important factor has nothing to do with actually making a game. We’ve all seen great marketing can make millions off of a simple game, it doesn't even have to be any good. The same cannot be said for great development.
A game with poor marketing, no matter how great, will sit in a catalogue of several hundred thousand other games and never be noticed at all. It creates a unique atmosphere in the big name publishing industry, where the greatest success stories are not good games, but brand marketing.
The biggest successes in the industry are Marketing Companies, which just happen to have a game they are selling. For me this creates a unique challenge, as I am definitely a game developer who happens to be trying to market my game. Far more content with my head buried in 10k lines of code than trying to be heard among millions of shouting voices on twitter.
So, whether we achieve funding or not, I would like give a big thank you to all of the backers and supporters thus far. Your support is far more important than your pledges. I’ve been hard at work setting up an active forum over the last few days. Rain or shine the site will officially launch before the end of the campaign. Where anyone will be able keep up with the latest developments and even contribute to the future of this project.
There are many prospects ahead, this campaign is only the first. Even as it stands I consider it a success, if only for building an interest in the game. Be sure and keep an eye out on the 25th! Swinging that promotion to get more people to view this campaign won't be easy, but I've got high hopes.
Wednesday - February 19, 2014
Shattered Time - Update #4, A Sense of Time
Daniel J Swiger has a campaign update for Shattered Time, and talks about time.
Nearing the halfway point on the campaign. While things aren't looking too promising for reaching the funding goal, I want to assure you that things are still progressing. The months ahead may prove to be challenging, but the project will continue. Judging by the view count, visibility is the prime concern.
Unfortunately now, the biggest factor against the campaign is the fact it isn't doing well. Backer's may continue to avoid it for that reason alone. I'm not giving up yet, though. It would make for a rather good underdog story if we manage to hit the goal from this point, don't you think?
Time is Relative
Every period in your life has had a sense to it, a feeling and mood that no other period has. The 90s felt like the 90s, and nothing before or after has, or will, feel like the 90s again. If you stepped back through time to 1996, would you feel that sense again? If you went back to 1896, would it be a whole new feeling and sense, like you have never experienced before?
I want to capture that with each timeline in the game. A specific mood, color palette, architecture, shapes, designs and patterns for each and every timeline. A mood and emotional sense you can almost feel. Step through a Rift and know ‘when’ you are before you even know ‘where’ you are.
The Medieval forests, living, magical, like you’ve walked into a fairy tale.
A gritty, steamy, film nior feel to the Steam timeline.
And, well... still kind of keeping the Cyber timeline under wraps for now. Something to reveal at a later date with a little more shock and awe behind it.
Like the infinity engine games before, art is a very important aspect of giving the world a sense of depth. And in this case, that sense of depth has to extend across time as well. But even more important is the sound.
Sunday - February 16, 2014
Shattered Time - Update# 3, Game History
Daniel J Swiger has posted the next update for Shattered Time with a history lesson.
A story about History, War, and the nature of Humanity.
The story in Shattered Time is really paramount to what this game is all about. It’s got Medieval Fantasy, it’s got Steampunk, it’s got Cyberpunk, it’s obviously got time travel. But what about the story itself?
Before you even begin character creation you will choose the timeline your story begins in. Regardless which one you choose, you will find yourself thrown into the midst of a chaotic world. Familiar, yet very unfamiliar.
Wednesday - February 12, 2014
Shattered Time - A Open Source CRPG
Shattered Time is a new Open Source RPG from a developer called Daniel J Swiger. He is asking for $100,000 on kickstarter to fund his ambitious game.
A mysterious Rift has torn it’s way backwards through time and space, echoing from an event that hasn't happened yet. Begin your journey in one of three timelines to unravel a sequence of events leading to the end of all life on Earth.
The game has two updates already with more information.
Update #1 - Why is the goal so high? / Why is the goal so low?
Many Indie Games on Kickstarter are looking for less than $10k, why are you asking for ten times that?
In a lot of cases these games are mostly complete, and looking for just enough funding to finish the game and launch on their chosen paid platform. Or they are much smaller overall projects, aiming for 2-4 hours of gameplay in the final product. In many cases they already have significant investment in the game, but run short on their budget and need a final push.
In my case the game is a much larger project, in very early development, seeking to be fully funded. I considered a lower starting goal, but in budgeting out the development, I had serious doubts about completing the game to the quality I want to build.
100k is both a large amount, and at the same time, it will be a very tight budget. The average, single American income makes that much money in approximately four years. The average household income, in two. For a three year budget, with significant upfront costs and zero planned return, this a very low amount.
Update #2 - Workflow and Tools of the Trade
"So how is it that a game like this is possible for an Indie Developer?"
Primarily because of the advancements in the tools available today. There are a few aspects of the development process for a game this size that stand apart as, some might say, "monumental" tasks. One of those is content creation.
When I was a teenager and playing around with 3D modeling programs for the first time, in the dawn of the current century (always fun to say that), it was no small task to create a 3D model. Actually, one might say it was quite a lot of time consuming work, with very expensive pieces of software.
Things have changed considerably since then. Now there are even a number of free programs, like Scupltris, from the same company that produces the even more powerful Zbrush. Which, with a stylus in hand, is as easy as working with clay. In many respects, easier, actually.