Prisonscape - Interview @ RPG Codex
The RPG Codex's Crooked Bee took the time to interview Game Designer Pekka Kallioniemi, and talk about his current kickstartr game Prisonscape.
Prisonscape puts an emphasis on "advanced" RPG mechanics, and aims to include barter, crafting, factions and faction reputations, choices & consequences, as well as a variety of non-combat skills. That sounds quite ambitious! How did you go about deciding which of these features to include, and how are you going to ensure they all work together?
That's a great question, and not a day goes by when I don't think about possible feature creep in Prisonscape. Most of the ideas for these came from Oz, as all are very prominent in the show. We also feel that these are the features that make prison environment so interesting - these guys have their own micro economy, rules and hierarchy, and the things the inmates come up while being locked up 23 hours a day is unbelievable.
Ensuring that they work together is just a matter of adjusting, testing and adjusting some more. Our aim is to have a small but effective beta team that gives us constant feedback that is then used to balance out these game features.
The game seems like a pretty concept but so far, the Kickstarter is only at around 1/3 of its goal. If your Kickstarter fails, will you still continue work on the game in some form or another? How do you think it will affect your motivation? And what impact will it have on the game?
We will continue working on the game like we have so far - hour or two here and there after our day jobs and full days during the weekend. It was our dream to be able to finish the game while working on it full-time, but now we just have to do it some other way. We'll set up Paypal for pre-orders some time next week, so that everyone who still wants to support to game or contribute to it in some way can do it even when the Kickstarter fails.
What are the main lessons you have learned during the Kickstarter campaign, and what advice would you give to other developers who might want to turn to crowdfunding?
The beginning of your campaign is very important - be sure to send those PR mails early and don't expect any replies, especially from any of the bigger sites. They'll write you if they find the project interesting enough. Also, we really recommend running Greenlight and KS at the same time since they offer a great way for cross-promotion. Have a backup plan in case your KS fails and try to build a fanbase BEFORE you launch your campaign. Twitter is great! Kickstarter cross-promotions are also a good thing, and there's no shame in asking some of the bigger projects to give you shoutout in one of their updates. Finally, you won't have much time for actual development while you're running the campaign.