[UE4] Dead Crusade- Kickstarter Launch

They need to keep it real. Game developers are far too positive/naïve about finance and are fond of flattering each other because they hope they will be afforded this courtesy when showing off their game but I just think its giving false hope. The reality is this game won’t get funding and in any case $250K isn’t enough anyway.

Take a look at Star Citizen. A lot of companies use kickstarter to get their projects going. They still make money after kickstarter through crowd funding.
Energy Hook only raised about 40k initially but is still raising money after kickstarter

The company could also be self funding (or using outside investor).

I have a friend that works at Star Citizen btw. I believe they even went w/o pay to get that thing going if I understood him properly. There are a plethora of ways to fund these games. It’s never enough.

Just been keeping an eye on this game. Glad to see the backers piling up. Still ways to go. Good luck! :slight_smile:

I’d be really interested in how you’re doing the limb slicing. Is that done through Blueprint? Custom scripts? Very cool. Game looks great, keep up the great work!

It really depends. It seems they have their team already put together, which is a big plus. Indie development isn’t usually the same as traditional game development when it comes to payment, when you’re starting out you don’t typically have a salary. Most people work part time jobs and develop during their free time. If this is the case, 250k can easily be sufficient for the development of the game. It’s multiplayer, not single player, and seems to be similar in design to L4D. Even if that wasn’t the case, not everyone is going to be able to have a huge payday before the launch of the game. Thats just the unfortunate reality of indie development. You get small funds to make last in the beginning, then once the project is released and starts to make gains you can gradually evolve into your typical game development studio. Now whether that was their line of thinking is another story. They didn’t seem to have planned out their campaign, so I can’t really speak for how in depth their budgeting is.

I agree with your initial post statement though, you have people who out of fear of being too harsh won’t give the critique that can help others improve. What people don’t realize is your fellow indie may be forgiving of a few things, but they aren’t usually the ones fronting the money in these kickstarter campaigns. Those are gamers. You have to look at it from both perspectives.

Hey JonF, thanks for taking the time to share your insights, its honestly much appreciated and doesn’t come across critical at all.

The truth is, there where mistakes made that did in fact cause us to miss out on the initial launch burst. It has defiantly been a learning experience, and one we are learning from carefully. We spent a lot of time making the presentation and small details of the game as polished as possible, and there was a significant amount of pressure to launch. Looking back i can see the mistakes made very clearly and can only shake my head in humble humiliation. It is new territory for us, and we were wrong in various presumptions to how funding a Kickstarter worked.

We have gotten a significant amount of press coverage but it has been more of small fires spread days about as opposed to one big fire that starts and burns over 30 days. I can understand how this trend confuses backers and can give the wrong impression. We have gotten a lot of positive feedback and hope to grow from it. The same mistakes will not be made twice.

Right now we are evaluating how to proceed and grow from our mistakes. We actually revamped the entire Kickstarter showcase video to better represent the game for mass market appeal. For example, our best action footage (which is in ue4) is showed first instead of last, and all story and unreal 3 footage has been minimized, completely removed, and split into another video put into the story section. We tried to adapt as best we could, but have learned that Kickstarter is very unforgiving in any mistakes made. Its very much a case of being as completely prepared and ready as possible, knowing exactly what will happen and what wont before launch.

We are evaluating how to proceed, and while there are no easy answers, you can rest assured that if we do a relaunch it will be a noticeable improvement on not just the presentation and launch campaign, but the design approach as well.

I’m happy to hear that you are going to move forward with more preparation. It’s new territory for all of us, I was at that point myself and would have made the same mistakes had something not come up that caused me to wait. In my time waiting, I spent plenty of days observing crowdfunding campaigns and how they worked, what made people fail or succeed. Looking back, I’m glad that the obstacle presented itself at that point in time for my project, because I wasn’t prepared. I see a lot of highly potential projects that fail simply because they didn’t understand what ingredients were necessary for a successful campaign. And the unfortunate truth is, there isn’t much of a guide for indie developers to go by. It’s always good to really know what you’re getting yourself into, and the best way to do that is to study other attempts. I sincerely wish you all the best of luck, and look forward to what you do next with Dead Crusade.

Also you should look into backing other projects. I know I consider that a negative. I have a friend that won’t back at all if the project has never backed anyone else. Look at this one project that just got funded. Their first attempt failed even though they appeared to have done everything right. They took a few months off and then returned and got bout double what they asked for. But it was an excellent kickstarter campaign. They kept us involved.

Anyway, you’ll find you will get tons of advice from folks on where you went wrong. Cause it’s easy for people to be critical. If you haven’t already- I’d ask these guys what they did right (the guys that actually had wildly successful kickstarters). Just message them on kickstarter. You’ll find they will even mention on their own pages and introduce you to their community.

Most of us are just random backers with no experience running a $100k+ kickstarter. Myself, I’ve only released mods and shipped games backed by a private financial company/publisher

That is an inspiring story. We have actually been in contact with a few successful Kickstarters, and its been really helpful to get everyone’s feedback. I defiantly feel like if we proceed to do another one, it has a much greater chance at success. It is very much a balance of great presentation, campaign preparation, and media networking. In the case of ours, we put most of our effort into the development side expecting the game to sell itself. While this defiantly helped, and everyone is overall impressed with what was shown, having marketing and networking campaigns built much prior to launch is equally if not more important to your chance of success.

In our case, less is more. We would have been better showing zero unreal 3 footage (of which the bulk of game was made) and no combat footage (since despite being prototype, everyone assumed it was final). Its a catch 22, people complain when Kickstarters do not show game-play footage, but when it is shown, it is judged critically. I can understand why other Kickstarters focus solely on hype or promise and get massive success. As a developer i could never respect that approach, but i can see now they were doing what worked and any early footage could have hurt more than helped.

Thanks for the comments.

Well Good luck then! Whoops my math was way off on that ‘Earthlock’ kickstarter I linked. I see they originally asked for $250k but didn’t hit the target. Then they came back with a lower goal ($150k). Man Kickstarter is truly like gambling isn’t it?

Kickstarter is like Las Vegas. :slight_smile:

Kickstarter for games today is not a “how to get money mechanism”, but “how to promote the game” - it requires a lot of money to be spend on marketing, ads, “spread the word”, etc.

I wish you good luck, guys. Looks really cool!

Indies don’t need to have a lot of money to spread the word though. Using tools like Facebook and Twitter, along with different gamer/development forums in conjunction with gaming journalism you can really build a lot of interest in your project. The challenge is taking the time to do it. If you’re asking for a large sum of money, you’re going to need an established following.

Keep up the good work! I have followed you stuff since the UE4 beta and it’s just amazing what you guys are creating :smiley: Hopefully you will find some more backers on kickstarter to achieve the goal of 250,000 $

Just a final update on the project, we went ahead and canceled the Kickstarter today. Can read the post mortem here.


I hope you guys continue on working on this game, even in a much slower pace. I really liked it so far.
Kickstarters expect some kind of pointless mod to back it up.

I hope you guys do indeed continue to work on it. While I can understand the difficulty of doing it without funding, you’ve overcome a huge obstacle that many indies have to face - assembling a good team. That is a huge achievement in and of itself, keep working hard and blow people away with your next campaign. Taking the time to evaluate where you went wrong, correct that, and go beyond what you did initially will really increase your odds of success. I wish you all the best, and hope to hear more from you again soon. =)

Sorry to hear that Kickstarter is off. :\ Hope you can continue the project and re-launch the Kickstarter sometime in the future because this game has potential!

It has a three headed demon rat! TAKE MY MONEY! :D:D:D

seriously though well done let us know when the new campaign starts.