Double Action Summer Kickstarter

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Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby Vino » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:42 pm

I'm running a Kickstarter to raise the funds so that I can work on Double Action this summer and not have to take a job. But before I do that I want to make one thing clear.

I've done this a few times and I've noticed that once you start talking about money, people stop working. For some reason when there's money involved people lose their motivation. DA is a labor of love and the prospect of being paid for it turns it into a job. That's not what I want. I'm not doing this Kickstarter to get rich, I'm doing it so that I can focus on DA this summer. I'm only asking for the same amount that I could get if I got a summer job. I want people to work on Double Action because they love the game and want to see it do well, not because they want to be paid. Personally I'm doing this Kickstarter because I'd much rather work on Double Action than do another GSoC, and the only thing keeping that from happening is that I have bills.

In short, remember why we're making Double Action and don't start thinking in dollar signs.

And now I want your feedback:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vin ... n=d256ff7f

My issues:

* Are people going to give money for something that they wouldn't have to pay for anyway? I'm relying on finding those action game fans that are warm hearted and want to fund development of a good game. I'm also offering something in the way of digital goods in return, sunglasses and golden pistols.
* I'm trying to give the impression that we "need" the money without telling the outright lie that we couldn't finish the game without it. Obviously we can finish the game without the Kickstarter, it would just take a much longer time. We're need people to be open hearted and impatient, essentially.
* I'm playing the "starving indies" card. The amount requested is low, the production value is low, but hopefully people will be convinced the game has a heart of gold and open their wallets. But because of this, authenticity and personality are important.
* The video quality of my webcam is completely suck but I have no access to a better camera. I'm trying to cover it up with better looking on-screen text and footage of the game. I'm going to re-record at least some of this footage next weekend, and re-edit it all with some new gameplay footage, to try to cover it up some more.
* I'm not entirely sure if the songs I chose are appropriate. If you have a suggestion for a song that's royalty free or that you have the rights to please send them to me.

I'm launching the Kickstarter in 2 weeks. Dementei is the level designer and techmage is the artist. Dementei's an obvious choice and he's done a lot of good work. Techmage I've worked with on other projects before and he's a contractor so this type of work is right up his alley. If the Kickstarter succeeds the work start date will be after I get out of school in early June, and it'll go through late August, so 2.5 months in total.

"Why don't I get some money?" I chose people who I know are reliable and who are available to take the summer off to focus on Double Action, but I couldn't choose everybody. I feel bad because some artists have contributed things and they got passed over, but none have contributed enough that I feel I know them well enough to bank the Kickstarter on them. I could only choose one person so I preferred to go with the person I've worked with before. (For example Flakk has done some cool work lately, and if I were planning this a few months from now I may have approached him instead, but he had the misfortune of getting into the swing of things too late.) But that doesn't mean that others won't get money - if we beat the funding goal by enough money then MAYBE I'll hand some out to those who have done work on the game so far. It depends on how much we get and what other things we can spend it on. Maybe we'll want to get an engine license instead. This money is temporary. It's not a revenue stream, it's just a one-off, we can only spend it once and then it will be gone.

Okay that's all said, now I'm going to take the feedback and spend the rest of the weekend working on the game.
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Re: Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby Flakk » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:31 pm

I'm ... skeptical. I admit I haven't played what you guys have in quite a while so I don't know exactly where you are progress wise. But I don't think you've defined the goal clear enough. What is the ambition of the level of polish/quality in the first version? Blockouts of final art or somewhere in between?
What about sounds?
8-10 maps is A. LOT. That of course depends on the level of quality of each map. But one person, 8 maps? It just sounds completely unreasonable. Will that be maps with assets created by the team or just Valve created stuff from HL2? I would cut that down to, oh say 2 maps and make sure they're fun, tested and a little bit polished.
What about UI?
One artist creating all weapons and all player models including animations also sounds unreasonable. What about the hands? The rig? The player animations?
What about all the time that will be eaten away by unforeseen problems, bugs and glitches?
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Re: Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby Antagonist » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:38 pm

I think that this could be a good idea. It just seems to me that you might want to, as Flakk said, define the plan better so that people will understand that this is a project that's gonna be completed.
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Re: Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby Vino » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:50 pm

Flakk wrote:I'm ... skeptical. I admit I haven't played what you guys have in quite a while so I don't know exactly where you are progress wise. But I don't think you've defined the goal clear enough. What is the ambition of the level of polish/quality in the first version? Blockouts of final art or somewhere in between?
What about sounds?
8-10 maps is A. LOT. That of course depends on the level of quality of each map. But one person, 8 maps? It just sounds completely unreasonable. Will that be maps with assets created by the team or just Valve created stuff from HL2? I would cut that down to, oh say 2 maps and make sure they're fun, tested and a little bit polished.
What about UI?
One artist creating all weapons and all player models including animations also sounds unreasonable. What about the hands? The rig? The player animations?
What about all the time that will be eaten away by unforeseen problems, bugs and glitches?


I can add text to the document to clear a lot of this up.

I'm anticipating having one or two of the weapons ready by summer, and if than happens then the total commitment of the modeler is:

* one player model
* the remaining weapons
* one pair of sunglasses

For a professional working full time for 2.5 months, at the quality level this mod is shooting for, this should be no problem. I've discussed it with techmage and he said he's up to it.

As for maps, we already have 11 maps in the game, at varying levels of completeness and quality. Dementei works pretty fast when he has a job, I imagine he'll have no trouble cleaning up the remaining maps if he doesn't. He indicated to me that we can build one level from scratch and polish the remaining levels during the 2.5 months.

On top of that I'll be spending my time polishing the design, which is one of the most important parts, and helping in other areas when I have time. The design is in pretty good shape as it is, so 2.5 months of full time shouldn't be a problem.

Maybe what I hadn't stated is that none of this work is AAA N-G quality. We're going to be just 3 people for 2.5 months, and the best we can turn out is what games looked like 5 years ago. It'll look good but it won't look like the newest Unreal engine game.

Anyway here I go, updating the Kickstarter.
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Re: Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby misanq » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:24 pm

I see two problems with this. Firstly, $20k is a huge amount of money to get together for a game that isn't pseudo-indie endeavour with a marketing budget behind it to whip up donations and hype, a la most sucessful kickstarter projects. Secondly, you're getting into pretty murky legal territory if you don't have a source engine license. If valve decided to take issue with it, they wouldn't exactly be setting a precedent by serving you a C&D notice and having kickstarter cancel the fund. And given that some of the maps use assets from L4D, it's sketchier still.
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Re: Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby Vino » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:31 pm

There have been other Source mods do Kickstarters for slightly smaller amounts, and they didn't have the name recognition of something like TS behind them. The Blade Symphony Kickstarter, for example. I think $20k is doable given all the old TS fans are now of money spending age. I'm not worried about Valve because a) they don't swing their lawyers around much b) they don't care about source sdk anymore and c) we're not violating the terms of service since we're not selling any games.
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Re: Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby misanq » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:47 pm

I'll just gtfo in that case. Though, I think you should still consider how likely it is to get 20k together. I mean, if the average donation was a pretty solid $50 you're still looking at 400 or so donors to hit the pay out mark. Is 20k the minimum you need to get it done? Because if it isn't, you should consider setting it lower, not just to increase the chances of success but also to make it more attractive for donors. If people think that you're not going to hit your mark, they'll probably be less likely to donate, snowballing the problem; whereas aiming low and hitting a lower mark or going over it is not only more achievable but also pretty good PR and advertising.
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Re: Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby Vino » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:50 pm

I had it at $18k before and that's probably the lowest I could go. I bumped it up to $20k because it's a nice round number and I was worried about the fees and so on cutting into the $15k, especially if we run into anything unexpected. I could drop it back down to $18k if you guys think it's more likely to happen.
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Re: Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby Flakk » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:22 pm

Vino wrote:
Flakk wrote:I'm ... skeptical. I admit I haven't played what you guys have in quite a while so I don't know exactly where you are progress wise. But I don't think you've defined the goal clear enough. What is the ambition of the level of polish/quality in the first version? Blockouts of final art or somewhere in between?
What about sounds?
8-10 maps is A. LOT. That of course depends on the level of quality of each map. But one person, 8 maps? It just sounds completely unreasonable. Will that be maps with assets created by the team or just Valve created stuff from HL2? I would cut that down to, oh say 2 maps and make sure they're fun, tested and a little bit polished.
What about UI?
One artist creating all weapons and all player models including animations also sounds unreasonable. What about the hands? The rig? The player animations?
What about all the time that will be eaten away by unforeseen problems, bugs and glitches?


I can add text to the document to clear a lot of this up.

I'm anticipating having one or two of the weapons ready by summer, and if than happens then the total commitment of the modeler is:

* one player model
* the remaining weapons
* one pair of sunglasses

For a professional working full time for 2.5 months, at the quality level this mod is shooting for, this should be no problem. I've discussed it with techmage and he said he's up to it.

As for maps, we already have 11 maps in the game, at varying levels of completeness and quality. Dementei works pretty fast when he has a job, I imagine he'll have no trouble cleaning up the remaining maps if he doesn't. He indicated to me that we can build one level from scratch and polish the remaining levels during the 2.5 months.

On top of that I'll be spending my time polishing the design, which is one of the most important parts, and helping in other areas when I have time. The design is in pretty good shape as it is, so 2.5 months of full time shouldn't be a problem.

Maybe what I hadn't stated is that none of this work is AAA N-G quality. We're going to be just 3 people for 2.5 months, and the best we can turn out is what games looked like 5 years ago. It'll look good but it won't look like the newest Unreal engine game.

Anyway here I go, updating the Kickstarter.


Well, to be honest, I just went through all maps quickly now and they all look like very rough blockouts. There is a lot of work left on them. So I stand by my opinion. Right now it feels a lot like quantity over quality as far as levels go. And I would have the modeler do some level assets as well...
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Re: Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby Vino » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:21 pm

Yeah good point. I feel like three of the maps are playing at 80-100%, and so we'll focus on three more. Six total. That might be more feasible.
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Re: Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby Vino » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:07 am



Any more suggestions? I can do another version before I launch.
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Re: Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby 10506 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:47 am

I don't have much to add here, just polish the video and get a better camera for the self interview with you. You need to include more emphasis on The Specialists (i.e. how big it was at it's peak times, how many iterations were released, the time-table for that game) to essentially build your credentials as a legitimate developer. I know you can put out a quality project and I'm very happy to see you working on this. You'll get $100 from me. Good luck, and please put out something that reminds me of TS and has the same quality so it brings a nice strong player base. I miss the good old days.
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Re: Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby ThinRedPaste » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:36 am

10506 wrote:please put out something that reminds me of TS and has the same quality so it brings a nice strong player base. I miss the good old days.


That's why we're all here. Check the latest version thread and grab the current alpha. the Baron's Pub server should be open most if not all the time, and if you hit me up on steam ( th1nredpaste ) I'm pretty much always down to play.
Fuck this shit, I'm going to bed.
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Re: Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby mouxe » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:39 am

I'm behind this. I don't believe that you need to apologize for asking for money, that's often what real productions have to do even if the intent is community based. Frankly I'm glad to see that there's the impetus to wrap things up, as we all know this isn't the final project, this is just the next stepping stone. If all goes well this game gets pitched and remade by a full team for profit and the devs get to continue their work and the community gets to shape a really, really fun game.

I do miss the days of TS, which in my mind is still one of the best deathmatch games ever made, much less made for free.
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Re: Double Action Summer Kickstarter

Postby Dementei » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:15 am

Great video, some things though, set the gameplay footage and other clips to fit the screen and fix the gamma or whatever for the gameplay clips at the end it's a bit too dark. Music is great as well, just the black bars need to go.
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