Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Look at a Failed Kickstarter - AfterEarth: The Fall

I wrote about AfterEarth: The fall when I first found it on Kickstarter. I basically said it was a cool Kickstarter that was set up to fail, and it did. The reasons are many, the solutions are few. Apparently it will be relaunched shortly, but I'd like to look at the latest update and comment on pieces of it, and see if it's going to play out better the next time around.

We didn't make it! Sniff...sniff...Ok that is enough of that. What does this mean for AfterEarth: The Fall as an RPG?...nothing! 
We will revisit KickStarter in 1 month at a lower goal and a couple things removed.
The good news.
In 3-4 days we will unleash the AfterEarth Apocalyptica card deck on Kickstarter (I assume the reason for this is to recoup money spent / owed on the art resources. The thing is, a card deck is like a set of dice - in a pinch, any set will do. If I had to budget my money for the cards or the game as a supporter, I'd be budgeting for the game. Also, pledging for cards before knowing if the game itself is going to be successful strikes me as foolish. Sure, I can use them as standard playing cards, but there are cheaper options). Get in early and you can get the cards at about 1/3 retail price. We will do the poker cards first and then use that time to get the RPG into a form that is workable at a lower goal. Our website will be the location for the the card information as well as the RPG relaunch.  
What went wrong?
Well 3 things-
1. We added poker cards to our game (again, in a pinch, any deck would do). As anyone can see looking at the card decks on KickStarter that was a huge cause of our larger than normal goal. Some of the cards have 20,000 budgets alone. So you can probably guess how low our new goal for the RPG will be :) (but does that mean the goal for the cards with be $20k? again, putting the OPTIONAL accessory our for crowd funding before the game itself seems to be counter intuitive.)
2. We wanted to offer everything we had right up front. That is not normal for most KickStarters and we knew going in that it was a risk. We didn't care. If was the way we would have liked KickStarters to run so we ran it that way. Whoops! (Whoops! is a nice way to say it. Major FUBAR is another nice way. For a Kickstarter that bragged about the years of crowd funding experience on stuff, it's nearly mind boggling.)
3. A huge impact was offering the PDF at $1.00. (this was a major bullet to the foot) We were warned but really wanted to give people everything for the cheapest price possible. We even heard some down right angry complaints about it. ($1 for the PDF allowed folks, like me, to get in the game with no real risk. It should have been $10 minimum in my opinion) So that will be removed as well.We thank you all. It has been enlightening, engaging, and actually very positive. Not a single thing negative can be said about our experience with our backers.
Some Q-A about AfterEarth the Fall as it will appear later.
Q: Will contributions be possible on the new relaunched RPG KickStarter?
A: Yep! And at overall cheaper reward levels. (too many cooks spoil the pot and all that crap associated with it. I'm not saying it's not an interesting way to run things, I'm just not sure how successful it will be)
Q: Will the card decks be available through the relaunched RPG KickStarter?
A: Most likely no or very limited if we have any left.
Q: How will you handle rewards with the RPG relaunched KickStarter?
A: There will be less to read, more to receive, and more to see. (Thank the gods! There was way too much to digest on the original Kickstarter site, to the point it was intimidating to get through)
Thank you all. We will update you with the Card Deck link when KickStarter authorizes us for the go ahead. It is the same quality art you can expect from our people (which is why I suspect the cards are an attempt to pay for the art, which I must say the samples are extremely good and can't be cheap) and will still interact with the RPG in particular ways to make them valuable to card players and fans of AfterEarth. 
The only thing we do ask, and we do it humbly as you guys have been insanely positive towards us. Keep us alive. Keep checking Facebook, keep excited, keep following us on twitter, keep telling friends and family about us. The game is great but with your contributions it will be something no one has ever seen before!
Thank you, 
Ignite LLC

I think the core of AfterEarth may be really damn cool, and I'd like to see a version come out. For me, the cards are a novelty, nothing more, as I do 100% of my gaming online these days. I wish the folks at Ignite luck with the new direction, and will be following closely, but I don't know how successful putting the cart before the horse or the cards before the game will be.

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