matt wrote:I suspect the main difference is that kickstarter is less exciting/interesting to backers as well as press. It is hard to admit, but it's also possible the game just doesn't grab people. I'm not sure why that would be. Some people think the art style is the same (and I disagree with that, but what I think doesn't matter), and maybe other people expect that it is more of the same as Neverending Nightmares. I'm not sure. We are in a tough spot because I assumed we had a good chance of success for this kickstarter, so I don't have much in the way of contingency plans...
I think that is part of it, to be honest. Look at it this way..
game market has tons of similar games being made where the art style is lacking invariety and creativity. most horror games are either realistic 3d games or semi-stylized but also gritty/realistic looking. Shooters all kind of blur together, so do fantasy rpg and MMO's. Enter Neverending Nightmares, a game that looks nothing like any other horror game out there, but instead is styled after the beloved and long time geek fodder king, Edward Gorey. Now add to it the promise that not only will it be scary and get under your skin (with a pre-alpha demo that shows this off to great effect) but the fact the creator admittedly suffers from certain mental conditions and wants to examine and imagine them within the game to help people understand and experience what he does. GOLD. You have SO MUCH that helped to sell this concept at the time of the Kickstarter. Granted you still had a rollercoaster ride to get the funding, but you got it.
Now we come back to now. You have this campaign that, generally, looks and feels like the previous game. You went from the iconographic penwork of Edward Gorey to more of a thick lined inkwash design that is evocative of.. no one really. The game is again still in mostly black and white, has the same "2d " overall look and navigation, still no UI, the demo starts up like NeN with no real lead in or set up or explanation about the plot (despite you telling everyone it is going to be more of a narrative driven game this time) and overall feels like what would have been "Chapter 2" of NeN 1 if it was split into episodes. And I'm sorry but at least for the initial pitch, you didn't get into the meat and potatoes of how close the game hits home to you and your wife. It sounds more like "I think it would be neat to combine my fears (which I won't get into right now) and this wild lore from the Philippines. "
what ends up happening is you are effectively under-selling everything in so many ways. Everyone that LIKED the first game will see this and you have a 50/50 shot they'll back it. Everyone that was "well, it was ok" about the first one won't see any major stand out changes or advancements in DD and so pay it no mind(maybe get 25% of them to back it on the lower tiers), thinking you've hit your bar and plateau. Everyone less than enthused or that hated NeN will just walk away unsurprised. You may get a few newcomers but since no one is really talking up the game, well, there haven't been many of those either.
At this point I would say don't quite.. but prep for a reboot and have a plan of attack. I think you have a great strategy with tiers and stuff, Lobstah helped a lot with that. You have a solid working demo(and if you add the prologue so it FEELS more narratively driven, even better). you can re do a lot of the animated gifs using any enhancements you have for the engine (I know you mentioned tweaking things about her face/eyes/movement) fairly quickly. And if you do have support and friends in the phillipines, reach out to them to see if anyone can hook you up with some good quality pics of the area that you can use as reference for the game AND for the pitch. Tossing a free digital copy of the game for their efforts wouldn't kill you.
When you do the pitch video, tighten it up so you get as much in there as possible (without data dumping) but really push for the idea that this is an important and personal project that is especially critical with the upcoming birth of your son, Paul. Heck say it is the second ever gift from you to him (the first being the gift of life lol). A way to send him a message, many years in the future, about how you felt about his birth, about seeing him, about the fear of losing him, and how precious he is to you and your wife. Humanize this in a way like you did with NeN.
If need be explain the links between your fears and the aswang as the result of conversations with your wife and her family and how they made the connection between your fears, their own cultural fears historically, and the many folktales that manifested over time as a result. Then show that you want to try and explore your fears and anxieties by delving into their lore and unearthing the primal deep-set terrors of their people into a more contemporary setting that will feel approachable to gamers, but still submerge them in the kind of morass that forever taints their dreamsleep.
I hope this all makes some sense. I'm not trying to knock you down or mock you, but rather focus your efforts in a more refined manner. I think you were ok being especially vague with NeN because of the nature of the game, but with this second run I would be less vague, more specific, so people know what they're getting into and know how much MORE this game is going to bring to the table. It will alleviate people's worries it will be "yet another walking simulator". or "lack interactive objects" or whatever else bugged people.
also.. seriously.. redo the animated shot of Angel getting attacked by the mananangal where she struggles a bit and then.. passes out as it plunges it's proboscis into her. Unless they have a venom that knocks people out INSTANTLY a mother would be fighting and riding every bit of adrenaline possible to save their baby. That clip looks like she just gives up and takes a nap... lol