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Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:03 pm
by matt
Well, I published my "controversial" blog post. I don't know how much traction it will get since I didn't mention particular hot button people/groups relating to diversity, but in my mind, if I mentioned those, I think people would dismiss what I am try to say (and perhaps rightfully so because the names and labels are getting so muddled these days...). I suppose that's moot if no one picks up on it, but I submitted it on Gamasutra as a developer blog as well as mentioned it to some press associates, so who knows.

The whole situation seems a little silly to me that people need to be reminded to be decent to others, but I guess that's not the way a lot of people behave by default on the internet... At the very least, at least I tried to combat the toxicity with my very limited reach...

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:59 pm
by Harry Sunderland
Woah Matt looks like it already made Reddit. ... _an_indie/

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:01 pm
by LobsterSundew
Another 9 new backers for July 30th. 719 backers are pledging $26,300.

I saw the post to Gamasutra for that blog entry.

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:39 am
by matt
And it looks like it's been removed from Reddit. Weird. Reddit confuses me. At least judging from the comments people seem to be fixating on the premise that I didn't receive harassment because I'm a white male, which was more of a segue, but I guess that was to be expected. I think we are still having trouble getting fresh blood into the project. Someone suggested a viral animated gif on reddit - but mentioned that I definitely shouldn't post it myself. Does anyone want to give it a go? Do you think that any of the ones on the project page might go viral?

Perhaps this:

or this maybe with the question - do you see the creepy baby?

I don't know. Reddit is very confusing. Maybe this isn't worth doing, but I asked some friends about how to promote a kickstarter, and that was the only suggestion I got...

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:50 pm
by LobsterSundew
For Reddit I would suggest making an Imgur album instead of just a single GIF, selecting the blog style for displaying the album and then post the album link on Reddit. An example is the one for Battle Chef Brigade. The GIF would likely be the first image in the album.

There was a post from Last Exit to Horrorville.

Screenshot Saturday #235 has its thread up. On Reddit it is important to lurk and start slow to get a hang of how it works.

The derailing of the article's reception is likely based around the line "The answer seems simple: because I’m a white heterosexual male". It provided a potential answer, which then terminates the floating state of there being no clear dominant answer that allows controversial posts to perpetuate discussion. A single potential answer presented dominant like that means many people now just have the easier task of presenting evidence against that answer.

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:10 am
by matt
Yeah, I think it was a mistake to say that part because at least in the comments on my blog, that seems to be the sticking point that people argue with when it wasn't really the thing the article was about. I really was trying to focus on diversity in games and making the community more welcoming for women and people from other backgrounds... I'll have to keep that in mind in the future.

Since I think my only reddit history is posting on our AMA for our last kickstarter, would anyone with better reddit history want to work with me on putting together a post? I guess moving forward, I should really figure out how reddit works, but I don't think I have time on this campaign, since we have less than 2 weeks left...

Thanks everyone for your support!

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:31 am
by LobsterSundew
Here are updated graphs:

● July 31st had the unallocated funding jump up again.
● The growth at the $15 tier is really consistent. That is better than if it was declining, but the current rate of growth is not fast enough to contribute much before the campaign's deadline.
● Some backers upgraded their pledges.
● The $100 tier continues to be one of the better performing reward tiers.
● Since July 30th the $1 tier had been getting one new backer per day.
● The number of unallocated backers is still below 10.
● Tipping points were not reached even though the campaign came very close to the 30% one.
● It looks like most of the new backers are now coming from within Kickstarter. There hasn't been little surges linked with press coverage because there has been so little coverage.

760 backers have currently pledged $28,210. The average pledge amount has risen to $37.12 per backer.

Devastated Dreams' popularity ranked is 22nd. It now requires clicking the "Load more" button to find it in the discovery area for video games because it has fallen below the 20th spot.

I've been deeply thinking using a process of elimination to try to narrow down what would need to be changed about the campaign.

● The graphs aren't revealing any big problems with the rewards structure. The distribution of backers fits expectations. It looks simply like it has symptoms from a general lack of exposure.
● Too many early-bird slots does not look like a problem. The $10 early-bird closed with 433 backers. If all those backers had been $15 tier backers instead that would have been an additional $2,165. The time-limit kicked in as was intended so the early-bird didn't last into the trough period. When the early-bird ended the $15 tier didn't stall out, so there was the successful transition between those two tiers.
● There hasn't been a lack of project updates or information about what the game is. Project creator communication is high.
● The project doesn't appear to be having any problems with confusion about what the game is. It is presented very clearly. There is even the demo.
● The pitch video is long, but dense and serves its purpose. A more streamlined pitch might not have made any difference for this campaign.
● The project page is long, but not poorly executed. The images are good.
● Internal exposure within the category was very good at launch.
● There wasn't a lack of pre-launch build-up for the campaign. Followers knew when the campaign was launching.
● There shouldn't be much concern about Infinitap not having the skills to produce the game because Neverending Nightmares was delivered.
● I don't think a lack of Ouya support was too big of a factor. There was even some exposure generated from the purchase of Ouya by Razer.
● The game isn't the type of first-person 3D indie horror game that has become popular in recent years.
● There is less of an underdog story about overcoming the setback of Retro/Grade and dealing with ones personal demons. This does give many bloggers much less reason to care about the campaign.
● There wasn't a boost from an event like having a PAX booth.

This leaves potential problem areas.

● Bad timing. This is easier to see in hindsight. The overall quality of active campaigns plummeted for July. Shenmue 3 ended. Red Ash was still around generating bad press about crowdfunding. Five Night's at Freddy's 4 surprise launch took up horror Let's Players' schedules.
● There is additional difficult from the minimum funding goal not being small. Devastated Dreams was not artificially slashing its minimum goal like many others do. A goal above $100,000 requires the Kickstarter trough to go well. Devastated Dreams has raised over $28,000. That is something many small campaigns fail to do, but that amount is small compared to the goal.
● Many Neverending Nightmare backers did not return. This surprised me the most. Much fewer than expected returned. Devastated Dreams only needed to achieve about the same number of backers as the previous campaign.
● Much less press exposure than Neverending Nightmares received in its run. This is one of the big problems. Before launch I was confident to see coverage from places that had featured Neverending Nightmares in the past.
● Many potential backers do not pledge to campaigns that are not certain to reach their goals. Because of the large funding gap many simply won't bother pledging even though no money is transferred if the campaign fails.
● Lack of conversion of demo play-through watchers on YouTube into backers. The previous campaign received many backers thanks to YouTube.
● Reactions (or more specifically the lack of reactions) to game, art style or subject material. Even trying to be controversial didn't generate much of a response from people This feels like the root cause, but this is problematic because it is hard to identify what parts are the biggest problems. The game may look too much like Neverending Nightmares, so it may be perceived as just the same game with a new skin. Some people described it to others like it was a direct sequel.

It feels like there is some disconnect somewhere making what exposure it does get much less effective. The resulting apathy from many gamers also means the amount of usable feedback is also low. If the main cause it the game itself then it might not be fixable in the time remaining. If the problem is the message used when trying to spread word about the game then fixing that could at least provide a little boost in the performance of the campaign. It may be that game is good, but not impressive enough. It can be a problem when success depends on not just being good at something, but being excellent at something. Sometimes just being good isn't able to generate attention.

There is now a fresh wave of August campaigns launching. They may bring in more traffic, but they are also more competition. While it is still possible to get funded, that would require a final surge, but the apathy problem can prevent that from happening. What is important is to avoid having regrets if the campaign fails and to try to find out what happened so there are less questions later.

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:57 pm
by matt
It is definitely frustrating that the game has been doing so poorly on kickstarter when we did so many things right. We may be the victim of bad luck with timing, but I suspect that we just misjudged the demand for the game we are making. It is possible that if we were to finish it and make it as good as we have planned, it COULD find an audience, but at least in my experience, so much of indie success is about marketing, and if we fail to market it now, we might not be able to market the final product. :(

I was thinking that due to the commitment to open development and developer diaries and all that would inspire more loyalty to Infinitap as a company so people would be inclined to support our project, but I think that was a bad assumption. It is a LOT of work to make all these updates and developer diaries, and while we have an amazing group of loyal fans, I think it is a fairly small group. I was hoping that we got different people checking out the developer diaries might be different, but I suspect it is the same 50-100 people, which isn't enough to support a company. I'm not sure open development scales down to a company of our size unfortunately...

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:04 pm
by LobsterSundew
784 backers have pledged $29,728 (25.65% of the goal). The campaign is $5,041 away from 30% funded, but that 30% needed to happen before halfway through the campaign's run.

Here are updated graphs:

The $15 tier's growth has suffered. Remember the $15 reward tier can be considered the most important tier for measuring the health of the campaign. The $10 tier has backers relocating hopefully to higher tiers.

If the campaign was healthy the momentum would have started to ramp up today. Even if it began to ramp up the funding gap is so large that it would keep morale low. Conditions for a last 48 hours surge aren't met. It is possible that the campaign will coast towards its deadline. There should still be a bit of a bit of boost near the end, but it strongly looks like it won't be enough. The growth at the main reward tiers is too low.

I do think bad timing harmed it significantly, but with factors like how well it did at first in the internal rankings and the number of previous backers Neverending Nightmares had it feels like something deeper than bad timing was the main problem. The game wasn't able to generate enough traction whenever it did get some exposure.

Devastated Dreams didn't generate strong reactions either positive or negative. It could be disconnects such as a mostly young male audience not easily emphasizing with a female pregnant protagonist or the fears of being a parent. It could also be that Devastated Dreams was just too much like Neverending Nightmares so it didn't look like it was something actually new. Many people saw it as a sequel.

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:27 am
by RightClickSaveAs
It was just annoyingly $17 short of 30k, so I bumped up my pledge and now its hit that magic (hopefully) number! Got my fingers crossed, the next few days is going to be tight though it looks like.