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Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:28 am
by Harry Sunderland
My wife watched me play the demo, and she said it seemed like it was going to be too similar to Neverending Nightmares. I disagreed with her, but if you want one data point of the person on the street, she is much less enthused by DD than she was by NN.

A big complaint I saw on Steam forums was that NN didn't have enough interactivity. The stupid phrase "Walking Simulator" was thrown around. Maybe that's scaring people away?

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:08 pm
by matt
We definitely want to have more interactivity in Devastated Dreams as well as numerous other gameplay features, but perhaps the fact that it looks kind of similar is what killed us in addition to people maybe not being interested in playing as a pregnant woman.

The real question is if we were really planning on making this Neverending Nightmares 2.0 (which we weren't), why would that fail so epically? Neverending Nightmares was pretty well received.

Perhaps because Neverending Nightmares is still new-ish, our audience isn't clamoring for something along those same lines right now. Sequels can work well for indie developers, but perhaps we should have spaced it out by several years and done something completely different in between.

Regardless, if the kickstarter fails, I suspect Devastated Dreams will never see the light of day. While that saddens me, at the very least, kickstarter has allowed me to write off our work on the game as a loss before we invested anything more into it. (We were going to spend like $160k of our money in conjunction with the kickstarter to finish the game). It is a painful lesson to learn, but it is much less painful now than it would be if we finished the game, and then it didn't sell.

This bodes poorly though for Infinitap Games because we don't really have a good contingency plan. We do have a few other things in the works - including an interesting announcement sometime next week.

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:35 am
by Harry Sunderland
Maybe if you did something really crazy/controversial like start giving the game away to everyone who backs at $5 or even $ might bring in a whole wave of backers and make a media splash.

Do you think that might work? No one who backed at $15 could blame it seems like without a surge the game might not happen at all.

Plus, even if the $15 people might be worth the risk.

It would be VERY controversial but that might be a good thing. :p

Hell maybe give them DD aaaaaaand NN! or just NN. or Just DD

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:39 am
by Harry Sunderland
Or maybe make the next Developer Diary SUPER controversial. Like command Keiji Inafune to lick your balls or something messed up like that.

Maybe insist that NN is a better game than Half Life 2, or call Tim Schafer a hack. Point out that your project is way more timely than a series of Kickstarter projects and call them out directly. Broken Age, Mighty No 9. Haha

I'm just being silly here. But it would be interesting to see what happened if you tried to get media coverage by acting like a complete villain.

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:47 pm
by evilkinggumby
nah just do a video frankly stating that the idea of playing a woman, a pregnant woman, or a filipino woman (or a minority) is obviously not anything ANYONE wants to get behind. The large pool of gamers is not as diverse and empathetic as you had hoped, but instead is full of angry white men who clearly have no desire to play a woman like you proposed.That the failure of the campaign is a clear testimonial to the apathetic or downright mysogeny in gaming and because almost NO ONE would back your game all hope is lost for the industry...

that'll shake the grass.. LOL

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:04 pm
by LobsterSundew
827 backers have pledged $31,887. The average is $38.56 per backer which is starting to get a bit high.

The last 48 hours reminder e-mails went out which created only a small boost.

Devastated Dreams is ranked 19th in popularity.

I see the developer of Tesla Breaks the World has commented in the comment area since July 29th. His comment about the target market not being very large was well written. He seems to support many of the same projects I pledge to and I generally agree with his points.

Press coverage continues to not be happening. Filling the $84,009 funding gap on the last day without press coverage is unlikely. Many people will be treating the campaign with apathy if they only pledge to campaigns they know will make it to 100% funded.

A successful relaunch of a project often requires implementing changes that try to address the problems the first run had. So much of Devastated Dreams was already well executed compared to many other projects. For Devastated Dreams the game itself can only be changed so much until it is a different experience than what was originally intended. Changes like slashing the scope until it could fit into a $30,000 budget or reworking the protagonist would take a lot of effort and additional time. A publisher may not consider the game a good investment for them because of how weak the reaction was for the project. Even if the demo had more time put into enhancing it, the first impressions for many people will already have been made about the game. A relaunch may get just as little press. Running again also would be another serious time investment. Relauching too soon after the first run fails also isn't advised.

I'll have the final version of the campaign's graphs tomorrow.

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:36 pm
by RightClickSaveAs
Well damn. This was unexpected. It never even crossed my mind until the past several days that the project wouldn't be funded. I mean, I figured it would be close and there would have to be a big last minute push, worst case scenario, but the slump was really surprising.

I don't know if it's a victim of some kind of Kickstarter indie decline in general, or the game just isn't catching people's eye, but I always assumed there would be at least a few hundred more people jumping in during the last few days. The negative feedback I've seen for it so far has been focused on thinking it looked too much like NN, but again, the more noticeable and troubling thing is the lack of response in general.

I hope you don't give up on the concept, and maybe it can be made to happen some other way, but do you think you're going to have to try another direction or genre in the future? If it were a *deep breath* roguelikesandboxMMOretropixelartDarkSouls-inspiredRPG then I have a feeling it would have gotten a little more attention, sadly, even if it still didn't fund.

Well hopefully this doesn't discourage you too much. Take a break from all this, go have a child! Congrats again on the upcoming parenthood!

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:15 am
by LobsterSundew
The campaign ended with $32,253 (27.82%) pledged by 832 backers for an average pledge amount of $38.77 per backer.

August 14th had 3 backers. August 15th had 21 backers thanks to the last 48 hour reminder e-mails. August 16th brought in only 5 backers. The final day was rather quiet with only 2 comments on the last day before the deadline hit.

Here is the final set of graphs for the campaign's run:
● The $10 tier peaked at 433 backers. As backers relocated from that tier the slots were removed.
● About 38% of the total amount pledged and around 33% of backers came were accumulated on the first day of the campaign.
Devastated Dreams had around 23% the number of backers that Neverending Nightmares had.
● The rewards structure was working as it was designed, but simply wasn't growing fast enough for such a large minimum goal.

It clearly looks to me like the campaign wasn't getting enough small backers, was mostly receiving apathy towards the game and had much less exposure generated than Neverending Nightmares. With Neverending Nightmares that campaign hit a rough patch after launching too, but was saved by videos by large Let's Play channels. Devastated Dreams didn't get covered by those same big channels and the views the demo did get weren't being converted into backers as easily. Eventually the funding gap became too large for a last 48 hours surge and backers grew more apathetic.

Over the next few days is the opportunity to try to get feedback from people while the campaign is still fresh in their minds. Understanding what happened can make it easier to deal with a campaign's failure and that same feedback could also be used in planning what to do next.

Re: Watching the Devastated Dreams campaign's progress.

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:06 am
by matt
Thank you all for your very thoughtful feedback. I'll definitely give it some thought, but honestly, I am trying to NOT think about the kickstarter just because emotionally, it has been really rough dealing with how hard it failed. I'm expecting our child very soon, so I am trying to focus my thoughts on that rather than thinking about Devastated Dreams' falling short.

I do think we totally misjudged the audience. I expected Neverending Nightmares fans to give us the benefit of the doubt with a female pregnant protagonist, but apparently not. That Dragon Cancer is an amazing game (and had a lot of press), but in my mind, it proved that games could tackle serious issues about parenting and still find an audience, but perhaps people are more open to that because it's about being a father rather than mother... KillScreen has talked about the daddification of games, and they thought Devastated Dreams was unique because it showed it from the mother's perspective.