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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSon of Nor (OUT NOW / PC MAC LINUX)
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Chris Polus
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« Reply #120 on: May 02, 2013, 08:31:18 AM »

Co-op mutliplayer is a big part of Son of Nor. In our Kickstarter update video you see what to expect and also who spell combinations work along with the first spell we have implemented, the fire tornado.



We appreciate any help of spreading the word about our campaign (http://bit.ly/SonOfNor) on Twitter or Facebook Smiley Thanks!
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« Reply #121 on: May 04, 2013, 06:22:35 AM »

We reached the $30k mark on Kickstarter yesterday. But didn't have any time for celebration as we were busy
  • writing the update to reveal our first stretch goals
  • get Son of Nor on Greenlight
  • get PayPal up and running
  • create a short video response to an editor of Rock, Paper, Shotgun

So, yeah, we revealed our first stretch goal: spell variations. Per magical element you'll be able to choose from different flavors of your default spell. For fire for example, you can choose the fire burst you see in our videos, short range, pretty broad. Then maybe have a long range fire beam. Very powerful but you need to be pretty good at aiming. Or some kind of fire explosion around you, very short range, larger area, but not so much damage. You can adapt the spells to your preference so to speak. This will work with all spells for wind and essence.

We also hinted that we thought about a PvP game mode. So for everybody who thinks this game mechanics would make for an awesome PvP game, maybe this is something for you.


We're on Greenlight now! Help us get greenlit and vote us up if you think Son of Nor has potential!
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« Reply #122 on: May 13, 2013, 05:57:36 AM »

We're experimenting with different controllers and are currently having fun with a EPOC brain controller ^^. We managed to implement telekinesis and terraforming using your thoughts, harr harrrr.

You can see a video in our latest Kickstarter update.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stillalivestudios/son-of-nor-the-world-is-your-weapon/posts/479326

We have a new awesome 2D artist. He made all our Kickstarter reward illustrations and now the first mood shot of a new area in the game. We got some complaints that everything looks the same in the desert. So I hope this'll help show that we have varied areas. A new, green shot will come soon.



No matter how our Kickstarter turns out we'll have some pretty interesting data to share. We read a LOOOT of Kickstarter and game dev post mortems. Many different kinds. And tried to follow their advice. It seems we already stumbled into a new era of crowd funding where the things you read 6-12 months ago doesn't necessarily hold true anymore as marketing a game back then differs from today. And quite significantly so. We put a lot of effort into things that have brought very little effect Sad We're trying to find new ways now and go our own way. So I guess it'll be quite interesting seeing what we learned once our Kickstarter finishes, how it all turns out. At least we made the 50k $ mark today.

http://bit.ly/SonOfNor
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« Reply #123 on: May 17, 2013, 03:42:06 AM »

We'll stream a Son of Nor play session in a few hours. Come and look at some live action play. We prepared a little map to have fun and show the game mechanics.

Friday, May 17th
Session 1: 8pm CET (= 11am PST)
Session 2: 6pm PST (= 3am CET)

http://www.twitch.tv/stillalivestudios

Join us!
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« Reply #124 on: May 17, 2013, 05:13:14 AM »

I really like the terrain deforming parts of the gameplay footage, this is probably the first game I've seen properly utilize that tech for something more than a gimmick
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Chris Polus
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« Reply #125 on: May 21, 2013, 02:20:17 PM »

Loooots of stuff happened again during our Kickstarter time. So here's the rundown:

  • We reached $80'000 on Kickstarter! Hoorayyyy! But time grows short, please support us if you haven't already and you think Son of Nor is worth succeeding. We need your help to make it in the last days. Come to our Kickstarter campaign and share it with your friends who might be interested in a truly fresh and new game concept like ours: http://bit.ly/SonOfNor
  • We got 10'000 YES votes on Steam Greenlight! Go there and give us your vote, too!
  • Lore Update: We released some behind the scenes lore of Son of Nor's backstory. We have a rich world and the story of the game as well as lots of backstory was created on which Son of Nor is based. If you're interested, you can read some parts up in our "human chronicles". They're written by Tanath, on of the in-game characters, the Arch Son of Nor of The Edge, summarizing the history of Noshrac as known to the human race. Download!
  • We received some requests for additional languages and we're positively surprised that it seems we have quite some Russian fans. So we decided to put out Son of Nor in these languages by default: English, German, Spanish, Russian. We hope that's cool ^^
  • Our last EPOC mind control video got >50k views, which is amaaaazing! The feedback was great too, but there were also several people who just didn't believe it was real! Therefore we put together another video explaining the technology and how it works in Son of Nor in detail:


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« Reply #126 on: May 24, 2013, 03:32:55 AM »

What we've been working on since the last update:

  • We just made the $90'000 mark on Kickstarter and we have 5 days left. It's getting close but with a boost we could still make it. If you this this is a great project for an indie game, help us make our goal. Thanks Smiley
  • We wanted more after our EPOC episode. Tech gadgets seem to have hit a nerve with us, we're all totally excited about these things. So we decided to support the Oculus Rift as well. Immerse in the world and experience Son of Nor in total 3D ^^
  • We are going to do another AskMeAnythingWhileIAmPlayingSonOfNor session. LIVE! Join in on Sunday 8pm CET (--> 11am PST) on our YouTube channel. The direct link will be published 15min in advance on FB, Twitter, YT, Kickstarter-Comments, Greenlight, Forums, etc.). Make sure to be there, it was a huge lot of fun last time and it would be nice to chat with some of you guys!
  • After our digital addons to the rewards we were asked for physical addons as well. So we created physical addons you can add to your existing pledges. The addon model seems to work well to get some people to increase their pledges, so this is something to keep in mind for your campaigns if you plan to do any.
  • Most importantly: We'd like to show you our final vision of Son of Nor. What will the gameplay experience encompass? Of course it's not only throwing rocks, so what will there be? Watch the gameplay video we put together, it's very cool and we think it captures the spirit of Son of Nor quite well.


>> Support our Kickstarter campaign
>> Vote for us on Greenlight
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« Reply #127 on: May 26, 2013, 09:51:45 AM »

We’ll play Son of Nor and stream live and answer all questions we get in the comments AmA style Smiley Join us at 8pm CET, that's in 10 minutes!


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« Reply #128 on: May 27, 2013, 10:42:08 AM »

Our AMA session yesterday was again a lot of fun. We played Son of Nor, showed a new level we built and chatted with participants.

Today, we just published a new update of our Kickstarter campaign.

  • We're very happy to have broken the $100'000 sonic wall. As of now, we still have $41'000 to go and need to mobilize every help we can to make the last stretch. We're all very exhausted and pretty saturated with all the things you have to do to keep such a campaign running. I read a lot of post mortems and thought yeah, it'll be tough but come one guys. Now I know better.
  • We talk about a new region, Laangh and some of its backstory. We also posted a painting of our 2D artist Simon. It really looks gorgeous and we're happy how this turned out. This also shows that we won't only have sand and desert in the game but also green areas.

See the 2D concept painting and read the full update here:
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« Reply #129 on: May 27, 2013, 11:17:25 AM »

so sad if it would fail. and i hope you turn up for one of the next GameStage events in Linz Smiley
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« Reply #130 on: May 27, 2013, 11:25:00 AM »

Thanks ananasblau Smiley When I think back at the tremendous amount of work we put into this whole campaign... oh my. There are some learnings to be taken home for sure, we do everything to adapt and to make it, but it won't be easy. But we'll fight for every backer Smiley Thanks again for your kind words. And yeah maybe we'll see each other somewhere on a game event. The world is sooo small! ^â
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« Reply #131 on: June 23, 2013, 03:29:11 AM »

Pheeew! I'm back with my first post after our Kickstarter campaign successfully ended. We managed to raise $151,175 of our $150,000 target... Thanks again for everybody who helped or even just thought of us during the campaign and kept their fingers crossed. If you have any questions or think about starting your own campaign, don't hesitate to contact me or write here. I'm happy to write about everything we learned to help!

In this week's Video Dev Diary we dive into many things we're working on. Many concepts and models and game design decisions we're facing right now.

There's a lot to do after a Kickstarter campaign. Most projects have some sort of backer forums. If you don't have a forum yet, this needs to be installed, set up, users imported. All the digital goods, add-ons need to be processed and assigned to the correct accounts, things you promised to deliver already now like access to alpha versions, sandbox levels, wallpapers. Don't forget survey emails for backers to enable them to provide shipping addresses, what name they'd like to put into the credits etc. All that takes time. Fortunately our team is a little big bigger. So while Julian, Ricardo and me do this part, others continue to work on the game!

This is what happened this week.

  • We’re on Steam Greenlight and as all of you certainly know, getting upvoted is very important. Please vote for us if you haven’t already, thanks! http://bit.ly/SonOnSteam
  • We're constantly doing some random tweaks here and there on FX or animations. This week we were playing with the wind push effect. More particles, different colors... Not sure if this’ll stay, though. I liked the sand colored particles more. Did blend in better.
  • We're working on a new area. And we need enemies and props for that. Daniel created concepts for props that are going to be used in the Sarahul camp. And Sini already started to model them.
  • New enemy #1: A later area in the game will have a lost soul / ghost type enemy. Daniel created many different concepts and we drilled down to a shortlist. We show you the scribbles and the shortlist in the video.
  • We’re continuing the work on the Sarahul armor. We didn't finish it in time for Kickstarter. But Adrian picked up the task again and does a great job completing all the missing pieces.
  • Some game design challenges we’re facing: How do we prevent players from using telekinesis to build infinite stairs and leave the map? We're experimenting with different ideas. One of them is shown in our dev diary.
  • New enemy #2: Daniel created concepts and Adrian modeled the first Sarahul mage. It’s close to be being ready for animation.



>> Vote for us on Greenlight
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« Reply #132 on: June 30, 2013, 08:02:38 AM »

This week we again have more in-game footage to show in our weekly video dev diary.

  • Julian implemented the two missing enhancements, wind and essence enhancement that now join the familiar fire enhancement of objects.
  • Wind enhancement makes objects incredibly fast.
  • Essence enhancement creates a protective shield.
  • Essence shield FX by Jason was implemented.
  • Julian re-wrote the sound system for collisions which makes it much easier for me as sound designer.



>> Vote for us on Greenlight
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« Reply #133 on: July 08, 2013, 05:54:58 AM »

Watch our new dev diary, we have been cooking new things this week!

  • What is Noshscript?
  • We have a brand new internal test map to test all the crazy things we have to test!
  • Sarahul camp site tools.
  • More work on essence spells and visual effects.
  • Son of Nor forums coming up!
  • New Son of Nor website!



>> Vote for us on Greenlight
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« Reply #134 on: July 14, 2013, 04:40:15 AM »

Artificial intelligence was a big part of this week’s accomplishments.

  • In this week's dev diary introduction I speak Hebrew. I think.
  • Julian improved the enemy AI. Sarahul can now hear things, see telekinesis and terraforming and no longer stand there ignoring everything.
  • Daniel finished the sand dragon concept. This will become a great boss battle.
  • Ricardo works on the in-game spellbook (you’ll see a mockup in the video). In this book you’ll be able to browse through your spells, get descriptions, read up on the backstory and little pieces of information you get during your adventure. It’s cool to stop by and browse every once in a while and it looks gorgeous.
  • Son of Nor forums are live! You can go there now and register!
  • As always, please vote for us on Steam Greenlight. This is very important to us.



>> Vote for us on Greenlight
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« Reply #135 on: July 16, 2013, 11:24:52 PM »

Here's a list I compiled in another forum after somebody asked me what the actions were we did during our Kickstarter campaign. Maybe it helps the one or the other one here preparing their campaign.

For a small European indie startup, the sum of $150,000 was very very good. So here's what we did.

  • First of all, we started very early marketing our game. Letting the dev community know about it, have a Facebook page and YouTube channel so fans could subscribe there early as soon as they heard about our game and became interested. When the Kickstarter day would come, we would not start our marketing efforts at 0. We put out a video dev diary every week to show what we've been working on this week, and to always have fresh content and make it worthwhile being subscribed.
  • We also had some trailers out which eventually got the press interested, who featured us several times (sites like IndieGames, Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun and the like. So we were unknown, but not THAT unknown, at least 50 articles were written at that time about Son of Nor in the press around the world before we started the campaign on Kickstarter.
  • We prepared the campaign very, very, very carefully. Pledge levels, amounts, the video content. 4 people of the team worked almost 2 months non-stop only on preparations and the video. The video has to be of superb quality these days, and we did the best we could. Unless you're a game legend, then you can put up a crap video and get your money anyway Wink
  • When the campaign started, we organized great backer support and answered every comment on Kickstarter, every mail, tweet, Facebook comment in a very short time so people felt at home and not like our project was put up and abandoned. We worked in shifts to accomplish that! We had people almost around the clock taking care of that.
  • We started the campaign off by mailing to all family members, friends and fools. Every private email we had, we sent an email to, saying that this project is really important to us and we would be very happy if they helped us get the ball rolling by contributing a little and make people see numbers go up quickly. This made the campaign look like a living cool thing.
  • We had a PR agency helping with writing press releases and distributing them to their thousands of game contacts. This helped a lot with the coverage and we got covered by really huge magazines out there, both online and print. I count about 200 articles about our game and Kickstarter campaign during the campaign, and these are only the articles we know about.
  • Press wasn't interested in the beginning, lots of Kickstarter project these days that ask for coverage, so many press outlets implemented a policy of not reporting about Kickstarter. You have to come up with a cool story. We did the human brain interface thing and it got us a lot of attention, suddenly there was a story for the press. But the interest was for the device, not our game or our campaign. So I have to say, in retrospect, the press didn't do all that much to boost the campaign. There are so many campaigns that either press doesn't care anymore, or readers are fed up. You have to find other ways than to rely solely on press coverage. It won't bring you a ton of backers unless you have a really stellar 'everybody is waiting for this game' project.
  • Some celebrities tweetet about us because they thought the project was cool, people like Jesse Schell, Minh Le, Guido Henkel, Cliff Blezinski. Of course we retweeted these things.
  • We were very engaged on Twitter and Facebook where we could motivate a few additional people tweeting about our campaign, we also asked if some celebrities thought our project was cool enough to give it a shoutout, and people did. People like Brian Fargo even.
  • We prepared lots of content for a decent amount of cool backer updates. I got several emails of people that said the campaign feels very professional. Regular backer updates with substantial content and new stuff, screenshots, videos about the game, about the people behind the game. It was a good strategy.
  • We put up add-ons on Kickstarter to upsell backers to higher amounts.
  • We asked other running Kickstarter projects if they would give us a shoutout in their Kickstarter updates, and many did, including Divinity: Original Sin, Stonehearth and others.
  • We had a fun playable demo we sent out to YouTubers and they really pushed us over the top in the end. Some of which had 360k subscribers! We owe them practically the last third of our campaign goal! And also the community, as they all mobilized everything on Facebook and Twitter and we could really see a Twitter storm of people re-tweeting our campaign in the final 24 hours, asking their followers to check it out and help!
  • We kept at it all the time with updates, tweets, mails, there was practically no time of silence. But we scheduled everything very carefully in order not to spam a single channel but to spread info, images, videos across all channels evenly.

I guess that is what I can come up with from the top of my head right now. I'm sure there were more things behind the scenes. One surprise learning was that the huge press coverage of more than 200 articles didn't bring us many backers. What really helped was being featured on the Kickstarter website under staff picks. I think about 1/3 of all backers came from browsing the Kickstarter website. And 1/3 came in the last few hours after YouTubers put up their videos and people got all rallied up on Twitter. This is also something Larian Studios CEO (the guys from Divinity: Original Sin) said in a blogpost. Press didn't do much to their campaign, it was the YouTubers who really started it all off. Which means I'd invest in some cool playable demos and look for good YouTubers who have a large following. Press times are over for Kickstarter, people are fed up.

Here's a good list of YouTubers: http://youtubers.pixelprospector.com/
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« Reply #136 on: July 18, 2013, 02:16:19 AM »

Thank you for the very informative post, Chris. How did you get into Kickstarter, being in Austria?
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« Reply #137 on: July 18, 2013, 02:33:36 AM »

This is awesome! I really like that graphics.

WE.NEED.BUILD.
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« Reply #138 on: July 18, 2013, 02:40:17 AM »

Hey rui_curado

There were only few options. We have members in the US in our team. They could have organized the Kickstarter. We would have even trusted them managing the money later and not just dashing to Hawaii Smiley But there are certain legal obligations and liabilities we didn't want to burden our members with. If anything went sideways, they would have been liable personally. Not so cool.

So we really incorporated a small company in the US and one of our members is the official representative there. This means we have a full legal entity that could then handle the Kickstarter things. It's complicated, it costs a lot of time and nerves, and of course a little money for the incorporation and all the official stuff, but it was the only way we saw that works.

This means that we are now a multinational indie enterprise, LOL!
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« Reply #139 on: July 18, 2013, 02:53:35 AM »

Thanks Chris. As soon as I saw your team on the Kickstarter page I knew that with four Americans on board it would be easier. I know how to create a company in the US the way you did. The hardest part is to get a bank account there. This is where I think one of your US members kicked in...

BTW, Embarrassed <Shameless Plug> We are developing a game featuring a brand new, never-before-done format (see my signature or http://www.zorean.com/marklane) If you like it help us by mentioning it to your friends! You know how hard it is to get traction...  Concerned </Shameless Plug>
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