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« Reply #200 on: February 02, 2016, 11:46:00 PM »

I feel you're making the right decision here Andrew!

Quote
Ooh ooh pictures of cute animals!

Email me and I will supply... Cool

Thanks, I will email you too.

Also my initial scheduling shows that 'it depends.'

Step 1 is getting the trailer right and getting that out there.
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« Reply #201 on: February 03, 2016, 01:37:41 PM »

I agree, that if you don't feel that the Kickstarter launch isn't ready, it's better to postpone it.

Some of this might be obvious and may have been mentioned but I'll just add my thoughts in case someone may find it useful.


I should do some research but a lot of what I can find seems to be contradictory.
I've been sorta looking at a few Kickstarter projects over the years to try to learn from their experience in case I ever create one of my own.  You're right, unfortunately, there's no magic formula.  There are certain aspects that can be considered, but for the most part you only have control over the quality of the Kickstarter presentation material and some aspects of networking/contacting people/press.  Ultimately, whether the KS funding succeeds or not is ... a roller coaster ride.


First things first I'm going to focus on things for the trailer, which means finishing off some of the half finished areas (swamps, mountain ascent, temple and castle/tower exterior) and add a few of the one off pieces I wanted to create for the levels that were going to hint at the narrative. Also I need to animate one of the bosses as that'd be a nice way to end the trailer I think.
That's a good start for the trailer.  It's good to have at least two very different environments to show that there is variety.  Three is probably better but only go beyond that if you have time.
I'd say more important is showing gameplay variety (features, special moves, upgrades or adventure sequences) and, in terms of gameplay, what is unique about your game.  Next, it's good to show the character's in-game motivation to give players something to relate to.  

Another aspect is that some/many people seem to be interested in the developer in a way of supporting someone trying to realize their dream.  Those people seem to like trailers where the developers talks about the project, why they want to create the game and what it means to them. That can create that "extra" connection where supporters will really try to help the developer succeed.  Even in recent years where game projects are expected to have at least a decent gameplay footage, I've seen a few projects  that had very little in terms of gameplay or content but the developer's enthusiasm seemed to get people excited to join in and contributed to the project being Kickstarted.  I'm referring to smaller projects with "unknown" developers and not people with game industry experience.  Of course, this might need a certain "presentation personality" to be able to sell that to your audience.  At the very least, do describe it in the description.

After the KS launch, communicate frequently.
Reply to comments.  I've seen quite a few projects that seemed to ignore people's questions on the comments page.
Updates:
-Certain milestones are met (e.g. 25%, 50%, 75% funding has been reached). Especially if a certain amount is reached faster than expected.
-Mention features (or elaborate on them)
-Show new gifs
-An article/video has been created about the project
-(Other relevant ideas)

If you also use other media (Facebook, etc), it's good to keep people updated everywhere.  This might be more important post KS, where I've seen quite a lot of projects focus on one or a few websites but ignored others.  For example, for lack of updates on Steam, people often think a project is waporware even though there are plenty of updates on other websites.  I know, this is jumping ahead a bit but it's good to plan and decided which websites you want to use for updates.  I've seen tumblr used quite a few times.  Perhaps people using mostly mobile devices may prefer that over others?

Another aspect is Steam Greenlight.  I've seen quite a few projects that posted the game before or around the same time as launching the KS campaign.  That can let people know of your game and potentially bring more support and provide some feedback.  Especially, as you mentioned if you have a demo that people can try.

In any event, good luck! Smiley
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« Reply #202 on: February 03, 2016, 02:02:57 PM »

You realistically only get one shot at a Kickstarter (very few pull off 2nd campaigns, especially these days). So if time is what you need, there isn't much choice. Take your time, even if its painful now to insure you maximize the launch as best as you can. Better to have some short term pain than rush it and find yourself with a failed campaign and a lot of wasted effort...
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« Reply #203 on: February 04, 2016, 06:46:58 AM »

It's good to have at least two very different environments to show that there is variety.  Three is probably better but only go beyond that if you have time.
I'd say more important is showing gameplay variety (features, special moves, upgrades or adventure sequences) and, in terms of gameplay, what is unique about your game.  Next, it's good to show the character's in-game motivation to give players something to relate to. 

That's good then because I've got 4 working environments (although 3 of them still need polish, but not too much). I'll perhaps show off some of the different forms that you can unlock (although I've not got any art for the different forms and the code isn't working particularly well).

Might be good to tie that in with showing a boss actually - e.g. could show the spider boss and then show Mable using the spider form she acquires. I realise I've not talked about how bosses work yet - I'll cover that some other time properly but the idea is basically that they're where you get the different forms/abilities from, but they roam the map on their own so you can avoid them if you want to (but then you don't get their power).


Another aspect is that some/many people seem to be interested in the developer in a way of supporting someone trying to realize their dream.  Those people seem to like trailers where the developers talks about the project, why they want to create the game and what it means to them. That can create that "extra" connection where supporters will really try to help the developer succeed.  Even in recent years where game projects are expected to have at least a decent gameplay footage, I've seen a few projects  that had very little in terms of gameplay or content but the developer's enthusiasm seemed to get people excited to join in and contributed to the project being Kickstarted.  I'm referring to smaller projects with "unknown" developers and not people with game industry experience.  Of course, this might need a certain "presentation personality" to be able to sell that to your audience.  At the very least, do describe it in the description.

After the KS launch, communicate frequently.
Reply to comments.  I've seen quite a few projects that seemed to ignore people's questions on the comments page.
Updates:
-Certain milestones are met (e.g. 25%, 50%, 75% funding has been reached). Especially if a certain amount is reached faster than expected.
-Mention features (or elaborate on them)
-Show new gifs
-An article/video has been created about the project
-(Other relevant ideas)

If you also use other media (Facebook, etc), it's good to keep people updated everywhere.  This might be more important post KS, where I've seen quite a lot of projects focus on one or a few websites but ignored others.  For example, for lack of updates on Steam, people often think a project is waporware even though there are plenty of updates on other websites.  I know, this is jumping ahead a bit but it's good to plan and decided which websites you want to use for updates.  I've seen tumblr used quite a few times.  Perhaps people using mostly mobile devices may prefer that over others?

Another aspect is Steam Greenlight.  I've seen quite a few projects that posted the game before or around the same time as launching the KS campaign.  That can let people know of your game and potentially bring more support and provide some feedback.  Especially, as you mentioned if you have a demo that people can try.

In any event, good luck! Smiley

The plan is definitely to go with Greenlight at the same time and I'll have updates planned so I'll be sure to post them everywhere. Hadn't thought of Tumblr but I do think that's a good idea as it's easy to follow threads on there so I'll look into getting that set up when I build the page/presskit for Mable.

Re the video I will likely try and get a video of me at the end, although it'll almost definitely be recorded from an iPhone so you sadly won't get to see me in HD...

You realistically only get one shot at a Kickstarter (very few pull off 2nd campaigns, especially these days). So if time is what you need, there isn't much choice. Take your time, even if its painful now to insure you maximize the launch as best as you can. Better to have some short term pain than rush it and find yourself with a failed campaign and a lot of wasted effort...

Very true. It's certainly feeling a bit less painful now it's had a couple of days to sink in. Just got to focus on getting this trailer done!


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« Reply #204 on: February 04, 2016, 11:48:50 AM »

Might be good to tie that in with showing a boss actually - e.g. could show the spider boss and then show Mable using the spider form she acquires. I realise I've not talked about how bosses work yet - I'll cover that some other time properly but the idea is basically that they're where you get the different forms/abilities from, but they roam the map on their own so you can avoid them if you want to (but then you don't get their power).

Yeah, that can definitely work and is a good idea to show in the trailer how you can acquire certain skills and abilities.  Of course, without giving away spoilers as to how to defeat the boss. :D

It's on my to do list to go over the full thread.  Just looked at a few pages going back and saw the one about testing the game.  I'd be interested in looking at it.  That way I might be able to get a better feel for the game and be able to provide better suggestions.  Also might have a few questions about the overall story/myth and how to present it.

Looking at some of the gifs and what you discribed about the game, it might be better to create an thumb image for the Kickstarter campaing that shows Mable "flying"/jumping instead of standing.  Just a thought for now though but that might be a bit more eye catching - especially if certain sparks are added.

Re the video I will likely try and get a video of me at the end, although it'll almost definitely be recorded from an iPhone so you sadly won't get to see me in HD...
If you wanted to record yourself in HD then you have to go all the way.  Professional lighting which means good make-up so people don't see tiny imperfections, etc.  That'd be too much hassle for me. :D  It's better to focus on the things that are important - i.e. the game and material for the Kickstarter. Smiley
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« Reply #205 on: February 05, 2016, 04:59:22 AM »

io3: I'm working on a demo build over the next few weeks following playtester feedback so I can send you a build of that in a couple of weeks if that's ok? I think I've got a good feel of what I want out of the trailer so I'll show that here as soon as I have a first draft.

I'm going to play around with a few different project images I think as I'll have quite a bit of time to get it right now that I've move the Kickstarter back. I'll not work on it until I've got the trailer about right though.
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« Reply #206 on: February 05, 2016, 10:54:21 AM »

io3: I'm working on a demo build over the next few weeks following playtester feedback so I can send you a build of that in a couple of weeks if that's ok? I think I've got a good feel of what I want out of the trailer so I'll show that here as soon as I have a first draft.

I'm going to play around with a few different project images I think as I'll have quite a bit of time to get it right now that I've move the Kickstarter back. I'll not work on it until I've got the trailer about right though.
Sounds like you have a good plan and it's great that you have a feel for the trailer.  Smiley

Sure, sending me the demo link later is fine.  I'll be checking back for that and the trailer as well.


I was wondering about posting about a game on indieDB.  I see quite a few games on this board with indieDB popularity links in the developer's signature and wondered if there's a benefit to having the game also there.  While, obviously there're people using both websites, there might be people who only use each so having posts/updates on both sites can gain you a little more exposure and following.  I'll look more into it later.

I also came accross a website listing pros and cons of starting about starting a Kickstarter campaing and Steam Greenlight simultaneously or one before the other.  It seemed that it's better to start them at the same time or start Greenlight a little later.  That way the game gets the most benefit of cross-traffic.  If Greenlight is started before Kickstarter then part of that traffic can be lost (unless people follow or favorite the game).  One major con of having to deal with both can increase the workload but I wonder about that.  The main thing would be replying to people but I don't think it would increase promotion related activities that much. So, unless I'm missing something, starting both at the same time is the best way to go.
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« Reply #207 on: February 05, 2016, 06:07:42 PM »

I think a game trailer should be like a movie trailer. You give the basic story while showing sneak peeks of the game with like text on screen between game vids. Then at the end u say I'm blah. This is my blah time and I work as a blah and then u basically hint at the game and what inspired you and y u need the money. And then DONE. Send me a link to the trailer when it's done. Thx. What's ur like plan for the trailer?
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« Reply #208 on: February 09, 2016, 03:42:10 AM »

I think a game trailer should be like a movie trailer. You give the basic story while showing sneak peeks of the game with like text on screen between game vids. Then at the end u say I'm blah. This is my blah time and I work as a blah and then u basically hint at the game and what inspired you and y u need the money. And then DONE. Send me a link to the trailer when it's done. Thx. What's ur like plan for the trailer?

Hello - my plan is just to get something made quickly that's sort of what I want and then tweak it and remake it until it's really good.

Then release it onto the public and try to get it in front of the eyes of as many people in the press as possible. Hopefully I'll be able to follow up with a nice demo not long after so may hopefully be able to get a bit of stuff going on youTube etc

Unfortunately I've had a sick child over the past week so not been able to work on the game very much Sad
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« Reply #209 on: February 11, 2016, 02:30:24 PM »

I really don't come on here often enough - thanks for the birthday wishes, belated thanks it is, but yes being in my 30s is far better, and whiskey tastes twice as nice now.. not sure what that's all about.

Looks like you've made some serious progress (and I missed out on a playtest, damn!) Hope youre kid is doing alright and you're still mentally strung together, I know solo development, or at least wearing most of the hats, while juggling life can be really taxing on your energy.

Lots of useful feedback here, and it's a bit late with me so I'm not going to go deep into the previous page of content, but looking forward to seeing more! Hopefully that counts as words of encouragement, in a way.
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« Reply #210 on: February 12, 2016, 03:22:38 AM »

Lots of useful feedback here, and it's a bit late with me so I'm not going to go deep into the previous page of content, but looking forward to seeing more! Hopefully that counts as words of encouragement, in a way.

Hey, thanks! It is encouraging.

Has been a tough week or so, with the bookend of being notified that Mable hasn't been accepted for the Leftfield Collection at EGX Rezzed in London. Only mildly disappointing as I'm not sure that I really expected to get in with the patchwork state of the game at the minute and the quality of games that are normally featured (also there's 28 places for 250+ submissions so I can't see a platformer really standing out in amongst that).

I will still be there with the game on my crappy mini-laptop, so if you're in London for Rezzed or just around the beginning of April then let me know and you can try out the latest build!

Anyway, very little progress made so not a lot else to report. Also it's Sarah's birthday at the weekend so there's no gamedev time - really not sure how to reconcile this in myself and enjoy myself when I feel like I should be working to catch up on the last week or so of stuff I wanted to get done.

Ah well!

The week after looks pretty clear so hopefully can actually get some stuff done...

Hope all is ok with all you guys and I'll talk to you soon - with a proper update (fingers crossed).
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« Reply #211 on: February 12, 2016, 03:49:46 AM »

I said earlier that I wanted to mock-up a title image, and I do. Been busy/lazy the past week, but I think I can get one up for you by the end of the weekend Smiley

This is also my answer to zorg who DM'd me about what I had made (the answer is nothing, at least nothing good yet Tongue)

EDIT: can I get a blank title image? So I can properly overlay the letters?
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« Reply #212 on: February 12, 2016, 03:56:36 AM »

Hey Chris,

yeah that'd be awesome - I'm at work at the minute so I'll send you an email with everything when I get back home. Do you need it just with the mountains on or with my bad text?

I made it in paint.net so can send you the pdn file with the layers in (or just send you all the layers separate) if that'd be at all helpful?
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« Reply #213 on: February 12, 2016, 04:09:14 AM »

Hey Chris,

yeah that'd be awesome - I'm at work at the minute so I'll send you an email with everything when I get back home. Do you need it just with the mountains on or with my bad text?

I made it in paint.net so can send you the pdn file with the layers in (or just send you all the layers separate) if that'd be at all helpful?
Basically this:

It's hard to remove the text and keep the BG since you used a gradient, and I'm using MS Paint Tongue

You can just upload to imgur and PM me the direct link Smiley

(more) edit: regarding the type of text: Any particular inspiration you are drawn from? anything you want to emulate with the title image? Or should I just extend the style you already had (which is what I was originally doing).
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« Reply #214 on: February 12, 2016, 07:07:04 AM »

Cool yeah I can do that no problem - I'll be home in about 4 hours so I'll DM you then.

Re the text: I like the style I've got, but I'm happy for you to take it in a different direction if the mood takes you that way.
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« Reply #215 on: February 15, 2016, 12:52:44 PM »

Hmmm ...  I'm seeing a few similarities here:



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« Reply #216 on: February 15, 2016, 11:18:45 PM »

Well talk about a crazy weekend. Hadn't had a moment to work until tonight, but, here is what I've been able to scrape up over a few hours. It needs a lot of polish, but what do you think thus far?



and link to just black text + no hidden by mountain effect: http://i.imgur.com/hvKduFa.png
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« Reply #217 on: February 16, 2016, 01:37:49 AM »

Hmmm ...  I'm seeing a few similarities here:





Hmm yeah that's disappointing. Particularly the leaves (I was aiming for a Ferngully vibe with that - guess that's a no no now), other than that it's only as similar as stuff like No Man's Sky and Monument Valley (distant mountains seems to be a pretty common theme for video game boxes).

What does everyone think? Change it again? Still got a few weeks to come up with something else.

Well talk about a crazy weekend. Hadn't had a moment to work until tonight, but, here is what I've been able to scrape up over a few hours. It needs a lot of polish, but what do you think thus far?



and link to just black text + no hidden by mountain effect: http://i.imgur.com/hvKduFa.png

Thanks Chris - I like it! Do you think it matters that the pixels are different sizes? It always looks a little off to me when there's inconsistencies with the resolutions (if that makes sense).

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« Reply #218 on: February 16, 2016, 02:00:06 AM »

Ah good. And yes, that's because it's up-scaled by 3. Getting rid of the "choppiness" is what I was alluding to in saying it needs "a lot of polish" Tongue

I didn't want to deal with creating a heavily-detailed font by scratch and then have it not be good. So as long as the rough outline is good, then I can now work on smoothing everything out Smiley
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« Reply #219 on: February 16, 2016, 02:16:21 AM »

Then yes, I very much like the rough version Smiley
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