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A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!

 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Hi everyone,

I don't want this thread to get bogged down too much here answering madd0ct0r's questions, but his questions are good ones and deserving of a response—not just for his benefit but for the benefit of anyone considering backing us. I've tried below to do them justice. :)

madd0ct0r wrote:
my feeling is you've already claimed to have used a large amount of money, and are nowhere near 50% complete, when the kickstarter is only going to double your money (at best).


I see where you're coming from, but there is no calculation of “$X spent to get to 40% means $Y is required"; such thinking assumes that the lowest crowd funding amount requested ($35,000) is the full amount required in order to complete—that is not the case. We expect a short-fall. Fortunately, though, Membraine has sufficient finance available that we can make up for that short-fall.

We never expected and do not expect the community to pay for everything—we are asking for your help, though, for all the reasons outlined in the campaign. :)

madd0ct0r wrote:
Why should i pick you?


This is a very good question, and it is a question that I tried to answer in the pitch video, although it was necessarily brief in that. :)

I would recommend us for your support simply because we are making a proper activation-based wargame, in the tradition of Epic:Armageddon or Future War Commander and other games of that ilk that we all love to play—and no one else is, certainly not that I'm aware of.

We all know why that is, of course. We are, sadly, seen as a very, very niche market and, as such, you're unlikely to see a computer game like Fracture Empire made by traditional development funding means—in my experience, the sort of publishers who offer development financing deals tend to be more interested in action-centric titles, or RTS at best. We have spoken with several publishers in the past and will continue to look for such support...but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Personally, I'm not aware of any game to-date that attempts what ours attempts, that being a proper tabletop translation (they're all grid- or hex-based). I'm also not aware of any current game that captures the army-building that features so heavily in miniatures wargaming (Final Liberation being the only example that springs to mind).

So I guess my reason why the community should back us boils down to this: if you want to play a game like this, we need your support. :)

We'll try to draw this discussion out more in our campaign text.

madd0ct0r wrote:
One finished game should be on there with big flashing lights around it


That's a good suggestion. I'll add something mentioning Orbital Defence and perhaps listing some of the critical responses the game received, both when the game was reviewed and comments from users. We are enormously proud of what we achieved with our very first published game, but you're right that we haven't done a great job of blowing our own trumpet there. We can fix that. :)

madd0ct0r wrote:
along with the promise to release the demo by day X.


Sorry to say we won't promise release dates, not even for demos, beyond the fact we're aiming to have the alpha build in people's hands around the September/October timeframe. You've probably noticed that games developers never commit to ship dates when asked and instead respond with "it will be ready when it's ready"; the reason is that you can too easily ruin yourselves and your reputation trying to meet a promise that turns out to have been wildly optimistic, and you then find that, instead of shipping the quality product people reasonably expect, you end up shipping something broken. No one wants that. I hope you will all appreciate our reasoning on this.

Thanks to everyone for your questions so far—you've already given us a lot to consider and to address in our campaign going forward, and this is just the first day!

I hope my answers here are satisfactory, but of course if you have further comments or questions, please ask. We very much want the community here to be as excited about Fractured Empire as we are. :)


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 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:13 pm 
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GR00V3R wrote:
I hope my answers here are satisfactory, but of course if you have further comments or questions, please ask.


If possible i'd be interested in answers to madd0ct0r's origenal questions, even if you only have it vaguely blocked out at present:
Quote:
at the minute it looks like a familiar game, but there's little info about campaigns, solo play, multiplayer (live? streaming? email based?). Why should I buy this instead of a train ticket to bristol? How much wll the final game cost? how will it be distributed?

There's very little info about core resources, scale of games (there's the video, but how typical is that. Will units really be starting so close?) Screen shots of other situations are enough, no need for multiple videos.


Or is it just as simple as 2 races and 2 maps, turn based (single vs AI, MP hotseating, MP online?), using the as yet unreleased EW rules?

You've just mentioned army building as a big part, great, but that didn't seem to have been mentioned before.

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 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:49 am 
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Apocolocyntosis wrote:
If possible i'd be interested in answers to madd0ct0r's origenal questions, even if you only have it vaguely blocked out at present:
Quote:
at the minute it looks like a familiar game, but there's little info about campaigns, solo play, multiplayer (live? streaming? email based?). Why should I buy this instead of a train ticket to bristol? How much wll the final game cost? how will it be distributed?

There's very little info about core resources, scale of games (there's the video, but how typical is that. Will units really be starting so close?) Screen shots of other situations are enough, no need for multiple videos.


Or is it just as simple as 2 races and 2 maps, turn based (single vs AI, MP hotseating, MP online?), using the as yet unreleased EW rules?

You've just mentioned army building as a big part, great, but that didn't seem to have been mentioned before.


The scope of the game (e.g. air support, play modes, number of maps, single player offering) are all dependent on the budget. It is difficult to communicate what will get shipped - our aim is to jam as much content as possible until the money runs out. If we can't raise enough funds over the next 6 weeks, we may release a smaller "core" game and then add extra features in patches once sales start flowing.

What follows is not a complete list (we are keeping lots behind the curtain), but I hope it shows you how we're breaking it down.

The first bullet point is "Core". The second-level bullet points are examples of extra features we'd like to include, if funding allows. Many of these features are already covered by the $35,000 goal:

  • (Core) Army Selection & List Building - Pick a battle size then build an army list (or load a previously used list) , choosing the units and support options you want to take into the battle
    • (If funding allows) Army customization - model conversions, colour schemes
    • (If funding allows) List sharing - discussion and rating
  • (Core) Gameplay - Deploy your forces, activate your units, crush your enemies.
    • (If funding allows) Fog of War - optional, adds a new dimension not possible on the tabletop... either just for deployment or even during the game!
    • (If funding allows) Awesome Terrain - enter buildings, deformable terrain, multiple levels of cover
    • (If funding allows) Replays and AARs - did you pull off an amazing victory? save the record and share it with friends!
  • (Core) Multi-player - Play with friends or strangers and test your tactical and strategic skill against them in online multi-player battles
    • (If funding allows) Multi-player hot-seat - sit at the same PC and take your turns one after the other
    • (If funding allows) Multi-player turn-by-turn push on any device - start the game on your PC, deploy on your work laptop then take your first turn on your iPad.
    • (If funding allows) Multi-player campaigns - single battles are great... but how about vying for control of an entire planet over a course of battles? YES PLEASE :D
  • (Core) Single-player - Learn how to play and hone your strategies and tactics in nail-biting scenarios
    • (If funding allows) Detailed tutorial - learn the mechanics of the game in detail
    • (If funding allows) Advanced Skirmish AI - fight realistic battles against the AI to hone your skills
    • (If funding allows) Story-driven campaign - learn more about the amazing Exodus Wars universe and experience the Exodus War first-hand!

If there are other things you'd like to see, don't hesitate to tell us - we want to make the game we all want! Alpha Testers are going to contribute to the design of the game, without a doubt.


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 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:27 am 
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WHY WAS ALL THIS INFORMATION NOT IN THE PITCH?

Goddamit, now I'm wishing I had a credit card.

please please please edit the pitch up accordingly:

hours spent on game so far.
further 'funds' YOU will be putting in (try and emphasize the kickstarter is to allow you to stretch the game or make expansion packs / patches, again it reassures the customer the game WILL be finished)
existing finished game example
CORE game play elements - as you've laid them out there.

get all that up and I'll throw my limited weight behind you in marketing since I can't directly contribute

---
completely separate idea for funding levels - how much do you think people would pay to have a named unit / commander /race?
How much for a specific unit to be included in the game?

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 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:04 am 
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Wow sounds like a polished version of the Combat Mission series if im reading those points correctly, I would be very interested in a sci-go style game! Sorry I might of missed it in the comments but will this include all theatres ie land, air, sea, space?


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 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:02 am 
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madd0ct0r wrote:
completely separate idea for funding levels - how much do you think people would pay to have a named unit / commander /race?
How much for a specific unit to be included in the game?


Now THAT is a good idea!

VonPickles wrote:
Wow sounds like a polished version of the Combat Mission series if im reading those points correctly, I would be very interested in a sci-go style game! Sorry I might of missed it in the comments but will this include all theatres ie land, air, sea, space?


Since I am still playing the three Combat Mission games as the last decent turn-based strategy game that I can think of.... that's not a bad thing at all, especially with a more top-down wargame feel to it!

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 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:31 am 
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VonPickles wrote:
will this include all theatres ie land, air, sea, space?


Ideally, land, air and space units will all be in the game. Of course, whether or not (and how soon) that can happen depends very much on how our campaign goes. We hope you will support us! :D

Naval warfare and units are not currently on the roadmap...yet. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:36 pm 
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pity, cos I've got some basic stl models sketched out for 40kish navies.

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 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:03 pm 
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PM'd. :)


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 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:53 pm 
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This is a worthy effort.
I still play the old Epic 40k game on the PC from time to time and really like turn based computer games like Rome Total War.

Your funding mechanism seems very strange to me, but that just may be a generational thing.

Perhaps the organizers should look into Shrapnel Games. http://shrapnelgames.com/
They look like they may be interested such concepts. They also have genuine, long term small market computer strategy game experience, and perhaps a real investment deal could be struck with them. Just a thought.


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 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:19 pm 
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I think I would echo the concerns expressed by others. For example, and out of pure interest, how many copies of the final game are you expecting to sell, and what kind of price level? What marketing analysis has been carried out etc.

And another contact you might consider is Slitherine games.


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 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:15 am 
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Well, it's a crowd funded type thing not the usual venture capitalism, so if i put my $10 down, when they finish the game I get a digital copy.

I don't need to worry about their business plan, number of copies to sell and all the rest of it. Think of it as they are now accepting preorders, with bonuses for those who order larger amounts.

Patrick

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 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:16 am 
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Thanks for your suggestions, guys. Shrapnel Games is on my list to reach out to, but Slitherine Games wasn't—I'll do some research. Appreciated. :)


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 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:20 pm 
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madd0ct0r wrote:
Well, it's a crowd funded type thing not the usual venture capitalism, so if i put my $10 down, when they finish the game I get a digital copy.

I don't need to worry about their business plan, number of copies to sell and all the rest of it. Think of it as they are now accepting preorders, with bonuses for those who order larger amounts.

Patrick


Pre orders are pre orders. Venture capital investment usually involves more than getting a beta copy and a unit named after ones self. Whatever works though.


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 Post subject: Re: A call to arms for Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:06 am 
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Just a quick update:

Overnight, we cracked $1,000! And we achieved this within the first three days!

Thanks to all of you for helping our campaign start with such a bang! WE LOVE OUR COMMUNITY!


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