When I first got the idea to do Energy Hook I planned on Kickstarting ASAP so I could see just how brilliant or dumb an idea it was. But in the process of working on the pitch and prototype I've fallen in love with it. I can't not finish it now. So I'm going to. Finish it. No matter what, even if I don't make a cent off it.
I want to do the Kickstarter anyway. Why? To find out if I should make the smallest, minimally viable game possible - or if we'll have the resources to do something grander.
That being the case, Paul urged me to wait more on the Kickstarter, so we can make the game look as good as possible before we pass the hat around. I really didn't want to wait. I've already postponed it once.
So I did that thing that people do when they have tough decisions. I made a list of pros and cons. It looked something like this:
Should I do the Kickstarter now?
- It's eating my brain. I want to get it over with.
- Slipping again is embarrassing.
- We'll find out now how much resources we have - we might have to redo less stuff. (For example, right now we're making everything fairly flat-shaded and colored-in - with a lot more funding we could have higher surface detail, but we'll have to redo those flat-shaded models.)
- Once the Kickstarter is over, we'll focus more on making a good game instead of making a good kickstarter pitch.
- Kickstarter fatigue. It's getting harder to have a success on Kickstarter as time goes on.
- The longer we wait, the better the game will look, and more people will want to fund it.
- The longer we wait, the more we can build awareness and our social networks.
- And if we wait long enough, we can have a first playable to show journalists before the launch and to give as a reward to higher tier backers.
Although the list of pros seems longer than the list of cons - the pros are mostly psychological issues of my own. Yes, I'm devoting too much brain glucose to thinking about the Kickstarter, but I don't have to be. Yes, I'm working harder on making our Kickstarter pitch look good than making the game good, but I don't have to be. Yes, I'm embarrassed about slipping again, but I don't have to be.
And yes, "Kickstarter fatigue" seems to be setting in; there are fewer successes on Kickstarter these days. But I don't want people to fund the game because Kickstarter is hot, I want people to fund the game because they genuinely think it's worth funding.
The only semi-reasonable pro is the one about redoing work, but if we raise enough funding that we have to redo work, that's ... actually a really good problem to have.
So, the cons have it! We're slipping.
Our new plan is to get something playable going, which could take anywhere from 1-3 months, all the while Paul making more better art. He's finished his teaching gig at Digipen and has more free time to make stuff. Then we'll have something to hand out to a few select journalists and players. (Which is another reason to Like us on Facebook - we'll give away one or two to our FB followers.) And then we'll do the Kickstarter.
What do you think?