We want to thank the almost 300 backers that have shown their faith in The Dark Triad: Dragon’s Death during this Kickstarter campaign. Thanks for your support and passion, for making great suggestions and engaging with the community in the comments section, and trying to spread the word about the game, we appreciate your efforts A LOT!
We’ve gotten £5,800 in 5 days. The first day was awesome, with more than £3,500 after Brian Fargo, inXile cofounder, tweeted " This game deserves a look at," on his account in reference to The Dark Triad: Dragon’s Death (thanks Brian and we wish Torment: Tides of Numenera breaks all records!).
The days after have been a dire struggle to usher more potential backers to our KS page. The problem has been ours in part, as we hadn’t secured the services of a PR agency to spread the word properly. Second, this weekend PAX East was held, and next week it’s the GDC’s turn. This means that no matter how much money we would spent on PR right now, it would be almost impossible to be mentioned on gaming sites when the big boys on the block are gearing up to announcetheir coming games for the Christmas season. Besides, we launched after Torment: Tides of Numenera and Shroud of the Avatar were on KS, the two biggest projects since Wasteland 2 and Project Eternity. This may have made things more difficult, especially as backers might have supported both games and now would not have the money to spend on other smaller-scale projects such as ours.
Also, we must be critical of ourselves and recognize that we haven’t done a good job of conveying what the game is about. Yes, you know it’s a CRPG, and that there will be combat and dialogues, but the way we’ve explained it all has been confusing to say the least, and there was a lack of information regarding the main gameplay mechanics from the beginning, which we think hasn’t helped. It hasn’t helped either that some texts were not properly proofread due to a lack of coordination with our editors and translators because of the hour difference, which resulted in some glaring typos cropping up.
We are currently preparing a pitch and gameplay video that will explain much better how the combat and dialogues work, and what options are available in them. We’ll also redefine the story. Many of you said it was too convoluted, and maybe contained too many elements. Besides, we want to remove some important limitations, like that fact that the party member characters had to be from a certain race and classes, or that you couldn’t play with a female character on your party.
We will also adjust the initial scope of the game. We wanted to add many things, but we think it’s better to focus on the two main aspects of the game: a good turn-based combat and a nice non-combat skills system. We will maintain and improve the graphic quality of the game, but we will reduce the game map extension. We can’t attempt to put in as many 3D assets as Baldur’s Gate, but we will maintain enough content for the game to provide dozens of hours of play. At the same time, this reduced map will allow us to reduce our pledge by almost half. And this is important, as we think that if potential backers see that we are near the funding goal, they will feel more confident in backing the project. Our goal is to expand the game content as soon as The Dark Triad is available for purchase.
We have also detected a clear imbalance with the rewards. Once you create a tier and at least one backer has pledged for it, Kickstarter won’t allow you to add new rewards into it. We forgot to tell you that the downloadable version of the game will be DRM-free, and even though we put it on top of our main page, many people didn’t see that. We could only communicate new reward additions through the updates, but for new backers this is important information that should be clearly visible. Also, we wanted to include boxed edition tiers and we saw that first we needed to adjust the digital tiers content, and we couldn’t do so due to the aforementioned restrictions.
We’ve also received some complaints from US backers about the difficulties they were having pledging. It seems some US banks block payments overseas by default, and you must call them to remove this restriction. Other people was confused by the lack of an option to pay via Amazon. The reason for that is that the UK project payments are handled by Kickstarter directly without being funneled through Amazon. And last, some of you didn’t know if paying in pounds would charge you any extra when making the payment (which is not).
We’ve taken all this weekend to reflect about all these issues, and after reaching a consensus, we think the best course of action we can take is canceling the current pledge drive. This will allow us to focus on preparing new content, explain things much better and securing a PR agency from the very beginning to help spread the word about The Dark Triad: Dragon’s Death. We will take one month and one week, and on the 6th of May we will come back to run a brand new Kickstarter campaign for the game.
Meanwhile, we’ve opened an Indiegogo campaign for all of you that want to help us support the game development for the next two months until we can succeed in our Kickstarter campaign. These funds will help us to pay our 5 team members and stay afloat during this time. We don’t have any publisher behind us and before approaching any we will try to go with crowdfunding so we can remain independent game developers (unless it’s a known RPG publisher that could guarantee us IP rights and the max creative freedom).
Last, you can stay in touch with us on our forums. We are currently asking what non-combat skills do you like to see in the game.
Once again, thanks for your support guys, you made us happy even if we didn’t make it this time. We hope that what we will show the next month can make you even more thrilled about the possibilities of The Dark Triad: Dragon’s Death. We won’t stop until you have the chance to play the medieval fantasy world of TDT:DD in your homes! =)
The Autoloot Team