We have some good news and bad news.
The Bad News: After 15 days we have decided to cancel the Kickstarter campaign for Dead Crusade. It has not been an easy decision to pull the project from Kickstarter, but we do not see the project getting funded at this point and would prefer to not mislead our fans and backers. A lot of sacrifice and effort went into making this Kickstarter possible, and we would prefer to not drag things out or have the project look bad.
There are a number of reasons we believe the Kickstarter did not succeed, and I wanted to take a moment to explain a few in detail.
- The Video: There is a saying for Kickstarter projects that if you do not immediately impress or captivate the viewer within 10 seconds, there is a good chance they are unlikely to finish watching let alone pledge to your project. When knew when putting our Story Cinematic video first we were taking a risk in boring people who wanted to see the heart of what we had to offer. We received many comments from people saying how they would have never realized how far along the game was or how much effort went into its development by watching the initial 2-3 minutes. We knew this was a risk, but genuinely thought the story elements would give a great look into the backdrop of the game and pull people in. We removed this footage and reworked the video to appeal to more of a mass audience some days later, but it was to late.
- Old vs. New: Because we were in a transition period of moving the project from the older Unreal Engine 3 to the new Unreal Engine 4, and also because we were planning to revamp our entire combat system to better reflect our vision for the game using new tools, we were forced to show more of our initial prototype build. This caused tons of confusion, despite various watermarks with both written and verbal explanations. Many viewers could not tell the difference between the two, assuming they were all one in the same, which sparked allot of heated debates. We ended up removing almost all Unreal 3 footage from the reworked video to help avoid confusion and put the emphasize on Unreal 4, which to us felt like losing months of work.
- Gameplay Footage: Another likely mistake of the presentation was showing our early combat gameplay, which was harshly judged and assumed an accurate representation of the final product. Considering how much we planned to revamp it, improve it, and make it more in line with a `survival` horror setting, it was definitely a mistake on our part to show it in such a rough state. We felt it would give confidence to backers to see that we can produce functional gameplay systems in a short amount of time, as well as give them a early glimpse into the games development.
- Marketing and Social Media: We are first and foremost developers, not marketing specialists. Because we announced the game the same day as we launched our campaign, all major marketing and advertising efforts began the day we launched. We firmly believed that most traffic would come through Kickstarter itself once our ranking improved, and the game would `sell itself` so to speak. In retrospect, Kickstarter only generates a very limited amount of traffic on its own, and the rest is earned through massive media and networking efforts- some of which can be expensive. Your first few days are critical to the success of your campaign, and you want as many people talking and showcasing your game as possible to help build momentum as things begin to slow down after the initial launch hype is over.
The Good News: Due to the massive amount of feedback we received (both good and bad) we have a much clearer understanding of what went wrong and more importantly, how to do things right if we are able to attempt a re-launch in the future. Sadly, we cannot say at this time when or if that will happen, as without any funding we cannot proceed with the games development at this time. But it does not mean the project has been canceled!
We wanted to thank everyone who believed in the project and showed there support by backing us. It really proved to us that despite lack of exposure, the game was still well received! We put together a farewell video as a tribute to everyone who supported us these past few weeks. For all our fans, we hope you enjoy it and sorry things did not work out with the Kickstarter!
Feel free to follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, Website, or IndieDB for any future news regarding the project or to post your comments and feedback. We love to hear them!
Thanks again for your support!
– The Dead Crusade Team