Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Massively exclusive: Jacobs on Camelot Unchained's Kickstarter home stretch

Camelot Unchained's Kickstarter odyssey is almost complete, and as of press time there's a little over a day remaining. City State's fantasy RvR sandbox stands at just over $1.82 million out of its $2 million goal, so Mark Jacobs has penned a dev diary designed to push the game's funding over the top.

He outlines the many challenges inherent in managing both a Kickstarter campaign and an ambitious MMORPG project, and he hits the highlights of the former which include three faction RvR, Minecraft-style building options, and a custom engine that has easily handled hundreds of simultaneous players at well over 200 frames per second. Finally, Jacobs thanks CU's current backers, whom he says have given unprecedented support to the tune of a $160 average pledge.

 Dev diary

As I write this, the Camelot Unchained Kickstarter is getting close to the end, with about 38 hours left to go. Our total stands at $1.73 million. Every comparable game has had a strong final day, so while we haven't reached our target of $2 million yet, we're pretty hopeful.

No matter what happens, I'll be forever grateful to our backers. They have been simply awesome. Right now, our average pledge is around $160. This is completely unprecedented. I've looked at quite a few crowdfunded games, and not a single one has been in the same ballpark. Some have raised more total dollars, but they have all done so by attracting larger numbers of people at a lot less per head, more like $55 to $60. We knew Camelot Unchained was more of a niche game, and because of this, we expected / hoped our average would be higher. But as they say, "never in our wildest dreams..."

But this is just one aspect that happens to be quantifiable. How do you measure sheer enthusiasm? Or the level of emotional buy-in? Or positive attitude? I can't, but if I could, I do know our fans would be off the chart. As a result, they have inspired me and our entire team far beyond anything we could have expected or even imagined. For this too, I am eternally and deeply grateful,

I'm also incredibly proud of our team. Every single person here has give more than I could have dared to ask. We knew when we started that with only 12 of us, planning and executing a Kickstarter campaign would involve a lot of work. We were prepared for that... or so we thought. The sheer immensity of the task exceeded all our expectations. Thankfully, everyone rose to the challenge, working not only long hours but weekends as well to keep us on track. We had to deal with the usual spate of illnesses and injury, and today's fun and frolic with Amazon Payments servers being down for four hours certainly was a very unexpected challenge.

Assuming we stay the course and fund, we'll soon begin an even bigger adventure, actually developing the game. Making an MMOG, even a focused one, is a monumental task. I'm under no illusion that it will be easy. What it will be, however, is rewarding and fun. It has been a long time since I've had the opportunity to interact so closely with a game community. With their help, I believe Camelot Unchained can be something special. My job is to make sure it is. I renew my promise that my team and I will spare no effort to fulfill the faith our backers have shown in us.

Continue reading here:   Massively exclusive: Jacobs on Camelot Unchained's Kickstarter home stretch

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