Fig Campaign Questions/Suggestions


#1

I really want Fantasy Strike to blow its Fig campaign out of the water, but we all know the goal is pretty high. Having been involved in more than 30 crowdfunding campaigns, I have a couple questions regarding rewards and funding strategy.

First, is there any particular reason why “Name in Credits” isn’t included in any tier? It’s a common reward that a lot of backers look for since, after all, if we manage to hit a half-million-dollar goal, we want to see our names listed amongst those who made it happen. That kind of reward doesn’t have any real cost of development associated with it either, so there isn’t much reason to exclude it. Personally, I’d include “Name in Credits” at any tier of $49 or more.

Second, why not talk with Limited Run Games about offering a PS4 hard copy as an add-on? Any news from LRG ends up getting a ridiculous amount of attention, even if it’s for a game that would be ritually ignored otherwise. Such a deal would depend on the success of the campaign, of course, but at such a high goal, including it as a straight add-on could bolster funding rather than limiting its return. A deal with LRG has been secured by campaigns as small as Plague Road recently, and it brought tons of new backers out of the woodwork.

That’s my two cents, at least, and I hope you’ll take it into consideration. I firmly believe that Fantasy Strike could make a lot more people very excited, whether they’re casual gamers who have been alienated by the increasing complexity of modern fighters or hardcore enthusiasts seeking a return to fundamentals. But I also believe that the points I’ve mentioned would help stack the deck in favor of the campaign’s success and exposure.


#2

[quote=“JoshuaKadmon, post:1, topic:283”]
Any news from LRG ends up getting a ridiculous amount of attention, even if it’s for a game that would be ritually ignored otherwise.
[/quote]Wow, that’s some hardcore ignoring. If it weren’t a Sirlin game, I’d have thought this were a typo!

I personally don’t care much about name-in-credits anymore, or expensive hardcopies, but I agree with you that any inexpensive (that’s money, time, etc) tool that can draw in more people sounds like a needed addition.


#3

lol I wasn’t exactly implying that Fantasy Strike itself would be “ritually ignored”, more emphasizing the fact that LRG brings high visibility to practically anything they touch.


#4

I’m legitimately really worried. 30 days left to cover 430,000 dollars. It’s been maybe 15 days and we’ve been approaching 70k.
James Chen has tweeted about FSFG a bit, Marn tweeted some, allegedly Core-A-Gaming is going to do a video, but salty FGC still writes it off. It’s kind of disheartening that Max didn’t even give it a look.

I hope that the free weekend will bring in a large flux of people, but we’re only 13% of the way through.

I think ideally what should have happened was that the bar was set lower and things like Arena be set as stretch goals. Of course, I don’t think anyone expected such a slow start.


#5

What came as a surprise to me was the $500k goal. During early look it showed the puny goal of $20k, and we were told this was wrong, but I was under the impression there was no actual goal and this was moving on regardless. This was due in large part to the initial plan of getting EEA versions as soon as one pledged, which implied the campaign could not fail. The change to “after the campaign” seemed to simply be brought on by my suggestion - I think I said it, anyway - that someone could pledge, get the game, and immediately remove their pledge.

When I saw the $500k number (by no means a high number for a solid fighting game), I assumed it was a placeholder as well. When that stayed the number for launch, I thought it would get “fixed” again. With that goal, I never actually expected the project to succeed, which is why I backed on Patreon to get the game now rather than wait until completion. While I wish Sirlin et al the best in this endeavour and would love some big name blogger to make magic happen, I’ve been seeing this at best as a visibility campaign, like Pocket Rumble’s first attempt at Kickstarter: a way to get on people’s radar and sign them up to hear about the next attempt.

Why? Because Yomi had a “sweet spot” pledge of $300+ and Codex $200+, and they barely cleared $500k together. That’s with a lot of Sirlin regulars pledging over $500 apiece over both projects. In this one, what’s the sweet spot, really? On could easily argue $20. I got a Codex box for a friend, so my pledge went il $200. Getting an FS code for a friend adds $20 - so any sub-community can get keys at $20 per player, plus an optional one-time $30 pledge to get EEA for everyone. This campaigns might need twenty times the crowd from Codex to even hit the goal.

My $100 pledge is really hoping for it to succeed, but my $10 on Patreon is actually a bet against it. Note that every person who puts in $10 for the Patreon build now can be thought of $10 wasted on making the Fig goal and collecting that money. (it’s also a guaranteed $10 invested in the game, which is great for the game. It’s just no good for the Fig campaign.)

But if it’s regroup, redesign and retry, with some features pushed off to stretch goals to make the target lower, quicker demo access, and more promotion from more interested people, it seems like that could be a sound plan, if not the initial intent. For the time being, probably keep going like this is it, just in case it works out.


#6

LRG would be a major trump card to play if it’s possible, though. If Sirlin acts quickly, it could save the Fig campaign, and there would be nothing to worry about or regroup on.


#7

I just discovered something relevant to the campaign. I wanted to add an extra ‘Steam Early early access key’ to my Pledge, but it seems you can only have 3 keys: one for yourself, one with ‘better with a friend’ and one you can manually add to your pledge.
Why can’t I have more than 3 keys?


#8

So that the campaign doesn’t devolve into effectively $20 pledges for EEA, I assume.


#9

Well, that explains, but how am I going to get that EEA game copy for my friend if I already have two copies reserved?


#10

I agree with the TC, the original target is just too high. It’s pretty clear that the best way to run a crowdfund is to keep the initial target low, then add stretch goals. If people see a crowdfunding campaign that is unlikely to meet its target, they won’t pledge, even if they might be interested. You want to blow through your initial funding goal ASAP so people know that their pledge will be worth it.

I also think the FIG was announced too early. You want people to be banging on your door, demanding to know when the crowdfunding campaign is going up before you release it, that ensures you get a huge initial surge of pledges, which in turn helps you clear the initial funding goal. I didn’t even hear about this game until a few days ago, when I saw a video about it on Core-A gaming. Unfortunately, by now it’s clear the FIG will not succeed so I would imagine most people seeing that video won’t pledge.

I also agree with what some people on the FIG said where you should advertise the game using those character introduction videos. They make it clear that the game still has a lot of depth, which doesn’t necessarily come across from the steam trailer.

Hopefully the campaign relaunch goes well, I’d really like to play this game when it’s done.


#11

Regarding “too soon” and too high."

It costs me tens of thousands of dollars every month out of my pocket to keep our team going. I can’t do that without more funding. So it can’t be later. It’s just not an actual option.

Next, we’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars already and 25 months of development. That is not “too soon” to announce crowdfunding. It’s really rare how late that is. It’s more common to have 0% development finished, or maybe like 2%. But to have spent this much money and this much time developing a game already playable in tournaments…that’s quite unusually late. The idea was we’d go halfway then ask the community to help us do the rest. If spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and 25 months of development is judged too soon to go to crowdfudning, I think almost no other video games could reach that bar unless they didn’t need the money to begin with.

Unrelated to any of that, Fig felt that announcing at Evo was an opportunity for good buzz and exposure that was too good to pass up. We did get buzz and exposure there, so probably they were right, it did seem like an opportune time.

The goal is not “too much” in the sense of what it actually costs to make the game. That goal is a bare minimum where if we continue with our current skeleton crew, we could cut corners and finish it, maybe. If Fig does not succeed, but we somehow release the game, it won’t be by avoiding paying $500k. Again, that’s a bare minimum and simply the reality of how much it costs to pay a team (and equipment, taxes, marketing expenses, etc, etc) for the time needed. We could have set a lower goal, but it would have been a lie. Then if we only reached that goal, we’d be on the hook to deliver certain things, at a certain time, on certain platforms. We would have promised that but have been unable to do it. It’s important not to lie to the community. Instead, the goal is the straightforward truth about the costs, though it’s admittedly on the low side.


Regarding the inability to add a single add-on multiple times, that is, as I understand it, just how Fig works. Any given add-on can be added once. We could find some work around to this if it’s important. The rule makes sense as a general thing on the platform though, so that it’s not even possible to add the soundtrack 5 times accidentally or something. I think that’s where they’re coming from.


#12

I’d like to make it clear that my post was not intended to imply that this game was asking for an unreasonable sum of money, it was merely an observation on the success of past crowdfunding projects. Once a project starts to fall behind in terms of money earned to time remaining, it starts to enter a downward spiral where further contributors are discouraged from contributing because they feel that donating is pointless. This has clearly happened to Fantasy Strike. Over the last week or so it’s made maybe $1-2k at most, despite getting some good PR from various sources. There’s a clear trend in the crowdfunding world in that most successful projects blow through their initial goal in a few days, usually by having a strong marketing push leading up to the campaign, and end up taking home several times that amount, so the basic idea behind my post was that it’s probably better to set the initial target lower and make up the rest through stretch goals than to set a high bar with everything included.

As for the game’s reveal at EVO, I will say that I watched quite a bit of EVO across all three days and I don’t think I saw anything related to this game. Was it actually shown on stream at any point? If not, it would take a little while for the word of mouth from the people that played it to spread, which seems to be what we’re seeing.

One other piece of feedback I have is that it seems like a lot of people had a very negative reaction to what I presume is the first trailer (it’s the one that appears when you go to the steam page), which to be honest is not surprising. Fantasy Strike is very unique among fighting games, but this video doesn’t look any different from what a reveal trailer for any other fighting game might look like. None of the game’s unique mechanics are shown or explained here. The video on FIG where you explain the game’s goals is better, but I feel that it could use a bit more detail about how Fantasy Strike specifically achieves them. The character showcase videos posted on the official site are great (these were what won me over) perhaps something like that, but focusing on the game as a whole rather than a specific character would be best.

And although I don’t want to be that guy and it’s not really related to FIG, I feel I should probably bring up the elephant in the room, which is Grave’s ground super animation. It’s one thing to pay homage, but this super is literally identical to Ryu’s Metsu Shoryuken from Street Fighter 4, and I saw a lot of negative impressions towards the game stemming from this one move alone. I feel like this basically has to get a new animation, it’s simply too iconic to be duplicated exactly. It’d be like having Grave yell “Hadouken!” when he throws his storm cloud.

Anyway, I really hope this game will be a success. I’m in the “I like fighting games but I’d like to play them with my friends who don’t get them” category, and I think this game really could achieve that. That’s why I wanted to summarize my observations on the game in case there was something in here that might be useful.


#13

Every single person irl I have talked to about Fantasy Strike has brought this up at some point during our conversation.


#14

A very late response, but I just noticed that the animation has been redone. If you look at the main fantasy strike page, you can see the new animation. He now stabs you with his energy hand, elbows you in the face, then does an uppercut. IMO, this looks way better (you can see the old version on Steam for comparison).