State & future of our Indiegogo campaign, SxSW résumé and something fancy

Support CrossCode on Indiegogo!

Good evening once again. I hope that you are up for a huge update, because this one will consist of two of the latest Indiegogo-updates at once!

We will brief you about how we’ll handle the rest of our Indiegogo campaign, our experiences at SxSW and show a fancy promotional sprite and new concept art.

Before we start though, we’d like to remind you that the official CrossCode Fanart Contest will end this Friday, March 20th, 8pm (GMT+0100)! We already received some great works, but we still hope that more are yet to come! For more information look at the associated blogpost and forum thread.

We’ll begin with the topic that is most relevant to this project:

State & future of our Indiegogo campaign

Let’s talk about the current state of the campaign.

We have 10 days left, which is about 1/3 of the total time.
So far, we only reached 40% of our total goal.

Well… At this point its very clear that it sadly doesn’t look too well – even considering the boost that usually comes when the campaign is close to its deadline.

There might be several reasons for that: we messed up press contacts at the beginning, we had a bad timing having GDC and PAX East during the first of the campaign, among other thing.

However there is one thing we can do – get more time.

Because we are on Indiegogo, we can extend the duration of our campaign by 30 days.

In other words, the Indiegogo campaign would end on April 26.
This should give us more time to push marketing and get us closer to our goal.

We think doing this might be a great help – but before we do it we’d like to get your feedback. Do you have any thoughts on extending the deadline?

Some people asked us about our final goal of 80,000€, either wondering why it’s so much or why we ask for so little.

Truth is, 80,000€ is not nearly enough to make a game like CrossCode. So here we want to be upfront with you and tell you how we plan to make it work:

We calculated the costs having Felix, Stefan and Henne employed full-time with about the minimum costs necessary to survive and the remaining team member working as freelancers. Since we live in Germany we unfortunately have to pay a good share for social insurance and taxes. Taking all these costs into account, 80,000€ is not enough. However, it is enough to get the project started.

Following this we plan to participate in programs of the German state, which provide young start-up companies with financial and physical support (such as an office). In addition to that, we will consider patreon or the Humble Widget to have preorders of the game available after the crowdfunding. With this additional income and support, we hopefully will be able to reach our ultimate goal: Making CrossCode!

 

SxSW résumé

Lachsen and Teflo, our away team, have arrived back in Germany after their glorious adventure at SxSW in Austin, Texas. Though they’ve been suffering from the jetlag (not related to a certain captain), they still filled in the rest of the team on some of the most crucial experiences from SxSW so we can share them with you as well!

Most importantly, they have met a lot of amazing people and made friends with them. Among them the Starr Mazer Crew comes to mind first, because they’ve been amazing boothmates and all around great people to hang around and eat with. Also their project is pure greatness, so definitely give it a look!

The developers of the games Children of Morta, Hyper Light Drifter, and Read only Memories have also been great pals who we had some very pleasant and promising conversations with.

Another very special mention goes out to Tristan from BrokenWindowStudios who shared some of his marketing knowledge with us crowdfunding newbies which will definitely be of great use in the future. We are truly grateful for his insights!

The same also applies to the friendly employees of Devolver Digital who not only had some extremely informative talks with us but also supplied the team with nourishing pizza and softdrinks. If that isn’t a sign of true companionship I don’t even know anymore! They did also hold the amazing Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Launch Party. It might not be obvious with the mask, but Teflo was really enjoying himself.

Overall the event was a huge success in terms of marketing CrossCode and networking with and learning from other indie developers and publishers. We’ll leave you with a few more impressions of our booth to round it off (also starring Sir Radical Fish, made by our good friend Supermike!).

 

Promotional sprite and concept art

Our spriter and animations specialist T-Free has done a very special animation of CrossCode’s resident angry badass Shizuka doing her fiery charge. Keep in mind though, that this is purely a promotional artwork and will most likely not be used in the game.

CrossCode - Shizuka Charge by T-Free

Are you entranced by the animation, as well? Then fav’ it and leave nice comments on his DeviantArt-account!

 

In contrast our concept-artist Frece has literally been working on cooler stuff, namely some ice-themed enemies for the locations connected with the Cold-element.

If you visited his latest dev stream last Sunday you might’ve already seen them!

He also started new designs for shock-based enemies – which are essentially electrified robots.

Note that the last image is still WIP.

And that is finally it for the update. I hope the the fancy sprite and pictures at the end have made up for the mass of text.

See you next time!

4 Comments

  • Deathguy46 on March 19, 2015 at 3:56 am said:

    Love the penguin enemies and that Shizuka animation is sweet!

    Getting ready to submit my work, but I still have to finish it. It’s only a FanFic, but I hope you guys still enjoy it!

  • Extend the deadline. No other choice to make here. Unless you plan to restart the campaign in hopes of same people to contribute more than they did. But I wouldn’t bet on that.

    And you should rework your presentation on indiegogo. Here’s some suggestions:

    Don’t use word ‘balls’. Ever. It is indeed a good joke to be in-game, but for official presentation you definetly should use word ‘Sphere’ instead. I mean, come on, this isn’t a place for jokes. You have to present your game as something awesome, not as just a joke. “Amnesiac girl running around, throwing balls at moles and hedgehogs.” Heh.

    “Lea’s an game avatar of rare class (Spheromancer?), that has an amnesia, unable to talk, and understands nothing that happens around her. It is a story of a little arrogant girl, trying to survive in a world she knows nothing about, full of surprises and story twists.” – while poor, it is an example of what you really should tell people.

    Your presentation is mostly about mechanics. How about you bring out the story a bit. And places. You have four beautifull areas and none gets any spotlight.

    Presentation don’t even have a word ‘browser’. You show a lot about in-game mechanics, but nothing about technical stuff. You did make a game that uses js library and works in browser. And you did a damn good job for a demo. Yet there is no word about it.

    As continuation of previous – platforms. Instead of dividing them, you should point out that it is already a multiplatform ready game. And is already avalible on any platform that have a webkit-based browser (not sure if I’m correct here). Because it is.

    First line of presentation are about money, money and social contest. It’s literraly screaming “WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FUNDS!”. While it is the current state of your campaign, you shouldn’t say about it this way. You should say that your game is worth the money, not that it’s worth MORE than people thing it is. How much it is worth is for funders to decide.

    And as I said before – promises – you don’t have enough of em. There are not enough teasers, not enough promises. Enemies concept art is good, but with such good demo you have, concept-art alone won’t make it. It should at least look like it’s almost in-game otherwise it won’t look like a progress in development.

    To summarise: story first, areas second, mechanics third, AWESOME promises fourth. No balls. Multiplatform ready. Awesome custom-made engine. No begging.

    I might not be right on all accounts, but I think you might try it all anyway. In your situation it would still be better than nothing.

    Cool promo-animation btw. Maybe if you were to add in-game events that use such animations, you’d make another awesome point to show in your presentation.

    • Hi there, thanks for the feedback.

      We will keep using the word “ball”. It’s simply the kind of humor the game has and we will stick to it. I don’t think the usage of the word is very prominent in the campaign description. The first instance is in “Ball Throwing Puzzles”. When people see the video (which most people do long before they read any text), the mention of balls is the last quarter.
      Our general approach is to keep the word “ball” out of slogans and so on, but it will stay in the more detailed description. I hardly think this turns off a majority of people. In fact, in articles like in destructoid it seems to be quite effective to grab attention.

      Emphasizing on the word “Browser” has the risk that people might think it is a simple browser game, which don’t exactly have a very good reputation. That’s why we avoid it. We may have overdone it, though.

      As for the beginning talking about indiegogo and $/€ conversion and upgrading perks – here we simply have to work against several limitations and the reputation of indiegogo. People keep mentioning that they “don’t have €” or wonder how they can increase their perks. We also found out that some people think that indiegogo implies “Flexible Funding”… another thing we probably should mention.

      The question is if more people are turned off by this money related topic right at the beginning than people going away because they don’t know how to pledge in € etc.
      All I know is that other successful campaigns (such as Aegis Defenders) have pledging related topics right at the beginning and it worked out for them.

      It also doesn’t help that Indiegogo doesn’t provide any FAQ within the project.

      I agree with most of your other points.
      We should add more emphasize on the story and add more concept art pictures at the beginning.

      We will try to more effectively tease future content/promises.

      Balls will stay. >:|

  • Roadcrosser on March 22, 2015 at 12:19 pm said:

    Heh, I remember that stream, too bad it had to end early because Twitch died.

    So, how about those microbot enemies?

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