Last night at the Make Games SA community meet up, Chris Bischoff and his brother Nic (“the Business Guy”) from The Brotherhood Games came through. Chris agreed to an impromptu Q&A session to discuss Stasis, their Kickstarter and Greenlight.
He explained that Kickstarter still technically isn’t available in South Africa. They also only let you choose to make people pay for shipping, or not. As a result, those who wanted physical rewards had to pay extra for shipping, even from South Africa. Unfortunately, this was out of their hands.
Bischoff goes on to stress the importance of releasing an Alpha for a campaign like this. Sure, screenshots and videos are great, but the key is to make sure that people can play with the actual product. This also combines with the use of Let’s Players; releasing the Alpha to YouTube Let’s Players helped build hype and interest in the game and get people excited about Stasis.
Stasis was unique among South African indies because they ran their Kickstarter and Greenlight at the same time. Chris and Nic explained the benefits of this:
For those who don’t watch or listen to videos, the crux of it is that the two campaigns fed into each other. Sure, it required extra management to ensure questions were answered to keep the communities engaged. However, links from Greenlight often led to backers on Kickstarter and vice versa.
When asked why they chose Kickstarter over other crowd funding sources such as IndieGoGo, Bischoff explained that Kickstarter still has the monopoly on the crowd funding scene. Sure, there are other sites, but Kickstarter has massive databases of previous backers who may be interested in your game. Stasis got shoutouts from other successful Kickstarter projects in their newsletters, which helped to build their exposure to those who were already known to throw money at projects.
Bischoff has a plan to keep people informed about the project and ensure that they manage their hype and deliver the game on time – this time next year. Kickstarter is a big help for this – they have built in mechanisms for newsletters and community pages. Additionally, Bischoff assured us that he would maintain his blog and social media accounts for those looking to stay informed about the game’s progress.
Finally, Bischoff and the community discussed in depth about localization of the game. Based on the interest shown in Europe for Stasis, it became clear that they will need to localize. However, the discussion about how best to do it, when to do it in the game’s lifecycle was quite intriguing. Localization is not quite as easy as we might imagine – English speakers often take it for granted that it’s simply a matter of changing a few words, but grammar can be radically different in other languages.
Last Updated: December 11, 2013