So today is an exciting day – it is the day that I announce the date for the start of the Fringe Planet Kickstarter. There have been a lot of things going on behind the scenes business wise with the game. Moving towards a Kickstarter has been one of these things. I’ve been receiving a lot of advice and mentorship about Fringe Planet. As well as spending a lot of time in spreadsheets working out budgets and various other things. The time is right. So (drum roll please) … the Fringe Planet Kickstarter will be launching on Tuesday 13th August 2019!
Now that is out of the way (and sorry for running that paragraph on for so long that it wouldn’t appear in the snippet, but I do like the suspense) let’s talk more about why Kickstarter as well as talking about some of the rewards you can get when pledging.
Why Kickstarter and crowdfunding?
I’ve picked crowdfunding for three main reasons. Firstly, it’s already a very well established way of gathering funding for indie games. Secondly, it’s a great way of spreading the word about the game – as much as I tweet and blog about Fringe Planet, the audience is still fairly small – a Kickstarter will help to grow the community. Finally, it’s to help get input about the game – the different rewards and avenues of communication opened by a Kickstarter will allow me to get some incredibly valuable input about the game.
What will you be spending the money on?
Tea mostly. But in all seriousness, developing a game of whatever scope is an expensive process. It’s not just my time that needs to be covered. There are things outside of my skill set (art/music/sound) that I very much need to pay other folks to assist me with. Aside from that, there are various business expenses involved with publishing a game – as well as equipment costs. A Kickstarter will allow me to deal with these expenses. Also tea, did I mention tea?
So what are the rewards?
This has been something I’ve been working on for a while and there are quite the list of rewards – which will allow you to help shape and make the game even better. This isn’t a complete list of rewards yet, but just to give you some examples of what you will get when supporting Fringe Planet.
- My thanks, seriously. No matter what level you pledge, you’ll get an invite to a special backer only room of the Fringe Planet discord – that will get all information about the game first (even before Twitter). You’ll also get some exclusive digital rewards – wallpapers and artwork. Also all backers will be in the credits of the game as a thank you. Finally, and most importantly – all backers will be the first people invited to the open beta of the game – several weeks before anyone else.
- Peon names! Add your name the peon name pool. This peon name pool is what will be used by the game to name peoples peons when they play. Immortalise your pet’s name. Have your name appearing in the game – or even the name of a loved one you wish to send to a frozen eldritch dimension.
- Peon memories. Add your distinct life experiences to the game. The memory system is a core feature of Fringe Planet (read about it here: https://fringeplanetgame.com/blog/2018/08/31/dev-blog-11/). The peons wake up with no memory of who they are, but over time they will remember their past. And you will be able to add these memories into the game. Enjoyed stamp collecting as a child? Did you go ghost hunting as a teen? Do you wish you could be an undersea cable repair person? This is your chance to put your unique memories/ideas into the game.
- Create a storyteller. There will be a very limited number of this level of reward. The storytellers are an AI that monitors how someone plays the game, and tries mostly to ruin the game for them. They are also represented in game by eldritch deities. There are currently three in game – the Aspect of Violence, the Aspect of Manipulation and the Aspect of Chaos. With this reward level, we will work together to create your vision of an almighty deity – that will ship with the base game.
- A monument to you. This reward will allow you to pick a short description that will appear on a single monument that can randomly float past on a visiting island.
- And many more rewards, I’ll be revealing them over the next few weeks.
It’s tricky to build trust on the internet. It’s also tricky to get recognised on the internet. However, as my twitter following has grown over the past year and as I’m rapidly approaching a years worth of development blogs – I feel I’ve created a legacy of information that can help build trust. Fringe Planet is literally my life now. I’m not going to be stopping development or not delivering a product at the end of this. I want (well, maybe even need is the correct word) to have people playing and exploring this universe that I’ve created. It is my single greatest passion in life and I feel this shows in not only the content I’ve produced over this year, but also with my open honesty about the game as well as my work ethic.
You are a solo dev, what if you get hit by a bus?
It’s a question I get asked a lot (strangely it’s almost always the bus analogy is used, to the point I think I’m developing a fear of buses!). As much as I am passionate about the game and delivering it, there are some things that are outside of my control. Rogue buses being one of them. Fringe Planet – the design documents, the source code, the git repos, the physical notepads I scribble in are all named in my will. In the event of a bus splat (or other incident) – development on the game will still go on. This will either be via a trusted and interested 3rd party – or all of this information will become open sourced. Fringe Planet will be out there whatever happens!
Well that was depressing – how can I help?
Spread the word! Talk about Fringe Planet, blog about it, stream about it. Every time Fringe Planet is mentioned somewhere, the profile of the game is raised. That is incredibly important – no matter how amazing a game is, if no one talks or plays about it, it’s just a bunch of zeros and ones. As always, if you have any questions about the game, or about how you could help, I’m easily contactable – either by twitter (@beebug_nic) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, and a huge thank you for being part of my game development journey!
There is a lot more to read about Fringe Planet… why not try: