Tuesday, September 17, 2013

07: Managing A Schedule With No Time

So last blog post I put forth my worries about finances, but perhaps even more pressing is the scheduling of time.  Because there's not enough of it.  But of course there wasn't enough money either, so they share that similarity.  Let me cover just a few ways my time is being split in all directions right now.

  • Educating myself on all things Kickstarter so I can do the best campaign possible.
  • Searching for a Company to actually manufacture the game.  Right now TheGameCrafter and Panda are at the top of our list, but we need quotes from them and that takes time.
  • Searching for a fulfillment company to distribute the game.
  • Going back and forth with Chris Pritchard, the game's artist, to get as much done as we can.
  • Game designing.  Space Frontier isn't even finished.  It won't be finished likely even after the Kickstarter campaign ends.  Every play-test demands changes and improvements.
  • Putting together a Kickstarter Video with a lack of high quality video and sound equipment.
  • Reaching out to like-minded board gamers in various forms of media, including this Blog.
By far the most stressful of the time crunch is that the game just plain won't be finished, as well as the lack of art.  I think the biggest thing that Kickstarter Backers are going to look for is good game design, and impressive art.  While the game might not be perfect, it will have to be great.  We can work with a great game and keep improving it, but if it is merely mediocre then we will lose backer confidence far faster than we gain their pledges. Artwork too is a biggy.  There is absolutely 0 way, even if I had infinite money, that all the artwork for the game could be finished before the campaign.  Quality art just takes time to draw, and Chris is helping me as a side project because I can't afford to pay him an actual full-time wage.  However we have some art, and it's good, and we need some more.  The project essentially needs enough art to look professional, because that's all we have time for and can afford.  It's less about making the entire game look finished, that would be dishonest.  What we need though, is enough of an example of what Space Frontier could look like when completed, to give backers the confidence to believe in the project.

Having a completed game at Kickstarter Launch that merely needs money for a production run just isn't something that John and I have the luxury to be able to afford.  It's got to be a promo, a demo of what could be if backed.  We need to make our prototype look as convincing as possible but also let the backers know that improvements are going to be made.  And also, the more pledges there are, the more improvements are going to happen.  I would also like to include the Kickstarter Backers in the design process.  I'm interested to see outside feedback from people interested in the project and to incorperate that into the game design. There will be much more detail on that point in a later blog post.

In my next post, I plan to talk about some of the themes that permeate Space Frontier as well as the available factions that players are going to be able to choose from.

-Aaron Dona

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