Ooh thanks, can't wait! :D
Recent community posts
Hi, congrats on the release of the prologue! I haven't bought the game yet, but I was wondering if there's going to be an updated full demo? I got the impression from the description that the current mini demo is only temporary, but I might have misunderstood.
I voted for TTOW so I'll definitely be backing you! I had a look at the Kickstarter & I like that there's lots of screenshots, you mention the different MC personalities & the character bios look pretty.
-I think your backer rewards are good ideas (the love letters, copies of your previous games, beta access, designing an outfit, creating a character, creating a scene, etc). Another idea would be a short playable scene/scenario in between the first game & the sequel, since a lot happens in that time. It could be in the game itself, as DLC, or even a text game using Twine or Choicescript. You could also add the option to buy them as DLC when the game is released for anyone that didn't back the Kickstarter. It might be too late now to suggest something extra & I'm not sure if it would take too much time away from the main game, although it's something that'd only have to be done after the Kickstarter is finished, but I just wanted to throw it out there just in case. I think anything capitalising on the ROs in general will be popular.
-It might be a good idea to get someone who isn't familiar with either game to have a look over the Kickstarter draft. Everyone on this page has probably played TROS & is already planning to buy TTOW, which makes us a bit biased and we probably don't require as much info as someone brand new who comes across your Kickstarter.
-I think it'd be helpful to make it clearer that this is a sequel to TROS, an already published game. I know you mention it in the demo section (with a link to the itchio page), but it's a bit too easy to gloss over. You might also want to add the Steam page for TROS too.
-If you're worried about the tiers & rewards being confusing, I've seen other Kickstarters provide a breakdown grid diagram to show which rewards are available in which tiers, and I think that makes it as clear as possible. There's an example of this on this current VN Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lunarisgames/errant-kingdom
-Unless I've missed it, I think it'd be a good idea to provide links to your game dev social media accounts & a clear link to your itchio store page so people can browse your previous games.
-Make sure there aren't too many early bird backer spaces. I'm not an expert on this so I'm not sure what the right proportion should be, but most people who will back a game will pick whatever the cheapest tier is that includes the base game. So take into account how many of that tier you need to sell when deciding the number of early bird spaces.
-Other people have already mentioned that a trailer would be ideal (like the one on the TROS Steam page), and if you're releasing on Steam then you'd need to make one eventually right? If that's not possible, or in addition to this, it would be cool to include some GIFs in the campaign page, to show the gameplay (making choices, sprites changing expressions, etc).
-Mini bios of yourself & anyone else who works on the game (I think there's a separate artist?), your role in making the game, how long you've been making games, your background, any fun/silly facts about yourself, etc. may help people to see the person behind the Kickstarter.
I've only just seen this update and the previous one. I just wanted to echo some of the others in saying that your transparency is admirable! I think it helps us all understand the background process of what goes into making a game and appreciate how difficult it can be.
I definitely agree that marketing might be an issue. I personally found The Rose of Segunda by searching through one of the tags on itchio (it might have been female protagonist) & it immediately caught my eye because of the royal/historical setting (my personal favourite!), but I ended up buying on Steam because I like to keep my games together. I'm not sure how many people find games this way though.
Increasing your presence on social media could help a lot. Tumblr, lemmesoft forums, twitter, etc. Tumblr would be great for showing off artwork, answering asks from fans (usually stuff like mini scenarios for the ROs ("how would the ROs react if x happened, if Iolanthe did x" etc), in-character asks (people ask the characters qs & you answer how you think they'd respond), or trivia about them (ideal first date, starsigns, nsfw facts, lol) are really popular, so it can be mostly text based), updates on the game & reblogging fanwork - this all helps keep potential customers engaged & coming back to your page regularly, keeping hype high for the next game. Check out the tumblrs of Seraphinite (currently doing COG/HG Wayhaven Chronicles but has done VNs too, has a v active tumblr) & Azalyne Studios (who did a successful kickstarter for Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem, but it was a few years ago so check newer Kickstarter campaigns too).
I'm not active on twitter but it would probably be a good place to give regular updates & network with other VN devs. Maybe offer to send free keys to VN lets play/review youtubers, VN tumblr bloggers, VN steam curators, VN twitch streamers, etc in exchange for a review? Or do some kind of key giveaway if people reblog you on tumblr/twitter? If you know any other VN devs you might be able to come up with an arrangement with them to both promote each others games (this can also work for the Kickstarter campaign). Make sure you promote other games/VN creators that you're a fan of too. You could do some cross promotion for your own games, like promoting HG on TROS pages on itchio, Steam, etc., nothing over the top but a simple update that you have another new game out for people that might enjoy it.
Kickstarter: I think this could work but it would require a lot of studying how other games did their marketing & what went right for them, comparing what went wrong with games that didn't reach their goal. Apparently the marketing for kickstarters can be time consuming so definitely be prepared to throw yourself into it. I think you have an advantage in that you're not a brand new random person, you have a proven track record of creating and finishing multiple games, so you should definitely highlight that because you'll be seen as more trustworthy.
One thing is that even if life gets in the way or things are taking longer than you expected with the game development, it's still important to give regular updates, even if the content is just "I didn't get as much done as I wanted, but I'm still working on it". I've seen backers get frustrated when devs disappear for months because the game has gotten stuck & they feel too guilty to be upfront about it.
Anyway I'll do my best to spread the word a little & I'll definitely keep a closer eye on any future updates you have, we're all rooting for you & I hope everything works out!