After a week of letting their community toss around some ideas for how they'd like to see a future Kickstarter campaign for Dead State go down, DoubleBear's Annie Mitsoda has brought forth a new design update that unfortunately crushes our hopes for a boxed copy of the ZRPG before talking about some of the other tiered incentives that are easier for the team to deliver.
"Boxed copy." OK - gonna tackle this one first, since we heard a lot of it. We absolutely understand why people want this, and heck, I love getting boxed versions of stuff FOR REAL, but the sad thing is that this is something we very likely can't pull off, because when we thought about it, stuff steamrolled in the following fashion:
'¢ OK, so we need to put the game on probably a huge bunch of DVDs. We gotta find a place that does that.
'¢ Well, now that we got the DVDs, we need to label them. Um... what place makes labels for DVDs? And will hopefully label these ones? Yikes, and we gotta get a graphic together for that...
'¢ OK, we've got the DVDs labeled. Now we need to either get a DVD case (with a printed graphic for it) or a box for them to go in. I think people want the box more, but then we need to design a box, find a place that prints boxes, and will sleeve the DVDs and pack them in the boxes so they don't get smacked around during shipping.
'¢ Aw, nuts, if we've got a box and a DVD, we'll need a manual. Time to get together a physical manual design, get THAT printed out, and put in the box with all the other stuff...
'¢ OK WE GOT ALL THAT. Now we just need to put the game in the box... in ANOTHER BOX... and mail it out to everyone. Now it seems like our first copy is going out to... South Africa. And shipping on that is... like... twenty five dollars. Oh my god. /dead
SO. When we mentally walked through that process, we got scared and kind of cried a little bit. We could attempt to get all that underway, but sadly it'd be so expensive that we'd have to make it a major tier contribution item, which would probably make a lot of people on the lower tiers really upset. I know there are other Kickstarter projects - like Double Fine Adventure and Wasteland 2 - that are offering physical copies, but Double Fine and InXile are larger companies who have released printed copies of games before, and they have the connections and deals in place to do so. For smaller teams, this isn't really an option - Stoic, the team behind The Banner Saga, isn't offering boxed versions, for example - and though it broke our collective hearts, we decided in the end that a boxed version wasn't something we'd be able to do. (We WILL be offering a DRM-free version, though!)
BUT NOW THAT WE HAVE THE APOLOGY FOR THAT TAKEN CARE OF, HERE'S SOME OTHER AWESOME STUFF:
- "Pre-purchase." But of course! We'll absolutely have that. That is a thing we will do.
- "Special 'Supporter of Dead State' forum tags." That's a great flippin idea! We're still working with our admin to figure out if this is possible and how we'd do it, but we definitely love it and will pursue that possibility.
- "Personalized zombie/character portrait." Definitely. This will be higher tier and limited, of course, so our hardworking artist Kim doesn't go crazy or murder us, but this is assuredly something we're planning on.
- "Additional writing." It made Brian blush sheepishly a bit when so many people requested more of his writing, but dammed if there weren't a whole lot of you doing so. We'll make it happen. (and be "we" I mean he'll write, and I'll make him do so)
- "Additional content." Definitely interest for a prequel type game (and no, not the "day at the office" kind of game that Brian joked about in forum updates past, but a real episode with a similar style of gameplay to Dead State itself, which will come out after the game is finished and will only initially be available to the Kickstarter contributors) We'll be putting together plans for something like that and telling you a little more about it in the final Kickstarter reveal.
- "Personalized items in game." Definitely a high-tier option, but we absolutely have plans to offer this kind of incentive to fans. It's a big deal to many to have something important to them included in a game (just ask any game developer who snuck a cameo of one of their pets into something they've worked on), and we want to offer options for that WITHOUT totally inundating the game with them. We'll have several intriguing options open in this regard.
- "Party with the devs." We were a little surprised to see this come up, but hey, why not? I can't promise you adventure, I can't promise you excitement, but I sure as heck can promise you hangouts. If hangouts with Brian and I is what you crave, I think we can arrange that, if the price is right. (...And imagine I just said that in a way that doesn't make us sound like whores.) [And we can't promise alcohol, according to Kickstarter rules, so be sure to get drunk before you get here - Brian]