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Kickstarter

Halls of Glory Portraits

portraits

Did you back the Guts and Glory Kickstarter at the Halls of Glory level or higher?

Then don't forget to submit your portrait image by December 15th! 

Send images to hakjakgames@gmail.com and please use/include your Kickstarter email.  You can also send images directly via Kickstarter messages.

Thanks!

The Butler

C'mon Jeeves, let's go for a ride!

C'mon Jeeves, let's go for a ride!

Today I finished adding the Kickstarter Butler.  If you backed Guts and Glory on Kickstarter at The Founder's Club level or higher, you get access to this guy today.  Simply where the black Top Hat and your personal butler will appear on almost any vehicle!

If you missed the Kickstarter opportunity, don't worry... The Butler will be available to everyone when Guts and Glory leaves Early Access this Spring!

Whoooa!  Sir, please slow down!

Whoooa!  Sir, please slow down!

This update also fixes several bugs and other minor improvements to character controls.  You can see all the details here

Kickstarter Post-Mortem: Guts and Glory

As most of you reading this probably already know, the Kickstarter for Guts and Glory successfully ended on October 16th!  1,125 amazing people pledged a grand total of $34,053 to make this game more epic, bringing the total funding to 112% of the target goal.  After pledges that didn't clear, and the Kickstarter and processor fees, that should put it right around the the target goal of $30k.  Now I can afford to work on the project full-time until Early Access release (crazy?  maybe... but sometimes you gotta take big risks if you want big rewards right?), and will soon have some more resources to make the game bigger, better and faster!  

A screenshot from the demo track shown at TwitchCon, prior to the Kickstarter

So, for those of you interested, here is a brief Guts and Glory Kickstarter Post-Mortem:

  1. Momentum and hype are critical.  In retrospect, I wish I would have done this Kickstarter smack dab in the middle of the Steam Greenlight campaign, when new internet traffic was at it's peak and people were trying the open pre-alpha builds for the first time.  Running the Kickstarter when the hype was at its peak would have been much more efficient and effective, as the 2 campaigns would feed off each other.
  2. Kickstarter is less appealing for indie games than it used to be.  Thanks to so many projects that have burnt their backers, or made pie-in-the-sky promises, people are less trusting of backing projects than a few years ago.  There are also many more active projects competing for those dollars at any given time.  Despite the fact that G&G had incredible Greenlight stats, #1 rank on IndieDB for several weeks, a well-known indie publisher, and very strong YouTube support, it didn't just "take off" as quickly or easily as I was hoping it would.  Many people wrote me simply stating that they loved the project and were stoked to buy it, but simply didn't want to hassle with the Kickstarter process.
  3. Digital-only Rewards are a great option, as long as you give them enough value.  Most campaigns seem to have a lot of physical goods involved.  This quickly eats up a ton of the funds raised for production, shipping, VAT, etc.  I wanted to ensure that as much of the funds raised as possible went directly towards making a better game, rather than making T-shirts, so I opted for digital-only rewards.  (Thanks, TinyBuild, for steering me in the right direction on this one!)  Much to my surprise, the top tier ($1k level) rewards actually sold out!  So in the end, it paid off, and now I can focus purely on the game immediately, rather than producing and shipping a bunch of physical stuff.
  4. Different communities, different cultures.  The Kickstarter community and culture seems much different that what you generally find on Steam.  I believe more mainstream/family-friendly titles, in general, would do better on Kickstarter than "edgier" games like G&G.  The vast majority of pledges came from first-time backers.
  5. Make the $25 reward a "no-brainer" in value.  Pack as much as you can in there to make it very appealing.  This is the average Kickstarter pledge amount, so this should be your primary target reward.
  6. Cross-promotions can help a ton!  Over halfway through the campaign, I was able to offer a sweet cross-promo deal with the folks at Dynamic Pixels, thanks to my publisher, TinyBuild.  Those that backed at the $25 level or higher would receive early access to the alpha build for Hello Neighbor, another highly anticipated indie game.  It worked wonders and gave that extra push needed to cross the finish line and help ensure success.
  7. Success breeds succcess.  As soon as the Kickstarter funding goal was hit, there was a huge spike in traffic and pledges after that.  People want to be part of something that is a guaranteed success, so the lower you can set your goal and the faster you can hit, the more funds you're likely to generate.

There's a lot of work involved in running a Kickstarter campaign.  It takes up more time than I expected, but it was a huge learning experience and ending up paying off.  Hopefully these key takeaways will help others looking to start their own Kickstarter in the future.

Since the Kickstarter has ended, I've already fulfilled the first couple rewards.  The first was the package of "Glorious Goodies": exclusive wallpapers, a printable poster, and a fun papercraft.  HumbleBundle has an awesome rewards fulfilment system, so that made the entire process a breeze.

The second one was much more fun: the Yang Family Demo!  This is basically a big physics sandbox map for players to try out the Yang Family and their car for the first time, explore the map, and wreck in creative ways.  This car has been one of the most anticipated characters, so using them as a backer incentive has worked out well, and has also been a good source of feedback.  It also taught me that I will need to make optimization a priority going forward if I want to add the gobs of physics-based content I'm planning for the full game.

Prototype AI cars in the Yang Family Demo

Now that I have the immediate rewards fulfilled, I can wrap up some misc. work this week and then go into next week focusing fully on developing the game further and preparing for the Beta Access release.  That's where things should start getting really interesting....

Bringing a whole new meaning to the term "blended families" in the Yang Family Demo

Larry and his Rocket LawnChair

Kickstarter ends in 3 days, claim your glory before it's too late: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hakjak/guts-and-glory

Wow, it's been a busy month!  Running a Kickstarter is hella hard work, but it's looking like it all may pay off soon.  There are just 3 DAYS LEFT and it's 87% FUNDED!  That's cutting it close, so I really hope enough new pledges come in to meet the goal.  Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform, so if it comes up even $1 short of hitting the goal then everything is refunded and no rewards sent out.  So crazy!

Luckily you guys have been amazing support.  As the deadline nears, tweets and posts have increased, and many backers have even increased their pledges, pushing us closer to that sweet finish line.  These next 3 days are both exciting and nerve-racking.

It's easy to let all the power of this thing go to your head.

I've been hard at work on the 4th character for the game:  meet Dr. Lawrence Walters, also known as "LawnChair Larry!"  He was once a very successful rocket scientist, but one day discovered the wonders of LSD and lost his mind.  Now he's building his own rocket-powered contraption from spare parts so he can compete in the Guts and Glory games and reclaim his former life--or just feed his addiction.  He's not quite sure yet.

Getting the physics and controls to work well for a vehicle like this was a big challenge.  At first, it just wanted to fly all over the place uncontrollably like a balloon losing its air!  (Thought I was playing Goat Simulator for a minute, haha!)  But eventually I found a way to integrate it into the rest of the vehicle physics system and stabilize the controls.  It's so much fun to just fly around on this thing that I probably spent more time than I needed "playtesting" it.

Added a sweet new shader for the rocket flames as well, which really brings them to life.  I'll upgrade the vehicle boosters to something similar as well.

Up, up, and awaaaayyyyy!!

I've also been working on a new map for prototyping, playtesting, and benchmarking changes.  I call it "Map X" and you can see it in the trailer above.  This will be a part of the Beta on Steam, so everyone can rapidly test adjustments made to vehicles on a wide variety of settings.  There are track areas for each class of vehicles, include a large car course with a large loop and jumps, terrain friction testing areas, and more.  I'll continue to expand on this map as needed during development.

I've also done some bug squashing and a little bit of optimization work.  Discovered that having v-sync on by default is a terrible idea as well, so if you have low FPS, try turning that off.  My friend's computer went from 30FPS to 300FPS just by doing that!  Also, in future versions of the game I plan on adding some legit bug reporting and analytics features so I can fine-tune things much more efficiently.

That's it for now!  I'll be setting up an official Steam Store page/Community Hub soon and adding a control customization system.  Once those are done it will be time to start building a level editor!

Thanks again to everyone who has supported the Kickstarter and fingers crossed that we hit that goal before time is up!

“Hello, Neighbor!” (Alpha Steam Key for G&G Backers)

Back Guts & Glory on Kickstarter and get a Steam Alpha Key for this epic game too!

Back Guts & Glory on Kickstarter and get a Steam Alpha Key for this epic game too!

Back Guts and Glory and Get an Alpha Steam Key for Hello Neighbor

Great news!  The brilliant minds behind the innovative game “Hello Neighbor” have agreed to do a sweet cross-promotion deal.  Now, anyone who backs Guts and Glory at the $25 level or higher will also get an Alpha Access Steam Key to this amazing game!

What is Hello Neighbor?

If you haven’t heard of this awesome project already, Hello Neighbor is a Stealth Horror Game about sneaking into your neighbor’s house.  You play against an advanced AI that learns from your every move, so the more you play, the smarter he gets!

What dark secrets is this guy hiding in his basement?

I'm gonna get you!

Developed in Unreal Engine 4 and coming to PC Summer 2017

Features:

- Stealth Horror

- Procedural AI

- Pixar-style visuals

- Extremely tense gameplay

I'm so excited for this game and happy to do a cross-promotion with them!  Check it out and help me spread the word about this awesome opportunity to help two great projects at once!

Back Guts and Glory and get your Hello Neighbor Alpha Key too!

(see Kickstarter page for details)

Let's KICKSTART This!

Let's make G&G Bigger, Better, and FASTER!

Let's make G&G Bigger, Better, and FASTER!

Kickstarter begins September 15th!

New, FREE UPDATE will be released before then on IndieDB.com!

There will be both FREE and financial ways to support the Kickstarter and add new features to the game, so every visit to the page helps :D

Here is a link to my profile page if you want to Follow me on Kickstarter.  A link to the project will appear there once it's live.


Some of you have been wondering what I've been up to since Guts and Glory got Greenlit. How much progress have I made on development?  How much content will be available when the game launches on Early Access?

Well, unfortunately this month has been slow for development due to one big reason:

My demanding day job :P

I typically work 50+ hours per week, meaning most work on the game only happens on weekends or very late/early in the day.  Lately, this has increased to around 60+ due to a lot of changes!  It's time to make some tough choices....

The time has come for me to take a leap of faith. TO QUIT MY DAY JOB AND WORK ON THE GAME FULL-TIME!!  To make Guts and Glory bigger, better and faster than I ever could part-time!

But to do this I need your help!  

So I'm launching a Kickstarter next month and I hope you will drop by and support it. Even if you cannot afford to back it financially, there will be many "Community Rewards" setup that will help bring new things to the game for FREE!  It's also a great chance to get in on beta testing, nab exclusive content, or even become a character in the game!

So please help spread the word about the upcoming Kickstarter for Guts and Glory, and remember that every share, like, tweet, and donation helps to make the game bigger, better, and faster!

Thank you for your support and I hope this Kickstarter is a ton of fun!

- HakJak