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Devil Gene R: A Visual Novel Kickstarter:
I was browsing Kickstarter the other day and I spotted something interesting: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/548215972/devil-gene-r A project for a visual novel (in English) with what (I think is) a very engaging story and some pretty nice art. You can also find information at the official site here: http://www.devilgener.com/ I'm not very good at, like, pitching things; I just really want this to be a success, and it seems to me one of the things standing in its way is a lack of publicity, so I figured I would do what I could to get the word out. I won't presume to tell you all whether the funding goal is a lot or a little for a visual novel, because I have no experience in the matter; judge for yourselves. (And disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the project in any way save wanting to play it one day.)
My Soul, Your Beats!Devil Gene R looks like a plot-driven story. It sounds like there are girl x girl relationships, but I don't think it will be a harem game. So far, $2600 out of a goal of $10000, with just over two weeks left. I don't know if this individual will succeed in getting funding... The person creating Devil Gene R made a number of statements on Lemma Soft related to the cost of the project: "All of the pledge money is going into the development of the title, this will be quite a costly endeavor (just to get the finalized character designs and base sprites it's going to cost 1.5k, and another 1.5k to cover the physical items being created for some backer rewards) most of the funding will be spent on art, the next biggest chunk will probably be the voice work (at the moment "amateur" actors are planned to be used, but if a few strings are pulled that might change slightly) and there is of course the music too. And yes there are plans to have opening and closing sequences, so there's that to cover too." I think this person is trying to create freeware, rather than sell an indie game. Since I often read the posts on Planet EVN (a blog aggregator for western visual novel creators, both freeware and indie), I've read about creators' difficulties in getting more than a dozen people to buy their games. It may be easier to distribute this VN for free and accept donations, rather than try to monetize it.
Insert titleKind of pity that this won't get funding, I guess it doesn't help that it is video game section despite visual novels not really being video games.
So what to do now?
I know 4LS is officially disbanded, but I bet if they would put up a new project on kickstarter, they could gather enough to go full-time professional.
De gustibus non est disputandum
My Soul, Your Beats!Since it looks like Devil Gene R has just under $4000 with a day left, I'm not sure what the creator can do. There's a demo which got posted on Kickstarter only a few days ago... perhaps the person can send the demo to artists, musicians, video creators, and voice actors, in order to get their support? Create a No Budget game, focus on the writing, and try to get people to support an enhanced remake? A number of people who've succeeded in getting their video game Kickstarter projects funded are people who have earned a reputation for creating quality video games. (Or, if you want to be cynical, celebrities in video game fandom.) If you're almost as famous as Shigeru Miyamoto or Will Wright, and you are pitching a not-quite-commercial game, then fans will probably flock to your cause. For the rest of us who don't have name recognition among fans, it appears you have to sell people on your game concept. You need to be persuasive, and act like a responsible businessperson. If you give details on your Kickstarter page about factors such as 1) how awesome the gameplay will be, 2) how relevant the game will be, 3) how the money will be used, and 4) how the game will be distributed, then you have a chance at succeeding. Could Kickstarter be used for a localization effort? Maybe. One of the first attempts was Class Of Heroes 2, which failed. Much has been written elsewhere about what the company Gaijinworks did not do, or did not clearly state. Despite that, I think another company or group could fund an official localization. It might work if a company found a game which has both an active fanbase and reasonable licensing costs. (How much would it cost to translate a Windows game? Would it compare with what ADV Films paid for its dual-language DVD releases in the mid-2000s?) Unless the game in question is freeware, the company will have to persuade people to pledge money for licensing fees and development, as well as persuade people to buy it. Are there any people who have enough of a fanbase in the visual novel community to potentially get their next project funded on Kickstarter? In regards to Ever 9's statement, I think a few people who were major contributors to Katawa Shoujo might have some fans. Some of them could band together. One of those contributors was Doomfest, who made the freeware VN Memo, and who is currently working with Dischan Media on a project called Cradle Song. Apart from that, I'm not sure.
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