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Ready, Set, Donate!

  • Sion
  • 05/09/2013 10:55 PM
Dormant Sky Kickstarter

Some time ago a forum member who commented on the project page expressed his/her willingness to contribute to the project. And when I considered the prospect of creating a Kickstarter for an Rpgmaker game, I found it pretty humorous. But after I researched and found that Dormant Sky would definitely not be the first or last to be submitted and get this end up Fully Funded, I had to give it a shot.

This also wouldn't be the first time I bucked a community trend with the way I go about game development. The primary thing that has always held back my vision for this game is the amount of resources I need for it to prosper. Something like Kickstarter would definitely grant me those resources. Truth is, I allowed development of the game to halt for the last year or so for multiple reasons that have dealt with my personal life, but with working with Vanit and the custom systems, one thing I have started to need is money. Custom systems need custom resources. The Battle System could have been finished and a demo out in 2010, if I had a few hundred sprites done for the character's animations.
Being a full-time college student hasn't exactly helped me in that area either. But I have expressed that I truly want to release this game. Even if the project fails to be funded, I will still do my best to make it happen. This method would just increase the rate of which exponentially.

Lastly, I'd like to compensate the people who have contributed to this project from day one. There are people who have taken shots at me for utilizing a team factor for this game but it boils down to the fact that there are people who really bought into my vision for the project even as an RPGmaker title, and contributed their talents. I want to do good by them, and those who look forward to Dormant Sky even today.

If you know of anyone who might be interested in donating to Dormant Sky please share the link.

Who knows, I may be able to get the game finalized in a completely different engine at the end of the day.

This is the vision of a guy who refuses to settle for mediocrity.
I believe that this fundraiser will live and die by the Rpgmaker community.

I'll meet you guys back here in 54 days.

Sion Out,

~Let's Do It


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Hey Sion =D It's Sanosuke from back in the day, I saw this and wanted to wish you good luck. I had no idea you were in DC we're practically neighbors man. I tried myself to fund rpg maker projects before but it seems either I'm very unlucky or no one was interested in funding me not even members from this community. I figured it was a pointless endeavor so I've moved on from the rpg maker scene personally...you can't put food on the table working for years with no source of income...anyways I see you're off to a good start, I hope things turn differently for you man than they did for me. Best of luck brother =]
So... what's the intent here? Funding to make freeware, or do you intend on charging for this? You may need to make some adjustments to your game's profile is this isn't going to be freeware.
It's generally considered bad form to have such a high minimum reward tier when your goal is only like five thou. Your reward tiers in general are pretty sparse -- I know you're working within fairly limited means, but it's strange to me that your big wonderful $200 tier is a vague "we'll put your name somewhere". I'm sure you can think of more interesting ways to get your audience involved with your project.

In the end, even if this isn't your intention, the state of the Kickstarter makes your stated enthusiasm for the community seem like low-scale corporate doublespeak. "I'd like to compensate the people who've been with me since day one" doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me; Will they be getting special backer rewards? Because if this is just an opportunity for them to give you money again you're not treating them any differently from the newcomers.

I'm not against crowdfunding in the least, but it's very true that you reap what you sow in these cases. If you do care about your supporters, then demonstrate that. If you'd rather not invest that much time and effort, then don't say you do.

(And making a kickstarter to fund your jrpg is hardly "bucking the trend" -- the last time I looked around for amateur RPG projects seeking crowdfunding, this is how it felt.)
I'll bet the guy who made the kickstarter comment is a great dude.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing a brief demo. We're all charmed by the screenshots and artwork, but it'd be nice to have a feel for whats really at work. Doesn't have to be much : An intro, town, and dungeon.
I feel like I should tell you something about your kana subtitle...

ファイナルファンタジ - FAINARU FANTAJI (Final Fantasy, with a very short and clipped Y sound)

ファイナルファンタジー - FAINARU FANTAJĪ (Final Fantasy), usually followed by a number.

Who did your logo, exactly? You might want to speak with them.
did someone say angels
You know it's illegal to ask for money for an RM2k3 game, right?
did someone say angels
Also, I noticed you used the trademark symbol in the name of your Kickstarter project. Does that mean you've legally filed for a trademark with the US government? If not, did you know that it's illegal to use that symbol?
So when you said "I'll meet you guys back here in 54 days", were you being literal? Because I"m seeing a lot of new advice emerging in this thread that you should really take note of. Even if your project is technically non-commercial, introducing money to the equation always complicates things and adds to the liabilities you risk exposing yourself to. Deriving your legal knowledge 100% from what other people seem to be getting away with (as your response on Kickstarter suggests) is the sort of thing that can turn ugly for you very, very quickly.

(Apropos of nothing, I also think ignoring this thread definitively gives the lie to your stated enthusiasm for the community. If all you can manage is a boilerplate response on another website, and can't even admit that this is made in RPG Maker to your backers, this project hardly "lives and dies" by us at all.)
I wish you took the time to have some of the custom graphics made first than posting the screenshots with rips. It's just not a good sight for your project and says absolutely nothing about the final product visually. Which is a huge factor for me when I donate to a lot of games. All of these are misleading to a lot of people.
Yeah, that's the other thing... Your response to criticism vis a vis the ripped sprites is that they'll be phased out depending on how the funding goes, and this is fair. A lot of projects use placeholders while they wait for the graphics to be completed.

My question, though, is whether you've looked into what people charge for commissioned sprite work yet. Five thousand dollars might sound like a lot, but you're going to have to spread it pretty thin if you want it to pay for both comprehensive programming and a complete graphical overhaul. I'm interested in hearing about your price assessments so far -- and if you haven't done any yet, you should really get on that! In fact, you should go back in time and do that before you set something like a Kickstarter goal!

e: Also, in response to your latest Kickstarter comment: Maybe avoid blowing your top at people who are raising legitimate concerns with very real legal ramifications? This is far too shady for me to even pledge the $1 that would let me weigh in over there, but I don't think you understand that Bishop's comments are measured, helpful, and completely true. It reflects poorly on you as a developer when you take that and accuse the poster of having some kind of personal grudge.
Hey guys. Sorry if I gave the impression that I was ignoring this blog post. Just been doing a lot, the last few days to be honest. I also didn't think there'd be too much interest until I was able to generate some anticipation.

In whatever form the game is completed in, I don't expect to charge for the game. I suppose I just assumed everyone knew that. I'm just a guy trying to make and complete a game for my peers. For people like those of this community.

I also haven't tried to make any illusions to what engine this game is being made on. Quite honestly, I didn't think it would illicit the responses it did from people. I've almost been prideful that it is being made in Rpgmaker to show that good original content can be created on it. I'm not sure where that opinion came from.

The more I'm hearing from people, the less enthused I am about being able to keep this as an "Rpgmaker Project". If my goal was to put a veil over the game, you guys wouldn't have been the first to know about it.

I read and I see the responses. At the end of the day, I'm just trying to make a game. If Dormant Sky is too much for the world and fundraising fails, so be it.
If the game ends up being funded, nothing about it right now can be considered finalized.

I will say I'm a little disappointed that I have a lot less support from the community I've grown in than I thought.


Randomly, those two characters I designed for you. I can shade them properly for you if you want now. I've gotten a lot better since then. Whoops!

This is nice and all, but if you'd read the responses instead of waving them away as a mostly-negative clump of nothing you'd see some very real questions that you might want to address. I'm sorry that I'm not being as nice as I could be, but being evasive and fixating on the tone rather than the content aren't going to make these problems go away.

It also gives me pause that you say this is being completed "for the community" while simultaneously trying to take our money.
It also gives me pause that you say this is being completed "for the community" while simultaneously trying to take our money.

What's your problem? I'm not "taking" anything from anybody. I'm raising money to finish and release a game for free for people's enjoyment. What about that are you having such a hard time understanding?

And I don't, nor have I ever had a problem with criticism. It's just frankly annoying when it comes from people who obviously have zero interest in the project itself. I tend to adopt a listen to bullshit about 2-3 times before I say something
type of mentality. At the end of the day my discourse shouldn't even matter. It's about the game.

So you keep whining, and I'll go do something productive, like work on the project.
Alright? Alright then.


@Skie: I sent you a message. Good to hear from you.
You're still fixating on tone rather than answering any of the considerable questions people have posed here. I don't think I've done anything to deserve this kind of explosion from you, and I'm not willing to let your claim that I'm "bullshitting" debunk the very real questions in this thread. I would expect a little more from someone asking for community support.

For the record, I don't have a problem with you or what you're doing. I do have questions, though, as do a few others. Please, take them one at a time. We're listening.

e: Or, they're listening. I've had enough people shouting at me for "asking in bad faith" and so on over the past little while that I think it's probably best if I keep out of this topic from now on. It's a shame that I can't involve myself in this kind of thing without people overreacting, because I was interested in seeing where this went.

I encourage you to consider what I said in my absence, particularly as pertains to your financial goal and your budget -- conservative estimates place a comprehensive graphical overhaul anywhere from three to six times the amount you're asking for, and that's even without taking programming into account.

If you've found people who will overhaul your game's graphics and engine for under five thousand dollars total, congratulations! Treasure them. And maybe pay them considerably more if you beat your goal by a good amount, because I can't imagine doing that much work for so little cash.

Good luck!
Your mom is a hero
You know it's illegal to ask for money for an RM2k3 game, right?

Also, I noticed you used the trademark symbol in the name of your Kickstarter project. Does that mean you've legally filed for a trademark with the US government? If not, did you know that it's illegal to use that symbol?

Why does your logo say Final Fantasy in Japanese?

Is there a demo?

So, you're using illegally-obtained graphics from games like Lunar 2, Rudra, and Chrono Trigger in order to ask money for a game made in an illegally-obtained game engine (RPG Maker 2003). Not only that, but you don't even credit the sources that you ripped off. Don't you think that's a little disingenuous to portray it as your own work to your backers?

Do you have any samples of what you want the in-game graphics to look like?

You mention that there is the prospect of utilizing a newer engine if you are able to garner the proper resources... Wouldn't it have been prudent to invest $70 in RPG Maker Ace prior to asking for $5,000?

I have no personal issue with you or your project.
"But I am going to handle the game in the best way I feel will entertain its audience. I've spoken to several backers who are aware of what the game is being created on and the concern really seems to be a non-issue."

Although you might not continue to use the current engine, the legality of what you're doing has been pointed out to you, and yet you defend it because "several backers are aware of it and think it's a non-issue".

Be it using illegally-obtained graphics or an illegally-obtained game engine, you seem to dismiss criticism by saying that "I got to the point where I acknowledged there are those who aren't going to support the game no matter what I do. Any and everyone has the right to tell people not to back the game, I can't do anything about that. All I can do is make the best game I can. I don't really see what the purpose of going back and forth is at this point."

Just popping in again to say that the legality of the graphics isn't strictly a problem -- it's not unheard of for game developers to use ripped graphics while prototyping. Some might argue that it's very unwise to include these in promotional material, and that after more than three years he should be well past the prototyping phase, but I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt when he says he intends on phasing them out.

There are some very real problems, however, associated with his current choice of engine. How he chooses to approach that is his decision, of course, but it's a very bad idea to assume that it'll turn out okay just based on the reactions of your backers so far. Don't roll the dice with legal liability if you can help it.

The thing that probably concerns me most, though, is that I've gone around and taken some basic quotes on how much it would cost if I wanted to pay someone to sprite roughly the same volume of graphics found in the RTP, and conservative estimates are roughly around the $30,000 mark -- over six times his kickstarter goal, and that's even before taking commissioning a programmer into account (which could very well be on a similar price scale, depending on what you need to do). Community rates may be lower, and further adjustments may be made to account for the lower resolution, but even so I think it's a stretch to think that all this is possible for under five thousand dollars.

The completion of a Kickstarter imposes certain legal obligations on the person or company that has received the funding, and for this reason it's a good idea to have a clear understanding of your capabilities and costs before creating one. It concerns me that he doesn't seem to have done so.
And so it ends with this dude getting his money after all, despite dodging questions. I guess we should all learn from this example to sucker people.
Your mom is a hero
shit just got real
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