In retrospect, I was ill-equipped and, perhaps more importantly, delusional to launch not one, but two public campaigns for Captain Quack at one time (KS and Greenlight).
I had done the research through and through. I polished a public demo, prepared a press kit and gathered a rather large list of press contacts in hopes that a dumb game might catch fire and spread through this vast forest we call the internet. It didn’t.
Thus far, the campaigns are comparable to that of a marathon run, only instead of continuous and well paced strides, they’ve only been something of a slow crawl. Some of the more devoted friends and family members have shown up on the sidelines to cheer me on and offer my support, but the rest are merely shaking their heads in disapproval.
That may be a bit of an overly dramatic metaphor, but they still are what they are at the end of the day. Failure.
It was a long shot from the get go. I’m trying to get people to buy in on the ridiculous idea of a game about a duck that poops on stuff. Hardly an indie darling.
But regardless of the results of these things, I can’t help but analyze the platforms of which they ran on.
The number of successful Kickstarter campaigns for video games has drastically dropped within the past year. Have people lost faith in the developers that they so willingly threw their wallets at previously? Perhaps the answer is yes, due to broken promises and underwhelming end products of those projects that at one time beaming with potential.
Greenlight, on the other hand, is by and large a popularity contest. Formulaic games that rehash successful genres and concepts are welcomed in with open arms. Promoting a title from a no name first timer becomes a game of bribing voters with the promise of a trade in up-votes or the offering of product keys.
While I briefly dabbled with these practices, I quickly decided that I don’t want to achieve sweet victory through negotiations. I want people to support my project because they are GENUINELY interested in it.
This is wherein the problem lies. How do you make people care about your project? Reaching out to hundreds of press contacts and streamers is difficult, because they are spammed with so many similar requests each and every day. You can only annoy people on social media so much before they think to ignore anything and everything you send their way in the future.
I suppose what this all bogs down to is that I wasn’t ready, even though I was convinced that I was. I failed to capture user interest within the first ten seconds of video, first sentence of text, or first bar of music. What I have to offer simply may not be polished or captivating enough for anyone to give a care.
Strangely, in the end I am grateful for the experience. I’ve learned from it. I now know what NOT to do next time (should there be one for any future projects). I’ve discovered contacts and marketplaces to take my projects to, even if they are considerably smaller than the big boys.
Quack will continue, as it’s development was never completely reliant upon outside support. I’ll get back to focusing any free time I can conjure on a dumb game that I can’t wait to play for myself, when it’s done.