Ecosystem Will Continue
A Look Back at the Kickstarter Campaign
You have probably seen by now that the Kickstarter campaign for Ecosystem didn’t make it, though it came tantalizingly close, at a full 88% of the funding goal.
Kickstarter has gotten a lot more difficult since I ran the Enemy campaign. In 2013, Rock Paper Shotgun had a weekly feature that covered the current titles there. It’s hard to imagine a big outlet doing that now. Looking back at projects from the earliest days, you see a lot that just had a few paragraphs of text and some concept art! On successful projects now, you can scroll down the page for minutes before you hit the end.
The main difficulty with Ecosystem‘s crowdfunding lied in getting coverage and spreading the word. Kickstarter relies mostly on you driving traffic to the project yourself, and I struggled to do that. Behind the scenes, I was doing everything I could to let people know about the game but most of the time, I was met with radio silence – a fairly common outcome for indie developers. The biggest thing that would have helped is a demo. Press outlets like to see one before they write articles, and it would have opened up the possibility of sending the game to streamers. I knew this was a potential issue before I launched, but I took the risk – and lost.
Since the project came pretty close to its target, I ran a livestream during the last half hour of the campaign, in hopes that it would help stir up interest. This of course had the unfortunate side effect of broadcasting my moment of Kickstarter failure all over the world and also ensuring that it would be saved for all time:
The Path From Here
Failing the Kickstarter was a difficult experience and I worry a little that it was difficult to drum up interest, but I still think the game has potential and I intend to still make it. It’s unlikely that I’ll try crowdfunding again, though I am considering Early Access, as this may be the kind of systems-oriented game that could benefit from it. Most of the features mentioned in the Kickstarter should still make it through to the final game. It is possible, though, that they may take a little longer without the funding that Kickstarter would have provided.
I’ve started up a development blog here at my own website, and I’ll be sharing progress updates as well as gifs, videos, and eventually a beta of the game and a demo. If you would like to keep following development and be informed when you can play it, feel free to bookmark the blog or sign up for the mailing list:
I’ll also be posting everything to Twitter and Facebook. It would be great to hear from all of you as development progresses. I really enjoyed communicating back and forth during the Kickstarter, and Enemy improved a lot because of the input of backers. Lastly, even though we didn’t quite make it (though we came shockingly close!), I wanted to thank all of you for your support. I really appreciate it.