Winter Voices

Winter Voices

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Sea Author  [developer] Dec 13, 2013 @ 9:20am
Winter Voices S2 - Kickstarter campaign coming soon
Dear players,

As some of you already know, there will be a kickstarter campaign soon to raise funds for Winter Voices 2. This kickstarter campaign will most likely begin early 2014 - in february, most likely. The initial goal will be 50 000$, with stretch goals up to 200 000$. This is a lot of money for a little company like ours, but we hope we can make it.

The question I'm asking you is : what do you want to see in the reward tiers ? (if you already know it, that would be nice to also know what minimal pledge do you plan to make)

Some high-pledge reward we already planned :
signed book of winter voices
signed laminated on wood art of winter voices. (I think everyone will want these... I want some myself... badly)
ask a poem/short novel on a topic of your choice with details of your choice, and we will write it. They will be added to a book of poems and you'll receive a signed copy.
ask a picture of your choice in the universe of winter voices and we will draw it, and we will laminate it, sign it and send it to you. (this need quite a high pledge though)



Any idea or remark is also good to hear. We need to make the best kickstarter campaign possible !
Last edited by Sea Author; Mar 21, 2014 @ 5:21am
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Showing 1-15 of 136 comments
Iris Dec 13, 2013 @ 11:30am 
What about offering a game cameo? For the very high tiers, the contributor would be made into an NPC in the game.

Not that I would be able to afford anything but the lowest tier...
hermana Dec 13, 2013 @ 11:47am 
How about an NPC with a name, origin, backstory and dialogue theme of contributor's choice? Or even a side quest based on what a contributor would offer? I can imagine that not everybody would have liked these rewards though, and developer wouldn't like it too, most likely :D
The Meerkat Dec 13, 2013 @ 12:01pm 
Higher tiers: send in a photo of yourself (or someone who gives you approval) to be made as a portrait available at character creation. If the character is gender-locked like the first game, though, that might be a bit of an issue. I second the NPC creation idea as well. At moderate tiers: everyone loves their name in the credits. And at the bottom, discounted pre-order (if the game ends up costing $25, say, have a digital copy pledge be at $20 or $15) with beta access. I wish you guys luck. :)

Edit: although please, for the love of everything you consider holy and/or precious, consider an engine change. It being based on Adobe Air harmed it. A lot. And perhaps make one of the stretch goals "proof-reading by a native English speaker." :P
Last edited by The Meerkat; Dec 13, 2013 @ 12:06pm
cthulhu985 Dec 13, 2013 @ 2:02pm 
I would like to see anything with background information about the WV world: short stories, comics, some kind of encyclopedia etc. Maybe a map of the world as a poster?

Originally posted by The Meerkat:
Edit: although please, for the love of everything you consider holy and/or precious, consider an engine change. It being based on Adobe Air harmed it. A lot. And perhaps make one of the stretch goals "proof-reading by a native English speaker." :P
Second that. :D

Sea Author  [developer] Dec 13, 2013 @ 2:06pm 
NPC base on the person is feasible. In fact, the first person who has ever bought winter voices (someone living in washington if I recall clearly) got this as a gift for being the first client ever. He is in episode 3, in the hunter house.

Yes it will still be gender-locked. That should not be a problem though. (I would be fabulous with long hair... Truly, truly outrageous...)

Are you really sure you want to have your head as the heroin of winter voices, though ? Isn't it like... creepy ? That's not the kind of heroin you want to be like... Isn't it ? (it's hard enough to roleplay her... already)

As for the engine... I initially planned to make it the ultimate stretch goal. Then I realized it would cost like twice the price of everything else without any certitude of success, and that it would also force us to learn everything again... and I dropped the idea. However I might consider using an existing engine, but that still create a complexity. Not sure if it's worth it.

Initially, I thought that the problem of winter voices came from the way we coded it. (I'm not a pro coder :) ) Then after years of using it and becoming a bit better at coding in actionscript, I realized it was a totally unfriendly technology to code a game with. I will think about it, but it is very unlikely it will ever happen.
Last edited by Sea Author; Dec 13, 2013 @ 2:08pm
cthulhu985 Dec 13, 2013 @ 3:18pm 
Originally posted by Sea Author:
As for the engine... I initially planned to make it the ultimate stretch goal. Then I realized it would cost like twice the price of everything else without any certitude of success, and that it would also force us to learn everything again... and I dropped the idea. However I might consider using an existing engine, but that still create a complexity. Not sure if it's worth it.
I certainly wouldn't suggest creating a new engine from scratch, but you need no fancy 3D, so there's a lot of existing free engines you could use, from basic 2D graphics engines to engines made specially for RPGs. Many use some kind of scripting language which should be easy to learn.
I don't know exactly how much time you spent on fixing bugs caused by some engine problem, but it seems to have been quite a lot, so changing enginge should be worth it.
Last edited by cthulhu985; Dec 13, 2013 @ 3:19pm
Industrial Scribe Dec 14, 2013 @ 6:14am 
I would consider looking at Unity as a ready made engine. It has very reasonable costs and a HUGE development community. (Not to mention a growing assets storefront, meaning you can crowd source some stuff if needed).

The Kickstarter community also greatly supports this growing development community and it shows that you are really trying to provide a platform that will be able to be MODDED by the community and not underpinned by very shaky technology like Adobe Air.

I'd take a look at this project for a bit of guidence on the type of things you want to achieve. They had similar goals to you and are a small art focused production.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1307515311/night-in-the-woods

Cheers and keep well.
Last edited by Industrial Scribe; Dec 14, 2013 @ 6:34am
cthulhu985 Dec 14, 2013 @ 9:29am 
Originally posted by Industrial Scribe:
I would consider looking at Unity as a ready made engine.
Isn't Unity an overkill in this case? AFAIK it's primarily 3D engine and only just got 2D support.
I would think Torque2D, cocos2D or even something like FIFE might be better.
Jake Armitage Dec 14, 2013 @ 2:46pm 
For me personally, I prefer digital only tiers (i.e. a tier that has no physical items, only digital ones) my suggestions are:

A music album (digital and physical), especially for both seasons, I would love to buy the music for the first season outside of the kickstarter anyway, let alone as a backer reward.

A short story (or a novella or a comic) set in the world by a writer of the game or someone linked to the game, doesnt have to be the main character, could be another character that helps flesh out the world a bit.

Some artwork/ an artbook, again both physical and digital, maybe have the artist for the game do a sketch of the backer in the art style of the game.

Skype chats/google hangouts with the dev team to discuss the development of the game and make that person feel like they have input into the game.

I personally tend to go for early bird backer deals, its a bit selfish but I would suggest putting one of those tiers in :)

I have read the odd article saying that those £1/£5 thankyou tiers are worth putting in, apparently the people who back at those tiers tend to upgrade to a higher tier later on.

Some kickstarters do a "lunch with the devs" high tier reward, most highlight that they wont pay for food and board but one or two have, again similar to the skype with a dev one but a bit more special, maybe add a tour of locations that inspire the game or the music or something.

The design document for the game, assuming you have one or are building one, lets people see how the ideas will startout and how they will eventually get translated into the game.

A mug, or a keyring, little decorative things like that. Cards maybe of the key characters and the gods/mythological/political figures.

Maybe as an add-on, not a thing in a tier, but have the whole prior season as a optional extra, maybe at a nice discount, for those who dont have the 1st season already or want to give it to a mate.

A monument/statue in the game dedicated to a high value backer (or the name of an inn or shop), followed by a wall of remembrance or a mention in the credits for the other backers.

Access to the alpha/beta, maybe help enlist the backers for english language cleanup/spell checking.

Other points worth noting are:
State loud and early that you will make it DRM free from the start. It doesnt bother me personally, but alot of people really dont like the idea of any form of DRM (that includes Steam) and will go a bit mental if the kickstarter isn't DRM-Free. See if you can get listed on GOG.com or Humble Bundle store, those are DRM free vendors.

Second point, maybe as a stretch goal if it isnt already, but put in a linux/mac version, even if you get someone else to do it after the game has been finished, you might get some people willing to pay for it, alot of kickstarters I have seen eventually put a Linux stretch goal in there.

Becareful with the costing of physical rewards, every kickstarter I have seen that goes heavy on physical rewards then goes on to say how much shipping then eats into thier budget and was way more than they were expecting.

Finally, the issues around the game stability and the english language translation will need to be addressed, even if its a mention that "We acknowledge there were problems and we have plans to resolve them in the second season by doing XYZ", otherwise I fear you might get people sending alot of flack your way for it.

I look forward to backing your kickstarter when it launches. Best of luck.
Sea Author  [developer] Dec 14, 2013 @ 4:37pm 
Winter Voices is already DRM free on Steam. ;-) You can copy the install folder anywhere. It will work. It has always been and will always been a priority for me. (Winter Voices is also easily modable. This was also a priority)

Thanks for this feedback, a lot of interesting points here.
hermana Dec 16, 2013 @ 6:14am 
Originally posted by Sea Author:
Winter Voices is already DRM free on Steam. ;-)
Yes, but it seems that Jake Armitage meant to say that there are many people who don't like Steam and wouldn't want to buy a game, if it requires Steam client and Steam account to do so.

Cards maybe of the key characters and the gods/mythological/political figures.
Second that!
Everyone remembers a mysterious deck of cards Miska liked to spend time with (in Prologue) ;) It would be super great to recreate them in physical format.

Soundtrack is also a must have!
Last edited by hermana; Dec 16, 2013 @ 6:15am
Sea Author  [developer] Dec 16, 2013 @ 7:40am 
Cards would be a super nice idea, but that would also cost a lot to design. I really like the idea though. I'll think about it.

mrbah Dec 21, 2013 @ 3:24am 
I personally would find digital stuff nice, a detailed manual as PDF, music (can you get sinto to do stuff again for the second season?) a short story and so on.
What range would the different tiers range in?
Terra_Ex Dec 24, 2013 @ 11:18am 
My only request is don't use AIR again, use an existing engine or code your own, I'd definitely second the above suggestion of Unity, incredibly powerful and flexible solution. My own work has advanced leaps and bounds since adopting it.
Der Ungrund Dec 24, 2013 @ 8:43pm 
I personally like the idea of designing/naming an NPC (along with a credit in the credits as "NPC X designed by Y"). This would probably have to be fairly high level (i.e. 500+ dollar range), but this is really the only thing that interests me when it comes to kickstarter perks. I could never afford it, but I think it'd be cool to either name an NPC in the gameworld (which could be a lower tier option) or both name them and have a bit of input into their one or two lines of dialogue (higher tier option).

Also, and I can't stress this enough, I really think you should give away copies of Season 1 of Winter Voices at a basic 25-30 dollar level. I.E. At 20 dollars you get a copy of Season 2, but at 30 you get a copy of both Season 1 and 2.

I say this because, judging from steam stats, only 8 percent of the people who bought Winter Voices Season 1 played to the point of finishing the prologue. While the number of people who played to completion is even smaller.

Given this, I'm not sure if you will be able to count on people who played Season 1 putting you over the edge. So you will most likely need to attract new people who have never played the games before at all. Bundling Season 1 with Season 2 will do this as it will give new customers something to play right now, and people will see it as a bargain (i.e. getting two games for the price of one!). The fact that you already have Season 1 completed is a major asset in terms of a kickstarter campaign, so you should definitely draw on that by finding some way to use it as a perk/bonus to contributers who might not have ever played the game before.

Also, in coming up with your pitch I think you need to address how far Season 1 has come (in terms of bug fixes and the like) since its release. What sucks is that most review outlets reviewed the prologue on release then never touched the subsequent episodes, which is a shame as I think the game gets really good beginning with episode 3 and most of the bugs/annoyances reviewers had with the prologue have since been fixed. It'd be helpful to try to get some review outlets to re-evalute the completed game as I think their scores would be much higher......but I'm not sure how much control over this you have as ultimately it's up to them (wouldn't hurt to ask again, though, and send out some more press copies of the completed season 1).

Anyhow, I'll contribute and I hope you succeed. I'll try to make a post about the kickstarter on all the RPG forums I frequent when it's up to give you some more publicity. But you should also make a point of notifying all the major video game blogs about it when it happens (especially Rock Paper Shotgun. They get so many requests for kickstarter press that they can't post on them all, but if you can somehow get them to do a blurb on your kickstarter they can put you over the top)
Last edited by Der Ungrund; Dec 24, 2013 @ 9:13pm
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