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October 18, 2013 - MandateGame
Another update, another executive summary:
- Check out a pod cast with two of our devs http://www.spacegamejunkie.com/featured/sgj-podcast-34-hanging-mandate/
- Second design update is out http://yourcrew.mandategame.com/index.html#part%20deux/
- It is a bit early to list stretch goals, but we have a long list. In the mean time check our social stretch goals. Get free stuff http://yourcrew.mandategame.com/images/social.jpg
- If everything goes according to plan, we can soon announce which actor will voice one of our principal characters http://yourcrew.mandategame.com/images/james_condliffe.jpg
October 15, 2013 - MandateGame
Hi again Greenlighters,
Executive summary for today:
- You can test the court martial here: http://www.mandategame.com/charactercreator/
- A note on reward tiers: All reward tiers from $150 and up which give extra copies also bundle the Cossack Captain reward tier for each copy [season pass, alpha, beta etc]. So if you get some friends to pitch in, you could help shape the game and share the cost. As an added bonus you will have friends playing the game when it launches and can call in player reinforcements if the game is being unfair!
- Reward sub-forums are up for people to discuss their own designs, we will leave these open for now and close them after the Kickstarter is finished when we receive final email lists from Kickstarter with which backers pledged to what tiers
- Our next focus after the prologue will be something that starts with "gameplay..." and ends with "...videos"
- We are also working on some other interactive tools that will be revealed in the weeks to come
October 12, 2013 - MandateGame
This update is going to be about one very important thing: PR and marketing. We are going to be as honest, open, and candid as possible with you, our backers and community. A quick note about two pieces of content before we start: The Character Prologue is ready, and is being launched next week. Brush off your boots and prepare for court martial!
Many of you are looking at Kicktraq on a daily basis, and panicking. That’s understandable, but things need to be taken in context. Kickstarter attention is notably lower on the weekends. If you look at Kicktraq today, you’ll probably be worried because it will indicate that we are just going to fall below $480,000. If you looked at it a couple of days ago, it would have said anything between $550,000 and $600,000. During peak times, Kicktraq will show great results, and during off-peak times, it will show upsetting results. (Although I’m sure you’re not monitoring it as closely as our producer!)
Kicktraq is a great tool, but it isn’t something we base our decisions off of, although we do very much understand that good Kicktraq statistics are important to the community and prospective backers.
If this were a 30 day campaign, we’d be on t-21 days, with 72k already in the bank. We have 50 days of hard work ahead of us, but we have the right teams working to get this done, and a great, mature community to back us up!
What are we doing on the PR front?
Before you jump the gun, we are not saying that this is an easy ride. We’re working 24 hours a day, non stop, monitoring the situation. A lot of you have started saying “look, guys, you need to get the PR to back up the concept right now.” Although we haven’t talked about this yet, we have been looking into our options since day 1 of the campaign.
In short, it isn’t much use spending resources on press release distribution for day 1 of the campaign. The press have Kickstarter apathy. They aren’t interested in a project that hasn’t got any funding, or any backers. When you are asking for $500,000, if there isn’t any indication that anyone is interested, the press will not discuss your project regardless of who sends out the press release.
One week later, we absolutely have the statistics, community, concept, content, ideas, people, and smarts to start pushing the PR card hard. Now is the time to launch the PR campaign, and that’s why last week was spent in meetings with various top PR companies. Every conversation we had was about you, and how any PR and marketing strategy will affect you. “Do you understand our demographic?” we repeated regularly.
Who we picked, and why
Remember, Perihelion Interactive is comprised of developers in gainful employment. As a development house, we’re not indie because we have to be. We’re indie because that’s the way we want to be. The publication route is a very real possibility for us, but we do not want compromise. We want to make the game you guys want, because we know it’s a dream shared by many.
So we need a PR company who knows how to handle big ideas, and an organized team of passionate developers. We don’t want to adopt a corporate voice, we simply want our voice amplified. That’s exactly what we’ve done.
Starting from Tuesday, we are working with Dead Good Media (but we’re still in talks with other people), a UK based PR company who specializes in some of the more niche titles. We’ve been grinding their agent through and through; testing his knowledge on games like Mount & Blade (a game that some PR companies had never even heard of!), and ensuring he knows the right sites to hit, and the right regions.
Some PR companies would point us towards the US demographic, demanding changes in our approach to make the game more appealing to the US. We simply said “we are not making a game for a nation, we’re making a game for a generation.”
It has been a rather difficult road finding the right PR guys for the job, but Dead Good Media know we’re a Euro-centric developer, and they’ve got a good handle on the European and US markets. We want US players, and we love hearing from US players, but we really don’t think altering the game to maximise exposure in US markets is the right creative decision, when the European markets have so warmly greeted us with open arms. “Are you alienating the US markets?!” some PR people reading this might cry. No, we’re simply saying: “If you want to play The Mandate, come and play it. Welcome to the community.” It’s an RPG. It has influences from major American television shows. We do not feel as though US gamers will feel alienated.
However, some of the lore and historical references in The Mandate predate the founding of the US, or draws inspiration from another continent… Rather that is incorrect, Alaska was part of Imperial Russia until 1867 - two years after the end of the American Civil War.
Of course, we want The Mandate to sell, but we want it to sell on its merits, without compromising on either vision or depth.
Wrapping it all up
Backers, we appreciate your support, and we sincerely mean that. However, we can assure you that we’re organized enough to get us to the $500,000 we’re asking for. Week one was a bit of a test, and everything we’ve achieved so far, we’ve achieved with barely any media attention. We’re gunning for that media attention now. If a single article on The Escapist can get us $6,000, then what about all the other sites? There’s a lake of untapped potential out there, and that’s what we’re heading towards. We are in safe hands. You are in safe hands.
Remain cautiously optimistic, and spread the world. The Mandate is getting made.
Originally posted by Victor Hugo:Perseverance, secret of all triumphs. - Victor Hugo
October 9, 2013 - MandateGame
Hi again greenlighters,
Here is another executive summary:
- We have launched our forums at forum.mandategame.com
- Due to popular demand we have made the theme for the game available for free download at music.mandategame.com
- Our first design article is now uploaded at yourcrew.mandategame.com and talks about how you manage your crew, the types of crew onboard and the chain of command. We also added an example of what a battle squadron could look like once the player reach the mid game and beyond.
Check out our Kickstarter page for more details! And remember to check the interactive ship designer to skin, equip and blow up your ship!
October 7, 2013 - MandateGame
Hi again Greenlighters,
Time for another exectutive summary:
- First developer diary is up. Meet Garret, our art director. The video is linked via the Steam video gallery
- We have added a concept picture of a Mandate destroyer class vessel. As we will build these in a modular way, what you see on this picture is 3 out of 9 pieces. E.g. the final version will have minimum 3 front, 3 middle and 3 back sections which impact both visuals, gameplay stats and available weapon hardpoints for turrets and heavy weapons
- One question that has come up a lot is how we plan to develop the game with a budget of 500.000 USD. We have provided an extensive answer to this in our Risk & Challenges section and we invite you to check it out. We touch on a few terms that may sound odd or unfamiliar but we hope the gist of it is clear and conclusive
- Based on community input we have launched the Imperial Propaganda Machine which you can use to create your own Mandate propaganda posters. Just like with the Ship Designer the motto here is: Have fun! meme.mandategame.com
- The Empress has created a new Order of Knighthood in memory of her late brother, Prince Nicholas, heir to the Mandate. Check our Kickstarter update for more details.
In other news:
- The official forums are right around the corner
- Polly wants a cracker!