Since making the fund raising drive announcement, I've been asked a few specific questions which made me realize I've not fully explained our goal.
So I'd like to take this opportunity to elaborate.
First, we're asked "if you made games before on little budgets, why not keep doing that?"
In the past we worked on all Delaware games as part-time projects in a tight timeframe, usually around 6 months. While I'm proud of the work we did with such limited time and resources, the reality is the quality suffered. We had to cut features, story elements and puzzles due to our limitations and time constraints. The plan for Delaware 4 is have 12 months of development time with a full-time staff dedicated only to this project. We feel the quality will be amazing and really help us take our series from "That's pretty good for an indie game" to "That's a really good game."
The boost in quality paired with a wider launch (available for PC, Mac and tablets) will increase our chances of reaching a wider market and help us profit enough to secure the future development of the rest of the games in the series.
There are no big salaries in this budget. The money has been earmarked to get us the best quality possible but no one is getting a "payday" from it. We're about making a great game, not making tons of money.
Another question I've gotten is "Why is there no physical version of the game?"
With the release of each previous Delaware game on CD, within days of sending out copies of the game, I found pirated copies being sold online for half the price we were asking. I went round and round with eBay and other marketplaces to get those copies removed. It's very time consuming. But each time I got some removed, new ones would pop up and it was clear people were purchasing these illegal copies. They'd also email me for tech support as well. I tried to make it clear to everyone if you do not buy the game from us directly, we don't see any profits and we're not benefitting to be able to fund new developments.
Needless to say the problem only worsened with people eventually selling "digital" copies of our games illegally for $5.
While piracy may be irritating to big-release games, it cripples independent games like ours. It wasn't my first choice to go with a digital-only distribution but in the end it's the only way we can securly sell our product without risking piracy.
In light of this decision, I have given additional thought to collectors. I'll pose this question to the forum and see what the reply is. What if we did manufacture a boxed "collector's edition" of the game as a free bonus to people who pledge? This would be a real, sealed box with a printed CD inside, however, the CD would be blank. This would only be for the sake of collectors who like a boxed game to have on their shelf. Would that be considered a fair trade-off?
Thank you for taking the time to read this. As I said before, it would mean a great deal to me if this project got funded. But I also realize asking people for money in advance for a project is tough, especially in this economy. That's why I'm especially grateful for each and every pledge we get. We know the value of money and we're committed to ensuring your money will create a fantastic adventure you won't forget!
If you have any specific questions or concerns keeping you from pledging, please bring them up for me to address. We don't have much time to raise the money so each donation and day counts! I would appreciate everyone helping to spread the word. This would be a dream opportunity for us and I know you will love the results of our efforts.