The appeal of the video game Reset, as our Editor wrote in a previous article, stems from its lush visuals, cool time-jump related game play, and an intriguing lack of details on the game’s actual plot. The teaser and later game trailer showcase these to perfection, giving its audience shots of an abandoned city, realistic weather elements, and evidence of the protagonist robot being reawakened for some unknown purpose. Something else I really liked upon watching these videos was the beautifully melancholic piano-based soundtrack. Its creators have likened Reset to Portal, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom, Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time, and Prometheus UDK, in that players will have to use the extra dimension of time and potentially interact with multiple versions of themselves.
Fortunately enough people were interested in the game’s potential to help continue its journey to completion. It was, however, a close one. The Indiegogo campaign set up by Finnish artists, Alpo Oksaharju and Mikko Kallinen, ended on December 23, 2013. They managed to surpass their €65,000 goal by €6,398, but apparently a significant chunk of the donations came within the last four days, and as much as €20,000 of that just within the last 24 hours.
This was mostly due to the online support of the two creators’ friends and promotional articles by quite a few gaming websites known in the English-speaking and the Finnish-speaking internet spheres. There were moments in the tail end of the campaign when it was quite the struggle for Oksaharju and Kallinen to keep up the momentum of the game’s publicity. They struggled with wanting to get a video or some new design element out to fans quickly, but also wanting to maintain a strict level of quality in their product. As far as I can tell they did a good job at that.
In a write-up of the campaign by Oksaharju, he mentioned an interesting problem that Indiegogo and Kickstarter project leaders now face: simultaneous pitching and marketing. As he explains, in previous years creators would first pitch an idea for a video game/film/comic book to funders, and then once it was put together they and the funders would market it to an audience. In a first pitch, creators have leeway to spoil the ending or show every single version of a character, whereas when a company markets something they can only give so much away before it’s counterproductive to selling the item. Now, with crowdfunding, the potential funders and the potential audience are one and the same. This makes crafting the donation campaign a bit tricky sometimes. There has to be a balance between enough information to instill confidence in quality and success, and enough mystery that people will still be bouncing up and down in the interminable months between “funded” and delivered. But, as Oksaharju also said, the magic of crowdfunding is that creativity really is king, and in the end the public is much more likely to get what it wants. Let’s hope that when December 2014 rolls around, those one thousand nine hundred and seventy-nine listed Indiegogo supporters get the Reset game they have always wanted.
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