CEO and Executive Producer Asreniy Nazarenko has been in the game industry for more than 12 years; made dozens of titles for many platforms for leading industry companies; and now launches his first game through Kickstarter. At Game Connection Europe last month the game, Astro Lords, was nominated for the Selected Projects Awards. But there have been some hurdles…
Astro Lords is a next generation 3D strategy MMOG, with combat management in real time. It makes use of a self-made unity engine for multi platforms and is built on a proprietary custom-designed cloud technology. This allows players access to an unlimited game universe.
That’s also what makes it unique, according to Nazarenko of ARATOG LLC. The combination of global strategy and real-time battles. The changing position on the global map offers unexpected new opportunities in strategy gaming. On top of that Astro Lords is based on cutting edge scientific theories, like Oort Cloud – a hypothesized spherical cloud around their Solar system model.
As a gamer, you build factories and mines on your own asteroid, which floats within the Oort cloud; you research science; spy and attack asteroids of other players; loot and sabotage, explore the Oort cloud for ancient artifacts and resources; and fight in the Arena in real-time combats, based on combined turn-based and real-time types of gameplay. All in all building up to a very free experience in action and social interaction.
The game has been in development for two years by now, with a team of more than 20 people. Have a look at the video below.
Quite some unique and intriguing game features, a good game plan and all the experience to make their Kickstarter project happening. And yet Nazarenko tells us bluntly that they made some mistakes. Here’s what we can learn.
Nazarenko: In creating the rewards we made a huge mistake. We divided rewards in two categories: physical and virtual, and all of them very different by nature. We did that because we thought that backers can make more than one pledge, but this is not the case. Backers can switch but that’s it. So if you ask me what to advise others, I would advise to make rewards like upgrading packs next to others.
In general I think, that video represents 60% of your success, because every backer will first see that, before reading any information about the project. The video must be informative, describe your project and its gameplay and of course backers have to see real people, who do the project. In terms of project description, the more is better. Show everything you have or plan to have in the future. And having a project icon is also very important.
Why did you decide to start a campaign on a crowd funding platform? Why Kickstarter? We have been developing AstroLords for almost 2 years, full time, with a team 20+ people. We had planned to release the game last autumn, but we still have to improve it. Budget is over, but we still need 4 months, that’s why we decided to go crowd funding. And Kickstarter is the biggest platform.
What did you do to promote your Kickstarter campaign? We did a lot, we put information about the game at many specializing on games and industry, like IndieDB. We wrote and sent several press-releases about Kickstarter launching to thousands of portals, magazines, sites, PR agencies etcetera. And many of them published that. Also, we put banners wherever we could, even on Kicktraq portal. And of course, we joined the KickingitForward program. For now we gathered more than £20 000 but this is just 20% of our goal.
With ten days to go the Astro Ords Kickstarter campaign has gathered 20,000 pounds of their 100,000 goal- at the time of writing. Deadline: January 25, 2014.