Just a few days more!

Okay folks!

Mike here, long time no see. We’ve got some exciting news!

In just a few days we’ll be releasing The Dekker Records: Thunder Stone Blues Enhanced Edition. It’ll feature all the Dekker Records gameplay you already know and love, updated graphics (but still with that retro feel), a new optional case, and most importantly will be available on both Mac and PC!

We’re still working out the kinks on the android and iOS releases, but hope to have them ready soon. If you were hoping to be able to find it on these platforms with the Mac release, we apologize.

Mike and Dan, The Dekker Records team

What We’ve Been Up To…

Hi there!,

It’s been a while since our last dev post, or Screen Shot Saturday on Twitter…or really any form of communication. For that, we apologise. So today I’m going to catch you up on the progress of the game and some of the decisions we’ve made over the last few months. Lets start with what we’ve been up to.

The biggest question we’ve had to face over the last few months was, “Why do a remake of the first episode instead of doing the next episode?” There are a bunch of good reasons for this, the main being a wider range of platforms, as well as a better player experience.

For the last few months we’ve been upgrading Part 1 of The Dekker Records in pretty much every way; increased resolution, tighter gameplay, extended scenes, as well as additional side quests and even the classic side view combat from classic JRPG’s.

Side View Combat

Side View Combat

Probably more exciting than all of that is the fact we’re bringing TDR to iOS, Android, and OSX. We’ve been working hard to translate the game from the old engine to the new one. We want to make sure we bring you the cleanest, most enjoyable, bug free experience that we can, which involves extensive testing on all devices. Personally we can’t support games that ship broken, half built, and riddled with bugs. We also don’t care for the “freemium” model of mobile games. So when it comes out for tablets and phones we’ll be giving you a premium game free of advertisements, microtransactions, or required connectivity. No reception or WiFi? No problem, it can be fully enjoyed while off the grid.

TDR on iPad Mini 4th Gen

TDR on iPad Mini 4th Gen

We’re also trying to support progression between episodes. The new game won’t support saves from the first version, which sucks, but we want to allow the player to carry over progress from here on out. So, hopefully, when episode 2 comes out you’ll be able to keep everything from the first episode. We hope, we’ll find out when we actually start building episode 2.

So, please, bear with us while we work out the final kinks and lay the groundwork for future episodes. We really do want to give you the best experience we can, but we’re also only a 2 man team, so things are taking a little longer than we’d like. We hope to release the Windows and Android versions in late March. The OSX release will probably come out before the iOS version because we can release that without having to go through the app store. The iOS version will probably come last since there are more hurdles to jump through with Apple than just about any other platform.

So there you have it. As always, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for your patience.

Daniel

Dekker Records: The Kickstarter Postmortem

So, the deadline for our Kickstarter came and went. After a brief flurry of funding in the first few days, the Kickstarter stalled and is now dead on arrival.

As good game developers, we are in the habit of doing a postmortem on our projects. Postmortems are good educational experiences for even the greatest projects, but failed projects can be especially informative. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

What Went Right

  • Backers
    • As mentioned, we had a great initial push. Only two of our backers were actually people we knew. 7 out of our 9 backers were people we didn’t know before the campaign started.
  • Community engagement
    • I believe we were pretty good about keeping our backers informed as to where we were and what we were currently doing. Sometimes that was prodded by a comment, sometimes that was a result of our planning beforehand.
    • We also had some great backers, willing to give us advice or to promote us on their blogs. That was invaluable.

What Went Wrong

  • Video
    • We forgot the main principle of making a pitch – knowing your audience. We made our introductory video as if we were pitching to another studio instead of pitching to kickstarters. This may have created a bad first impression. Our presentation certainly didn’t grab anyone’s attention – our metrics showed that most people stopped watching as soon as the intro trailer ended.
  • Flair
    • We went live with a pretty boring and lifeless page. We made some efforts to change things later on, but we’d already screwed the pooch on making a good first impression. Our Kickstarter page should have had the personality and humor of Dekker Records.
  • Our Beautiful Faces
    • You never saw them – at least not in video form. Apparently, that’s a Kickstarter no-no. Our intro video might have been more effective if you saw Mike and Dan speaking instead of a presentation.
  • Lack of Community
    • This was our biggest problem. In a way, it’s a catch-22 for a new studio – building a community around a product that doesn’t exist yet. Mike and Dan both are pretty lacking in the desire to use social media and neither one frequents forums that would have brought in an interested community from elsewhere. This is what hurt us more than anything – had we been spending the past half-year we’d been working on the project building our brand instead of waiting until we had our demo to showcase our work we would have been better off than going live with just our demo.
      • We’ve been working to change this, often by networking through more traditional means – Dan has recently been engaging with his local tech community and Mike has deigned to descend from his mountain hermitage more than once a fortnight.