Indie Fail: Hero's Song
John Smedley co-founded Verant Interactive the creators of Everquest. It was sold to Sony Online Entertainment then sold again and became Daybreak Entertainment where he was the CEO and president. He left that and along with a lead designer of Everquest started Hero's Song.
Since their website is now down, you can see the game at their Steam Page.
Because of their founder's names in the industry they got features in polygon like this:
Then a week into their 800k kickstarter campaign they canned it, and got another feature:
They then went to IndieGoGo and got 94k.
Then they went to Early Access on Steam to try and sell enough units to fund dev. And that didn't work. Even with the name, the press, and experience.
So this brings up the tough questions we need to ask ourselves: when so many fail, why do we think Archmage Rises will succeed?
- I have the financing, more or less, in place. There is a possibility it could stop at some point, but if things remain the same I and some of the team could work on Archmage Rises forever.
- Our costs are MUCH lower than what Hero's Song was seeking. I estimate Archmage Rises will cost about $250,000 to complete. So far I've spent just over half that, and by adding an animator this year I expect we'll hit that mark around Jan/Feb 2018. Apparently Hero Song needed $1.8m.
- Our fanbase is growing, steadily, month by month. By the day of release Archmage Rises will be ushered into the hands of an already established group of eager fans, instead of trying to find them post release.
New Feature Reveal: Timelines
The passage of time is central to Archmage Rises. One issue is: How do you display upcoming and past events? The answer is through a timeline. This has never been done before and, once you get to try it, I think you'll agree it is a fantastic addition to the RPG recipe.
How it works:
There are 6 kinds of Timeline Events: Military, Political, Economic, Local, Personal, and Calendar. An example of Military is a declaration of war between towns, or a battle the player or character participated in. An example of Calendar is when a Festival or High Holiday is celebrated (Towns vary in the holidays they observe). The categorization of events allows for filtering and quick location
As events occur in any character's life (player or NPC) or a town, it appears on their timeline. Instead of reading a block of text, it graphically shows what happened chronologically in a person's life, or the life of a town.
This is especially important for the player who must:
- Piece together clues from NPCs to solve quests
- Keep important appointments and dates
For example an NPC asks the player to go hunting with them. They agree to do so in 3 days. The player starts to get busy with other things, how do they remember to keep the appointment? The timeline tracks it all for you and shows when important events/commitments come up.
Another example: The player swears fealty to a Lord Mayor and to pay 1,000 gold in taxes every year on a certain date. How does the player remember? The commitment shows up on the timeline, so you'll never accidentally become an oath breaker! :-)
This is just one more rung in the long ladder of what makes Archmage Rises an RPG experience unlike any other. It's just like being there!