Hi guys! For those who don't know me, I'm an independent game developer in Nigeria. I spent an extra year in the university because I spent more time working on building my game dev skills than my grades, but I'm finally out now and can actually start releasing games. The game I was blogging about a few years ago, the same one that's in my sig, is still in development. However, my few years as a dev have taught me one thing (even though I had heard it a million times, I had to learn it the hard way): start very small.
I recently headed a 4 man team to make a simple 2D runner game for a startup company. We started in October and posted it on the Playstore in March, and it was buggy and unpolished. I'm still polishing it now (without the rest of the team). This showed me that the type of games I want to make, the types of games I grew up loving that made me a gamer, will take much more time and effort than I gave them credit for, and I would have to build my studio with simpler games first. So I'm launching my game studio now, Luminous Game Studios, and I'm launching by creating a simple, turn-based, online multiplayer game tailored to my local market.
Ludo is the most played board game in Nigeria, so I'm making Ludo Online for mobile platforms. I hope to have the game out by October so that I can make whatever mistakes with launching and marketting now. I don't want my more high profile game to suffer from first timer mistakes, and I also hope Ludo Online can generate some small profit to keep the studio running. I'm launching an Indiegogo campaign on Saturday, 22nd August (this weekend) and I'd like your help in polishing my pitch.
Basically, I need $1,000 for the game's servers and to run a small marketting campaign in my locale. The programming and art I can afford alone, but I'll have to maintain servers, and what good is an online multiplayer game if no one hears about it so no one is actually online to play against? So here's what I intend to put on Indiegogo. What do you suggest I change?
Here's a link to the Indiegogo draft: https://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/e92394d9#/story
If you don't want to leave this page, I'll just post the info contained on that page right here.
Tagline: The most popular board game in Nigeria now in the palm of your hands! Play online against friends!
Short Summary: Ludo, which is Latin for "I play", is the most played board game in Nigeria. It's also played in most parts of the world, so if you search the popular app stores for Ludo, you're likely to find almost a dozen versions of the game. But the rules differ from country to country, and there's nowhere to download a Ludo game that plays with the Nigerian rules! That's where we come in. We have been working on this game for a while, and before the end of the year 2015, we can have a Nigerian-themed Ludo game on iPads, iPhones, Android devices and Windows 10 devices.
What we need: The game isn't too large, we have covered the cost of all the art work, modelling, music and programming. We need at least $1,000 for two things right now: to keep the game's servers running and to run a small marketting campaign in Nigeria. This game was made with Nigerians in mind, and it won't be any good if the game is out but no one has heard about it, so the few people who have the game can't find anyone to play against online.
Breakdown: We will be using the same server engine that powers games like Armello, https://www.photonengine.com/en/Turnbased/Pricing, the Photon engine. With modest to medium size traffic, the server's will only cost $65, but if the game is more succesfull than we anticipate, we'll need to scale up, and that would cost about $65 monthly. With $390, we're sure we won't have server problems for at least 6 months. The rest of the money will go into Indiegogo fees and marketing the game on Nigerian channels. If we are unable to meet or at least come close to the $1,000 goal, we will spend the money only on servers, and market the game only through social media.
What you get: Depending on how much you give, you could get anything from an ad-free version of the game on your preferred mobile appstore (App Store, Playstore and Windows Store only) to actually putting ads of your products in our game. You could also help shape the game by having insider access to the closed beta, the developer's blog, or the developer's audio and video podcasts. We may even thow in some limited edition Luminous Games Studios merchandise.
The Impact: You're not just helping us build one game, you're helping us build a game studio. If this first game succeeds, we will be able to focus on much larger projects. Every member of Luminous Game Studios is a real gamer, and we have a collective passion for creating awesome gaming experiences, including some that can educate without compromising entertainment, but we may never achieve these dreams without your help. This isn't about making a great Nigerian game. This is about creating a great entertainment company!
Risks and Challenges: Honestly, the biggest risk we can foresee is the game becoming much more succesful than we anticipate, till it gets to the point that we can't handle the server costs. If this happens, we may have to shut the online section of the game down temporarily until we can get some more funds to power the servers. Other than that, the only other challenge may be bugs and other issues slowing down our development process so that we can't complete the game by October 2015. In this case, the game will remain in beta for a few more months until it's ready for launch.
Other ways you can help: You may not be able to contribute any money to this project, but you can help spread the word. Tell your friends about it by social networks, talk about it on internet forums, or tell your friend's dad who owns a company that may be interested in sponsoring. It will make a big difference, and you'll be helping us start on the path towards our bigger dreams. Thanks!
These are the perks I intend putting in the campaign:
- Free copy of the ad-free version of the game
- Your name in the game's credits under "Indiegogo sponsors"
- Limited edition Luminous studios T-shirt
- Limited edition customized Ludo board
- Access to the closed beta
- Access to the developer's blog
- Access to the developer's audio podcast
- Access to the developer's video logs
- Your name OR company name and logo on our sponsors page
- Show ads of your product in the game
- Single highest contributor should be listed as producer in the credits?
- "Backer" tag of your name in the game's leaderboards
- Your avatar or company logo on any of the four homezones (i.e starting points)
And this is the way I intend to organise them. Would you rearrange any of these or do they sound fair?
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