Getting to GreenLight: Kickstarting An Indie Game
From The Myrrick: Disclosure – I was introduced to Justin’s project via a coworker and was interested in providing a unique perspective on a Kickstarter campaign as well as a developing game studio. I hope to provide an unbiased record of their journey from preliminary planning to hopefully the release of a game. As the experience unfolds, some of the facts may change and any conceptual drawings or facts may not reflect the finished project.
“Money is just a tool,” says Justin Colf of Red Gulch Studios.
Colf has assembled a team to develop a game he hopes to release onto Steam after securing funding to purchase the necessary equipment and workspace to get his first game to Green Light. This vetting system enables users to vote a game onto Steam and by extension, gamers everywhere. He also hopes features on the platform, such as achievements and trading cards, will encourage players to come back to the game again and again.
He also feels there is value in the Discussions on Steam which allow people to talk about titles and are moderated by the developer. Because he wants to build his fan base on trust, he has no plans to sensor negative feedback, so long as it is constructive, so his team can identify areas of improvement and act on them.
But make no mistake, he’s not in this to eventually sell out for mountains of cash from a publisher. He’s in it to bring a project to life that he’s passionate about and build a business that will enable him to tell many more stories down the road and support the people who are already working to help bring his vision to reality.
Up to this point, his team has been bootstrapping to get the game to Kickstarter, cutting costs and figuring out where they can compromise to improve their chances of being funded. Recently they’ve been putting together the package they will submit in hopes of crowd funding the tentatively named “Bigfoot Planet” a first or third person game centering around the Bigfoot myth. Colf and his team have other stories they want to tell, which they aim to fund from the sales of their first game.
His team is comprised of mostly Western New York based talent, supporting his philosophy of helping his community and the indie game scene. Some members of the team are experienced, while others are just starting out in their careers and are building portfolios. And by coincidence, most are affiliated with Rochester Institute of Technology, better known as RIT.
Why Bigfoot for Red Gulch Studio’s first adventure in game development? Well, because Colf has never seen a game approach the subject with such focus. There have been game mods that included the legend, but none that have singled him out, and none that feature him as a playable character. The game will allow the player to select between several campaigns: Human (connecting clues to discover the legend), Human (saving a damsel who has been abducted by Bigfoot), and Bigfoot (an evasion experience that has you hide from humans in pursuit).
Prior to the Kickstarter launch, Red Gulch Studios is establishing its social outlets and building their web presence to allow potential contributors to learn more about the company and the project as well as interact with the brand.
As the journey unfolds, DFAT will be updating you with progress on the project so you can see first-hand what goes into an indie game (and I’ll try to sneak in some exclusives where I can.)