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Upcoming Events:

  • Nation War 355 - Sedina D2, Sunday Feb 24th at 21:00 GMT (4PM Eastern, 1PM Pacific)
  • Twitch.TV Live Event (TBA) - perhaps coinciding with the above Nation War, and/or a live Q/A with Incarnate. Follow Twitter/FB/RSS for related announcements.

The Final Hours of the Vendetta Online Kickstarter

(Ending 6PM Central, Feb 24th)


As many of you know, we've been running this Kickstarter for the last month to try and build up some capital to support a lengthy period of gameplay development. Usually this is not something we can do, as our of lack of a marketing budget requires that we blend our development goals with subjects that will "make news" to help bolster our profile and keep us in business. Subjects like "Vendetta Online launches on Android" tends to make news, where "Vendetta Online launches Conquerable Stations" does not (with the exception of a few kind and stalwart friends of ours in the gaming press).

Thus, some of our development appears a bit haphazard, as we chase a mixture of marketing-oriented goals and VO-specific contract opportunities (WinRT support, etc), while also trying to maintain coherent forward progress on the game-PLAY development that would be our preferred focus. This elaborate juggling act is purely to keep our people paid and our game evolving. We could probably be more successful as a company if we just gave up and made games for other people, but Vendetta Online is the dream.

Our players proposed the idea of a Kickstarter on our forums, one which would allow us to focus solely on game development for an extended period, without risk to jobs or company stability. I was a bit skeptical.. we aren't "famous", among other challenges; but I was willing to give it a shot, once I framed it as offering people some really great value in exchange for "advanced" purchases. And that is what we delivered.

I am so grateful, and humbled by everyone who has come out to support us thus far. Many veteran VO pilots came out of the woodwork to pledge and wish us well, and I really can't thank you all enough.

It is not certain if the Kickstarter will succeed at this point (it has to hit the goal, or all pledges are returned and we get nothing), but regardless I want to thank everyone for their outpouring of support. And among other upsides, the Kickstarter helped to raise the profile of a number of our plans; and while I cannot guarantee when we may be able to deliver them without the Kickstarter funds (some of the 1.9 goals have been planned for years), we will still keep them in mind for the next time we have an opportunity for extended development. Here's a recap of the last few weeks:

  • Free To Play Tier - This is something that would require additional capital, either from a Kickstarter or some other source, but we'll continue to look at these options in the future.
  • Vendetta Online iPad Preview - An iPad version will ship, regardless of the Kickstarter, but it won't have the level of polish that we would otherwise be able to afford. Check out the video preview of a development prototype.
  • Vendetta Online for the OUYA will be released, at least with the current 1.8 version. I can't say exactly when we'll be shipping this platform support, but we would like to be available at their retail launch at the latest.
  • Bringing Players Together will still be a target, but I'm not sure when some of these goals might come to pass, as we'll need to continue juggling more immediate financial needs. I mention it here because I think it might be fun to combine my plans for ongoing "duel championships" with live streaming coverage on Twitch.TV.
  • The Reddit IAmA went quite well, and you can check out the results of the discussion. We had a lot of great questions, and I tried to answer them all as thoroughly as I could.
  • Vendetta Online for Steam. This is independent of the Kickstarter, please consider voting if you'd like to see the game on Steam.
Beyond this, here are some of the topics I covered in previous update videos:

Future Crowdfunding?

Some people have asked if I intend to run another Kickstarter at a lower dollar number, should this one not succeed; and the answer is "not in the near future". I set the goal for the Kickstarter based on a real-world calculation of what we would likely receive (after fees, taxes, etc) vs what is actually required to deliver on the development goals I've proposed (combined with our own funds). If I could do it for less, I would have chosen a smaller number; but I went for the development goals that I thought would be the most important to our player base and game as a whole, and that's what they would cost to build.

Plus, running a Kickstarter is incredibly time consuming, and I've put almost two months of my time and effort into it, without any downtime or days off, so our other people could remain focused on other development. If the Kickstarter should fail, I will re-focus on other near-term goals and opportunities, as that's best for the well being of my company and employees.

However, this does not rule out the possibility of a smaller, more specific and focused Kickstarter goal down the road, perhaps in 6 months or a year. I can't promise anything one way or the other, my landscape and opportunities tend to shift quickly; but running this has been an incredibly educational experience, and has been quite good for the game in a lot of ways (raising our profile, even increasing our userbase). So I'm not ruling anything out, down the road.

John "Incarnate" Bergman, Guild Software Inc.

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