I’m starting to get a lot of questions about what happens to Slower Than Light if the Kickstarter fails to fund.
From the perspective of my desire to do that project, I expect I’ll loose a little enthusiasm for the project due to the perceived (but not necessarily accurate) vote of no-confidence from my potential players. That said, I recognize that I’m asking for quite a bit of money for what is decidedly a niche game.
If, all told, less than 250 people back the project, I’ll probably call the model I’m trying to publish on a bust — the game price was set at $10 because I thought the novelty value of the mechanics was worth at least that to many people, but after the very exhaustive interaction I’ve had with a number of potential backers, I think that is less of a factor than I thought it was. It would mean that the game is more in the realm of a Train Simulator, where in order to make back the cost of the game over the potential user base, it has to be priced more in the AAA bracket. I don’t think STL can be produced at that quality level and still take anything other than a massive loss.
If more than 250 people or so back the project, but we still fail to fund, STL will still get de-prioritized. I have financial responsibilities I need to keep in mind, and if the Kickstarter fails, I’ll need to start taking immediate steps towards getting a reliable income flow into my life. That probably means finding a new job, and given that I take employment extremely seriously and give my employers my all, that almost certainly means that the Slower Than Light’s development will return to a crawl in my spare time.
Either way, there will be no attempt to refund for at least the foreseeable future. I am confident that Slower Than Light, as it exists today, has gotten a fair shake at the amount of media attention it is going to get. Most of the site rejections I have gotten have cited the lack of artwork and polish on the project, which I find disappointing given the project’s state and Kickstarter’s stated goals, but I can accept that the current graphics don’t stand up to the fully-rendered 3D most gaming sites like to put on their front-page columns.
While I will never fully give up on Slower Than Light no matter what, a failure to fund in 10 days will mean, in all likelihood, that this project won’t see the light of day for years. That would make me very sad, but given the immense investment of time it represents, I cannot afford to complete it without the Kickstarter’s funding.