Kickstarter Campaign


Hello !

Having followed and invested in various kickstarter projects, particularly computer rpgs, I've become somewhat familiar with what makes or breaks a kickstarter campaign. Given the amazing potential of Sui Generis, I'm a bit saddened that it hasn't captured the traction that it deserves - with 21 days remaining and only about 21% of funding completed as of this moment.

I've noticed that this team seems very much in tune with its community, as small as it currently is, so I'd like to advance some suggestions to incentivize investment.

Presentation Video

- Great in game footage
- A very fun combat system
- A truly compelling toolset

- Lacks a cohesive vision beyond non-linear gameplay
- A bit slow to capture the viewer's attention
- Doesn't introduce the team or make a case for Bare Mettle as an entity
- A bit of a flat tone

Potential improvements
Some of the best kickstarter videos I've seen have made strong cases for their teams in a passionate and humorous way. Many people who invest want to feel part of the story, and introducing the family is a great way to break the ice, and breed some familiarity. That is the beauty of kickstarter, it gets rid of the middle-man and allows two passionate groups (players and developers) to interact directly. This should come out in the video, and encourage impulse investment.

In the same way, given that this game is attempting to be crowd-funded, it should express openness to the community's feedback, bringing them into the fold of the development process. I'm not saying betray your vision - sometimes players don't really know what they want, but its important to convey a sense of unity via the presentation video in an effective manner - that this is also their project.

Also, it's important to emphasize your strengths and the features that get you (as developers) excited, and convey these to the community. This was done well in the combat, but its important to give examples or scenarios of how this will impact gameplay in mind-blowingly amazing manner.

Finally, you are now competing with even seasoned game development companies who are bypassing their publishers to create games directly, companies with a backlog of successful games and well known teams. You can't afford to have a low production value when it comes to your kickstarter page. Your video needs to be top notch, and your project thoughtfully presented. Concept art is cheap to get commissioned or purchased these days - and you already have a talented composer, I would encourage you guys to truly make use of such assets to boost the attractiveness of your project.

Great kickstarter videos:
- Planetary Annihilation
- Project Eternity
- Wasteland 2
- Oculis Rift

Sure, these are massive successes - some of them with serious resources behind them. But they all do a lot of the same things: introduce the team, make a case for themselves, show off their strengths, show off their vision, and do it with passion and humor. Its not enough to list the team members at the end, its important to build a story players can subscribe to.

Information (Text part)

- Lots of great information
- A more in depth explanation of the vision

- Too much text
- Not enough relevant images

Potential improvements
Once viewers have seen the video, and hopefully are now feeling infused with passion (I know I was), they will be eager for more information about your project. This is your chance to fuel that passion and get them even more excited (to the point of investment) by anticipating their questions and offering short and meaningful answers while still preserving your freedom of modification.

The text component is basically the logistical part. In the video you'll have exposed your vision, your aspirations, your passion, and your ambitions. Now is the time to give an overview of how you plan on getting there, and what you consider a priority. This is also your chance to convince the viewers that more is better. In essence, incentivize them to put in as much cash as they are comfortable with rather than the bare minimum.

Stretch goals are very important. It was not sufficient to just say "we don't really have stretch goals because we just plan on making the project better". It is, however, important to say "once we get this core functionality up and running, here will be our next priorities if we get additional funding". This will encourage those who are attached to the next priority features to invest as much as possible. This is where you address what it will take for you to provide such features as Multiplayer, Linux support, Toolset, Languages and so on. Expose a clear logistical vision - it will motivate people.


- Some compelling rewards

- Not enough compelling rewards :p
- No "immediate" gratification

Potential improvements
For many of us, rewards come in three categories:
- Those who want to get more for less (pre-order model)
- Those who want to get their hands on something asap (instant gratification)
- Those who are enraptured by the game and can afford to donate A LOT

It's important to cater to all these crowds to maximize investment. For those who want more for less, offer various tiers (limiting the lower tiers to x investors to create a sense of urgency) which allow for digital distribution (specifying DRM-free options such as GoG doesn't hurt), boxed versions of the game, collectors editions, and so on.

For those who want instant gratification - allow early access to alphas, betas, but also perhaps allow them a stripped down demo version of the toolset to create and showcase their content to the community shortly after campaign's end. This simultaneously raises money, and increases publicity and community cohesion - leading to more investment for people who want to toolset or other.

Finally, for those who can afford it and want a compelling reason to donate at the upper tiers - make sure you spoil them. One hour-long discussion is perhaps not gonna cut it for some - but perhaps regular skype conversations giving exclusive updates to that group, and offering them a variety of privileges might do the trick. This requires some experimentation.


This section is currently under-developed. I know all of you have jobs and a lot on your plates, but lack of information to your community and investors isn't really an acceptable alternative. I saw plenty of answers to frequent questions that haven't been updated on the kickstarter page - this shouldn't be. I recommend at the very least to appoint a community manager who would update those answers as you get them. Certain urgent ones are:

- Localization: what languages will the game come in?
- Platforms: Linux, Mac, Windows ?
- Development time: You said 18 months, this should be in the FAQ
- Singleplayer/Multiplayer ?
- Minimum Requirements (again, it seems you have a general idea, this should be conveyed even if its early)
- Digital distribution option (Steam? Gog? Direct2Drive ?)
- What about DRM ?

In any case, I do hope this helps, we all want to see Sui Generis be a phenomenal success and I hope you won't see this as trolling criticism but the genuine attempt it is to help :). Thank you for taking the time to read !


I agree with much of what you say, Nightrise.

However, it could be that Team Bare Mettle is being careful as they are still in the early stages of development with a very innovative and ambitious game. They need money to come together and work on this full-time, and it looks like it's a learning experience for them as they go along with this project. So the places in which they're lacking at the moment could be purely because this project has only just begun, and needs funding to expand beyond what they have right now.

It's always a big risk to work on something innovative and it's something I wish to see more of in gaming.

But to fixate their efforts on their presentation would indeed boost their funds. I guess the "hype" factor is a bit lacking so that this kickstarter is more accessible to a larger audience.


Its indeed important to be careful with one's promises :), and I can understand being cautious. But let's not forget what kickstarter is: a funding platform where projects make their pitch to future users of the product.

These aren't institutional investors or publishers who are uninterested in the details, and fund dozens of projects simultaneously. This is very much a personal matter, where you absolutely must get the potential players excited and cater to a broad enough audience if funding is to be successful - especially in an all-or-nothing model like Kickstarter's.

Project Eternity didn't even have a prototype when they raised nearly $4 million - but they had a seasoned team with a reputation for quality. Bare Mettle have a very functional and highly impressive prototype - but they aren't well-known at this stage. This is why its imperative for Bare Mettle to sell its strengths, break the ice, and reach-out towards the community that is funding its success :).
Yes. Let's hope the ball starts rolling faster now that they are getting more publicity through Forbes and the community.

Forbes seems to convey the vision more direct and clear from the start, which should work as a better attention grabber. It is absolutely crucial for a game idea to come through off the bat so that it captures the attention and interest. This way a potential pledger can decide if he/she wants to pledge without having to dig deep into a lot of text to uncover the big picture. Again, I completely agree with you on this.

The presentation is equally as important as the product itself.


If they want a huge surge of backers I think they should send out a small demo. Real simple, like that room with tables and a skeleton to fight. Make sure to make PRE-ALPHA as big and obvious as possible, so everyone knows what they're playing.

I don't know how easy that would be for the devs to do, but it would definitely be to their benefit.


In my opinion, this is what the kickstarter needs:
- Concept art
- The most important details included in the FAQ (DRM?, System requirements?, Multiplayer?, etc.)
- Showing noticible excitement (yes, happy faces) in the pitch video / making the pitch video humorous while documenting game mechanics
- Showing previous work of all the devs


Oh lord...that FAQ question:

"What languages will the game come in?
If the funds are available we plan to get the game translated into as many languages as possible. American, Canadian and Australian are our top priorities!"


American is not a language! America is vast in territory! I'm not sure if you mean continental U.S. (a term which I despise using) or the entirety of America (North, Central and South). The point is that there is a vast range of languages in the entirety of America, so please elaborate (make it stupid proof).

The official language of Canada and Australia is English! Sure, there are many Canadians who speak French (especially the ones who live in Quebec), but Canadian is not a language! What is this all about?!

Also, there isn't much elaboration in other questions. The one of system requirements was elaborated on a lot more in the forums than in the FAQ. Make it as detailed as possible in the FAQ, I tell you. If there is one thing I learned from HL Programming class in high school is that everything that is posted, published, funded, etc. MUST be STUPID PROOF. Ignorance conquers the average reader (most don't visit the forums at all to see if their questions have been answered here and just decide not to fund because of lack of content), so please consider giving as many details as possible to make the reader comfortable with the product he is funding.

EDIT: Read the new version saying "Cornish" as a language. MUCH better. Humorous :)


You have no idea how much I hope that you are right....
Don't make ambiguous jokes! The time for jokes is in some updates and in the pitch video, not to answer important questions. :confused:


You have no idea how much I hope that you are right....
Don't make ambiguous jokes! The time for jokes is in some updates and in the pitch video, not to answer important questions. :confused:
It's not really ambiguous, it's just a clever little joke. They did answer the question, the game will be in English, and that's what they're focusing on right now. They have a tiny development team of 5 people, and they're just starting the development process, they need all the resources they have to go towards making the game, if it is successful they can translate it for other markets, or allow fans to do so.
Great thread, and great suggestions.

If I may add my two cents, I feel that another thing that would help is a little restructuring of the pledge terraces. As it is right now, there's little incentive to upgrade from the first level (10gbp) to the ones that follow, at least until the physical box tier (80gbp) is reached. However, I'd be hard pressed to come up with appropriate rewards to rectify this. :(

A thing that could be evaluated is the concept of "Add-ons", as implemented on the Project Eternity kickstarter. They consist of virtual or physical (compatible only with physical pledge terraces) goodies that you may attach to your pledge reward for a cost. If you could get reasonably cheap but cool physical add-ons, this could go a long way in stimulating people to go to the physical tiers.

Some ideas for add-ons (just brainstorming here): T-shirt, cloth map, mouse pad, key chain. Showing a really nice design concept for these is essential. T-shirts are dime-a-dozen, a T-shirt with a really nice design and sentimental value - I helped make this project a reality! - is not.


I believe a new update should be released by now...
The pledges are going up too slowly. They REALLY need something to impress the crowd. Dramatic music, things blowing up! EXCITEMENT! Hordes of enemies! A good battle between many ogres and skeletons!

The campaign pitch video seems more directed to the engine than to the actual game, IMO. We need some in-game events to excite the viewers!


The plegdes going in a decent rate..but hopefully it gonna pick up last week... cuz in this rate it probably gonna end at 120k


So after reading some of the various follow-ups to this thread, as well as noticing the development team's updates to the kickstarter, I thought I might compile a list of what needs urgent doing.

Promote, Promote, Promote!

The fact that this forum only has 136 members currently registered is indication enough that Sui Generis has not done a sufficiently good job at building a community - despite the youtube videos getting significant viewership (130,000+) and the kickstarter having nearly 2000 contributors. Press coverage on Forbes, Rock Paper Shotgun, etc. is great, but without a strong community base to serve as ambassadors for the game, its extremely difficult to achieve any degree of virality.

Easy Suggestions
- Facebook fan page
- Link to the forum on youtube video descriptions
- Link to the forum on Kickstarter
- Mailing List (yes, they actually work very well)

Its actually surprising to me that the development team hasn't already set up these vital systems. A Facebook fan-page is a no-brainer for building excitement around the game, disseminating information to your fans, and advertising the game to all your fans' friends. Its easy to create, easy to subscribe to, and reaches a very large audience.

I was also surprised at how "difficult" it was to reach the forum. Users are very fickle, and there was absolutely no direct link to get here on the youtube videos or on the Kickstarter page. This process needs to be as painless as possible and impossible to miss.

As for the mailing list - many people's preferred method of contact is email. For any first visitor to the website - there needs to be a lightbox which prompts the user to subscribe to the mailing list. At the very least, this should be available at the top of the "Home" section of the website. Ideally, there should also be a link on the kickstarter for mailing list subscribing.

These various avenues of communication and community-building should be incentivized by offering those who "Like" the fan page, sign up to the forum, or subscribe to the mailing list first dibs on any upcoming beta, demo, or whatever, as well as inform them on any updates to the project.

Other valuable suggestions
- Community Manager
- Development Blog
- Youtube Channel

Again, in the vein of maintaining strong community support - communication is vital. Somebody (I'm sure you can find volunteers) should be in charge of answering questions on the forum, maintaining the Facebook page, and keeping the community engaged. Humor, polls, surveys, and interviews with various team-mates are fantastic ways of letting the community know you're still active and committed, and that you care about their concerns.

The development blog also allows us to get some juicy technical tidbits about the challenges you're facing, the victories you've had, and your thoughts on the progress of development. It shows activity, and allows us to hear directly from the engineers.

As for the Youtube channel - its a great place to post interviews, community contributions, and in-person updates. In an indie project, its great to hear directly in person from the creators.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

It sometimes happens that despite best efforts, for one reason or another, the fund-raising effort fails. In Kickstarter's case, this unfortunately means you get nothing, as we all know. If this were to happen to Sui Generis, I honestly believe it would be more a function of poor-preparation and timing than of people simply not caring for the game.

In this event, you need to be prepared to either find an alternative method of fund-raising - or to relaunch the kickstarter campaign. Personally, I think a relaunch (if the campaign fails that is) would have every chance of not only succeeding - but going well beyond the stated goal. It's better to set a lower amount which you can go well beyond, than a higher amount which you barely make.

This further underscores the importance of community - because the more people you integrate via social mediums (facebook, youtube), forums, and mailing lists, the easier it will be to get all those people to re-commit at least the same amount to the campaign. Hopefully, with revamped and rethought rewards, that sum will only increase :).

Hope this helps !


Listen to this man! He speaks the truth!
Listen to Nightrise! These forums are basically hidden from the common eye! Make it so EVERYONE knows about it and a Community Manager is almost obligatory for these kinds of projects.
Listen to this man! He speaks the truth!
Listen to Nightrise! These forums are basically hidden from the common eye! Make it so EVERYONE knows about it and a Community Manager is almost obligatory for these kinds of projects.


You guys are probably tired of random internet people offering advice on how to run your campaign, but you do seem a little quiet. 1 or 2 tweets per day, no Kickstarter update since last Thursday, occasional forum interaction. . . so all I would suggest is - don't be shy! ;)

By the way, Kicktraq (for what that's worth) has had this project heading steadily for the £90-100k range for the last few days. I hope they're wrong!


You guys are probably tired of random internet people offering advice on how to run your campaign, but you do seem a little quiet. 1 or 2 tweets per day, no Kickstarter update since last Thursday, occasional forum interaction. . . so all I would suggest is - don't be shy! ;)

By the way, Kicktraq (for what that's worth) has had this project heading steadily for the £90-100k range for the last few days. I hope they're wrong!



Honestly, after seeing that video? The first impression I had?

"Got to get that engine"

Not even the game itself, of which there is little to no news. Storyline? Nothing I can find. World? Less then nothing.
It seems to me that what they currently have is nothing more then a game engine. That is why I think there is not much movement in funding.

But as a tech demo, it is impressive. Coming from modding Bethesda games, I can say that if their modding tool is even half as good as what I seen in the video, (in terms of item placement, physics and overworld generation), it'll be much easier to work with. THAT is what got me excited in this.

Also, since we are commenting on the video, please improve the swordfighting animation. At the moment, they remind me more of a drunk man swinging two iron bars randomly then anything. I understand that you want force and impact to play a part, but honestly, no competent swordsman would dare take that kind of skill into the world, especially with things like that monster near the end of the video around. Speaking of which, that part is impressive, the way the human body fold under the blows of the monster's chain mace.


Project Lead
Have you read our updates? I believe we have characterised our world, more so than the vast majority of Kickstarter projects or what you might normally pick up from a game before playing it. We're not revealing everything but we want you to discover our world and it is an original world, not something we can summarise in a few words or with parallels.

As I've explained elsewhere, I myself made the animation while designing the system and I'm no animator nor a swordsman. Hiring a professional animator is a high priority. We also plan on improving much in terms of dynamic behaviours. Our upcoming update on combat should explain more. Sorry this is a bit slow in the making, we've been having various problems with the production and it's Kieran's first time making one.


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