November 6th, 2016

Our Kickstarter campaign finished off with quite the bang! After a crazy last few days, our final funding tally sits at a very comfortable $32,756. It’s not such a bad start to Iron Tides, and seems to prove pretty handily that there is at least some kind of audience out there for this game. Once we also get a modest loan, we’ll be able to not only pay our remote contributors but also take home a bit of pay ourselves.

But there’s little time for sitting on our laurels and basking in the glory. Having hit our first three stretch goals, there’s more work than ever on my plate. We’re still aiming to do early access in April, and getting there is not going to be a cake walk. Hopefully we can bring an artist on board at some point to at least help produce some environment assets. Carina has been looking at a few students from the Art Institute who really want to work with us, but I think their contribution is inevitably going to be very modest. There’s two in particular that she’s interested in, and their expertise appears to be in systems design and UI/UX. That could be useful, but it remains to be seen how quickly we can even on-board them. As part of their school program they can only do one full day per week for six weeks, which is barely any time at all. Although if they get really passionate about Iron Tides they may come on board with us as free interns after their program is finished. And then once we get some revenue or a funding source we can start paying people actual salaries.

– Peace and ample funding (cause starving is never fun)


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Final Days!

October 28th, 2016

Our campaign is now entering the home stretch. It’ll come to a close on Tuesday, and I’ll be streaming through the weekend along with my partner Carina and her roommate James. We’ll have some viking gear for the occasion (fortunately Halloween is right around the corner, so no one is going to give us any funny looks), and James has volunteered to perform dares. Should be fun.

As for the funding, things are going quite well. We’re now sitting at 84% funded, with only another 3k to go until the finish line. Our marketing reach is still pretty small, but we do have the beginnings of a real fan base here. And the local Vancouver community has been amazing in supporting us. With the twitch stream and one last raid of a local studio (visiting Capcom on Monday) I’m almost certain we’ll get what we need to dash over the line.

After that we can breathe a bit easier and give back a little to all the fantastically talented people who’ve helped us get this far. But we’ll still have a long way to go before this game is where it needs to be. I believe we can release into early access by the spring, but we will need to hustle if we’re going to make it. I’m also hoping we can eventually spare some money to hire a 3D artist. Doing both the art and programming (on top of being the lead designer) turns out to be really time consuming.

Oh and the Full Indie Summit went pretty well. There wasn’t a whole lot of networking time between the talks, but we got a good demo session underway afterwards. Playtested the game with about fifteen people, and handed out about a hundred promo cards. Once again found myself wishing I had a better laptop. The integrated graphics on that thing are turning out to be a major drag. I basically have to run on the lowest possible settings to get a decent frame rate. But all in due time.

In case you don’t know where to find the campaign, here it is: Iron Tides Kickstarter

– Peace and final kicks


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Preparing for the Summit

October 21st, 2016

We’re getting ready for tomorrow’s Full Indie Summit, putting in some final touches to try and impress folks. The pirates are at last in the game and working quite well. Well, at least four of them are so far. Definitely still feel like they need a couple more units before they feel complete. But even at this stage they make all the earlier enemies look pretty bad. These pirates have better models, better animations, and perhaps most importantly a much wider variety of abilities. Many of the older enemies really just have the same basic attack, with slightly different stat lines to go with it. Meanwhile, two out of the four pirates have 2 abilities, and one of them has 3. And they’re pretty varied too, both visually and mechanically. There’s bomb throwing with splash damage, knife throwing, bleeding effects, and a double strike ability where the character attacks twice in one action. The animation load is getting pretty significant though, especially with the new multi-directional recoil animations that every character has. Still I’m managing to churn these things out at a pretty good clip. Even with all the new mechanics I’m averaging about 1 character per day. And that’s not too bad, really.

Although now that the pirates are turning out so well, I’m rather inclined to go back and redo a lot of the older enemies. They look rather old and boring, and I’m no longer entirely happy with their design direction. But redoing stuff has been one of the key slowdowns in the course of this project. It seems unavoidable though. I keep getting gradually better and continue coming up with better solutions. Leaving the old things in place to be outshined by the new is hardly acceptable.

Our kickstarter is still chugging along, now just a few bucks short of eleven thousand, which puts us at about 58% of the way to our goal. But with only 11 days left to go there is still something of a mountain to climb. The summit should be good for us though; we’ll try to hand out nearly all of our promo cards there. After the kickstarter they’ll be entirely useless, and we don’t have much else coming up in the way of events.

In other news we now at last have a mac version of the alpha demo out. From now on I’ll be publishing all new builds for both PC and Mac. That might get us some new mac converts I suspect.

We also finally got some decent views on a video, thanks to this Baron fellow. By far the biggest streamer we’ve managed to snare thus far.

Check it out:

– Peace and good summiting


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Wolf Priestess

October 3rd, 2016

This one could still use a little but of work, but it gets the point across I think. Haven’t done a class concept in a while.


– Peace and reverence for the wolf god


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September 30th, 2016

Got the pirate faction card done finally, featuring the Cutthroat, an all new enemy type. The next one I want to make is a barrel bomb throwing pirate. The idea is pretty simple; he just starts with a single powerful bomb and after throwing it switches to a dagger. This will be the first enemy with a proper AoE attack since I made the Shaper Priest (which can’t even appear in the current demo). I really like the concept of single use actions, and want to do a lot more with it. Makes it possible to have very powerful abilities without risking a complete steamroll over the player. You can also bait out an attack like this, either with an expendable character or your main tank who’s sturdy enough to take the hit. I also want this bomb thrower pirate to blow up if you manage to kill him while he still has the bomb. Which makes it dangerous to engage him in melee, but can actually do a ton of damage to the enemy if you play your cards right.

Oh and we sailed past 30% funded yesterday! We’re now nearing $7,000 on our third day, which is pretty exciting. I still expect things to get harder down the road, but we’re definitely continuing a great start here.

Take a quick gander at the pirates:


– Peace and barrel bomb pirates


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Steady As She Goes

September 29th, 2016

After 24 hours the Kickstarter campaign is now sitting at 15% funded, which is pretty solid. Now we just need to keep pushing and hopefully we’ll get to 30% by tomorrow. Carina wants me to do an AMA on reddit today, which should be interesting. I’ve really only peeked into the cavernous depths of reddit a few times before. It’s probably high time to get better acquainted with it.

Also working on some campaign page graphics and a pirate captain today. I think we’ll do another update by the end of the day and put those up for all to see.

– Peace, pirates and progress


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So Far on Track!

September 28th, 2016

Our campaign certainly hasn’t maintained its crazy pace from the first hour, but we do seem to be on track to succeed. About 8 hours after going live we’re sitting at 60 backers and $1776 in pledges. The rule of thumb is that you should make about 30% of your goal in the first 3 days, and we’re sitting at 9% now. Even if you account for the spikiness of the first hour it’s looking good. Kicktraq’s trend right now is pointing us at over 60k, but that seems highly unlikely. At the moment I’m expecting us to get a bit over our target, perhaps hitting our first stretch goal at 22k, or maybe the second one at 25k.

But that certainly doesn’t mean we get to sit on our haunches and watch the sweet dollah bills roll in. We’ll need to keep hustling at full speed to maintain momentum. After the first few days we’ll start to run out of close friends, family and pre-pledged supporters, and will have to start relying on people who know nothing about us beyond what they see on the campaign page. We’ll have to maintain a regular pace of updates, keep very active on social media, work closely with all of our media contacts, and perhaps do a small targeted ad spend as well.

For our first update I want to drop in the faction card for the pirates. This is a faction I’ve wanted to do for a good while, and it’s going to form part of our 4 core enemy factions. If we manage to hit the 30k goal we’ll add a 5th one as well. Hopefully I’ll be able to get in some solid dev time over the coming week or so. GameStormers wants to reveal something new at around the two week mark, and I feel that should be the pirates. I’ll have to get at least 3 of their units ready. They ought to be pretty different from what’s currently in the demo.

Now I’ve gotta go make some promo cards and prepare for the launch party!

– Peace and staying on track


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And We’re Off!

September 28th, 2016

As of right now the Kickstarter campaign is less than an hour old and we’ve already raised more than a thousand dollars! Without a doubt this skyrocketing pace can’t last, but holy moly is it exciting at the moment to see the numbers keep climbing.

Hurry up and get on the boat! The early bird tier won’t last forever.

– Peace and happy raiding!


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The H Hour

September 28th, 2016

We’re counting the final minutes here before we hit that big scary launch button. In all honesty I don’t really know what to expect. Our page is looking really solid, but I still feel like our media reach is pretty small. But I’m giving us better than 50-50 odds, and there is an outside chance that we could reach a hundred thousand, as Iron Oak Games did with their RPG tactics game.

Final ten minutes now…

– Peace and strong nerves


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September 27th, 2016

Oh boy, it finally seems to be happening. The Kickstarter campaign fires off tomorrow morning and we’ve got our local launch party set for later that afternoon. An indie dev friend of ours even baked a big batch of viking shield cookies for the event!


– Peace and delicious viking cookies


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