A Pyrodactyl Postmortem Postmortem

By Rutskarn Posted Thursday Nov 6, 2014

Filed under: Projects 99 comments

This post is a follow up to “Unrest: An Honest Postmortem of a Kickstarter Success.”

I really don't know how it is for your big studio-renting, T-shirt-printing, San Francisc-ing game development studios when their magnum opus wraps. I imagine many of them do schedule a few months to tear through feedback, patch, run tech support, and wrangle the convention circuit. But barring an ongoing investment, like an MMO or MOBA, that's all sideline stuff. You can bet in ninety-nine out of a hundred cases the development leads get together right away, stick another figurative sheet of paper in the typewriter, and start on the next project.

Part of this is a matter of principle. You're only as good as your last good title, and dwelling on success or failure doesn’t help your studio. But there's a much more far-reaching practical side to it than that, and it's one you don't appreciate until you try to survive as a developer: it’s the fact that every month not working on a game is a catastrophic and potentially fatal waste of your precious resources.

You can embrace it or hate it, but the formula is simple: games are profit, profit is time, time is games. Having a smash hit release isn't an “and then they lived happily ever after” success story. It's the equivalent of winning extra time by executing a flawless lap in a beat-the-clock racing game. You've won a buffer–a grace period to work on your next project. And that's if your game's successful. If it isn’t, then you’ve really got to hustle.

This scales naturally to visibility and pay grades. Bigger studios have bigger PR budgets, bigger launches, and (I’m presuming) longer periods of profitability after launch. But they’ve also got a staggering amount of people to pay, and making a few million dollars doesn’t seem so impressive when you’ve got all those award-winning game designer salaries on your books. I’d hazard this is why you see a lot of layoffs after a big release, even a successful one–it makes it easier to stretch your profits over the next development cycle.

For indie studios, the tradeoff is a much smaller team to pay for, but significantly more modest releases and (barring a fluke cult success or meme-worthy premise) a vanishingly small window of initial sales. You get a few weeks where everyone’s buying and playing it, then a steep dropoff until the next wholly unpredictable digital sale brings in another unguessable spike of profit. Which are nice, but they’re nice in a “redeem this stick for a free corn dog” sort of way. A windfall, maybe even a significant one, but not the sort of thing you get to plan your corn dog lifestyle around.

So this is where the fate of Kickstarter games gets interesting.

With Unrest, the question was always, “What happens after release?”

As a rule of thumb, I'd say a modestly successful Kickstarter-backed release can expect to make (after publisher, Steam, and miscellaneous subtractions) about or a little less than they made off their initial campaign in the first few months. We knew it would take a miraculous, one-out-of-every-ten-thousand-indie-releases kind of commercial splash to get enough funding to keep developing autonomously, and that's not the sort of thing a wise person plans for. It was particularly a problem because we couldn’t do it like this again. We would need more resources for some team members to put forward a stirring effort–a lot more.

So we knew there was a great chance we'd come back to Kickstarter. And that's just what we're doing with our next title, a cold war espionage RPG called Late to the Party.


That being said–we’ve changed up our strategy a little. Some of this is a consequence of our greater exposure and modest profits allowing us to front a larger investment. Some of this is a consequence of nothing but hard-earned experience, and the knowledge that if we’re doing this, we’ve got to do this decisively. Our biggest new moves were:

We invested in better art and music from the beginning. How your presentation looks and sounds is the biggest factor to convincing stop-ins to put in an investment. Ask any snark YouTuberâ€"the most common litmus test for determining if a game is worth trying or not is how polished the presentation looks.

We had a list of connections to reach out to for getting the word out. “Connections” are what indie developers have instead of PR budgets. Now, by this, I don’t mean “leading industry figures whose lives we have saved in combat who will do anything for us, anything at all, and have in fact already put us in their will.” I mean “people who know we exist, and trust us a little, and maybe played our last game and know we’re not screwing around.” It’s a subtle advantage, but a significant one.

We asked for full-time pay. This is the big move and by far the most dangerous one. Earlier I said any team can make a better game if key team members don't have to work retail, and I meant it. If we want to break out of a cycle of obligate crowdfunding, this is the step we need to take. But Kickstarter is all-or-nothing, and “whoops we aimed too high let's set our sights lower” retakes have a decidedly low success rate. Time will tell if this was a good idea or not, but it guarantees one thing: there's no possibility of us making a game that isn't all it can be. There's just a possibility of us not making (this) game at all.

It's scary, and it's stressful. But it's a good, useful kind of scary and stressful. Without publishers cracking the whip, this is the part that keeps indie devs honest: the knowledge that anything short of total faith in the project could end the enterprise before it begin, and the understanding that all your success, present and future, depends on the work at hand.

So maybe it’s not all the good kind of scary and stressful. But it beats river rocks.


From The Archives:

99 thoughts on “A Pyrodactyl Postmortem Postmortem

  1. James Bennett says:

    I was glad to see you guys kick-starting another game. I bought Unrest and enjoyed it thoroughly. I’m excited to see what you guys can do with a bigger budget. I also dig the setting/premise. It sounds like a fun game and I look forward to playing it.

  2. rofltehcat says:

    The setting sounds really great!

    But I have to wait until end of November/start of December until I can pitch in my support :(
    Backing Unrest was really worth it!

  3. Toasty Virus says:

    I will be backing this as soon as I get paid!

    Although I do wonder, why is it in CAD dollars?

    1. HeroOfHyla says:

      Maybe it’s the fun colors!

    2. Supahewok says:

      It is kinda weird. How does paying for Kickstarters that don’t use US currency work? Can I just pay with my card which has USD and it’ll convert, or do I need to contact my bank, or what?

      1. Humanoid says:

        It’ll convert, though depending on your specific credit card provider they may be a conversion fee. How common this type of thing is might depend on where you are, in Australia for example all but a few cards will charge an extra 3%ish fee on foreign currency transactions.

    3. Naota says:

      Tax law for small businesses and the fact that I live in Toronto are some reasons, but we mostly did it so we could get paid in fabulous plastic colours and gold dubloons.

      You should be able to pledge US dollars at the current exchange rate (about 1.1 USD : 1 CAD) without any trouble – it’s basically what happens every time I buy a Steam game these days.

      1. Supahewok says:

        Great, I’ll hop to it right now!

        On the topic of the game itself, I am excited for it. I love history. I love to see explorations into different eras and geographic regions of history. Western Civilization stuff is great, but it’s also what at least 90% (if not 99%+) of media (especially videogames) derives from, and it gets old. I LOVE seeing you guys make games that focus elsewhere in the world, I find it intensely interesting. Good luck!

      2. Humanoid says:

        I’m surprised to find you Canadians value the Queen four times as much was we Australians do.

        1. 4th Dimension says:

          That is understandable since you are descendants of people sent to your death world of a continent by previous Queens and Kings against your will, while a significant portion of the Canadians are people who fled from nascent USA to than UK colony and now Canada, because they were crown loyalists. ;)

        2. uberfail says:

          And they value her the same amount as us Kiwis

          1. Humanoid says:

            Wasn’t she on all your banknotes?

        3. Naota says:

          It’s not apparent from the picture, but she’s also on the back of every coin!

          The cool part is that coinage lasts an order of magnitude longer than bills and we’ve had the same monarch for 62 years. You can typically plonk down a handful of change on the table, rearrange the coins from old to new, and see a dated sequence of the Queen aging (and sporting increasingly more ornate crowns) going all the way back to 1952.

  4. lostclause says:

    Already backed, best of luck Ruts. If I may ask, when was the idea for this project first flown? Did you begin planning this game during the development of Unrest?

    And a more personal question, why this setting? I mean, Arvind’s connection to India was an obvious inspiration for Unrest, I’m curious what made you pick Soviet satellite states for this one, though I also notice that one of your dev team is from Estonia so that might be the explanation.

    1. Thomas says:

      I was wondering if Papers Please was at the back of someones mind =D

      1. Timelady says:

        It actually makes me think of KGB: The Game, too, which yesssssssssss.

    2. Arvind says:

      I’m actually a secret KGB agent – this was the real setting all along.

      1. lostclause says:

        I see, that’s why you toppled the monarch in a populist revolution during a time of crisis in the last game. Cunning.

    3. Rutskarn says:

      Serious answer: we did pick this setting, in large part, because of our Estonian team member.

      We began developing this game pretty much the week after Unrest’s launch, and we only waited that long because all hands were needed to manage PR.

      1. KingJosh says:

        So, will your next game be set in a Home Depot?

        1. rofltehcat says:

          I don’t know what is more horrible: A communist dystopia or working at Home Depot. Imagine all the run-away-from-customers-and-hide you have to do!

          1. KingJosh says:

            Arguably, Home Depot would have the better weapon selection. Axes, chainsaws, hacksaws, sledgehammers, crowbars, picks, well-shaken bottles of pop, and bags of river rocks!

            “Press X to lob 40lbs. of river rocks in their face.”

      2. lostclause says:

        And here I was hoping Arvind’s was the serious answer.

        Thank you, and my thanks to Mr Luige, I understand that it’s not the most pleasant time in history for states behind the Iron Curtain (though I must admit my knowledge of Estonia in particular is lacking).

      3. It can’t be a coincidence that this week was the one where I heard of this new game and first heard this ditty about a certain Russian historical figure.

        Maybe we can adapt the lyrics?

        Ruh-Ruh-Rutskarn’s team,
        Making games out of caffeine!
        What’s the next adventure they’ll work on?
        Ruh-Ruh-Rutskarn’s team,
        Their office has a trampoline!
        It’s in a castle in Azerbaijan!

        Admittedly, I was kind of stuck for a rhyme or two, and I know it’s not all about Rutz, so we could work out a verse/chorus for each member of Pyrodactyl, right?

        1. Peter H. Coffin says:

          Goddamn it… Now I’ve got that song in my head and I didn’t even need to hit YouTube to know what it was.

  5. Thomas says:

    Oh a random piece of feedback btw. Be explicit in making clear where things branch! There’s a reason why so many games are copying The Walking Dead’s “Duckie will remember that” and there’s a reason why there are so many lines of dialogue in Alpha Protocol that very explicitly acknowledge some minor detail you chose (like the armour you’re wearing or repeating some random line of dialogue you had some scenes back).

    People aren’t necessarily going to be aware of the scope of your game if they just play through it once, and without some explicit markers the might not be so motivated to replay it.

    See the VN Cinders or Dreamfall: Chapters for other games that realised that that kind of thing really excites players.

  6. Eric says:

    Backed it, best of luck to Ruts and the team. Really enjoyed Unrest and reading your thoughts on the game post-release too. Hope this one goes just as well for you all.

    1. Dave B. says:

      Same here. Really looking forward to this one. Good luck, Pyrodactyl!

  7. bucaneer says:

    As someone from ‘the Baltics’ (Lithuania), I am vaguely uncomfortable about this. The setting outlined in the pitch doesn’t feel much at all like 1991 in the Baltics – either the time or the location is wrong.

    The lead-up to the restoration of independence of the Baltic states was very loud, visible and public. Dissent grew throughout the 80’s, encouraged by anti-communist movements in Poland and other Soviet satellites as well as Gorbachev’s lenient policies, culminating in 1989 as a single demonstration that involved almost 2 million people, or nearly a quarter of the Baltics’ total population. In 1990 each of the Baltic republics held parliamentary elections which were overwhelmingly won by pro-independence movements, who promptly issued declarations of independence upon taking office. In 1991 these declarations gained international recognition, though the timing had less to do with anything special happening in the Baltics and more with the failed August Putsch in Moscow.

    So seeing phrases like “revolutionary factions” and “striking back” applied here just seems wrong. “Revolutionary factions” would have to refer to pretty much everyone. “Striking back” largely involves singing songs, standing in demonstrations and voting in elections. “Revolution is brewing”? Well, perhaps the game title is apt, as the protagonist seems to be five years or more late to this particular party.

    If you want a game set in Soviet-occupied Baltics where an underground resistance is fighting for independence while the locals have to make uneasy choices about which side to support and living under constant threat of being “disappeared”, then it should take place in the decade following WW2. If you want a game set in 1991 where KGB agents involved in a covert conspiracy can significantly affect the future of a country, it should probably take place in Moscow.

    Otherwise, clumsily shoehorning a setting to fit a preconceived plot just leaves a bad impression.

    1. Rutskarn says:

      Our game is set in a fictionalized version of Estonia, which had a slightly different situation–but you are correct in noting disparities in our premise and how things historically went down. These were taken on the advisement of our Estonian team member, Mikk Luige, and are an extrapolation of genuine historical factors.

      Estonia’s “Singing Revolution” is an example of a peaceful and nondramatic break from the Soviets, although Mikk has told us it didn’t go quite as cleanly, safely, and without incident as is presented by a lot of Western sources. And indeed, without spoiling anything, that is one way for the game to end.

      Late to the Party examines how a few altered factors could have made things worse. Again, I don’t’ want to spoil anything, but I would like to say that the “revolutionaries” mentioned are all peaceful. There’s no Forest Brothers styled guerilla action in the game.

      1. The title of your game reminds me of a promotional campaign for root beer that was on TV when I was a lad.

        I’m not sure if you were alive when this happened or if it was one of the many signs and omens surrounding your birth? :)

      2. lurkey says:

        Another Lithuanian here and I am genuinely happy that at least something interesting might be happening in our (rather dull) setting videogame-wise. I am all in favour of our history being fictionalized, because hey, artistic licence, creativity, games not obliged to reflect actual political situation, any sort of notoriety > obscurity and all that.

        Also, you guys — if you get overfunded, can you add us other Baltics to the setting as stretch goals? Because Estonians, well…extremely efficient, yes. Determined, yes. Rational, yes. More boring than Lithuanians raised to the power of Latvians? Why, yes. >:P

        1. Otters34 says:

          You never know, lurkey, maybe the next Pyradactyl game will be set in the 1500s, and in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. I can think of a few small scraps of historical importance and public interest that arose in that stretch of time.

          1. lurkey says:

            A lot of fabulous and badassy stuff used to happen in Eastern Europe before those pesky Russians, Prussians and Austro-Hungarians came and ruined everyone else’s fun, and it’s a pity game makers are so fixated on Arthurian/Tolkienistic settings, but we’re talking contemporary history here, innit?

            1. 4th Dimension says:

              Hell even with Russia it’s a huge country with a looong history. In western literature you can find barely a fraction of it’s rises falls and backstabbing of great families and cities. Hell, current Russia started out as basically small city of Moscow (a city that could) under the Mongols, and now it’s a continent spanning empire.

          2. 4th Dimension says:

            With Josh as historical consultant :)
            “No no no, a Polish Hussar of the time had exactly 15 feathers in his wings not 14. This is a travesty and all you are going to be pantsexploded for this.” :)

            1. Thomas says:

              ‘Pant Sex – Ploded’ sounds nasty

        2. Rike says:

          “I am genuinely happy that at least something interesting might be happening in our (rather dull) setting videogame-wise”

          I will share your point. As a person born in post-soviet state (Ukraine), I would like to see some fiction stories in the setting of late 80’s-early 90’s in Eastern Europe, the sunset of Soviets. This period has a lot of potential.
          Wish Pyrodactyl luck with this game.

        3. Starker says:

          Calling the nationality of one of the devs boring might not be the best strategy to take here.

          1. lurkey says:

            What he gonna do about that, eh? Draw all Lithuanians as goofy caricatures?* Ask Rutz to write in mean jokes?**

            *Please do that.
            **Please do that too.

            1. Starker says:

              Leave out the Lithuanians and add some Finns instead?

      3. Humanoid says:

        I invite you to make a game set in Australia with the maximal amount of ahistorical creative liberties taken. The more the merrier.

        1. Someone says:

          I thought Valve has the copyright to Australia.

        2. Mathias says:

          So basically Borderlands 2?

      4. rofltehcat says:

        I like the idea that small factors can change the way the revolution goes down.
        If a single soldier had opened fire when the people crossed the border into Berlin or if an officer had denied them the crossing (they didn’t know about the border opening date mixup nor about the plans to soon open the border), European history (maybe even world history) could have gone a VERY different path.

        I think the same could have applied to the Estonian revolution: Luckily, it went down alright but a few people throwing stones and a single soldier opening fire could have changed everything.

      5. bucaneer says:

        Still though, 1991 is an odd choice. I understand you intend the game to have a wide range of endings of which “non-violently achieved independence” is only one, and 1991 seems too late for that. By this time, a lot of cats had already been let out of their bags: Soviet officials had admitted the existence of Molotov-Ribbentrop secret protocols, provided extra autonomy to the Baltic republics, allowed opposition movements to reach critical mass. It’s hard to imagine what it means to infiltrate and sabotage the revolutionaries when these revolutionaries are, among other things, the majority faction in the parliament and the cabinet of ministers.

        Military coup as attempted in January 1991 would be the only realistic way to make a dent in the revolution, and even that lacks credibility IMO. For one thing, the coup could only succeed if the army commanders were willing to kill hundreds if not thousands of unarmed civilians in the process. Afterwards, it would take nothing less than Stalin-style repressions to hold down the very conscious populace. In this time and place, nobody had the power and will to do that – certainly not with the central power on the brink of collapse in Moscow.

        So why not set the game some years earlier, before the revolution gained all the momentum it would need to succeed? I think it would be best to set the game as close as possible to the point of departure from real history, especially as the time period is still very much in living memory and even small inaccuracies can stand out.

    2. Neko says:

      Next you’re gonna tell me there weren’t really any snake people in ancient India.

  8. tmtvl says:

    *Sigh* blast it, kickstarter, get your act together. Not every nation has the easy credit card access the U.S of A has.

    1. Theminimanx says:

      Yup. I’d fund this if it didn’t need my non-existent credit card.

      1. Thomas says:

        This seems to be a problem with Canadian kickstarters in particular. I think you can use stuff like Paypal or Amazon Payments for American ones?

        1. Naota says:

          I think all US Kickstarters are run through Amazon Payments by default, but the Canadian ones are definitely using some kind of equivalent transfer service. I suspect it’s Interac, given the inflexibility, but it’s surprisingly difficult to find out for sure.

      2. Humanoid says:

        Are prepaid credit cards not a thing in your locality either?

        1. Theminimanx says:

          How is a prepaid card even credit?

          *Some Googling later*
          Apparently they are, but why would I want a card I need to pay for, even though I’ll barely use it? I can use my debit card for all IRL purchases, and Paypal for most online purchases.

          1. Abnaxis says:

            Can you not run your debit card as a credit card? I can do that with mine, and in fact it’s usually cheaper because American banks charge extra fees on debit transactions that they don’t if you use the same card but run it as credit (yeah, our banking system is ass).

        2. Galad says:

          Kind of a pointlessly late reply here, but..

          I’ve owned two debit cards in my adult life – VisaElectron, and, since very recently, MasterCard, and both have been fine for this type of payment. I’ve never owned a credit card, I have issues with Paypal, rendering it unusable, and I’m european. So not sure if that helps you anyway, but maybe it gives you some pointers

      3. Timelady says:

        This. :(

        I remember last time you guys took Paypal preorders straight from your website–is there a chance that will be available again?

        If not? Oh, well, at least when I buy it after the game’s released my money’ll go toward funding the next one… :D

        1. rofltehcat says:

          Oh yeah, I also forgot that I backed Unrest through the website. I don’t have a credit card, people over here barely use them.

        2. Naota says:

          I believe Kickstarter only does PayPal transactions once a project has hit its initial goal. It’s probably something to do with the fact that PayPal won’t keep a transaction open for a long period of time, so there’s no way to pledge a reliable amount of money one day and ensure it’s still there when the KS is finished. I guess if the project is already funded they can just subtract the money, but before then it leaves things open for people to exploit the system and reach “fake” funding goals.

  9. Isy says:

    Sent the link to my Russian grad student friend, who sent the link the other Russian studies people in his department. I may or may not owe you an apology for that.

    1. rofltehcat says:

      Russians can on one hand be VERY sensitive when it comes to portraying history in another way than what they were taught in school (see the CoH2 controversy) but on the other hand they seem to love it when Soviet Russia is part of a game (other than as mindless shooty-dummy-dudes).

      1. Isy says:

        Trust me, there is no level of screwed-up-bureaucratic nightmare game portrayal that will offend that guy. He’s of the opinion real history is worse. The reason I owe the developers an apology is now there are a bunch of history student backers who are going to nitpick any mistakes to death.

  10. KingJosh says:

    By the way, I noticed Unrest’s system requirements specify that it doesn’t work with Intel’s graphics. I don’t suppose that has been patched away? Or that you are targeting a broader range of graphics for this game? I’d like to buy Unrest, and I’d love to back this game! But, my dual-core 1.9ghz i3-based laptop only has an Intel 4000 integrated graphics, and I’m not sure is actually be able to play either game!

    EDIT: Oh, and please tell me there will be DLC to skin the main character to look like Natasha Fatale?!

    1. noahpocalypse says:

      I can play fine on my Mac with Intel HD Graphics 5000.

    2. Naota says:

      There’s a specific set of laptop graphics cards that only support low texture resolutions (2048^2) and used to not play nice with our bigger sprite cards. It should be patched away by now, courtesy of some awesome dude that wrote us a program to split our sprites and animations up into a bunch of smaller files.

      If you’re worried about it though, definitely check out the demo first. If you can run that, you can run the game no problem.

      1. KingJosh says:

        OK, thanks!

      2. syal says:

        Was that patch for Unrest or the new game? If it’s for Unrest what do I have to do to get it?

        1. Naota says:

          It’s for Unrest, though depending on where you got it from the update method differs. For Steam games it’ll happen automatically, whereas sites like GoG will likely involve you downloading the game again (or a patch) in some manner. If for whatever reason you can’t get an updated version, just tell us here and we can probably sort it out.

  11. noahpocalypse says:

    Huh. I was going to say you misspelled Pterodactyl in the title, but after a google search I learned that is the correct spelling of your team’s name. Alright then. Where did the name come from?

    1. mixmastermind says:

      Their fingers are on fire.

    2. syal says:

      It’s the distant cousin to the Thunderbird.

    3. Rutskarn says:

      It’s a portmanteau of “Pterodactyl” and the word “Pyro,” pertaining to fire.

      1. Benjamin Hilton says:

        With respect Ruts, I am pretty sure most of us understood what words were used to make it and were more interested in why that was chosen as the name.

        1. Rutskarn says:

          I’m not sure that’s the case for the original questioner. As to your question–no fuckin’ idea.

          1. Pyrodactyl is truly the Sharknado to the gaming industry’s Megashark.

        2. Arvind says:

          It will forever remain a mystery, solved when I can actually remember why I chose the name ;)

          1. Benjamin Hilton says:

            I like to imagine that it really did start out as a typo and you just went with it.

    4. Humanoid says:

      Pyrodactyl vs Incineraptor. I’d pay to see that.

  12. noahpocalypse says:

    Wait. You asked for $50,000 dollars but said you’re asking for enough to get a full-time salary. How does that work out? I know some members have very low cost of living, but for a release a year from now… that doesn’t seem like a year’s salary.

    1. Naota says:

      It’s half a year’s salary, more or less. With everything in place, some new tools, and a few engine/design refinements we’re hoping to be done in 6 months this time.

      That’s still a modest amount, but it’s a herculean leap away from the “nice little bonus” supplementary income Unrest brought us which meant holding down other jobs (or in my case just feeling more like a freeloading bum) to keep us afloat.

  13. James says:

    cold war spy rpg. Like what kind? we talking about a hard gritty title, something like Argo? or you going full James Bond?

    1. Arvind says:

      Out of the two, it is probably closer to Argo (I have only heard other people talk about it, never seen it). Think of it like Planescape Torment-style with dark humor.

  14. Vamphri says:

    Hope you don’t mind but I brought this up on the giant bomb forums… Just tryin to help get your announcement out there :D

    1. poiumty says:

      Should’ve just made it “unrest team announces new title” and put the kickstarter link in it. People might be put off by needing to read a blog post in a place they never heard about.

  15. Chris Robertson says:

    “Connections” are what indie developers have instead of PR budgets.

    You might want to rethink that position.

    Cliff has quite a bit to say on advertising (1,2, 3).

    Best of luck in any case (and sorry for the link-spam).

  16. Hey Rutskie is this a trend for Pyrodactyl Games? Looking at a map of the world and going… “Hmm! There’s a story to tell here!” ?

    If so, awesome, that would be very “global” or “inclusive” and feels a tad exploratory instead of “Oh gawd, some shit happen in New York… again.” plot points.

    1. Arvind says:

      Thanks! We do want to tell stories from new places, we hope we’ll be able to continue doing that for a very long time!

      1. Starker says:

        So the next one after this will take place in Canada?

        1. Steve C says:

          That suggestion got me thinking, is there even a backdrop event in Canadian history that you could make an Unrest video game about? I’m hard pressed to think of one. The only one I can think of is the War of 1812. The war where it was a mad battle to out-stupid the other side. An Unrest style game might even be well suited since there were 3 sides and all were reluctantly involved.

          1. Naota says:

            Finding something worth telling has kind of been a running gag for us since Unrest. Disclaimer: this is just off the cuff musing on my part, and doesn’t represent any plans, promises, or direction for Pyrodactyl either now or in the future.

            1812 is one definite option, if only because there’s little chance of a game about the other side of the war being made by any game studio worth its (stars and) stripes. You could also probably do:

            -The building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Like Hell on Wheels – equally dirty and inhumane but with many more Asian people!

            -A game about the First Nations seems an obvious choice. Managing tribe politics could be a really neat thing to do, and there’s a very rich backdrop of myths and aesthetics to pull from that rarely get their due in fiction. Unfortunately, they probably still get more of one than the rest of this list. And yet I know next to nothing about Aboriginal history past the mid-1800’s.

            -An early settler’s tale about living in the woods circa 1780 or so, maybe with some local legends and eeriness mixed in. You could really set this same story about any time from then to the modern day, because the woods up north are no less spooky… just more stuffed than ever with run-down cottages, abandoned fire towers, and empty boathouses. You could put it near Sudbury, which is literally a real life nickel-mining Silent Hill.

            -A conspiracy or thriller plot set at home in Halifax during the first World War, that involves the giant explosion could have potential. Kind of also the perfect setup for a Cohen Brothers’ styled story of errors.

            -A game about the first World War over in Europe is always a safe bet, though Valiant Hearts would be beating us to the punch with its ultra-slick presentation (we have dreams about that game engine, man). The battle of Vimy Ridge stands out among the good, as does Ypres among the bad. Of course, there are many WW1 stories out there compared to most other things on this list.

            -Prohibition-era Ontario. If you’ve ever watched Boardwalk Empire, you probably remember the waves of booze washing up on the shore. Well, this is where it came from. It was quite literally too profitable to enact prohibition on this side of Lake Ontario, and bootleggers like Al Capone needed only load up a boat, pay off a few authorities, and land it anywhere on the other side – typically Detroit. I don’t think anyone has ever written a story about bootlegging and gangsters from this side of the affair.

            -I’m not sure how interesting it would be as the basis for a game, but the Avro Arrow was a pretty big deal back in the day.

            1. HiEv says:

              How about a simulation of what could have happened if the US had actually tried to enact its 94 page secret 1934 plan to invade Canada?

              1. Chamomile says:

                So long as I’m trawling through archives: That plan was nothing unusual. Most nations maintain secret plans to invade most other nations, for a lot of reasons. It gives you plausible deniability about which nations you actually suspect you will be invading at some point, it’s good practice for your officers in drawing up invasion strategies even (and, in fact, especially) for bizarre circumstances, and it means that you’re crazy-prepared for even the most unlikely betrayal, revolution, or occupation.

  17. Hey! Rutskarn. If you and Pyrodactyl Games ever need voicework in a future title I’d be happy to offer my voice for free (I’d be happy to be just in the credits),
    I can do a Northern Europe accented English (obviously) and Norwegian (generic/broadcast and one regional), and crazy/exaggerated/weird/caricature voices as well.

    I did voices for DRoD: The City Beneath and for a expansion, I have no problem delivering high resolution, good quality, low noisefloor recordings in whatever format is desired, and I can provide it as raw, or cleaned/trimmed, or processed with effects.

    My mic is a dynamic vocal type (allowing close mic bassy wispers or top of the lung screaming equally well) and it’s custom wired/re-soldered to use a balanced XLR cable with a TRS adapter, allowing me to record the mono audio in stereo and then later invert one channel and mixing them thereby canceling out all line/power noise. Since the mix is dynamic (which has no noise on it’s own) and the cable/recording is done as balanced audio and (and recorded as such digitally) the actual noise floor of the analog and digital audio chain is almost -96dBFS (the soundcard input is 16bit), thus only the room’s own noisefloor is the enemy and I can get about 50dB noisefloor headroom without major issues last I checked. It may not be pro studio quality but it’s certainly different from “webcam audio”.

    I’m pretty sure a few other regular readers here would also be able to do similar voicework. Just saying… It worked out pretty well for the developers of DRoD and they still do internet sourced voicework for their games.

    1. Arvind says:

      We’ll keep this in mind, but of course this is too early to say as of now :)

  18. Nathaniel says:

    Totally missed out on the Unrest Kickstarter (I was… late to the party ahaha) so I’m definitely backing this one. The setting, theme, and gameplay all sound great so I hope it all goes well for you guys!

  19. Cerapa says:

    It’s really cool to see my country being featured in a game, especially in one made by you. Generally one only sees it in Paradox games. Might just be the first project I will back on Kickstarter because of that.

    Send the art lead my greetings.

  20. Smejki says:

    Looking forward to it but I am a bit worried if you’ll manage to grasp proper mood and psychology of the Soviet society and not end up with just some near-(unintetionally-)parodical idealistic picture of it. After all none of you guys have lived in the Eastern bloc/USSR except for your artist (and I doubt his age, as I estimated it, is an advantage to you in this regard) and as I’ve noticed westerners often struggle with proper building of believable totalitarian stories. So I wonder what are your goals in this regards as well as your inspirational sources.

  21. Cuthalion says:

    Good luck!

  22. qosiejfr oiq qp says:

    I’m not entirely sure you’re going to make the goal unless you make people pay attention to you in some pr-related way.

    Either way though, you’ve got my pledge, GL.

  23. Chamomile says:

    So whilst trawling through various Kickstarters and Patreons and such wondering if I can reasonably find anything to give money to (no promises for this one, I’m poor enough right now that $15 for the lowest reward tier is kind of steep with Christmas coming up), I noticed that Rutskarn has managed to look ridiculously young in his picture on this project. Like, I’d peg him at seventeen.

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *