It feels like success on this front has been a long time coming. Eric Heimberg first rolled out a Kickstarter campaign for Project: Gorgon back in October of 2012 with a goal of financing art and audio assets. The campaign did not make its goal, but Eric and Sandra Powers, his wife and co-developer, vowed to carry on, opening up a freely playable development version of the game for people to try.
On the strength of that, last year he launched another campaign with an even bigger target. I was pessimistic due to some aspects of how the campaign was handled. It did not come close to reaching its goal, but by the the development version of the game had grown into quite a viable demo. You could tell this was going to turn into something, Kickstarter or not.
So when the third Kickstarter campaign launched last week, I was feeling nervous. While the amount being asked for was small when compared to similar MMO projects… asking for $20K in a market where Shroud of the Avatar, Camelot Unchained, and Crowfall all ended up well past a million dollars… I was still worried that the campaign might miss as its predecessors did.
But this campaign seemed to reap the groundwork laid by the past failures. While the first time around simple awareness of the project was an issue, this past week there was coverage of Project: Gorgon across at least the MMO segment of the gaming press, enthusiastic blog coverages (Syp in particular seems quite taken), and even some industry names backing the project.
And so it was that yesterday, with 22 days left to go in the campaign, Project: Gorgon hit its funding goal at last. That seems like it was fast enough, yet it feels like it was also nearly three years in getting there. A big congratulations is due to the Project: Gorgon team!
Of course, with success comes new challenged. With a Kickstarter campaign more money is better, but to encourage people… and remind them that the whole thing isn’t done yet… you need stretch goals. And so we have two stretch goals for the campaign.
I like the first one, as it is aimed straight at giving backers something special.
$25,000 Stretch Goal – Unique Backer Mount
- An exclusive backer mount skin will be created and available to players once they obtain the horseback riding skill in-game. All backers at the Horseback Explorer level or higher will receive the mount as soon as available.
That seems modest, doable, and worthwhile. I wonder if that will motivate some backers to move up to the $75 Horseback Explorer level.
The next stretch goal is… bigger.
The Dwarves are stout, dour subterranean people and Kickstarter Backers will have exclusive access to them during the alpha and beta period! Kickstarter backers below the Patron level will be able to unlock the Dwarven class through in-game objectives, while those at or above the Patron level will have them automatically unlocked once available.
The personality of Dwarves varies greatly as some are introverts, some can be a bore, and some are precision craftsmen, while others solely decide to rely on their exceptional strength. There is one thing they all have in common, they love the underground and it’s the only place they truly feel at home.
Dwarven players will be able to unlock the secrets of the ancient race, they include:
- The ability to track your position underground,
- Spells that let you hide in stone momentarily,
- A combat stance that makes you unmovable,
- Long-forgotten weapon-crafting techniques.
These secrets come with a dark side, however, for their patron god Ormorek is also the god of bitterness, self-doubt, and lost innocence. In ages past, Dwarves were their own worst enemies, and players who unearth these ancient techniques will have to battle with ancient foes — both within and without.
An additional race represents a big investment as so many art related assets then have to be scaled and tuned to yet another body style. That seems like a pretty big item for another five thousand dollars. But that is just my view from the outside.
Anyway, the campaign continues. Go check it out if you have not so far, or play the game as it stands today to see that it is a real thing. There is still more than 20 days left to go and the pledges look to be continuing to come in.