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#1 Posted by deammer 4 years 4 months ago
deammer
17% complete
2 Forum posts
"Hell, this is fucking hard!" is something you're more than likely to yell when you pickup Flowstorm. The sensitivity is so high and your flight patterns must be so very accurate that pressing a button for half a second too long can end your best Race attempt right then and there. But then something awesome happens: your rocket blows up, bits flying everywhere, and you hit 'B' or for the 10000th time today.

Flowstorm is one of the most solid and polished arcade games I've seen in a while. The difficulty curve might be intense, but it never feels unfair. Like Miyazaki said about Dark Souls, the difficulty may be high, but you always know why you die, and that's what pushes players to respawn instead of rage-quitting. I haven't had the chance to mess with the Level Editor yet, but I heard that it would go live preeetty soon, so I can't wait to check it out.

Now, there are a couple aspects that i believe are misdirected or could be improved:

First, is a single player campaign really the way to go? From what i'm reading on the Kickstarter page, its main goals are first to serve as a tutorial, and second to introduce new game types to the player. While i agree that some cleverly-designed levels would effectively teach the point and controls of the game, i really don't see a place for a campaign in FlowStorm, because this is an ARCADE game. Not every game requires a story and characters. With FlowStorm, you just kinda pickup the game and try to beat the highest score, and that's where the core of the fun is. The worst thing you could do to such a fast-paced game is add cutscenes!

Second, you guys really need someone to do PR! You're not doing anything wrong, but the wording of things on your Kickstarter could be improved. For instance, it's not very clear what you need the money for. The game already looks polished and hell, i can even play it! Don't get me wrong, the fact that you put up a demo is a great incentive for me to become a backer, but if you don't tell me what you need the money for, i'm less likely to chip in.

"But in the Stretch Goals, it says what we're getting if the game gets funded!" True, but it's not very exciting. If you replaced "Racing and aerial combat, single- and multiplayer" by "Full-blown racing against the clock! Compete against other players in the craziest community-made levels! Unleash ballistic weapons against your enemies while controlling lightning-fast rockets!" It's all in the presentation! Another example with the stretch goals is that the "Foundation" level makes it sound like we get an incomplete game if the goal is reached ("A scaled down, basic version of the campaign"). That just doesn't sound appealing/worth my money.

As a side note, listing "stretch goals" before the kickstarter is actually funded is not a good idea, so i'd recommend removing those!


I really hope this helps you guys figuring out some of the things that could be improved about FlowStorm and its Kickstarter. I love the hell out of the game you're making and i only wish to see it become a reality.

If you want to discuss anything, either reply or email me :)
deammer
#2 Posted by Acegikmo 4 years 4 months ago
Acegikmo
Flowstorm Developer
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Glad you like the difficulty and the polish of the game! It's a fine line to balance on; you get so many reactions on its difficulty, both positive and negative. The same goes for the polish; people seem to react semi-negatively towards that too, saying it looks finished already, not needing any more work.

Onto the Kickstarter feedback!

The campaign: We had loads of nice plans for a singleplayer campaign, where the gameplay would be much more objective based and adventurous, have slower pacing, and be fully equipped with long term progressions, and yes, perhaps even some form of simple cutscenes between chapters. We have a clear vision of it, and we really think it would be a great experience.
That said, it's really hard to sell it, considering the competitive-minded players the other half of the game is targeting is most likely not interested in it, sadly :(

The money: We did loads of research on previous Kickstarters, and found an interesting correlation between how much they talked about money in their video and the page, versus how much money they got. We came to a conclusion that the less you talk about money, the better. However, we might have taken it a bit too far, by avoiding saying what the money was going to. It was probably a mistake.

When it comes to PR/word usage, we've always wanted an honest approach, not forcing opinions into people with exaggerations. Underpromise and overdeliver, so to speak. That said, we could have pushed the difficulty of the game much harder, in a more exciting way!

Thanks a bunch for the feedback!

We're currently considering relaunching the Kickstarter with a lower goal, reduced scope and cheaper standalone access. We've learnt a lot from the first one, a second one can definitely succeed, especially if all you backers return :)
#3 Posted by pipi 4 years 4 months ago
pipi
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Here's two things I think didn't help get interest from people.

-Playable alpha. I've been into this a few times, people don't get it, most of them anyways. It's alpha, so the game is far from finished and gameplay will change etc. Although it has a good side to it, people can try the game right away. Maybe only the backers of 5$ could have got acces to the alpha like it's been done by a lot of indie game developpers, just an idea.

-Difficulty. Now I know about the situation. I'm a hardcore gamer too and apparently everyone is.. but no, not everyone is. I'm 100% sure that a lot of potential players for this game were put down and never went back even though they probably enjoyed trying the game on website, playing and respawning for an hour or two. Now that you have more material, you could make the alpha more friendly to the crowd. The Rooket is here, a few more enjoyable maps (maybe include community maps) to make the learning curve slower, and keep players interested while they get better at the game.

And count me in for the second kickstarter ;)
#4 Posted by kamyl 4 years 4 months ago
kamyl
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I don't care for storyline either. Not in this game. I do love games that has a lot of cutscenes, like Max Payne (especially MP3, if it comes to actual cutscenes). Mafia or GTA series are another examples. I played GTA mostly only for cutscenes and funny characters. Half Life series has the greatest storyline ever, and I can play it over and over not speedrunning, but just to feel the story again. As much as I like storylines (as long as I don't have to read hundreds of walls of text) and cutscenes in games and don't mind if I only watch and don't play the actual game half the time, that much I just don't care for storyline in Flowstorm. But maybe you'll surprise me and I'll change my mind, if you still going to make it.



I'm such person too, but it's actually a problem in most cases. You could think if the game you made is really good, you don't need to say anything, because people will love it when they see it. Sadly, it's not always works that way. I hate to exaggerate my work too, but it seems that sometimes you need a little.
#5 Posted by Motorsheep 4 years 4 months ago
Motorsheep
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I have a sort of different opinion on story/cutscenes. Has anyone played SpaceChem? It's a puzzle game that has a story, too, and I really like the fact that it does. However, it takes a back seat in the presentation and instead of cutscenes, they just have a few pictures and some text. I don't know how you were going to present the story, but I for one would really enjoy one or two pages of a Flowstorm graphic novel or something similar in between levels.


And now directly to my criticism, because you guys already know how much I love this game:

The video's voice-over. Joachim, in terms of Grammar and vocabulary, your English is virtually perfect. However, your pronunciation and intonation..could be improved. Your speech is a little slurred at times, which makes it hard to understand what you're saying. I know a lot of people who have the same difficulty with foreign languages - they know exactly how to pronounce stuff, but it's as if their tongue gets all stage-frightened once it's time to say it out loud.
You might want to try a text with easier words, in a more conversational style. It's okay to use simple words - hell, it's even better at times. Your very first sentence perfectly describes the game. In one single sentence. That's perfectly alright for a back cover text, but for a video, I think it's too much information in too little time. A casual listener or reader may miss a whole sentence - and thus your whole description of what the game is.
Try to take it more slowly. Imagine you're sitting in a café telling a friend about the game. Explain it step by step - it will require less rehearsing on your part, and thus sound more natural, and it will also require less concentration on the listener's part.
As a result, the whole thing will sound more alive and less "read off a sheet", and thus be more likely to get the viewer enthused about your game :).
#6 Posted by Acegikmo 4 years 4 months ago
Acegikmo
Flowstorm Developer
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I agree regarding the voiceover, I'm fully aware of my slurred words and terrible pronunciation in certain parts. It's an actual physical limitation, not really a tongue stage-fright. Mind that what is in the video is *after* slicing all the recordings and putting them together, trying to weed out the worst parts and replace them with the less terrible ones. I don't think there's much I can do about that, apart from re-recording more.

As for what I'm actually saying; I think you're right. It might be better off being less information-packed, but at the same time, "sounding casual" is hard when I don't speak the language casually. If I do, the pronunciation goes out the window instantly. Might be possible to find something in between, but "forced casual reading" sounds quite a lot worse than reading from an information sheet
#7 Posted by Sranine 4 years 4 months ago
Sranine
Flowstorm Developer
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We could both use some more practice when it comes to that! Perhaps we should start making video dev logs just to practice. :)
#8 Posted by Motorsheep 4 years 4 months ago
Motorsheep
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Is it allowed for the voice-over not to be done by one of the devs?

I hate to beat this horse any further because it really shouldn't matter how good your pronunciation is. But unfortunately what I experience is this: a speaker's own struggle with the words he's speaking makes the listener feel uneasy as well.

If there's anything I can do to help in that respect, tell me. I must say though that even though I'm a translator, I'm not particularly good at writing enthusiastic texts... Deammer did a better job at making suggestions in that respect than I think I ever could.
#9 Posted by deammer 4 years 4 months ago
deammer
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Regarding the money: that's some pretty cool research, actually. It's a hard balance to strike: you don't want to sound like you're money-hungry, and yet it's important for backers to know what their money is put to good use.

Regarding word/PR: honesty is totally the way to go, but it never hurts to make us backers want more! Especially if you're overdelivering.

@Sranine yes! Devlogs would be awesome :D

And again, if i can help with anything, let me know.
#10 Posted by Motorsheep 4 years 4 months ago
Motorsheep
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I somehow missed Sranine's post - Dev logs would be awesome indeed! If you can find the time to make regular videos outlining what you've been doing in the past week or so, that would be really awesome. You would reach more people that way, as not everyone who'd like to watch can be there when you stream, and not everyone has the patience to watch an hour of streaming in the hope of seeing something they deem interesting.
A few minutes of condensed information in a dev log would be much better suited to the contemporary internet user's attention span ;)
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