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The Battle of the Stretch Goal


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Hey everyone,

 

We're scrambling to figure out how to get the stretch goal. It seems that we've reached saturation point with everything we're doing. A hardcore plane programming talk, and a more casual flight sim talk, a RPS interview, none of those seemed to have any kind of an effect on our performance.

 

Is it possible to reach the remaining 35K in the last 5 days? Other projects have done that in a few hours. Even our kickstarter has easily done that on launch. So, with the right strategy, I'm still very hopeful.

 

It is clear however that we need to do something drastically different.

 

Let's have a discussion. Any ideas? Please let me know.

 

Ideas I have are:

 

1. A killer video. Lots of you are asking for a killer intro video, which could probably be beneficial if it could inspire some people who have not looked at the project previously. We'll work on that, and if you have any ideas on the subject, please let me know.

 

2. New rewards? The project is confusing as it is already, I really don't know if adding MORE rewards is going to solve anything.

 

3. Taking PayPal. Apparently another project has done that in the end of their kickstarter and was able to pull in a large additional sum of money. I'm not sure if we're in the same boat as that project, but do you guys really think this would help? Are there a lot of people who want to back the project but cannot because we don't accept paypal?

 

4. Changes to project features. This, I think, is the biggest thing we can do at this point.

 

There was a lively discussion on this subject a while ago but I did not think this could be changed so I said no.

 

However the idea did stick in my head.

 

When I was just planning this kickstrter out, I really thought that we'd break through the base and end up meeting a whole bunch of the stretch goals. I really thought that we'd be building a much bigger project than what it looks like today.

 

That is one of the reasons why we decided to offer so many aircraft for free in the initial release. We thought we'd have a lot more aircraft altogether than what it looks like we're going to have.

 

However what this ended up doing was give very little incentive for people to pledge. Lots of people feel they'll get a product for free either way. A bystander effect. Why back when you get the Spit and the 109 and the Jug for nothing? The stretch goals are so far away, giving more money seems unlikely to change much, so why bother?

 

What if we do something extremely drastic and make one or even two aircraft non-free on release, while keeping them all free to existing backers? That would not affect anyone who's pledged already, but would probably excite those who did not.

 

On the other hand, we could have a backlash effect and turn off a large portion of the on-the-fence community?

 

So, this is my dramatic about-face and I'd really love to hear your opinions! It's definitely completely up in the air, everything is open to change.

 

Free version of DCS WWII contains ONE free aircraft (to be voted for by backers).

 

We have new rewards:

 

$1 NEW and $10 NEW: rewards as before, but no additional aircraft (one flyable total)

 

$20 NEW: access to one additional release aircraft (two total)

 

$30 NEW: access to two additional release aircraft (three total)

 

$40 NEW: access to three additional release aircraft (four total)

 

$60 NEW: access to ALL additional release aircraft (six total if we get the Me.262)

 

We'll lock down the old rewards of the same level. Anyone who's already in those OLD rewards tiers, i.e. those who backed the project on the promise of three flyable aircraft, WILL receive the three previously promised planes on release.

 

5. Any other reason you think people are not backing this project? What can we do?

 

I'm especially interested in hearing your opinion if you have not yet backed this project.

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Re: question 1. Enlist Glowing AAMRAAM.

 

1+ Luthier you already know what this community is willing and able to do for this project, so if you want to publish a video with a "WOW" effect contact a skilled video maker.Mysticpuma has already done some exceptional videos for DCS WW2 and offered his help to you directly.Make sure to keep this high on your priority list for this project all the way through the development stages, release and post release.You are good at what you are experienced in, let the task you are not experienced in to those who are and are willing to do it.:thumbup:

Edited by Royraiden

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My take: Only backers $40 and up will get all 3 initial release planes (Bf.109, Spitfire, P-47) for free, intermediate stretch goal (t.b.d.) at $125k to boot the KickStarter and make $150k possible.

Not sure if killer videos will help at this point and honestly, I think MysticPuma and CharlyOwl already did an outstanding job voluntarily.

Edited by Hans-Joachim Marseille
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I will think about this, maybe be able to come up with something on the ideas you posted...not for nothing, but if all the existing backers would up there pledge an additional (just under $20,- bucks), then the first stretch would be met...no need of them to re-pledge, and they would keep their rewards, they need only edit the dollar amount in the manage page...I'll be the first, it's really just 1/2 of one aircraft cost :smartass:

Edited by GT 5.0
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***I think a promo movie on the development and engineering marvel that Schwalbe was would be good.

 

***I also think the Paypal option is a great idea,

 

***Not many will buy something if your giving it away for free;)

 

1-Me-262A-test-pilot-Hans-Fay-defected-WNr-111711-Rhein-Main-Frankfurt-Mar-31-1945-01.jpg

I'm already in for $110.00.Best of Luck!

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Luthier, my honest answer - as someone still undecided how much I can justify pledging on a very limited budget - has to be that making wholesale changes at this late stage doesn't really inspire confidence. If the 'three free planes' proposal isn't financially viable, then clearly it will have to go - but I can't see how doing this would result in increased Kickstarter funding.

Edited by AndyJWest
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IMO, do the Paypal, and I mean, now, not tonight, not on Monday, but now. You can't lose anything by doing it but waiting can still cost you.

 

I have been in @ $250 for a while now, fwiw.

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I'm a huge DCS and WWII sim fan. I own every DCS module, but I haven't pledged yet.

 

Why? Because of the "free" thing. Money is tight, and I can't afford to pay for others to have free content. I'll feel bad and a traitor for it, but it's the most logical thing to do given the choice to have it for free.

But I will gladly pay for any additional content you can offer after the initial release.

 

So my suggestion would be to make the free content limited, but as good as possible. So quality not quantity. That will be the best marketing campaign you can imagine.

 

Then after the initial release, use the content you have, and use the skilled video makers that this forum can offer and make a killer trailer for "what could be". And I mean let these guys do their magic. With radio comms, voice overs and what not. Make it a small blockbuster.

 

I mean, you sold one million copies of Il-2, you gotta know there are more than 1600 simmers out there. If you make 3 DCS level WWII planes, and tie it up into a playable WWII map, you are set!

 

After that, you say jump! We ask how high?

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Well at least after honoring the backers that were promised the 3 initial flyables, I think it is a great idea to indeed just offer one flyable afterwards.3 planes is just too much, specially for a highly detailed and labor intensive models like the ones on DCS.So after the kickstarter ends you can start re structuring the offers at release, make a poll and let the audience pick the aircraft they believe should be free with DCS WW2 and put a reasonable price on the other two.

 

I suggest that the free flyable should be the Thunderbolt.That way the fighter jockeys who want to get their hands on the Spit or 109 will need to reach their pocket and give you some cash.Again this change needs to be after the Kickstarter ends just to avoid a chaotic confusion which could hurt the project.

Edited by Royraiden

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Wait, that's a possibility? Within kickstarter rules?

 

That would be a no brainer then, I would be forced to pledge immediately.

 

Maybe I didnt explain my thoughts clearly,promising 3 aircraft to backers and then only giving them one is NOT what I meant.Im talking about the final product offerings for the general public ie. those who didnt pledge during the Kickstarter.

Edited by Royraiden

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Wait, that's a possibility? Within kickstarter rules?

 

That would be a no brainer then, I would be forced to pledge immediately.

 

From the Kickstarter guidelines it seems entirely possible to change the goals of a project during a campaign. You can't change the rewards once you have some pledges for them, but reversing on the promise to deliver a free game and airplanes could be entirely changed. I think it would be a not only smart, but vital move for the project.

 

MAC

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Yeah, so backers get 3 for free. Anybody downloading the final release gets 1. Better yet, make that free one with some limitations.

 

That would make me, and a lot of others, pledge immediately!

 

The only ones that would get mad about that, are the ones that have no interest in paying ever. I'm sure it wouldn't bother a single supporter.

Edited by hegykc
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OK, if Paypal is not to costy/complex to add that obviously is something many have been talking about... But I would definitely go the path of having only free one plane in the initial release! I would have liked to have a Harvard (usable for realistic training missions) or a C-47 (actually important for the D-Day setting - and it could be sold for $39 or so in DCS world as a DC-3 to drag some old FSX guys that way).

 

But - as you have the plane set ready I'd say have the P-47 as free then... Why? It's cool looking but "from the man on the street" it would not be choice number one, and who would not like to have a Spitfire after a while... And a 109 to match it? I guess some people would be content with just the Spitfire and the 109 and even skip the P-47. So have that one as free and the "ladder" in rewards you proposed sounds good!

 

And regarding upsetting the fence sitters that wait to get 3 planes for free I guess they understand that it was too generous anyway?

 

Good luck! /mazex

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Yeah, so backers get 3 for free. Anybody downloading the final release gets 1. Better yet, make that free one with some limitations.

 

That would make me, and a lot of others, pledge immediately!

 

Im pretty sure it was a mistake, but when you have people giving you their money while being promised they will get something and then you give them less than promised, that would be a low blow and could hurt the reputation of the team.Now as I said, after the kickstarter, if there is another crowd funding or simply the final product offering we cant have 3 flyables for free.

Edited by Royraiden

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I dont think thats a good idea.Im pretty sure it was a mistake, but when you have people giving you their money while being promised they will get something and then you give them less than promised, that would be a low blow and could hurt the reputation of the team.Now as I said, after the kickstarter, if there is another crowd funding or simply the final product offering we cant have 3 flyables for free.

 

 

and is a strong incentive for those still on the fence, to grab the planes within the 5 remaining days

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Luthier, my honest answer - as someone still undecided how much I can justify pledging on a very limited budget - has to be that making wholesale changes at this late stage doesn't really inspire confidence. If the 'three free planes' proposal isn't financially viable, then clearly it will have to go - but I can't see how doing this would result in increased Kickstarter funding.

 

I tend to agree.

 

As it stands I see several obstacles, most of which are pretty much insurmountable at this stage:

 

1. There have been a few high profile Kickstarter debacles in the news recently which may have shaken people's confidence in this whole business model:

 

 

2. Many people in the community still feel burnt by the Cliffs of Dover experience. The rights, wrongs and details of what actually occurred are unimportant compared to people's individual perceptions of what happened. Some people (like myself) are willing to give you another shot. Many others are not. This may be unfair and frustrating, but it's an unavoidable truth.

 

3. Many people that are on the fence (especially those that are distrustful after the issues around Cliffs of Dover) aren't going to commit until they see something tangible that they can buy into. As it stands, you have little more than words and good intentions to offer. This isn't going to be enough to move those that are sitting on the fence.

 

4. The frequent changes of focus (first you were going for a brand new audience, then you shifted to the hardcore), the increasingly complex/confusing pledge rewards, the indecisiveness over stretch goals, the rather amateurish videos and the general lack of communication with the community make the whole endeavour seem rather unprofessional and poorly thought out.

 

I don't mean any of this to sound nasty or personal (I really, really don't), but it's very pertinent to the issue at hand. Whatever the rights and wrongs of it, there are concerns around your ability to deliver what you promise and the execution of the Kickstarter to date has arguably done more to reinforce those worries than address them.

 

I don't see these "trust issues" as something that can easily be addressed in the near future. Your best bet from my perspective is to focus on "right sizing" the project and then executing on it to a very high degree of quality. If you can do this in addition to having a coherent, workable long term financial strategy, you'll begin to win the doubters back and make money in the process.

 

I would absolutely start by giving just ONE free aircraft with the initial launch of DCS: WII. You're looking to entice people into your world, not give the whole thing away for free.

 

Regardless - best of luck with the endeavour. I really hope you can make it work in terms of both quality and revenue. :thumbup:

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and is a strong incentive for those still on the fence, to grab the planes within the 5 remaining days

 

Of course it would, my main concern is that even if explained properly and in depth a lot of backers will simply start complaining thinking that they wouldnt get the promised 3 flyables.So I keep suggesting that we let the project be as it is and start restructuring right after it closes and the money is secure.

Edited by Royraiden

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Im pretty sure it was a mistake, but when you have people giving you their money while being promised they will get something and then you give them less than promised, that would be a low blow and could hurt the reputation of the team.Now as I said, after the kickstarter, if there is another crowd funding or simply the final product offering we cant have 3 flyables for free.

 

No promises would be broken to people that gave money. They get their 3 planes for "free", of for their pledge.

 

The only promise broken would be to anyone that hasn't pledged.

 

I'm pretty sure these modules make more than 200.000$ revenue in the first year. And WWII ones would do much better. So with 3 free ones, you're basically giving away a cool million of development money.

Edited by hegykc
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No promises would be broken to people that gave money. They get their 3 planes for "free", of for their pledge.

 

The only promise broken would be to anyone that hasn't pledged.

 

Yes, once someone make a pledge, it is now a legal contract. llya would not be able to change that, and I'm sure he would'nt even think of such a thing

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1) About killer video.

It's a great idea. There might already be some available (wink, wink). You can use mine if you want. If you can come up with something better on your own, please share! :)

 

2) About new rewards

I think it's too late for that... The possible gain would be too marginal at this point.

 

3) About Taking Paypal

YES! The project can still be funded by continuous support just like Star Citizen did. But, for this endeavour to succeed, you need

 

a) a solid platform, website or forum structure to present the project from. Each section needs to be properly identified so anyone can know where to find the information is (i.e. Pledge, Stretch Goals, the Team, the Aircrafts) Kickstarter platform is currently inappropriate as you need to cross-check everything two or three times to know what you're buying. There was positive feedback on the Non-Official brochure... you can look it up.

 

b) a detailed, CLEAR, and noob-proof pledge system. Do not use the "Everything at 50$ level + bla bla bla". Make a table (once again, Non-Official brochure tables are quite clear) or a graph or something that's concise and to-the-point. Once this is done, submit a draft to us (or the most vocal people in the comment section) and we'll be glad to dissect everything and point out what makes sense, what does not and what is ambiguous. So many questions remain unanswered at this point, and I think the paypal page with a brand new and clear presentation could solve a lot of issues people have and clear the confusion. The point is: make people proofread your stuff before you post it.

 

c) A dedicated person to act as a community manager. Star Citizen had Wingman's Hangar and we always had little updates. Constant interaction with the community and updates about what's going on are key to successful funding. I understand your resources are limited, but if you're to see this project hit greater stretch goals, you need to think about other people than the diehard fans that we are.

 

d) If you want to go that route (and IMHO it's a no-brainer: it IS the way to go if you want to expand your playerbase), make sure that people have to invest a certain minimum amount to get in the game. IMHO, I think that DCS WWII should have 1 free aircraft for the base module (like a Tiger Moth: it's the perfect trainer aircraft, it's fun to fly and it gives a very good overview of what this game is capable of) and people have to pay, I dunno, maybe 15 bucks for each additional plane they want to buy. So, 45 bucks for Spittie, 109, and P-47. Tiger Moth or another trainer aircraft could be free. It's totally reasonable. The goal of this kickstarter is to give some advantages to those who pledged early and gave this project a shot before everyone else ( a bit like the Lifetime Insurances on Star Citizen for early backers). The other players will certainly not mind paying such a small amount for 3 amazing aircrafts in a WWII universe. People spend 70 bucks for a PS3 game they'll be playing for 8 hours. IMHO, 45 bucks for hundreds of hours of fun is a bargain.

 

4) About changes to project features

Your project features are what I have in mind. But the base aircraft must NOT be one of the cool aircrafts. I think you need a trainer aircraft, or an aircraft lots of people know about but don't necessarily think as "ooooh that airplane is so cool!". The Su-25 for DCS World is the perfect example. I've never flown it. Probably never will. But lots of my friends said: "Man... that Su-25 is really detailed. I gave it a shot, hated it, but I know the A-10C is my kind of plane. I'll give the A-10 a shot." The base module is a glorified demo, nothing else.

 

5) About any other reason:

I've recently converted some of my friends to flight sims. The though process is pretty much the same for everyone. Here's an example of why people don't get into flight sims:

 

a) "This DCS game looks fun, I've seen that dude on youtube do some pretty slick stuff. Let's see how I can get into flight sims."

 

b) "Hmm... okay, I need a joystick. I never bought one. Darn, 70 bucks? That's kinda expensive just to play one game..."

 

c) "Oh, people seem to move their head when they're flying. How do they do that? Oh, they use TrackIR... There are also free options, but people say it doesn't always work. Well, let's see the TrackIR. 150 bucks? WHAT? That's insane! And they want 40 bucks for shipping? That's a pretty huge investment "just to play one game"..."

 

d) "Hmm, okay, I'm wondering now... How do I control the rudder? Ohh.... people use rudder pedals. How much? Another 150-200$? Are they insane? Just for ONE game? Really?"

 

e) "Hmm... okay... they have that big manual on how to fly this aircraft. It's a really thick book. Meh... I want to fly, not read 600 pages about how to operate a goddarn plane!"

 

What we need to consider here:

Flight sims need to become more accessible. Hardware is a major issue because it's expensive. There needs to be a "Getting into Flight Simulators for Dummies" video on youtube. I'm planning on doing one eventually for newcomers to flight simulators. I plan on giving "do's and don't's", "what to buy with a limited budget", "what information is relevant", a detailed step-by-step guide on "how to fly", and other useful tips. Basically, the idea is that in order to get into flight sims, you need to understand 3 things:

 

First: Know your aircraft. Know how it works. Know how it breaks. You cannot fly your aircraft if you don't know how to operate it properly. I also plan on doing step-by-step guides eventually.

 

Second: Learn to fly your aircraft. Know how to trim. Know how to manoeuver. Know how to stall, recover from a spin. Know its limits. You cannot fight in an aircraft if you keep fighting against it. You know you're ready to fight when you instinctively know what you need to do in order to make the aircraft go somewhere or do a precise manoeuvre.

 

Third: Learn to fight. There, the principles of energy fighting, spotting, formation flight, and flight manoeuvres are essential to grasp. You can easily learn by looking on youtube or just by flying with other people online. I've learned more about dogfighting in an hour on the ATAG server than a whole month of reading books about fighter aces.

 

The point is: most people give up because getting in flight sims is a long and laborious commitment. Those of have no interest in aviation have no real "incentive" to do the effort of learning. There is no universal "guide" for newcomers to flight sims. I plan on doing one, but it's gonna be a long and laborious project.

 

The solution to this issue is:

 

a) Quick n' Dirty guide to Flight Sims

b) Inspire people by showcasing superb dogfighting videos once game is released.

c) Show people an easy way to acquire the necessary hardware to fly (joystick, pedals, trackIR, etc.).

Edited by Charly_Owl
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I think that the information about the kickstarter project has been too limited to the active flight simming community.

 

While there are still a few people within the community who can be called to the cause, all of the extra videos and information coming out is finding an audience among people who have already pledged.

 

You're basically preaching to the converted! This is why the kickstarter seems saturated. No amount of awesome videos or extra incentives is going to get you the dramatic jump in pledges we would all like to see.

 

There are probably also a great deal of people in the community who have seen or heard a mention of the project, but have brushed it aside with a wait and see approach. In all likelihood they probably aren't even seeking any more information on the project and aren't visiting the relevant forums.

 

My suggestion: Get more publicity! Take the project to the wider gaming community. Wake the nostalgic sentiments of gamers who have since moved on to other genres.

 

Use your big name to send official press releases to the major gaming sites and offer exclusive interviews about the project. Coverage in the main stream gaming media will also give the project credibility by association. Maybe also make it clear how this model, working without a publisher, will ensure that will be much better than the perceived CoD debacle. Keep the language super positive and optimistic and choose your words to instil trust.

 

Get the project seen by millions... Make sure the news of the final days of the kickstarter is seen on the news feeds of phones and tablets!

 

You need to raise the exposure dramatically and ensure a high conversion rate by great quality content (of the news posts) to motivate people to give their full support!

 

Much more exposure coupled with great quality, concise, confident and enticing content is the KEY to making this work.

Edited by Boris

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I tend to agree.

 

As it stands I see several obstacles, most of which are pretty much insurmountable at this stage:

 

...

 

4. The frequent changes of focus (first you were going for a brand new audience, then you shifted to the hardcore), the increasingly complex/confusing pledge rewards, the indecisiveness over stretch goals, the rather amateurish videos and the general lack of communication with the community make the whole endeavour seem rather unprofessional and poorly thought out.

 

I don't mean any of this to sound nasty or personal (I really, really don't), but it's very pertinent to the issue at hand. Whatever the rights and wrongs of it, there are concerns around your ability to deliver what you promise and the execution of the Kickstarter to date has arguably done more to reinforce those worries than address them.

 

I don't see these "trust issues" as something that can easily be addressed in the near future. Your best bet from my perspective is to focus on "right sizing" the project and then executing on it to a very high degree of quality. If you can do this in addition to having a coherent, workable long term financial strategy, you'll begin to win the doubters back and make money in the process.

 

...

 

This!

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