My little entrepreneurial/crowdfunding testimony
My name is Johan Vinet. I've been working on my game LUNARK for a year in most of my spare time, determined to bring it to completion (I was then working full-time in an indie game company here in Montréal for 4 years, and contributed in many titles such as Flinthook, Shovel Knight Showdown, Mercenary Kings Reloaded, Rivals of Aether, etc...). Married, father of 2 adorable girls, I had to find a better work/life balance.
My wife and I decided I should take the leap. I quit my job in September and founded CANARI GAMES Inc. I had been freelance 8 years in the past so I wasn't that scared. But still.
With few savings but a good network of people around my project, I decided to go the crowdfunding way (Luckily, I gathered 25K+ followers on Twitter during the years. I would never have done this otherwise).
Lunark's KS trailer
I planned on launching the campaign for late October, but between setting up my company (branding, paperwork, websites, ...) and the preparation of the Kickstarter itself (especially the trailer above), I was one month late.
December is known as a poor period for crowdfunding (something that has been confirmed to me by a Kickstarter employee), I had to make the tough call of delaying the campaign until late January, despite the financial implications and the timetable we planned with my wife.
LUNARK is a tribute to Flashback and Prince of Persia, I use the rotoscoping technique as well.
Finally, I launched the Kickstarter last week (January 22), and the response has been fan-ta-stic with more than 20% funded in less than 24 hours!
Since then, I spend my days spreading the news everywhere, answering questions, e-mails, and thanking my amazing contributors and supporters. I got press coverage, interviews, was fortunate enough to be able to present my project at a major indie-gaming event in Montreal. I'm doing everything I can given my resources.
LUNARK at Montréal's IndieGaming yearly event: DemoNight
I was expecting 3 possible outcomes:
Heavy failure: You immediately see that the numbers do not align and you stop your campaign early.
The Marathon: Everything is possible, but nothing is won. You can reach your goal but for that, you'll have to work hard until the very end.
Rapid success: Your project is funded after a few hours or a few days. You have the pleasure of announcing some stretch goals. These are the 30 best days of your life.
Well, thanks to the banner, you guessed it, I'm in the Marathon scenario and I'm hanging in there all the way!
It's hard, especially when you're on your own. But I'm not here to whine, I'm here to share.
I've invested too much and witnessed too much optimism around this project to imagine not succeeding. Almost every game is aimed at a specific audience, it's "just" a matter of reaching them.
"Oh wait I forgot this translation and... oh wait why is the gif not displaying anymo... oh wait I forgot to send that e-mai... oh wait I... "
We're now at 41% at day 12 (1142 backers) and should reach 50% at day 16 (around 300 new backers). Backerkit is still on our side, projecting 104% funding.
Backerkit, the most reliable projections?
Why this article? I've always been into sharing knowledge and experience. And who knows, maybe this can help to spread the word about my project. Kickstarting that game means Kickstarting my company too.
Thank you for reading, thanks to my family, my friends, and the backers for the incredible support. I'll keep you posted. Wish me luck!
You can support, back, or spread the news about my game LUNARK. It's an old-school cinematic platformer (for PC/Mac and hopefully more) in the vein of Prince of Persia and Flashback.