As of this writing the Zeitgeist 1980 kickstarte has 10 hours and $1700 to go, so barring intervention from a flock of angel investors I think it’s safe to say that it isn’t going to meet goal. So.
What comes next?
First off, Z1980 isn’t cancelled. The game’s budget is now going to come from my patreon… far less than what I’d needed for the art and music as I’d envisioned it, so I’m going to have to streamline and focus on what strengths I have left – namely, the prose of the story itself. That’s not to say there won’t be any art or text, just that it’ll be limited to what I can afford to commission.
Accordingly, development is going to shift from Godot to Twine – and it isn’t just because Twine is perhaps a better medium for something that’s largely textual. The key to funding the game is, now, to get people to play it and then hit them up to help support the project. I’ve had two free versions of Zeitgeist 1980 available – one, the original prototype, as a Twine game you could play in your browser. The other, an enhanced and far more impressive godot release that had to be downloaded and installed.
Can you guess which one had more plays?
As I develop Zeitgeist 1980 over the next year – that’s 3 more chapters – I’ll periodically release development versions to my supporters at patreon. I’ll also release them publicly to garner interest – maybe a version behind what my patrons are playing. Once the story and game logic are done I’ll do a final polish – commission art and music with whatever my patreon support budget allows – and if I have enough, port the game back to godot. Most likely, though, the final release will be an extensive Twine game.
Patreon exclusive traits
I’m also going to be including character options that are exclusive to my supporters… something off the wall like “psychic powers” or “an alien sidekick” that’ll give new options without requiring a full rewrite of the game. There’s a poll over at my patreon to help me decide what to implement.
Unfortunately without much of a budget I’m going to have to make up the difference with sweat equity, and that means ending some of the side-projects I don’t have a lot of time for anymore. This includes:
- The Indie Gaiden game review podcast
- Blown Cartridges gaming videos
- Matter of Import retrogame reviews
- A few other projects I hadn’t even gotten around to announcing
I will be able to continue with:
- The Baby Got Back Issues silver age Marvel Comics podcast
- The Video Game History video series
- Finishing up the Lighter than Aether and Network Protocol novels
- Smaller Godot and Unity game dev projects
So that’s it. That’s where we go from here. Sign up for my patreon if you want to help me fund Zeitgeist 1980.