Dan Fitzgerald and Lisa Bromiel are the latest indie developers to try their hand at crowdfunding, having launched their Kickstarter campaign for Dog Sled Saga a few days ago. We covered the game previously, and took a great deal of interest in the game’s approach to the under-represented sport of dog-sledding. Evidently, this interest has been echoed by the wider public too; at the time of writing Dog Sled Saga stands at $4,149, with 25 days to go. If the positive trend continues, this should be more than ample time for the campaign to hit its $6,000 goal. As well as this, Dan and Lisa’s campaign has been featured on the Kickstarter “Staff Picks” list, which gives a great deal of exposure and is a boon to anyone hoping for Kickstarter success. A very impressive start for the pair.
The reason for this is immediately apparent. The campaign is very well constructed, the funding tiers are sensible and appealing, and the description is also enticing. Dan and Lisa clearly have a strong understanding of what key words make gamers excited enough to open their wallets: Spelunky, FTL, The Binding of Isaac, Pokemon, and XCOM are all games to which the Kickstarter description relates Dog Sled Saga, all of which are also synonymous for their quality and have large cult followings. Furthermore, pixel art is something which remains immensely popular among nostalgic gamers, so Lisa’s lovely sprite art is also a great way to make a positive impression.
Where many indie developers fail, Dan and Lisa have succeeded in offering compelling rewards for higher backers. For many indie game crowdfunding campaigns, the rewards are some cheaply branded knick-knacks that nobody really wants, and don’t look worth the investment. Here, for a reasonable $25 you can get a cross-platform copy of the game, the soundtrack, beta access, the opportunity to name an in-game dog or an NPC human, a brochure with a map of Mount St. Something National Park, and a set of 5 postcards featuring some of the game’s locations rendered in pixel art. This feels like a generous package for your $25, as if you are being rewarded for being an early investor rather than just doing the developer a favor.
However, of all the rewards on offer I think it’s the t-shirt that truly encapsulates the extra care and attention that Dan and Lisa have put into this. It’s really subtle and nicely designed, like the best videogame t-shirts are, and avoids treading the lazy path of just emblazoning the game’s logo on the front. I want one.
For a greater gameplay focus, please read my previous article in which I detail and discuss the mechanics of Dog Sled Saga, or head to the Kickstarter page to check it out for yourself. A cross-platform copy of the game is a mere $5, so what are you waiting for?