Van Particle Discusses Dancers of War
Cliqist : So, a dancing combat game huh? That’s different.
Van Partible : Different, ha ha, or different whaaaa…? Either way, yes. Yes it is.
Cliqist : Is Sgt Dancer any relation to Ulala?
Van Partible : I would imagine no, because if someone ever did a fanfic with the two of them, things could get kind of… different whaaaa…?
Cliqist : Going from the world of TV to videogames seems like a jump; one that was popular, but disastrous, in the 90’s. What qualifies you to get into the game space?
Van Partible : I’m qualified to create content like artwork, character, and story. My partner, Scott Eaton, is the one that’s qualified to create awesome gameplay.
Cliqist : What was the inspiration behind Dancers of War?
Van Partible : Inspiration came from tons of places. Captain Eo, K-Pop, Call Of Duty, James Brown, Mr. T, John Cena, Bollywood, you name it, it was probably an inspiration.
Cliqist : This sounds like a game that needs to be played on an Xbox with Kinect. Any possibility of that happening?
Van Partible : That would be amazing! We’re open to everything, but due to how much it actually costs to fund a game, we’re starting on PC.
Cliqist : The campaign has been off to a bit of a sluggish start. Any ideas why? What’s the plan to turn things around?
Van Partible : The biggest challenge is getting people to discover our project amongst all the other chatter going on over the internet. Being new to the video game industry, we’re not necessarily on anybody’s radar so people don’t even know we’re in the game.
We’re also competing against products in various stages, with various amounts of time and money backing them. It could be I am a developer that had a game in development for years and want to finish it. Or it could be like ours, where we have an idea and a rough prototype and need a lot more time and money to finish. Our hope is to find people who love our idea, are interested in the creative process, and want to go on a yearlong interactive journey with us through development and production.
We have a lot more press coming out which means a lot more eyes on our project. We’re hoping that will create a big enough surge for us at the end.
Van Partible : Yes, but not in the traditional sense of showing fully rendered characters in action. We’ll be releasing some more artwork and doing some videos, but since we’re still early in development, we don’t want to show gameplay that isn’t anything less than 100% accurate of what the final product will be. So, rather than put together a semblance of what the gameplay could be, we’re putting together an explanation of the mechanics of the gameplay we hope to create. Like it says on our page, we’re asking our backers to come alongside and create this game with us. We have our pillars, but we want to brainstorm with our clients: our backers.
Cliqist : It seems as though Kickstarter has gone from backers helping someone realize their dream, to people using it as a place to preorder games; and being reluctant to back anything without lots of gameplay. Why do you think that is, and is it fixable?
Van Partible : It’s unfortunate that independent developers need to come to Kickstarter with a lot more finished gameplay and ask the general public for a lot less money. This “race to the bottom” happens throughout the entertainment industry and it completely discourages everyone from taking a risk and underprices anyone who knows how much it actually costs to develop a high quality video game. It seems that developers now need an angel investor in place to cover the additional costs before they even think about coming to Kickstarter. With this thinking, it completely edges out anyone who truly wants to “Kickstart” a game. It also puts the power back in the hands of the money people. If someone has never budgeted an actual video game, dollar for dollar, then they’re not able to foresee the budgetary obstacles that lie ahead in their production. Thus, a lot of backers have been burned by mismanagement of time and money. It’s fixable if people do their homework and under promise and over deliver.
Cliqist : What would you say to someone that’s on the fence about backing Dancers of War?
Van Partible : We think our team has a great idea and have the knowledge and experience to deliver on our pitch. If you liked our pitch, then you’re going to want to join us in our creative process. I’ve been teaching animation production and character design for almost twenty years, so my hope is that the yearlong creation of this game could work as a type of master class in the art of development and production. We also promise to make it as fun and interactive as possible. Plus, where else can you get access to world class animators, game designers, musicians, and dancers all in the same place?
Cliqist : I usually finish interviews by asking people to close us out with a haiku, but you already did that on the Dancers of War Kickstarter page. Care to close us out with a couplet?
Van Partible :
Dancers of War is a game you should play
But let’s fund it first, what do you say?
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