[dropcap size=big]W[/dropcap]ell, it was bound to happen eventually. The Kickstarter campaign for the fantasy RPG Mooncrest has been canceled by the developers. Based on what I saw of the pitch I was certain it would fail. Not because I like seeing projects flounder. Far from it. I actually was hoping it would do better than the 11% in a week. But, there was a lot of issues with it that sent up more than a few red flags. Intentional or not it was a campaign that was doomed from the start. And being the analytical sort I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at what went wrong and what they could do in the future should they return to crowdfunding.
Let’s start with the pink elephant in the room. I wasn’t the only one that thought the video lacked what was needed to grab the potential backers’ attention. As I mentioned, it’s usually the first (and sometimes only) thing that people see and the first 30 seconds are crucial to get them hooked. Unfortunately, it did little to garner any sort of interest. In fact, Mooncrest itself wasn’t even mentioned. Which is a big no-no if you want your project to succeed. Reiterate some of what’s in the text and then you can go silly. Not everyone reads the entire text like I do.
The text itself wasn’t horrible, and there were some very interesting bits that I liked, but the lack of any screenshots or better/more concept art hurt tremendously. Also, the reliance on the Bioware name can be a turnoff. Not necessarily but to rely on the name can be considered a problem. Especially when they mentioned that between the four team members they only had 20 years of combined experience. That’s really not a lot.
Here’s the thing. The developers tried to rectify their mistakes early on by at least addressing peoples’ concerns. Although, in my opinion it was still too little too late. The first update did show (admittedly very little) in-engine work. Not enough to satisfy some backers, though. And the second update talked about their problems with the campaign in a FAQ. Including what was up with the weird video. Which was subsequently taken down. Personally, I think a poor video is still better than no video at all, but that’s me. Anyway, at least these issues with Mooncrest were addressed, and early on, unlike most campaigns that just shrug it off and do whatever they want. That does give some points in my book.
The update that announced the cancellation a week into the campaign also went on to say that they are learning from their mistakes and decided to put Mooncrest on hold for now while they regroup and make out a new plan of attack. Which includes having more assets to show off and a much better prepared video. Which I think can only help it in the second attempt. They do eventually plan on returning to Kickstarter once they’re ready. And, if anyone on the team is reading this, I’d be more than willing to lend my expertise to help streamline the next pitch.
I really do believe that Mooncrest can be a success if they do things right. And who knows? I might be tempted to back it next time. I am a sucker for paladins, after all.