Stop me if you’ve heard this before: a Kickstarter campaign raises a bunch of money, they do a good job releasing updates, then go silent for a year or so before mysteriously coming back and announcing a slew of changes. If you said something to the effect of “Steel Assault did that too,” then good job!
Artizens was originally pitched as a 2D action side-scroller way back in 2013, with unique customization elements. You can change the look of your character, yes, but more importantly you can create your own gear, including drawing and designing stuff from your own imagination.
Artizens Inc, the team behind Artizens, announced a series of changes this weekend. The update came after five months of silence, odd considering the developers history of frequently releasing updates. The post starts with an immediate bombshell.
“Over the past few months, we’ve come to realize that this project can’t be done well or quickly by a team of three part-timers. However, we believe we have accomplished enough to make a convincing pitch to publishers. A publisher can help us with development funding, marketing, distribution, and potentially a lot more, so our main effort now is going to be in finding a great partner.”
Starting your post by saying you don’t think your team can make a good game after raising $50k and not giving any updates for five months is worrying, to say the least. They have the right to look for a publisher of course, it is called Kickstarter after all. But the wording on the whole opening paragraph doesn’t come across as very professional, nor does it exactly inspire confidence.
The update quickly changes subjects to another bombshell, an overhaul of the game.
“During this process, we’re also working on changes to the design, art, and story based on what we’ve learned since the start of development, and we want to share those with you now.”
The post goes on to list changes and an expansion to the story of the game, as well as some new art. Not much was said about the story of Artizens when the Kickstarter first launched, so it’s good to get a few new details. However, the post only shows some new concept art, not any in-game changes.
It’s understandable that the team decided to go radio silent while they worked on these new changes. However, Artizens Inc. didn’t go about this in the best way. Perhaps a better approach would have been to announce changes were on the way, then go silent, then show off the changes when they were ready.
As the update is currently written, backers now have more to be worried about than ever. Will the team find a publisher? What happens if they don’t find a publisher, since they admitted to not being able to finish it themselves? What does the new art style look in-game? Can I get a refund if I don’t like the new style, or the idea of a publisher? I’ve reached out to the team for clarification, and will update this post with any news.