In case you don’t remember, last week we went over a few potential problems that Sylvio 2 was facing in getting successfully funded. Like most Kickstarter submissions, there were hopes that the last few hours would boost the project into funded territory, but this was sadly not the case – with the campaign now sitting kr46,081 short of its kr130,000 goal.
Is this the end for Sylvio 2 though? Not in the long run, as explained by the game’s developer in a recent post-mortem.
While Niklas Swanberg acknowledged issues surrounding his project’s misleading currency and the already low popularity of the original Sylvio, he also touched on the fact that launching a Kickstarter project during Christmas period might not be the best idea, specifically talking about his reliance on YouTube users to introduce the game to new audiences and how the holidays are generally slower periods for video content of this nature. While this is certainly true, I would also say that there is the aspect of people pouring money into various things during the holidays (including games), which simply leaves Kickstarter projects at a slight disadvantage as a whole.
Still, Swanberg seems to believe that the biggest issue lies in the not-so-strong following of the original Sylvio, even acknowledging how a lot of concepts that were originally meant to be implemented in the game became aspects inherent to the sequel. Saying how the last few months were mostly spent in fixing bugs and finishing off areas is a tale characteristic to pretty much every game in development, and doing that while promoting content and reaching out to various outlets can be an incredibly daunting process.
With that being said, perhaps the biggest piece of news here is the developer shifting his entire focus on the original Sylvio, doing so by starting work on a remastered version featuring full controller support, updated graphics and general tweaks. Best part – this will be free for whoever purchased the game. When it comes to Sylvio 2 though, the project seems to currently be on hold, with the developer hoping to jump back on it at some time during 2016 (probably after the release of the remastered edition).
I also think this is the right decision to make in this specific case, as in theory such a fresh release should act as a nice stepping stone for exposing Sylvio 2. In the end of the day we are talking about a sequel, and what is better promotion than a newly released, fleshed out version of the previous installment?
One thing’s for sure though – sequels can be really tough to make, especially if not based on a strong existing following. I also want to end this on a positive note, as all of this reminded me of a recent GDC talk by Sarah Northway (developer of the successfully funded Rebuild 3) in which she specifically focuses on Kickstarter being one of the best places for funding indie sequels. And with her mentioning Early Access as another useful tool for delivering follow-ups on such existing games, what if such a route can be implemented into Sylvio 2’s roadmap at some point in the future?
Who knows, I say. If you’re a fan of Sylvio you can support Niklas Swanberg on his recently launched Patreon.