After recently covering Spellbook’s upcoming RPG, Heroes of Dire, lead developer Ozymandias reached out to me to address some of the concerns I had voiced in my article. Before I first started digging into the ambitious project, my editor, Greg Micek had a few choice words to say about the “aggressive stretch goals” and $20,000 goal. I echoed those in my recent coverage, but Spellbook has since been able to quell many of our anxious queries.
Regarding the funding goals, Ozymandias quoted the “Risk and Challenges” Section located at the bottom of the Kickstarter page, “Our past success in online mobile games gave some financial padding, allowing us to self-fund the initial development costs.” In fact, Ozymandias added that roughly 80% of the game has already been funded, and most of the game is already finished and “looking fantastic.” The $20,000 will just add some “polish” to the final project.
I was also wondering why the stretch goals were so much larger than the cost than the initial goal ($200,000 for animated pets, $300,000 for “epic boss raids”). Spellbook realized that the $100,000 they claimed it would cost to make pets was listed incorrectly and they’ve since changed that on the Kickstarter page. Here’s a direct quote from Ozymandias, “It’s supposed to be $25,000 for pets, not $100,000. $25,000 is what we estimate paying our artists for 20 to 25 pets will cost. It’ll get fixed ASAP!”
However, the “epic boss raids” that will be added if the Kickstarter campaign reaches $300,000 is no typo. Ozymandias explained to me that this final stretch goal would require “entirely new maps, new models, new sounds, and new game mechanics, and probably a new developer to support it.” In fact, he adds that $100,000 would be “lowballing it, to be honest.”
The team is prepared to fulfill all their stretch goals at some point in time regardless of whether or not they are funded at the end of the Kickstarter campaign. Those who back Heroes of Dire’s Kickstarter campaign will have those stretch goals implemented into their game once they are completed. With over three weeks left in the campaign, they’ve already raised double what they’re asking for; surpassing their first stretch goal of $44K, “arena gambling, place wagers on who lives and who dies.”
Spellbook does indeed already have a few games under their belt, including a few free-to-play MMOs downloadable on their website: The Infinite Black and Rings of Night to name two. You can peruse their website if you’re interested in playing any of their recent projects.
With Spellbook’s claims that Heroes of Dire is already close to the finished product, hopefully a downloadable demo will be released sometime in the next few weeks. The campaign has still got over three weeks to go, and at the end of it all, they’ve assured me they’ll have “a real product to show, and not an empty promise.”