Borokai Studio, the Spanish developer of the visual novel Omega Pattern, have turned to Kickstarter for the second act’s development, and they’re aiming rather high with their intended funding goal.
Set to end March 22, the campaign hopes to raise $40,595 toward the development of the series’ second and final installment. Among the incentives offered to backers are free steam keys to the series’ first part as well as the potential to create their own minor character to be featured in the game.
That said, backer support is off to a slow start with only $123 pledged, and one can’t blame people for being hesitant. A funding goal of more than $40,000 is a steep asking price for any project, and one wouldn’t expect the continuation of a visual novel to be so time consuming or costly.
And yet, there are several factors going into the game’s creation which are valid, and costly, aspects of development in non-English speaking countries, making the current funding goal seem insufficient.
Cost In Translation
Of the costs the developer breaks down on their campaign page, one of the biggest is that of writing and translation, and for good reason: Borokai aims to create multiple branching paths within the story, diverging toward different endings based on every choice the player makes. This is in addition to their goal of creating three distinct sets of character arcs based on the origin the player chooses for their character, totaling to several dozen hours of dialogue.
While certainly an ambitious and interesting idea, it comes at quite the cost. Past the time and pay needed by the game’s writers, the entirety of the script will need to be translated from Spanish to English for the game’s release on Steam, necessitating the hiring of a translator which, by the developer’s own words, should provide a professional translation.
This can be incredibly pricey; as a frame of reference, the average cost of translation among professionals in the U.S. tends to sit around $0.10 per word, with work speed averaging about 250 words translated per hour and 2,000 words translated per day, totaling $200 per day paid for translation.
For what Borokai intends to create, their translator would have to translate several hundred thousand words from Spanish to English, meaning their intended budget is a low ball estimate at best. Should the script be a detailed and branching as they want it to be, they could find themselves dishing out well over $20,000 for the sum of the translator’s work.
The end result is a budget that, while already high, would actually have to be even higher to successfully fund their project. As it stands, the cost of translation would lessen or even prevent funds from going to other vital aspects of the game like art and music, preventing the project from being what the developers want to create and what would satisfy donors.
From Bust To Boom
So does this mean the developer’s attempts at crowd funding are in vain? Not exactly; the campaign’s existence can still make the title more visible, potentially drawing in more fans who could buy the first installment of the series. By spring boarding off of this with a bit more marketing, they could then find the support they’d need to reach a proper funding goal with a new Kickstarter.
Even if this campaign might not be worth backing, there’s still potential for Omega Pattern to succeed in the future. Here’s hoping the developers are willing to dust themselves off and try again.
For more on Kickstarter games, check out our take on the recent delay of System Shock 2 Remastered.