Starfish Storytime #2 - Bodacious Buffalos

Developing games has been my dream since I was 10 years. However, as a kid and teenager, I was unrealistically optimistic about having a career as a game developer in South Africa. Things are changing, but even now, being able to financially support oneself and work on a game full time is very difficult to achieve. Enter crowdfunding, the solution to everything! Well not really, but it's a great way to stay in control of your vision and IP and build a community around the game before it's even released.

I started a crowdfunding campaign for Codex Knights but, to be completely honest, it hasn't raised any money in 25 days. This is mostly my fault as I find building games a lot more fun than marketing games. I'm doing marketing things now that I wish I had thought of a month ago. But game development and marketing is like life, you learn from your mistakes and you do a better job the next time. Well that's what we should do, but that's always easier said than done. I've learnt that a cool idea or visuals alone are not enough to get people interested in your game. You have to convince players why they should invest their hard earned money and free time in your game.

Here's the other thing, I really hate asking for money. I feel bad about it and I'm stubbornly independent. But making a game for people but then not letting anyone play it or have a chance to support it is super dumb and it defeats the point. In this case, I can't possibly fund the development on my own (I have tried and failed). This game is overly ambitious and it requires my full time attention. Also, the Codex Knights project is bigger than just a game. We want to empower young/amateur African authors to write stories from their perspective, the kind of stories that probably wouldn't get published otherwise. We'll publish and sell those stories as e-books (with the authors taking a majority cut of the sales from each book), market them and also adapt the stories into the game as a story world. We also aim to encourage kids and youth to read and discover. In this age of fake news and misinformation, it's important to encourage the youth (and everyone) to investigate and find things out for themselves instead of just believing everything they hear.

I really want to bring this crazy ambitious thing to fruition but I absolutely can't do it without your support and honestly, I don't want to. I want as many people as possible to play the game, give feedback and be actively involved in the development (voting on features, providing input and actively testing the game). I don't know what the best version of this game looks like but who better to mould that than the very people who would want to play it?

To make it  more tempting, we're running a crazy special on the crowdfunding campaign. For just $2 (a 97% discount), you will get the full game, all DLC to be released and access to all alpha and beta builds. That's less than the price of a coffee. See the Facebook embed above for more info.

You are the best,

Matt The Starfish

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