Welcome to the third part of our “making of” dedicated to the origins of Galactic Princess. You can find the first part here, and the second here.
At the end of 2013, Chmyke announced that a crowdfunding campaign would be organized in early 2014 on Kickstarter. "Kickstarter is convenient, because it helps fund the game before its release," says Chmyke. "And it especially allows us to have a community and see whether the project has a public interest. The project is ambitious enough, and I did not necessarily want to get into something too ambitious without being sure it can really get people interested. In fact, with Kickstarter, it was more than just making money. It was primarily to validate the concept with people. And to say it may please, it's worth it to invest (very) many hours of work in this project. This is an interesting tool. And it motivates tremendously." At the time, crowdfunding was still idealized. Many games, which would never have been funded by major publishers, were given the necessary financial resources. The delays had not yet accrued or the cancellations (or worse, scams). Devotees generally had confidence. However, it was difficult for a studio outside the US territory, to leverage the benefits of Kickstarter. "At the time, the French had no official access to Kickstarter," says Chmyke. "It was therefore necessary to create a company in England, a branch of Cecly with a bank account. Beware, there is nothing illegal! Moreover, we must also pay bills in England. We use a specific service that handles it all. We could also do it in the US, but it was much more expensive. It was just a corporate domicile in England. We are already a multinational! (Laughs)" In recent weeks, this tedious process is no longer necessary, since the French developers finally have official access to Kickstarter in France.
You may be wondering why we wanted to reach the sum of 20,000 pounds - if this amount seems large, it looks ridiculous compared to the amounts usually needed for the development of a video game. "Basically, we wanted to make the game by two people," says Chmyke. "I asked for a little help from a friend, but he liked it so much that he became my partner in this project. So, we said we still had some money to work as a pair for two years. The problem was that the necessary sum was far too important! So I set the first level of Kickstarter with the aim that at least I alone, can do the game. In the worst case. My partner eventually left the project before the Kickstarter campaign and the landing was sufficient to finance a big year of developing solo, and the work of our musicians (discussed soon). So the idea was to cover the costs of future development." Finally, between February 14th and March 16th 2014, the crowdfunding campaign garnered no less than 34,180 pounds (170% funded), from 2108 backers. A sum sufficient for the needs of Chmyke. "I can not say I'm disappointed, although less ambitious projects, but with better communication, did better out of Kickstarter". Galactic Princess was, however, one of the few projects from France that successfully funded their Kickstarter campaign (until the official arrival in France). This proved to us that the concept appealed to a sufficient number of players, as we expected.
Paradoxically, the amount collected, which is just enough to cover the costs of developing solo for nearly two years, had unsuspected benefits. "Honestly, though some stretch goals weren't achieved, such as the multiplayer: OK, I would have had a lot of money to develop the game, and I could surround myself with a very competent team," says Chmyke, who prefers to see the bright side (Always look to the bright side of the life, like Eric Idle said) : "But our current setup has advantages: I'm all alone, I am the master of the project, the master of the game. It's something I enjoy.. I do not have to scatter myself around to manage a team, each member would have a slightly different view of the game. Of course, one would be on the random generation, the other on the build system, etc. But in fact, all these systems are linked. For example, it is necessary that asteroids don’t enter your ship when you create it, etc. So, taking hold of all, I really have control of my vision." While the author of this update, Captain Pierre, spends his time saying "what if we did this?", Chmyke has total control of his project. "While it's true that sometimes I am a little confused!", cautions chmyke. "It's one of the disadvantages. You get lost in your own ideas."
When the crowdfunding campaign was launched, Chmyke was soon to discover that his project was well received by the gaming community. In the space of just a few dozen hours, Galactic Princess got the green light on Steam Greenlight (which offers a place in the Steam store). The next day, the original goal of the Kickstarter campaign was reached. "I was sleeping when the game was funded", recalls Chmyke. "I found this pleasant surprise when I woke up". (Because of the time difference, the North American fans participated in the French night). "Later, I was not able to watch the increasing amount; even if the stakes were high, it was becoming too unhealthy. It was too stressful. In addition, we spend all our time watching the progress curve, and therefore we do not work! And I received a lot of emails; it was quite difficult to answer everyone, and to move things along, the updates ... I had to neglect some people, etc. It was not easy."
Images : Steam Greenlight for Galactic Princess : Views and Votes over time / Cumulative 'yes' votes (per day)
So it was with undisguised joy that Chmyke could then focus on the development of the game, far from the media noise. In this regard, it was in November 2014 that Captain Pierre (it’s me !) (Mario !), freelance writer by day, contacted him to help develop the universe and the story of the game. We have launched this new website last spring. Don’t hesitate to visit us on our forums, where we will be happy to answer. Between two pulverizings of SpaceBugs.
The Galactic Princess team
Thank to our cosmic proofreader, L. Moor !