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  • Joshua Wise

September Studio Update

Hello again, welcome to the September Studio Update. Last month we experienced the completion of our IndieGoGo campaign and all that went into it.

If we look at our goal on the IndieGoGo page only, you could say it failed. But we launched on IndieGoGo for a reason. They run Flexible funding campaigns. It wasn't that we didn't think we could make the full 10k, but averages for VNs and games as a whole, don't always get very high. There's quite a few reasons for that.

Having a talk with Muse on the conclusion of our campaign, confirmed a lot of that. We're nobodies right now. There isn't many who are willing to back nobodies. If you think about a lot of other indie developers, they are in a similar boat when they go for crowd funding. Some do better, many do worse.

To raise even the amount we did, was actually really good. I'm very happy and grateful for everyone who backed. We're going to stretch that as far as we can. As I've stated since the beginning, anything we raised was going to help get Dust and Air off the ground. $10k would be great, but $2.5k...hey, that isn't going to be wasted.

We're already benefiting from just getting the project some attention. Not only have we connected better with some others in the industry, we've also brought in more talent. These are the factors which will be more visible as we finish up 2017 and press on into 2018.

However, what people didn't see, was what was going on behind the scenes of the campaign. This was actually the area we got a rude awakening in.

Up until the final days, we were busy doing whatever we could to get the word out.

While a lot of people may think that isn't so hard. Reality is, it's extremely difficult. Many places are closed off and getting media attention is even worse. Unless you become a viral hit, no one wants to give you the time of day. We worked hard to get the alpha demo out, it's just very debatable if that really did us much good as it was always an uphill battle to just get any press. Demo or no demo...

Muse was fantastic. We really can't thank them enough for letting us kind of invade their fireside shows for a month. But even among the GOIO community, there's just a lot that really don't get involved in the community outside of the game. Which we know, as veterans of that game ourselves, is an age old problem.

It's a game that requires teamwork and generally talking to each other, in a generation which seems to want the opposite.

Then there's the other problem of: people want to know, but they don't want you to tell them about it. Usually because other companies abuse it by spamming with ads.

The places you do get allowed to advertise, are the ones which attract some of the most critical people you'd ever meet. If you were to suggest the most amazing idea imaginable, those places would always have at least one person who would go out of their way to be so toxic to trash it, just because it's amazing. You don't quite expect having to deal with trolls in the early stages of a campaign like this. But such is the gaming industry these days. It's a widespread problem that even the big names have to deal with.

In the end, we actually found better options to get noticed, after the campaign ended. When some people found us and showed us some things that we didn't know existed. Funny how that happens. But moving on Dust and Air shifted more to the writing side for editing and general story improvements, as the art department has been working on designs for the ship decals for the campaign. We aren't just going to be slapping Abby or Gwyn's face on a balloon and calling it a day. We're looking to give our backers a proper set of decals that fit the aesthetics of Guns of Icarus. However, concepting has been increased greatly since Faith has rejoined the team. Unfortunately I can't share all of them or I'd spoil too much, but the concepts will be saving us a lot of time as we move forward. Here are some of the ones Faith showcased on the Muse firesides:

But what she didn't really go into that much, was who these two characters are. These are two of the villains from Calle's arc.

Unfortunately you haven't really met Calle within the story yet, as she does not appear in the alpha demo. However there is a bit of information that we've released on Calle.

Her story deals a bit more with pirates and criminals. We chose to showcase her villains to set us apart from being a mere "dating sim".

These two are referred to as the "Demon Sisters" in the story. These are the characters which would give a grown man nightmares if he managed to meet them in a dark alley and happened to survive. Granted they don't look that way yet, but they will be.

Expect them to become much darker and sinister with time as their models improve. Faith generally doesn't do characters like this so it was a challenge for her. But we think she did exceptionally to bring the characters out of the shadows of our lore.

As we closed with a Calle concept last month, we will come back full circle. Now to show you the rest of the concept.

Georgy captures her personality perfectly within this image.

Her world is brutal and full of life or death encounters, yet she faces them head on.

She's our badass, and we look forward to you getting the chance to meet her in the coming months as we get the rest of the Neutral Arc rolled out.

That said, as I close, looking ahead to October, we'll be getting the physical items for the GoGo campaign coming in. Ryan will be in charge of them and he'll be posting some pictures.

I'll be looking to shoot a few more nail can episodes as I wrap up the series on the world of GOIO and each faction's lore. While I can't say they are perfectly accurate, it is generally what we knew of the GOIO lore back when this project began.

The end of the year is coming up fast, there is lots to do and even more to plan. I'm sure that can be said for just about everyone.

But please don't forget, take a moment and remember the families of the victims in that Vegas massacre. Pray for them. They'll need it.

Alright, signing off! See you in the skies!!

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