Marketing

#1
Hi Guys,

I really believe this game has promise. It was unfortunate that it didn't hit its funding level the first time. I think the biggest issue was people didn't know about you.

Please be very active with Marketing, while learning from some of other kickstarters.

From SC, don't allow unofficial sources to post, and have everything go through your PR department.
From IB, keep your backers frequently updated with milestones and setbacks (we'll understand)
From DU, have a great community manager that frequently posts in the forums (information from the PR dept).

Have a social media manager, that works with PR to post on all social media avenues.
Have the PR dept push out Press Releases to the different gaming sites.

Do all the leg work, and stay in the public eye.

Good luck with the new Kickstarter
 
Last edited:

Ripper

New Member
#2
Yeah,

I believe there is a competing product that is VERY similar. They've already received their KS backing, and have space combat between corporations in a star system.

They're very up front with their backers, informing them weekly of the development progress. And they're almost to alpha.

They're your biggest competition.

PLEASE stay visible to the public.
 

10thTARDIS

Moderator
Staff member
Alpha Squadron
QA Tester
#3
I really believe this game has promise. It was unfortunate that it didn't hit its funding level the first time. I think the biggest issue was people didn't know about you.

Please be very active with Marketing, while learning from some of other kickstarters.
I'll pass this on to the dev team, I'm not sure how much they monitor the forums. They're always in the Discord, though. I agree, I think marketing will be critical for this campaign to succeed.

I believe there is a competing product that is VERY similar. They've already received their KS backing, and have space combat between corporations in a star system.
I'm assuming you're referring to Star Citizen. While there are similarities between SC and Starfighter, Inc., Starfighter is more focused on realistic battles based on extrapolations from modern technology. Everything that is in SFI is technically something that we could produce today, or in the near future. I'll see if I can get a dev in here to give you a better answer.
 

Ripper

New Member
#4
No, the product is not SC. And I wouldn't want to advertise a competitor that could pull potential pledges, since they have a funding site.

The primary difference between the two is that they are not limiting themselves to current science, they intend to support 100+ players per battle, and they plan on having the map be a star system.
 

David Wessman

Impeller Staff
Staff member
#5
Hi Guys,

I really believe this game has promise. It was unfortunate that it didn't hit its funding level the first time. I think the biggest issue was people didn't know about you.

Please be very active with Marketing, while learning from some of other kickstarters.

From SC, don't allow unofficial sources to post, and have everything go through your PR department.
From IB, keep your backers frequently updated with milestones and setbacks (we'll understand)
From DU, have a great community manager that frequently posts in the forums (information from the PR dept).

Have a social media manager, that works with PR to post on all social media avenues.
Have the PR dept push out Press Releases to the different gaming sites.

Do all the leg work, and stay in the public eye.

Good luck with the new Kickstarter
Good advice, Mazock! We've certainly studied the competition and learned what we can. Our last KS taught us an awful lot, too! And whenever we get the chance to attend a game dev conference we try to find relevant lectures to learn even more.

So far I don't think there are any unofficial sources attempting to speak for us. Not sure how that would work - I mean, how much credibility would they have if they're not sanctioned by the devs? Keep in mind that we're a small team, so our "PR department" is not even one full time person. It's a task that several of us share, but Tara Garrigan has been leading that effort.

We're certainly doing our best to keep everyone updated on progress during the KS, and will certainly maintain that if we get funded.

We don't really have a community manager, either. Just like our PR department, it's handled by whoever can spare the time from their primary development tasks. On the KS campaign that has mostly been Rusel DeMaria, Jack Mamais, Zach Hajj, and myself.

We are also working with a PR agency to help with press releases.

We've done two AMAs on reddit, a couple of livestreams, demoed the game at PAX East, and also done a bunch of interview - some of which have already been released, and more will be out this week.
 

David Wessman

Impeller Staff
Staff member
#6
No, the product is not SC. And I wouldn't want to advertise a competitor that could pull potential pledges, since they have a funding site.

The primary difference between the two is that they are not limiting themselves to current science, they intend to support 100+ players per battle, and they plan on having the map be a star system.
Is it Infinity: Battlescape? That game looks very cool, but it's not trying to be hard science fiction. It's also worth noting that they've been working on their engine for over 10 years, were unable to interest anyone in licensing it, and only started working on a much reduced scope game concept in 2015. I'm not saying this to bag on them. We have nothing but respect for developers like ourselves who pour their heart and souls into something they believe in and refuse to quit. I am totally looking forward to their game. You can understand if I think Starfighter Inc will be better. ;)
 

Valheru_84

New Member
Alpha Squadron
#7
So with only 11 days to go and $83k of the $150k goal raised so far, I'm getting a bit nervous that you guys aren't going to reach your goal again which is surprising seeing how close you got to the first KS campaign goal of $250k. Are you doing anything to address this and try to get the word out more about your game?

I've posted about it in a number of communities and my personal Facebook space sim chat group and I'm sure many of your supporters have all done the same.

Either way, all the best and my fingers are crossed!

- Valheru
 

Jaxley

Well-Known Member
#8
Actually this go-around looks like it's going much better than the first. I was very involved with the Descendent Studios Kickstarter and if I remember, Wingman was commenting on how two thirds of most Kickstarter campaign funds are raised in the first 3-4 days and the final 3-4 days. If that's the case, this second run is about where it should be. I think it's gong to be successful.
 

Shrike

Active Member
#9
Patiently waiting to see what the F2P model is going to be. I was blocked from my own discussion about the issue and told to wait and see, that it was an amazing new never seen before not at all -F 2 P- I hope that they can discuss this before the end of the kickstarter, would help with sales if they did.
 

10thTARDIS

Moderator
Staff member
Alpha Squadron
QA Tester
#10
Patiently waiting to see what the F2P model is going to be. I was blocked from my own discussion about the issue and told to wait and see, that it was an amazing new never seen before not at all -F 2 P- I hope that they can discuss this before the end of the kickstarter, would help with sales if they did.
It's a pretty standard "if you don't pay you can't have any of the good ships and will be blown out of the sky reasonably easily" model. F2P people won't be able to unlock weapons upgrades or to advance in the game, which will hopefully encourage them to try out the game and then buy it.
 

Jaxley

Well-Known Member
#11
"For F2P players, they'll only have the Shrike at first... <snip> If you purchase the game you'll be able to earn credits to buy other ships... "
- David Wessman
Post is here

This doesn't sound like a free-to-play model to me. It sounds like they are allowing new players to experience a limited access version in order to entice them to purchase the full game. I don't see anything wrong with that.
 

Shrike

Active Member
#12
You guys don't get what my problem is, let me explain in detail. Free to Play games allow non paying players to interact with paying players. In this case they run into a pay wall and only get a single ship with stock weapons and items. This player will still interact with paying players in matches, that will be 3 vs 3. That one inexperienced player in a stock ship will greatly hinder that teams chance of success and that more than skill can cause a match to fail for the other two players. There are plenty of creative ways to tackle this problem and where I point at MechWarrior Online. It was the reason I quit playing the game. No matter what they did, F2P players with no skin in the game will tear it apart.

As long as they will allow non paying players to effect paying players games it is Free to Play and it will have all the problems of free to play games. The difference in a demo is that the demo is locked to demo players and not the campaign matches of paying players, there is no mix here.... if you allow free players to mix with paying players and the paying players have no choice if they get free players on their team its F2P.
 

Jaxley

Well-Known Member
#13
Shrike, you've been around for a while so what I say - I say respectfully.

I get exactly what you problem with it is
. You have already made up your mind as to what you think will happen with the business model. You have already explained - in detail - your concerns in an over-the-top previous post. That of course is your prerogative, but at least in my mind have yet to make a convincing argument beyond unsubstantiated hand-wringing. This is how they have chosen to proceed, this is how it will proceed. All of your constant concern posting will not change that. Your problems with it have been noted, re-noted, and well documented - which now seems to be boiling down to 'The game will be bad because I'll get bad teams'. Not sure I understand the correlation, and to be honest I'm not willing to debate this any further that this post.

If a $25 contribution to a development team is too much to ask for without causing the level of anxiety you're exhibiting, then the risks associated with a Kickstarter project may not be for you. Wait until the game is released, allow the community to develop, and then you can decide to jump on board.

Will it work out the way you predict? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I'm willing to take the risk and back the project to find out. You may feel more comfortable waiting this one out however.
 

Shrike

Active Member
#14
Jaxley it simply pushes my buttons to see people say its not F2P when in fact it is. Bad teams? Better believe it. Have you ever played MWO? Cut the team size in half and you more than double the effect of having a F2P person on your team. No Jaxley, I have not made up my mind, see all the stuff they have posted to include the response to F2P questions has both changed and never been fully laid out. Speculation is the best anyone can do at this time. That is what was important with my original post. If it was in fact what I am expecting to see then I would be absolutely done with it, but people keep adding their own twists, to include what ever staff member / web mod decided to step up an act out on my post about it saying there was more info to come. Unsubstantiated had-wringing? When you take my concerns and then push it back like I am crazy.... well I guess if you cant dispute facts you push to discredit the writer. Were you specifically going for the passive aggressive?

You know what, I have been pretty cool about this entire thing. I made one post that was shut down, never attacked anyone but my questions or concerns were never answered. I was attacked. Like it or not I am the voice of concern that is not being brought up enough... because there is no place to bring it or no one interested enough to be bothered to post it. The kickstarter is having trouble, if they keep up the current drive they will no doubt make it but by the skin of their teeth. Want to know what the concern is? Read my posts, I am far from alone. Out of my personal friends I would say the vast majority lost interest when they found it was only 3 vs 3 and F2P is only icing on the cake but several said they would be more open to support them without the F2P looming.

As I have always said I hope that the team pulls out all the punches and lands a knockout game. I hope I am proven wrong 100% and this becomes one hell of a game that everyone is talking about. I love what this game wants to be but I am not at all a fan of the road its taking to get there. On the current coarse it will be rough at best.
 

David Wessman

Impeller Staff
Staff member
#15
Jaxley it simply pushes my buttons to see people say its not F2P when in fact it is. Bad teams? Better believe it. Have you ever played MWO? Cut the team size in half and you more than double the effect of having a F2P person on your team. No Jaxley, I have not made up my mind, see all the stuff they have posted to include the response to F2P questions has both changed and never been fully laid out. Speculation is the best anyone can do at this time. That is what was important with my original post. If it was in fact what I am expecting to see then I would be absolutely done with it, but people keep adding their own twists, to include what ever staff member / web mod decided to step up an act out on my post about it saying there was more info to come. Unsubstantiated had-wringing? When you take my concerns and then push it back like I am crazy.... well I guess if you cant dispute facts you push to discredit the writer. Were you specifically going for the passive aggressive?

You know what, I have been pretty cool about this entire thing. I made one post that was shut down, never attacked anyone but my questions or concerns were never answered. I was attacked. Like it or not I am the voice of concern that is not being brought up enough... because there is no place to bring it or no one interested enough to be bothered to post it. The kickstarter is having trouble, if they keep up the current drive they will no doubt make it but by the skin of their teeth. Want to know what the concern is? Read my posts, I am far from alone. Out of my personal friends I would say the vast majority lost interest when they found it was only 3 vs 3 and F2P is only icing on the cake but several said they would be more open to support them without the F2P looming.

As I have always said I hope that the team pulls out all the punches and lands a knockout game. I hope I am proven wrong 100% and this becomes one hell of a game that everyone is talking about. I love what this game wants to be but I am not at all a fan of the road its taking to get there. On the current coarse it will be rough at best.
Shrike, your concerns are absolutely shared by the dev team. Regarding the problems of having crap players on your team, one solution might simply be to allow paid players to restrict who joins their game. Also, most team-based games allow you to participate as a team, so if you and your friends are working together in a 3v3 match, there simply won't be a random non-paying player in your team.

Keep in mind that we are gamers, too. We despise all of the defects that often plague multiplayer online games and the free-to-play model, and are devoted to finding better solutions. At the end of the day, we all want a game that is fun. In a skill-based multiplayer game that means fair and balanced matchmaking, robust anti-cheat protection, and some measure of control given to players to define their preferences. The bottom line is do you trust us to do a good job, and to be responsive when issues arise?
 

Shrike

Active Member
#16
Thank you for your response David Wessman. Its not so much crap players as the possibility of limited players, the f2p. Players behind the pay wall. How much of a difference will equipment make on matches? Will owning your ship give you an edge out side of aesthetics? How will the match maker do its thing? Will it randomly grab people with the best connection to each other or will it also consider experience? Can you opt out of having F2P players in matches? (that last question is the game changer for me)
 
#18
The only reason I myself know about the game was because Bad News Baron talked about it around the first Kickstarter. Starfighter Inc. seems to rely a lot on word of mouth to get the message out. Which is both good and bad. Good in the sense that most folks know pretty well what to expect, so the hyped fooled fever-dream rumors won't get as much traction, but bad in the sense that fewer people will know about the game.

From my experiences with the communities of E: D, SC, and ARK (including chatting up the occasional Dev and in ARKs case, a brief time as a volunteer tester for the QA guys) Impeller's biggest hurdle will be Expectation Management. You guys are going to have to quash any errant rumor with the force of a nuclear bombardment from space if you don't want people wildly speculating only to become irate when you eventually issue a statement later. Some of the devs of games I do love so very much seem rather unable to learn this. People have this tendency to take something they like, and assume that the next awesome thing they hear about it will be true. (I've personally seen said people even try and correct the dev of the game in question... yeah....)

Assuming you've got the first part covered, another challenge is going to be making the game seem approachable for the average player. A large portion of gamers assume that 'hardcore' games are by definition extremely difficult to learn, so they never consider trying them. If you want to attract these people to Starfighter, then making it non-intimidating to do so is important. Having a free-tier will help with that, which you do. Another idea in that regard comes from the likes of Edge Case Games and their little video shorts for Fractured Space. Something similar like that for the ships of Starfighter might help free players get the hang of the game faster. And the faster that happens, the more likely they are to buy it.

Given that I found out about it due to a streamer I like showing it off, getting content creators involved will basically let the game sell itself.

Thank you for your response David Wessman. Its not so much crap players as the possibility of limited players, the f2p. Players behind the pay wall. How much of a difference will equipment make on matches? Will owning your ship give you an edge out side of aesthetics? How will the match maker do its thing? Will it randomly grab people with the best connection to each other or will it also consider experience? Can you opt out of having F2P players in matches? (that last question is the game changer for me)
If matchmaking is done properly, then equipment should only be part of it. The matchmaker will probably factor ping, win/loss ratio, K/D ratio, and rough equipment loadout when trying to pick people.

As a Marketing tool, having a way to keep bringing people in to pay for server costs is vital. There aren't enough people willing to pay monthly for subscriptions anymore, so you have to attract a very large player-base to get the 5% who are willing to throw money at you monthly, either for optional subs or vanity items. Tweaking the matchmaker can help, but stuffing the f2p people into a separate bin entirely encourages behaviors detrimental to the game.
 

Shrike

Active Member
#19
DFX2KX I completely disagree with needing free to play people. But I am done with my F2P argument. I will put my trust with the team at Impeller that they will look at other games that use free to play and see what doesn't work. I would still like to have either a mode or campaign area without F2P, it might help make people want to buy it just to play in that mode or campaign. But again unless they ask for input I will let this part go. Time to move on to post kickstarter.
 

David Wessman

Impeller Staff
Staff member
#20
Congratulations on making it! ( I have to admit I did back the game again on the 11th)

I do hope though that the points I brought up are given some thought.
Thanks for coming back, Shrike! Rest assured, the points you've raised are issues we will take very seriously.
 
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