It may seem silly now, with more than $3.6 million headed to Obsidian Entertainment to help fund a new role-playing game, but there was a time when the folks at the storied game developer were worried about starting a Kickstarter for Project Eternity.
Feargus Urquhart, CEO of Obsidian, likened the internal hand-wringing and worry over the decision to asking all of the developer's fans to the prom.
"Either you believe there is a chance the girl is going to say yes, or you don't," Urquhart told Polygon. "We weren't cocky or arrogant. It was a little scary.
"A bit of it was 'Will people believe us?' That's what it really was, 'Will people believe in us?' If they don't? Uhhhhh ... "
Ultimately, the developers behind Fallout: New Vegas, Neverwinter Nights 2 and South Park: The Stick of Truth, decided to take the plunge and face their fear of fan rejection.
"You would be amazed about the amount of time and energy that went into our pitch," Urquhart said. "You get one shot."
Urquhart said his 30 seconds in the video was the by-product of about 40 takes. And that he couldn't stop worrying about the project and its Kickstarter until they hit about $750,000.
Fortunately, that meant he didn't have to wait long. They hit that number by 11 p.m. the day the Kickstarter went live and within 24 hours topped $1 million. The goal of $1.1 million took a few hours more. Now, with about 8 hours left, they've met and exceeded every stretch goal they could dream up.
They also toppled the previous video game funding record on Kickstater set by Double Fine Entertainment.
"We are really thankful for Tim (Schafer) and the rest of the people at Double Fine for trying Kickstarter out," Urquhart said. "If he hadn't there would have always been a big question about how far you could take it.
"He made this possible. I can't give him enough credit for taking that chance and going out there and doing this."
This morning the team is discussing what to do with those remaining eight hours or so. They don't really want to add more to the already enormous game, so Urquhart says he thinks they'll instead invest any more money donated into polish.
"That was the last stretch goal," he said. "It's almost that the game has gotten to be the size it needs to be. Now we just need to fill it out even more."
While Urquhart hasn't had a chance to talk to Schafer since breaking the record, he said that Kickstarter has created a cadre of game developers who keep in close contact with one another. That includes Wastelands 2's inXile Entertainment and Planetary Annihilation's Uber Entertainment.
"Kickstarter has created this community of developers who want to help each other," he said.
Once the Kickstarter closes tonight, Urquhart says it will take about two weeks for the developer to receive the funding.
The team had already started work on the game before they launched their Kickstarter, now the team of 15 are working on the background of the game and game systems. That works continues unabated while the team discusses their next steps.
Those steps won't include a big rush to hiring, Urquhart said.
"Thinking about having a team of 15 before, maybe we will take that to a set number like 20 or 22," he said. "I don't think we're going to push it to huge number, so it may make the game come out later.
"We're not saying we're slipping," he added. "We just want to be smart in how we do it and make an awesome game."
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