Community Campfire #13
Hey there, folks!
I have to confess that I'm a bit sad because I can't see (in person) all of the awesome progress the team's been making!
Normally, I'm in the office and I see lots of cool stuff just floating through the air. But this week?
This week, the "Devil's Food" vertical slice is being transformed into the "Angel Food" slice. Stuff that was broken and buggy is being fixed, things that looked ugly and "placeholder" are becoming polished and beautiful...
... And I'm helping my folks load boxes.
That said, I still have some exciting information to share!
We've had a long discussion about expanding the Proving Grounds and went over a lot of suggestions from our community. We do need more testers, and that meant that we had to come up with a fair way of respecting our backers who already had Proving Grounds access while expanding the pool of playtesters.
In the end, we decided to add Proving Grounds access as a part of membership in The Underground. Boxed Out backers will continue to have lifetime Proving Grounds access, while access through The Underground is tied to an active membership.
Also, as a token of our gratitude to our Boxed Out backers, we will be giving them a complementary year of Underground membership starting around the time that Proving Grounds goes online. We have some technical details to work out to implement it, but Boxed Out backers who are already members of the Underground will see that year added to their current membership.
This leads us to...
PLEDGE STORE RELAUNCH
We are rebuilding the pledge reward tiers to move away from Kickstarter-style rewards and to move towards a tiers based on our pricing for next spring's retail launch.
Our current plan is to make the switch to the new, "pre-release" tiers on Thursday, July 30, 2015.
From that date forward, Kickstarter-era reward packages will not be able to upgrade on a package-to-package basis, only through a la carte pledge add-ons. This is because of a technical limitation in our site software.
Because of this upcoming change, I wanted to give you an idea of how the new tiers would work and how current and future backers will be able to customize their pledge rewards more freely than with the Kickstarter era packages.
Check out this comparison of our entry-level pledge rewards:
As you can see, we've structured the tiers so that our early backers get more stuff. We're also making an exclusive skin pack (fits every ship in the retail release) to celebrate our earliest supporters.
We are adding this skin pack FREE to any game package pledged for during our Kickstarter campaign (at Kickstarter or at our site). This includes anyone who upgraded a package first acquired from the Kickstarter.
In the case of Kickstarter-era game packages pledged AFTER the end of our Kickstarter campaign, we are going to leave the window open to get this exclusive $30 package for a token $15 pledge- half off!
The NEW pre-release pledge reward tiers will not have the option to get this skin pack.
We are also offering another pre-release skin pack (the "2316", also a placeholder name) that will be given FREE to any Kickstarter-era game package. This skin pack will be available to new reward tiers, but for an additional pledge- notice the difference between the "2316 Sky Cup Edition" and the "Be Prepared" package:
This means that our Kickstarter backers will see another $60 worth of limited-edition content in their rewards. Our early backers who came in after the Kickstarter will see an additional $30 to $45 worth, depending on whether or not they choose to make use of the discount on the "2315" pack.
I also wanted to point out something about the dollar amounts associated with each pledge tier. The newest reward tiers have a scale, say from $30 to $60 for "Enlist Now". This reflects a diminishing discount over time. Since these tiers don't come with the Kickstarter-era rewards, the bottom end of the scale for the earliest adopters looks cheaper... but only for a time.
We are planning to roll back the discounts over time. The idea is that someone who pledges on our site for "Ready For Action" or one of the other new tiers on July 30 will pay less than someone who pledges in November. If we'd had this functionality set up earlier, we would have used it sooner- instead we're adding exclusive rewards to the Kickstarter-era packages as a thank you for stepping up to the plate first.
Steam Early Access will probably work more in pulses but that's because Steam folks love their sale weekends. We can't really do much to change that expectation. Then again, folks who buy Early Access on Steam aren't going to be able to earn a free Torch or skin pack by pledging early.
As you probably gathered from the charts, some previously package-specific rewards, like Alpha Access, are now going to be available a la carte. We are looking to add in some of the higher-end rewards as add-ons- for instance, an invitation to our launch party next spring. Of course, those who got that invitation as part of their package will have pledged less for it, but we didn't want to exclude hard-core fans from the party just because they didn't hear about us earlier.
We will also be offering pre-release backers the option to pledge directly for ships at $7.50 each, either individually or in bundles of "ship tokens" at a slight discount. Individual ships will be giftable once the gifting system is operational, but the discounted token bundles have to stay as a group.
Ships that are tied to stretch goals will only be available for pledging after the stretch goal is reached, however "gold" ship tokens will be able to be exchanged for those ships after their stretch goal is reached.
I know this is turning into a wall of text, so I'm going to stop here.
I've started THIS THREAD for questions, discussion, and feedback about the plan we've presented here. While a lot of sweat, tears, and even a tiny amount of blood (I got a papercut) went into this plan, we know that it's not perfect and some folks may have ideas about how to improve them.
Stage 2 of the design competition has moved from semi-finals to finals voting,
so go here and cast your vote for the best backstory!
We are also looking for polished, high-detail versions of the bot in
Stage 3 of the Art competition- click here for the info on how to enter!
Remember, the ultimate winner of Build-A-Bot wins an AMD 290X video card,
so enter a stage and/or give constructive feedback today!
Until next time, fly safe!